About Monika Proffitt


Thanks to the ever talented Brandon Milner for taking this photo.

Hi – I’m Monika

I am an installation artist, writer, and entrepreneur. I have a passion for demystifying how you can live your life on your own terms – no matter what challenges you are facing.

Favorite things and personal mottos

A rising tide lifts all ships.

Anything that goes on a chip or a cracker is potentially dinner.

When love shows up, show up for it.

Sometimes your best inheritance was your worst experience.

Being a jack of all trades is never a bad thing.

The only way over is through.

When in doubt, get out. (As in, out of the house. Walking does wonders.)

Everything you need is inside of other people.

If you’re going to do something, teach someone else how to do it along the way. The world needs what you know.

We are stronger together than we are alone.

I’ve created a residency program for artists and writers out of what some might call thin air. I have brought countless artists along with me to exhibit their work in the biggest art fairs in the United States. I’m also known for creating the best guides and training resources that are available for emerging artists. I’ve also started the world’s first arts related social business.

I presented on our mission driven business model at the Alliance of Artist Communities annual conference 2013. It explains how my experiences and passions led me to start Starry Night Programs. If you’re dreaming of a way to give back to the world while sustaining your own art practice, I hope my story and this organizational model provides you with some insights and tools to make more of what you want to see in the world – on your own terms.

More fun facts

I have an attack cat named Nina. If you ever attend the Starry Night Residency Program, you’ll meet her.

My poetry has been published by Prolific Press in the collection, 50 Haikus.

I once posed as a homeless person for two months and traveled to eight US cities, to report on the conditions and test the effectiveness of the homeless service systems I encountered.

I’ve journeyed to the Oracle of Delphi, the birthplace of the poet Sappho, and the museum of Wonder Woman, only to be delighted and enriched by what I found.

I live part time in New York. Otherwise, you can find me at the Starry Night residency program in New Mexico, living amongst the artists and my beloved program staff.

I love making things.  I believe artists are unique in that they look around at our world and say, “This is not enough. I need to make something I haven’t seen before.” As a society we should foster the growth of those people and celebrate their brave contributions to our world.

Here’s my bio in third person – in case you prefer that

Monika Proffitt is an installation artist, writer and entrepreneur. In her former life she worked in arts administration as a grant maker and in social services as a counselor to mentally ill homeless people. The two arenas were remarkably similar.

Proffitt’s installations have been exhibited throughout the Pacific Northwest and New Mexico. She has received awards and commissions from Washington State, the Cities of Seattle and Tacoma, King County, and Pilchuck School of Glass, among others. Her work has been reviewed throughout the Northwest and has been featured on the cover of Lighting Magazine. She has spoken on topics ranging from responsible, creative entrepreneurship to the artist’s process in life, career and connection.

Proffitt is also the Founding Executive Director of Starry Night Programs, which offers artist residencies in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, as well as exhibition opportunities and artist resource and training programs.