Meet the Arroz Estudios Guild

What is Arroz Estúdios

Arroz Estúdios is a non-profit cultural association based in Lisbon, Portugal. We provide workspaces for artists and creatives to collaborate and freely express themselves. Our studios make use of abandoned industrial spaces that, with the contribution of resident artists and the local artistic community, are transformed into creative arts spaces.

In our current location, we have 14 studios and a co-work comprising a wide range of arts, from traditional Portuguese painters to international digital artists, sound engineers, producers and scenographers. The space also includes two galleries, space for musical events, a pizzeria and a 1000m2 outdoor terrace. We generally hold seven events per week, from art exhibitions to live jam-sessions, social and community solidarity events, and local musical shows. All of our events aim to involve the local community and promote Portuguese art internationally, as well as present international artists to our community here in Lisbon.

The core goals of the association are:

  • To provide a safe space for creatives from all backgrounds and cultures to express themselves
  • To promote local Portuguese artists on an international scale and engage with our surrounding community
  • To bring international artists to Lisbon for learning, exhibitions and events this boosting the studios to an international reputation

More info here in our intro document:

Our History And Future

Arroz Estúdios started in Cacilhas (Lisbon’s South Bay) in September 2018, in a riverside warehouse overlooking central Lisbon. The project was extremely successful; we created a previously non-existent creative bridge between Lisbon and the South Bay, while establishing links with local artists and visitors. In the first 12 months, we associated more than 4000 members and held over 50 events including over 15 exhibitions by different artists.

In September 2019, due to a real estate development, we had to leave the warehouse in Cacilhas. We relocated to Beato East Lisbon in December 2019 to an abandoned complex where, after re-installing basic utilities, we were able to create our current set-up. Due to Covid-19, we reinvented the use of our space, adapting our cultural program to the outdoor space where we were able to hold daily events throughout last summer and despite our capacity having been reduced by 80% we were able to double our number of members to over 8000.

Sadly, due to the rapidly developing Lisbon real estate market, we will also have to leave this location in the near future as this site too is being redeveloped also into luxury accommodation. For the past year we have been trying to raise enough funds to buy a location so we can support the creative community indefinitely and have so far raised about 50% of our goal.

Art Progression Now
– Combining the physical and the virtual –

As is the case with many cultural initiatives, Arroz Estúdios currently faces the existential threat not only of gentrification, but of the uncertain consequences that will come in a post-pandemic world. Inspired by some technological migrants new to Lisbon & Arroz, there was a renewed desire to create new opportunities for expression and promotion of creativity through technology, more specifically Blockchain technology.

Through this desire to expand the boundaries of the artistic world, and to rethink the structures, ecosystems and ways of doing things, the collective Art Progression Now emerged from a collaboration between Keyko, Arroz Estúdios, Mintbase & a few others. Art Progression Now is an International Art Collective composed of technological partners, artists and software developers. It is defined as a “community of creatives and creators who work to advance digital and cryptographic arts based on the interest of artists and the cultural sector”.

To do this we are experimenting with combining physical and digital arts across the universe and metaverse to create unique experiences using cutting edge technologies. In February 2021, we hosted Rare Effect vol.1: an exhibition of digital and crypto arts with 10 consecutive days of programming including the exhibition of digital arts, performances, interviews, and live concerts on an immersive all-digital platform called Cryptovoxels. The exhibition showcased 40 artists, both national and international, and brought 14,000 visitors to our virtual gallery.

The next step is to carry out an in-person edition of this exhibition, experimenting further with the portal between the physical and virtual.

Arroz Guild x NEAR

As we continue our journey into the crypto world, we will continue to follow our vision of connecting the local and international community and to give examples of alternative artistic possibilities.

We are aiming to help introduce this new digital art world, to educate and to provide training for artists in all fields as well as the local community in Lisbon so we can give support and easy access to artists who want to onboard their work into the digital world by educating artists on how to create and work with NFTs through NEAR and make their first steps into the crypto arts scene.

As a part of our engagement with NEAR, we’re making use of our already very large community to generate more value for our artists and creatives. We will make ourselves available to try the latest innovations and technology from across the network and help it grow as crypto becomes more commonly used in traditional settings.

As a part of the guild we will be trying to achieve 4 goals:

  • To develop Lisbon as the crypto arts capital of Europe
  • To work towards our association goal of creating a permanent creative hub in Lisbon
  • To further develop Arroz Estudios as an international creative hub
  • To continue to support our creative community and extend that support to other collectives and artists in our network

We have combined all those values and goals in our upcoming initiative “Planting A.I.R.” (artist in residence), in partnership with NEAR, Art Progression Now, Mintbase and Keyko, where we will offer free studio space as well as materials and support to an artist from a low-income background for a 1-2 month residency. The goal of the residency is to enable the artist to develop creative projects with a focus on NFTs and crypto arts and we will be offering regular workshops on onboarding support and funding opportunities to local artists and collectives through the NEAR platform.

Why and how to get in touch

Are you an artist of any kind that would like to get to know more about the crypto art world? Are you already set up but still looking for funding for your creative project? Or maybe you are involved in digital arts already but would like to get more visibility in the physical realm?

Then propose a project through our google form or join our Telegram to get more information about us and upcoming opportunities.

Telegram: Telegram: Join Group Chat

Authors: Steven, Tabea, Erica, Cintia & Juliana
Get in touch individually in the comments below :partying_face:


Love this initiative! Welcome Arroz, to the NEAR Guild ecosystem!


Happy to be involved in this community! Arroz is a great collaborative platform that aims to expand both physical and digital creative boundaries :grin: I’m Arroz studio manager, social media assistant and now I’m also helping with Planting AIR project. Very proud of this Guild :heart_eyes:


I am also part of the Arroz team and I’m very excited about this journey! In the physical realm I am responsible for our new spaces team, in the virtual world I’ll be connecting interested NEARians who would like to participate in our projects and would like to know more about funding opportunities. :rocket:


Love this! Welcome Arroz and more artists and creators to join us on NEAR! Please feel free to reach out to me on telegram @eunicecyl.