Now accepting residency applicants, the MacDowell Colony’s mission is to “nurture the arts by offering creative individuals of the highest talent an inspiring environment in which they can produce enduring works of the imagination.” Artists from a wide range of disciplines, including a long list of architects, have experienced the MacDowell Fellowship, receiving a studio, accommodations and three meals a day for up to eight weeks with no residency fees. The experience is very private. Each individual is given their own studio to live and work in solitude, as no studio is visible from another. Meals are shared at the Colony Hall. The sole criterion is artistic excellence.
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In 1896, composer Edward McDowell and his wife, pianist Marian McDowell, bought a family farm in Peterborough, New Hampshire. During the summer, the peaceful environment allowed Edward to create his best music. Shortly after, Edward fell gravely ill and his dying wish was to give artists the chance to foster their creativity and work within the same type of experience.
In 1908, Marian set out to establish a community on their New Hampshire property, a vision known as the “Peterborough Idea”. In 1906, prominent citizens – including Grover Cleveland, Andrew Carnegie and J. Pierpont Morgan – helped the idea become a reality. Almost 32 studio’s were built and the program flourished until Marian’s death in 1956.
The Colony has provided over 6,000 artists with the time and space to explore their creative ideas. In 1997, The MacDowell Colony was awarded the National Medal of Arts – the highest award given by the United States to artists or arts patrons and in 2007, the Colony celebrated its Centennial.
The next residency application deadline is January 15th, 2012. The Colony accepts artists from the following disciplines: architecture, film/video, arts, interdisciplinary arts, literature, music composition, theatre and visual arts. Click here to apply.
Reference: MacDowell Colony