I’m not long back from a beautiful (and productive!) four-week stay as a fellow of the MacDowell Colony in New Hampshire. If you haven’t heard of it, MacDowell is an artists’ colony/retreat for those working in all art forms, and while I was there there were composers, photographers, painters, installation artists, filmmakers, novelists, poets, playwrights and non-fiction writers.
It was so inspiring to meet people from all these different fields and to hear them speak about their processes and development as artists. MacDowell asks fellows to do an open studio, reading or recital during your stay, and this was a wonderful way of getting to know other residents and to engage with their work.
I had an incredible time, and really feel it’s helped expand my creative horizons. I’ve also made a lot of new friends, eaten incredible food and experienced a New Hampshire ice storm. I hope to return there one day.
If you are a writer/artist/composer/all of the above, and are interested in applying, then I absolutely encourage you to! All the information is here; the costs of the residency itself are covered by the foundation, and successful applicants can apply for travel/living cost reimbursements according to need.
It’s a wonderful place, full of quirky traditions. Here’s a picture of me posing in front of the famous MacDowell ‘tombstones’ – wooden panels in each of the studio/cabins where fellows records their stay.