Founded in 1907 by composer Edward MacDowell and pianist Marian MacDowell, his wife, The MacDowell Colony nurtures the arts by awarding Fellowships to artists of exceptional talent, providing time, space, and an inspiring environment in which they can do creative work. The sole criterion for acceptance is talent, as determined by a panel representing the discipline of the applicant.
A MacDowell Colony Fellowship (awarded through a competitive application process) consists of a residency up to two months and includes a private studio, housing, and three meals per day. The Colony is designed to facilitate a balance between social interaction and focus on work. Private studios available to artists 24 hours a day, together with the dining and recreation rooms at Colony Hall, combine to provide an environment adaptable to each individual´s needs. To ensure all autonomy and privacy, no artist-in-residence may visit another´s studio without invitation. Breakfast and dinner are served in the dining room, while lunch is delivered to each studio. After dinner, presentations are a traditional, elective part of the stimulating and supportive environment. Readings, slide shows, open studios, and informal performances allow artists to become acquainted with and inspired by one another´s work. Friendships established among artists-in-residence often lead to collaborations and connections beyond the Colony.
The MacDowell Colony