October 22, 2007 - MacDowell Colony - New Funding for Artists
October 22, 2007

New Funding for Artists



The MacDowell Colony, the leading artist residency program in the United States, is pleased to announce the establishment of a new fund for artists. Thanks to a generous grant by The Leon Levy Foundation, artists accepted for a MacDowell Fellowship who need additional financial assistance are now eligible for such aid. These grants can be used to cover expenses that continue to accrue while artists are away from home, including rent, utilities, and childcare. Artists may also use the grants to compensate for lost income or in the event an employer requires an unpaid leave to attend the Colony. Equipment and supplies may be addressed by this aid, as well.

The MacDowell Colony, which was founded in 1907, provides Fellowships to more than 250 artists each year across seven contemporary disciplines: visual arts, interdisciplinary art, architecture, film, theatre, literature, and music composition. Set on 450 acres of beautiful woods in rural New Hampshire, MacDowell’s reputation for offering the ideal environment for creative pursuits is well-established and highly regarded. Past Fellows include such luminaries as Milton Avery, James Baldwin, Leonard Bernstein, Willa Cather, Aaron Copland, Thornton Wilder, and more recently Jonathan Franzen, Bright Sheng, Oscar Hijuelos, Eve Sussman, Qin Feng, and Stewart Wallace, among many others.

Offering 32 private studios designed for the specific discipline of the artist, the Colony also provides meals and separate accommodations. Artists who are accepted to MacDowell through its highly competitive application process are allowed up to eight weeks of undisturbed time and space to pursue their work. The criterion is talent as demonstrated in a work sample that is reviewed by selection panels in each discipline. Application deadlines for the three annual residency periods are January 15th, April 15th, and September 15th.

The Leon Levy Grants are part of an overall effort by MacDowell to ensure artists face no barriers in finding the time and space necessary to create. This program expands on a similar successful program for writers established in 1997. In addition, through The MacArthur Foundation and the David and Rosamond Putnam Foundation, MacDowell reimburses the transportation costs for international and domestic artists for travel to and from the Colony. Permanent funding for the financial assistance programs is
being sought.

“While MacDowell Fellowships are awarded based on exceptional talent, we believe that as many as half of the artists who come to the Colony each year struggle financially,” says Cheryl Young, MacDowell’s executive director. “A review of financial information indicates that the average income for aid applicants in literature in 2006 was 22,000 dollars, with 48 percent of these households falling below the poverty line. It’s wonderful that The Leon Levy Foundation is making it possible to expand this program to Colony artists of all
artistic disciplines.”

The Leon Levy Foundation is a private, not-for-profit foundation created from the estate of Leon Levy, a legendary investor with a longstanding commitment to philanthropy and humanism.

Celebrating its Centennial this year, The MacDowell Colony was awarded the National Medal of Arts in 1997 for “for nurturing and inspiring many of this century’s finest artists.” It is the only artist residency program to have received this prominent honor. MacDowell has served as the model for residency programs throughout the United States and internationally. Since its founding 100 years ago, such communities have become the nation’s largest source of support for individual artists. For more information about the Colony or to apply, please visit our Web site at www.macdowellcolony.org

MacDowell Colony
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