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Sculptor John Bisbee poses with his creations in Heinz Studio.
Sculptor John Bisbee poses with his creations in Heinz Studio.

Application Guidelines

Please review the Application Guidelines below before beginning the application process. If you have questions about applying to MacDowell, please contact the admissions office at admissions@macdowellcolony.org.

The MacDowell Colony provides time, space, and an inspiring environment to artists of exceptional talent. A MacDowell Fellowship, or residency, consists of exclusive use of a studio, accommodations, and three prepared meals a day for up to eight weeks. There are no residency fees.

MacDowell Fellows are selected by our admissions panels, which are comprised of a revolving group of distinguished professionals in each artistic discipline who serve anonymously for three years.

Eligibility
The Colony accepts applications from artists working in the following disciplines: architecture, film/video arts, interdisciplinary arts, literature, music composition, theatre, and visual arts. The sole criterion for acceptance is artistic excellence, which the Colony defines in a pluralistic and inclusive way. MacDowell encourages applications from artists representing the widest possible range of perspectives and demographics, and welcomes artists engaging in the broadest spectrum of artistic practice and investigating an unlimited array of inquiries and concerns. To that end, emerging as well as established artists are invited to apply. Applicants who are in a degree program as of the date of application are ineligible for a residency and therefore cannot apply.

MacDowell is committed to a policy of nondiscrimination and equal opportunity for all persons regardless of race, sex, color, religion, creed, national origin or ancestry, age, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, and disability. No one with the AIDS virus, or HIV shall be denied admission as long as he/she is otherwise qualified. The Colony offers barrier-free access in all main buildings and some studios.

Application Periods and Deadlines
Artists may apply only once every 24 months. MacDowell will only accept applications for the next deadline. Please refer to the applications dates in the column on the left for open application time periods.

Application Process
Before starting the application process, we encourage applicants to scroll through our extensive list of Application FAQs. All applicants apply through the online application process. To apply, click on the Apply icon. Applicants are not required to mail in hard copies of the application forms.

Work Samples
Work samples supporting the proposed project and completed within the past four years are requested. All work samples are uploaded and submitted through the online application. Applicants unable to submit new work for the panel to review should include a note of explanation. Those applicants whose proposed project does not fall clearly within an artistic discipline should contact the Admissions office to discuss which discipline would best fit the proposed work.

Please note, composers are required to mail in two copies of two clearly reproduced, bound scores within one week after the deadline, but must upload music files through the online application. 

For detailed work sample requirements for each artistic discipline, click here.

References
Applicants are required to have one reference form on file completed by an authority in their field who is familiar with them and their work. Applications that do not have a completed reference form on file will be considered incomplete and will not be reviewed. Reference letters are confidential and will be kept on file for five years.

Applicants:   The reference process is initiated by you, the applicant, from within the online application.  You will add the name and contact information for your recommender in the Reference step of the application and a secure link will be sent to your recommender.  This can be done in advance of submitting your application.  It is your responsibility to ensure the request is fulfilled.  The deadline for all references is one week after the application deadline.

Recommenders:  As a recommender, you will receive an automated email from SlideRoom once the applicant has entered your contact information. This email will contain a link specifically tied to the applicant, which should be used to complete the recommendation. The deadline for all references is one week after the application deadline.

If a recommender cannot submit a reference online, please contact the Admissions Department at admissions@macdowellcolony.org or 603-924-3886 x 113.

Processing Fee
A nonrefundable processing fee of $30 (U.S.) is required with each application. Applicants pay the processing fee by debit or credit card through a secure site on the online application.

Notification
Applicants will be notified of admission status approximately 10 weeks after the applicable deadline, on or near the dates listed below:

Summer residency notification: March 25th
Fall residency notification: June 25th
Winter/Spring residency notification: November 25th

Collaborations
Artists collaborating on a project must submit individual application forms and appropriate work samples, along with a joint description of the work they intend to do at the Colony. Work space needs should be clearly specified (i.e. whether or not separate studios are required), and an example of a previous collaborative work (either completed or in progress) may also be submitted. Admission status is determined by averaging the individual application scores of all collaborators.

Couples
Couples must apply individually. If both are accepted, each will be offered a studio. There are no provisions for partners or children at the Colony.

Reapplication
All applicants, including artists who have had previous residencies at MacDowell, must submit a complete application that includes recent work samples.

For further assistance, please contact the Admissions office by or by phone at 603-924-3886.