Application GuidelinesThe 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.
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.
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, ARC, 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 12 months. MacDowell will only accept applications for the next deadline. Artists may submit applications for future residency periods only during the open application dates for those deadlines. Please refer to the dates in the column on the left.
Application deadlines are not postmark deadlines; all required materials must be received at the Colony in Peterborough on or before these dates. If you would like to receive a reminder about our application deadlines, click here to sign up for our monthly e-News.
Application ProcessBefore starting the application process, we encourage applicants to scroll through our extensive list of Application FAQs. All applicants must use the Colony’s online application form. To apply, click on the Apply icon.
After submitting the online form, visual and literature applicants are not required to mail in hard copies of the forms. Applicants in all other disciplines are required to mail the completed application form, work sample cover sheet, processing fee, and work samples to:
Admissions DirectorWork SamplesCurrently, only visual arts and literature applicants may submit digital work samples through the MacDowell application on SlideRoom. Applicants applying in all other disciplines must mail work samples, along with other required application materials, so they arrive at the Colony in Peterborough on or before the deadline.
The MacDowell Colony
100 High Street
Peterborough, NH 03458
Work samples supporting the proposed project and completed within the past four years are requested. The name of the applicant should appear on each sample. Applicants unable to submit new work for the panel to review should include a note of explanation. Those whose proposed project does not fall clearly within an artistic discipline should contact the Admissions office to discuss.
For detailed work sample requirements for each artistic discipline, click here.
ReferencesApplicants are required to have one reference form on file completed by an authority in their field who is familiar with them and their work. A reference form is available as part of the online application. Applications that do not have a completed reference form on file will be considered incomplete and will not be reviewed. Completed reference forms should be sent directly to the Colony and must be received in Peterborough on or before the application deadline. Reference letters are confidential and will be kept on file for five years.
For a printable PDF version of the reference form, click here.
A nonrefundable processing fee of $30 (U.S.) is required with each application. Applicants may pay the processing fee through the online application using PayPal. You do not need to have to have a PayPal account; please use the link provided. For those applicants required to mail application materials, we will accept a personal check or money order payable to The MacDowell Colony. Wire transfers are not accepted.
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 21stCollaborations
Fall residency notification: June 19th
Winter/Spring residency notification: November 20th
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 must apply individually. If both are accepted, each will be offered a studio. There are no provisions for partners or children at the Colony.
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 e-mail or by phone at 603-924-3886.