What We Do
MacDowell's mission is to nurture the arts by offering talented individuals an inspiring residential environment in which to produce enduring works of the creative imagination.
What We Believe
MacDowell believes that the arts, artists, and creative processes are of primary importance. MacDowell was founded in 1907 around a belief in the inherent value of providing artists with uninterrupted time and supportive spaces in which to work.
We believe in the worth and dignity of all people. We aspire to understand and value the complex lives of the artists, staff, trustees, and all others who continue to support our mission.
We believe in a world that works for artists because art makes a better world. We strive to match the love that artists have of their work with our love of them as people. We support their vision through care, passion, and an unwavering belief in their importance to our society. We believe that when we give our very best to our artists, they give their very best to the world. The path of an artist is hard enough. We strive to ease that burden through care and a joyful, supportive community.
We believe MacDowell must play a role in fostering equity within the arts, with equity itself calling for the recognition of historically unequal starting points. We will use our wealth of experience and resources to create opportunities for people who have in the past been excluded from access to the arts and advancement within the organizations that serve them.
And we believe in the responsible stewardship of our ecological and financial resources. We are committed to taking care of our land, our physical plant, our endowment, and our community.
What We’re Thinking About
As we carry this mission forward, we will continue to nurture its vitality and relevance by
- Interrogating our understanding of “artistic excellence” to ensure that within it, we recognize a wide range of artistic production and practice, including consideration of diversity, equity, inclusion, and access
- Investigating new virtual and/or on-site programming in both New York and Peterborough, in keeping with our mission
Related to our value of recognizing the human dignity of all of our stakeholders, we are committed to
- Fostering the mutually respectful treatment of our residents and staff by continuing to build a safer, more inclusive, and accepting environment
- Maintaining a culture of kindness, compassion, generosity, and care-taking
- Bringing diverse voices and viewpoints to organizational decision making and clearly communicating our process and outcomes to our stakeholders
- Using equitable hiring and compensation practices
- Recognizing that all members of our staff, regardless of department or title, come to us with a breadth of expertise, knowledge, opinions, and viewpoints, all of which may contribute to any area of our operations
Related to our value of striving toward equity within the arts, we are
- Continually evaluating how our organizational structures operate, making them as transparent as possible and changing those that foster inequity
- Forward-looking in our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion for all groups, but profoundly aware of the particular burdens and injustices borne by Black Americans. We also acknowledge and affirm that MacDowell is built on the traditional homeland of the Western Abenaki people, and recognize the hardships they still endure as a result of the loss of their unceded land. A recognition of these realities will always inform the development of our policies and procedures
Related to our value of responsible and ethical resource stewardship, we are focusing on
- Ecological sustainability on our campus in Peterborough and our office in New York City
- Being active contributors to our local communities
- Maintaining our financial sustainability so as to continue delivering our mission through MacDowell’s second century