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The NEA Increases Funding for First-Time Residencies at MacDowell

Press Release - January 1, 2010

Type: Press Releases, Artist News, Fellowships

The $35,000 grant will support first-time residencies for 10 artists in 2010.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Jan. 1, 2010 – The MacDowell Colony has received an Access to Artistic Excellence grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to provide Fellowships for 10 artists of all disciplines who will work at the Colony for the first time in 2010.

The $35,000 grant is an increase from previous NEA annual funding for Fellowships at MacDowell. Fellowships supported by the NEA and other MacDowell donors cover all residency costs, providing the exclusive use of a private studio, all meals and accommodations, and the benefits of working within a dynamic multidisciplinary community of fellow artists for up to two months. Previous Fellowships to MacDowell have supported the creation of new work by Aaron Copland, Michael Chabon, Janet Fish, Peter Hedges, Glenn Ligon, W.D. Snodgrass, Alice Walker, and Wendy Wasserstein.

Overall, the NEA awarded more than $1.2 million to support 49 artist residency programs in the U.S. in 2010. This is the first round of funding since the agency created Artist Communities as its own discipline within the Access to Artistic Excellence grant program. In addition to Artist Communities, the grants support the creation and presentation of work in the disciplines of dance, design, folk and traditional arts, literature, media arts, museums, music, musical theater, opera, presenting, theater, and visual arts. Projects include commissions, residencies, workshops, performances, exhibitions, publications, festivals, and professional development programs.

The NEA saw a 22% increase in the number of applications over the past year. MacDowell was one of the first organizations to receive NEA funding, acquiring its first grant to support residencies in 1972. In addition to Fellowship support for artists at 2 MacDowell, the NEA has awarded the Colony three major Challenge Grants, which sparked grassroots enthusiasm for MacDowell and helped advance it as one of the nation’s premier residency programs. These campaigns enabled MacDowell to improve its workspaces, increase both its endowment and contributor base, and upgrade and expand services that continue to benefit creative artists today.

The National Endowment for the Arts is a public agency dedicated to supporting excellence in the arts, bringing the arts to all Americans, and providing leadership in arts education. Established by Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government, the Arts Endowment is the nation's largest annual funder of the arts, bringing great art to all 50 states, including rural areas, inner cities, and military bases.

Situated on 450 acres of fields and woodland in New Hampshire, The MacDowell Colony welcomes more than 250 composers, writers, visual artists, theatre artists, architects, filmmakers, and interdisciplinary artists from the United States and abroad each year. In 1997, The MacDowell Colony was awarded the National Medal of Arts for nurturing and inspiring many of this century’s finest artists.