MacDowell: We Are Here

We hope you enjoy this new weekly series of recommended work from our Fellows who are either self-isolating or under official requests to shelter in place. These “Artist Playlists” represent literature, music, visual art, recipes and reflections that might support you and friends cope during this unprecedented period. Perhaps they will make you smile or provide insight and provoke reflection, as we all wait out the effects of the COVID-19 phenomenon.

MacDowell's Main Hall on a sunny, summers day. Text over the image reads "MacDowell: We are Here"

Susan Orlean Picks Thought-Provoking Nonfiction Titles

The author of The Orchid Thief and Rin Tin Tin: The Life and the Legend, among others, Susan put together this thought-provoking list of nonfiction to hold the reader's attention during this time of instability.

See Susan's reading list

Poet and musician T.J. Anderson III Suggests an Eclectic Group of Works

For these COVID times, T.J. has put together an eclectic and inspiring list of poems to read and listen to, as well as a recent online publication of his recent work.

read TJ's picks

Visit Painter Julia Jacquette In Her Studio with this 1-Minute Video

Julia Jacquette (95, 96, 98, 13, 15) is an American artist based in New York City and Amsterdam. Her work has been shown extensively at galleries and museums around the world. Her current work takes its inspiration from a surprising source.

Visit with Julia in her studio

Jia Tolentino Offers an Inspirational Sampling of Nonfiction

Author Jia Tolentino, (18) who completed the manuscript for Trick Mirror at MacDowell, has provided a list of favorite nonfiction. Jia is a staff writer at The New Yorker.

Nonfiction picks by Jia Tolentino

Terrance McKnight: A Playlist That Soothes

MacDowell Board member and WQXR radio host Terrance McKnight has provided his own “Safe at Home” playlist via Spotify.

Safe at Home by Terrance McKnight

Lisa Kron: Favorite Plays and Playwrights

Playwright and MacDowell board member Lisa Kron (95, 14) has sent us a list of plays and playwrights she admires, and said while the list is incomplete, it nevertheless represents a variety of theatre worth discovering or rediscovering.

See Lisa Kron's Choices

Ziyang Wu: Experimental Videos

Multimedia interdisciplinary artist Ziyang Wu (19) sends a handful of experimental videos he says have inspired his own work in the medium.

Watch Ziyang's picks for video

Ira Sachs: Films to View at Home

Filmmaker Ira Sachs (01) has contributed a list of movies he says he hopes people will find fun to watch on TV. Everything on the list is available via streaming, and we have provided links to pages that offer reviews, ratings, trailers, and where to watch.

View Ira's selections

Michael Chabon: Holed Up – A Playlist

Michael Chabon (13x 96-17) is a novelist, essayist, and screenwriter whose works include the Pulitzer Prize–winning novel The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, Telegraph Avenue, and the Hugo and Nebula Award-winning The Yiddish Policemen's Union. Michael sent along a Spotify playlist, calling it his current work go-tos.

Listen to Michael’s contribution

Samin Nosrat: Favorite Simple Recipes

Samin Nosrat (2014) is a cook, teacher, and author of the James Beard Award-winning New York Times Bestseller Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat. She is an Eat columnist at The New York Times Magazine, and host and executive producer of the Netflix original documentary series based on her book. Here are some of her favorite simple recipes.

See Samin's contribution

Fred Hersch: Music That Makes Me Happy

MacDowell Fellow and jazz composer Fred Hersch (00, 01, 02, 03, 06, 07, 10, 17, 19) – called a “pianist, composer, and conceptualist of rare imaginative power" by The New York Times – provides us with our second installment of “MacDowell: We Are Here” in the form of a playlist of music that makes him happy.

See Fred's contribution

Ayelet Waldman: Homebound Reading

MacDowell Fellow and author Ayelet Waldman (03, 04, 06, 10, 12, 17), novelist, essayist, and civil rights activist, starts our new venture supplying weekly lists of favorite reading, listening, viewing, contemplating with a collection of books and authors perfect for reading when self-isolating. “This,” she says, “is a short of list of women writers whom I adore.”

See Ayelet's contribution

MacDowell's Legacy

Our legacy inspires us to share with you over the next few weeks some of the inspirational power in the wealth of words, images, and music that have been created by MacDowell artists since 1907.

Visit Our Legacy page