Wildacres Residency Program
The greatest gift of life on the mountain is time. Time to think or not think, read or not read, scribble or not scribble – to sleep and cook and walk in the woods, to sit and stare at the shapes of the hills. I produce nothing but words; I consume nothing but food, a little propane a little firewood. By being utterly useless in the calculations of the culture at large I become useful, at last, to myself.
Philip Connors, American essayist and author
In 1999, Wildacres Retreat opened our residency program for artists. Since that time, we have had the opportunity to host hundreds of writers, artisans, and musicians. Participants in the program stay in one of three self-catering cabins located just a quarter-mile beyond the retreat entrance. One of the cabins is completely ADA compliant and another can house two residents working on a project together.
Using the space provided by the three cabins, Wildacres hosts approximately seventy artists each year for one-week residencies from April through October. Residencies begin on Monday afternoons and run until Sunday mornings. While there are landlines at each residency cabin, there is no internet access in the cabins, and cellphones do not typically connect except in the main part of the retreat where we do have WiFi access. The residency program allows artists the solitude and inspiration needed to begin or continue work on a project in their particular field of creative arts. Past residents tell us that being able to work in such a secluded, natural setting provides them with an unparalleled opportunity to step away from outside distractions and completely focus on their work.
Wildacres residencies are offered at no cost to participants. Residents have the option to eat in the dining room with other residents, guests, and staff, or they may prepare their own meals in their cabin. Participants are responsible for providing their own transportation to and from Wildacres, as well as while they are at the retreat. They are also responsible for any supplies they may need during their residency. As the residencies are intended to be working retreats, spouses/partners, guests, and pets are not permitted.
We allow two people collaborating on a project to come together and stay in Azalea cabin, which has a loft to accommodate a second person. When two candidates apply for a joint residency, we ask them each to complete the residency application stating the nature of their joint project and indicating the name of their co-resident. Each of them should also submit their resume and work samples. We then present both packets together for review by our committee.
Each year we offer a few two-week residencies. Individuals wishing to apply for a two-week residency are required to answer questions on the application specifically about that length of stay. Our two-week residencies are very limited and not guaranteed.
Owl’s Nest Cabin
Candidates interested in a Wildacres residency may apply using our online application. Applications open each April, and completed forms must be submitted no later than midnight on October 31st to be considered for the next season by our selection committee. There is a $25 non-refundable processing fee to apply for a Wildacres residency.
Our Selection Committee is comprised of artists, writers, musicians, actors, scholars, and former residents. They review candidate applications by discipline. The residency program is open to all artistic disciplines. We ask that candidates who have been awarded residencies wait to apply for a subsequent residency for two years.
Our residency application process is closed for the 2022 calendar year.
Applications will re-open in early April 2023 for residencies to be completed in our 2024 season. Thank you to all those candidates who have applied for residencies this season!
Wildacres has hosted many artists-in-residence over the years, with the majority using their time at the retreat to work on projects that were eventually published, shown, or performed. Wildacres residents have created compositions, plays, works of art, books, and much more.
If you have completed a residency with Wildacres Retreat and would like to tell us about the project you worked on during your stay, we would love to share your accomplishment with future residents, guests, and friends of Wildacres. Please get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can showcase your success on this page.
One of our 2021 artists-in-residence, Sandra Turner, recently shared her residency experience with us. You can see more of her work at www.plumislanderart.com.
As I sit and reflect on the new direction my art has taken, I am able to trace it back to a specific
two weeks back in April 2021. My time spent in an isolated cabin in the woods, to a precious
opportunity to have both uninterrupted time for myself and my art, and the place to create it in. My time at Wildacres as an artist resident may have been different than that of other years.
Rescheduled from my accepted opportunity of April 2020 because of the pandemic, no groups
were signed up in the early spring, so I encountered very few people during my stay. The exploratory walks amid the towering trees, the sound of the crunching underbrush, and twigs as I made my way thru the trails will be forever with me. In a way, being alone, fending for myself, grounded me to my natural surroundings and allowed for the creative energies to flow. With bountiful self-abandonment, I experimented with new materials in my mixed media work and finished off my residency with my 10’ roll of canvas covered with colors, shapes and motion of which I am still being inspired by.
Thank you Wildacres, for this experience, for the space to create, for the security I felt and the
the boundless beauty of the mountain, I shall be forever grateful.
Plum Island, MA