Application Periods

Fall 2018

Deadline: April 15, 2018

Residencies: October 1, 2018 - January 31, 2019
Accepting Applications:
February 15 - April 15, 2018

Winter/Spring 2019

Deadline: Sept. 15, 2018

Residencies: Feb 1 – May 31, 2019
Accepting Applications:
July 15 – September 15, 2018

Summer 2019

Deadline: January 15, 2019

Residencies: June 1 – Sept 30, 2019
Accepting Applications:
Oct 15, 2018 – January 15, 2019

Writer <strong>Andrew Sean Greer</strong> worked on a redrafting of <em>The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells</em> in Calderwood Studio in the summer of 2011. (Joanna Eldredge Morrissey photo)
Writer Andrew Sean Greer worked on a redrafting of The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells in Calderwood Studio in the summer of 2011. (Joanna Eldredge Morrissey photo)

Application Guidelines

Please review the Application Guidelines below before beginning the application process. If you have questions about applying to MacDowell, please contact the admissions office at

The 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. Applicants who are enrolled in undergraduate or graduate degree programs as of the date of application are ineligible for a residency and therefore cannot apply. Doctoral candidates who have finished all coursework may 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, physical ability or disability. The Colony offers barrier-free access in its main buildings and some studios. There are no medical facilities or medical personnel on site. MacDowell is situated in a rural area with limited access to medical care facilities. We strongly suggest that applicants with special medical needs contact the Resident Director before applying.

Application Periods and Deadlines
Artists may apply only once every 24 months. MacDowell will only accept applications for the upcoming deadline. Please refer to the application deadlines and open periods for applying in the column on the left.

Application Process
Before starting the application process, we encourage applicants to scroll through our extensive list of Application FAQs. All applicants apply through the online application process. To apply, click on the Apply icon. Applicants are not required to mail in hard copies of the application forms. If you need assistance with the online application process, or do not have access to a computer, please contact the admissions department for guidance on applying.

Work Samples
Work samples supporting the proposed project and completed within the past four years are requested. All work samples are uploaded and submitted through the online application. Applicants unable to submit new work for the panel to review should include a note of explanation. Those applicants whose proposed project does not fall clearly within an artistic discipline should contact the Admissions office to discuss which discipline would best fit the proposed work. For detailed work sample requirements for each artistic discipline, click here.

Applicants are required to have one reference on file completed by someone who is knowledgeable in their field and is familiar with them and their work. Applications that do not have a completed reference on file will be considered incomplete and will not be reviewed. References that are submitted as part of a completed application are confidential and will be kept on file for five years. MacDowell does not accept reference letters from Interfolio or other dossier services.

Applicants: The reference process is initiated by you, the applicant, from within the online application. You will add the name and contact information for your recommender in the Reference step of the application which initiates a secure link to be sent to your recommender. This can be done in advance of submitting your application. It is your responsibility to ensure the request is fulfilled. The deadline for all references is one week after the application deadline.

Recommenders: As a recommender, you will receive an automated email from SlideRoom once the applicant has entered your contact information. This email will contain a link specifically tied to the applicant, which should be used to complete the recommendation. The deadline for all references is one week after the application deadline.

If a recommender cannot submit a reference online, please contact the Admissions Department at or 603-924-3886 x 113.

Processing Fee
A nonrefundable processing fee of $30 (U.S.) is required with each application. Applicants pay the processing fee by debit or credit card through a secure site on the online application.

Applicants will be notified of admission status approximately 2 months after the applicable deadline, on or near the dates listed below:

Summer residency notification: March 15th
Fall residency notification: June 15th
Winter/Spring residency notification: November 15th

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: or 603-924-3886, extension 113.