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Medal Day 2016, Sunday August 14th,  Photo by Jo Morrissey

Medal Day 2016
Date: Sunday, August 14
Medal Ceremony: 12:15 pm
Picnic on the Grounds: 1:15 pm
Open Studios: 2-5 pm

Free and Open to the Public

You may bring your own lunch or order your picnic basket today! Baskets are not available for sale at the event, you must click here to preorder before August 7, 2016.

Join us as we award cultural treasure Toni Morrison the 57th Edward MacDowell Medal on Sunday, August 14. Morrison is a Nobel Prize- and Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist, editor, and professor whose work is known to explore the American experience through the lenses of race, sex, and power with vast themes, rich dialogue, and finely drawn characters. Among her best known novels are The Bluest Eye, Sula, Song of Solomon, Beloved, and A Mercy.

“If any writer could be called our nation’s conscience, that writer would be Toni Morrison,” said best-selling author Dave Eggers, chair of the Edward MacDowell Medal Selection Panel, and editor and founder of the literary publishing house McSweeney’s. “And though she was recognized with the Nobel Prize in 1993, since then she has continued to produce novels of astonishing power and beauty. She once said, ‘If you can’t find the book you want to read, you must write it,’ and that urgency is evident in every line and every book that bears her name.”

Serving with Eggers on the selection panel were Marlon James, Man Booker Prize-winning author of A Brief History of Seven Killings, The Book of Night Women, and John Crow’s Devil; Amy Tan, best-selling author of seven novels such as The Joy Luck Club and The Bonesetter’s Daughter; and MacDowell Fellow and Board Member Julie Orringer, author of the short-story collection How to Breathe Underwater and the novel The Invisible Bridge.

To read the full press release, click here

Pulitzer prize-winning author and MacDowell Chairman Michael Chabon will present the Medal along with MacDowell Board President Susan Davenport Austin, Executive Director Cheryl Young, and Resident Director David Macy. The ceremony will take place on Sunday, August 14, 2016, beginning at 12:15 p.m. at the MacDowell Colony grounds at 100 High Street in Peterborough, New Hampshire. It is the one day each year the Colony is open to the public. Guests can enjoy picnic lunches on Colony grounds by pre-ordering or bringing their own. Open studios hosted by MacDowell artists-in-residence begin at 2 p.m. and end at 5 p.m.

Since 1960, The MacDowell Colony has awarded the Edward MacDowell Medal to an artist of enduring vision and creativity. Find out about the medal’s proud history and its distinguished group of past winners.

Thanks to the generosity of our 2016  Medal Day Corporate Sponsors as well as our Individual Donors MacDowell is able to keep this annual event free and open to the public.

Medal Day Corporate Partners

Order a Picnic Basket for Medal Day
Lincoln Financial

For more information about Medal Day, please contact Dean Klingler at or 212-535-9690.

Oder your Medal Day Lunch Baskets

Medal Day 2011
Sunday, August 14th


10:30 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

As a counterpoint to the hundreds of visitors enjoying ready access to the Colony’s artist studios and buildings on Medal Day, this short film reveals a more tranquil side of life for artists-in-residence at MacDowell. Produced in 2007 by renowned filmmaker and MacDowell board member Susan Sollins-Brown, this intimate documentary featuring first-person narratives from a diverse group of MacDowell artists will screen continuously in Colony Hall. 7 minutes.

11:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

This 1973 film version of Edward Albee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play of the same name will be screened in the Eaves. Directed by Tony Richardson, this explosive film about a well-to-do Connecticut family that is seized by a nameless terror features stellar performances by Katharine Hepburn, Lee Remick, and Joseph Cotten. 133 minutes, rated PG.


12:15 p.m.

The 2011 Edward MacDowell Medal is presented to playwright Edward Albee under the Medal Day tent.  The award ceremony will feature speeches by:

Michael Chabon, Chairman of the Board
Susan Davenport Austin, President
Cheryl Young, Executive Director
David Macy, Resident Director
Mike Nichols, Presentation Speaker
Edward Albee, Medalist


1:15 p.m.

Enjoy an old-fashioned picnic lunch on the grounds of the Colony and relax in the summer beauty of New Hampshire. Guests may bring their own lunch or purchase a Medal Day picnic basket. Picnic baskets are available for pre-order through August 7th for $20 by clicking here.

MAKE ART: MAKE A SCENE    2:00–3:00 p.m.

MacDowell has joined forces with Andy’s Summer Playhouse of Wilton, NH, for this special Medal Day community engagement program sponsored by the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation. During the month of July, MacDowell playwrights Stephen Karam and Alexandra Napier collaborated with Jennifer Emerson Foreman, Andy’s Summer Playhouse lab director, to produce the John C. Russell Playwriting Lab. Karam and Napier mentored a group of young writers as they developed 10-minute plays that will be presented on the Medal Day stage in honor of 2011 Medalist Edward Albee.  

OPEN STUDIO TOURS         2:00–5:00 p.m.

Tour the Colony's artist studios and interact with artists-in-residence, who provide an illuminating and compelling glimpse into the artistic process that takes place every day of the year at MacDowell.