COVID-19 Update

Dear MacDowell Fellows and Friends,

At this unprecedented time, MacDowell remains committed to the safety and well-being of our artists and staff, and with that in mind we are doing our part to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Shuttering our Peterborough campus last week was surely the most difficult decision in my not-even first year of tenure as MacDowell’s Executive Director. Our immediate concern was and is for the security and safe passage of our resident artists back home, as well as health and safety of our staff at the front lines – those who welcome our guests, prepare and serve meals, and keep the artist studios clean and the terrain nurturing.

As you can imagine, the grounds are quieter than usual, and from my home office in New York, I conjure up an image of deer and birds and other woodland creatures waking up to spring and wondering: where are our artist friends? In my always optimistic outlook, I want to assure them that we will return – when it is dependable and wise to do so.

In the meanwhile, we are endeavoring to connect to you all through virtual means. Our Web site will become a sort of “library” containing stories of how folks are doing, and “playlists” of art, music, and literature recommended by our MacDowell artists during this crisis, as well as resource links (below) that furnish all artists with coping tools and various means and systems of support. Our social media presence will reflect these new stories and opportunities to connect. Check back for information as we add it each week.

This time is undoubtedly a shock to our culture that will resonate across all activities. We are devastated by the ramifications to our independent artist community and to the not-for-profit sector that represents them. We ask our amazing commonwealth of supporters to continue to find ways to use their social platforms to illuminate the essential danger to our communities when artists are at risk, and to find solutions to assuring the health and well-being of artists – who illuminate our pathways forward and provide our creative spark and empathy, and who bring us together.

All of us at MacDowell imagine a time of renewal, even as we work to immediately ameliorate the challenges faced by our artist community. We look forward to welcoming back our residents to New Hampshire, and to also knowing that their work continues even now, and that audiences of all kinds will receive with great joy the benefit of their imaginations in the time ahead.

With gratitude,
Philip Himberg
Executive Director, The MacDowell Colony