The Residency Experience

The Millay Colony for the Arts offers one-month residencies to six visual artists, writers and composers each month between the months of April and November. Nurturing the work of artists of all ages, from a range of cultures and communities, and in all stages of their artistic career, the Colony offers comfortable private rooms, private studio spaces and ample time to work in a quiet, pastoral atmosphere.

Unlike other residency programs, we are small in size and we do not emphasize social events or visits from professionals in the field. We believe we can offer artists nothing more precious than the chance to work, and we provide everything an artist needs to organize her/his time for maximum productivity. The Colony does not oblige residents to participate in any events, nor are residents required to share or donate work.

Setting

Our campus is located on the property where the poet Edna St. Vincent Millay lived at the height of her literary career, starting in the 1920s. We have a seven-acre campus with meadows and forest in Austerlitz, New York, adjacent to the former Millay home and gardens and the exquisite Harvey Mountain State Forest. Our residents have access to trails for hiking and bicycles, meadows for picnics (with wild blueberry, wild thyme and an incredible mix of plants and flowers) and creeks and streams for cooling off. In the Winter, residents may choose to go cross-country skiing.

The closest town to us is Chatham, New York—about 8 miles away. Chatham has a number of good restaurants, a movie theater, a bookstore, a cafe, and other shops and amenities. Great Barrington, MA is about 12 miles away and is a big Berkshire town with all the trimmings.

Dining

An excellent local chef cooks healthy dinners using mostly local organic produce. Our fruit and vegetables come from the Hawthorne Valley Farm, about 8 miles away. We also provide food for residents to cook their own day-time meals. We are happy to respond to food allergies as well as vegetarian, vegan and other diets. We have a barbecue for outdoor grilling and get-togethers.

Facilities

Each resident is given a private room and spacious studio in our Steepletop Barn or Main Building. The Steepletop Barn has four bedrooms and four studios with beautiful meadow and mountain views. The Main Building was featured in the July '98 issue of Architectural Record for its sleek look and commitment to access. This building contains two residency suites, studios and all common areas, including the kitchen, dining and living areas, and a laundry room. All are fully accessible to artists with disabilities.

In addition to providing each resident with private rooms and studio spaces, Millay has a darkroom and photography equipment, a Yamaha U1 upright piano, a large collection of art books, a general library, a public kitchen, two lounges, a VCR, public telephones, wireless Internet access, and laundry. We also have a fax machine, a copier, a computer and a printer in the administrative offices which residents may use. We do offer social events in nearby towns for those residents who are interested and we have comfortable common areas, both inside and out. Our spacious grounds have outdoor furniture, a barbecue and wonderful views of the Berkshire Mountains. We also have a Colony car which residents may use for short trips.

The Millay Colony does not provide artists' supplies.

We request that residents bring earphones if they wish to listen to music.

To Apply

Applications must be submitted online or postmarked by October 1, or the nearest business day thereafter. Artists apply for a month-long residency in the following calendar year. All residents are judged anonymously by a panel of artists in their field. We aim to make the jury process as transparent and "fair" as possible. You can read about past juries on our Juries page. There is also an article about the jury process in our Spring 2008 Newsletter.

Acceptance letters go out via email in February. No need to check on the status of your application before then (please) but if you haven't heard by mid-February, let us know!

Deadline for 2014 is October 1, 2014. New applications are available here.

For more information, please call our Residency Director Calliope Nicholas at 518-392-3103.