Mission: Founded in 1973 and located on the former home of poet/activist Edna St. Vincent Millay, The Millay Colony for the Arts is an artists’ residency program and artists’ center located in the Berkshire foothills of Austerlitz, New York. Our mission is to nurture and promote the vitality of the arts by supporting artists with rural retreats and workshops, and to support students, our artists-to-be, with a range of free arts programs and mentorships. In all that we do, the goal is to encourage creative intensity and exploration and foster community among artists from every background and at every stage of their career.
We have already offered residencies to nearly 3,000 artists from around the country and around the world. We also offer a range of cutting-edge workshops and Master Classes on our campus and a multiform program of arts education serving more some 1,000 students each year.
Our campus in Upstate New York, near the Berkshires, sits on seven acres bordered by Edna St. Vincent Millay’s former house and gardens and the beautiful Harvey Mountain State Forest. Resident artists and visitors can enjoy walks through trails and meadows fragrant with wild thyme, flowers and blueberries.
Our campus centers on two buildings:
The Steepletop Barn was built in the mid 1920’s by Edna St. Vincent Millay from one of the classic kits designed by Sears & Roebuck. It was renovated and made into Colony housing in 1980.
The barn is lovely but basic. The mountaintop air keeps you cool in the summer and feather quilts and central heating keep you warm in winter. There are four bedrooms, four studios, two bathrooms, a small kitchenette and a library in our Barn.
Our Main Building was designed with a team of artists with physical disabilities to offer universal access. Completed in 1997, the Main Building has the Colony’s kitchen, dining, and living areas, music room, dark room and other public rooms.
The main building also includes has two suites. The Speinson Suite has a studio, two bedrooms, and bathroom. The two bedrooms make the Speinson Studio usable by an artist requiring an aide or by two artists working on a collaborative project. The McClennen/Hope Suite has a Yamaha U1 Upright piano, one bedroom, and bathroom.
The Main Building also has two libraries; one is thanks to the generosity of sculptor Nancy Graves. The second library contains publications from past residents. All our buildings are smoke-free. Animals, though loved, are not invited for residency stays, except for aide and service dogs.