As we all weather this global pandemic, the Millay Colony for the Arts Board of Directors, along with Co-Directors, made the decision to reopen in mid-June, following CDC and New York State guidelines as well as considering feedback from our partners and future residents. We were able to host four exceptional creators: two composers, one nonfiction writer and one fiction writer, who had been sheltering at home in the Northeast. Each resident had their own private bedroom, bathroom and studio, and meals were prepared and available on an individual basis (all food/groceries were brought in by our chef). Our secluded setting and beautiful summer weather allowed the residents to get to know one another and create a cohesive cohort through al fresco dinners and hikes despite 6’ distancing and mask-wearing.
For July, we are hosting our usual cohort of six. All residents have been positive as to precautions implemented to keep everyone safe and well; in addition, the relief felt from finally being able to do work that had been planned for months after the long quarantine has been transformative for some.
We remain cautiously optimistic that we can continue with our residency program through December while maintaining the health and wellbeing of staff and residents alike; as an added precaution, we have rescheduled all residents living abroad until 2021. That said, we are keeping the scheduling flexible and tentative to be able to respond to the evolving reality as it unfolds.
At the same time, with a volatile market affecting our endowment, foundations focusing funding on health/human services and arts funders providing emergency relief directly to artists — along with cancellation of a new summer fundraiser — our future economic security is far from assured.
Our plan is to emerge with our usual resilience and values intact, as always we strive to take the best care of staff and residents as possible.
Should you be in a position to donate at this time, we greatly appreciate your much needed generosity and thank you for joining us in our mission to support art and artists. Stay tuned as we update any necessary communications through this challenging time. STAY SAFE/BE WELL ALL — ART CAN HELP.