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About Us

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The MacDowell Colony is the leading artist residency program in the U.S., annually providing Fellowships to 250 creative artists of all disciplines. Artists are given time and space to make art, resulting in a remarkable collective contribution to American culture. “The best things in life are not things but transformative ideas and emotions – the very currency of art and the amazing output of this colony," according to filmmaker and MacDowell board member Ken Burns.


To promote the arts and increase appreciation of the arts as a national value by offering creative individuals of the highest talent time, space, and an inspiring environment in which they can produce enduring works of imagination.


Founded by composer Edward MacDowell and Marian MacDowell, his wife, the Colony celebrates 100 Years of Giving Artists the Freedom to Create in 2007. Artists testify that a MacDowell residency has a profound impact on the substance, breadth, and direction of their work, enabling them to think, experiment, and collaborate with other artists. For many emerging artists, the Colony provides an atmosphere of encouragement and professional acceptance. More than 6,000 writers, visual artists, composers, filmmakers, architects, and interdisciplinary artists have enjoyed the vital elements of a MacDowell Fellowship: a private studio, room and board, and a dynamic community of fellow artists working in all disciplines. Fellowships are awarded solely on the basis of talent, as determined by rotating panels of experts in each discipline, who review over 1,700 applications a year. MacDowell’s 32 separate studio buildings, located on 450 acres in Peterborough, New Hampshire, are regarded as among the best in the field. Many artists participate in MacDowell’s outreach programs, which bring the creativity and energy of the Colony to hundreds of children and adults annually. The MacDowell Colony is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, tax-exempt organization that relies on contributions to operate its residency program. Artists do not pay residency fees.


Works inspired, conceived and created at MacDowell go on to be published, exhibited, and performed around the world, touching the lives of countless people. Colony Fellows have won 67 Pulitzer Prizes, 10 MacArthur Foundation Awards, and scores of Rome Prizes, National Book, Sundance and Academy Awards, among their distinguished honors. Colony Fellows have become pivotal figures in American culture, including James Baldwin, Leonard Bernstein, Willa Cather, Aaron Copland, and Thornton Wilder. Recent Fellows include Jonathan Franzen, Alice Sebold, and Alice Walker. The Colony was awarded the National Medal of Arts "for nurturing and inspiring many of this century’s finest artists."


United States


100 High Street

Peterborough, NH 03458

Phone: (603) 924-3886

EIN: 13-1592242

A Gift Card

Arts and Culture


Inspire Creativity

One classroom visit

Many artists-in-residence volunteer to present current work to community members in a relaxed and informal setting. MacDowell's outreach programs mirror the “open studios" held at the Colony. Through MacDowell in the Schools, your support provides students with opportunities to meet talented artists and explore their evolving ideas about the process and creation of new art that happens daily at MacDowell. “We’ve been delighted to have...


Support An Artist

The gift of time

Your gift to help provide financial aid stipends to artists makes it possible for them to accept Fellowships to work at MacDowell. Stipends are especially critical for many emerging artists and those who find it impossible to support themselves solely through the creation of art. By eliminating financial barriers to accepting a Fellowship, you will be helping to provide the opportunity of a residency to...


Maintain A Space

Art studios

Your gift will support the places where great works of art are being created by some of today’s most talented artists. An important aspect of the “MacDowell experience" resides in the Colony’s 32 separate studio buildings, spread across 450 woodland acres. MacDowell’s facilities are regarded as among the best in the field; its studios are designed for artists of specific disciplines, each of which has...


Nourish Creativity

Lunch for an artist

Your gift will provide an artist with a peaceful day to work undisturbed with the gift of a nourishing lunch basket left on the studio porch. The MacDowell Colony exists to nurture the creative process. Away from the demands of everyday life in a quite, natural setting, artists can focus on their work. Your gift of an artist’s lunch basket supports a time-honored tradition at...