Leave the Dishes: Making Art While Raising Children

A New Year’s Gift to You: Writing and Visual Artist Residencies for Parents (II)
by Claudia F. Savage

The list for residencies available to parents seems to grow every day. But while some places seem to think a cramped one-bedroom apartment next to other artists who are up till 2 a.m. is perfect for a mother-artist and her infant, other places, like the assortment below, have really thought through the needs of a parent attending a residency. The Writer’s Colony at Dairy Hollow, The Atlantic Center for the Arts, and The Millay Colony are perfect for the mother-artist who is able to travel alone (maybe for the first time since the kids!) and craves quiet time to write, paint or sculpt in the presence of other adults. Island Hill House and Women’s Studio Workshop let you bring your kids along.

Island Hill House Artist Residency Program
The Hill House is a two-story log cabin in northern Michigan that can accommodate up to four people at one time. “If you are selected,” according to Yvonne Stephens, director, “you have the whole house to yourself.” It is a rural area that gets heavy snow, so artists should be prepared for isolation.

Where: East Jordan, Michigan
How Long: 2-4 weeks
What You Get: An artist may bring up to three children and/or caregivers while in residence. The house accommodates up to four people (two bedrooms and two bathrooms). Basic child safety equipment, a pack-and-play, and a highchair are included, and two artist parents may be in residence together if they are both accepted into the program. The residency also fully stocks the kitchen with whatever you desire, including fresh local foods in summer and fall specifically. Though no stipend is offered, childcare is available and covered.
Artistic Disciplines Funded: writers, visual artists, dancers and musicians
Apply: Application deadline is April 1 (for June-November residency) and October 1 (for December-May residency), application fee is $25, submit.

The Writers’ Colony at Dairy Hollow (My Time Fellowship)
Dairy Hollow’s mission is “to provide time, lodging, feeding, and artistic community to writers in the historic arts village of Eureka Springs, Arkansas.”

Where: Eureka Springs, Arkansas
How Long: Two weeks
What You Get: Stipend of $1,500 to help pay for child care, travel expenses, or time lost at work. Private suite with writing space and bathroom. Dinner five nights a week in community dining room; community kitchen stocked for breakfast and lunch.
Artistic Disciplines Funded: writers (composers, culinary writers, fiction writers and poets)
Apply: Application deadline is July 31, application fee is $35, submit.

Women’s Studio Workshop
Women’s Studio Workshop (WSW) offers a Parent Residency Grant for woman artists with dependent children under the age of 15.

Where: Rosendale, New York
How Long: Four weeks (January-June or September-December)
What You Get: $250 travel stipend and $1,000 stipend for child care at WSW or child care at home. A dedicated studio and two-bedroom apartment with bathroom, kitchen and living area for the parent-artist and her children. Facilities for etching, hand papermaking, letterpress, silkscreen, book arts, photography and ceramics.
Artistic Disciplines Funded: visual artists
Apply: Application deadline is October 15, no application fee, submit.

Atlantic Center for the Arts (ACA)
A three-week residency where Associate Artists (writing, visual art, music or dance) work with a Master Artist and collaborate with each other. Nick Conroy, residency and program director, says, “Once accepted to the ACA, literary or visual parent-artists provide a copy of their child’s birth certificate with their financial aid application and the $800 residency tuition is covered.”

Where: New Smyrna, Florida
How Long: Three weeks
What You Get: Free residency tuition (valued at $800 and covering full room and board) for one parent-artist, visual artist studio, dining hall, recording facility, library and performance space.
Artistic Disciplines Funded: writers or visual artists
Apply: Application deadlines vary based on residency session, application fee is $25, submit.

The Millay Colony
According to Caroline Crumpacker, executive director of The Millay Colony, “Millay’s Virtual Residency accommodates artists who cannot spend prolonged time away from home but could benefit from the support of a residency in modified form.” Residents can stay for as long as they want over the course of a month. Crumpacker says, “We make it possible for parents to come here solo, by making our residencies as flexible and accessible to parents as we can. This residency is specifically for parents who can’t take long chunks away from home but need extra help with childcare and a special getaway.” The resident artist can, for example, participate on weekends only (with a minimum of five nights and days at the residency and the intent to continue specific work at home during the rest of the residency month).

Where: Austerlitz, New York
How Long: Several options (twelve days, two weeks, one month, or their “virtual” residency for a month).
What You Get: Free room and board for your stay, with a $1,000 stipend for “virtual” residents to assist in securing time off/childcare/travel to and from the colony/art supplies or other resources necessary to the making of new work.
Artistic Disciplines Funded: writers, visual artists, dancers, or composers/musicians
Apply: Application deadlines vary based on residency session (October 1 for April, May, June, and July or March 1 for August, September, October, and November), application fee is $35, submit.


Claudia F. SavageClaudia F. Savage has been a chef for people recovering from illness, a book editor, and a teacher of poetry to young women in Appalachia, ranchers in Colorado, and urbanites in Portland. Her first book, The Limited Visibility of Bees, was named a finalist for the New Issues Press Poetry Prize. Her poetry and interview credits include CutBank, Nimrod, The Denver Quarterly, VoiceCatcher, Iron Horse, The Buddhist Poetry Review, and Bookslut. Her published chapbook is called The Last One Eaten: A Maligned Vegetable’s History. Savage is a member of the poetry/music duo, THrum, whose album is forthcoming in spring 2015. This article continues her series for VoiceCatcher, Leave the Dishes: Making Art While Raising Children.

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  1. Pingback: New! Claudia F. Savage reviews 5 artist-parent residencies available now | center for parenting artists

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