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November 28, 2018

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Millay Colony for the Arts Celebrating 40 Years

In 1973 Norma Millay, sister of Pulitzer Prize winning poet Edna St. Vincent Millay, opened the iconic barn for the first official artist residencies on the property. Certainly many artists and writers, in addition to Edna herself, had graced Steepletop over the years, but Norma wanted to make sure the work continued. And so The Millay Colony for the Arts was founded. The barn was built by Edna herself with her husband in the 1920s from a Sears Roebuck kit. It has since been renovated multiple times to accommodate artists with private bedrooms and studios.

Norma Millay and Harrison Dowd rehearsing Edna St. Vincent Millay's Aria da Capo, 1919

"It's amazing to stand anywhere on the property and picture the parties that took place," says Millay Colony Executive Director Caroline Crumpacker. "I swear we can still feel the exuberant energy all these years later. Residents often mention sensing a presence here that helps them with their work."

To celebrate, the Colony is launching on September 16 an anniversary issue of EDNA: A Journal of Art made in residence at the Colony with a special editorial section called VINCENT. Edna was a gender bender well before her time and often preferred to be called by the male name, Vincent. Also, October 28 there will be a huge bash at Roulette in Brooklyn. In the meantime, the Millay Colony for the Arts continues to support the art making that Edna began and Norma extended. The Colony has expanded to include artist residency programs in regional public schools and workshop retreats at the Berkshires location. Additionally they offer intensive weekend workshops in NYC at Trisha Brown Studios.

At the heart of Millay Colony is the residency program Norma envisioned. In addition to the month-long residencies the Colony has offered for forty years, three new offerings have been added to the roster of artist residencies: Two-week Residencies in the months of April & September, Virtual Residencies, and Group Residencies. Applications for 2014 accepted through October 1.

Each year Millay Colony invites 64 visual artists, writers and composers for a residency. Residents are chosen anonymously by a panel of jurors in each discipline. The application process is competitive and based solely on the merit of the artist statement and work sample. Past jurors and their bios can be viewed on at www.millaycolony.org/juries. An article on the jury process can also be found in our Spring newsletter at http://www.millaycolony.org/newsletter.

Applicants send a work sample, bio, and artist statement, along with a $35 application fee. Deadline: October 1, 2013. All guidelines, which vary for category, are fully explained here: https://millaycolony.