Ragdale Artist Residency 

Ragdale provides up to 150 residencies annually to artists working in a variety of disciplines including dance, music, writing, and visual art. Residencies are 18 days long and include individual accommodations plus private workspaces, all located on a celebrated campus listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Artists experience uninterrupted time and space to focus on their work, surrounded by remarkable Arts and Crafts style architecture, cozy spaces for gathering and working, and the camaraderie of an exceptional cohort. Residents gather on weeknights to enjoy delicious meals made with ingredients harvested from our gardens whenever possible. Residents have access to 38 acres of open prairie land maintained by our friends at Lake Forest Open Lands Association. A local train line provides a quick trip to and from Chicago.

Extended Application Deadline: June 30 for residencies taking place in 2025


Application Guidelines

+ Guidelines

All applicants submit electronic materials through the Submittable application portal. Do not email or mail any application materials. Please note the following requirements to complete your application: A completed online application form includes:

  • A one-page artist’s statement and work plan explaining your work and what you plan to do while in residence.
  • A one or two-page CV or resume that summarizes your professional background.
  • Work samples that show work from the past 2-3 years. All media is acceptable. Most electronic file types and sizes are accepted.
  • If you would like to be considered for a fellowship, we require an eligibility statement of 500 words or less for each fellowship you would like to be considered for. An eligibility statement explains how you qualify for the selected fellowship and how a fellowship would support your work at this time.
  • Letters of Recommendation are not required or accepted.

+ Evaluation

Applications are reviewed by Ragdale’s Curatorial Board and staff. Evaluations of work are based on the following criteria:

  • Work samples: Documented works are original, inventive, and exciting.
  • Work samples indicate relevance in their contemporary field.
  • Work sample presentation: Work samples are high-quality and technically proficient in execution, and are professionally presented and documented.
  • Artist’s experience: Artist statement and CV/Resume reflects continued development of ideas, serious inquiry into subject matter, and exceptional aesthetic investigation in the chosen medium.
  • Work plan: Artist demonstrates they will maximize the benefits of a residency at Ragdale. What is the reason for seeking time and space in this particular residency program and is there a sense of urgency reflected in the goals described?

Extended Application Deadline: June 30, 2024 at 11:59 PM for all residencies taking place in 2025

+ Residency Awards

Ragdale awards up to 150 residencies (across 9-10 sessions) annually to artists working in a variety of disciplines. Each year, residencies are awarded to approximately:

  • 10 dance artists
  • 10 musicians/composers
  • 20-30 visual artists
  • 5-10 screenwriters/playwrights
  • 10-20 poets
  • 30 fiction writers
  • 20-30 nonfiction writers
  • 5-10 interdisciplinary artists/writers

An 18-day residency award for individuals includes:

  • Private housing in a private or shared facility
  • Private bathroom
  • Private or shared kitchen
  • Private live/work space
  • Cozy communal spaces for gathering, eating, and working
  • Grocery basics for lunch and breakfast
  • Chef-prepared communal dinners Monday-Friday
  • Access to 50 acres of open prairie maintained by Lake Forest Open Lands

Please note that collaborators must apply individually.

+ Application Fee

There is an application fee of $25. This amount covers the cost of application processing. Ragdale does not profit from application fees.

If you are not in a position to cover the processing fee, please reach out to the Residency Manager at deanna@ragdale.org to request a fee-waived application.

+ Residency Fee

How much does it cost to attend?

Artists determine their own residency fee based on personal financial considerations, and may opt to pay according to the suggested sliding scale of $35 – $250 per day. No financial aid application is required.

A residency costs Ragdale approximately $250 daily to host each resident. If you are in the position to pay more than the suggested daily residency fee rate, we encourage you to make a gift to ensure longevity of the program and support all artists’ ability to participate.

A limited number of fellowships are awarded each year. Fellowship recipients do not pay a residency fee and receive a stipend of $1000 or more to participate in the Ragdale Youth Engagement program. Please see fellowships page for more details about awards and eligibility.

+ Fellowship Awards

A fellowship award includes:

  • One 18-day fee-waived residency for individuals
  • A stipend of at least $1000 to participate in the Ragdale Youth Engagement educational outreach program

We seek diverse voices and representations to enrich our artists’ experiences, and encourage people of all backgrounds to apply. In the application, you will be asked to describe how you meet the eligibility requirements of the fellowships you are applying for (500 word maximum per fellowship category).

All applicants who apply for fellowships will be considered. Please note that applicants may be awarded a residency without a fellowship award.

Fellowship awards are disclosed upon acceptance.

+ Application Deadlines

The Submittable application portal opens February 15 for residencies and fellowships taking place the following year. All applications must be submitted by 11:59 PM CST on June 30. Late applications cannot be accepted.

+ Eligibility

Ragdale encourages applications from artists representing the widest possible range of perspectives and demographics, and to that end, emerging as well as established artists are invited to apply. While there are no publication, exhibition or performance requirements for application, applicants should be working at the professional level in their fields. Ragdale encourages artists of all backgrounds to apply, and does not discriminate against anyone on the basis of age, ability, gender, origin, race, religion, or sexual orientation.

Website link: https://www.ragdale.org/residencies

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