As 2015 participant Julia Jordan explains, “The fact is, artists, male and female, tend to be low-wage earners and are therefore often in the primary caregiver role when it comes to children.” She continued, “Theater culture was set up for single male writers long ago. Theaters demand that we travel for workshops and readings but children are not welcomed. Writing retreats exist for writers to leave their families behind but for primary parents of young children that is not desirable, nor helpful.”
The week-long, fully-subsidized residency will take place at Ryder Farm in Brewster, NY, from August 9 to 15.
Parents and kids (ages 6-13) will be offered housing in an 18th-century farmhouse and provided three farm-fresh meals each day. Kids will have the opportunity to participate in nature-oriented programming while parents write and create on a structured schedule.
“The goal of the residency is to help participants balance career and family and to allow artists with children to remain productive members of the artistic community,” said Emily Simoness, Executive Director and Founder of SPACE.
The Family Residency program is accepting submissions from now until February 19. More information — and the application itself — can be found on SPACE on Ryder Farm’s site.
“It was such a gift!” playwright Stefanie Zadravec said of her experience at last year’s residency. “For once leaving the city to focus on writing didn’t mean abandoning my family, nor was it a logistical nightmare of lining up sitters, pick-ups and drop offs. We all escaped for a week — the impact on my work was immediate, but the impact on my son has been lasting. He talks about the farm all the time and keeps a small tree branch he collected there by his bed.”