Jeremy Pataky | Apply for a Funded Residency in 2017

We’re fortunate
to live in a place so rich with story and art, where culture and economies
relate in healthful—or at least richly complex—ways. Alaska individuals,
businesses, and philanthropists value and invest in local artists and we harvest the resulting fruits. Busts, booms, and all, Alaska life is
good, and often sweetened—like highbush cranberries after first frost—by all
the challenges inherent here.    
Among our many
superlative Biggests, Bests, and Mosts that Alaska writers and artists can claim
is the Rasmuson Foundation Artist Residency Program (ARP). Homegrown, fully-funded, and built
to suit, it affords generous helpings of time, space, and money for artists and
writers to create.
The program sends
four Alaska artists and writers Outside each year and likewise brings
four from the Lower 48 up here for two month residencies. It’s a privilege each
summer to invite Alaskans to apply. Having helped manage the program for the
Foundation for over three years, I’ve seen firsthand how it benefits artists, residency
host organizations, and communities. The award includes a $4,000 stipend plus
additional funds that cover travel, housing, and a great deal more, making it one
of the best shots Alaska writers and artists have at achieving a long stint of
time and support to create.
ARP alum Ernestine Hayes at work on The Tao of Raven at Djerassi
We offered an optional
info session at the new Alaska State Museum in Juneau earlier this month with
information about applying to the program (you can listen to a recording here). Ernestine
, an ARP alum and
current Alaska Reads author, joined us to share some insights about
her experience at Djerassi Resident Artists Program in California. She raved about the residency
and described how it enabled the completion of her next book, The
Tao of Raven
, forthcoming
in October.
It can be tough
to leave home for two months. The choice to remove oneself from the familiar
can be incredibly generative, though, and transformative. I heartily echo the
advice of Ernestine and others to do whatever it takes to arrange to go
somewhere with the express purposing of creating.
The online
is open until
August 15th. Alaska writers and artists can choose to apply to one
of four sites, each with different parameters and eligible disciplines. The
application asks one to choose dates from a list of options in 2017, and those
dates are variable from site to site and listed in the online application. For
Djerassi, the venue open to writers, the choices are April 5-June 7, August 2-October
4, or September 6-November 15. Each ARP date option at Djerassi spans two of their
regular one month sessions, which are separated by a few days. This opportunity
even includes a short, expenses-paid stay off-site in nearby San Francisco (or
elsewhere) between the two residency blocks.
Join me in bidding
good luck; she was selected last year for a 2016 ARP residency and
she’ll head down to write at Djerassi this September. In addition to Rosemary
and Ernestine, playwright Arlitia Jones and writer Christine Byl have also participated
in the program.   
Alaska has
enjoyed an escalation in the diversity, recognition, quality, and quantity of homegrown writing in the
last decade, and our readership has grown immensely. Opportunities for
education, financial support, publication, networking, and camaraderie for
writers has also grown, and this one is significant. I hope to see record
numbers of applications this year, and I imagine the good folks at Djerassi—and
those in Charlotte, Cleveland, and Santa Fe—will have some tough decisions to
make in selecting an awardee.
Learn more about
the Rasmuson Foundation Artist Residency Program on the website, contact me
anytime with questions, and apply online by August 15th.

In addition to serving as Interim Executive Director of 49 Writers, Jeremy Pataky works on contract as coordinator of the Rasmuson Foundation Artist Residency Program. 

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