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Island Hill House Artist Residency Program

LOCATION: Mancelona, Michigan
Deadlines: October 1 (December to May), April 1 (June to November)
Duration: 2 to 4 weeks
Groups (up to 4) and solo applications accepted
Artists 21+ years of age worldwide may apply
Application Fee: $25 USD

ISLAND Artist Residency at the Hill House

The Hill House Artist Residency supports talented artists with a two, three or four week stay in a semi-secluded log cabin near East Jordan, Michigan. It includes a well-stocked kitchen, a selection of instruments and some basic recording gear, as well as opportunities for community exchange through performance, readings and workshops (by request). Emerging musicians are offered a small stipend to aid in professional development.

Artists age 21 and older from anywhere in the world may apply. Solo artists as well as collaborating teams of up to four people may apply.

The Hill House supports these disciplines:

Performing Arts

Music: Songwriting, Composition, Performance
The Hill House proudly supports musicians in all genres. In addition, emerging musicians (those who do not make a living solely from their music) are eligible for a stipend from the David Fetzer Fund.

Dance and Theater: Choreography, Dance Performance, Theater, Puppetry, Performance Art

Visual Arts

Animation, Cartooning, Book Arts, Conceptual Art, Digital Art, Drawing, Fiber Arts, Film and Video, Illustration, Installation Arts, Metalworking, Mixed Media, Multimedia, Painting, Photography, Printmaking, Sculpture

Design

Architecture, Cartography, Game Design, Graphic Design, Industrial Design, Landscape and Ecological Design, Typography

Notable News About the Program

1. The Hill House now accepts parent artists! An artist may bring up to three children and/or caregivers while in residence. The Hill House is outfitted with basic child safety equipment, though the resident must bring a car (and car seat if applicable).

2. Further, the Hill House now allows artists from different disciplines to be in residence together, if they are collaborating on a project together or if they are in a relationship. Each artist must still apply individually and be accepted into the program.

3. The application categories have shifted from three (Emerging musicians, Writers, Non-Studio artists) to four (Musicians, Writers, Visual Artists and Designers, Dance and Theater).

For more information about any of these new changes contact Yvonne Stephens.

Hill House Program Overview

The Hill House Artist Residency supports talented artists with a two, three or four week stay in a semi-secluded log cabin near East Jordan, Michigan. It includes a well-stocked kitchen, a selection of instruments and some basic recording gear, as well as opportunities for community exchange through performance, readings and workshops (by request). Emerging musicians are offered a small stipend to aid in professional development.

Artists age 21 and older from anywhere in the world may apply. Solo artists as well as collaborating teams of up to four people may apply (but note the accommodation information below).

Residency Length

The residency lasts a minimum of two weeks and a maximum of four weeks. The Hill House hosts artists 50 weeks out of the year (but is closed the week of Thanksgiving and the week after Christmas). Residencies typically begin on a Wednesday and end on a Monday. Deep winter residencies (December to March) are a maximum of two weeks long.

Cost

There is a $25 application fee. This fee is per application period. While there is no additional cost to you, you will still need money for incidentals, materials and transportation to and from the residency. Also consider indirect costs: time away from your job and paying bills at home while you are in residence.

Community, Geography and Climate

East Jordan is a small town near the 45th parallel in Northwest Lower Michigan, about an hour’s drive from Traverse City. The Hill House is located about 15 minutes from East Jordan on a back road near the Mackinaw State Forest. The State Forest offers opportunities for canoeing, hiking, bird-watching, morel hunting and fishing, while nearby towns offer art galleries, microbreweries, parks and dining. Expect a quiet, isolated space punctuated by loon calls and the occasional coyote howl. Also expect the sound of hunters’ rifles, and limited access to the woods, from November 15 to December 1.

Michigan weather can be a surprise for those accustomed to more temperate climates. Winter temperatures can drop well below 0º F (-18º C) and are accompanied by massive snowfall. Appropriate clothing is required: heavy winter coats, thermal underwear and stout snow boots are mandatory. Conversely, summer temperatures can climb above 90º F (32º C) accompanied by high humidity. Creek and lake dipping are the locals’ best strategies for beating the heat.

The area offers very little in terms of public transportation.

A car is required in the winter to get to town. Even with plowing, however, a car without 4WD may not be able to navigate the steep road to the house during the thick of winter. We can assist in moving your things in and out of the space, but you may need to walk a few hundred yards to a separate parking area during the deepest snowfall (December to February, typically). Add one or two power outages each year and it’s clear this winter residency is for the hardy!

You have the opportunity to create your own level of engagement with the community. If you desire four weeks of total solitude, it’s yours. If you’d prefer to have dinner or drinks with ISLAND staff and area artists, we can arrange that too. You can spend a weekend touring local galleries and watching (or playing) live music, or you can sit on the back porch and not speak to a soul. It’s your choice, but keep in mind that community engagement will require more energy on your part; solitude comes naturally here.

Living Environment

The Hill House is a two-story log cabin. It has two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a large unfinished basement, a spacious back porch, washer and dryer and electric heat. The Hill House can potentially accommodate up to four people at a time (one queen sized bed, two single beds and one pull out couch). The house is not ADA compliant, and is not accessible by wheelchair.

We love good food. We make every effort to fulfill your dietary desires while focusing on fresh, local, seasonal and organic food whenever possible. We are happy to include local pastured meat and poultry, and we are also vegetarian and vegan friendly. Access to fresh local food tends to be easier in the summer and fall and more challenging in the winter and early spring. We stock the kitchen, but for the most part you are on your own for meal preparation, so it helps if you have a little cooking skill. If all you want is a freezer filled with pizzas and bean burritos, we can do that too.

A phone is available for local calls. Cell phone service is variable. Wireless internet access functions about 95% of the time. The house does not come with a computer. Smoking is not permitted on the property. One dog or cat is allowed but must be leashed when outdoors. No exceptions to these rules, sorry!

Workspace

Musicians, there is not a recording studio at the Hill House, and the residency is not designed to support recording your album. There is, however, a selection of consumer level instruments and basic recording gear available for your use while in residence, including a piano, telecaster, electric bass and keyboard.

Writers, a printer and paper are available for you, but you will need to bring your own computer.

Others, there is no formal studio, rehearsal space, performance space or any specialized equipment. In that way, the residency is limited to those who can use carpeted rooms and can bring their own equipment and materials.

No particular room is designated as a work space. You’re free to take over the house in whatever way best works for your creativity. Residents should bring the instruments and other materials they need to work.

Contact Information

PO Box 929
Bellaire, Michigan 49615
United States

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