Since 1995, the Saltonstall Foundation has provided the two things most valuable to artists and writers – time and space.
As a stormy year ends, we are reflecting on the relevance of our mission and our responsibility to support artists and writers. We write to you today to share our ongoing efforts and commitments, what we are most proud of and what we want to achieve. We ask if you will join us in this work with a charitable donation.
The Saltonstall Foundation was created 20 years ago in an act of incredible generosity by a woman – Connie Saltonstall – who believed that artists and writers of all backgrounds and beliefs need and deserve support, encouragement, and community. As an artist herself, she also understood the importance of having a quiet, safe, and beautiful place in which to work. She created such a space for herself, and then she gave it to all of us.
In recent years, accessibility has become a guiding principle for the Foundation. We now offer free residencies to local public school teachers. We have changed our jurying process for summer residencies; applicants are now judged solely on the quality of their work. We continue to offer shorter two-week residencies for those who are unable to manage a month away from home, family, or work.
And this year, we made a significant policy change: eliminating our residency application fee. (Artists will no longer have to pay to apply for our summer residencies.) This decision puts us at the center of an important conversation about greater inclusivity, accessibility, and affordability. It also puts us in a position of leadership: Saltonstall is now one of the only arts colonies in the country not charging a fee to artists and writers who apply for a residency.
There is still more work to be done, of course. These are small steps towards greater inclusivity, and we are excited for the work ahead. We hope you’ll join us on this path and make a charitable contribution to the Foundation today. Your gift makes a real difference for artists and writers across New York State and supports creativity at its source.
“Saltonstall was a gift of focus and clarity; poems and bodies of work with which I was having trouble, I finally could make real progress. I could be a full-time poet, every day, reading, writing, rereading, rewriting. It was a deep, nourishing joy. Poetry is sustenance and Saltonstall allowed me to feast, to savor. Discoveries made at Saltonstall are ones I will carry with me for years to come.”
“From the moment I arrived at Saltonstall, I felt like I could just focus on my work in a way that I have rarely experienced. It was an extraordinary experience, and I left not only with a new body of work, but with a whole year’s worth of ideas and research.”
“I enjoyed a perfect storm at Saltonstall this past September. It’s the convergence of so many ideal circumstances: hours of solitude in a spacious studio; exceptional food; a gracious and remarkable group of fellow artists; and a real sense of caring that makes Saltonstall feel like home—without the distractions. I’ve gotten good work done elsewhere, but Saltonstall is unique.”
“I can’t thank you enough for the amazing experience I had this month at Saltonstall. I feel like I’ve gotten a lot of work done, both in completing my Treece project and jumpstarting something new. The month there was incredibly invaluable.”
“I still don’t know how I came to receive such a gift as this. Like other residencies, Saltonstall offers open time to set into your own creative pace… But unique to Saltonstall is an especial quiet and spaciousness. The small and devoted staff made it possible for us to work, eat, sleep, and relax as if there was absolutely nothing else the world could ask of us.”
“I had an incredibly lovely and productive stay at Saltonstall for three cold weeks in January 2013. Each day, luxuriously long, consisted of reading, writing, and occasionally taking a break to stomp through the snowy woods behind the house. Although I live in Manhattan, I’m from Syracuse, and I found it blissful to sink back into the quieter rhythms of life upstate – especially quiet at Saltonstall where the only distractions are the lit magazines left behind by other residents. I churned out more pages in three weeks than I have in a very long and I hope to return again soon.”