FAQ about the summer residency program

Why would I want to attend a residency?

Res­i­den­cies pro­vide artists time and pri­vate space to do their work with­out in­ter­rup­tion. Dur­ing one month at Salton­stall, residents are often able to com­plete at least 3-4 months worth of work. Our shorter, two-week residencies have an identical effect. There are min­i­mal chores, and re­strict­ed vis­i­tor hours ~ all of which al­lows for max­i­mum focus on the artists work. Saltonstall is situated in a beautiful and inspiring setting of fields and wood­ed hills, approximately eight miles from downtown Ithaca.

What are you looking for in an applicant?

We’re look­ing for tal­ent­ed, serious and ded­i­cat­ed artists and writ­ers, who are legal residents of New York State and Indian Nations therein. We en­cour­age es­tab­lished, mid-​ca­reer and emerg­ing artists, over the age of 21, to apply. It is our goal to make the fairest judg­ment pos­si­ble of the ap­pli­cants and their work ~ a judg­ment which in­cludes recog­ni­tion of a va­ri­ety of artis­tic tra­di­tions. Our ori­en­ta­tion is, how­ev­er, pri­mar­i­ly to­wards fine arts, rather than pop­u­lar or folk­loric arts.

How accessible is the new accessible addition?

The addition was designed using universal design principles that exceed standard ADA compliance.

Some details include: one powered exterior door; two pocket doors in the living space; a roll-in tiled shower with hand-held shower wand; doorways with no thresholds; on-site parking and at-grade courtyard and sidewalk; accessible kitchen designed for wheelchair users; accessible laundry facilities. 

If you have specific questions about the space, please send an email to residency[at]saltonstall.org

What does it mean to be a “legal resident of New York State”?

Simply put, you must be currently living year-round in the State of New York, and you must be a resident through the entire application process and residency season.

If you are a resident of New York State, you generally have some combination of the following:

  • a New York State voter registration card
  • a New York State driver’s license
  • proof of a lease or mortgage for real property in New York State
  • utility bills for your New York State place of residence
  • New York State income tax returns
  • New York State bank accounts

We apologize that we cannot accept your application if you are currently living elsewhere and plan to move back to New York in time for the residency. We will be happy to receive your application in the following year once you are a full-time New York State resident.

Who are the jurors?

We don’t re­lease the names of the ju­rors. They are dis­tin­guished pro­fes­sion­als in the dis­ci­plines, often curators, editors, and pro­fes­sors in MFA and BA pro­grams. Ju­rors for the residency pro­gram are often from the Fin­ger Lakes re­gion. They may in­clude artists and writ­ers who have at­tend­ed Salton­stall.

Will the Foundation claim ownership of the work I produce during my residency?

No. We may in­vite artists to par­tic­i­pate in ex­hibits or pub­li­ca­tions, but we do not make any own­er­ship claims on these works.

I’m a writer who requires nearly complete silence. Is Saltonstall the place for me?

Most writ­ers are de­light­ed with the gen­er­al level of quiet at Salton­stall. There will be very few in­ter­rup­tions. How­ev­er, the writ­ers’ stu­dios are in the main house which holds three apartments, the pump to the water well, the kitchen and the common dining/living room. On rare oc­ca­sions, our fa­cil­i­ties don’t mea­sure up to the stan­dards of some writ­ers. If you need ex­treme quiet, Saltonstall might not be ideal for you.

How is internet service and cell reception at Saltonstall?

We provide high-speed wireless internet access in both the main house and the studio building and new accessible addition. However, we are not able to provide an unlimited amount of bandwidth. All five Fellows share a single wireless signal which will be disrupted if multiple guests are heavy viewers of videos or movies.

We also provide an iMac computer and a Brother black-and-white laser printer in the small office in the main house.

Cell phone reception, unfortunately, is hit or miss. Some residents have no trouble. Others get no cell reception at all. To that end, the landlines in the studio building and in the main house both offer unlimited long distance.

How do I get to Ithaca if I don’t own a car?

Three bus lines serve Ithaca: Greyhound, ShortLine (or CoachUSA), and Cornell University’s Campus-to-Campus Bus. Members of the general public can purchase tickets online for Cornell’s bus, but be aware that this bus only serves Manhattan and Ithaca. If you take any of these buses, we can provide transportation to and from Saltonstall.

Ithaca also has a small airport — the Ithaca Tompkins Regional Airport (ITH) — which is served by Delta, American, and United. The airport is an easy 15-minute drive from Saltonstall, and we can pick you up and drop you off.

Another option might be one-way car rentals which might be comparable in price to bus tickets. There are many car rental agencies in Ithaca where you can return your car once you’re unpacked and where you can pick up a car for a one-way rental back home at the end of your residency.

How isolated is the colony?

Saltonstall is located eight miles east of downtown Ithaca in the Ellis Hollow neighborhood. Ellis Hollow is a rural community. Saltonstall is comprised of 200 acres that was once Connie Saltonstall’s private property. There is a small shopping plaza five miles away.

Unfortunately, it is not easy to get around without a car. Just one bus route serves Ellis Hollow, and the schedule is extremely limited.

Can I bring a spouse, partner, or collaborator?

Unfortunately, no. Our residencies and facilities are designed for individuals.

How about dogs or other pets?

We’re big dog fans ourselves, which makes saying “no” all the harder. No other animals, please, with the exception of licensed service animals.

Which facilities are shared and which are private?

Every Fellow lives and works in private one-bedroom suites that include a private bathroom. The only shared spaces at Saltonstall are the kitchen, dining and living room in the main house, and the kitchen and dining area in the new addition.

Can you accommodate special diets?

Yes. We take the weeknight dinners pretty seriously and strive to provide healthy, inspired, seasonal, and diet-specific fare. We don’t provide meals-to-order for each individual, but when creating a menu for five people, our chef can nearly always make adjustments so there are enough items on the table to feed everyone, regardless of each individual’s dietary sensitivities.

“It was like staying at a dear friend’s home or a fabulous resort catering to all your needs… In all aspects, from accommodation to the food to the staff, it was all simply the best of the best!” –Paul Farinacci, visual artist, NYC (2009)

“Although I had been looking forward to a good month of solid painting, I didn’t suspect that my more profound need was for some distance from my life’s habitual framework. I did draw and paint, but I also read, wrote, walked, listened to inspiring tapes, thought about my life and my priorities, and ‘re-collected’ myself in a way that I’ve been unable to do for quite some time.” –Marianne Barcellona, visual artist, NYC (2008)

“This is the most productive residency I’ve had. I’ll be in a very different place when I leave than I was when I arrived.” – Heidi Diehl, fiction writer, Brooklyn (2015)

FAQ about the application process

I applied for a residency in the past. Do you still have my information on file? Do I still need to re-submit an application this year?

Yes, you will need to re-submit. We keep applications stored, but mostly for statistical purposes. You will need to submit a new and complete application each year.

Can I apply in more than one category?

Yes. If you are a writer with proficiency in multiple genres (i.e. poetry and nonfiction), you would complete a separate application with a separate work sample for each writing category. In the rare instance when an applicant becomes a finalist in two categories, only one Fellowship will be awarded. Applicants can not be awarded two residencies in the same year.

Can I apply for both a two-week and four-week residency?

Sorry, no. Please choose either the two-week OR the four-week option when filling out the application.

Can I apply with a partner and/or collaborator?

Sorry, no. At this time, our residencies serve individual working artists and writers. We cannot accommodate collaborators, partners or spouses.

Visual arts? Or photography?

If you are a visual artist whose primary medium is photography, you should apply within the “Photography & Filmmaking” category.

What about playwriting, screenwriting, or works for young people?

Quality literary writing is quality literary writing, and we want to see yours! While this category has traditionally been narrowly focused, we’ve been pleasantly surprised at the number of writers who have found us who are working in a variety of genres. For example, in the past few years, a number of playwrights have applied and have been granted residencies within the “Fiction / Creative Nonfiction” category. We would welcome your application.

I’ve never been professionally published or exhibited. What should my resume include?

List on your re­sume any­thing you’ve done which would demon­strate your com­mit­ment and in­volve­ment in your dis­ci­pline, such as class­es, work­shops or writ­ers’ groups at­tend­ed and con­tri­bu­tions to non-​pro­fes­sion­al pub­li­ca­tions. But please don’t worry too much about the content of your resume, because the jury won’t be seeing this document.

What should my “Artist’s Statement” or “Writer’s Statement” say?

This is your op­por­tu­ni­ty to introduce the jury to your work and to speak to the content and context of your work sample(s). Please remember not to include any personally identifying information in your statement.

What are you looking for regarding my references?

We are looking for people who can rave about your personality, who can describe what it might be like to spend long periods of time with you, who can speak to your unique quirks and personality. They can be professional contacts as long as you feel as if they can speak about you personally. We’re not hiring you for a job; we’re more interested in your personality and in your capacity to live and work quietly and respectfully with others.

How and when will I be told if I have been chosen for a residency?

All ap­pli­cants will be no­ti­fied by phone or email of final de­ci­sions on or before Friday, April 2, 2021. Please try to refrain from contacting us before that time. We know you’ll be anxious to hear from us, but there are many of you and only one of us. We promise to write to you.

If I don’t win, will I receive a critique or explanation?

Unfortunately, no. Our ju­rors do not pro­vide cri­tiques, ex­pla­na­tions, or ad­vice.