The last few weeks I've been receiving and reviewing MakeRoom Artist Residency applications on an almost daily basis. It's required a rather consistent level of attention, more than I imagined. As the deadline grew closer the speed by which the applications arrived grew faster and faster. And now with the deadline past I'm thrilled with the numbers. 34 total applicants from all across the country. I couldn't be happier to be successfully getting this idea off the ground and this new offering into the world.
Of course the next step is the reading, reviewing, learning, selecting, choosing and the deciding of it all. It's both exciting and nerve-wracking all at once. I think about it like the chairs pictured above - all of them are comfortable, interesting and completely fit the requirements for sitting. All the applications I have received are from creative and capable people. All of them fit the requirements. But, it's a small residency with only the availability for two openings total. So, how will I decide? That's the tough part with so many productive and original creatives.
The applications have come from far and wide, from across the state and across the country, from small rural towns and big cities, from the West Coast to the East Coast, from Los Angeles to NYC and everywhere in between. From Mankato MN to Atlanta GA. They have arrived from solo creatives and pairs of collaborators. Writers and poets, educators and administrators, sculptors, painters, performers and photographers. People who are just starting creative processes and those who have been long established. Some with very clear ideas for a focused completion and others whose main goal is to take a break and simply get some clarity. All of which is perfectly acceptable.
I have been delighted by the diversity of talents and mediums, thrilled how far and wide the word was spread and just plain humbled by the kind words I have heard from both applicants and supportes. Friends and family and complete strangers have gone out of their way to share how much they like this idea.
In the next few days I will be making a decision about who will attend the very first MakeRoom Artist Residency. But even before that decision is made and before they arrive it already feels like this this idea of mine is a success.