From the MacDowell Colony website:
"The mission of The MacDowell Colony is to nurture the arts by offering creative individuals of the highest talent an inspiring environment in which they can produce enduring works of the imagination.
The sole criterion for acceptance to The MacDowell Colony is artistic excellence. MacDowell defines excellence in a pluralistic and inclusive way, encouraging applications from artists representing the widest possible range of perspectives and demographics.
We welcome artists engaging in the broadest spectrum of artistic practice who are investigating an unlimited array of inquiries and concerns. We apply the same egalitarian standards for all those who serve MacDowell either in a staff, volunteer, or representative capacity.
At its founding, the Colony was an experiment with no precedent. It stands now having provided crucial time and space to more than 6,000 artists, including such notable names as Leonard Bernstein, Thornton Wilder, Aaron Copland, Milton Avery, James Baldwin, Spalding Gray, and more recently Alice Walker, Alice Sebold, Jonathan Franzen, Michael Chabon, Suzan-Lori Parks, Meredith Monk, and many more."