Millay Colony for the Arts

Promoting the vitality of the arts and the development of writers, visual artists, and composers by providing a retreat for creative work.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Thank You Dears in this New Year

Happy New Year to one and all,

As befits January in sunny Austerlitz, our driveway is all a-glisten with ice and snow and there is a snowstorm approaching. Despite this, we are hunkered down and enjoying a lovely beginning to yet another year of art-making and community. May there be many more for us all.

We want to begin this sparkling new annum by saying thank you to all of you who know us, love us, send us gentle and hopeful thoughts, and support us with wonderful contributions. We appreciate you all so very much, we are so much the better for your participation and kindness. Thank you.

Please come visit Millay this year. Whether a supporter, an alum, or simply a curious friend, please know that you are welcome. You can always find us by email or phone (518-392-4144 or

Soon we will have more to say about the coming year, our programs and workshops and artists and lions and tigers and bears oh my…but until then, just know that a lantern glows in a  snowy window should you like a cup of hot chocolate and a tour.

With xo, The Millay Colony…

And by way of enticement, here are  a few shots of our lil' slice of paradise, inside & out, winter/summer/fall...

Thursday, November 6, 2014

November 20: John Colpitts with special guest Laurie Anderson

Hello Readers,

We're back after a little Blogonap. And we're better than evah...

Check this out...

Dazzling Millay Colony Alum John Colpitts (aka Kid Millions) performing with Laurie Anderson on November 20...check it OUT:

Friday, August 15, 2014

Come Hither Yon Writers!

Come hither yon poets and friends! An amazing weekend of poetry reading, writing and reciting, community of the highest caliber, and delicious food... 

Come hither yon writers and readers!! An amazing weekend of intensity, illumination, irrevocable delight…

Come hither explore our pastoral campus and thousands of adjacent acres of state forest field meadow swimming hole hike bike bliss…

Come hither yon sweeties and gourmands and break the communal breads, eat from our organic gardens and enjoy thyselves in glorious fashion(s)…

Find out all the groovy details HERE



Friday, May 2, 2014

Millay Alum Liz Ainslie is part of a show in local Saugerties...go go go Liz

IHGallery is pleased to announce Top Drawer, an exhibit of works on paper carefully selected from the gallery's extensive flat files.

May 2 - June 1, 2014  • Artists' Reception Friday, May 2, 2014 • 6-10pm

The gallery will also celebrate its Second Anniversary that evening with the debut of its second annual catalog and special food treats.

Monday, February 24, 2014

2014 Cave Canem Fellow at Millay Colony Announced!

Makalani Bandele Receives Cave Canem Residency at Millay Colony
We are delighted to announce poet Makalani Bandele as the recipient of the fourth-annual Cave Canem Residency at The Millay Colony for the Arts. In a addition to a $250 stipend, Makalani will be provided with a private room, writing studio and meals during his month-long residency with us in picturesque Austlerlitz, NY. 

Makalani Bandele

"We're please to partner with The Millay Colony to establish an annual residency for a Cave Canem poet," says Cave Canem Executive Director Alison Meyers. "Opportunities for writers to work uninterrupted in tranquil surroundings are rare -- so this residency is a very welcome addition to our program of services."  
Founded in 1996 by poets Toi Derricotte and Cornelius Eady (a Millay alum!) to remedy the under-representation and isolation of African American poets in MFA programs and writing workshops, Cave Canem is a home for the many voices of African American poetry and is committed to cultivating the artistic and professional growth of African American poets. 
The first three Cave Canem Fellows at Millay Colony were Kevin Vaughn, Rachel Eliza Griffiths, and LaTasha N. Nevada Diggs. Plans are under way to produce a reading in NYC in Fall 2014. More on that to come.
All of us at The Millay Colony are honored to be working with Cave Canem. We recognize the need for creating spaces for African American poets and poetry and look forward to welcoming Makalani to the Millay Family!
You can support Cave Canem's work by joining their Virtual Rent Parties. Deadline March 31. To support The Millay Colony for the Arts or to specifically underwrite the Cave Canem Residency, please contact Executive Director Caroline Crumpacker. Ph 518-392-4144.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

School Programs Growing at Millay Colony

Hello Millay Followers and Friends!

As we continue to grow our Arts in Education programming, we are working to share with you the results of these amazing guest visits to regional schools. Teachers & Writers Collaborative teaching writer Janice A. Lowe just completed a two week residency in the Germantown High School visiting the classes of Stacy Dore, Karen Katz, and Lynn Polidoro. We will have photos, student work, and write-ups on this unit to share in the coming weeks. Janice stayed at the Colony for the two weeks as the T&W visiting fellow and was able to do some of her own work while at the Colony as well as share her process and insights with regional students. 

To date we have placed visiting artists and writers into schools in Chatham, Germantown, and Hudson. Here is a write-up with photos from a residency last fall with Millay artist in residence Jonathan Skinner:

Chatham HS Students Map Campus Soundscape with Guest Poet from Millay Colony

Art and English students shared a unique opportunity to experience their school campus' “soundscape” with guest poet Jonathan Skinner. Skinner is a professional writer, editor, and college professor who focuses on the creative and critical intersections between writing and ecology. Prior to taking the students out on a “sound walk” behind the school, Skinner led a classroom discussion on the relationships between sound, people, and poetry. 

“We don’t have earlids, we have eyelids so we can close our eyes, but we don’t have earlids so we don’t listen to everything we hear,” said Skinner in explaining the purpose of the day's exercise, which was to take time to listen to and truly experience all the sounds happening at a particular place and moment, and capture them using notation. He shared several examples of poetic works in which the author uses sound notation and onomatopoeia (words that sound similar to the noises they describe) to tap into a particular soundscape and evoke a sense of place, mood, or experience.

A soundscape is the combination of sounds that arise from an environment and can include both natural sounds from animals, weather, and other elements; and sounds created by humans, such as voices, music, and mechanicalsound walk by the pondsounds.

“Ears open, pens out - make note of everything we hear as we walk,” Skinner directed as he led the group out the back of the school and down a wooded trail along the pond behind CHS. There, Skinner had the students pause and stand silently, listening and writing down every sound they heard, whether it was the honking of geese on the water, the rustle of wind through the leaves, or the hum of a distant engine. Later, Skinner asked the students to categorize each sound they had observed by how close or far away the sound was, how often they heard it, whether it was natural or manmade, soft or loud, and appealing or unpleasant.

Armed with this data, the group returned indoors where Skinner gave the students some final food for thought on how they could artistically map the soundscape they had just experienced. Later, the art and English students returned to their respective classrooms to do just that, with the English students creating sound maps through poetry and the visual art students through drawing. 

This interdisciplinary exercise was made possible through the collaborative efforts of art teacher Judith Harrigan, English teacher Jodi Sullivan, and the Millay Colony for the Arts in Austerlitz, at which Skinner was spending a month in residence. Cara Benson, program manager for the Millay Colony, also contributed as a guest educator. Students involved were from the Senior Fine Arts Workshop and English 11 Pre AP classes.

Some student work from this unit:
Hannah Bervy - Radial Sound Map

Michaela Hanson - Sound Abstraction

Student poems to follow!

For more information on our School Programs please contact Caroline Crumpacker at

Monday, February 3, 2014

(Chatham, NY)  February 6-9, 2014 

The Millay Colony for the Arts presents international artist Sonja Hinrichsen in a community project to create snowshoe designs on Sutherland Pond, in the Ooms Public Conservation Area.

“Snow Drawings” is part of Hinrichsen’s ongoing project drawing large, intricate designs on frozen lakes throughout the U.S.  Ms. Hinrichsen states, “I began this project in the Colorado Mountains, where, out of play, I started designing patterns in the snow.  This is done as a meditative way to accentuate the beauty and uniqueness of the environment, inspiring awe and appreciation for nature.”

As an artist and environmentalist, Ms. Hinrichsen’s art is ephemeral by nature.  Once completed, the ‘canvas’ may last only a few hours or days. Millay Colony alum Hinrichsen's goal is to cover the entire pond with the help of the community through the auspices of the Columbia Land Conservancy (CLC).

The art-making event is open and free to everyone with snowshoes.  CLC will have a limited number of snowshoes to lend for the event at the main entrance to Sutherland Pond February 7-9.  The three-day event will start with a presentation by Hinrichsen on her work and specifics on snowshoe drawing at the Tracy Memorial in Chatham on Thursday February 6, 7PM. The drawing sessions will run Friday through Sunday, February 7-9, from 10am-3pm.  Volunteer snowshoe artists can come at any point and stay for as long as they like.

For more info call Calliope Nicholas at 518-392-3103.