The Ragdale Foundation
Ragdale is a non-profit artists’ community located on architect Howard Van Doren Shaw’s country estate in Lake Forest, IL, 30 miles north of Chicago. In 1976, Shaw’s granddaughter, Alice Judson Hayes, transformed her family’s summer home into an artist's retreat to provide time and space for artists to create important new work.
Today, Ragdale annually hosts approximately 200 visual artists, writers, composers, and interdisciplinary artists at all stages of their careers for 18 or 25- day residencies, making it one of the largest interdisciplinary artist communities in the country. Ragdale offers a retreat setting where at any given time, a dozen creative individuals experience uninterrupted time for dedicated work, a supportive environment, family-style dinners, and dynamic artist exchanges within a backdrop of 50 acres of idyllic prairie.
Lake Forest, Illinois: United States
- Residency Length: 18 or 25 days
- Average number of artists in residence at a time: 13
- Application type: Open application
- Geography: Open to US artists, Open to non-US artists
Additional eligibility information:
Artists working collaboratively can apply for an 18 or 25 day residency, but must be accepted individually. 3-13 artists working collaboratively may apply for a week-long Themed Residency. One application per collaboration is required for a Themed Residency.
- Application deadline: May 15, 2018
Past Residents & Quotes
Facilities & Services
- Housing: Private bedroom in a shared housing facility
All writers' bedrooms function as a writing room. Visual artists, composers, and interdisciplinary artists are assigned a live/work space or a studio plus separate sleeping quarters. We have an ADA compliant live/work space which accommodates an artist of any discipline. One studio does not have WIFI reception.
- Meals: All/most meals are provided by organization
Dinner is provided five nights a week, Monday through Friday. Our chef generally prepares vegetarian meals with meat dishes on the side. The Barnhouse and Ragdale House kitchens are available 24 hours a day and is fully stocked for residents to prepare their own breakfasts and lunches. Basic food supplies are provided but residents are asked to provide special dietary needs on their own. Residents may bring their own food or shop at local grocery stores which are approximately 1 mile away.
- Computer/internet access: Computer and internet connection provided in common area (shared), Computer and internet connection provided in living or studio area (private), Wireless Internet
- Accessibility: housing/grounds/studios are accessible
Ragdale offers an accessible studio in one of its primary buildings, the Barnhouse. The Chandler studio, a flexible live/work space with a wheelchair-accessible private bath, best accommodates visual artists and writers. The space is adjacent to the main kitchen and dining facilities, where communal dinners are served. Accessible shared living spaces in the Barnhouse also include a library of alumni works, a living room often used for evening readings and discussions, and a conference room.
- Studios/special equipment: Dance / Choreography, Exhibition / Installation, Music studio (non-recording), Painting, Photography (digital)
Additional studio information:
All studios are white box spaces. Please plan to bring all tools, materials, and equipment. All studios have running water. All but one studio has WIFI. A baby grand piano is available for one musician, composer, or interdisciplinary artist per session.