Photo by Hill House Artist Residency alum Esteban del Valle: "You Decide Who You Are," The Renaissance Charter High School, East Harlem, New York
The Hill House Artist Residency Program provides time and space for the creation of new work.
- Applications due April 1 for residencies that run from June to November
- Applications due October 1 for residencies that run from December to May
hill house artist residency program
The Hill House supports these disciplines:
Music: Songwriting, Composition, Performance
The Hill House proudly supports musicians in all genres. In addition, emerging musicians (those who do not make a living solely from their music) are eligible for a stipend from the David Fetzer Fund.
Dance and Theater: Choreography, Dance Performance, Theater, Puppetry, Performance Art
Animation, Cartooning, Book Arts, Conceptual Art, Digital Art, Drawing, Fiber Arts, Film and Video, Illustration, Installation Arts, Metalworking, Mixed Media, Multimedia, Painting, Photography, Printmaking, Sculpture
Architecture, Cartography, Game Design, Graphic Design, Industrial Design, Landscape and Ecological Design, Typography
Fiction, Creative Non-Fiction, Poetry, Playwriting, Screenwriting, Journalism
Note: The Hill House cannot support artists who require a traditional studio or specialized equipment, but can support those who can work in a carpeted space and can bring their own equipment and materials.
The Hill House has hosted a wide spectrum of artists. Read more about Hill House alumni below.
1. The Hill House accepts parent artists! An artist may bring up to three children and/or caregivers while in residence. The Hill House is outfitted with basic child safety equipment, though the resident must bring a car (and car seat if applicable).
2. Further, the Hill House allows artists from different disciplines to be in residence together, if they are collaborating on a project together or if they are in a relationship. Each artist must still apply individually and be accepted into the program.
3. The application categories have shifted from three (Emerging musicians, Writers, Non-Studio artists) to four (Musicians, Writers, Visual Artists and Designers, Dance and Theater).
Hill House Program Overview
The Hill House Artist Residency supports talented artists with a two, three or four week stay in a semi-secluded log cabin near East Jordan, Michigan. It includes a well-stocked kitchen, a selection of instruments and some basic recording gear, as well as opportunities for community exchange through performance, readings and workshops (by request). Emerging musicians are offered a small stipend to aid in professional development.
Artists age 21 and older from anywhere in the world may apply. Solo artists as well as collaborating teams of up to four people may apply (but note the accommodation information below).
The residency lasts a minimum of two weeks and a maximum of four weeks. The Hill House hosts artists 50 weeks out of the year (but is closed the week of Thanksgiving and the week after Christmas). Residencies typically begin on a Wednesday and end on a Monday. Deep winter residencies (December to March) are a maximum of two weeks long.
There is a $25 application fee. This fee is per application period. While there is no additional cost to you, you will still need money for incidentals, materials and transportation to and from the residency. Also consider indirect costs: time away from your job and paying bills at home while you are in residence.
Community, Geography and Climate
East Jordan is a small town near the 45th parallel in Northwest Lower Michigan, about an hour’s drive from Traverse City. The Hill House is located about 15 minutes from East Jordan on a back road near the Mackinaw State Forest. The State Forest offers opportunities for canoeing, hiking, bird-watching, morel hunting and fishing, while nearby towns offer art galleries, microbreweries, parks and dining. Expect a quiet, isolated space punctuated by loon calls and the occasional coyote howl. Also expect the sound of hunters’ rifles, and limited access to the woods, from November 15 to December 1.
Michigan weather can be a surprise for those accustomed to more temperate climates. Winter temperatures can drop well below 0º F (-18º C) and are accompanied by massive snowfall. Appropriate clothing is required: heavy winter coats, thermal underwear and stout snow boots are mandatory. Conversely, summer temperatures can climb above 90º F (32º C) accompanied by high humidity. Creek and lake dipping are the locals’ best strategies for beating the heat.
The area offers very little in terms of public transportation.
A car is required in the winter to get to town. Even with plowing, however, a car without 4WD may not be able to navigate the steep road to the house during the thick of winter. We can assist in moving your things in and out of the space, but you may need to walk a few hundred yards to a separate parking area during the deepest snowfall (December to February, typically). Add one or two power outages each year and it’s clear this winter residency is for the hardy!
You have the opportunity to create your own level of engagement with the community. If you desire four weeks of total solitude, it’s yours. If you’d prefer to have dinner or drinks with ISLAND staff and area artists, we can arrange that too. You can spend a weekend touring local galleries and watching (or playing) live music, or you can sit on the back porch and not speak to a soul. It’s your choice, but keep in mind that community engagement will require more energy on your part; solitude comes naturally here.
The Hill House is a two-story log cabin. It has two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a large unfinished basement, a spacious back porch, washer and dryer and electric heat. The Hill House can potentially accommodate up to four people at a time (one queen sized bed, two single beds and one pull out couch). The house is not ADA compliant, and is not accessible by wheelchair.
We love good food. We make every effort to fulfill your dietary desires while focusing on fresh, local, seasonal and organic food whenever possible. We are happy to include local pastured meat and poultry, and we are also vegetarian and vegan friendly. Access to fresh local food tends to be easier in the summer and fall and more challenging in the winter and early spring. We stock the kitchen, but for the most part you are on your own for meal preparation, so it helps if you have a little cooking skill. If all you want is a freezer filled with pizzas and bean burritos, we can do that too.
A phone is available for local calls. Cell phone service is variable. Wireless internet access functions about 95% of the time. The house does not come with a computer. Smoking is not permitted on the property. One dog or cat is allowed but must be leashed when outdoors. No exceptions to these rules, sorry!
Musicians, there is not a recording studio at the Hill House, and the residency is not designed to support recording your album. There is, however, a selection of consumer level instruments and basic recording gear available for your use while in residence, including a piano, telecaster, electric bass and keyboard.
Writers, a printer and paper are available for you, but you will need to bring your own computer.
Others, there is no formal studio, rehearsal space, performance space or any specialized equipment. In that way, the residency is limited to those who can use carpeted rooms and can bring their own equipment and materials.
No particular room is designated as a work space. You’re free to take over the house in whatever way best works for your creativity. Residents should bring the instruments and other materials they need to work.
First, it’s important to be mentally prepared for a residency program. You will be away from friends and family for between two and four weeks. You should be prepared to focus on your work in an isolated space. Is this the kind of experience that will help you buckle down and focus, or will a lone cabin in the woods drive you crazy? There are hundreds of residency programs out there – be sure this is the one for you.
Your work samples are by far the most important part of your application. Only submit your best work, in the highest quality format you have. You are likely one of over 100 applicants; take time and care to create a standout submission.
It’s hard to judge your own work, so get feedback from people whose artistic opinions you respect by asking them to review your submission. Many schools have career development offices that are available to students, faculty, staff, and alumni, to assist you in putting together a strong application.
To maintain the blind jury process, links to websites, youtube/vimeo, bandcamp, etc. are not supported. All documents must be uploaded.
For all categories:
Provide 1-5 items. Images (up to 5MB each), Video (up to 250MB each), Audio (up to 30MB each), PDFs (up to 10MB each) and Other Types (.doc) (up to 10MB each)
Music - three to five tracks (a maximum of 20 minutes total). Audio format: mp3. Video format: mp4, wav or mov.
Writing - ten to twenty pages. Document format: pdf.
Visual Arts and Design - one to five total items (not to exceed twenty minutes of video). Image format: jpg, gif or png. Video format: mp4, wav or mov.
Dance and Theater - two to four pieces (a maximum of 20 minutes total). Video format: mp3.
We understand that in some cases your work may not fit these criteria. Flexibility is ok, but in any case please limit total items to five, total minutes to twenty, and use the formats listed above. We are happy to assist with any part of this process. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or concerns.
Your artist statement should be coherent and brief, not a lengthy, esoteric manifesto of your soul. It is a way to communicate your creative practice and your artistic approach.
Please provide three references, including name, phone number and email, as well as their relationship to you. Do not provide letters of reference; contact information only. Avoid providing references who have an impressive reputation but who don’t really know you. We are interested in your seriousness as an artist, your dedication to a creative practice and your readiness for a residency program.
Your application will be juried by a rotating panel selected by Crosshatch. Residency awards are merit-driven, based primarily on the quality of your existing work, using the following criteria, in order of priority:
- the creativity and integrity of the work
- the strength of the artist’s statement and the perceived fit with the Hill House residency
- the availability of the artist in the dates still open for residents
For an excellent overview of the residency application process, visit the Alliance of Artists Communities website.
We are happy to help you with this process! If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us at (231) 622-5252 or email@example.com
Statement of Non-Discrimination
Crosshatch is an equal opportunity employer and welcomes a diverse environment. Crosshatch does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, creed, sex, height, weight, marital status, disability, veteran status, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, or any other basis prohibited by local, state or federal law in its programs and activities.
The Hill House does not meet the standards of ADA compliance. When the artist residency program is moved to its permanent location in Bellaire, it will be ADA compliant.
Our pool of jurors is diverse; they are a panel of professionals in their fields, and come from a variety of backgrounds.
Julie Brickman, Maryann Lesert, Katy Yocom
Lesley Robyn Serri
Jean Rohe & Liam Robinson
Michael Barach & Brandi George
Nicole Savoy & Serge Pinsky
Erinn Beth Moffatt Langille
Holly Wren Spaulding
Brandon & Bethany Foote
Marcus & Melissa Sigh
Mary Beth Ellis
David Hoon Kim
Brandon & Bethany Foote
Marcus & Melissa Sigh
Alex Wand, Claire Chenette, Heather Lockie (Three Thirds)
Chris Bathgate (with collaborators Graham Parsons, Max Lockwood, Nick Harp, Ben Gugino, Bate Bliton)