The MacDowell Colony, America’s oldest artists’ colony, has informed me that I’ve been accepted as a guest for a summer residency during which I plan to work on Mood Indigo: A Life of Duke Ellington.
Located in Peterborough, New Hampshire, the colony was founded in 1907 on the farm of Edward MacDowell, the American composer who is best remembered for “To a Wild Rose.” It contains thirty-two individual studios where writers, composers, painters, and other artists can work in solitude on projects of their choosing. Among the works created there in whole or part are James Baldwin’s Giovanni’s Room, Leonard Bernstein’s Mass, Willa Cather’s Death Comes for the Archbishop, Michael Chabon’s The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, Aaron Copland’s Billy the Kid, Virgil Thomson’s The Mother of Us All, Thornton Wilder’s Our Town, and–I am proud to say–Paul Moravec’s score for The Letter. (The picture seen here is of Veltin Studio, where Wilder worked on Our Town and Paul on The Letter.)
This will be my first stay at an artists’ colony, and I hope to write several chapters of Mood Indigo while in Peterborough, a village to which I have long been attached.
I am immensely grateful to the MacDowell Colony for this priceless opportunity.
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The King Cole Trio plays “To a Wild Rose”:
Mike Daisey’s Secrets of the MacDowell Colony: