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MacDowell Colony Director Cheryl A. Young to Retire in 2019

The MacDowell Colony in Peterborough, New Hampshire, announced today that director Cheryl A. Young, who has led the organization for twenty-two years, will step down in early 2019. A search for her successor is currently underway.

“Not only has MacDowell been a home to me, it has been a great joy to be around such passionate people. . . . Everyone is devoted to helping artists make new work,” said Young. “MacDowell has been an exceptional organization since its pioneering beginning, and each generation has a role to play in safeguarding it.”

Young originally joined MacDowell in 1988 as its director of development. She rose to become deputy director in 1993 and was named executive director in 1997. According to MacDowell, during Young’s tenure, the colony’s net assets increased from $5 million to $44 million, which allowed it to introduce more initiatives, upgrade its facilities, add three new studios, expand its fellowship program, and grow its staff. Last year, the organization also announced that it will open a new office and project space in New York City’s Chelsea neighborhood.

“Making the program available to a diverse population, removing financial barriers, adding new art disciplines, and providing the best residency experience possible have been my goals throughout my thirty years,” said Young.

Since it was founded by composer Edward MacDowell and his wife, Marian MacDowell, 111 years ago, the organization has awarded more than 14,500 residencies and currently welcomes more than three hundred architects, composers, filmmakers, artists, writers, and other creatives each year. Among those who have participated in the program are Ta-Nehisi Coates, Harmony Hammond, Glenn Ligon, and Carrie Mae Weems.