White Mountain Artist in Residence logo.

2020 white mountain national forest 

ArtisT in Residence PrograM


The White Mountain National Forest and the Arts Alliance of Northern New Hampshire, in collaboration with Friends of Mead Base, are now accepting applications for our annual Artist in Residence program. Interested artists in all media are invited to apply. Applications are due by 5pm EST, Sunday March 15, 2020.


The White Mountain National Forest


The White Mountain National Forest (WMNF), established in 1918, now encompasses nearly 800,000 acres in New Hampshire and western Maine. It includes beautiful woods, waterfalls, rivers, and rugged mountains. The WMNF landscape includes the well-known Presidential and Franconia Ranges, the famed Tuckerman Ravine, and homes to moose, black bear, and many other species of wildlife.


Other highlights of the Forest include the largest alpine area in the eastern United States, over 1,200 miles of hiking trails, and opportunities for year-round recreation, including skiing, snowshoeing, mountaineering, snowmobiling and touring by car or on foot. Considered one of the Northeast's "jewels," the WMNF is within a day's drive of 70 million people and hosts more than 6 million visitors each year.


Though best known as a recreation destination, the Forest is also managed for many other purposes. Its multiple-use mission includes sustainable forestry, maintaining water quality, and providing wildlife habitat and designated Wilderness. The Forest plays a critical role in the ecological health of the region and in supplying clean water to thousands of people. 


The WMNF surrounds many small and mid-sized communities, each with its own special flavor. The WMNF also has a long and storied history as a site of inspiration for artists. The majority of Forest visitors come from New Hampshire, Massachusetts and other Northeastern states. There are also visitors from throughout the United States and Canada, as well as international travelers. 


The Artist in Residence Program 





















































The WMNF Artist in Residence (AIR) program offers professional and emerging artists in all disciplines – visual and performing artists, craftspeople, writers, composers, eco, media, and social practice artists – an opportunity to pursue their particular art form while being inspired by the Forest and sharing their work and their artistic process with members of the public. 


The WMNF and the Arts Alliance of Northern New Hampshire (Arts Alliance) work together, in collaboration with Friends of Mead Base, to manage and sustain the AIR program, which was launched in 2011 as part of the Weeks Act Centennial celebration, marking the 100th anniversary of the passage of the Weeks Act – an important milestone in American conservation history. 


The AIR program has now become a part of the Forest fabric, providing the selected artist(s) a unique opportunity to interact with and learn from both Forest Service professionals and community members and visitors to the forest. 


Goals of the Residency 

The residency program seeks to use the arts and creative expression to explore the many ways in which people relate to forests in general and to the WMNF in particular. 


Goals of the AIR program include: 

  • Capture the beauty and spirit of the WMNF through the creation of high-quality art 

  • Provide learning opportunities for WMNF visitors, using the arts

  • Help citizens explore the connections between public lands, our use of natural resources and our emotional ties to beauty, nature and self-expression, thus serving as a link between the utilitarian and aesthetic values of the forest 

  • Celebrate the power of the arts — and artists — to explore and interpret the forest environment and forest-related issues

About the Residency 

* One residency opportunity of at least three weeks will be offered between mid-July and September. The artist(s) selected will be able to choose their preferred time. 

* The artist(s) will be free to work on their art throughout the residency period.

* During the residency period, the Artist in Residence will be asked to provide:

  • An introductory talk. 

  • A closing presentation.

  • One or more public programs during which visitors can see the Artist in Residence at work, learn more about - and, ideally, participate in – the artist(s) work, artistic process, and/or media. Programs may include demonstrations, exploratory walks or hikes, performances, interactive or participatory installations, group creative projects, or other programs based on the media, interests, and experience of the artist(s). Public programs are an important way for Artists in Residence to encourage participants to think about the connection between art, the forest, and conservation. 

  • Public programs will be scheduled in cooperation with the WMNF and Arts Alliance, and may coincide with other activities on the Forest or at partner sites, such as the Museum of the White Mountains. 

* The Artist in Residence will receive a $2,000 stipend. Travel expenses, materials costs, and other expenses associated with the Residency are the responsibility of the Artist in Residence. Free housing at Mead Base and possibly other locations during the residency period are available.

* The artist(s) will be required to donate one piece of work – and reproduction rights – to the WMNF. 

* While pursuing their art, the Artist in Residence will need to follow National Forest regulations. The Forest Service will provide an orientation to the Forest and will be happy to work with the Artist in Residence throughout the residency to understand the regulations. The Artist in Residence will be expected to sign a volunteer agreement with the National Forest. 

* Applicants must be at least 18 years of age. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to have a car? 

Yes. There is very limited public transportation in the White Mountains region. The Artist in Residence will be expected to drive to a variety of locations on the WMNF for public programs. 


Where will I be housed? Can I bring my family or pet? 

A number of housing options may be available, but the artist(s) chosen should expect very simple – and most likely shared – living accommodations. Because housing options are limited, it will most likely not be possible to accommodate family members or pets; however, more than one artist may apply as a team. We are grateful for the ongoing support of Friends of Mead Base, who have provided housing to many of our artists. 


What should I bring? 

Materials and supplies required for your art-making, personal gear and toiletries, linens and towels and clothing (including warm clothes, rain gear and boots or sturdy walking shoes). Camping gear is recommended if you want to spend time in the woods. 


Note that wireless internet access and cell phone coverage are not available in many Forest locations. 


If you have additional quick, specific questions about the residency or the application process that just have you stymied, please send your inquiry to info@artsalliancennh.org.

How To Apply

Applications may be submitted via our online application system and must be received by 5pm EST, Sunday March 15, 2020. Only complete applications will be considered. Applicants will be notified of decisions by April 30, 2020.


Application Checklist





























Selection Process 

A panel of arts professionals and WMNF staff will choose the artist in residence. The panel reserves the right not to award a residency in 2020, should the appropriate candidate not be found. 

aPPLY NOW             - Applications now closed


Learn about our 2019 Artist in Residence