Now accepting applications for 2023 Residencies and Fellowships. The deadline for all 2023 opportunities is May 15, 2022. 

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 nearly 250 visual artists, writers, composers, and interdisciplinary artists at all stages of their careers for 18-25 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.

Complete this application if you wish to be considered for only fellowship awards.  Do not complete this application if you are applying for fellowships and residency opportunities.

Fellowship Awards, up to 30 awarded in 2023

18-day fee- waived residency. Stipend of at least $500 to participate in the Ragdale In Schools educational outreach program. Admitted residents and fellows are responsible for their own travel.


11:59 PM CST May 15, 2022. Late applications cannot be accepted.


Up to 250 residencies and fellowships are now offered annually. Ragdale encourages applications from artists representing the widest possible range of perspectives and demographics, and to that end, emerging as well as established artists are invited to apply. While there are no publication, exhibition or performance requirements for application, applicants should be working at the professional level in their fields. Ragdale encourages artists of all backgrounds to apply, and does not discriminate against anyone on the basis of age, disability, gender, origin, race, religion, or sexual orientation.


All applicants submit electronic materials through the Submittable application portal.  Please note the following requirements to complete your application:

A completed online application form which includes:

  1. A one-page artist’s statement and work plan explaining your work and what you plan to do while in residence.
  2. A one-page CV or resumé that summarizes your professional background.
  3. Work samples that show previous work from the past 2-3 years. All media is acceptable. Most electronic file types and sizes are accepted.
  4. Some fellowships require an eligibility statement of 500 words or less.
  5. (optional. Does not count towards the numerical score submitted by jury members) up to two current letters of reference or surveys completed by people who know you personally and can address your professional capacity and suitability for a residency in a working community with other artists.  Reference letters and survey responses are confidential and are  submitted electronically through Submittable when you submit your  application. Letters of reference/ Reference Surveys are due 11:59 PM  CST June 1, 2022. *A 10-15 minute survey option has been  added to residency applications. Instructions for completing the  survey or letter of recommendation will be automatically sent to your  references when you submit your application.


Applications are reviewed by Ragdale’s Curatorial Board and staff. Evaluations of work are based on the following criteria:

  1. Work sample and statement show evidence of original, inventive and exciting new work.
  2. Work sample demonstrates quality, technical proficiency, and is professionally presented.
  3. Artist’s statement and resumé show evidence that the applicant’s work is reflective of continued, serious, and exceptional aesthetic investigation in the chosen medium.
  4. Work plan demonstrates that the artist will maximize the benefits of a residency at Ragdale.
  5. References are optional and do not count towards the juror's numerical scoring of the application. References reflect the artist’s ability to work well in an artist community.


Applicants are notified of admission status via email three months after the application deadline, approximately September.  


Artists collaborating on a project must submit individual application forms and appropriate work samples, along with a joint description of the work they intend to do at Ragdale. Clearly specify your work and living space needs i.e. how many private studio and/or sleeping quarters are needed. You may also submit an example of a previous collaborative work (either completed or in progress). Any specific concerns can be directed to Regin Igloria, Director of Programs before applying.  


May 15, 2022: Application Deadline  

September 2022: Notification of Residency and Fellowship award.    


For further assistance, please email Regin Igloria or phone 847.234.1063, ext. 28.


Creative Sabbaticals are one- to four-week residencies tailored for people who may or may not be creative professionals, but who are interested in pursuing a creative project in an environment without distractions. Participants pay $1,500 per week and have access to all that Ragdale has to offer, including a live/work studio, all meals, and interaction with other creative professionals. A special jury reviews proposals and work experience. Applications are accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis.

Creative Sabbaticals take place during a scheduled residency session and follow the residency calendar. The dates listed on our website do not reflect availability.

Scheduling Criteria 

1. Must arrive on Monday and depart on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday.
2. 3PM check-in and 10AM check-out.
3. Minimum stay of 4 days, maximum of 25 days.
4. Creative Sabbatical fee is $2,000 for 7 days. The fee is prorated to the number of days spent in residence.

For more information please contact Amy Sinclair, Grants & Admissions Manager.

Please note, Ragdale can only send letters of acceptance if we are able to offer a Creative Sabbatical. Your application will remain on file. If you would like to update your availability to continue to be considered past the availability listed in your submitted application please contact Amy Sinclair