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 200 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.

Third Coast International Audio Festival and Ragdale welcome producers of all experience levels to apply for our third annual Radio Residency, April 30-May 6, 2018.

Through the residency I fell deeper in love with the possibility of radio. It felt like a big, warm hug from the radio world saying “Hey! Your experience isn’t fully represented yet but, we got your back.” Jimmy Gutierrez, 2017 Radio Resident and producer at New Hampshire Public Radio


The Third Coast Radio Residency is an opportunity for producers to enjoy a rare week away from the demands and deadlines of everyday life to make progress on an audio story or documentary project.  

During the week of April 30-May 6, 2018, a group of 8-10 producers will have the woodsy Ragdale retreat to themselves, to work, commune, and share expertise.

Ragdale, one of the largest interdisciplinary artists’ communities in the country, is located in Lake Forest, 30 miles north of Chicago. Each artist will be given a private room and workspace, and all meals will be provided, including a family-style dinner each evening.

A Third Coast-selected residency mentor will offer each resident one-on-one editing and guidance sessions during the residency. In the evenings, optional group workshops will be led by Third Coast staff.

Third Coast seeks a vibrant group of producers of varied experience levels who come from backgrounds underrepresented in public media and podcasting. At the time of the residency, participants should be mid-project, allowing them to focus on the writing, editing and production of their final works.

Third Coast, thanks to extraordinary contributions from our radio community to the Radio Residency Fund, will cover the costs of flights and ground transportation for all the residents. Ragdale is generously subsidizing the costs of room and board (all meals during the residency) so that participants pay only $35/night. The total cost to each participant will be $210, for six nights.


The Radio Residency is open to all who identify as part of an under-represented group in public radio and podcasting. Areas of under-representation may include - but are not limited to – race, ethnicity, economic background, sexual orientation, disability, and geographic location (producers working outside of public media strongholds).

Producers of all experience levels are encouraged to apply, though you must have, at minimum, basic production and editing skills.  Residents must be 21 or older, be living in the United States, and bring their own laptops,or other necessary equipment to complete their project.


Applicants should submit project proposals through ragdale.org via its online portal no later than 11:59pm on Friday, January 5, 2018. Producers will be notified if they’ve been selected by February 1st.

A completed application consists of:

1.     Proposal – A written explanation of up to 500 words that clearly describes the story/project you plan to work on at the Third Coast Radio Residency, where it might be presented (via radio, podcast, internet, live event, etc),  the progress you’ve made thus far, the work that lies ahead, and a realistic goal for the work you would complete in the 6 days of residency.  Please keep in mind that the Third Coast Radio Residency is intended to help producers bring strong, sound-rich new stories into the world.

2.     Resume

3.     Bio – (3-4 sentences)

4.    Work Samples – Include links to 2-3 work samples. They do not all need to be audio examples, but at least one should be.

5.    Recommendation Survey  - to be completed by a professional reference who can speak to your  strengths and ability to benefit from the Residency.


November 9 – Call for proposals

January 5  – Application deadline

January 10 – Recommendation Survey deadline

February 1 - Notification

April 30- May 6 – Radio Residency at Ragdale


Please send your email questions to info@thirdcoastfestival.org, or give us a ring at 312-948-4652.


The Ragdale Foundation provides more than 150 residencies and fellowships annually to creative professionals of all types, making the historic retreat one of the largest interdisciplinary artists’ communities in the country. Each session, up to 13 artists-in-residence experience uninterrupted time for dedicated work on a 5-acre historic campus beside a beautiful 50-acre prairie, 30 miles north of Chicago. With live/work studios, all meals provided, and unmatched staff support, Ragdale lets artists focus on what’s most important: creating new work.

Third Coast International Audio Festival (TCIAF) curates sound-rich audio stories from around the world and shares them with as many ears as possible – via radio and podcast, on the internet, and at public listening events all over the place. Operating year-round in Chicago, Third Coast also supports producers through its annual Conference, Competition and Radio Residency.


Creative Sabbaticals are one- to three-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 below do not reflect availability.
2017 RESIDENCY sessions

1. January 9-27 (18 days)
2. January 30- February 17 (18 days)
3. February 27-March 17 (18 days)
4. March 27-April 14 (18 days)
5. May 1-19 (18 days)
6. May 22- June 9 (Ragdale Ring Residency, closed to residents)
7. June 19- July 14 (25 days)
8. July 24-August 18 (25 days)
9. August 28- September 15 (18 days)
10. October 2-20 (18 days)
11. October 23- November 17 (25 days)
12. November 20- December 15 (25 days)

2018 RESIDENCY sessions

  1. January 8-26 (18 days)
  2. January 29- February 23 (25 days)
  3. February 26-March 16 (18 days)
  4. March 26-April 20 (25 days)
  5. May 7-25 (18 days)
  6. May 28- June 15 (Ragdale Ring Residency, closed to residents)
  7. June 25- July 20 (25 days)
  8. July 30-August 17 (18 days)
  9. August 20- September 7 (18 days)
  10. September 10- October 5 (25 days)
  11. October 29- November 17 (18 days)
  12. November 26- December 14 (18 days)

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 $1,500 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.