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.
Applicants should submit project proposals through ragdale.org via the Submittable online portal no later than 11:59 pm on Sunday, January 31, 2021. Proposal review and notification will take place by February 15, 2021.
Applicants are encouraged to visit Ragdale prior to submitting their application. Projects will be sited on a variety of outdoor lawn and garden areas near the 1897 Arts and Crafts Ragdale House. In the event of rain, performances may move indoors. Photos of the Ragdale campus are available at ragdale.org. Proposals are open to any interpretation of the original Ragdale Ring but should adhere to the following guidelines:
1) The project must be mobile—able to be relocated to a variety of locations on Ragdale’s campus with minimal cost or effort.
2) The installation, in its entirety or parts, should accommodate a minimum of 150 seats (such as our guests’ picnic blankets and lawn chairs) as well as a stage area with a minimum size of 20’ x 20’.
3) The proposed stage may be built or consist of existing lawn, but should suitably and safely feature and support professional performers from a range of disciplines (music, dance, storytelling, etc.).
4) A light rain/sun shelter near the stage area is preferred to protect performers and electronic equipment.
5) A preliminary budget should be included that identifies expenses related to the $15,000 production grant. If the budget exceeds this grant, the proposal should include potential additional funding sources and in-kind donations.
6) The proposal and related budget must include plans for the reuse, recycling, and/or dispersal of all material used in the project.
7) Renderings and sketches should be included as part of the proposal.
8) Present evidence of your team’s qualifications in sufficient detail to demonstrate your capacity to complete the project as you have described it.
9) The winning team must provide its own insurance while constructing the project at Ragdale.
10) The project must meet safety requirements to be able to withstand the effects of outdoor conditions and public use.
11) The installation and its location are subject to approval by Ragdale staff as well as the City of Lake Forest.
For the 9th annual Ragdale Ring competition, we are introducing a theme to encourage thoughtful solutions around a singular yet robust topic. This year’s theme is Mobility. WHAT DOES MOBILITY MEAN FOR YOU AND WHAT CAN MOBILITY DO TO CHALLENGE CONVENTIONAL ARTIST/AUDIENCE INTERACTIONS IN THE RAGDALE RING? WHAT NEW FORMS OF PERFORMANCE MIGHT IT OFFER? PARADES? PROCESSIONS? WHAT IF THE RING ISN’T FIXED TO A SITE, BUT COULD BE CONFIGURED AT MULTIPLE SITES OVER THE COURSE OF THE SUMMER? COULD MOBILITY ACTIVATE THE ENTIRE FIVE-ACRE RAGDALE CAMPUS? IN YOUR COMPETITION ENTRY, PLEASE ADDRESS HOW YOUR DESIGN RELATES TO THIS THEME AS WELL AS THE OPPORTUNITIES IT OFFERS FOR PERFORMANCES, SITING, PROJECT LONGEVITY, ALTERNATIVE USES, AND MORE.
A completed application consists of:
1 Written Proposal – An explanation of up to 1,000 words that clearly describes the project and its relationship to the historic Ring as well as its anticipated use.
2 Visual Proposal – A selection of 5-8 digital images that show plans, renderings, and drawings of your proposed structure. Optionally, a 3-5 minute video can be included.
3 Previous Work Samples – A selection of 5 digital images that represent your portfolio of work. Each file submitted should have a title, date, and brief description of work.
4 Resume/CV – A current resume/CV for each team member should include information about education, work, and teaching experience, exhibition history (if applicable), awards, grants, residencies, and other relevant information, including links to websites, blogs, etc.
Submittable accepts documents (.pdf), images (.jpg, .jpeg, .png, .gif, .tif, .tiff, .bmp, .tga), audio (.mp3, .wma, .ogg, .flac), and video (.m4v, .mov, .mp4, .wmv, .flv, .asf, .mpeg, .mpg, .mkv).
AWARD AND 10-PERSON RESIDENCY
One project will be chosen. Its designers will be awarded a $15,000 production grant towards realizing the proposed project. The winning team will also receive a design-build residency for up to three weeks, which includes a studio plus full room and board for up to ten people during the months of May and June 2020. The project must be completed by June 12.
Architects, artists, and designers are invited to apply. Applicants do not need to be registered architects. Those outside of the Chicago area are eligible to apply, but additional funds for transportation will not be available. Production grant funds may be used for transportation as long as overall quality of the project is not sacrificed.
This application form is for the Ragdale Ring Design/Build Residency competition only. Please apply under the "Ragdale Residency Program 2021" for other residencies. Notification for the Ragdale Ring takes place February 15. This residency takes place May 24-June 11, 2021.