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Millay Colony for the Arts

The guest house at Steepletop, main offices of the Millay Colony

The Millay Colony for the Arts is an arts community offering residency-retreats and workshops in Austerlitz, New York, and free arts programs in local public schools. Housed on the former property of feminist/activist poet and playwright Edna St. Vincent Millay, the Colony's campus offers artists, students, and art lovers residencies, retreats, and classes.



In 1925, Edna St. Vincent Millay bought Steepletop a blueberry farm in Austerlitz NY. With her husband, she built a barn from a Sears Roebuck kit, and then a writing cabin, and a tennis court. Steepletop is named after a pink, conical wildflower that grows there.[1]

After then poet's death in 1950, her sister Norma May Ellis moved to Steepletop. In 1973, she founded The Millay Colony. The colony is adjacent to Edna St. Vincent Millay's former home and the Harvey Mountain State Forest.

Edna St. Vincent Millay's former house and gardens, maintained by the Edna St. Vincent Millay Society, are a National Historical Landmark.[2]

Arts EducationEdit

The Millay Colony offers Workshop Retreats, formulated and taught by artists with a commitment to teaching. These affordable classes invite artists at all stages of their career to spend a magical retreat in the country, meeting other artists, and developing new work.

Concurrently, the Colony offers a multiform program of arts education to more than 500 public school children in four local school districts each year, as well as professional development/teacher training on using the arts across disciplines for local teachers.


The Millay Colony offers residencies to emerging and established visual artists, writers, and composers—individually and in collaborating groups – from April to November. These artists and groups receive private bedrooms and private studios as well as all meals and access to the Colony's libraries, darkroom, music room and the natural resources on the campus adjacent Harvey Mountain State Forest.

October 1 is the date to apply for residencies in April to July of the following year.

March 1 is the date to apply for residencies in August to November of the same year.

All residencies are reviewed anonymously by juries of artists, critics and curators. The Colony hosts about 60 residents per year.

Notable Residents[3][4][5]Edit




  • Teresa Coulter
  • LeVan Hawkins
  • Jeneva Stone
  • Catherine Taylor




  • Evan Allgood
  • Adam Baran
  • Larry Krone
  • Chris Momenee

Visual ArtsEdit

  • Nancy Andell
  • Mark Cannariato
  • Shanti Grumbine
  • Taro Hattori
  • Isa Leshko
  • Darren McManus
  • Katie Murken
  • Mark Scwabe


  1. ^ The New York Times, May 16, 1986.
  2. ^ Millay Colony for the Arts, about, tour. June 30, 2008. <>
  3. ^ Koblenz, Eleanor. "Time is Great Blessing of Millay Colony". Daily Gazette. 
  4. ^ "Millay Colony for the Arts - Issue 12". Millay Newsletter. 
  5. ^ "Millay Colony for the Arts - Issue 11". Millay Newsletter. 


  • "Norma Millay Ellis, 92; Arts Colony Founder", The New York Times, May 16, 1986.
  • Millay Colony for the Arts, about, tour. June 30, 2008.

External linksEdit