The White Mountain National Forest The White Mountain National Forest (WMNF) encompasses nearly 800,000 acres in New Hampshire and western Maine. It includes beautiful woods, waterfalls and rivers and rugged mountains. The well-known Presidential and Franconia Ranges, the famed Tuckerman Ravine, and homes to moose, black bear and many species of wildlife are all part of the WMNF landscape. Other highlights of the Forest are the largest alpine area in the eastern United States, over 1200 miles of hiking trails, and 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 about 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 area 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 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 WMNF Artist-in-Residence (AIR) program offers professional and emerging artists in all media -- visual and performing artists, craftspeople, writers, composers, eco artists and media 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 (AANNH) work together to manage and sustain the AIR program. AANNH (www.aannh.org) is a nonprofit organization that works throughout the northern half of the state to promote, support and sustain culture, heritage and the arts.
Our Artist in Residence program was launched in 2011 as part of the Weeks Act Centennial celebration, marking the 100th anniversary of the passage of the Weeks Act, a milestone in American conservation history. It has now become a part of the Forest fabric.
The residency program seeks to use art and creative expression to explore the many ways in which people relate to forests in general and to the WMNF in particular. The program goals include:
- Capture the beauty and spirit of the WMNF through the creation of high-quality art;
- Provide learning opportunities through the arts to visitors to the WMNF;
- Help citizens understand 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; and
- Celebrate the power of the arts — and artists — to explore and interpret the forest environment and forest-related issues.
* One residency opportunity of at least three weeks will be offered between mid-July and September; the artist(s) selected will be able to indicate their preferred time.
* The artist(s) will be free to work on their art throughout the residency period, and will be asked to provide at least one public session each week of their stay, during which visitors can see them at work, learn more about -- or possibly participate in -- the artistic process, and be encouraged to think about the connection between art, the forest, wilderness and conservation. In addition to an introductory talk and a closing presentation, programs may include demonstrations, exploratory walks or hikes, performances or installations, based on the medium, interest and experience of the artist(s).
* These public programs will be scheduled in cooperation with the WMNF and AANNH, and may coincide with other activities on the Forest.
* Limited travel and mileage reimbursement will be offered, and the cost of some materials and supplies for public programs may also be covered.
* No additional stipend is available. The artist(s) will be expected to sign a volunteer agreement with the National Forest.
* The artist(s) will be asked to donate one piece of work -- and reproduction rights -- to the WMNF.
* While pursuing their art, the artist(s) 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(s) throughout the residency to understand the regulations.
* Applicants must be at least 18 years of age.
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. Camping is also an option. 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.
Note that wireless internet access and cell phone coverage are not available in many Forest locations.
If you have additional questions about the residency or the application process, please contact Frumie Selchen, Arts Alliance of Northern New Hampshire, Frumie@aannh.org, 603-323-7302. Download a printable copy of this page here.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender. To file a complaint of discrimination, write to USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Ave., S.W., Washington, DC 20250-9410, or call (800) 795-3272 (Voice) or (202) 720-6382 (TDD).