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Monastery Arts Residency

The Monastery Arts Residency brings artists and writers to live and create under summer skies at Mount Saviour Monastery near Elmira, NY. Here the simplicity and single-heartedness of the monastic life meets the creative, seeking energy of the artistic life. It is the only arts residency in the world that takes place at an active Catholic monastery (as far as we know!).

Our residencies for this summer are:
Session 1 // July 10-16, 2023
Session 2 // Aug 21-27, 2023

Read on to learn more and see if our program is a good fit for you and your practice.

︎︎ Orein offered creative nurturing in a formula I’d never before experienced: solitude for creative pursuit, opportunity for deep personal connections, and a support for daily spiritual practice.

—Betsy W., Writer

Program Overview

Our time at the monastery residency is a unique blend of aloneness with oneself and intimacy with the group. We hope to find deeper beauty, creativity, and contemplation by sharing gifts and resources within communal rhythms of work, prayer, nature, and silence.

The residency in its current form runs two week-long sessions per year in the summer, with twelve to fifteen artists per session. Artists live in the main guesthouse, St. Joseph’s, each with their own private single room. As a community, we share a large living room, kitchen, and common bathroom. Visual artists have access to a studio in the monastic crafts building; musicians have access to various quiet rooms and the monastery piano; writers have access to the library, great room, and conference room, as well as a writing desk in their private room.

All meals are included in the residency fee. For lunch and dinner, men and women eat in the refectory with the monks. Each residency session begins on a Monday afternoon and ends the following Sunday around 11am.

Important note: all who attend must commit to the full length of their session, as it is too disruptive for the monks and to the program to have people coming and going at different times.

Residents are free to use their time at the residency as they wish to pursue their own creative work and projects, with access to over 1,000 acres of gorgeous monastery grounds & working sheep farm. Once per day, in the evening, we gather for any programming, work-sharing, and community time. Wine and other refreshments are served. The overall rhythm of the residency is influenced by the monastic schedule and daily prayers—the Divine Office. Of course, no one is obligated to attend any service or prayer, though all are invited. It is our hope and intention that residents come with openness to the unique spiritual goods offered by the monastic community and a prayerful environment.

This information is meant to serve as a general outline for the week. More information will be provided to attending residents along with an updated program.

Some last things to note:
Mt. Saviour monastery is an entirely smoke-free campus. Also there is NO DEPENDABLE WIFI available here for guests, though there is cell service (if you search for it).

Who Should Apply?

This residency consists mostly of silence, space, nature, work, bells, and chanting. It is at a monastery, after all. It is rustic and rather off-the-grid. Our model is based on contemplation and creativity, not on workshops or masterclasses. We are looking for artists and practitioners who would take advantage of and appreciate the environment described above, who would see such a week as an opportunity and a blessing for their creative and spiritual life, and who would of course respect the rules and customs of the monks and the monastery. If this all feels like it is calling to you, that is a good sign that you will be happy here. Artists at any stage in their career who fit this description are welcome to apply. So far we have been best able to accommodate:

Songwriters, poets, translators, textile artists, fiction writers, plein air painters, pianists, collage artists, actors, mixed-media artists, performance artists, folk-musicians, essayists and art teachers... 

Residency Cost

Full Residency Rate: $1200

Discount Tier 1: $975

Discount Tier 2: $750

Br. Justin Fellowship: $350

We hope to welcome artists at various stages of career and income levels. For this reason, we use tiered pricing that allows artists to choose the cost that is most appropriate to their situation. We raise funds during the year to help underwrite these tiered discounts & scholarships.

The full cost of the residency is $1200. If you are in a position to pay the full residency fee, we ask for your honesty and respect to select this tier. It helps give opportunities to other artists in our community. What is better than artists supporting fellow artists? Otherwise, please self-select one of the discount tiers in accordance with your financial situation. All applicants of these three tiers will be considered in one applicant pool and tier selecting won't effect chances of acceptance.

Additionally, we recognize that even the $750 discount tier is a stretch for many artists. For those artists in need of deeper scholarships, we are happy to announce the Br. Justin Fellowship that allows artists to come to the residency with an artist’s contribution of $350. These scholarships are limited to only a few artists each session, and therefore these applicants will be considered in a different pool. You will select on your application which pool you are applying into. 

Help us in our efforts and make a donation below to support these artist scholarships:



Applications are closed for our summer 2023 sessions.