Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Let Herbert Hoover Be Your Muse

Here’s a unique opportunity for writers and visual artists: spend four weeks at the Herbert Hoover National Historic Site! Yes, this is the Herbert Hoover site that’s just outside Iowa City, where I grew up, and was (and probably still is) the site of many field trips from good old Robert Lucas Elementary School. Let me know if you go: I can steer you to some good restaurants and a top-notch pork tenderloin!

By the way, Herbert Hoover was more interesting than you might think. He was the first president to be born west of the Mississippi River, and he grew up as an orphan.

Here’s the announcement and application guidelines:

Herbert Hoover National Historic Site
Artist in Residence Program

Artists have long contributed our national parks. Painters such as Thomas Moran stimulated the establishment of national parks in the 19th century by documenting the unbelievable landscapes of the American West. Today´s writers, composers, and visual and performing artists are invited to interpret the history and beauty of Herbert Hoover National Historic Site through their work.

About the Program: Herbert Hoover National Historic Site offers two residencies each of two to four weeks from May 1 through October 31. Residencies are open to all professional American artists. The National Historic Site will provide lodging and a secure, environmentally-controlled place to lay out equipment and supplies at no cost to the artist. Supplies and personal transportation must be provided by the artist.

The artist must be willing to interact with park visitors while working on the site. Artists will make at least one presentation based on his or her medium, interests, and experiences. Each artist is asked to contribute a piece of work created during his or her tenure to the park´s collection. The Artist-in-Residence will be enrolled as a Volunteer-in-Parks, which provides worker´s compensation insurance. The artist should be in good health, self-sufficient, and ready to work closely with park staff and the local community.

How to Apply: Applications must be post-marked or delivered to the park between November 1, 2007 and March 1, 2008. There is no application form, but your application must include:

1. A resume (1-2 pages) and summary of creative work (exhibitions, collections and publications where your work has appeared). (4 copies)

2. Samples of recent works: visual artists provide six (6) 35 mm slides or 4x6 prints with a typed list of slides with titles, medium, and image size (height by width); writers submit no more than ten (10) double-spaced, typewritten pages of manuscript; and performing artists must provide a five (5) minute audio and or video tapes identifying or demonstrating your craft. (4 sets of each)

3. A statement of what you hope to achieve from a residency at Herbert Hoover NHS and how you envision your interpretive program(s) will be presented. (4 copies)

4. Your preferred period of residence from May to late October (two week minimum).A panel from the park and the local arts community will select the Artists-in-Residence from the pool of applicants by April 1, 2008. All applicants will be notified as soon as possible. Selections will be made based on merit and how the artists´ work can advance the mission of Herbert Hoover National Historic Site, and will be made without regard to race, religion, sex, disability, marital status, age, or national origin.

All samples will be returned at the end of the selection process. You do not have to include a self addressed stamped envelope. For more information or to submit an application, call Adam Prato at (319) 643-7855 or write to:

Herbert Hoover National Historic Site
Artist-in-Residence Program
P.O. Box 607
West Branch, Iowa 52358

For more information, check the web site.


DC-area author Leslie Pietrzyk explores the creative process and all things literary.