A Baldwin Fellowship consists of exclusive use of a private studio, accommodations, and three prepared meals a day anywhere from one week to four weeks.
Here are some of our fellows from seasons past.
Sabrina Mendoza Malavé
December 2021, preferred pronouns: she/her
I feel beyond thankful and honored to have been a fellow at Baldwin for the Arts. This environment sparked my inspiration! I was able to create freely without boundaries, no interruptions. Baldwin provided me with the space to work on new concept ideas connecting poems with my paintings and sculptures to explore a more personal approach to my visual narratives. This experience was otherworldly, I feel beyond thankful to Jaqueline, who was super kind and welcomed me to this beautiful space with a tour, a delicious dinner, and made sure I had everything I needed! Such a great residency that truly gives a space for artists to grow and truly cares for them!! It was overall an amazing experience that I will forever cherish.
December 2021, preferred pronouns: he/him
James Baldwin was a cultural worker, and what Jacqueline Woodson has established in Baldwin for the Arts, named in his honor, is nothing short of cultural work. During my residency—where I wrestled with and thought critically about my art, felt inspired by the beautiful landscape, and rested peacefully each night with the knowledge that the next day would be fruitful—I felt safe, nurtured, and empowered to create art within a space I know was envisioned with folks like me in mind. And as the artists in the decades to come will be, I am forever grateful for the radical generosity, intentionality, and love behind what makes a place like this, a place for artists like me to dream and create freely, exist.
November 2021, preferred pronouns she/her
November 2021, preferred pronouns: they/them
“Living in Brooklyn and trying to manage a full-time job and a career as a dj, leaves me very little time to focus and develop my practice as a visual artist. This Residency was introduced to me by a friend who thought I was a good fit. I'm sure they've heard me complain about not having enough time and space to develop my ideas. I was only able to stay for a week, and in that week I was able to get a month's worth of work done. Being away from all of the distractions of living in Brooklyn, as well as staying off of social media, I had no other choice but to really focus. I left feeling great about the work I was able to complete and motivated to prioritize it even further. I'm back in Brooklyn now with a wellspring of energy and motivation.”
October 2021, preferred pronouns: he/him
At Baldwin for the Arts, I worked on the completion of a new record that uses a voice recollecting its dreams to activate the circuitry of a synthesizer. In my work, dream content is understood as a reflection of the world that can deform, recalibrate, and reconstitute its very structures: in this way, dreams seem to suggest the possibility of another world, of a strategic opening or crack. The physical and psychic space of Baldwin was a unique and important context for the creation of this work. In many ways, I felt that I had entered a dream, but whose? Baldwin for the Arts is a form of collective dreaming manifested in space and time. I feel so lucky to have momentarily grasped it. Centering generosity, care, and kindness, Baldwin has forever conditioned my work and myself. If dreams can offer us a glimmer of another world, Baldwin for the Arts is working immensely hard to make this world tangible.
March 2021, preferred pronouns: he/him
My time at Baldwin For The Arts was a much-needed refuge, a place to shut out the world and find the language I couldn’t seem to find at home. I’d come to work on a story, expected to shut myself away and write. But upon arrival, I realized that part of the work was going to be…breathing. At Baldwin you can breathe. You can think. You can hear. You can be. And then, you can work.
February 2021, preferred pronouns: she/her
Having time to focus on just writing was such a gift, and I am beyond grateful to Baldwin for the Arts. To know that I as a BIPOC writer have a space that is truly safe and nurturing, where my work matters and is valued, is incredibly affirming. The physical space is comfortable and homey and the grounds are peaceful; I felt very well cared for. Jackie and the entire team saw a need and fulfilled it and that vision will enrich the arts landscape.
January 2021, preferred pronouns: she/her
I arrived at Baldwin in the middle of a snowstorm, stuck at the most difficult point in my book, hoping for a reset and some momentum. I got everything I needed: on some days it was quiet and all the comforts that make it possible to stay in your own head all day, and on others, it was conversation and cookies around a fire. I did some of my best writing here, cracking open a world I had been struggling with for months. I felt cared for and I took good care of myself.
Liza Jessie Peterson
October 2020, preferred pronouns: she/her
Wow. Where do I begin. Jacqueline Woodson is a G! Triple OG to be precise…(MacArthur) Genius, Generous and Grand. A gift, a giver, a generator of inspiration and light.
Jackie created a sacred space, a tangible medicinal balm for artists, a place called Baldwin for the Arts. It is truly a place to dream!!! I spent a week out of the matrix. in nature here at BFTA walking barefoot, hugging trees, talking to Bambi n them, laying on a huge rock by the reservoir under blue skies soaking in sun rays, taking spirit walks, praying, breathing deep, unplugging and writing. Thank you Jackie, this is a magical orbit. It’s Essential. In one of my pictures you’ll see a stone water well covered in vines and topped with a budding bush full of bees, I called it the Honeycomb hideout for Hobbits. It was my favorite…so enchanting like out of a Lord of the Rings movie. I am full and expanded. And grateful 🙏🏽🌻
A place to dream, to unplug, to reconnect with nature, to write, to be still, to expand. Thank you Jacqueline. thank you thank you for your generous vision and inviting me in.
September 2020, preferred pronouns: she/her
I can’t say enough about the beauty and overall restorative atmosphere at Baldwin. I am eternally grateful for the generosity of space, time, & quiet. I made it to the finish line of my novel here while also gifting myself many moments of rest. A little more than two weeks later I sold my book. I wouldn’t have made it that last step of the way without the respite of Baldwin.
August 2020, preferred pronouns: they/them
Baldwin is otherworldly. There’s no other way to say it. The grounds are a portal. You feel transported to a realm where art and the self are allowed to be the priority, and you are given permission to simply exist as a way to create. James is present. Zora is present. Lorraine is present. There is a lineage, and a tradition felt, and the energy that filters through invokes a spaciousness that renews and invigorates. June Jordan once wrote that “the creative spirit is nothing less than love made manifest.” Love, she continues, nurtures, it facilitates birth, it coaxes forth a freedom of self that allows worlds of possibilities to materialize. All of that exists at Baldwin. You can truly feel the love radiating out from every crevice of Baldwin, along with the strength of the intention, the tenderness of the efforts and the determination of the vision and it provides the security and safety to trust in your own vision and efforts and intentions to figure out what you want to create, too. Being immersed in nature has a way of simplifying and clarifying things, both efficiently and gracefully. I came to Baldwin during a pivotal moment for my non-fiction book project, and will be forever grateful for the ease that Baldwin offered while I made those crucial decisions. The peace of that place allowed me to concentrate and feel embodied and self-assured in my decision-making process, and I’ll forever be grateful for the confidence and coherence granted during those crucial few days. It was such a gift to live on this land for a few weeks. Deep gratitude, always.
August 2020, preferred pronouns: she/her
Baldwin for the Arts was a transformative experience. It lives in the answer to the rhetorical question Gloria Anzaldúa once posed in the seminal anthology, This Bridge Called My Back: “Who gave us permission to perform the act of writing?” It’s a question I return to often, and at Baldwin the answer was clear. Everything felt more possible; I felt more possible.
I’m forever grateful for the uninterrupted time I was afforded to sit with my creative obsessions. For the time to think, to write, to be. I’ve been working on my debut poetry manuscript for some time, knowing the stories I needed to tell required a different set of tools. At Baldwin, those tools were ignited and alive. I felt courageous enough to write the poems that haunted me and safe enough to ask the harder questions of drafts I was revising.
As I worked on a series of basketball sonnets exploring my own relationship to diaspora, language, queerness, and the colonial relationship between the U.S and Puerto Rico—I’d shoot hoops in the driveway each afternoon and somewhere in that geography, find another breakthrough (another “lane” into the work). The path toward my own eye was made clearer, more available to me, because Baldwin for the Arts intimately understands what feeds the work: it provided a stillness and sense of care that I’ve felt in very few places. To put it plainly, this space put me back in my bones.
It was truly an honor to be welcomed into this vibrant community. I’m incredibly humbled and grateful for Baldwin’s vision and Jacqueline Woodson’s deep generosity. Baldwin for the Arts is a creative harbor, a literary lighthouse, and above all, a place to dream…
January 2020, preferred pronouns: she/her
I had the privilege of being welcomed to Baldwin for the Arts as its first resident in January, 2020. As a practicing poet, I had just finished a yearlong book tour for a poetry collection. At Baldwin I was offered uninterrupted time, quiet, and space to begin to think about my next collection. I needed the courage to step in a different direction and at Baldwin I began to write literature for children.
Within the first few days, I wrote more than I had in a year and I had created the beginnings of several projects I was very proud of. These stories spoke to mixed race, identity, history, and the ability to harness strength as a child of color. Each day, I read, ate, slept, and wrote. These were things I had convinced myself were luxuries but the residency had me understand that rest and my own nourishment were necessities for an artist to thrive.
Being offered these realizations was a great gift as I reflect upon the current state of our nation. Baldwin for the Arts is needed more than ever as we reckon with our country’s difficult past and present. As a writer of color, I am deeply grateful to have been offered such recognition and creative shelter.
As I walked on the residency grounds hearing leaves crack beneath my footsteps, as I touched the bark of a lone tree, or caught a reflection of myself in a barn window, I was moved by Jacqueline Woodson’s gift, Baldwin’s legacy, and I continued my walk thinking about all the artists of color who may one day walk on the same ground feeling such generous power.