Welcome to our Rhinebeck Residency, a two-week retreat in upstate New York.
Rhinebeck Residency, also known as The Crystal Cottage, was born in 2016.
It was the first in-person residency we held for artists and writers, and it quickly became the foundation of our efforts: to find ways to collaborate with our contributors offline. Being a digital community of writers, artists, and activists, we knew how to turn time into space and space into time, but this—having a place for our work, and having a place to work together—was a new resource. We are so grateful to our host, Tatiana Serafin, for continuing to offer The Crystal Cottage to The Seventh Wave, time and again.
Held in the summer, the Rhinebeck Residency offers residents the opportunity to get a little lost. With 27 acres of disappearing paths, a wrap-around deck that faces west (think: sunsets), and a little glass greenhouse that provides for an acoustic environment that beckons the creative spirit, especially during rainfall. What used to be a three-day program designed to provide writers, artists, and creatives a physical interlude, is now a two-week artist residency catered toward the artist or writer working on a longer-length project, manuscript, or work.
About the space.
The Crystal Cottage has room for 4 residents. While there are some solo work spaces, the majority are shared. It’s important to note, and know, that our residencies are designed to be quiet collaborations. There is a spacious, open-plan kitchen on the main floor, which features a wood fireplace, a living room with several couches and plenty of lamps, the Crystal Cottage (pictured below), and double sliding doors that lead to the outdoor wraparound deck. The Residents’ rooms are upstairs, but do note that while there are only three rooms. Two single bedrooms and one double. In your application, please do let us know if you are open to sharing a room, or if you require a single room. Depending on our applicants, we will either accept 3 or 4 residents, to make sure we are providing a safe and comfortable space for everyone.
A little bit of history.
The Crystal Cottage has a rich history of harmony. For many decades, The Chou’s made their part-time home here. Wen-chung Chou (born in Chefoo, China, in 1923, arrived in the U.S. in 1946 on an architectural scholarship to Yale; went on to study music, become the protégé of Edgard Varèse, and lead the music program at Columbia University) and Yi-an Chang Chou (born in Shanghai in 1927, travelled throughout Eastern Europe with her diplomat parents before settling in Los Angeles in 1941 and launching her concert piano career) loved the land and this house. Wen-chung composed much of his music here and Yi-an grew her second career as a floral designer here – all of her plants in the conservatory continue to flourish, which is where the house gets its name: The Crystal Cottage. Yi-an passed away in May 2016, and Wen-chung currently resides in New York City. We continue to honor what they have created and share it with you.
Is Rhinebeck for you?
If you are looking for a residency where you don’t want, or need, to interact with anyone, our programs are likely not for you. While we absolutely encourage residents to dive deep into their work—in fact, we provide a recommended creative schedule, should you need the guidance, discipline, or infrastructure—we do ask that you resurface and rejoin your fellow residents at the end of the days, over shared meals, or in between sessions. So please do unplug, wander and wonder around, take a nap in the hammock or sit by the pond, but do make sure to show up for your fellow residents.
The goal of our residencies is exchange.
The exchange of ideas, support, and inspiration. To that end, The Seventh Wave will be providing space for one to some informal workshops, depending on the cohorts’ needs. These workshops will be opportunities to share the work you are working on, or simply talk out your ideas, obstacles, or issues, and have the attention of your fellow residents and TSW Staff and Editors. We will facilitate those sessions, guiding the conversation until you feel that you have the answers, ideas, or questions you needed from us. Once accepted, we will check in with each resident to understand what their expected needs may be, so we can curate a space tailored to the work you’re hoping to do.
What are the logistics?
Like all of our residencies, Rhinebeck is free to all past contributors to apply, as well as attend. The only cost is that of your transportation. We will ask that you cook two meals, so there are some additional costs, like groceries, but other than that, The Seventh Wave will be provide all breakfast, lunches, and the majority of dinners so that our residents can do what they came to do: get to work. Once accepted, we’ll be in touch with all details regarding transportation: which airports to fly into, how to get from the city to upstate without renting a car, and the like. But if you do have questions surrounding these items that you’d like answered before applying, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What have some of our past residents said about their time at Rhinebeck?
Rhinebeck is magic, and my residency with Seventh Wave was a conduit. I didn’t think it was possible for a handful of days to pull me out of a creative slump that had lasted more than a handful of years, but I was so wrong. The setting is beautiful, the lodging was charming, and the food was awesome. I owe the amazing writers and editors I spent that weekend with a debt of gratitude. — Lauren Friel, 2017, whose work “What Happened” published in Issue 6: Dangerous Bodies
The Rhinebeck Residency is all about generosity and conversation. I took a plane, a train and a car to join Rhinebeck in 2018, and once there I found the perfect combination of solitude and conversation that made every mile traversed a small price to pay for such an uplifting weekend. The Seventh Wave Residency Program is, in my book, an uprising star I can’t wait to share with other creative minds back home. — Paulette Jonguitud, 2018, whose work “Female While in Mexico,” published in Issue 8: Power And.
I came to Rhinebeck carrying two six-packs and a big duffel bag, knowing no one. In the middle of a five-year project that I’m just now coming to the end of, excited and a little afraid to write something new. Alone with a group of strangers who became friends, miles from anywhere — but within walking distance of the woods. It’s hard to accept, looking back, how short the time was, and how much we made of it.” — T.B. Grennan, 2017, whose work “Hard Feelings,” published in Issue 6: Dangerous Bodies.
I was immediately welcomed and comforted by the warm smiles radiating from a group that was gathered on red chairs surrounding a long table perched on the back deck. The serenity only a mountain abyss can muster was immediate. Keyboards, books, pens and colored pencils scattered the table, each individual’s method of choice set out before them. These were my people, and I was welcome. The flow of conversation and ease of craft incited a sense of romanticism I thought was privy only to the artistic elite or encapsulated in the days of Hemingway long ago in Paris – but here I was, suddenly belonging to that culture, sharing whiskey and theories beneath a star speckled sky, the scent of cigars lingering on the warm summer breeze, our conversations providing vocals to the cricket’s song. At Rhinebeck, ideas both written and spoken flowed like steady rainwater upon the crystal glass atrium under which we would gather. At Rhinebeck, the world became limpid and we all belonged. — Georgia Lavey, 2016, whose work “Nullibiety,” published in Issue 3: Who Gets to Belong.
This residency reminded me how important it is to find a creative community of like-minded people. When you’re creating work on your own, it can be frustrating and lonely. As a designer/artist, I loved collaborating with people from different backgrounds during the workshop. It was extremely helpful to get various feedback from different perspectives and engage in dialogue about each of our works. And I loved the balance of alone time/free time and community gathering. There is power in collectively showing up to do the work. — Bianca Ng, 2018, whose work “It’s Me, Mom,” published in Issue 8: Power And.
Applying to the residency was a call for help from that voice in me that refuses to give up. And that voice was affirmed a thousand times this weekend. I woke at 3 AM to write the night after my return, and I begin two new pieces that I had not conceived of until that moment. It must have been the soft pine needles against my feet, the yeasty forest air, the dragonfly races over the pond. But it was just as much the listening that happened between us. Thank you for the way you listened. It made me want to keep on speaking. — Anna Fridlis, 2017, whose work “Madonna and Child,” published in Issue 6: Dangerous Bodies.