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MacDowell Colony Executive Director Cheryl Young to Retire



Cheryl Young, who has served as executive director of the Peterborough, New Hampshire-based arts organization MacDowell Colony since 1997, will retire from the position once her successor is appointed in early 2019. She first joined MacDowell in 1988 as its director of development and became deputy director in 1993.

“Not only has MacDowell been a home to me, it has been a great joy to be around such passionate people . . . Everyone is devoted to helping artists make new work,” she said in a statement. “MacDowell has been an exceptional organization since its pioneering beginning, and each generation has a role to play in safeguarding it.”

During Young’s tenure at MacDowell, the organization’s assets and number of annual fellowships increased, its 40 buildings underwent renovations, and several new studios were built. Additionally, MacDowell’s New Hampshire campus library was expanded. In 2017, the organization also took an office space in New York’s Chelsea neighborhood.

The MacDowell Colony’s residency program currently involves more than 300 artists, architects, composers, writers, filmmakers, and performers every year. In the organization’s 111-year history, more than 14,500 fellowships have been awarded; notable recipients include James Baldwin, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Louise Erdrich, and Cathy Park Hong.

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