Renaissance House Retreat for Writers & Artists Kicks-Off 12th Anniversary in Martha's Vineyard

June – October Writers Retreat Inspired by Harlem Renaissance Writers Helene Johnson and Dorothy West. Retreat Applications are Still Available for June and July.

Martha's Vineyard, MA, June 12, 2013 --( Renaissance House: A Retreat for Writers and Other Artists kicks-off its 12th anniversary retreat in historic Oak Bluffs, Martha's Vineyard in June.

Renaissance House, which is held from June through October, provides writers and other artists with a subsidized retreat away from life's responsibilities and the space in which to create new works of art. Renaissance House is one of the few retreats designed for issue-oriented writers, writers of color and writers of social justice.

Sponsored by the Helene Johnson and Dorothy West Foundation, Renaissance House was named in honor of these two cousins who were writers during the Harlem Renaissance. It was founded by Helene Johnson’s daughter, Abigail McGrath, an author, playwright and filmmaker.

Helene Johnson was a poet and Martha's Vineyard Island summer resident who had to stop writing in order to support her family. Her cousin, novelist and short story writer, Dorothy West, was a year round resident, who worked at Harbor Side Restaurant until Jacqueline Kennedy spotted her writing in the Martha’s Vineyard Gazette. This time and space enabled West to write The Wedding, a best-selling novel based on the life of Helene Johnson's daughter, Abigail McGrath. The Wedding was produced as television mini-series by Oprah Winfrey starring Halle Berry.

“Renaissance House is offered to writers and other artists who do not have the luxury of time. The point of the program is to give these creative people alone time, away from their families, their jobs and their everyday chores, so they can write and create,” explained McGrath. “There are one week and two week retreats. Each day, artists commit several hours to creating their work. In the afternoon, they enjoy picnic box lunches and time to explore the island and gain inspiration from the environment. In the evening, the artists enjoy formal sit down dinners and our special Renaissance Salon Series with local artists."

Applications are still available for select weeks in June and July. The fee is $700 per week and it’s all inclusive of meals, programs and salons.

Easy Application Process

Simply email a sample of your work along with a one page maximum letter telling why you need to get away to Abigail McGrath via email or mail a hard copy to:

Renaissance House
Attn: Abigail McGrath
PO Box 3048
Oak Bluffs, MA. 02557

For more information call Renaissance House at 917-747-0367
Renaissance House
Abigail McGrath