Welcome to UCross
"Let the big sky expand your dreams," said novelist Patricia Chao after her residency at the Ucross Foundation. Located on a 20,000-acre ranch in the wide open spaces of northeastern Wyoming, Ucross is a magical setting for individual creative work, reflection, innovation and dreaming. Annie Proulx's The Shipping News, Elizabeth Gilbert's Eat Pray Love, Adam Guettel's The Light in the Piazza, Ricky Ian Gordon's The Grapes of Wrath – these are just a few of the acclaimed works that have been created in part during Ucross residencies.
Founded in 1981 by Raymond Plank, the Ucross Foundation provides a rare gift in today's world – uninterrupted time – along with work space and living accommodations, to competitively selected visual artists, writers, and composers. Nearly 1,300 individuals have spent time at Ucross since we first opened our doors. They have come from every state in the U.S. as well as from many countries including Germany, France, Scotland, England, Poland, Egypt, the Netherlands, Canada, Thailand and others. Ucross extends invitations to approximately 80 individuals each year, selected by an outside panel of professionals. Residents are also invited through national partnerships with the Sundance Institute, the PEN/Hemingway Award, the Herb Alpert Award in the Arts, and the University of Wyoming.
In a sense, Ucross is a research-and-development lab for the arts. Individuals are not required to produce finished products while at Ucross, though many do. They are encouraged to experiment and explore. At any one time, eight to nine individuals working in different disciplines are in residence together for periods ranging from two to eight weeks. They experience an inspiring combination of solitude and community. There is expansive time for private work, as well as the opportunity for lively exchange at group dinners with fellow artists. As playwright Kia Corthron said, "I felt like there were 40 hours in the day."
The concrete results of residencies manifest as artists later make their work public, enriching the world's culture with books, plays, art exhibitions, musical performances and so much more. Many Ucross Foundation Fellows have received major awards and honors. To name just a few, Pulitzer Prize-winning writers Annie Proulx and Doug Wright are past Residents of Ucross. So are MacArthur Fellows Charles Wuorinen, Sarah Ruhl, and Colson Whitehead, Tony Award-winning composer Adam Guettel, and National Book Award winners Ann Patchett, Jean Valentine and Ha Jin.
The Foundation also operates an Art Gallery, open to the public at no charge, featuring work by past Residents, contemporary artists of the West, and historical exhibitions. A conference room in our Barn Loft provides meeting space for various groups throughout the year. A commitment to the conservation and preservation of our historic landscape led the Ucross Foundation Board of Trustees to establish a conservation easement on more than half the ranch with the Wyoming Chapter of The Nature Conservancy. In 2006, the Foundation was awarded the Wyoming Governor's Award for Excellence in the Arts.