Ucross, WY (March 16, 2020) — Today, Ucross announced it will temporarily close in response to the coronavirus crisis. The closure will impact current artists in residence, as well as those scheduled for residencies during the spring. Ucross will reopen as soon as it is deemed safe, and it will stay in close contact with all artists to update them on when the residency program may resume. The Ucross Art Gallery will also be closed to the public during this time and public meetings at Ucross will be postponed.
“While there have only been three reported COVID cases in Wyoming and certainly none at Ucross (population 25), out of an abundance of caution, we’ve elected to suspend our residency and public programming,” said Sharon Dynak, Ucross’s President and Executive Director. “It is difficult to plan for the future in the face of such extreme uncertainty and ambiguity, but the health and safety of our fellows, staff, their families, and the community is our top priority. As a result, we have made the difficult, necessary decision to temporarily close our doors.”
Ucross is assisting current residents with early departure, and the staff will work with all artists affected by the closure to reschedule their residencies at a future time. Ucross will continue to monitor developments regarding the outbreak and guidance from local and state officials in the coming weeks. As the situation evolves, new information or any adjustment to the closure will be shared with our community through email and social media, and all updates will be posted on our website (ucross.org).
Ucross was founded in 1981 by Raymond Plank and has provided more than 2,200 residencies to some of the world’s most accomplished artists. Ten artists are in residence at one time, typically a mix of four visual artists, four writers, and two composers. Located in northeastern Wyoming at the foothills of the Bighorn Mountains, the artist residency program is situated on a historic 20,000-acre ranch at the confluence of three creeks in Ucross, population 25. Its connection to the land, its vast open spaces, and its view of the contemporary American West have proven to be inspirational and uniquely generative for artists. Residencies are awarded to nearly one hundred artists each year.
Ucross has been home to 10 Pulitzer Prize winners, eight MacArthur “genius” grantees, seven Tony Award winners, nine National Book Award winners, two Academy Award winners, and an Emmy Award winner. Through its residencies, partnerships, and support of emerging artists, it continues to have an impact on the cultural dialogue of the country and the world. Alumni of the program include Billy Porter, Colson Whitehead, Yaa Gyasi, Annie Proulx, Terry Tempest Williams, Elizabeth Gilbert, Ann Patchett, Ricky Ian Gordon, Adam Guettel, and Joy Harjo.
About Ucross Foundation
Located in northeast Wyoming in the foothills of the Bighorn Mountains, Ucross fosters the creative spirit of deeply committed artists and groups by providing uninterrupted time, studio space, living accommodations, and the experience of the majestic High Plains, while serving as a responsible steward of its 20,000-acre ranch. Residencies are awarded to nearly one hundred artists each year. Ten artists are in residence at one time, typically a mix of four visual artists, four writers, and two composers.
Since its establishment in 1981, Ucross has provided more than 2,100 residencies to writers, visual artists, and composers, including such distinguished fellows as Annie Proulx, Terry Tempest Williams, Colson Whitehead, Elizabeth Gilbert, Ann Patchett, Ricky Ian Gordon, Bill Morrison, Theaster Gates, Anthony Hernandez, Tayari Jones, Academy Award and Tony winners Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, National Book Award winners Susan Choi and Sigrid Nunez, recent Emmy Award winner Billy Porter, and current United States Poet Laureate Joy Harjo.
National partners of Ucross include the Sundance Institute Theatre Program, the Herb Alpert Award in the Arts, the Whiting Foundation, the Pew Fellowships in the Arts, the Alliance of Artist Communities, the Alley Theatre, the Dramatists Guild Foundation, UCLA’s Center for the Art of Performance, and the PEN/Hemingway Award for Debut Novel. In 2020, new collaborations have begun between Ucross and the University of Houston’s Creative Writing Program, and the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University. The Ucross Art Gallery is a significant cultural resource for surrounding communities and beyond. For further information, visit ucross.org.