SPACE on Ryder Farm in Brewster Announces Residents for It's 2021 Season




Yesterday, SPACE on Ryder Farm, the artist residency program and organic farm located in Brewster, New York, announced the participants for its 2021 residency season. 

 The SPACE team is thrilled that residents will once again be welcomed to Ryder Farm, bringing the organization’s creative spirit back to life. SPACE has spent the past year preparing for a residency program that is safe, productive and restorative, with the hope that time on the farm will give artists and innovators time and space to get back to their vital creative work. The SPACE team has conducted extensive field-related research, consulted with local health officials and is adhering to all CDC, WHO and NYS guidelines. SPACE takes the safety of its residents, team and community extremely seriously. 

“The SPACE team and I have used this past year as an opportunity to go back to the drawing board and dream about what SPACE residencies could look like,” says Emily Simoness, SPACE’s Co-Founder and Executive Director. “We asked ourselves ‘What does radical hospitality look like in 2021 for our residents and community?’ After much discussion and rounds of planning, we are proud of and exhilarated by our reopening plan and the artists we will have the privilege of hosting.”

This May through October, SPACE will support 31 artists and four institutions through signature residency programs The Working Farm, Creative Residency and Institutional Residency and a new BLKSPACE Curators-In-Residence initiative. The 2021 residents were selected from those that had their 2020 residency deferred due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

SPACE is deeply committed to the belief that inclusion, equity, support and radical hospitality are not only important to creating art, but are vital in creating dialogue that leads to lasting change. In support of these values, all individual and small group residences are provided at no cost to participants, and SPACE grants at least 50% of residencies to persons of color and underrepresented voices each season.

SPACE is rooted in communal gathering, which is difficult during the COVID-19 pandemic. Getting back to its mission and doing so safely is the SPACE team’s top priority. To that end, capacity for each residency has been lowered from eleven participants to five. 2021 residencies will last anywhere from two weeks to five weeks in order to allow residents more time to recover, rejuvenate and get the most out of their time in residence. While time and space on Ryder Farm will look different this year, we are overjoyed to open our doors safely and thoughtfully to an extraordinary group of creators.


The Working Farm, SPACE’s resident writers’ group, will provide five playwrights, composers, lyricists and/or librettists with a five-week residency in the late summer. Members of the 2021 Working Farm are composer, playwright and performer Heather Christian (Oratorio for Living Things), playwright Shayan Lotfi (Park-e Laleh), writer and performer Kareem M. Lucas (The Maturation of an Inconvenient Negro (or iNEGRO)), playwright Caroline V. McGraw (Ultimate Beauty Bible) and playwright Zarina Shea (Just up the road, slightly). Past members of The Working Farm include Will Arbery, Jeff Augustin, Sarah Burgess, David Cale, Mia Chung, Erin Courtney, Jahna Ferron-Smith, Madeleine George, David Greenspan, Samuel D. Hunter, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, C. A. Johnson, Donnetta Lavinia Grays, Antoinette Nwandu, Jen Silverman, Mfoniso Udofia and Anne Washburn. Plays developed through The Working Farm residency have been subsequently produced by LCT3, New York Theatre Workshop, MTC, Playwrights Horizons, The Public Theater and elsewhere.

SPACE’s Creative Residency program serves a wide range of artists and innovators with two to four-week residencies. Participants in the 2021 Creative Residency program are playwright Nissy Aya, writer, performer and composer Aya Aziz, playwright and lyricist Sean Barry and composer/lyricist Jenny Giering, playwright and performer Eliza Bent and writer, composer and performer Grace McLean, writer Lu Chekowsky, writer and actor Ricardo Dávila, composer and playwright Christian De Gré Cárdenas, writers, performers and musicians Ben Ferguson and Matt Nuernberger of PigPen Theatre Company, playwright and lyricist Jessica Huang, playwright Daniel K. Isaac, writer and performer Obehi Janice and director and theater maker Caitlin Sullivan, writer, comedian and actor Mitra Jouhari, playwright and writer Deb Margolin, visual artist and illustrator Nicole Miazgowicz, filmmaker Jingjing Tian, dance artist Ogemdi Ude, and previously announced Bryan Gallace/Posthumous Prodigy Productions Fellows Soul Science Lab and Ellen Winter.

Through its Institutional Residency program, SPACE welcomes four institutions to Ryder Farm for workshops, artist residencies and strategic planning. 2021 institutions are Audible Theater with playwright and actor Vichet Chum and playwright Yilong Liu, New Georges, Playwrights Horizons and Roundabout Theatre Company.

New in 2021, SPACE will host Curators-in-Residence Interfest, a group that uses arts and ideas to arouse liberation for the Black diaspora through ritual, healing and pleasure. The initiative will encompass a 2021 planning retreat and a 2022 residency entitled BLKSPACE, a residency “for Black creators to use the full resources of SPACE however they see fit. BLKSPACE seeks to simultaneously provide an expansive dreaming space for the individual and a collective practice ground for Black liberation.”

The Curators-in-Residence consists of writer, actor, producer and curator Kristen Adele Calhoun, creative producer and curator Stephanie Rolland and marketer and producer Nikki Vera.SPACE is also excited to announce their first-ever photographer-in-residence, Ben Allen of HudValleyPhoto. Ben will be documenting the season at SPACE in photos of residents, farmers, chefs, team members and community engagements.

For a full list of the 2021 residents and finalists, please visit www.spaceonryderfarm.org.

Since its founding in 2021 SPACE has grown to serve over 1,400 residents of all stripes and disciplines. The organization established The Family Residency, one of the first and only residencies for parent-artists and their children, has mentored over 75 young professionals through its fellowship program and has become one of the most sought-after artist residency programs in the country. In 2019, furthering its commitment to the sustainability of Ryder Farm, SPACE assumed management of the organic farming operations on the property. In addition to growing organic produce for residency meals, the farm currently serves 160 members of the Putnam and Westchester communities through its sliding-scale Harvest Club

Residencies at SPACE are made possible by a generous group of individual supporters as well as foundations. Two of note are the Howard Gilman Foundation and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.


SPACE on Ryder Farm is a nonprofit residency program and organic farm located on the grounds of a 226-year-old family homestead in Putnam County, New York, just an hour north of New York City. SPACE’s mission is to create an environment singular in its ability to invigorate artists and innovators and their work, and to contribute to the sustainability and resourceful preservation of one of the oldest organic family farms on the East Coast.

Through unique programs supporting playwrights, filmmakers, activists, working parent artists and more, SPACE has served over 1,400 residents since its founding in 2011, and has developed a national reputation as one of the most sought-after residency programs in the country. SPACE counts among its alumni Academy Award winners, Tony Award nominees and winners, Pulitzer Prize winners, Guggenheim fellows, Obie Award winners and MacArthur “Genius” Fellows. Past residents include theatre artists Clare Barron, Adam Bock, David Cale, Linda Cho, Lucas Hnath, Samuel D. Hunter, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, Young Jean Lee, Martyna Majok, Dave Malloy, Adam Rapp, Sarah Ruhl, Mfoniso Udofia and Anne Washburn; theatre companies Ars Nova, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Playwrights Horizons, The Public Theater, Roundabout Theatre Company, Soho Rep and Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company; musicians Cesar Alvarez, Heather Christian, Grace McLean, Riley Mulherkar and Shaina Taub; filmmakers Janicza Bravo, Begonia Colomar, Nia Dacosta, Josh Mond, Chioke Nassor and James C. Strouse; and visual artists Alta Buden, Kylie Manning and Tiffanie Turner.  

Located on Starr Ridge Road in Brewster, New York, Ryder Farm was first established by Eleazer Ryder in 1795, was an early adopter in the organic movement and was one of the founding farms to participate in the Union Square Greenmarket in New York City. In 2019, SPACE assumed management of the agricultural operations and is deeply committed to ensuring Ryder Farm is a source of inspiration and nourishment for all. In addition to stocking SPACE’s residency kitchen, produce from Ryder Farm is available at SPACE’s roadside stand on Starr Ridge Road in Brewster and via its sliding-scale Harvest Club Membership.

Programs at SPACE on Ryder Farm are made possible with generous support from Amazon Studios, Anne Anastasi Charitable Foundation, Around Foundation, Mary Duke Biddle Foundation, Gerald and Janet Carrus Foundation, Deupree Family Foundation, Distracted Globe Foundation, Dramatists Guild Fund, Deann Dylandale Foundation, The F.B. Heron Foundation, The Getter Foundation, Hargrove Pierce Foundation, The Howard Gilman Foundation, Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, The Lillian Hellman Fund, The Hyde & Watson Foundation, JKW Foundation, The Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Foundation,  Thomas S. Kenan Institute for the Arts, Henry J. Kimelman Family Foundation, The Lilly Awards Foundation, Lost Man Foundation, Marjorie Weil & Marvin Edward Mitchell Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, Michael Palm Foundation, Puffin Foundation, Putnam Arts Council’s Arts Link Grant Program, Blanchette Hooker Rockefeller Fund, The Shubert Foundation, Stanley Family Foundation, Still Point Fund, Sustainable Arts Foundation, Tamarack Foundation, UNCSA Foundation, The Rafael & Diana Vinoly Foundation, Watershed Agricultural Council, The Westchester Community Foundation's Emily and Harold E. Valentine and Evelyn Gable Clark Scholarship Fund, Tamara R. White Charitable Fund and hundreds of individual donors. SPACE is a Playwrights Horizons Company in Residence. 

For more information, visit www.spaceonryderfarm.org.




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