Our Porcupine Mountains Artist-in-Residence Program application is in the mail. Fingers crossed they select us! If you’ve got any voodoo magic skills and can cast a spell to help the panel select us, we wouldn’t stop you.
In late January Chuck stumbled upon a Facebook post announcing the February 14th deadline for the Artist-in-Residence Program’s 2021 applications.
I’m not sure if Chuck said it immediately or the idea percolated for a bit before he announced, “We should apply to the Porcupine Mountains Artist-in-Residence Progam.” I looked up from my iPad and leaned back on the couch so I could see him better and asked, “What exactly does the residency include?”
“The Artist-in-Residence spends 2-3 weeks in Michigan’s Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park. If we are selected we’d stay in a rustic cabin. Explore the park and disconnect from the crazy rat race so we can focus on our writing and photography.”
I could tell by his voice he was excited and he’d been thinking about this for a bit. We’ve got a lot on our plate right now I reminded him. “Yeah, I know but it is not until 2021.”
A wise mentor once told me, “Past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior.” Chuck is known to make crazy announcements like, “I’d like to run a 50K for my 50th birthday.” The crazy thing is it didn’t sound crazy at the time. He promised, “It’s all downhill.” In 2014 we ran the Bizz Johnson 50K.
After watching the movie Braveheart he said, “I’d love to run like William Wallace in those mountains.” Guess what? We traveled to Scotland to find the Ring of Steall so he could pretend to be William Wallace. We still laugh about it. It was one of the more insane things we’ve attempted to do. He actually said at one point, “I think I’m going to die, we need to turn around.” Let’s just say, he didn’t run like William Wallace in the Scottish Highlands.
The idea of applying to the Artist-in-Residence Program was starting to excite me too even though I could see a training plan in my future. I thought to myself, you need to ask him a few questions before you agree. “Would you apply? Would we both apply? How would that work?” “We’d apply as LifeInMichigan” he said. “The cabin is big enough for both of us. It will be good practice for when we retire and live in a van and travel around the U.S.”
Over Thanksgiving dinner a friend observed, “You and Chuck are simpatico”. Maybe that is the reason we made the decision to apply so quickly. Maybe, but we both know life is an adventure and time is short! We both knew we had to apply.
The Application Process
The first section of the Artist-in-Residence application we tackled was the “Statement of Purpose.” What did we hope to gain from the wilderness residency and what will the park gain?
Promoting Michigan and encouraging others to enjoy what she offers is what we do. A few recent examples:
- “A Summer Jaunt to Traverse City”, Sept 2, 2019
- “Ultimate 5 Day To Michigan’s UP”, Sept 20, 2019
- “Some of the Best Things to do in Benzie County”, Jul 29, 2019
After a few attempts, we landed on: “To experience Michigan’s wilderness in the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park so we can share it with our readers on LifeInMichigan.com.”
Our preferred season or dates and the duration of our residency was up next. This was one of the harder decisions. Winter or Fall? We really wanted to do both. Who doesn’t love Michigan in the Winter and the Fall?
The Porcupine Mountains Artist-in-Residency requires the selected artists to have a public program. It could be a demonstration, performance, workshop, etc. We submitted the following: A travelog presentation of experiences in Michigan, highlighting upper peninsula experiences. Some of the experiences included:
- A prior visit to the Porcupine Mountains
- Vacation on Isle Royale
- Adventures in the Quincy Mine
- Snowshoe adventures in the U.P.
- Fun at the U.P. Fall Beer festivals
- Discovering Big Bay and Anatomy of a Murder
- Some of our favorite lodging including:
And a question and answer session on writing (blogging), photography and travel in Michigan.
The application is on its way to the Upper Peninsula. Please cross your fingers that it makes it across the Might Mac safely and we are selected as 2021 Artist-in-Residence!
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