Have you always dreamed about staying in one of the iconic dune shacks in Provincetown, without electricity or running water? A rare chance to get away from it all, escaping to the dunes for a week of solace and refuge. Now is your chance, applications for a summer stay through the Dune Shacks Residency are now open to the public! There will be designated spaces and programs for artists, writers, a member of the Indigenous community and also the general public, at the renowned dune shacks of Provincetown.
History of the Peaked Bars Hill District
Situated within the 1,900 acres of Peaked Hill Bars Historic District of the Cape Cod National Seashore that span sand dunes, small bogs, and coastline, the Dune Shacks of Cape Cod is a staple of Provincetown and has been throughout the 20th century. Ever since they were created in the 1920s, the shacks have attracted playwrights, writers, painters and have been featured in several published work by notable artists like Henry David Thoreau, Henry Beston, and Hazel Hawthorne-Werner.
With no electricity or indoor plumbing, the shacks offer their residents an immersive experience with nature and complete privacy along the immaculate shore. Not only does their secluded area allow for peace and inspiration and serve as a highly sought-after hub for artists, the shacks’ primitive attributes also attract the general public who seeks tranquility in the wilderness.
The Dune Shacks Residency Program is managed and run by the Provincetown Community Compact. Established in 1993 by artist Jay Critchley, the Compact aims to support artists and cultivate cultural growth for the community of Provincetown and the Lower Cape by fostering a diverse and artistic environment.
Dune Shacks Residency Lottery Now Open
Since 1993 some of the historical dune shacks have opened their doors to house artists and writers-in-residence, as well as a lottery for the general public. Crichley refers to the Dune Shacks Residency Program as providing a “vital experience and national resource—tranquility in a chaotic world”.
The Dune Shack Residency Program has a raffle which is currently open to the general public until January 15. Applicants can choose up to three weeks to stay in one of the shacks. The winner will be selected by lottery.
Two Artist Residencies Available
There will be two artist residencies for visual artists from June 24 to August 26. Artists will need to submit an application, a resume, and work samples to be considered. Two artists residents will be selected by a jury process. The top juried artist will be granted a $500 fellowship and a three-week, fully funded stay in the shacks.
Each residency runs for three weeks within the allotted time and includes housing for artists in the Jean Miller Cohen shack or the C-Scape shack. C-Scape is the western-most out of all 19 shacks and the easiest to reach. The notorious shack is 1 ½ story tall and a 30-minute walk away from the Province Land Visitors Center. Inside the shack, residents can expect to find a studio, a wood stove, a cooking stove, and a small fridge at their convenience.
Writers Residencies by Lottery
There will be two writer spaces available in the Dune Shacks Residency from May 27 to October 28. Writers will need to submit an application, a resume, a writer’s statement, and work samples to be eligible to enter a lottery process that ensures equal opportunity. Each residency runs for a week within the allotted time and includes housing for writers in the Stanley and Laura Fowler shack or the Fowler shack. Fowler was built in 1949 and overlooked a freshwater pond until it was filled with sand by the movement of a barrier dune. Now, it overlooks the ivory coastal sand dunes and offers utter solitude to its residents.
Application for both the artists and writers-in-residence programs opens now until January 15!
New Native American Residency
In 2023 the Dune Shacks Residency Program is offering a funded stay for a person within the indigenous community at the C-Scape shack from October 22 to October 29. The residency is a collaboration between The Compact and the Native Land Conservancy, a conservation group that preserves and honors Native culture and history in Mashpee. The resident will be chosen through a lottery process by the Conservancy. Application for the Native American residency opens now until February 28!
This year the Conservancy will also initiate a voluntary Honor Tax for the residency applicants. The Honor Tax is an opportunity to offer financial support for the use of unceded land to the indigenous community. “An Honor Tax is a tangible way of honoring the sovereignty of the Wampanoag Nation. It is called a tax because it’s not a gift or donation,” states Compact Director Jay Critchley.
What better way to spend a getaway than at the majestic Dune Shacks of Cape Cod where the land, sea, and sky meet! Apply to enter the Dune Shacks Residency Lottery today!