Creative Residencies

The mission of North Cascades Institute is to conserve and restore Northwest environments through education. We believe that creativity and the arts improve education and we invite working artists, writers and naturalists from a broad spectrum disciplines to apply for our Creative Residency program at the North Cascades Environmental Learning Center.

The goal of the Learning Center's Creative Residency program is to bring creative people working in a wide variety of genres  —  poets, naturalists, painters, essayist, dancers, novelists, photographers, sculptors, teachers, printmakers, memoirists, researchers and others using the creative process to explore and interpret the natural world — to the Environmental Learning Center to pursue their art and demonstrate the many forms that creativity takes.

Creative Residency participants will encourage creativity and new conversations within the Institute's programs, enhance professional and personal growth among staff, graduate students and participants, and introduce new audiences to the Institute.

Residencies can range from one week (typical of summer) to three months (sometimes possible in the winter), and include a private room, work space and, as available, meals.

To apply for the Creative Residency program at North Cascades Environmental Learning Center, please submit a brief proposal that includes the following information:

  • A resume or CV and artist's statement about your current project
  • Describe the creative process you intend to pursue and why the North Cascades Environmental Learning Center campus would be an appropriate and inspiring place to do it
  • Describe ways in which you would involve the Learning Center community in your creative process
  • Suggest up to three possible sets of dates when you are available. (Feel free to contact us for date suggestions when we have space availability at the Learning Center.)
  • Provide all your contact information and any special needs or requests you may have
  • Submit photographs, writing samples, web links or other examples of your past work

    Send your completed proposal and accompanying work to Thank you for your interest!

    Past Creative Residents have included:

    • Scott Kirkwood, Editor-in-Chief of National Parks magazine. Read his story on his residency at the North Cascades Environmental Learning Center at
    • Tele Aadsen, fisherwoman author of the forthcoming memoir Hooked: A Season of Love, Sex and Salmon (Riverhead Books, 2014). Read a post about Tele's residency on our Chattermarks blog at or on Tele's blog here, herehere and here.
    • IIlona Popper, poet, naturalist, teacher and the author of the poetry book, Break.
    • Sharon Birzer, lichen artist.
    • Ethan Welty, outdoor photographer.