Outer Cape Artists in Residency Consortium: Art Residencies


The Outer Cape Artists in Residence Consortium (OCARC) was founded in 1995 in response to a request by the Cape Cod National Seashore (Seashore) to establish a residency program in one of its historic dune shacks at the edge of the Atlantic “back shore” in Provincetown. It offers the artist the creative stimulation that isolation and solitude provide. In the summer of 1995, OCARC was awarded the Margo-Gelb shack by the Seashore, with the first residencies being held in 1996.

OCARC is made up of four non-profit organizations - three arts organizations [the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown (FAWC), Provincetown Art Association and Museum (PAAM), Truro Center for the Arts at Castle Hill (Castle Hill)] and a dune shack advocacy group, Peaked Hill Trust (PHT). PHT oversees the maintenance of the Margo-Gelb shack as well as provides the transportation to/from the shack on Saturdays.

The Program

Six residencies are awarded each year during the season of mid-May – mid-October. Writers and Artists (painters, sculptors, photographers, printmakers, musicians) may apply for a two-week residency. Any practicing artist may apply; however priority consideration for a residency will be given to applicants who are a Former Fellow or member of FAWC, a member of PAAM, or a member of Castle Hill. Those who have never participated in the program will have priority over those who have already had this opportunity.

Those who are awarded residencies will receive a two-week stay in the dunes. The dates are:

May 11 - May 25, 2024


June 8 - June 22, 2024


July 6 - July 20, 2024


August 3 - August 17, 2024


September 7 - September 21, 2024


September 28 - October 12, 2024


Applications are due by February 15 and are reviewed by a jury. The residencies will be awarded by March 15. User fees are due in full by April 30. Fees range seasonally from $200 - $375 per week depending on the month.

Scholarships: For residents who have financial hardship, one, two-week residency will be awarded in full as an OCARC scholarship. If applicable, please indicate on your residency application.

Presentation of Work (time TBD): As an element of OCARC’s agreement with the National Park Service, participants are requested to develop a means of sharing their dune shack experience with a broader audience, such as through an exhibition, reading, publication, workshop, demonstration, or exhibit. Participants should discuss their ideas for programs and venues with OCARC.

Living in a Shack

The Margo-Gelb shack, which was once owned by painter Boris Margo and his wife, printmaker Jan Gelb, sits on a high dune overlooking the ocean. It has views in all directions. The one room shack is about 14 feet by 12 feet in size, with an environmentally friendly, composting outhouse nearby. The shack has one full bed with a folding cot, a work-dining table, sink, gas burners, a solar refrigerator and solar panels for charging devices, as well as cooking/eating utensils.There is no wood stove or other source of heat. A hand pump for water is located about 100 feet from the shack (NOTE: this is good drinking water and is tested every year.) There is a clothesline near the shack for hanging wash.

Mattresses, pillows and blankets are provided. Residents must supply towels, sheets, sleeping bags (if desired), and whatever food, art supplies and clothing they need. The National Park Service doesn't allow pets, ever.

PHT maintains the shack and provides transportation in and out of the dunes at the beginning and end of the stay. The town of Provincetown is within walking distance, about two miles away. Because of severe erosion along the shore, the path down to the beach is somewhat longer and less direct than previously. Signs directing foot traffic are posted.

Qualifications and Application

The applicants need not be a Fellow or member of FAWC or a member of PAAM or Castle Hill, but those who fit one of these categories will be given priority, all things being equal. Also given priority are those who have never before received this residency.

The applicant must be a practicing writer or artist who demonstrates through their resume and letter why they wish to receive this residency and how the experience will be beneficial to them and the overall program by means of the public presentation.

The applicant should give an outline of that program, but may change the outline with approval of OCARC and the Seashore before the event, as long as time is allowed for proper advertising.

The application may also include three references and any other material, such as reviews, that the applicant feels will help in the selection process.

OCARC does not discriminate regarding age, religion, race, disability, etc., but a disabled person must demonstrate that he/she/they can negotiate a steep sand hill to the shack and any other obstacles related to primitive, isolated, living. An applicant with physical disabilities should specify needs in the application, due to the isolation and terrain of the location.

The shack is available from mid-May to mid-October. Please indicate in your application the first and second choices for residency dates, two weeks, starting with a Saturday date.

Applications will be processed by a committee. A resident may have a guest or guests visiting the shack, but only one at a time. The prime intent of this experience is considered to be its isolation and how solitude may affect and enhance the creative process.

Application Checklist

  • Application Link
  • Letter of Intent (artistic), which includes your affiliation with one of the three arts organizations, if any.
  • Outline of proposal for public event.

  • Slides or DVD’s of work/photos/manuscripts/published material/reviews/etc.
  • Dates, two weeks starting on a Saturday that you wish to be considered for, and/or if any dates are o.k.
  • Financial need, if applicable.
  • For questions about the application, contact Janet Whelan by email at jrwhelan@comcast.net

Equal Opportunity: The Peaked Hill Trust do not discriminate based upon race, religion, color, national origin, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, reproductive health decisions, or related medical conditions), sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or age.

Last updated: January 8, 2024

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