I was lucky. Nine months ago, I saw a film at the Grand Canyon Visitor Center that mentioned its Artist in Residence Program. They highlighted a painter who was living and working at the Canyon for a month, and I thought – lucky painter. I did not think—hold on a minute, I’m an artist. That noble idea came from my husband the following morning.

“I wonder if they take writers in that program.”

They did.

The deadline was four days away, but I knew I was suppose to apply. So I did, and now, I am getting ready to go back to the Grand Canyon. This time alone. This time to do what I love to do more than any other thing I love to do. I don’t leave for another two weeks, but in my mind, I am preparing my exit. And you could be too.

Here is a link to other Artist in Residence Programs hosted by the National Park Service.

Want to spend two weeks writing at Crater Lake?
How about Zion? Or Mesa Verdi? Or, you could head North to Denali, or to middle America in Nebraska’s Homestead National Monument.

There are so many opportunities for you and your art. Musicians, potters, weavers, painters, poets, sculptors. The most beautiful places in the United States patently wait.

By the way, if you apply – and are accepted – let me know.

-Naseem Rakha 1/15/13

National Park Service Artist In Residence Programs
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