You Can Stay in Luxe Yurts and Cabins to Create Art for Free With Views of NYC

Applications for the Collective Retreat on New York City's Governors Island are open now until April 15.

Governor's Island
Photo: Courtesy of Collective Retreats

Artists looking for a new backdrop this summer need to look no further with this month-long program to create new work — and stay for free — on New York City's Governors Island.

The opportunity comes from a new partnership between Collective Retreats and NYC Culture Club. Opened in 2019, Collective Retreats's Governors Island location will welcome six artists throughout the summer and fall — one per month from May through October — for a 30-day residency. The open call and selection is being managed by the NYC Culture Club, an exhibition platform and hub for artists and curators.

"We're looking for proposals that show how artists will make the most of this amazing location," Clayton Calvert, co-founder of the NYC Culture Club told Travel + Leisure. "This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and how that can be channeled through their art should be clear."

Governors Island
Courtesy of Collective Retreats

Preference will be given to artists based outside the Greater New York Area, with the goal of giving outside voices a chance to experience New York City. Artists within all mediums are encouraged to apply, from painting and photography to dance and performance art.

"We hope to see artists create work that is inspired by the stunning city views and beautiful natural surroundings," co-founder Parker Calvert added.

While Governors Island is only a five-minute ferry ride from downtown Manhattan, the island also offers more space to spread out and leave the bustle of downtown on the other side of the harbor.

Residents will be housed in Collective Retreats's luxury yurts and cabins and will have daily meals covered as part of the program, as well as a $1,000 stipend for materials and expenses.

Governors Island
Courtesy of Collective Retreats

"Cultivating arts and culture through hospitality has been a lifelong goal of mine, and I am thrilled to partner with NYC Culture Club to offer this opportunity to artists," says Nicholas Wirth, general manager of Collective Retreats. "With a rich history and spectacular views, I'm sure that the artists will be able to find inspiration and create something truly special from this experience."

Collective Retreats also has plenty of exhibition spaces and stages, which residents are encouraged to use to demonstrate and showcase their work.

Artists have from now until April 15 to apply. NYC Culture Club and Collective Retreats are asking for a one-page proposal, as well as a link to a website and examples of previous work to be sent to

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