The Future is Now: Renewing Yaddo, Art and Soul

May 7, 2018

Here we are—ready for the final big lift to honor and preserve our past while building a sustainable future for the next generation of artists and writers as well as our community, from our neighbors in Saratoga Springs to our varied artists and arts professionals around the globe.

Now is the pivotal moment, as we launch a multimillion-dollar stabilization and restoration of the public face of Yaddo–our historic Mansion, which serves both as refuge for individual artists and as creative common ground, where the world’s leading minds gather to share ideas, energy and imagination. Guided by our mission to provide sanctuary for artists, plans for our renewed Mansion will also allow us to host programming that brings together our artists with the general public, offering resources and access to one of the Capital Region’s cultural jewels.

Of course, change requires hard work and thoughtful preparation, especially for Yaddo, which has served artists for more than a century. We’ve thought long and hard about this magical place, about how to embrace this transformational moment, about the kind of neighbor we want to be in our thriving, rapidly evolving upstate community.

We began in 2012 with a Strategic Plan, the culmination of many listen-and-learn sessions, consultations with experts, and several conversations with our board, artists and community. In June of 2013, we commissioned a comprehensive Facilities Master Plan, which spotlighted the structural integrity of the Mansion, calling for stabilization of the building as key to the survival of Yaddo.

Soon after, we kicked off a Capital Campaign to raise funds for the work. With a goal of raising $10 million and with almost $7 million already committed, we signed a contract last year to begin preparations. First focusing on architectural investigation and life-safety issues, preparation work proceeded slowly through this harsh winter. With warmer weather came scaffolding (foundation to roof!) and the necessary stabilization of some areas before work could begin. With our plans engineered, stamped and certified, we are now ready to charge forward to renew Yaddo for future generations.

The time is now to protect Yaddo, to ensure that all it has meant to individual artists and to American culture is honored, and to go beyond that to build a version of Yaddo that is invigorated, burnished and fully prepared for our second century.

Realizing this grand vision requires an unprecedented level of support. As Yaddo Artist Elizabeth Strout said recently in her remarks for our Summer Benefit, “Places like Yaddo don’t just happen by magic. You put your trust and your resources into those whose work may not show up for years, or may never show up. But you do it anyway. Because you know that a society must value the arts. And what you are doing is an act of faith.”

Please join us in bringing this extraordinary act of faith to fruition with an earmarked contribution.

For the full story on Mansion restoration, please view our Summer 2018 Newsletter.