Contemporary Redesign of Historic Performance Space at Artists’ Retreat 

Ragdale, the nationally acclaimed artist residency program in Lake Forest, Illinois, invites architects, artists, and designers to apply for the opportunity to design, build, and exhibit the 2019 Ragdale Ring, a temporary, open-air theatre to house summer concerts, performances, and events.

 We are seeking inventive, site-responsive, large-scale submissions that explore intersections of architecture, sculpture, landscape, public art, and performance disciplines. Proposals that consider contemporary, fanciful, and functional interpretations of the original Ragdale Ring, designed by architect Howard Van Doren Shaw in 1912 as an outdoor garden theatre, are encouraged (see Shaw’s design below).

A jury of architects, artists, and architectural historians will select a single project to realize at full scale on Ragdale’s grounds. The winning designers will receive a $15,000 production grant to fund the project as well as a three-week design-build residency for a team of up to ten individuals. The residency will include a large studio, housing, and three meals per day in May and June 2019. The project must be completed by June 14.

Key dates:

March 8                     Deadline for submissions

March 22                  Notification of winning team

May 27- June 14     Design/Build residency

June 14                     Ragdale Ring complete

Location:                  Ragdale, 1260 N. Green Bay Road, Lake Forest, Illinois 60045

Information:             See application and complete RFP for project guidelines, eligibility, application instructions and visuals at

Questions?               Call 847.234.1063 or email: [email protected].

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The Ragdale Foundation Ragdale is a non-profit artists’ residency located on Arts and Crafts architect Howard Van Doren Shaw’s country estate in Lake Forest, 30 miles north of Chicago.  Today, Ragdale hosts up to 150 artists, writers and composers at all stages of their career for 18-25 day residencies each year, making it the one of the largest interdisciplinary artist communities in the country.