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Award and Residencies

PICTURED: Robbie McCauley (dpaa ‘19), 2019 denniston hill open house. credit: Whitney Browne


The Denniston Hill Residency


Since 2012, our main residency program has been organized around a curatorial concept which provides the overarching framework for our activities. Residents are selected through a nomination process based on artistic merit and how their practice intersects with the curatorial theme. We invite artists, architects, writers, and poets at any stage of their career to have time and space for engaged reflection, research, and production. 

The curatorial theme of 2017-22 is Exodus. Read more here.

For a list of all past and future residents, please see the Alumni Index (click here).

Please sign up for our mailing list to hear about any open calls or opportunities.

Note for Alumni, you are always welcome back. Please email us for more details:


2019 Residents



Distinguished Performing Artist Award (DPAA)


Denniston Hill’s annual Distinguished Performance Artist Award (DPAA) is given for excellence in the field of performance art to multidisciplinary artists blurring the boundaries of the genre and exploring social issues.

In addition to receiving a cash award, DPAA recipients spend one month at Denniston Hill and lead an intensive workshop that culminates in a public performance at our annual Open House.

Awardees include Robbie McCaulay (2019), Xaviera Simmons (2018), Clifford Owens (2017), and Okwui Okpokwasili (2016).



Robbie McCaulay

Image courtesy of Robbie McCauley

Image courtesy of Robbie McCauley

Robbie McCauley, recent recipient of the IRNE (Independent Reviewers of New England) Award for Solo Performance, and selected as a 2012 United States Artists Ford Foundation Fellow, has been an active presence in the American avant-garde theatre for several decades. Also lately, she directed a critically successful Roxbury Repertory Theater production of “The Glass Menagerie” by Tennessee Williams. She received an OBIE Award and a Bessie Award for Outstanding Achievement in Performance for her play, Sally’s Rape.

She is widely anthologized including Extreme ExposureMoon Marked and Touched by Sun, and Performance and Cultural Politics, edited respectively by Jo Bonney, Sydne Mahone, and Elin Diamond. One of the early cast members of Ntozake Shange’s for colored girls who have considered suicide when the rainbow is enuf on Broadway, Robbie went on to write and perform regularly in cities across the country and abroad.

Striving to facilitate dialogues on race between local whites and blacks, she created the Primary Sources series in Mississippi, Boston and Los Angeles produced by The Arts Company. In 1998 her “Buffalo Project” is highlighted as one of “The 51 (or So) Greatest Avant-Garde Moments” by The Village Voice, a roster including work by artists such as Igor Stravinsky, Pablo Picasso, and John Cage.

Robbie McCauley is Professor Emerita of Emerson College Department of Performing Arts and the 2014 Monan Professor in Theatre Arts at Boston College.


index of DPAA EVENTS



Library Internship

Our Library

Our Library

Our 1,000+ volume library of films, books, artist books, literature, fiction, experimental writing and poetry, social studies as well as books on history, religion, and other topics is a well-loved and central part of our residency program. Denniston Hill’s library intern organizes and categorizes materials on the library shelves as well as initiating a digital catalog of our private library to ensure our residents can easily locate books, films, and journals during a one week residency in late spring.

We are not accepting applications for our library residency internship at this time. Please sign up for our mailing list to hear about any open calls or opportunities.