Anchorage: A Rabbit Island World Premiere

ANCHORAGE, a Rabbit Island world premiere.

Join us Saturday, November 13, 2021, at 7:30 pm Eastern for the premiere of a newly commissioned collaborative work by choreographer Yoshito Sakuraba and composer Na’ama Zisser. Event tickets and livestream information is available at

Presented in collaboration with the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts, this premiere marks the inaugural performance from our Choreography and Composer Residency program. Na’ama and Yoshito spent two weeks on the island in 2019 followed by a week on the mainland at the Rozsa Center.

The concept-responsive residency asks composers and choreographers to consider the current canon of dance and composition in the context of contemporary ecological thought. Its intent is to encourage bold creative experiments that meaningfully engage human relationships to the natural world, in a way that these mediums have not done so historically. As the understanding of ethics within the Anthropocene evolve, so too must our cultural works that are created within it.

2021 Residency Selection Process

The 2021 Residency Selection Process

The 2021 open call received an unprecedented 902 applications. This was three times more than any previous open call, and represented a diverse set of proposals and practices.

The five member Selection Committee was composed of Rabbit Island alumni, a board member, and an independent museum professional. In response to a three-fold increase in the expected number of applications we extended the review period by an additional week to provide enough time for the Selection Committee to review every application. Additionally, we discovered about halfway through the application period that we would have an extraordinary number of submissions and invited the Committee members to begin reviewing applications from February 19th, as they were being received.

Three previous Rabbit Island Residents from the Committee read each submission’s text, reviewed work samples, and followed web links provided by applicants. They were then joined by the two additional Committee members who helped create an initial shortlist of exemplary applications.

The Selection Committee then met on March 27th and over the course of a seven-hour videoconference reviewed a shortlist of 103 applications, further narrowing it to a collective shortlist of 17 applications. The Committee then reviewed each of the 17 applications in detail once again. After several rounds of discussion, the Committee decided on a finalist list of 10 applications. The finalists were interviewed by videoconference for approximately 20 minutes each over the course of two days, 5 interviews a day, April 10th and 11th. The Committee deliberated for an additional 6 hours during the videoconferences over that weekend, ultimately reaching a decision to award 4 residencies.

View the Rabbit Island 2021 Residents here

Rabbit Island 2021 Residency Selection Committee
Alice Pedroletti, 2018 resident
Duy Hoàng, 2018 resident
Luce Choules, 2016 resident
Patricia Buffa, Director of Digital Strategy for Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco
Rob Gorski, President of the Rabbit Island Foundation

Rabbit Island 2021 Residency Selection Coordinator
Andrew Ranville, Director of the Rabbit Island Foundation

2021 Applications Open

We are now accepting submissions for our 2021 Residency Program. Awarded residencies will receive an honoraria of $3,200 (USD) to live and make work amongst this remote island landscape located in the largest freshwater lake in the world. Visit the link below to download the Application Guide for complete award information, requirements, and submission instructions.

March 15, 2021 update — Our open call for applications is now closed, check back soon for information on the awarded residencies.

2020 Recap

It has been a quiet year for Rabbit Island. This past summer season was intended to be a time of reflection with former residents and collaborators, looking back on a decade of activity. Together we hoped to learn where we have succeeded, and more importantly, where we can improve navigating this intersection of culture and conservation. Unfortunately, pandemic-related travel restrictions, financial constraints, and complications regarding gathering prevented the alumni program from taking place.

While only a handful of short visits were undertaken to check on the island infrastructure and to help ground the program’s philosophy with its place, a number of conversations and diligent work off the island were instrumental in preparing the program for the future. Critical needs that remain are providing opportunities for artists, and making clearer the path that weaves between art and ecology.

The Rabbit Island Residency is excited to announce its award of a CARES Act grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, which will help make the 2021 and 2022 residency seasons possible. While recognizing that unknowns lie ahead as pandemic-related restrictions continue to evolve, Rabbit Island intends to host residents through its supported programs. Details regarding the call for applications will be available online at the end of this year. Please join the mailing list to receive those announcements. Donations to help strengthen the program and grow the level of support awarded to residents can be made at

2019 Residency Selection Process

Our Selection Committees will soon announce the awarded residencies from the 2019–2020 Choreographer and Composer Residency and the 2019 Rabbit Island Residency open calls. It has been an extremely challenging process due to the quality of applications, and the committees have taken additional time to deliberate and discuss.

This year we received a record 303 applications. A large number of applications are exemplary and deserving of residency on the island, making us wish that Lake Superior allowed for a longer program season, and that our funding would equal the opportunities we would like to provide.

Interested in helping us support these programs and provide additional support to the residents? We have recently made a new donation page that makes it very easy to donate in a variety of ways. It only take a couple minutes, so please make your contribution today.

2019 Call for Applications

We are excited to announce our call for applications for the Rabbit Island Residency program and a new residency for choreographers and composers, created in collaboration with the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts. The application deadline for both residency programs is February 15th, 2019 at 11:59 EST.


2018 Island Notes

2018 Island Notes

Our 2018 season was a memorable one. Three incredible artists-in-residence each spent time in dedicated exploration of the island and their practices. The weather was generally favorable June through September, punctuated by a few intense storms that changed the landscape on the mainland. Island talks, visitations from long-time collaborators, wonderful fishing, and exhibitions and events on the mainland rounded off a successful program year.

– Our awarded residents were Alice Pedroletti, Calvin Rocchio, and Duy Hoàng. At nearly a month on average, their time in residence was some of the longest in our program’s history. That time offered an incredible amount of understanding of the island’s environment and camp life. As a result a prolific amount of research and work was created.

– Calvin and Duy’s residencies overlapped for two weeks in late August to mid September. The overwhelmingly positive feedback on having simultaneous residencies gives us some exciting ideas and possibilities for the future.

– We hosted two Island Talks this summer, boating over 20 visitors for day trips to meet the residents in person, share a meal, and participate in workshops or group explorations of the island.

– When opening up camp, several trees—including one of the white pines at the main landing—had been felled by strong storms in the autumn and winter of 2017. After a lot of labor, our firewood situation for the 2019 season looks very good.

– The resident bald eagles were healthy and active. While no new chicks were spotted this year, several yearlings and juveniles were seen visiting the nest.

– Evidence of a beaver visiting the island this spring or early summer was obvious around the perimeter of the island. Many small, shoreside aspen trees had been cut down. It is unknown if the beaver is living on the island.

– The ongoing biological study of our red-backed vole population continued. Having so few natural predators on the island has resulted in unique differences to the mainland vole groups also being studied. Interestingly, that may have changed this year with high likelihood of a weasel or ermine now being present. Sighted by Alice in late June, a scat sample was collected a few weeks later and confirmation is pending lab tests.

– Fishing was good, with the best results coming at dawn and dusk. The native lake trout of Keweenaw Bay and surrounding waters was frequently on the menu, but an occasional coho salmon also took our lures.

– Long-time island collaborator and Rabbit Island School mentor Christina Mrozik visited the island in July, helping represent our activities at the annual Farm Block Festival on the mainland. Christina will be returning as a mentor next year as we restructure Rabbit Island School to focus on opportunities for local young leaders.

– On the mainland, our inaugural exhibition of the Rabbit Island Collection was hosted by the nearby Finlandia University Gallery. The exhibition featured 13 artists and 20 exemplary works donated by former residents and collaborators. The opening was a great success and included a thoughtful artist talk by Calvin Rocchio who had just come off the island. Calvin also conducted a workshop with students at Finlandia’s International School of Art & Design.

– Our partnership with the DeVos Art Museum at Northern Michigan University in Marquette also continued. 2017 residents Jasmine Johnson and Rachel Pimm returned from London to premiere a new video installation in their exhibition THIS IS NOT THIS. They also delivered an artist talk at the university’s annual United conference and at the NMU School of Art and Design.

Endless gratitude to our residents and collaborators for helping define such a wonderful year on and off the island. Extra special thanks to those who support the program locally and from further afield. Patronage is one the most effective ways you can help us continue this work in advancing culture and conservation. Interested in being one of the next artists-in-residence? Our open call for applications for 2019 will be announced in the coming days.

2018 Open Call Announcement

Our open call for applications for the summer 2018 season is live. The submission deadline is January 28th, 2018.  Awarded residents will receive a generous honorarium and support to travel to, live on, and make work on Rabbit Island. The island is a protected wilderness located in the largest freshwater lake in the world. We are looking for ambitious artists from any discipline to place themselves and their practice in this unique environment. Residents will be featured in our annual publication and may receive additional support and opportunities for exhibiting their work. Download the residency application guide and submit your proposal at