The Ragdale house was built to serve as prominent Chicago architect Howard Van Doren Shaw's summer retreat, 30 miles from downtown Chicago and is one of the largest interdisciplinary artists' communities in the country. The foundation hosts performances, open studios, seminars and lectures that are all open to the public, in addition to their residency program, which offers time and a beautiful, creative space for writers to do their work. More than 150 residencies and fellowships are awarded each year; residencies for writers are available for either 18 or 25 days.