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This Weekend: MacDowell Artists' Colony to Honor Filmmaker David Lynch

The MacDowell Colony, an artists’ retreat in Peterborough, has nurtured some of the most influential creative thinkers of the last century. This weekend, the colony will open its doors to the public for its annual Medal Day ceremony — where it plans to honor filmmaker David Lynch.

Sunday’s event is a chance for the public to tour one of the country’s oldest arts colonies — and not just that, but one that’splayed host to Leonard Bernstein, Alice Walker and more.

But David Macy, the colony’s resident director, says Medal Day is a chance to recognize some of the great cultural icons of our time.

“The MacDowell Medal was first awarded in 1960 to Thornton Wilder for his outstanding contribution to American culture,” Macy says. “The medal has gone to a huge swath of amazing people in the arts and letters since then.”

This year’s MacDowell honoree is filmmaker David Lynch. Lynch won’t be on hand for the ceremony. Instead, journalist and Lynch biographer Kristine McKenna will speak in his place.

Aside from Sunday’s ceremony, festivities will include a public picnic and tours of the studios.

“MacDowell becomes a 450-acre museum, with 32 galleries spread across it,” Macy says. “In the hallways between galleries, you're walking through the beautiful woods of New Hampshire, along with all of the other people who've come and been attracted by this celebration and the chance to be part of it.”

Casey is a Senior News Editor for NHPR. You can contact her with questions or feedback at
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