Terradise Environmental Arts Residency Application

About Terradise Nature Center

Terradise Nature Center — located on the historic homestead of pioneering Marion County 20th-century naturalists, poets, & local historians Trella & Ray Romine along the Whetstone (Olentangy) River just outside of Caledonia, Ohio — is one of Marion County’s fastest-growing cultural heritage tourism & outdoor destinations. Envisioned as a way to open Trella & Ray’s enchanting home “on a hill, in a woods, by a river” to all of Marion & Morrow County, & to share the Romines’ tireless conservation, arts, & local history/heritage preservation work with the community, Terradise operates as a 501(c)(3) organization, & features rentals of the historic Romine Homestead (featuring the Romines’ photography collection & naturalist library), open hikes & visits along Terradise’s beautiful five acres directly along a historic fishing bend in the Olentangy River (locally known as the “Whetstone,”), & a suite of award-winning environmental education, community conservation, & outdoor environmental sensing experiences. We serve the bi-county area of North-Central Ohio: Marion & Morrow Counties, along the Olentangy River’s flow.

Terradise Nature Center’s mission is “to inform and engage our communities in their history, heritage and resources.” We operate exclusively for educational & recreational purposes: to educate Marion & Morrow Counties (& surrounding communities) about both natural & cultural heritage and resources — including the primary resource of our five beautiful acres of nature preserve — and, in service to that purpose, to study, conserve (including through native plant propagation), & build programming to activate the natural surroundings of the Terradise Nature Preserve, the Olentangy River, and associated wetlands and forest, for the bi-county community.

Although Terradise Nature Center is a nature center, our mission mandates us to work towards the preservation of Marion County’s natural and cultural heritage. This vision grows out of the work of Terradise’s founders — Marion County poet and conservationist Ray Romine, and Marion County photographer, filmmaker, local historian, conservationist, and florist Trella Romine, who together built what became the Romine Residence on our bend in the Whetstone (Olentangy) River in 1953. They named this piece of ground “Terradise”: meaning “heaven on earth.” From the 1950s through the early 2010’s, Terradise became an important site for the rise of both the local history movement in Marion County, and the nascent prairie conservation and native plant restoration movement in North-Central Ohio. Despite these busy organizing lives, the Romines were also artists; and their commitment to the importance of the arts and environments is reflected in Terradise’s dual mission.


About this Residency

Terradise Nature Center is excited to expand our arts programming in the next five years by mobilizing our beautiful six-acre nature preserve as location and muse for local art-making. We have already begun to launch arts programming under our Cultural Heritage Programming suite, which includes Terradise’s efforts to preserve and present the photography, filmmaking, and poetry of Terradise founders Trella & Ray Romine, alongside OAC ArtSTART-funded Terradise Ambient: Environmental Soundscapes Along the Olentangy soundscape project, and an annual nature photography contest leading to an annual Terradise calendar.

Our new 2022 Terradise Environmental Arts Residency has been made possible through the once-in-a-lifetime support of a Community Projects Grant from the Ohio Arts Council’s Arts Resiliency Initiative: designed to kickstart COVID-19 recovery in Ohio communities through direct funds to artists. Thanks to OAC’s support, we will be able to provide month-long grants to at least ten artists from Marion & Morrow County.

Two artists will be “artists-in-residence” each month – one artist from Marion County and one from Morrow County. We interpret “from” loosely – to mean anyone living in, working in, or ancestrally from either county. (See our application for more details.)

We’re seeking artists in all genres — from photography to painting to theatre to music to folk/traditional arts to poetry to foodways to woodcarving to dance to film/video/media arts! Artists from historically-marginalized communities are especially encouraged to apply. Our residencies are “non-residential” (i.e., no housing will be provided); but you will be expected to visit Terradise Nature Center and/or Terradise Nature Preserve (across the river, managed by Marion County Parks District) at least three times during your residency. You will not be expected to collaborate or meet up with the other artist; although you’re welcome to if you’d like.

Your tasks will be to:

  • Visit Terradise, & explore & enjoy our property, & this important stretch of the Olentangy
  • Explore Terradise’s history, mission, & landscape – including the history & legacies of founders Trella & Ray Romine, and/or their poetry, photography, & writings
  • Produce original artwork in any genre inspired by the Terradise Nature Center or Terradise Nature Preserve properties, our mission, our history, Trella & Ray Romine’s artwork, lives, or archives, or our stretch of the Olentangy!
  • Your work can make direct use of Terradise (photography, incorporating materials, sound/film recording, performance/installation), or can be inspired by this land & our mission!

All resident artists will be asked to conduct a one-hour public program, workshop, or artists’ talk, outdoors at Terradise or remotely on Zoom, at the conclusion of their residency. We anticipate being able to offer stipends of up to $1,000 to support one-month residencies, with the potential for small materials stipends to also be available to cover some supplies! We reserve the right to adjust stipend amounts & number of artists based on number of applicants.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Here is a running list of questions we’ve received about our Terradise Environmental Arts Residency program! We’ll update the list as questions come in! Keep the excellent questions coming, & thank you for your interest in our residency!
— the Terradise Nature Center Board of Directors


QUESTION: “I don’t currently live in Marion or Morrow Counties; but I am from there or work there — can I still apply!”

If you are an Ohio artist … the short answer is: YES! Our application intentionally defines relationship to county broadly; & gives you space to lay out your connection. While we expect all of our artists — to honor the spirit of the grant — to either be from (personally or ancestrally), live in, or work in Marion County, we are curious to hear you define your own relationship to either or both of the two counties we serve.

Our application question on “County” reads:

Note: You must be a resident of, work in, or be “from” Marion or Morrow Counties to qualify for this residency. We are purposely leaving “from” undefined, given the complex relations many Americans have to place, given realities of settler-colonialism & dispossession. If you feel ancestrally from or connected to Marion or Morrow Counties, even if you grew up elsewhere, we will encourage you to apply. You’ll have a chance to share more about your connection, below!
 QUESTION: “What if I am from Marion or Morrow County … but currently reside in another state? I can travel back to Ohio for my residency month!”

This one is a little bit tough. Our grant — a Community Projects Grant from the Ohio Arts Council — specifies that 100% of grant funds must go to Ohio artists or community members involved in the project. We, too, understand that relationship to place is difficult: especially for indigenous tribal peoples with ancestral connections to the lands along the Olentangy River, but who have been removed to Oklahoma & elsewhere. If you have a compelling reason to want to apply, & will be in Ohio for a period of a month during the residency period, but you are legally a resident of another state, please email us at terradisenaturecenter@gmail.com, & we will communicate the specifics of your situation to the Ohio Arts Council, & let you know what is possible.

QUESTION: Is there an age limit for the residency? Can young people or artists under 18 apply?

The short answer — here at Terradise, we take inclusivity seriously: & that means inclusivity to the incredible artists across different age groups that make up our county! We really want to encourage both elders & young people to apply.

Any artist is encouraged to apply, as long as they can commit to the month-long residency, conceive of a mission & purpose for their residency, manage to get themselves to Terradise 3x during the residency, & develop & execute a one-hour public program or event.

We have done outreach for this residency to art, music, & English teachers at Morrow & Marion County high schools, & want to especially encourage high-schoolers to apply; but we would also happily consider applications from middle-school & even possibly elementary-school applicants. We are excited that young people in our Marion & Morrow County communities  are already working as & thinking of themselves as artists!

For artists under 18, legal guardians will have to consent to the residency & allowing us to provide newsletter & social media coverage of your young person’s residency. If this is an issue or concern for an artist who is not living with their family of origin, please reach out so we can learn more.

We’re happy to talk by email to discuss specific cases! You can contact us at terradisenaturecenter@gmail.com!

QUESTION: I have a disability & Terradise Nature Center grounds are not fully accessible to me, and/or I am dealing with COVID-19 or other long-term chronic illnesses & don’t know exactly when or if I will be up for the site visits. Can I still apply?

All Terradise Nature Center programs are committed to being accessible to all people. We realize that, by dint of being a nature center, our landscape features are not fully accessible to all people. Currently, our main trail is not paved; & may present challenges for some wheelchair users. Please contact us with specific accommodation needs & requests, or use your application form to indicate any needs. We would be happy to work with you. While we would like as many artists as possible to visit our property as inspiration and/or material for their residency, we understand that for some artists, a site visit may not be accessible or possible. We would be happy to work with you to envision a more accessible remote residency on a case-by-case basis. Contact us at terradisenaturecenter@gmail.com to discuss accessibility & so we can make an access plan!

QUESTION: I do not speak English, or English is not my first language. How can I learn more about the residency or access the application?

We understand that Marion & Morrow Counties are made up of many different linguistic communities … & that is a part of the beauty of our region! We highly encourage those who speak language besides English as a first or primary language to apply. Although our staff is not fluent in languages other than English, we will employ translation tool to try to communicate with you in your preferred language.

Our application is available, via a GoogleTranslate widget located on the page (location depends on your browser), in most major world languages. If you click to translate the application into another language, all the text will switch to that language.

We also have promotional flyers for the residency with core information available in Spanish, which will be made available at locations around Marion County, & can be delivered digitally by request! Email us at terradisenaturecenter@gmail.com with any language justice/access needs.

Made possible by the generous support of an Ohio Arts Council’s Arts  Resiliency Initiative Community Project Grant.