Established by Apache founder Raymond Plank in 1981, the Ucross Foundation provides workspace and living accommodations to competitively selected visual artists, writers, and composers. Ucross extends invitations to approximately 80 individuals each year who are selected by an outside panel of professionals. Residents are also invited through national partnerships with the Sundance Institute, the PEN/Hemingway Award, the Herb Alpert Award in the Arts, and the University of Wyoming. Nearly 1,300 individuals from every state in the United States as well as Germany, France, Scotland, England, Poland, Egypt, the Netherlands, Canada, Thailand, and others have spent creative time at Ucross.

Through residencies, artists create books, plays, art exhibitions, musical performances, and more. Many have received major awards and honors, such as Pulitzer Prize-winning writers Annie Proulx and Doug Wright; MacArthur Fellows Charles Wuorinen, Sarah Ruhl, and Colson Whitehead; Tony Award-winning composer Adam Guettel; and National Book Award winners Ann Patchett, Jean Valentine, and Ha Jin.

Ucross Foundation’s home is a 20,000-acre working cattle ranch set at the confluence of three creeks; over half of the cattle ranch is protected by a conservation easement held by the Wyoming Chapter of The Nature Conservancy. A long-term ranch lease with the Apache Foundation guarantees the goals of holistic ranch management, emulating natural processes and thereby encouraging biological diversity and environmental stability.

In addition to artists in residence, bald eagles, great blue herons, bobolinks, owls, the greater sage grouse, and the Swainson’s hawk also call the ranch home. Ucross Ranch was designated an Important Bird Area by the National Audubon Society in 2015. In recent years, the Apache Foundation has worked hard to improve the quality and condition of the Clear and Piney Creeks, which flow through Ucross Ranch. Efforts have been made to narrow the streams back to their original width, to decrease bank erosion and provide critical fish habitat. In 2015 and 2016, the Apache Foundation also completed two large fish passage projects on Piney Creek, enabling fish to migrate the entire length of the creek for the first time in more than 100 years.

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