Letter from the Director

Dear Civitellians,

Even without our beloved Fellows, the Castle is a bustle of activity. In this strange period, we have taken on a variety of long delayed projects. These include some unglamorous plumbing, a serious feeding and trimming of the roses, exploring Umbria to design new excursions and field trips for future Fellows, and permitting the public to visit on what we call ‘The Naked Castle Tour.’ We are also cataloguing the Curtis Bill Pepper Family donation of books, planning our annual fund drive, scouting out new talent for the upcoming visual arts jury, and more, much more. Ilaria Locchi has assumed the responsibilities of Paola Serpolini who retired in July, and the New York office has re-opened with staggered working hours for the devoted staff there. Our head of housekeeping, Patrizia Caini, has been sewing lavender filled sachets for all the antique bureau drawers. 

A highlight is the occasional arrival of European alumni who come for a week or a month stay. To see them again, to hear their stories, see them hard at work, share a coffee or a walk, all this reminds us of our mission to provide safe haven to worldwide artists.

As for COVID, we have been lucky in Italy with strong directives from the government and with a population sharing a social contract of responsibility for each other’s well-being.

In my extended family, this beautiful poem by Wendell Berry has been circulating. I hope it brings you the same great sense of peace it brings to me and my family.

The Peace of Wild Things

 When despair for the world grows in me

and I wake in the night at the least sound

in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,

I go and lie down where the wood drake

rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.

I come into the peace of wild things

who do not tax their lives with forethought

of grief. I come into the presence of still water.

And I feel above me the day-blind stars

waiting with their light. For a time

I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

Especially in these trying times, contributions allow us to better serve the artists, writers, and composers we host from around the globe. Every gift, regardless of size, is a direct investment in the lives of working artists and the cultural vibrancy of the world.  Please join the many Fellows, Director’s Guests, and Friends who give annually to support Civitella’s mission. Your gift is tax deductible to the extent allowed by US law. Civitella Ranieri Foundation is a 501(c)3 operating foundation. U.S. contributions and donations are tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law.

If you would like to make a donation, you can do so on our Support Us page. Alternatively, checks may be sent to our administrative office in New York to this address: 

 Civitella Ranieri Foundation
28 Hubert St
New York, NY 10013

Dana Prescott
Executive Director