The Renaissance House in Oak Bluffs is offering scholarships to Island and Falmouth-based writers and artists for its upcoming summer residential retreat.

The retreat is open to anyone working on literary or verbal arts projects that focus on social issues. The scholarships, which are funded by a Martha’s Vineyard Bank grant, will be awarded to applicants who express financial need and live on the Island or neighboring communities year-round.

The application deadline is June 1. The program runs every week from June 11 through July 9.

Renaissance House was founded by Abigail McGrath as a tribute to her mother Helene Johnson and family member Dorothy West who were Harlem Renaissance writers. It takes place in the former home of Ms. Johnson and serves as a creative space for writers.

Ms. McGrath said that these are the first scholarships that Renaissance House is offering exclusively for local creators. She hopes that the grant will help bring newcomers to the program who previously considered it inaccessible.

“When I went to the Stop & Shop I noticed that all of these Island people are so poetic,” she said. “The guy who sliced my salami, he could quote Noam Chomsky... but he never had the opportunity to delve into his literary potential because he couldn’t afford it. He was always working three jobs.”

The weekly rate for locals is normally $250, but Ms. McGrath said that they can award up to 10 scholarships as long as applicants can clearly justify their need. There are no specific income-based requirements.

“I don’t want [the program] to be an elitist thing,” she said. “This is such a literary Island.”

Renaissance House is located at 8 Myrtle avenue in Oak Bluffs. To apply, visit