In 1999, Wildacres Retreat opened our residency program for artists. Since that time, we have had the opportunity to host hundreds of writers, artisans, and musicians. Participants in the program stay in one of three self-catering cabins located just a quarter-mile beyond the retreat entrance. One of the cabins is completely ADA compliant and another can house two residents working on a project together.
Using the space provided by the three cabins, Wildacres hosts approximately seventy artists each year for one-week residencies from April through October. Residencies begin on Monday afternoons and run until Sunday mornings. While there are landlines at each residency cabin, there is no internet access in the cabins, and cellphones do not typically connect except in the main part of the retreat where we do have WiFi access. The residency program allows artists the solitude and inspiration needed to begin or continue work on a project in their particular field of creative arts. Past residents tell us that being able to work in such a secluded, natural setting provides them with an unparalleled opportunity to step away from outside distractions and completely focus on their work.
Wildacres residencies are offered at no cost to participants. Residents have the option to eat in the dining room with other residents, guests, and staff, or they may prepare their own meals in their cabin. Participants are responsible for providing their own transportation to and from Wildacres, as well as while they are at the retreat. They are also responsible for any supplies they may need during their residency. As the residencies are intended to be working retreats, spouses/partners, guests, and pets are not permitted.
See more information about the residency.
Many organizations come to Wildacres to develop or add to their own stories. Musicians, artists and writers find the breathtaking scenery a perfect backdrop for creative expression. Gem and mineral societies hone their skills in the lapidary workshops, while potters practice their craft in the clay studio. Groups concerned with the natural sciences find Wildacres ideal for meetings and conduct workshops on the grounds themselves as well as in the mountains that surround Wildacres. Universities and hospitals offer professional development opportunities. Our goal at Wildacres is to offer a space where community groups and organizations can come together, find peace and connect to each other, their missions and visions and to the greater world around us. In these times, those connections are more important than ever.
At this tremendous crossroads in our society, we are called back to our mission of “the betterment of human relations”. By today’s standards, that phrase may seem outdated and altruistic. And it is, without examination. That’s exactly the point. Wildacres seeks to be a place of examination, reflection and truth for groups that opt to hold retreats here. Wildacres seeks to be a place that inspires us all to connect to each other and contribute to creating a better community, society and world. In doing that, we can no longer hide or shy away from the reality and truths of our current society and the inequities that people are experiencing. We recognize that those inequities are tied to our nation’s history in the same way that all our lives are tied to history.
Wildacres is no different. Realizing our mission to support and inspire better human relations requires us to acknowledge that our own story is rooted in a painful history.