Creative Retreats are full day and weekend long magical adventures through Elsewhere’s unfolding world of things. They are open to students, collectives, community organizations and learning groups across disciplines and interests.

Retreats offer immersive residencies with tailored curricula that offer encounters with contemporary site-specific art practice in Elsewhere. Students work independently or in teams, prototyping site-specific concepts and designing projects using Elsewhere’s materials and responsive artist residency process. Retreats offer creative, hands-on learning through living, doing, and exchanging that builds group connectivity, communication, and collaboration.

During retreat students get a hands-on introduction to art processes at the museum and its creative processes through participation in a micro-residency to develop small independent projects that use the collection in non-permanent ways (photography, video, audio, writing, performance). Elsewhere works with each group leader to organize a project that meets the needs of the learning community while sharing new lifestyle models.

Retreats cost $150 per person per day+night, for up to 20 people, or $75/person for single day retreats. Includes meals, housing, curricula development, and program facilitation by an Elsewhere Director and staff. Typically groups arrive on a Friday and depart on Sunday for weekend adventures. Participants engage with Elsewhere’s collective network and receive special consideration for residencies and internship opportunities.

Topics of Past Creative Retreats Include:

  • Repair as contemporary art practice.
  • Event based curatorial production and performances.
  • Collaborative art processes and contemporary media production.
  • Improvised Instruments and sound art production at the museum.

Sample Schedule

Elsewhere Sample Retreat Agenda 2012 (DOC)

Day 1 (Thursday)

Welcome + Orientation | Tour, Dinner Commons, Campsite Curation

Day 2 (Friday)

Elsewhere Projects, Workshops, Explorations.

Themes include curatorial agency, new media, collaboration, non-profit public art, creative exchanges, storytelling via objects, social process, performative everyday life.

Projects are either based in new media (video, photo, sound) or collaborative installations guided by Elsewhere curators.

Day 3 (Saturday)

Brunch, Reflection, and Family Portrait




Re: Creative Retreats at Elsewhere with Don Russell from Elsewhere on Vimeo.

“The moment my students walked through the front door they were transported into another world, spending the next two days discovering themselves and their cohort in Elsewhere’s astounding array of living artifacts. The experience changed them in profound ways, making them more informed and confident artists as well as active collaborators in a monumental creative enterprise. The workshop will be a required experience for all my future students.” – Don Russell George Mason University


“In 2005, I brought my entire graduate seminar class from the University of Michigan to Elsewhere for a week-long residency. It was an experience without parallel. George and Stephanie assembled a sheaf of theoretical texts that had informed their founding of the space and emailed them to us ahead of time, so even before arriving, our group was developing a set of shared concerns. After touring the space, each grad student picked out an area and began working on individual projects within the space. Each of us had a school desk on which G&S would leave little notes and readings and inspiring tokens. Throughout our time, a small economy of desk-sharing became a part of our discourse; what was so interesting in this was realizing that we could be having material conversations as much as language-based exchanges. In fact, these various modalities of exchange grew organically during our stay and continued into the rest of our semester at the U of M. Our stay at Elsewhere was an absolute highlight of our semester and galvanized our group. There’s no doubt that the level of trust and intellectual exchange we attained within the seminar was due in large part to the experience we shared at Elsewhere.” – Dan Price UMichigan


Schedule a Retreat

Contact to discuss retreat opportunities.