What We Do
Integrate arts into other fields. We support artists who introduce their work into other arenas such as schools, homeless shelters, prisons, and job training programs. For example, on July 27, 2015, a program was launched with artist Jody Wood and her Mobile Hair Salon at Opportunity House in Reading. Three stylists working free of charge styled the hair of shelter residents all day as an expression of the significance of how personal appearance and care can buoy the spirits of people in difficult situations.
Provide residencies. Through our partners from the Holes in the Wall Collective, artists from elsewhere can stay on the property for a modest donation to focus on their own work and undertake local partnerships that we help arrange. Amenities include housing in a fully equipped cabin, studio/meeting space in the barn, a swimming pool, a pond, and a garden. Local artists not seeking housing are invited to work with us on their own local partnerships, using our barn for meetings and workshops.
Facilitate Cultural Exchange. We launched our first cultural exchange in the barn on July 11, 2015, featuring traditional Pennsylvania German musician Keith Brintzenhoff of Kutztown, and Salsero Daniel Egusquiza of Reading, along with story Circles where attendees shared stories of their own cultural roots, in this region or elsewhere.
Offer opportunities for hands-on learning. We provide opportunities for hands-on learning with students from the area and beyond. Our first student intern/researcher Elizabeth Hensley, from California State University-Monterey Bay, stayed with us to do research during July 2015.
Where We Do It
On the Land, a 29-acre property in New Jerusalem, PA, with nearly 7 acres for cultivation. We seek to host at least one harvest dinner every fall celebrating what grew here that year — veggies as well as stories gathered and art and partnerships created.
In the Barn, a gathering place to develop work that brings together unlikely partners and share projects-in-progress. Our first event, on July 11th at 3pm, combines traditional Pennsylvania German and contemporary Latino music and dance traditions from Berks county, and story circles to get a sense of who lives in our community.
At the Cabin, artists, educators, and others enjoy creative retreats with a community-engaged component, one-week or one-month terms, May – October. Contact Holes in the Wall Collective for details.