The Strange’s “Decelerator” is a retreat/residency hybrid for those seeking a chance to slow down and focus on an ambitious creative undertaking from a beautiful location in the mountains. This fall's program will specifically be made available to practitioners whose work extends beyond themselves by generating critical opportunities and support for others.
This October and November, one- to two-week residencies will be offered to a select group of radical organizers, educators, curators, editors, entrepreneurs, and other types of facilitators whose vital, inventive, and regenerative work contributes to a stronger foundation for culture and society. Through their work—such as engineering a cooperative space, developing a social practice, or launching a platform to amplify others' voices and ideas—these practitioners selflessly give life to a more textured world. This fall, The Strange will support them by offering time, space, and encouragement to refocus on and sustain their important work.
Decelerator applications are due August 1. Flexible one- and two-week residencies will be offered throughout October & November, 2019. Strange HQ is located in West Shokan, NY.
What the Decelerator program is:
• A free-of-cost, short-term residency/retreat hybrid in NY's Catskill Mountains for individuals or collaborative groups of up to 3 people. All residents will be provided with a comfortable space to live and work in. Residency dates and durations are flexible, but will generally last between one and two weeks, and will take place in October and November of 2019.
• A chance to devote a nice chunk of focused time to reflecting on, reimagining, or perhaps even detoxing from a long-term creative undertaking. This opportunity is best suited for those in the midst of an ambitious project, who could use the time and space to reconsider its value and potential, and develop its future from a more holistic perspective.
• A reprieve and an oasis of positive energy. Strange HQ is a peaceful, natural, and tranquil space where respect and inclusivity are of paramount importance. All residents should expect to contribute to the shared Strange HQ experience by being open, generous, respectful, and caring—of the space, of each other, and of themselves.
What the Decelerator program isn't:
• An established or incorporated program. Fall 2019 is just our second season offering the residency. We are looking to host self-sufficient, responsible residents who will contribute to the space's development, and who like the idea of being a part of something dynamic that's also its own evolving creative undertaking.
• A staffed space. The Strange is an unprofitable [sic] space run by two people with other full-time jobs and responsibilities. As such, each resident will be asked to clean their own accommodation prior to departure, and give back by making an "offering" of some type (this could be a donated artwork, a few hours spent weeding, cooking a group meal, or any other contribution you'd like to make—you will propose an offering idea in your application).
• A social experience. Decelerator residencies will overlap in many cases, and there will often be 3+ residents at Strange HQ at a time. When this is the case, at least one shared dinner will be planned, and some excursions may be offered. However, residents should plan to structure their days on their own, and to enjoy a large amount of solitude while here.
• Free lodging in one of our inspiring, fully-equipped, and wifi-enriched spaces: either the Studio House, Lily of the Valley cabin, or the Barn Loft (see the section below for accommodation info). All accommodations come with comfortable necessities like linens, towels, shampoo, tea, etc. Computer monitors, projectors, and some other technical equipment can be loaned out as requested.
• On-site creative encouragement. The Decelerator program offers a loose framework through which participants can structure their time here. Additionally, on-site 1:1 mentorship sessions will be scheduled with Willa, the program's director, who is an experienced creative strategist, mentor, editor, problem solver, and superconnector. Daniel, The Strange's co-founder, will also be available for technical consultations on topics ranging from web technologies and personal computing to blockchains.
• Access to abundant nature. The Strange HQ property features a spring-fed pond, large lawn, sprawling gardens, and plenty of fish, salamanders, snakes, birds, butterflies, and the occasional bear. Strange HQ also abuts the forever-wild Catskill State Park Forest, so taking a scenic walk, run, or hike is as easy as stepping out your door and into the forest.
What's not included:
• Transportation. Strange HQ is a 2.5-hour drive north of NYC, and is best accessed by car. If you do not have access to a car, we are happy to help you with alternative travel arrangements, and pending our schedules, can pick you up from the nearby Phoenicia Trailways bus stop.
• Meals/groceries. Each Strange HQ accommodation has its own kitchen, and you should plan to bring and prepare your own food while here (past residents have found this to be a meaningful part of the experience). There is a grocery store a 10-minute drive away, as well as plenty of great restaurants in the area. Residents are also welcome to plan group meals together.
• Dedicated studio space. We aim to specifically support creative practitioners with computer-centric practices, and while there is plenty of table, desk, and couch space, private art studios are not offered. Residents should also plan to bring all of the supplies and equipment they'd like to use while here.