In response to NET members’ requests for more art-focused, hands-on opportunities to connect, learn, and share together, NET hosted our first Ensemble Exchange Lab this summer (July 1-7, 2019) in Ely, Minnesota to support collaborative knowledge-sharing and field cross-pollination.
Offered in partnership with NET member Tofte Lake Center (TLC), the Lab gathered an intimate group of NET-member-affiliated, ensemble-minded artists from around the country for practice-centered exchange and creative exploration in a retreat setting.
NET TLC Ensemble Exchange Lab week:
July 1-7, 2019 (arrive Monday 7/1, depart Sunday 7/7)
Tailored to the particular needs and interests of the accepted participants (and to be co-designed in collaboration with them), the week-long NET TLC Ensemble Exchange Lab balanced group activity, peer skill-sharing, technique and methodology exchanges, facilitated conversation, dramaturgical feedback, professional development coaching, and self-directed personal work and retreat time.
Specifically, the experience included:
Above two photos:
Smith & Shapiro Dance Company in residence at Tofte Lake Center; photos by V. Paul Virtucio
Tofte Lake Center is set amidst 12 acres of forested land on the shore of Tofte Lake, a dedicated trout lake surrounded by the Superior National Forest in the Boundary Waters of Northern Minnesota. It is located near Ely, MN, approximately 4.5 hours north of Minneapolis-St. Paul.
Having just celebrated its 10th anniversary, Tofte Lake Center is a non-profit organization (and NET member!) that provides residencies for artists who crave dedicated time to work on their projects, for creative individuals who seek individual growth through guided workshops or retreats, for organizations that want to make time to re/focus on their goals or mission, and for leaders to gather to exchange ideas with colleagues in their field. Through its artist-in-residence weeks, curated group projects, and guided retreats and workshops, TLC strives to create an environment where self and group expression can be extensively and intensively explored.
For more information about Tofte Lake and traveling to/from the area, visit the TLC website.
WHAT IT COSTS:
Through significant support provided by NET and TLC (subsidizing roughly ⅔ of the week’s actual cost), we offered this pilot Ensemble Exchange Lab exclusively to NET members at a highly reduced rate.
Registration fees are per person, and include 6 nights lodging, 2 meals, creative/studio space, facilitated group activity, and peer skill-sharing, with dramaturgical feedback and professional development guidance tailored to attendees’ needs.
Travel costs are the responsibility of the participant. NET can work with accepted participants to help arrange one shared transportation shuttle between TLC and the Minneapolis/St. Paul airport for Monday July 1 arrival and Sunday, July 7 departure, if needed.
HOW TO APPLY:
Applications for Summer 2019 are closed. Please see the NET website for future offerings.
NET members in all membership categories (ensemble, affiliate, individual, student) are encouraged to apply. Ensemble and affiliate organizations may apply to send 1-4 representatives.
A note on accessibility: Tofte Lake Center is located in a wilderness setting that includes some natural barriers. Unpaved roads and pathways on the grounds sometimes follow uneven terrain, and ease of access varies by building/facility (ranging from fully-accessible ramp entrances, to rocky stairs). If you have accessibility questions, mobility concerns, or other accommodation requests that you would like to discuss prior to submitting an application, please reach out to us at [email protected] You’ll also be able to indicate any particular needs on the application form, so we can connect with you about ways to support your participation.
Email us at [email protected]