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Hopscotch House

The Retreat and Residency Programs at Hopscotch House further KFW’s mission by providing time and space for feminist social change artists, activists and allies to explore new ideas and artistic expressions, deepen understanding of feminism and advance creative change.

Current Retreat Opportunities
The Retreat Program at Hopscotch House
What to Expect during Retreats at Hopscotch House
Facilities and Amenities
Brief History of Hopscotch House and Its Surroundings
Voluntary Donations


Current Retreat Opportunities

Scheduling Now Open for Individual and Group Retreats Taking Place Thursday, January 22  through Sunday, June 7, 2015

Please Note: Hopscotch House will be open Tuesdays through Sundays. The maximum retreat is six days.

See Individual Retreats or Group Retreats  for retreat request forms and stipend request forms.

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The Retreat Program at Hopscotch House


Before you decide to request a retreat at Hopscotch House, please review the links below to make sure you understand KFW’s mission and to help you think through your ideas about feminist art and social change.

Thinking About KFW’s Mission Questions to help you think about whether you understand and fit KFW’s mission

Thinking about feminism, art & social change, results and impact. Questions to help you think about your ideas and practices relating to feminism and how feminism connects with the art you want to create & the change you want to make.

KFW’s Retreat Program offers up to six days free of cost at Hopscotch House to artists, activists and allies who live and work in Kentucky and whose goals are to create art, gain a deeper understanding of feminism, and strengthen their understanding of their art and social change goals. The program brings together artists, activists, and allies in a feminist space located on 10 acres of land. Retreats support participants at all stages in their artistic, feminist, or social change development, which creates strong creative feminist communities and Kentucky for all.

During retreats in this natural environment and home-like setting, participants have time to focus fully on the goals of their stay. The supportive environment allows for renewal of feminist, artistic and activist commitments, while creating space for inspiration for developing new work, strategies, and ideas for participants to take back to their communities. KFW’s Retreat Program operates approximately ten months out of the year and offers flexible and diverse scheduling opportunities. With no minimum length of stay, participants can request up to six days that best suits their individual or group needs.
 
To support the creative and social change development of women who have financial barriers, KFW offers a limited number of  stipends.  Retreats are open to individuals and groups. Individuals under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.

Examples of Successful Group Retreats

  • Five visual artists participate in a six-day retreat to create work for a fundraiser to support a school building effort in Ghana, West Africa. The group is able to advance their art-making skills together, discuss issues that affect women and girls in Kentucky, and consider the global intersections of social change with their work at home.

  • An inter-generational retreat brings together mentors with teenage girls representing various nationalities and educational levels. The adults arrive first to discuss their mentoring process. The teenagers arrive on day two.  Together with the mentors, the girls explore writing approaches for creating a magazine they publish and distribute to teen girls. The goal of the publication is to empower the girls who read it as well as the girls who produce it.


Example of a Successful Individual Retreat

  • A visual artist participates in a six-day retreat to explore video and installation. She gains experience working with multi-dimensional space and strengthens the feminist content of her work. A stipend provides her the financial support to take time from her work to develop her artistic practice. Her focus is on creating sculptural forms with found objects. She will teach youth the new techniques she learns.

  • A poet participates in a five-day retreat to finalize and format her collection of feminist themed poems for publication.  Her work is accepted for publication and her chapbook is now available in hard copy and online, which allows broad opportunity to impact social change.

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What to Expect During Retreats at Hopscotch House

Hopscotch House offers a natural environment and home-like setting with spaces to be alone as well as community spaces where participants can share time together when they choose. To make Hopscotch House available to more participants, individuals and small groups are occasionally scheduled at the same time.  Sharing space also provides opportunities for conversation and connection. Strengthening the connections between feminists, artists, and activists participating in retreats at Hopscotch House also strengthens the statewide movement to advance creative feminist change in Kentucky.

Participants at Hopscotch House are encouraged to plan their own time and activities in a way that is best suited for moving their goals forward. The Retreat Program encourages participants to embrace the processes, approaches, questions, pace, and challenges that will lead them to deeper understanding and development of their vision.

KFW’s Retreat Program recognizes that honoring diversity and supporting creative expression are important and interconnected values. KFW’s retreat program at Hopscotch House recognizes inclusivity as integral to building a strong creative, feminist and social change network in the state.

Participants scheduled to share space at Hopscotch House with other individuals and groups may meet participants with diverse expressions of cultural identity; from varying communities of place; and with a range of worldviews, races, ethnicities, gender identities, sexual orientations, and levels of ability.

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Creativity demands that women be allowed to retreat, at times, from their world and their obligations. Hopscotch House provides the setting for such retreats.--Sallie Bingham’s vision statement, May 1998.

"The Whole House"
“The Whole House”
photo by Amanda Rae Jones

Facilities and Amenities

Hopscotch House is a renovated farmhouse with five bedrooms and six bathrooms. Each bedroom contains one bed and a desk and has its own dedicated bathroom. Four of the five bedrooms are up a flight of stairs. The bedroom located on the ground floor has an accessible bathroom.

The ground floor includes an attached sun porch, connected to the bedroom. There are two additional self-contained workspaces adjacent to the house. Each has windows, a table, open wall space, places to sit, heat and air-conditioning. The workspaces are open for all types of creative use but artists carry in their own supplies.

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“Cutting Images” Summer Resident Beth Nolte working in the Crow’s Nest Studio
“Cutting Images” Summer Resident Beth Nolte working in the Crow’s Nest Studio
Photo by Amanda Rae Jones

 

 
Work in an artist’s room at Hopscotch House
Work in an artist’s room at Hopscotch House   
Photo by Dotti Russell


Brief History of Hopscotch House and Its Surroundings

KFW’s retreat and residency programs began when the foundation purchased Hopscotch House in 1987. The oldest parts of the renovated farmhouse date to 1848. Converted outbuildings serve as workspaces. KFW first used the house for groups of women writers known as the Wolf Pen Writer’s Colony. In the early 1990’s, Hopscotch House became available year-round to women artists and groups with a special focus on feminist connections to the earth. The Summer Residency Program was launched in 2006.

Over the years, the house has served more than a thousand women including artists, activists, feminists, eco-feminists, art critique groups, drumming circles, quilting groups, social justice groups, girls’ empowerment groups, arts organizations, and social service organizations. The programs continue to evolve to best serve its constituents and KFW’s mission to support feminist art that advances positive social change in Kentucky.  

Hopscotch House is surrounded by ten acres of land owned by the Kentucky Foundation for Women. The foundation’s property is located within the larger Wolf Pen Branch Mill Farm, which is privately owned. The Mill Farm, considered a classic Kentucky farmstead, is comprised of 400+ acres, representing the combination of several smaller farms.

The Mill Farm property is protected in perpetuity by a conservation easement.  While the surrounding farm land gives Hopscotch House the feeling of a space apart, it is located 13 miles from downtown Louisville.

The owner of the Wolf Pen Branch Mill Farm has given retreat and residency participants permission to respectfully explore pathways through the historically significant land. The mature forest, watersheds, and meadows recall an earlier Kentucky, where connection to the land defined life in this state. Participants are welcome to explore the interconnected series of trails and try to spot deer, coyote, fox, birds, butterflies, dragonflies, and more. Written walking directions are available upon request. Walkers should be careful to avoid the private residences, which include small parcels of land that are not part of the environmentally protected open-land.

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Labyrinth on the grounds of Hopscotch House.
Labyrinth on the grounds of Hopscotch House.
Photo by Trish Lindsey Jaggers
 
Robin Hamon unveils her finished sculpture to fellow residents.
Robin Hamon unveils her finished sculpture to fellow residents.
Photo by Sherry Hurley


Voluntary Donations

Hopscotch House is offered free of charge to groups and individuals who have been accepted for retreats and residencies. Donations are greatly appreciated, when financially feasible for artists, activists and allies. These tax deductible gifts help make it possible for the Kentucky Foundation for Women to maintain the services and amenities available at Hopscotch House.
Donations are voluntary. Participants receiving stipends to support their retreat or residency are not expected to make a donation.  For those making a donation, KFW staff suggest $15 per day per person, or what is comfortable for each individual.  Donations may be left at Hopscotch House upon departure. Donations can also be made by mail at any time.

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Contact Information

Hopscotch House
c/o Kentucky Foundation for Women
332 West Broadway, Suite 1215
Louisville, KY
(502) 562-0045
E-mail: joan@kfw.org

 

 


 

 

 

 

Quick Links:

 

“Hopscotch House helped me dig out the artist within and plant my seeds to start growing artistically. It gave me so much faith in myself and made me realize my artistic dreams can be a reality.”
 
Toma Lynn Smith, Writer
 


“To be in such an inspiring place, connecting with other female artists, to devote my time solely to creating a piece of work examining a critical feminist issue, was a life changing experience.”
 
Amanda Rae Jones, Performing Artist / Playwright
 


“I feel that the experience at Hopscotch House was a beginning. First, it was a beginning of friendships. It was also the beginning of my owning the role of feminist social change artist.”
 
Beth Nolte, Visual Artist



“I have to say the people there, the inspiration of the house and land, the thought of a long line of gifted women who preceded us, and those that will follow, added to a very exceptional experience.”
 
Jane McCord, Writer
 

“One of the greatest benefits (to my stay at Hopscotch House) was meeting and connecting with new women who are on similar artistic journeys.”
 
Carmen Mitzi Sinnot, Performing Artist, Screenwriter
 

“Being in a place of such peace and beauty, having space and time to devote to experiencing and writing, being in the company of other creative women —All these things helped to open me up at a time when I have in some ways begun to feel spent and worn. My writing began to flow much more freely than it had in quite a while. My spirit felt much revived.”
 
Margaret Stewart, Writer

“I can honestly say that my week at Hopscotch House was one of the most life-affirming weeks of my entire life. Women so often find themselves last on their list of priorities and here the message is 'you matter, your art matters, we will support you and hold you so deeply so that your art and individuality can blossom and take root.' I felt deeply cared for. Thank you!”

Maryam E. Hand,
Poet

 

“I applied to Hopscotch House at a point in my life when my creativity was suffocating and had been for a while. It had been a long time since I had had the time or the chance to experiment and create what I wanted with my art.

Through the gift of time, the amazing studio space, and the inspirational scenery, Hopscotch House helped lead me to my creative self again. It was such an incredible experience. I never worked so intensely nor was so happy with what I produced. It has opened up the creative floodgates! I can Breathe Again!”

Lacy E. Hale,
Visual Artist

 

“When I received my residency, I felt as if I had opened a box and found a miraculous gift: time."

Linda Blackwell Billingsley, Writer

 

“This residency has been an incredible gift. I have never had this kind of uninterrupted time to focus on writing. It’s impossible to convey how grateful I am for the opportunity I’ve had this week.”

Nancy Gall-Clayton, KFW grantee, Playwright

 

“This has been the highlight of my life; a time of growth and respect for me as an artist and woman. I leave here renewed and stronger than when I arrived.

Cheryle Anne Walton, Visual Artist

 

“Hopscotch House provided me with the time and space to make art in a beautiful spot, surrounded by exhilarating energy from other artists working.”

Rebekka Seigel, Fiber Artist

 

“My time at Hopscotch House was absolutely invaluable. Without it, my second manuscript may never have reached completion. How comforting to find a place in which women artists can work and learn from each other.”

Abigail Gramig, Poet