Jewish Artists Retreat



New Mexico-based writer, speaker, and cultural activist Arlene Goldbard offers this retreat open to any artist—visual, performing, literary, multimedia, or your own definition— who identifies as Jewish, to be located at the Santa Fe Art Institute. You’re invited to learn more about yourself and fellow Jewish artists, connect with tradition and renew creativity in a beautiful and comfortable setting with plenty of meeting and studio space.

We’ll draw on Jewish learning and spiritual technologies, but it isn’t necessary to be religious or have a great deal of Jewish knowledge to take part and benefit from the retreat. The big questions are accessible to all: What does it mean to be a Jewish artist? How does this aspect of identity intersect with your largest vision as an artist? What are the obstacles to creative courage and how can you address them?

The retreat will feature discussions; lively, interactive group study; hands-on workshops using many art forms; opportunities to collaborate; and focused sessions on participants’ own concerns and aspirations. The approach is pleasure and purpose aligned: fun, stimulating, mind-opening, and meaningful at once. You’ll emerge with a clearer vision of yourself as a Jewish artist, a Creative Covenant to guide your work, and a sense of expansiveness from seeing your work through new eyes.


THE JEWISH ARTISTS RETREAT will take place from Sunday, 3 December to Thursday, 7 December 2017 at SFAI in Santa Fe, NM. Participants will arrive by 5 pm on the 3rd and depart on the morning of the 7th. The retreat is open to a maximum of 20 participants, so please register early.

PROGRAM COST Cost for the program, including meals and snacks each day, is $800. The facility is not set up for kosher food, but vegetarian options will always be available and delicious. (If you keep kosher and wish to make an alternative arrangement for meals, the cost will be discounted proportionately.)

ON-SITE ACCOMMODATIONS in private or shared rooms at SFAI are available for approximately 12 participants; the retreat is also open to local residents and those who choose to stay elsewhere in Santa Fe. SFAI accommodation cost for participants:  $300 per single room, or $400 for double occupancy, for 4 nights total. All lodging must be for entire period. There are 11 total rooms, 10 of which have double beds, one which has 2 double beds. Therefore, with the exception of one room, double occupancy requires sharing a double bed. When you register, please indicate your preferences below and we’ll let you know which room options are available.


by Rick Yoshimoto

Arlene Goldbard is a writer, speaker, consultant and cultural activist whose focus is the intersection of culture, politics and spirituality. Find her blog, talks, and writings at Her two newest books on art’s public purpose—The Wave and The Culture of Possibility: Art, Artists & The Future were published in spring 2013. Prior books include New Creative Community: The Art of Cultural Development, Community, Culture and Globalization, an anthology published by the Rockefeller Foundation, Crossroads: Reflections on the Politics of Culture, and Clarity, a novel. Her essays have been widely published. She has addressed academic and community audiences in the U.S. and Europe and provided advice to hundreds of community-based organizations, independent media groups, and public and private funders and policymakers. She serves as Chief Policy Wonk of the U.S. Department of Arts and Culture ( and President of the Board of Directors of The Shalom Center ( She was named a 2015 Purpose Prize Fellow for her work with the USDAC. She was named one of the YBCA 100 2016.


RETREAT FORMAT: Each day of the JEWISH ARTISTS RETREAT is aligned with a specific quality central to art-making. Monday is aligned with Gevurah/Might, exploring self-definition, facing obstacles and internalized challenges. Tuesday is focused on Chesed/Lovingkindness, an expansive and generative vision of your own roles and possibilities as an artist. Wednesday is focused on Tiferet/Beauty, fulfilling your own creative potential and carrying you vision back home.

MATERIALS: All materials to take part in retreat sessions will be provided. Individual studio time will be available each day, so please feel free to bring a computer or tablet, writing materials, art supplies, a camera, and/or any other artists’ equipment to facilitate your own work. Each participant is asked to bring a journal and writing implements for use throughout the retreat.

ART SHARE: Each participant is invited to take advantage of a 10-minute Art Share opportunity. You can bring work to read or perform, show a PowerPoint or short video, or share in any way you wish within the timeframe.

TRAVEL There’s a small airport in Santa Fe, but most people fly into Albuquerque, about an hour south, and take the shuttle. Santa Fe in early December is likely to have some snow, but it often melts soon after it falls. Nights can be quite cold, so bring a warm coat and layers. The retreat schedule is full, so if you’d like to sightsee, please make your own arrangements to come early or stay late.

ADDITIONAL PROGRAM INFORMATION:  For more information about the program, please contact Arlene Goldbard at


To apply for the JEWISH ARTISTS RETREAT, please download the application and send it to Arlene Goldbard at


CANCELLATION POLICY: Participants may terminate their lodging and their participation in the program at any time prior to thirty days in advance of the arrival date, in which case Participants shall be entitled to a refund of all payments less a cancellation fee of $50.00. If the cancellation is thirty days or less before the arrival date, there will be no refund of tuition or lodging.

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