Here’s our mission: Mineral School nurtures literary, performing, and visual artists to generate new work and present that work to the public. We accomplish this through both an overnight artists residency program and public events.
We have a bold vision to make Mineral School a mountainside arts oasis in the shadow of Mt. Rainier, a place where visiting visual, performing, and literary artists will work in solitude within their studios, then connect as they wish over meals and at leisure, sharing ideas and perspectives with one another and the community. We are renewing not only the 1947 school building that serves as the setting for this vision, but also artists hoping to re-center their practice.
Starting in summer 2015, we began offering overnight residencies for writers. Residency, loosely defined, is time and space to create work. There are more than 500 residency programs in the United States, according to the Alliance of Artists Communities. Some offer day use space for local artists, while others offer an overnight getaway experience that provides creative people with room and board and space in which to focus exclusively on their art. Our residency program currently fits into the latter category. In 2015, we hosted 12 writers, offering them a comfortable place to live and work for two-week stretches during the summer months. During 2016, we offered four residency sessions and in 2017, we hosted five sessions. In 2018 we’ll host a total of 16 writers and artists.
Aside from the residency program, we offer periodic events — readings, musical appearances, humanities presentations, a summer art show — both on our own and with other organizations, such as Artist Trust, Humanities Washington, Fire Mountain Arts Council and Centralia College East. We’ve also partnered to host arts organizations, such as Seattle’s Hugo House, which held a spring 2015 retreat for its writing fellows so their creative process could benefit from focused time away.