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 a total of 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’re hosting five residency sessions for 20 artists. In the future we expect to amend our space to accommodate up to twelve artists at a time–not just writers, but also visual and performing 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 hosted a spring 2015 retreat for its writing fellows so their creative process could benefit from focused time away.