Hosting takes many forms at Clear Creek ranging from artistic residencies to cultural and learning exchanges, trainings and demonstrations to ceremonies and celebrations. Wanna be hosted by Clear Creek Creative? Get in touch.
Our artist-in-residency program was pioneered by Nicole Garneau. After her first Clear Creek Festival in 2010, she began showing up each summer for a longer and longer period of time to support all aspects of Festival production and eventually hooked up her own little cabin in the woods just a few hills over to stay in year-round as she chooses. Yes!
As we talked with Nicole about her experience as well as other dear artist-activist friends who have lived predominantly urban lives and visited Clear Creek for extended stays, we recognized the value of offering residencies in a gradually more intentional way. We understand these residences to be an opportunity for an individual or group to manifest creative, conscious work in a natural setting among other awesome artist-activists. In turn, we request that residents support Clear Creek with their artistry, labor, and other skills while they're on site.
Nicole Garneau (2011-2018)
Nicole attended her first Clear Creek Festival in 2010, and in 2011 began a DiY Artist Residency. In 2011 that meant asking Bob Martin and Carrie Brunk for permission to camp on the land and then ticking things off a festival to-do list while they relocated to Lexington in the week before the festival. The list included such things as: fix wind chimes, give love to the altars, and cook dinner for volunteers in the outdoor kitchen. Over the years, that collaboration has grown to include all aspects of festival production, directing theater, assisting in residencies for other visiting artists, leading ceremonial aspects of community gatherings, painting signage, teaching workshops, evaluation, planning, and visioning, and the manifestation of communications tools like this website. She has also created three UPRISING performances as part of the Clear Creek Festival and performed in several original Clear Creek Creative works. Someone else fixes the wind chimes now, but she still cooks pots of beans for volunteers and tends the altars. nicolegarneau.com
Joel Karabo Elliot (2017)
Joel Karabo Elliot is a poet, architect, and gardener, although in this season of life he is giving deepest attention to composing and producing music. He is known in South Africa as Karabo, which is a Sotho name meaning 'Answer'. Joel came to Clear Creek in 2016 as a musician performing in the Clear Creek Festival and returned as an artist in residence in 2017 to create deeper connection with the tribe of human beings who are seeking both cosmic and indigenous connection. Joel also came to learn more about the art of leadership in a group of highly intelligent people and to become more skilled and knowledgeable about sustainable architecture and using ecological materials for building. He spent lots of time creating music with the other artists in residence and raised the fusion of South African music with Appalachian bluegrass to new heights. Roots Grown Deep
muthi reed (2017)
Serena Muthi Reed is an ethnographic artist and multi regional local in Philadelphia (PA), Detroit (MI), and the South- primarily Lowndes County (AL), Jackson (MS), and New Orleans (LA). Their frequent life patterns of geographic & social migration are the premiere creative avenues for growing and shaping their community and kinfolk connections. Reed's work is shaped in relationship. Relationship with people, environment, space, objects, movement, energy. Thematic patterns in their work include: green tending, Black speculation, Transgender speculation, patterns/loop, conduction, vernacular, me/we convergence, past present future resonance, and devotion. The tools they use to articulate their processes are visiting/gathering, conversation, walking, photo portraiture, digital video, stem archiving, and sound & visual remix/composing. At Clear Creek they enjoyed being in spaces that have been preserved for their wild beauty & bounty rather than for their productivity and capitalization. Their work focused on soundscaping, working from naturally occuring sounds, ambient noise, and made sounds. http://datgreenlab.tumblr.com/
Walken Schweigert (2017)
Walken Schweigert is a queer/trans actor, musician, composer, and director from St. Paul, MN. He is a 2009 graduate of the Dell' Arte International School for Physical Theatre, and a 2006 graduate of the Perpich Center for Arts Education (Theatre Major). He has worked with the Taller Xuchialt and the theatre company Ronda de Barro in Leon, Nicaragua; performed with Double Edge Theatre of Ashfield, MA (including being mentored by DE's Artistic Directors Stacy Klein and Carlos Uriona); and has performed on the streets of over a dozen countries. In 2008 he co-founded the Unseen Ghost Brigade, an ensemble that toured an original piece of street theatre down the Mississippi River on a raft they built themselves, and co-produced a documentary film entitled Twilight of the Mississippi about the people they met on their journey. He is also the Co-founder and Artistic Director of Children of the Wild, an ensemble with similar predilections for adventure and artistic rigor. During his residency, he composed a film score for the feature-length documentary about Children of the Wild's 2016 Great Lakes tour of their performance The Wastelands, and prepared to tour The Wastelands to Clear Creek in 2018. www.childrenofthewild.org
Oja Vincent (2017)
James Vincent, better known as DJ Oja (pronounced o-jah) is a producer, DJ, Educator, Builder and Activist whose life work is to create, connect & be part of the global movement to build community through sound-based story-telling, production, performance and logical construction while dynamically passing the tradition on to the next generation. The son of Haitian immigrants who migrated to the states in the mid 1960s, he attended NYU for Music Business and The Newschool for Media Studies. He is part of a grassroots sustainable life group AYITI INI/United Haiti. The group is currently working with the community in Oban, Sud-Est, Ayiti to construct a hybrid community center and amphitheater called 'Sa-k-la-k-wel', slated for completion in early 2019. On Clear Creek this summer he worked on healing, seeking knowledge, and collective creation & community building. He offered skills as a sound professional and creator in the aspects of aural history, sound design, music, teaching, and soundscaping. He contributed labor to cleaning & building projects and and worked with local wisdom teachers.
Alexandria Bozeman (2016)
Alexandria Bozeman is an artist and traveler originally from Louisiana. While she was in residence, she created a visual map of the festival grounds and land stewarded by Bob and Carrie and her painted works add beauty to the spaces around the land. She mixes her own teas and sells them at Divini-Tea.
TRAININGS, LEARNING EXCHANGES & DEMONSTRATIONS
Trainings, learning exchanges, demonstrations and tours are part of what we do here on Clear Creek to support people in learning how to live in harmony with nature and with one another. We've hosted hundreds of people over the years for hands-on skills building opportunities ranging from hour-long learning sessions to week-long workshops. A few examples of offerings we've hosted here on the Creek are included below.
Solar energy installation
In December 2016, we expanded and upgraded the off-grid solar electric system at Clear Creek and used the opportunity to train electricians and others interested in getting hands-on solar installation experience. We partnered with MACED to finance the upgrade with a business micro-loan and also to provide the technical training during the installation workshop.
Over the course of two days, we installed 6 roof-mounted PV modules, new charge controllers and industrial batteries as well as a remote monitoring system. Participants learned about system sizing, design parameters and installation guidelines and did the hands-on work to set up the new system components.
The workshop was led by Josh Bills, CEM, of MACED and Jerry Bogie, M.E., of Bogie Electric, the same duo who led our first solar installation workshop in August 2010. Participants in that workshop received similar training and several qualified for NABCEP certification training hours toward becoming accredited solar energy installers.
Both of these solar installation projects were made possible by the support of MACED's business micro-loan program and also by government programs that support the transition to renewable energy. Clear Creek was awarded a federal subsidy through the Section 1603 program which financed a significant portion of the initial installation through 2012 and received a USDA Renewable Energy for America Program (REAP) grant in 2016 to support the expansion and upgrade.
Timber-Framed Community Kitchen
Our neighbors and friends down the road at South Slope Farm offered to host a timber frame workshop here at Clear Creek to build an outdoor community kitchen in the summer of 2014. We of course agreed and then stood witness to April, Jacob & Ziggy's manifestation of a beautiful structure that has now been the hub of feeding hundreds of people who visit the land each year.
Using timeless techniques and traditional hand tools, participants in the Year of Mud workshop learned how to lay out, join, and raise the timber frame without a single nail or screw. The oak was sourced and milled less than a mile away from another neighbor on Clear Creek, Tim Alexander.
Now, only a handful of these good folks pictured here participated in the week-long workshop process to build this awesome structure -- we were just the lucky ones who were there at the end to raise the timber frame into the air! Within a few weeks of its raising, Jacob completed the counters and plumbed the sinks, Tyler finished the retaining wall and Kayla sourced the food so we could feed 147 people a 4-course meal during our initial Land, Water, Food Story series and cultural exchange with the Cry You one artists.
An outdoor cob oven built by our Year of Mud friends also played a role in roasting vegetables and baking bread for the feast. The oven was built through natural "cob" building with clay and stones harvested from the land, straw from nearby and sand. These fine folks continue to offer natural building workshops on site at their place as well as do other sustainbly-oriented carpentry and construction -- check out their current offerings at Year of Mud.
TOURS & DEMONSTRATIONS
We love to show folks around the land here as well as introduce people to the wider Clear Creek and extended community of people in the area who are living in harmonious relationship with the land, water and other resources offered by this incredible place.
Service learning tours for students are often arranged here on Clear Creek through Appalachian Science for the Public Interest (ASPI), a small nonprofit resource center based in Rockcastle County that advocates for sustainable development, responsible resource management, informed personal choices and appropriate technologies. We've hosted student groups from Berea College, Eastern Kentucky University, Notre Dame University, the University of Kentucky and numerous others, often under the leadership of our dear friend, self-taught eco-feminist mycologist and ASPI board member, Timi Reedy.
We've also led dozens of demonstrations here on Clear Creek to provide models for living in greater harmony with nature. In addition to the solar installation and natural building immersions described above, we've also hosted opportunities for talented folks to share knowledge and skills such as:
building rock walls & naturally terraced garden beds
composting food & human waste (yes, your poo!)
cooking with a solar oven or a rocket stove
cultivating mushrooms through log & stump inoculation
designing and managing an edible forest
foraging for edible fungi & other foods in the woods
growing food via permaculuture and biodynamic methods
homesteading with an eco-feminist mindset
living off-grid, decreasing energy use & consumption
making herbal remedies and mead
Ceremonies & Celebrations
So much of our artistic and production work is ceremony and celebration. We're also honored to host other sorts of ceremonies and celebrations for our community from time to time here at Clear Creek. We started with our very own commitment ceremony in 2007 (our first production on the Creek!) and have hosted numerous other gatherings for our community since then.
If you're curious about a ceremony or celebration hosted at Clear Creek, you are welcome to be in touch. We don't do it often because they're big undertakings on top of all else we have going on, though we're happy to connect with you about the possibility or point you in the direction of other great venues nearby.
Interested in being hosted at Clear Creek? Get in touch.
Banner photo at page header by Nick Slie.