Instar Lodge News

March First Backward to Grow Forward

Outtake from      Mapping Purpose      workshop

Outtake from Mapping Purpose workshop

There are many things to be said, to be thought, had, read, and too much in our heads! Lately, we have been planning to have less. Following last month's excellent Mapping Purpose workshops, we are applying our learning to how we want Instar to grow. It's an oxymoron to grow more by doing less--but that's where we are headed.

It's not that we will have less diverse programming or areas of interest, actually we are realizing that one of our star qualities is our holistic approach to creativity and the understanding of Art in community. One way we imagine doing less but more is developing collaborative partner relations that help share our mission forward.


One of our recent initiatives is SHE SHOP, a curated catalogue of womenmade womenworn items of desire. It has been so fun to connect with a maker making earrings in Ukraine, a young woman working on a hand dyed dress in China and an older lady weaving in India. We often talk about the importance of building a local economy and we believe that 110%. We also believe in extending localism and capital through conscious consumerism. Before we started this project we were not Etsy lovers--now we are, and we hope you are falling in love with what we are finding for you. For those of you that want to follow SHE SHOP on Instagram--she’s there! @the_sheshop

ART+FEMINISM WIKIPEDIA EDIT-A-THON' : March 9th. Did you know that you can write history?! It's true and we need your help to keep Wikipedia relevant by broadening the feminist content. Frances Cathryn from WIP Projects will be co-hosting which means we are in great editorial hands.

CREATIVE BEAUTY : WELLNESS POP UP We are delighted to host a Pop-Up with artist-aesthetician Melanie Herring on Sunday, March 24th. Melanie is traveling from Brooklyn to offer her much desired facials one day at Instar Lodge. We met Melanie two years ago and have held her card near our hearts hoping for this opportunity to work with her. Each facial is entirely bespoke and formulated to fully support the needs of the individual. Treatments include lymphatic drainage, marma point activation, intuitive facial massage and deep reiki/energy work. Learn more and book direct with Melanie.

LOVE LETTERS :   Join Instar Lodge for a heart-centered practice of writing love letters. Perfect for Valentines Day! Love Letters meets once-a-month and is open to anyone. Read more and register here.

WERKSHOP:  There's something 'bout that work, work, work, work, work, work (Rihanna). At Instar Lodge HQ, we love a good work crit where we come together to real talk on the good, the bad, and the loco. Read more and register here.

WINE + UNWIND:  Wine + Unwinding Social. Meet up for drinks + chat away with the creative ladies of Womens Workplace. Read more and register here.

February Lovin': Drop Now

Tears of Eros, a lexicon in the style of Georges Bataille by Peggy Ahwesh.

Tears of Eros, a lexicon in the style of Georges Bataille by Peggy Ahwesh.

It’s February and freezing as frckkk! Please indulge us though--cuz we are feeling really hot!
 January was hopping with sold out workshops, love letters, lots of wine and unwinding, gaggles of girls that werk it at Womens Workplace, and a general attitude of upward mobility while the temp. drops outside.


SHE SHOP: Our new womenmade womenworn content shop, curated by our Instar Lodge community.

Come see what we desire!

She Shop is updated regularly, so you can shop for feel good things that make you feel even better knowing the the money goes into the hands of creative lady-preneurs and mamma bears. AND for those of you that want to follow SHE SHOP on Instagram--she’s there! @the_sheshop AND you can expect future SHE SHOP POP UP’S with the lady-makers.


Speaking of lady-makers, we have a queen of experimental film working at Instar Lodge as a studio resident, the ineffable Peggy Ahwesh.


We feature Peggy's in this month’s LEX*I*CON. See what it means to be an artist in her own words. Peggy was just speaking this month at the MOMA about her favorite director Doris Wishman, BUT read LEX*I*CON to know Peggy’s favorite color.

CNF CIRCLE:  ||SLIDING SCALE|| Join writer/author/teacher Nina Boutsikaris for an intimate and invigorating 6-session Creative Non-Fiction Writing Workshop. Bring your writing to the next level in the new year! LEARN MORE & REGISTER HERE.

LOVE LETTERS :  Join Instar Lodge in the new year for a heart-centered practice of writing love letters.  Love Letters will meet once-a-month and is open to anyone. Read more and register here.

CHANGE-MACHINE: MONEY MATTERS  ||BY DONATION|| Money Matters is part-book-club, part-confessional, part-get-your-shit-in-order. This change-machine[support hug] group is a 5 month commitment.
Learn more and register here.



Join us at the Lodge with W_I_P Projects for an all day communal updating of Wikipedia entries on subjects related to gender, art and feminism. We invite people of all gender identities and expressions to participate. Come at any time. We will have soup and snacks too. Learn more and register here.

INTEGRITY + PURPOSE: Creativity and Courage Workshop:  ||SLIDING SCALE|| Can you clearly articulate your integrity or purpose? Why does it matter to know these things about self or creative enterprise? Start 2019 with authenticity and courage with this creative workshop. Learn more and register here.

2018 Highlights


NEW in 2018

Community Conversations: Out-and-about the region exploring what ‘PLACE’ means with co-host Good Work Institute, the public and community partners

LEX*I*CON: Local artist studio visits and reflections on what it means to be an Artist, posted in our monthly online journal

What We’re Reading: A monthly reading list examining critical ideas together, created from our Instar Library

Womens Workplace: A club/shared workspace/network of support for creative women

Local Artist-in-Residence: 3-month studio residencies offered to local artists

Arts Pro Series: A free series of arts-professionalization workshops

Continued programming:

Mending Monday’s: Free monthly community mending gathering

Tailspinning: Creative writing group

LEX*I*CON Reading: Writers from Instar Lodge share new written works

Herstory: Local creative entrepreneur story share

Annual Calendar: Featuring community artwork

Creative Workshops: Memoir writing, Herbal medicine, Cement sculpture, Creative parenting, + More

Partnered Community Events: Autumn Feast, Winter Stroll, Hudson River Summer Market + More

Partnerships in 2018:

Olana State Historic Site, Art Omi, John Burroughs Historic Site, Magpie Books, O+ Festival, Good Work Institute, Hudson River Exchange, Kites Nest, Otto’s Market, and Bard College

Best Part of 2018:

We laughed, cried, and learned together. We grew together. We grew more in love with our place, our creativity, and our community!

Join us in 2019 for more!!!!

Community JAMZ: Party all weeklong all month long

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All right folks--there is just too much about to happen here and we want to make sure you know about it all so you can attend these amazing FREE community events in addition to our upcoming creative workshops. Imagine everything from FREE Farm Food to FREE Festivals to FREE Oil Painting to FREE Cocktails to FREE Conversations--Scroll down and reserve your place!
We just couldn't wait until October to send out this calendar update!


NOTE: Monday Morning Magic Hr. Yoga continues at 9am w/ Val Schaff

SUNDAY SEPT. 23th, 3:00pm

Autumn Place Community Conversations series, kicking off at Magpie Booksin Catskill, NY. This month we examine representation of the personal narrative, inspired by What We're Reading. Co-hosted with Good Work Institute

*image Mike Tyson and D'Amato in still from film A Day in Catskill  (1986) First 10 rsvp's recieve $5 off books coupon! RSVP here.

MONDAY SEPT. 24th 7pm 
WINE + UNWIND is a monthly Womens Workplace members meet up with drinks + snacks to get to know our community better
Women's Workplace is an ever-growing community of creative, interesting women who appreciate good laughs, sticky conversations and coming together to share opinions and experiences. What better way to elevate that than a modern-day social for the opportunity to engage in all of the above? Learn more and RSVP Here

SUNDAY SEPT. 30th 5pm-8pm

Grow Germantown in partnership with EAT.IMBY organized along with OTTO's MARKET is a celebration of our local Germantown agriculture community where we recognize the history of our land and the importance of preserving and protecting this valley for future generations. We will gather around food grown + made by our neighbors to learn from our farmers, share stories, and collect seeds for the future growth. Learn More Here.

Monday's are for mending, together. Please join us the first Monday evening of the month from 7:00-9pm.  Bring your bundles of worn out love, and mending heART projects to weave together with new threads and company.  Open to all people, please RSVP if you can, $5 suggested donation.

Oct.4th-Nov. 29th 7-9pm 
A creative writing group facilitated by artist-writer Dawn Breeze. Meets every Thursday for eight sessions Learn more and reserve your spot here.

SUNDAY Oct.7th 3:00pm 

Join us for our Community Conversation in Kingston, NY. Along with our co-host Good Work Institute and partnering org. O+ Positive, we will explore questions and criticism on social art, urban design, and public planning together walking through Kingston city touring the murals created as part of the O+festival.
First 5 RSVP's receive free O+ festival wristbands!
 RSVP here.

Sat. Oct. 13th 10am-1pm
A free lecture with artist Joe Concra on the history of oil paint, paired with how-to-demonstrations and hands on time to experiment with Williamsburg Oil Paint. Participants will receive samples of Williamsburg Oil Paints and leave the workshop with beginnings of new work!
Limited to 12 participants.  RSVP HERE

TUESDAY OCTOBER 16th 7pm-9pm
Instar Lodge hosts  HER STORY, a Woman-Artist-Entrepreneur Story hour, inviting exceptional women to share their story of enterprise with community over warm drinks and snacks.  Fahari Wambura will share her story and how it all threaded together to create Fahari Bazaar.

Sup September--We See Y😍u!

From the August Community Conversation in Hudson, NY

From the August Community Conversation in Hudson, NY

Here we are beginning our third year at Instar Lodge. I have been reflecting on what that now means and looks like. I suppose what it looks like is it’s name: Instar (the period between moltings). We are in another stage of development and transformation, and one that I am over the moon about. During this last year we took a turn inward, we slowed down, and began to cultivate creative community around the actual lodge space, as being a nest if you will. We welcomed more women into the space to make, to think, and talk, while simultaneously going out and activating various public spaces with new ideas and new people. This motion was not an added expense or burden--it felt cozy and bright actually. You know when you don’t know what to do, doing what feels good is probably right.

I think what feels good is what is most exciting about our Instar #3, which is that our team tripled! This is HUGE as an entirely volunteer run organization currently supported by Instar community donations (like the $5-$25 a month kind). It was always my goal with Instar to create something living that could become self-supporting and it appears to be taking form, even if that form is not definite and only one new creative Instar. Please visit our new team page and celebrate our wonderful talented editions: Nina Pelaez, Rachel Ephraim, and Frances Vigna (three glorious writers!) we also have a new artist-in-residence: Kate Minford! Welcome Kate!

Here we are: Autumn. It is bursting with community, creativity, and critical engagement at Instar Lodge, with the opening of Womens Workplace our self-serve club for creative women who want space to make, write, or gather. The club offers Space Memberships for workspace only, and Social Memberships for WWP programs only. The first WWP Wine + Unwind” will be held at Instar Lodge on on September 24th at 7pm. (NOTE: Any WWP members who join before then are welcome to bring two complimentary guests to drink, snack, and chat with creative ladies.) The first “Work (Workshop)” will gather on October 8th at 7pm--imagine roundtable discussion meets thinktank with a throwback to art school group critiques.

Instar Lodge is pleased to announce our FREE Autumn Place Community Conversations series, with our amazing co-host Good Work Institute (We love GWI!) kicking off on September 23rd, 3-5pm at Magpie Bookshop in Catskill, NY. Though no prior reading or expertise is required, Autumn Place Community Conversations are inspired by our What We’re Reading book list. This season’s titles continue to explore questions of place--our relationship to place and the myths and narratives about place that might need reexamining. Community Conversations invites the public to make new friends and engage in experiential learning through dialogue where all voices are valued. **We also want to say if your local, Magpie Bookshop has incredible used books. The owner is a wealth of intelligence and kindness--so visiting her place is a visit to any place your mind and heart might want to wander through the path of literature.

We have already begun adding programming to the October calendar and will continue to be adding in the next few weeks so please check the site out--especially excited about upcoming children’s creative opportunities and there is talk of hip-hop yoga, great adult painting and writing workshops too (hint: Tailspinning is already listed and filling up) October will be busting at the seems! We are joining the O+ festival for our Oct. 7th Community Convo, w/ Mural Tours in the city of Kingston!!! RSVP appreciated at


Beginning October 1st, Instar Lodge will resume FREE Mending Mondays every first Monday of the month at 7pm. Whether you’re an expert or beginner, come weave love back into something tattered.


And we’re off and running into the hay fields and autumn light!

August: Last Summer Daze

This month's LEX*I*CON artist: Lizzy Marshall

This month's LEX*I*CON artist: Lizzy Marshall

How are you feeling? How are you handling the humidity and sticky sweltering wetness? It’s summer and a wild season of unbelievable beauty whether or not we love the weather. But we do love the weather. We love the peach sky and crespular haze rising from the green meadows and touching the felted clouds. These soft nights where dreams move to the melody of peepers. What’s not to love about a Hudson Valley Summer?
We are excited to close August with a magnificent Community Conversation this weekend in Hudson, NY.  Joining up with Kites Nest on Sunday at 3pm, and walking along Front street, witnessing the historic city’s diverse waterfront.  We will observe it’s living histories while discussing big questions about what citizenship means and what belonging to a place means. Join us, it's FREE always and all are welcome!RSVP here.

Our Summer Place Community Conversation series has been a treasure trove of field trips and new friendships. We are so grateful to our Co-host Good Work Institute (btw their upcoming fellowship applications are open now!) and all of our generous sponsors and partners for making this season incredible! Stay tuned for our Autumn Community Conversation Series, kicking off in September! We will be announcing our partners and location details in just a few weeks.
In other news, we had the delight of visiting artist Lizzy Marshall in her Kingston T-Shirt Factory Studio. Her studio, words, and work are featured in this month’slex*i*con. There is nothing like peeking into an artist’s private world. Please tag us on Instagram if you would like to be considered for a lex*i*con feature.  We know many amazing artists in the area, but we want to know all of you! (We have epic aspirations-we’re artists!)
Lastly, we open our doors to the first women of the Womens Workplace in only two weeks. We spent the last few months reading applications and learning more about what our creative women want—and so we modified our club structure and created membership tiers, making the process once accepted, easy-easy for everyone! Not only are the women walking in AMAAZZZZZING but we also have a new WWP leader: Rachel Ephraim, who will lead up the monthly WORKshop and Wine+Unwind which are the club socials.  Learn more now, and join the funhouse, I mean workplace, I mean home of the Wonder Women!
Wishing you all the sweetness of field flowers,
xxxDawn Breeze

PS. Don't forget to join us for our new hot practice with Yoga instructor (fabulous photographer + gem of a woman!) Valerie Schaff.  Val leads a drop-in yoga class, all levels on Monday mornings at 9am. We call it the Magic Hour!  We hope you will start your week off hot with us! Learn more online.

WONDERMENT, a Community Conversation

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“The lure of the distant and the difficult is deceptive. The great opportunity is where you are.”― John Burroughs

Please join us this Sunday for a FREE delightful Community Conversationexploring the theme of WONDERMENT in place.  We turn our attention to the outdoors, walking and talking together at Wood Chuck Lodge, the home of naturalist John Burroughs, as part of our Community Conversations co-hosted with Good Work Institute. Always FREE, always for anyone. 3-5pm 7/29

Prompts for discussion: Attention is the beginning of love, or as the poet Mary Oliver says, it's the beginning of devotion or worship.  How do we attend to our place?  How does the intention of our attention change our experience of our place?  What is most calling our attention in our place?  How can we create opportunity for wonderment in a culture more attached to screens than leaves of grass?  Why return to nature as guru?  What is our understanding and connection to agriculture?  What do we need to change about our relationship to agriculture in our place? What is the culture of our place?

* Prompts have been crafted and inspired by our monthly reading list, no prior reading necessary to participate

RSVP appreciated:
MEET 7/29 3:00pm at Woodchuck Lodge, Roxbury NY, Home of John Burroughs, famous American naturalist and nature essayist, active in the U.S. conservation movement

July, aka We're HOT and so are you

This month's LEX*I*CON artist: Dawn Breeze at her the Studio

This month's LEX*I*CON artist: Dawn Breeze at her the Studio

It’s HOT. We’re HOT. What are you all doing to stay cool? 
We have been going to as many waterfalls and pools as we can. You’re more likely to find us hiding under the shade of the forests than behind our screens these days. The heat admittedly has us slower, languishing and lollygagging about, and we feel just fine about that. Next time we see you and you ask us what we’re up to, the answer is “being hot and slow." Busyness is so last season.
This month we’ve picked up a new hot practice with Yoga instructor (fabulous photographer + gem of a woman!) Valerie Schaff.  Val will be leading a drop-in yoga class Monday mornings at 9am called the Magic Hour!  We hope you will start your week off hot with us! Learn more online.
In addition to our Summer Place Community Conversation at Woodchuck Lodge on the 29th where we will walk and talk about wonderment in the footsteps of naturalist John Burroughs, we have added another conversation called ‘Drinks + Thinks’Thursday evening the 19th. At Drinks + Thinks we will discuss the pop-cultural phenomenon of the utopian and dystopian TV shows that have kidnapped our collective imaginations: Wild Wild Country and The Handmaiden's Tale. This FREE event is by RSVP only. Read more about it on our website. We hope you will join us for both conversations.
In this month’s LEX*I*CON journal, we feature my studio. Yup, that’s right—and it has brought up my discomfort of visibility.  How many of you artists and creatives are truly comfortable being your own agents?  Or being in front of the camera?  How many of you feel able to sing your elevator speech and let the world see your light?  How many of you feel comfortable showing the world a whole picture, the self that isn’t always smooth?  The art that is in process? For those of you that can answer yes, I applaud you!  For those of you that answer “not me”—I’m with you.  Because of this, I am imagining ways for us to collectively gain courage through practice. I will be folding this into programming and the Women’s Workplace this coming year.
We do not need to be found or given permission by an outside authority—we need to see and permit ourselves to show the world our creative light. We are in a new time. We are new women!

FREE fun creating and community conversations in Hudson, NY

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We just couldn't resist adding more FREE family fun events to our calendar. Join us this weekend and next! We are hosting a creative journey during the much loved Hudson River Exchange Summer Market and the Take care Fair in Hudson, NY. Children (no judgement if you consider yourself a kid and you might be 40+yrs old)explore their creativity; from plant stamping to stitching to sun dyeing and much more under the tent and sky, making and playing with the wonder of wildness. Join us in making everything more fun, more wild, more free, and more playful!

Saturday 6/23:
10-12pm Make Your Mark: Plant stamping on fabric and paper (all ages)

12-2pm Creative embroidery (Stitch your own design, your name, your pet, your poem) (5yr+)
Saturday 6/30:
10-11am Wild flower arranging and Haiku poetry writing inspired by Ikebana (all ages)

11:-12pm Wild flower essence painting (all ages)

12-2:00 Sun printing with wild flowers (all ages)

Sunday 6/24:

3-5:00 pm Community Conversation at Olana

This Sunday we turn our attention to the outdoors, walking and talking together at Olana State Historic Site, with our Community Conversations co-hosted with Good Work Institute. Always FREE, always for anyone. Prompts for discussion: Today what is the role of the artist to place and place to artist? How do the colors of a place affect the creations and culture in a place? Why is art important to our place now?

RSVP appreciated:
***Meet at 3:00 at the lower parking lot at Olana in Hudson, NY

Summer Place: Joyous June News

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Summer Party, Switzerland. Cyanotype by Rebecca Cosenza, this month's LEX*I*CON artist
SUMMER is HERE! Or so we believe with our ready, sweaty imaginations, and bodies wanting to wade in water and munch on watermelon—Mmmmm!
This Summer we take a break from indoor activities and turn our attention to the outdoors with our Community Conversations. We are delighted to announce the Summer Place series, co-hosted with Good Work Institute, an amazing local organization building a network of Hudson Valley creative entrepreneurs and changemakers, working together to do more good work.
We will be visiting a few of our favorite places with partnering orgs: Olana,Woodchuck Lodge and Kites Nest; walking and talking about how we understand place and our relationships with it and with one another through time. All of our conversations are based on topics found in What We’re Reading. We are fortunate to offer these FREE conversations in thanks to the routine support we receive from our Instar Lodge Members, our local sponsors, and friends: Made + CollectedOtto’s MarketUpstate Diary and Farm Table.

This month in our LEX*I*CON journal we feature our very own Instar star, artist Rebecca Cosenza and her studio and reflections on what it means to be an artist. We have opened our applications to:WOMENS WORKPLACE , a co-working space for creatives and club inspired by the Rebekah’s Membership Club. Every day a new application is received we become shooting stars with glee! Apply now to begin working, hanging, making, playing, drinking, eating, talking, and creating together. Read what the club offers on our website and join us.
Thank you to all of you who visited, joined and partnered with us in May for the many events we hosted.  Each time we greet a new face and meet an old one, we fall more in love with our creative community. See you soon!

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PS. What are you doing this Saturday? On a personal side note, you're invited to my art opening, Wear the Earth at the Re-Institute in Millerton, NY 4-7pm, featuring new sculpture. Stay for a potluck dinner at the farm after. I would love to see you there:)

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