community conversations

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!!!!

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!

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

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