Flourish Creative Arts Retreats

Note: The format for these retreats changes every other year!


July 18-20, 2014

(Open to everyone, all ages welcome, pick and choose your level of participation!)

Even years, the three-day Thunderground performance retreat invites participants to work closely with each other (or alone) in the creation of new work on a farm. Collaborating guest artists guide participants through exploratory and experimental performance work. ALL are welcome to participate, no performance experience necessary. Interested individuals can participate 1-3 days.

Thunderground offers space for performing artists, writers, thinkers, doers, the playful at heart to experiment with peers, and to receive critical feedback on current ideas or works-in-progressl. The weekend is organized according to the principles of Open Space Technology: "whoever comes are the right people; whatever happens is the only thing that could have; whenever it starts is the right time; when it’s over, it’s over". Blocks of time are open for participants to offer activities (these may be artistic or philosophical, or physical in nature…the sky is hardly the limit). Offerings will be listed during the hour of introduction on Saturday morning. (see * below)

The 2014 Thunderground Retreat opens with an evening concert and a morning master-class with Minneapolis’ DA Dance and company. Their performance of “Ignition,” is at 8pm on July 18. The master-class is Saturday, July 19 from 10am to 1pm. Both events are pay-what-you-can.

In fact, the Thunderground Retreat is a pay-what-you-can retreat, beyond food and housing expenses ($25/ day includes rustic accommodations and three farm-fresh meals).


Friday, July 18
5:00-8:00 PM | Pizza service
8:00 PM | Ignition, dance concert by DA Dance
Overnight housing available on farm (see registration)

Saturday, July 19
8:00-9:00 AM Breakfast
9:00 AM Introduction, *allocation of Space and Time
10:00 AM-1:00 PM | Dance Masterclass with Denise Armstead & company
1:00-2:00 PM | Farm lunch
2:00-5:00 PM | Open Space
5:00-7:00 PM | Evening meal
7:00-9:00PM | Open Space (casual performance opportunity)
Overnight housing available on farm (see registration)

Sunday, July 20
8:00-9:00 AM | Morning Movement (optional)
9:00-10:00 AM | Breakfast
10:00-1:00 PM | Open Space
1:00-3:00 PM | Farm Lunch
3:00-5:00 PM | Open Space
5:00-7:00 PM | Closing meal, pack-up, farewell

TRUE LEAF RETREAT (Returns in 2015)

(Open to everyone, all ages welcome, pick and choose your level of participation!)

Odd years, the three-day True Leaf retreat uses a master class format, bringing guest artists in for a series of three master classes over as many days that are designed to encourage participants to access their “true leaves.” (The term “true leaf” refers to the third leaf that appears on a vegetable sprout, the one that distinguishes it from every other sprout.) True Leaf offers classes in variety of performance techniques for novices to skilled performers. The retreat is offered in conjunction with the visual arts Field Studies series. True Leaf is set to take place again in 2015, so please check back again at that time.


For those attending the TRUE LEAF RETREAT Field Studies visual workshops may sometimes be offered to complement the performance-based work. (fees, housing, and registration specifics below.)


Retreats are open to anyone. All ages are welcome. The retreat sessions are designed to give participants creative tools and approaches to use in daily lives and careers. The focus is on communicating an idea through a particular art form. Participants need not have background in any of the disciplines offered. The work is oriented to a variety of skill levels, allowing participants to engage at a comfortable level and to challenge themselves to grow.

A unique aspect of the program is the farm space itself. The farm space is central to the Flourish mission to challenge traditional concepts of performance spaces. Participants are encouraged to explore using the various backgrounds and settings that the farm offers to affect and/or deepen the message they are conveying.


For those residing onsite, rustic cabins are available. Bathrooms and showers with running water are adjacent to the dining facility. All facilities are 'off-the-grid' and employ solar electricity. Participants should come prepared to experience 'simple' living. Participants are also encouraged to be considerate by using soaps and shampoos that are biodegradable.


All meals are prepared on-site, from scratch with fresh organic vegetables from the gardens at DreamAcres, along with other locally purchased ingredients. Participants will be taking part in some of the harvest of the vegetables for their meals, and will no doubt take pride in their having a hand in the process.

Another culinary aspect of the Flourish experience worth mentioning is that Flourish attendees will likely have the opportunity to taste one of the exclusive wood-fired pizzas from the hand-built pizza oven at DreamAcres. DreamAcres’ wood-fired pizza is available a la carte on Friday nights May-October from 5:00-8:00 PM.


TheThunderground Retreat is a pay-what-you-can retreat, beyond food and housing expenses ($25/ day includes rustic accommodations and three farm-fresh meals). The Dreamery is committed to offering events that are accessible and affordable to all. Don't hesitate to ask about financial assistance if needed. Financial Aid is available in a variety of forms: including payment packages, scholarships (of varying levels) and sponsorship. In some cases, fees may be offset through an exchange of goods or services. Please inquire about an arrangement that will work for you at info[at]flourishsummercamp.org.


Please download, fill-out and mail-in the registration form, which can be accessed here.

Flourish is generously supported by the Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council with funds from the Minnesota State Legislature.