change = growth

A letter from the director…

As we look forward to another year of growth and impact, I am writing to update you on a major change for Craigardan.  

Lanse Stover and I founded the organization with Barbara Tam in 2016 as a new, forward-thinking program that redefines the traditional arts residency and community educational center.  We embraced the process of building a place-based organization around existing land and infrastructure that was passed-down to us from the original property owner, the ceramic artist Paul Nowicki.  Paul’s dream was for his property to be shared with the community.  Barbara was eager to fulfill her late husband’s wishes while allowing something new to grow.  And we grew!  In our first two years we supported over 70 residencies and hundreds of local and visiting students and program participants.

This past fall the organization decided to enter into negotiations with Barbara for a long-term lease/purchase agreement for the property.  Dissatisfied with the negotiation process, Barbara recently decided to terminate the organization’s lease. This notice required us to end all programming within 30 days, cancel current residencies, and move entirely off of the property before the end of May.  The board worked diligently to find a solution, and even offered to immediately purchase the entire property.  Barbara turned us down and we are forced to leave the site.   

The good news is that the board of directors is determined and enthusiastic, the organization is strong, and we are searching for a new, permanent home where Craigardan can grow and thrive and continue to do good work in this community.

There are wonderful options available in the area and we are quickly moving forward with new plans. In the meantime we intend to keep much of our programming vibrant through partnerships.  Megan, our farm manager, will raise animals on a nearby property and grow vegetables in partnership with Wild Work Farm.  Luke, our culinary manager, will teach classes at the Deers Head Inn and hold collaborative events throughout the area.  Workshops and residencies will take place in pop-up locations region- and world-wide.  Our friends at local businesses and non-profits have stepped up and offered to help, and you can learn more about what’s in store here

Although a move like this is a tremendous challenge, the board and staff look forward to the opportunities that this change will bring, including increased capacity for programmatic expansion, creativity and growth.

Although our location will change, Craigardan - the name, mission, vision, and purpose - will remain the same.  As we embrace the positive opportunities that come from change, we hope you will too. If you have any questions or concerns, or want to know what you can do to help, please do not hesitate to contact us. 

Please also consider making a gift.  Your donation will help to ensure a successful, quick transition which will allow Craigardan to continue to grow and thrive.  

Thank you for being a crucial, founding part of this organization.  With your support we accomplished amazing things in the first two years and I am excited to work with you as we craft the next iteration.  Your continued energy sustains and encourages us to move forward with enthusiasm during this time of transition. 

Here’s to the new Craigardan.

Michele Drozd

Executive Director / Co-Founder