An artist residency, Drop Out was a serene destination for creatives to spend time in solitude working on their art and a place where writers connected with each other and the Orcas Island community. It was a no-tech environment. No cell service, no internet, no social media, no texting. Writers in retreat left their other work lives and family or neighborhood responsibilities behind. It allowed writers go deep with their art and experience a no-mind flow.
Drop Out elevated the knowing we all possess to a shared plane and sought to disengage from the influences of academia and publishing on art at least for a little while. Drop Out was all about new voices, experimentation, and open forum. No topic too raw, no lyric too subtle.
The residency was free by invitation. No application process required. No grant money to chase. I traded sweat equity for the space: 26 acres of privacy and a sweet chapel-like cottage in the woods and wonder of Orcas Island. The artists came from far, stayed for four days, and were asked to give back by providing the local community either a class or a public reading. They brought their a-game, and we had a glorious time.
Though short-lived, Drop Out was a personal affirmation of what is possible to manifest from virtually nothing. How fulfilling that can be. Many people supported Drop Out, and I am forever thankful.
Drop Out was not the last no-tech retreat I will create. Let’s call it a pilot.