a creative women’s retreat to refresh body, mind, and spirit
Facilitated by Stephanie Sharp, Jude LaFollette, & Neva Cockrell
May 2nd-5th, 2024
Women have always gathered to create together, connect, heal, and vision the future. We will do just that! Join us for a nourishing weekend of women coming together for journal making, meditation, movement, connection, creativity, and joy.
Over the course of the retreat, we will make our own paper and create hand-bound journals in which to write, paint, and draw. We will learn basic printmaking techniques using gel plates, along with other forms of mark-making. As we create the journal, we will simultaneously explore inner life. Each person will be drawn to the materials that speak to them, crafting a journal that is perfect for this moment. We will even gather materials from nature to incorporate into our handmade paper and for use in printmaking. This process will guide each person to reflect and discover, thereby rejuvenating the soul after the winter season.
Participants will be asked to bring special things from their lives – pictures, scrapbooking-type materials, wrappers of their favorite foods, meaningful signs, or other mementos. Upon arrival, we will wander through the forest, gathering natural materials that speak to us. As we make our way through the process of journal making, participants will incorporate those materials, along with their personal ephemera into their journals, creating art that speaks to their soul. Thus, we will be creating personal geographies, art pieces, and keepsakes. Our magical journal creating process will be led by Stephanie Sharp, Artist and Community Art Educator.
This process will be supported by meditation and movement. Both guided and silent meditation will be led by Reverend Jude LaFollette, a Unitarian Universalist Minister and Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Instructor. Each day, we will bring our attention to our bodies and breath, stilling the mind and finding the nourishment that is available right here, right now. Movement will be led by Neva Cockrell, professional Dancer and Embodiment Instructor. She will guide movement sessions suitable for all ability levels, with loving invitations to care for our physical well being. These practices will help rejuvenate our minds and bodies!
In addition to guided sessions, we are intentionally planning “in-between-spaces” where each person can choose what feels best – whether that’s resting, continuing to work on your art, talking with new friends, sipping tea, or enjoying the outdoors. WildHeart is located on 45-acres of land including forest, fields, and a private lake. Participants are welcome to walk on the trails, swim and boat in the lake, and frolic and lounge in the grassy fields. We know that, in life and in the retreat environment, magic often happens in the “in-between-spaces.”
“You facilitated the most loving, supportive place I’ve yet encountered.”
– WildHeart Retreat Participant, 2023
“Neva’s class gave me hope and courage as I’m facing a lot of unknowns in my life right now. She helped me remember that my body has wisdom and can heal… and that it’s good to listen.”
– Workshop Participant
“Stephanie’s creative nature is inspiring! Her workshop was educational, motivating, and such fun. I am so happy with the end product, as well as the knowledge I gained. I now feel encouraged to try new things on my own. I highly recommend a workshop with Stephanie!”
– Workshop Participant, 2023
“I took a series of art journaling classes with Stephanie and had an amazing adventure! She guided us with grace, humor, and ease. I learned so many techniques that made me feel like an accomplished artist. Take a class from her—you’ll be so glad you did!!”
-Workshop Series Participant 2022
“Jude led our classes with skill and grace. I felt comfortable learning and sharing. It was nice to share the journey with people who came for different reasons but bonded by the shared experience.”
– Program Participant, 2019
“Thank you for this eye-opening experience. I learned a way to lessen my stress that is healthy for me; also to feel more engaged with day-to-day, moment-to-moment activities. A lifetime of growth started here.”
– Program Participant 2019
9-12 Morning Session: Movement, Meditation and Journal Making
12-2 Lunch and Rest
2-5 Afternoon Session: Journal Making and Creative Practice
7-9 Evening Activity: Painting, Campfire, Poem / Song Sharing, etc.
Arrival and Departure Times:
Thursday, May 2nd arrival between 11am-12pm (with option to arrive on Wednesday evening May 1st)
Sunday, May 5th departures between 2-3pm
Who is it for?
This retreat is for you if, you are:
- Looking for a refreshing and nourishing weekend
- Interested in journal and paper-making from natural materials
- In need of a space to explore your inner world
- Looking to connect with other women
- Feeling called to move and meditate
- Looking for contemplative space to be with yourself, your emotions, your guidance
- Looking for a break from your daily life
- Anyone who identifies as a woman
No art skills are required for this retreat. All ability levels are welcome, and it’s absolutely “beginner friendly”!
A note on food
We are able to accommodate most diets. We serve meat and dairy daily, and always have vegan and gluten-free options available. If you send us your dietary preferences in advance, we will do our best to make sure there is good food for you at each meal! All living accommodations have access to a full kitchen (separate from the main/commercial kitchen). We will provide breakfast groceries for you to prepare and eat on your own. Lunches and dinners are communal shared meals. Drinks include: coffee and tea, dairy and non-dairy milk, lemon and lime juice for water, red and white wine.
Stephanie Sharp is a community arts educator and all-around creativity maven in West Salem, Wisconsin.
Stephanie has organized and facilitated art classes, retreats, and workshops for all ages and experience levels, offering encouragement and instruction on a wide range of projects. Whatever the art, craft, or technique—papermaking, book altering, ceramics, glass fusing, textile work, or collage—Stephanie offers a unique devotion to the importance of honoring our creative longings. In addition to these gatherings, she has brought fellow artists, friends, and neighbors together for numerous pop-up boutiques and art sales.
“When we gather together to exercise our creative muscles, we not only build strong communities, we engage in a potent form of self-care. In an environment of support, inspiration, and nurturance, everyone is lifted .”
When not planning and preparing for these events and gatherings, Stephanie can usually be found in her studio, at her potter’s wheel, or taking epic road trips to connect with her friends, creative kindreds, and artistic collaborators.
Jude La Follette lives at WildHeart where she is known as “Kama.” She has the privilege of seeing the world through the eyes of her 2 YO grandson as she cares for him full-time.
In her former life she served as a Unitarian Universalist minister/board certified hospital chaplain. Through the hospital Jude offered a Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction program. At the end of the 8-week program, in which over 300 members of the local community participated, a significant reduction in perceived stress was reported as well as meaningful improvement in mindfulness. Jude loves family and friends, singing, meditation and movement, and forays in nature.
Neva Cockrell is a professional dancer and interdisciplinary artist. She danced and toured with Pilobolus from 2016-2019 and began serving as Dance Captain in 2017. With Pilobolus she has toured to Germany, Switzerland, Austria, China, Mexico, Israel, Dubai, and within the US. She is also a writer/director/choreographer who uses dance-theater as a tool for social change. In 2010 she co-founded her own interdisciplinary company, Loom Ensemble, which has toured across the US, Europe, and UAE. In 2012, she joined the Art Monastery, and served as a co-director from 2014-2021. Her life path is deeply grounded in communal living, body-based activities, art-making, being outside, and contemplative practice.
WildHeart is located on 46+ beautiful acres in the Hudson Valley. Retreatants will have the option to stay in a single room, double room, dorm, or camping in either our main retreat center or in private two-bedroom cabins. All options have access to shared kitchens and bathrooms. Daily events will take place in the studio, shared common spaces, and outdoors. Retreatants are welcome to enjoy the lawns, walk in the forest, and swim and boat in the lake during their stay! More info about directions and transportation options HERE.
By offering a variety of housing options and two free BIPOC spots, we hope to make this retreat accessible to all.
If you have any questions, concerns about pricing, or need assistance attending, please do not hesitate to reach out.
To register for a free BIPOC spot, please email us directly firstname.lastname@example.org
Food and Lodging:
- All Food / Beverages
- Housing (all housing has access to shared kitchen and bathrooms)
- WildHeart Access (45 acres of forest and fields, a private lake, studio space, and more!)
All retreat sessions and content:
- All materials for art projects!
- Paper making
- Creating a hand-bound journal
- Print-making techniques with a gel plate
- Personal map-making
- Walks in the forest and on the 45 acres where WildHeart is located
Swimming and boating in the private lake
Single room = $750
Double room (shared with 1 other person) = $620
Spacious 5 person dorm = $530
Commuter rate (excludes food and housing) = $475
*Option to arrive one day early – arrive Wednesday evening after 4pm, includes Wednesday dinner and Thursday breakfast, add $99.
**For this program we are offering 2 FREE BIPOC spots.
The first $250 of payment is a non-refundable deposit. The fee minus the deposit is refundable up to 2 weeks before the first day of the workshop, after which time no refund will be given. Full refunds will be given if the workshop is canceled by the host due to under enrollment.
Covid and Illness Policy:
We ask that all participants take a covid test on the day of travel. Regardless of test results, please also do not come if you are having cold / flu symptoms.