Education and Community
Education and community involvement is a central part of Culture Mill's mission to create an active and vibrant exchange between artists and the region in and around Saxapahaw, North Carolina. We do this in three ways: through our education program, through facilitating artist gatherings, and through fiscal sponsorship of certain cultural initiatives within our community.
Our education program focuses on innovation, collaborative process and interdisciplinary creativity. Our program hones and develops such essential skills through multidisciplinary, project-based arts, with a specific emphasis on embodied arts. Each education module is framed by a single creative project, designed and realized by a group of students over a given period of time, and facilitated by professional artists and program directors.
We believe that an effective form of arts education is providing students contact with working professional artists, who openly share their own current knowledge, questions and processes. For this reason, our education program is always linked to our current projects, involving our artists in residence. We work on a regular basis with Hawbridge Public Charter School and B Everett Jordan Elementary School in Saxapahaw, and have secured funding from Alamance Arts Council and the Kenan Charitable Trust to continue our program of workshops in local public and charter schools.
Open retreats are free gatherings hosted by Culture Mill in Saxapahaw, NC, wherein artists are invited to share their knowledge and practice. Open retreats exist to foster spaces in which creative members of the community may assemble in order to freely exchange -- it is a time in which new ideas, relationships and possibilities may bubble to the surface. A Culture Mill open retreat is a careful balance between structured and unstructured time. For information on past and upcoming retreats, please refer to the CALENDAR section of our website.
Community & Outreach
Culture Mill collaborates in organizing social events with an arts focus, in and around Saxapahaw as a way to enrich our local and larger communities. This season, The Mary Duke Biddle Foundation has awarded us a grant to produce the project: "Articulating Value in The Arts" - an upcoming series of conferences and a publication around how artists define the value of their artwork and their labor. Other examples include the long-running Saturdays in Saxapahaw music series, which runs weekly throughout the summer months, drawing hundreds and sometimes thousands of visitors from the region to sit out on a hill listening to live musicians and supporting local artisans. Social dancing events, such as The Haw River Tango Marathon, takes place in the winter, drawing visitors to Saxapahaw from as far away as Atlanta, Boston and Montreal. For upcoming community events, please visit the CALENDAR section of our website.