XH News & Hill House Alumni Update


January was conference month for us here at Crosshatch. We, along with the minds of a stellar committee and the wizards behind the curtain, Events North, put on a farmer’s shebang that is THE event of the winter: the Northern Michigan Small Farm Conference. 

That being said, while we are rebooting, vacationing and planning for the Crosshatch spring and summer event line-up, we’ve realized the Hill House alumni update is long past due. While our artist residency may be on hold for the time being, our alumni are cranking out some fine work.


Logan Farmer

"I had the opportunity to go to an isolated cabin in the woods and record an album,” Logan writes. “I didn't shave and I packed lots of flannel, all the stuff you would expect from a folk singer in 2017. But despite the isolation and lovely autumnal setting, I knew from the beginning that I wanted to make a city album.” Check out Logan’s album written almost entirely while in residence at the Hill House.

Robinson & Rohe

The anticipated album, Hunger, by Robinson and Rohe, has arrived. Written during their travels between the East Coast and the Upper Midwest. (Hey, that’s us!), Hunger is an album of songs about love and land . Fetch yourself an album and hear more about their updates here. In related news, Jean Rohe recently received full funding for a solo album through PledgeMusic. We cannot wait for this! We will let you know when we know more.

Kay Belardinelli

Kay Belardinelli released Fill Your Lungs with her band, Mar, in 2017. Mar is a two-piece blend of doom metal, noise, and punk with lyrics about trauma and recovery from a feminist perspective. She finished her autobiographical zine, Murmurs, Chants, and Screams, vol II covering dreams, healing, and the subconscious. Kay also developed a solo-music performance with video projection called Mariassunta, based on the life of Saint Maria Goretti. In this performance, she blends harsh guitar noise with simple, organ melodies and combines scenes from the 1949 film based on Goretti's life.

Passepartout Duo

Nicoletta Favari & Christopher Salvito of Passepartout Duo (you may remember the cool video they made at the Hill House) have been busy. They are collaborating on a new album with visual artists from Beijing, Yannis Zhang and Yumo Wu. Their work continues on the Skammdegi/Náttleysi project, a project inspired by light cycles present in the Nordic countries, collaborating recently with composers Marta Forsberg and Hafdís Bjarnadóttir. In addition, they were featured in an article from NYLON magazine about their recent appearance at the Myrkir Músíkdagar festival in Iceland (in English, that means “darkest days”). To see all of their accomplishments and hear their super interesting and diverse work, visit their page here.

Warm winter wishes to you all. Email us if you have alumni updates of your own for us to share! jeannie@crosshatch.org


Crosshatch is hiring!

Now Hiring /// Development Coordinator


Crosshatch is a small nonprofit in Northwest Lower Michigan dedicated to building strong communities through the intersections of art, farming, ecology and economy. We are seeking a Development Coordinator with strong skills in donor development and grant writing. 

The Development Coordinator will refine and implement a fund development strategy that includes mail campaigns, special events, sponsorships, and grants of many kinds. You will also provide technical and research support for major donor relationship development, and manage a portfolio of donors. You will enjoy close support from the staff and board of Crosshatch, and report directly to the co-directors.

Hours and Location

40 hours/week including some evening and weekend work. You will primarily telecommute (as do all Crosshatch staff) with a high level of autonomy and equally high levels of expectation. We are based in Northwest Lower Michigan—our service area runs the coasts from Manistee to Mackinac, with major areas of impact centered in Bellaire, Traverse City and Petoskey. You may live anywhere in this region, though a central location is advantageous. Travel (with your own car) throughout the region is a regular requirement of the position (mileage is reimbursed). Similarly, excellent telecommuting skills are required, including texting, email, phone, Glip, social media and other internet communication technologies.

Major Responsibilities

Donor Relationship Development

  • Implement and improve two key annual giving activities: a year-end letter and spring matching gift campaign. The Development Coordinator will craft timelines and strategies, and will implement the day-to-day logistics of the campaign.
  • Prospect, steward, and engage new donors.
  • Manage a portfolio of major donors.
  • Record and send tax receipt for all gifts.
  • Work with Crosshatch staff to integrate special events into a larger fund development strategy.
  • Plan and implement future capital campaigns.
  • Build an annual report and other specific program reports as needed.
  • Manage Salesforce, tracking all donations, sponsorships, and address changes for contacts; run reports for staff and board as needed.

Grant Writing and Management

  • Write 15-20 grants per year, including both one page requests to family foundations and complex federal grants. The Development Coordinator will also write letters of inquiry to granting organizations.
  • Manage and report on grants received.

Sponsorships and Corporate Support

  • Secure sponsorships for all Crosshatch events, prospect new leads, and maintain current relationships.

Other Responsibilities

  • Attend board meetings as needed, and provide reports and evaluations of development efforts.
  • Engage in ocasional professional development opportunities (i.e., conferences and workshops, locally or afar).

Minimum Qualifications

  • Demonstrated capacity in raising funds through both grant writing and individual gifts.
  • A working knowledge of the partners, donors and influencers in our region.
  • An understanding of the major themes in sustainable agriculture, environmental concern and the arts at a local, state and national level.
  • Excellent writing skills.
  • Skilled in building and following budgets.
  • Ability to rapidly adapt to change, innovate, go with the flow, simplify and discover practical solutions to hard problems.
  • Flawless attention to detail and impeccable personal organization skills.
  • Exceptional verbal and interpersonal communication skills.
  • Self-motivated and professional demeanor.
  • Expertise in Salesforce, Google Drive, MS Office and/or iWork, email, Mac OS

Compensation and benefits

Salary is dependent on applicant’s experience. Benefits also include flexible work schedules, ample paid time off and retirement plan. We are working toward offering partial health care coverage beginning in July 2018.

Equal Opportunity

Crosshatch is an equal opportunity employer and value diversity. We committed to creating an inclusive and safe environment for all employees. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, genetics, disability, age, or veteran status.

Application Instructions

Interested folks should submit an application here.

This position will remain open until filled by the right person.

Questions regarding this position should be directed to Amanda Kik, amanda@crosshatch.org.


In 2017, Crosshatch and Grain Train Food Co-op awarded Pitchfork Farms with a Micro Loan to get their berry production started. Matt and Ellie Evans live in Petoskey with their 4 kids: Bo, Remy, Tucker, and Annie and their 1,500 chickens. Pitchfork Farms has been in operation, mostly offering raw milk herd shares, for the past 6 years. Three years ago, they began raising chickens for eggs and meat. And this year, thanks to a boost from the Micro Loan, they began work on their berry production - strawberries, blackberries, and raspberries that, as of Summer 2018, will be available for U-Pick at their farm in Petoskey.

Ellie was thankful for the Micro Loan to start a project that, at this point, no one else is doing in Petoskey. “The loan goes beyond helping the farming community, it helps the community at large too,” said Ellie. “There’s been a demand for u-pick berries, and right now people have to drive out of Petoskey to find it. To provide something that no one else is doing right now feels really good.”

This is the Micro Loan program at its finest. With zero interest rates, long pay-back times, and facilitators that care about the food & farming community, the Micro Loan is a welcome alternative to traditional methods of financing. Crosshatch, in partnership with Grain Train, is happy to be able to coordinate this program, to help small farms like Pitchfork build their business, and to show that their work is valued. “It was such a great feeling,” said Ellie, of being alerted that they had been awarded the loan, “to know that someone else believed in what we’re doing.”

The 2018 Micro Loan application is now open, and there are a few changes we're excited to announce:

  • Total funds available upped from $6,000 to $10,000 this year!
  • Repayment terms dependent on loan size
  • 0% interest rate
  • No application fee

The deadline to apply is February 12, with loans going out in early March. Apply now and spread the word. Learn more at: www.crosshatch.org/micro-loan/


Hill House Artist and Alumni News

Since our last artist alumni update and news post, we’ve said farewell to the Hill House’s final resident. The Hill House artist residency program may be over, but that doesn’t mean that we’re done with artist residencies in general — quite the contrary, actually. We’ll be experimenting with new models and exploring what an artist residency can be, look like, feel like, and accomplish. If you have ideas, we’d love to hear them. Email us!

But it’s been awhile since we’ve posted on this here blog, so we have a lot of artist alumni news to share with you. Read on to learn about some exciting stuff from folks who have at one point or another spent some time in the Hill House. While it’s true that we have shut the doors on that program, the people we’ve met continue to inspire us and let us know that the Hill House was important, meaningful, and necessary. We’ll be in touch about what’s up our sleeves for the next artist residency program soon. In the meantime, enjoy these updates, and email us if you have alumni updates of your own for us to share!

Hill House Alumni News and Updates

Jason Hugh Ackman was chosen for the 2017 Sustainable Artist Foundation awards, from a pool of over 3,000 applicants! Read more about the awards and Jason here. Nice work, Jason!

Jenny Johnson was interviewed by Literary Hub about her book In Full Velvet and other works. Read the full interview here and pick yourself up a copy of her book at your earliest convenience — makes a great holiday gift!

Artist Kevin Doyle was shortlisted for the 2017 Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting. Listen to a great interview with him about his play and his reaction to being shortlisted. What an accomplishment!

Scott Hocking has had a ton going on (or in his words, a crapload!). Way too much for us to detail here! Are you subscribed to his newsletter? Yeah, you’re going to want to get on that. Read the latest version here.

Composer Anthony Barilla was mentioned in this New York Times article about being chosen as a composer for the musical, “Small Ball,” written by Daryl Morey, the general manager of the Houston Rockets. Can’t wait to hear more, Anthony!

Songstress Abigail Lapell has won the 2017 Canadian Folk Music Award for Contemporary Album of the Year! Woohoo! If you find yourself in Canada, try and catch a show by Abigail, or buy her album here.


Current and Past Hill House Artist News

We’re in the thick of the summer and in the thick of our June-November season at the Hill House. We’ve had some awesome folks come through already and we’ve got so many more artists to meet. Read on to learn a little bit more about who’s in that house on the hill this summer season.



We recently said goodbye to Shannon McMullen and Fabian Winkler - a couple who have been collaborating on their artwork and research. Their son joined them at the Hill House as well. Combining artistic expression and social inquiry, they create projects that share insights into the complex relationships between nature, art and technology in tangible and multi-sensory ways. Funding for their work has been awarded by the National Science Foundation, the Mellon Foundation and the College of Liberal Arts at Purdue University. See what we mean? Some seriously cool, creative people at the Hill House, y’all!

After Shannon and Fabian left, we greeted Vincent Hiscock, a writer from New York. We recently were able to get together as a staff with Hiscock in Bellaire where he told us about what he’s working on and how he found out recently that J.D. Salinger’s favorite restaurant was Burger King. Interesting stuff. We wish Vincent good writing weather and rejuvenating vibes!

After Vincent leaves the Hill House, we’ll get it ready for Shawn Earle, a clarinetist, who (in his own words) uses his research to “evaluate contemporary Canadian clarinet music through the lens of multiculturalism; in particular, I examine how music performance, specifically on the clarinet, is an act of multiculturalism. This project has excited my interest in how the clarinet is able to express and imitate the music of various non-Western cultures. I have created a program for clarinet that is inspired by the music of a variety of cultures. Additionally, in my study of Canadian clarinet music I have discovered that there are no works that reflect my identity as a person of African Nova Scotian descent. I will fill this need by composing a work for the clarinet with African Nova Scotian themes which will be included in the program.”


Did you know that when artists come to the Hill House they stay there free of rent, with yummy, local food provided? A big shout out to Providence Farm, Eden Foods, and The Redheads for donating local produce and conscientiously-prepared food for our artists-in-residence. We hear about the food almost as much as we hear about the inspiration of the house itself.

Don’t forget to tune in to the Artists of the Hill House podcast, produced and recorded by our friend Sean Twomey. https://www.about45degrees.org/artists-of-hill-house-podcast The latest episode features Emily Pittinos, a recent alum and the 2017-18 Senior Fellow in Poetry at Washington University in St. Louis.

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT—and Hill House Artist & Alum News

We’re pumped to announce something that has been in the works for a while, thanks to Sean Twomey, who runs the site About 45 Degrees and works with Real People Media. Sean has been interviewing current residents and alumni from the Hill House, talking to them about their work, life, and experience at the residency. And today, you all get to hear the result!

Now streaming: Artists of Hill House podcast.

The Artists of Hill House Podcast will release two new episodes every two weeks. Soon you’ll be able to find the podcast on iTunes and other streaming sites, but for now check out Sean's site to get your fix. The first two episodes feature

  1. Charming Disaster’s Ellia Bisker and Jeff Morris

  2. Photographer, musician, and writer Kay Ballardinelli

This is your chance to take a sneak peek into what happens at the Hill House and what type of people come through those doors. (Hint: awesome. The type of who people come through those doors are awesome.)



Finishing up the current season of Hill House Artists are Alison Powell, a writer, and Marco Wilkinson, another writer! We made sure the printer ink was stocked and we’re hoping that the spring weather gives life to new ideas at the Hill House.

Next up is the brand new season of the residency. Watch your inbox for an email introducing you to all the artists we’re expecting to visit the Hill House over the next 6 months. For now, we say welcome to the first artist—Savannah Carlin, a visual artist.  



Two announcements of albums dropping from Hill House alum.

The first: Calgary-based musician Jennifer Crighton releases her album Hermitess today! This album was written primarily during Jennifer’s two-week stay at the Hill House. Even the album cover features a photo (below) taken during her stay at the Hill House. We may be biased, but we’re totally smitten with this music. See the video for the track “Blood Moon,” sample a couple songs, and buy the album!


The second: Heather Lockie, who is ¼ of three-thirds (maybe you saw them at our Hill House Showcase last month? If so: lucky you.), just released a solo album called “Marshweed in the Garden.” Read more about it here. Take a listen and purchase the album on bandcamp. Awesome work, Heather!

Crosshatch Center for Art and Ecology and Earthwork Music Partner on 2nd Annual Skill Swap and Concert at Earthwork Farm

Crosshatch Center for Art and Ecology and Earthwork Music Partner on 2nd Annual Skill Swap and Concert at Earthwork Farm


LAKE CITY, MI—Crosshatch and Earthwork Music offer full day of hands-on mini-classes followed by live music and camping at Earthwork Farm.

For the second year in a row, a collaboration between Crosshatch and Earthwork Music is bringing the good people of Michigan an opportunity to come together and learn new skills, such as bike repair, bread baking, songwriting, simple tailoring and—somehow, amazingly—much, much more, with 16 workshops to choose from in all. The fun won’t stop there. After a day of swapping skills, attendees will enjoy an on-farm dinner and waltz hour followed by live music in the barn featuring Seth Bernard (founding director of Earthwork Music, unveiling new material), Gifts of Creatures (husband and wife duo, antique indie folk rock from Lansing), and Heavy Color (richly textured celestial dance music, Toledo based).

"This is proactive problem solving on a local level. Community enrichment in action. We're celebrating our heritage and fostering inclusive hands-on community resilience,” says Seth Bernard. “Any one of these workshops is worth the price of admission. I'm absolutely thrilled to be working with the Crosshatch team to bring this Skill Swap to Earthwork Farm, my birthplace. Please join us, you won't regret it or forget it.”

There are three ticket options for skill-swappers. The whole shebang is $60, which includes the all day Skill Swap beginning at noon, entry to the concert, and overnight camping. For $35, participants can attend just for the Skill Swap from noon-6:00, or just the concert and camping beginning at 7pm.

The Skill Swap and concert is June 3rd from 12pm until late. Tickets run from $35-$60. More information and tickets can be found online at crosshatchskillswap.eventbrite.com. The Skill Swap is made possible with support from: The Workshop Brewing Company, Oryana Community Co-op, The Redheads, New Holland Brewing, and Walk the Beat. If you are interested in supporting the Skill Swap with a sponsorship, email Crosshatch at info@crosshatch.org


About Crosshatch: Crosshatch envisions communities that are grounded in place: where people connect through stories, music, art, shared work, and food, and where the economy and culture are rooted in restoration of the earth and its people. Brad and Amanda Kik started the organization in 2005 as a way to keep Northwest Michigan as beautiful, inspiring, and magical as ever, while helping to make its people even stronger, more self-reliant, and better connected to one another.

About Earthwork Music Collective: Named after Earthwork Farm, the collective's place of origin in Missaukee County, Earthwork has become a Michigan treasure, having developed a collaborative musical platform, a legion of alliances and an epic soundtrack for community resilience. The collective believes in the intrinsic and historical power of music to raise both community and self-awareness and serves to facilitate and encourage original music in the state of Michigan and beyond.

Hill House Artist and Alumni Update

The applications are in and soon we’ll be introducing you to the next cohort of artists that will be coming to the Hill House this summer and fall. Today, let’s focus on who’s been there as of late and who is on their way, plus some exciting alum updates as well. Read on, Hatchies.


Since the fall, we’ve greeted and said farewell to musician Anthony Barilla, writer Emily Pittinos, visual artist Oren Goldenberg, returning alum Charming Disaster, songwriter Julia Purcell, visual artist Kay Bellardinelli, and finally visual artist (and Brit!) Andrew Hladkey. That’s a lotta artists coming and going. At Crosshatch, we often get the chance to get to know these artists at a cocktail hour at Starlight Lounge with the whole staff. It’s always inspiring and grounding to meet the artists that we support through the Hill House. They’re all unique, but they all share the quality of being interesting dreamers and doers. We’re so honored to host them at the Hill House and we thank our donors, supporters, and friends for making the Hill House a possibility for all these artists.

Next up to the Hill House is Lexie Stoia, a visual artist who is bringing her family along with her to the Hill House. Welcome, Lexie!


Now this really tickled our fancy: it’s an article about a Hill House alumni, written by a Hill House alumni. They’re everywhere! Enjoy this piece by Holly Wren Spaulding about Amanda Acker and her shape paintings.

Alum Esteban del Valle was featured in this piece from the Washington Post about his show “Unsettled” that was on exhibition at VisArts in Rockville, Maryland earlier this spring.

We were so happy to host the Hill House Showcase this past weekend, in partnership with Blissfest Music Organization. The event was a two-night affair, happening once at Kirkbride Hall in Traverse City and the next night at Crooked Tree Arts Center in Petoskey. We highlighted three alumni from the Hill House, Joshua Davis, Three Thirds, and Robinson & Rohe. We’re excited to announce that we nearly sold out both shows. The crowds were full of smiling faces. Many of the concert-goers had never seen the out-of-town bands and maybe they hadn’t even heard of the Hill House. What a great way to show off some of the amazing artists that come through the Crosshatch Hill House artist residency program. We feel like proud parents. We might have even shed a tear. Thanks to our mega-talented alumni for putting on such a good show. And thanks to the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs (MCACA) and The Erickson Family Fund at the Petoskey-Harbor Springs Area Community Foundation for their support. 


Are you interested in the future of the arts culture here in Northern Michigan? Of course you are! Join the NW Michigan Arts Network for one of their regional arts planning focus groups and let your voice be heard! The next meeting is April 25th at Crooked Tree Arts Center in Traverse City at 4:00. See you there!

Exciting announcement re: Hill House

A special announcement for all future Hill House residents!

Printmakers and bookmakers take note! Chad Pastotnik, proprietor of Deep Wood Press in Mancelona, is offering Hill House resident artists access to the Bindery and Press Room while in residence.

The Press Room includes a Vandercook 219 Old Style Cylinder press, as well as a selection of type. The Bindery includes book presses and a 1895 Reliance guillotine. For a complete list of equipment visit http://www.deepwoodpress.com/facilities.html

Here's the essential fine print:

(1) arrangements need to be made in advance - please note your interest in using these facilities upon acceptance of your residency.

(2) instruction is NOT offered. This equipment is for experienced printmakers and bookmakers only.

(3) press availability is by arrangement with Chad Pastotnik, and is not guaranteed.

(4) not all equipment on the Deep Wood Press is available for use. The Little Giant and Linotype machine are not for resident use.


Happy printing!

Farewell Jen!

All of us at Crosshatch want to wish Jen Schaap all the best as she transitions into new work with the Local Food Alliance and Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities.

Jen has been with Crosshatch since 2011, and in that time has been a voice for small farmers and the local agricultural community. She has played a prominent role in the development of Crosshatch's many guilds, as well as taking on many years as the organizing muscle behind the Northern Michigan Small Farms Conference.

On behalf of our board and staff, we offer my heartfelt thanks to Jen for her dedication and leadership over these last five years. She has helped Crosshatch grow our community's "major in homecoming" as Wes Jackson calls it. Crosshatch's work has value in as much as it takes place on the ground, in the home, on the farm and in the daily work of local people. Jen has always been that kind of anchor for our work.

"I am extremely grateful for these last 5+ years with Crosshatch Center for Art & Ecology. In my time with Crosshatch, working on the many food and farming programs, I have met some of the most passionate, conscientious colleagues and partners who have helped me grow into a leader, listener, and do-er of the good and necessary work in building community." Says Jen.

And then, "I look forward to continuing this work at Groundwork Center, expanding the mycelial network that makes our rural communities stronger. Crosshatch has a special magic and I know, as I depart, that the brilliant, impassioned, dedicated staff and board will keep making that special magic that answers to the call of the community."

We wish her good luck and great work as she moves forward!