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!

Hill House Showcase Concert

Crosshatch Center for Art and Ecology Partners with Blissfest Music Organization to Present the Hill House Showcase Concert, Featuring the Joshua Davis Trio, in Traverse City and Petoskey

TRAVERSE CITY, MI—Joshua Davis will headline, along with Robinson & Rohe and Three Thirds, in a two-night series of the Hill House Showcase Concert at Kirkbride Hall on Friday, April 14th and Crooked Tree Arts Center in Petoskey on Saturday, April 15.  

Since 2010, artists from all over the world have been traveling to Northern Michigan in order to live and work at the Hill House Artist Residency. Fewer than 10% of applicants are selected. The Hill House Artist Residency serves musicians, writers, performers, and visual artists. The residency grants time and space—two to four weeks in a log cabin near the Jordan River, stocked with locally sourced food—to support artists and the creation of new art.

Crosshatch is excited to present a showcase concert, featuring three of the very best alumni acts from the past 7 years. Joshua Davis will headline the show with his trio, featuring Mike Shimmin and Mike Lynch. Joshua Davis is Michigan’s beloved folk music hero. Performing Songwriter Magazine has called his music, “some of the most liveliest and rocking roots around.”

Three-thirds, from Los Angeles, combines the underdog instruments of the orchestra - bass, oboe, viola - with acoustic guitar. The band is made up of Jake Rosenzweig, Grammy Award-winner Alex Wand, Claire Chenette, and Heather Lockie. Three-thirds is releasing their new single, The Groundskeeper, on March 4th, just in time for the concert.

Jean Rohe and Liam Robinson met a decade ago through their love of participatory music-making and American folk song. Their original repertoire is inspired by the traditions they hold dear and features carefully crafted lyrics, elegant vocal harmonies, and detailed arrangements for guitar, banjo, and accordion. Together, they are Robinson & Rohe.

Crosshatch is partnering with Blissfest Music Organization to put on this showcase, with generous support from a grant from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and The Erickson Family Fund at the Petoskey-Harbor Springs Area Community Foundation. The show will run from 7:30-11pm on Friday, April 14 at Kirkbride Hall. The same show will run again the next night, on Saturday, April 15 at Crooked Tree Arts Center in Petoskey. Tickets are $20 ($15 for Blissfest members to Saturday’s show) and can be purchased at www.blissfest.org/concerts. Please reach out to Crosshatch at info@crosshatch.org or 231-622-5252 with any questions.


Next Hill House Artist Residency Program Deadline: April 1

Calling all artists! Internationally-attended Hill House artist residency program application deadline approaching soon

BELLAIRE, MI — Crosshatch Center for Art & Ecology’s Hill House artist residency applications for the June 2017-December 2017 residency season are due April 1.

The program supports musicians, writers, theater/performance, and visual artists. Artists who apply to the program will go through a jury process. Selected artists are awarded time and space to create new work, with a two- to four-week stay in a semi-secluded log cabin near East Jordan, Michigan. The musician residency also offers a small stipend to emerging songwriters to aid in professional development.

The cabin is surrounded by woods and is within walking distance of the Jordan River. It includes a well-stocked kitchen (with locally sourced food when seasonally available), a selection of instruments and some basic recording gear. Artists are invited, but not required, to engage in community outreach through performance, readings and workshops with coordination and promotion help from Crosshatch. The Hill House artist residency program is unique as it accepts parent artists, artists who want to bring a pet, and allows artists from different disciplines to be in residence together. The only cost for an artist to participate in the Hill House residency program is the $35 application fee.

"My Crosshatch Hill House residency provided me an invaluable opportunity to work uninterrupted, connect with the land and deepen my own understanding of what it is to be an artist and human being," says Jeff Morris, Hill House alum from January 2016 and February 2017.

For more information about the Crosshatch Hill House artist residency, including a link to the online application system, visit check out our Artist Residency page or contact Crosshatch by email or by phone: 231-622-5252.


Photo of Hill House by alum Scott Hocking

Photo of Hill House by alum Scott Hocking

Micro Loans Put to Good Use

Last year, we partnered up with Grain Train Natural Foods Market to give away three micro loans to farms. You may remember our news post about what they were planning to do. Just in time for the launch of the second round of the micro loans, we've got updates on what these farms used the loans for. Feeling inspired? Apply for a loan of your own. Applications now open!

Best Farm in Ellsworth was able to do some soil health building, irrigation work and get some repairs done on a tractor. The low interest rate was especially intriguing to Best Farm, as the bank was offering a much higher rate for loans. 

Grass Lake Organics in Antrim County was able to purchase some irrigation and tilling equipment to cultivate a garden, which lead to supplying food for the surrounding community. Grass Lake Organics also supplied a specialty harvest of radish pods exclusively for Moka in Bellaire.

The third recipient, Open Sky Organic Farm in Cross Village, is installing new heating and cooling systems to extend their season and offer organic vegetables longer into the fall and winter. Susan Sharp, of Open Sky Organic Farm, went on to raise more funding after receiving the micro loan, too. “Receiving the micro loan gave validity to what we were doing on the farm and helped us gain confidence to move forward with other things, like the Kiva lending program,” said Sharp. Open Sky Organic Farm went on to raise $10,000 within days on the Kiva crowd funding platform. 

You can be one of the featured farms on this blog next year by applying for a micro loan today! Ideal candidates will propose an idea that would boost a farm or food business and elevate the region's local food system. Applicants can apply for loans between $500 - $6,000. Loans will have a 2.5% interest rate with 18-month repayment terms. There is no application fee.

The micro loan program is now open for applications and the deadline to apply is February 6. The loans will be distributed in March of 2017 and borrowers will be required to have three meetings with the loan agents throughout the term to discuss how their project is evolving.

Hill House Artist & Alum Update

Whoa, whoa, whoa. Time got away from us, Hatchies. It’s been far too long since we’ve updated you on what’s happening with the Hill House artists and alum. Forgive us; these are crazy times. Read on to get your fix.



After Kevin Doyle left, the Hill House had a couple dormant weeks so we could do things like replace the roof and get ready for the next season of Hill House artists. Now that it’s ready to rock again, we are happy to be hosting Maria Anderson, a fiction writer from Montana. Her work has recently been published in The Iowa Review, The Missouri Review, and The Atlas Review. She was a finalist for the 2016 Iowa Review Contest, the 2016 Dzanc Disquiet International Fiction Award, and the 2015 Missouri Review Editors' Prize. The whole staff was able to catch up with Maria one night in Bellaire and she was excited to be at the Hill House and ready to work.

And to kick off our next season of artists, Anthony Barilla will come to the Hill House in December. Anthony Barilla is a musician, writer, and performance artist based in Houston, Texas. He makes interdisciplinary works, often incorporating his travels in Kosovo, the Caucasus, Africa, and Europe. He has written music for theaters around the U.S. and regularly creates compositions for national radio program This American Life. Act One: Hill House Artist Residency.

We’ll soon be introducing the next crop of Hill House Artists for December-May, but we can tell you this much now: Holy Cow. These folks are impressive, inspiring, and we can’t wait for you to meet em.




Graham Parsons was recently at the Hill House and had this to say about his experience and Crosshatch: “I’ve never really considered myself an 'Artist'. More of an observer/empath who happens to be able to carry a tune. It feels good to know that there are people and organizations out there who find value what I do, in who I am.” Graham, we value you. Catch Graham and The Go Rounds on December 31st at the Wealthy Theater in Grand Rapids for a New Years Eve Micro-Fest and Food Drive.

One of XH’s favorite Canadians, Abigail Lapell, was recently named this year’s recipient of the Ontario Arts Council’s Colleen Peterson Songwriting Award, for her song “Jordan.” Psst, Hatchies, listen up! “Jordan” is about the Jordan River where the Hill House sits. We’re so happy Abigail’s residency inspired this caliber of songwriting, and that it was recognized. You rock, Abigail!

A recent HH alum, Katie Gately, just released an album entitled Color. Stream is here, or better yet: buy it here. Color was favorably reviewed by Stereo Gum, we think you’ll like it too. Katie was featured in Wire magazine and Loud & Quiet magazine, as well as some German publications. Go, Katie, go!

Detroit-based photographer, Scott Hocking, was just named an Efroymson Contemporary Art Fellow. With the fellowship Scott intends to use a portion of the award to complete a site-specific installation in Detroit titled “Signs” supported in part by a Knight Arts Challenge grant. This project includes the creation of 30-50 signs using existing armatures at commercial locations to recreate signs that have disappeared over the last 100 years which has erased much of the history at each site in the process. Through this work, Scott hopes to produce discussions regarding the commodification of art and the history at each location/business and create new perceptions of each selected site. We can’t wait to see this project in person. Keep an eye on Scott, he’s moving and shaking and doing the good work.



Do you LOVE these updates? Are you sitting there thinking, “These artists are so cool. What a cool program to give these folks time and space to keep creating this awesome work.”? If so, a.) we know, right? And b.) we’re HIRING! We’re looking for a new Art Programs Coordinator - someone who will be responsible for the direction and management of the Hill House and our other art programs. Is it you? Check out the full job description and apply now!



We're Hiring — Multiple Positions Open!

Hi folks, 

Crosshatch is looking for a few new faces to add to our staff. We've got positions open for people who love events, who love planning, who love artists, and who love all of it. Take a look at these full job descriptions and see if one is a good fit for you. Then apply, asap—we're ready to hire!

All positions will remain open until filled. Any questions at all can be directed to amanda@crosshatch.org. 

Events and Operations Coordinator

Art Programs Coordinator (Part-time!)

VISTA (One-year contract - Application Deadline: December 31st)

Hill House Artist and Alum News

We’re two short weeks from another Hill House Deadline. That’s right, folks. If you want to apply to be a Hill House Artist-in-Residence, get your application in by October 1st! But, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. We’re still in the middle of the current Hill House season with awesome artists coming and going every couple of weeks! Let’s see what they’ve been up to, shall we?


After Katie Gately headed back to sunny southern California, we welcomed performance artist, theater, dancer, “picasso-of-all-trades,” Kevin Doyle. Doyle is the artistic director of Sponsored By Nobody, an international theatre company based in Brooklyn, NY and a graduate of the Drama Studies program at Purchase College (SUNY). He has written and/or directed eleven original plays; while working as a theatre and film director in Belgium, France, Sweden and the United States.

A few of us were lucky enough to hear Kevin speak about his work and his life over a brown bag lunch in Bellaire. We left the event feeling inspired and ready to work together to bring more experimental art to northern Michigan. And only one of us was dealing with some previous-career flashback related stress after seeing a clip of one of Kevin’s plays about Target. You’ll be alright, Jen. You’re home now. Thanks so much to Kevin for taking the time to chat with us about art, activism, and the importance of supporting theater in smaller cities and towns.



Passepart Duo, who was just at the Hill House last month, released another video they filmed in the Hill House. Stunning work! We love seeing so much beautiful art being made under that roof! 

Songwriter and artist Sianna Plavin is up for a Dorry’s Award (The Dorry’s honor “anything musical that took place in Rhode Island or a border town”). You can vote for her - but tomorrow (9/15) is your last chance! Find her under the “Quiet Act of the Year” category, but we encourage you to shout your support loudly!

Listen to Hill House alum Rebecca Rego’s new single, Spell, on bandcamp, then do yourself a favor and pre-order new album, LAY THESE WEAPONS DOWN, immediately after. Nice work, Rebecca. We’re loving the single - it’s perfect for these almost-autumn afternoons.

Visual artist Corwin Levi’s exhibition, An Unfinding, is up at VisArts until October 9. In the exhibition, Corwin “builds a metaphorical relationship between these vast unknowable spaces and the possibilities in the outer physical world and within individual personal experience.” If you find yourself in the DC area over the next few weeks, you’re going to want to add this to your “must-see” list, right under (or above?!) the White House.



Have we mentioned we have a deadline coming up? I always say I work best under pressure. Do you? Perfect. Then turn off your TV, and get your materials together to apply by October 1. You got this.