Buona Pasqua! The Art Monastery has big news: on April 12, the Art Monastery Project will move into a monastery!
We were very sad to learn when we returned to Calvi in February that access to the monastery was delayed again and that we would not be able to host artists there this summer. We certainly plan to maintain a very close relationship with Calvi, returning often to perform concerts and spectacles. Meanwhile, after three wonderful years in Calvi, another town has made us an offer we can not refuse!
The new site, Labro, is the most exquisitely restored Medieval town we have seen in Italy. Perched on the side of a mountain, you look one way and see a lake. You look the other way and see the tallest mountains in Italy south of the Alps. It’s a little smaller than Calvi but has a much smaller population (450 people) because most of the buildings are owned by Italians who live in other parts of Italy and come to Labro for the month of August. The mayor is an innovative guy who wants to extend the population of Labro into other months of the year. He wants to do that by giving them a reason to be in Labro and sees the Art Monastery as a great opportunity. Labro has a lovely Medieval Franciscan monastery that has been renovated into a hotel. Definitely upscale from the Santa Brigida, the monastery rents out 12 rooms (total capacity of 28), has a functioning restaurant and bar, a state-of-the-art theater (seats 125), stunning cloister, and gorgeous church.
Yesterday we signed a 12-month contract with the Hotel Colle di Costa and the mayor of Labro trading housing for 8 to 12 artists and staff members year-round in exchange for monthly performances and art exhibitions. This is a major accomplishment for the project, dramatically lowering our expenses and focusing our attention and energies on art-making. We will still run all of our currently planned workshops and are delighted to host travelers and guests. In fact, we’ve negotiated a wonderful agreement where our guests will pay the same rate we charged at the Santa Brigida, which is lower than our new host’s going rate.
Labro is an hour-and-a-half drive northeast of Calvi, just over the border into Lazio, the same region Rome is in. Although we’ll be further from Rome as the crow flies, the trains that go to the nearest station are much faster, so the ride is half as long.
We’re finding a lot of symbolism in signing this contract on Easter weekend (Rebirth! Renewal!) and in the fact that the patron saint of Labro is the very same (very rare) parton saint of Calvi: San Pancrazio. So we are fully prepared for the Labro town festival on May 12 with vespers and celebrations!
We will take occupancy in Labro in mid-April. Our new home will give us the opportunity to initiate several new programs, such as an artist-in-residence program dedicated to visual artists. We aim to start that program this Fall.
Another new program that this move makes possible is a new internship program. We will be able to host two interns who will work closely with Christopher and me, experiencing the process of developing art projects from original ideas right on through to the execution. They will learn about arts administration for music, performing, and visual arts. Interns will be responsible for covering the cost of their travel, room, and board. We will begin accepting applications for our new internship program right away. Interested parties can send their resume, statement of interest, and portfolio (if relevant) to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are really, really excited and happily making very different To Do lists than we were a few days ago. I can’t tell you what an impact this could have on the project. It’s a giant leap forward, will bring us into deeper alignment with the vision of the project, and is undoubtably the beginning of a new chapter in our lives. Thank you to everyone who has stuck it out with us this far and helped us out along the way…we look forward to also sharing the next fabulous chapter of the Art Monastery project with all of you as well! Happy Easter!