SEARCHING FOR YOUR CREATIVE COMMUNITY?
If you are like many people, you are craving connection more than ever right now. After a 3 year pandemic, there is nothing I can imagine more healing than sharing music with friends around a campfire! If you were at either of our past retreats, you know that the outpouring of love, appreciation and excitement that was generated has been almost overwhelming! Our Summer camp this July was off the charts….I can barely find words to express HOW incredibly magical and transformative this weekend was for people!
If you didn’t make it into our Summer Camp, never fear, the next NW Songwriter Soiree Retreat is around the corner! We are excited to offer two retreats each year moving forward — a Summer camp and an amazing Winter retreat for contemplation and renewal. We look forward to playing with you this year as you discover and life your creative self!
February 16 – 19th, 2023
Our Winter Retreat is SOLD OUT!
If you’d like to get on the waitlist, please contact us. And be sure to join us for our big Summer Camp July 26-30th! Tickets will be on sale 2nd week of February (we are working on it). Be the first to know and sign our mailing list at the bottom of the page.
Thanks, and see you ’round the campfire!
Robin Jackson, Retreat Director
WINTER SONGWRITER SOIREE RETREAT
FEBRUARY 16-19, 2023
ABOUT THE RETREAT
What began in 2009 as a monthly living room potluck, has turned into one of the largest communities of songwriters and lovers of music in the Pacific Northwest! This event is not a typical “songwriting retreat.” The Soiree is a place for ANYONE to enjoy the art and craft of songwriting, to learn music, and to enjoy community and connection! We hope you will become a member of our community and join our semi-annual retreat.
What makes the soiree so special is the music, yes…and even more, it’s the PEOPLE! Our mission is to support songwriters of all skill levels and genres, create an inspiring and supportive experience, and provide a safe space where individuals can express themselves through music and storytelling.
Whether you are a songwriter yet or not, this event is for you! Yes, it’s a songwriting retreat. And it’s also a creative arts and community retreat. The retreat provides an opportunity to learn the craft of songwriting, to develop and expand musical skills, and to commune and share with others, yourself, and nature, in an intimate and connected way.
The focus of the retreat is on the SHARING aspect. In addition to the AMAZING songwriting and music workshops offered, the main event is an open mic session each night wherein participants share songs they have written, or are working on…followed by all night campfire jams!
Also note that sharing a song or writing a song isn’t required at all. How you participate is up to you! Just listen, bring your presence, give feedback, relax, learn and enjoy!
All of this magic is set in a location that provides an environment conducive to creativity, support and relaxation!
“You could not ask for a more receptive, listening, and encouraging audience to play for! It was so inspiring to see some people who had never played or performed before, or played anything before, allowing themselves to get up and be vulnerable and show themselves….The whole experience was something special!”
— Gabriella C
It was amazing. Probably the best group experience of my life.
— DeAnna Rose, Soiree Participant.
Open Mic Soiree
This is the heart of the soiree. Each night we will gather together in an intentional and supportive space, to share original songs. Participants are encouraged to talk about the process!
We are over the moon excited to have some amazing regionally recognized and talented teachers, performers and mentors join us. We will be offering daily workshop choices in all aspects of songwriting including lyricism, arranging, storytelling, form, musicality and more! All levels.
Music, Performance, and Creativity Workshops
Whether you are a professional or don’t identify as a “musician,” We have lots of dynamic ways you can participate and learn! Want to learn how to play the ukulele or guitar or just sing in a group? This retreat is for ANYONE who wants to be creative or just enjoy the community vibes. We will be offering workshops on circle singing, vocal improv, drumming, beginning guitar, ukulele, music performance, confidence and more!
Yoga and Dance
Begin each day with an optional, inspiring led yoga class taught by one of our renowned teachers, and an ecstatic dance on Sunday!
Group Connection and Play
Part of what makes the soiree unique is the safe, supportive and connected space we create. We will be taking some time to get to know each other (just like Summer camp!) and offer some fun, connecting activities to make the weekend even more awesome. Optional, yet encouraged!
We came here to relax, right?! Take the time YOU need to unwind, be still and let inspiration find you. We will provide lots of free time and space for reflection, hiking and connection with other activities. The property offers hiking trails, big starry skies, a stream for light bathing, and a serene and meditative nature experience!
Food and Accommodation at an amazzzing Retreat Center In Corbett, OR!
We are very excited to announce a move to our new home at the Menucha Retreat Center, located in Corbett, OR, about 20 miles from Portland! Menucha is a well established retreat center boasting stunning views of the gorge, over 200 acres of forest and paths and a deep rooted community which has been built to support community and connection. Menucha’s mission is enriching lives through hospitality, learning, reflection and renewal. Sign us up!
They are very open and encouraging to groups of all beliefs and backgrounds. The meeting spaces are welcoming and versatile, with space for yoga, dance and performing!
Accommodations are clean, comfy and easily accessible within and near the main lodges. Sleeping arrangements consist of clean, cozy shared rooms in different configurations (single/double/triple/bunks). First come first serve so sign up now if you want a specific room)!
All food is included! Enjoy three nutritious and healthy home cooked meals a day, as well as 24 hour coffee, tea and other refreshments always available in the lodges. The kitchen staff is friendly to all dietary needs including vegan, GF, Kosher, etc. How awesome is that!
ARRIVAL AND DEPARTURE INFO FOR WINTER RETREAT
Check in is Thursday, February 16th between 4-7pm. Dinner is at 5:30pm followed by opening circle and orientation. We ask you be on site by 6:45pm at the absolute latest. If you need to make arrangements for a late arrival please contact us.
Check out is Sunday, February 19th at 3:30pm after closing circle (guests asked to be off land by 4:30pm).
You will immediately get more information on arrival/departure, schedule and accommodations after you register.
“I came to the retreat curious about how this might further inspire my fledgling songwriting. When I arrived, I felt excited but also nervous, what was I doing here?! I was warmly welcomed and immediately felt at ease. The entire weekend was full of authentic connection and beautiful expression. I left feeling more open, expansive, inspired and supported. I couldn’t have asked for a better audience to share with for the first time!”
— Maria Veltman
WHAT YOU’LL TAKE AWAY FROM THE WEEKEND
• Songwriting tools and tips
• Creative confidence
• New skills in music
• New friends and connections
• Soothing time in nature at a world class setting in the Columbia Gorge!
• A feeling of relaxation and peace
• A new song!
PRICING AND REGISTRATION INFO
When we launched the NW Songwriter Retreat in 2019 we decided to offer it at a lower price that would encourage people to attend this new event. Our previous fees didn’t cover our costs ( and now all our expenses have risen due to the rising costs of everything post Covid). For the amount of value we offer at this camp, we are bringing our prices up to where they need to be in order to offer this enriching experience and make it sustainable long term.
The NW Songwriter Soiree Retreat has strong values around inclusion and accessibility. Part of our ethos is to provide an experience where people from many different backgrounds and situations can gather and learn from each other — not just those with the privilege or resources to attend. Thus, we chose a new location which offers multiple pricing options based on the level of accommodations you choose.
We SO look forward to having you join us for this truly magical weekend! Your tuition is per person and includes all facilities, accommodations, workshops, 9 meals, and 24hr beverage service!
The difference in costs are dependent on the type of lodging chosen. You can choose to be in a single, double (you and 1 roommate), triple (you and two roommates) or bunks ( 8-12 bunk beds ) occupancy room. You can tell us who you’d like to room with, or we’ll assign you one. All rooms come with full bedding, towels, and access to a shared bathroom.
Our rooms will be in Wright Hall, Creevey Commons, and Ballard Hall. You can see what these buildings look like here.
All room levels are first come first serve and all room availability type is limited. We expect to sell out so make your choice soon. You can pay all at once or we offer a payment plan (info on next page).
Bunk Rooms (up to 8-12 people per room) $627
Triple Occupancy Room $699
Double Occupancy Room $789
Single Occupancy Room $889
**We have a limited amount of work trade and scholarships available. If interested, please contact us before signing up!
The Winter Retreat is Sold Out. Please join us for Summer camp July 26-30th, 2023. Tickets will be on sale by Feb 9th!
COVID REGISTRATION GUIDELINES
UPDATED 1/25/23: Please note we have modified our requirements for Covid testing. At this point, our protocol is that everyone attending will be required to do one of the following: Either A) Take one home antigen test within 24 hours of coming and another one the day of the event. You will be asked to show your results at registration for both tests. Or B) a negative PCR test within 24 hours of the retreat. We will continue to update as things evolve. Thank you for your patience and understanding!
Cancellation Policy (as of 11/11/22): We offer a 75% refund up to one month before the event. No refunds given after a month prior. We also may offer 90% of your tuition as credit towards a future event. If the retreat is cancelled by the Soiree or the venue due to COVID safety concerns or an act of nature, we will offer 90% of your credit to any future event (does not expire).
Make a difference in someone’s life and donate to the scholarship program!
Not everyone is able to afford the soul enriching creative experience that we offer. To that end, part of the mission of the NW Songwriter Soiree Retreat is to make the retreat as inclusive as possible, regardless of financial ability. We offer options for work trade and low income tickets funded by our scholarship program. The funds available in our scholarship program are determined by donations made from individual donors as well as funds offered by the retreat. The more donations we have, the more people we can offer scholarships to!
If you want to help someone attend please consider making a donation. Your funds will go directly towards paying for someone’s ticket!
Any amount helps at all! Even $10!
Your name will be included in the gift when they receive it, unless you wish to remain anonymous, in which case please indicate that in the note under the donation.
It takes a village, thank you for your generosity!
WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING
SAFER SPACE POLICY
The organizers of the NW Songwriter Soiree Retreat recognizes that oppression is real and that some of us (white people) reap unequal benefits from a legacy of privilege.
We believe that anytime people gather and hold space, it is a powerful opportunity to acknowledge and shift the ways oppressive systems harm and disconnect us from ourselves, from each other, and from the earth. We see it as a necessity in order for growth and transformation to take place.
We recognize that there are people in bodies which are marginalized. We aspire to co-create a space that is as safe as possible for all people, with the understanding that a fully safe space is impossible in our world. People of all races, sizes, ages, cultural backgrounds, gender identities, sexual orientations, trauma backgrounds, and religions are welcome. Intentional words and actions that promote racism, misogyny, hatred, bigotry, supremacy, sizeism, transphobia, ageism, or divisiveness will not be tolerated and will constitute expulsion from the retreat.
“I had wondered, as a non-singer, non-songwriter, and non-musician, what I could possibly get from this weekend. And, I got a lot. Songwriting was just the vehicle for the retreat’s true purpose: this was a creativity retreat! That’s something worthwhile even for someone whose only instrument is the kazoo.”
— Avi Kindle