SEARCHING FOR YOUR CREATIVE COMMUNITY?
If you are like many people, you are craving connection more than ever right now. After a two year pandemic, there is nothing I can imagine more healing than sharing music with friends around a campfire! We look forward to building on the success of our first ever Soiree Retreat in October 2019. The outpouring of love, appreciation and excitement that was generated from the first retreat is almost overwhelming! I can barely find words to express HOW incredibly magical and transformative this weekend was for people!
We are feeling optimistic about our Spring 2022 event happening, and at this time the event is 75% sold out already. So we hope you join us for this incredible time ahead as we once again reconnect with each other through music.
March 10-13, 2022
COVID REGISTRATION GUIDELINES
As per the policy of the retreat center and for the safety of our attendees, the retreat is currently only open to fully vaccinated participants (or people who can show proof of not being able to get vaccinated for medical reasons). You will be asked for proof of vaccination in order to attend. We will likely also require a negative PCR or Antigen test (specific test requirements will be added within 2 weeks of the retreat). We will continue to update as things evolve.
UPDATE: Please see our current take on COVID risk assessment and feasibility of the retreat happening on our FB Group in the announcements. Last updated 8/22/21
Thanks, and see you ’round the campfire!
Robin Jackson, Retreat Director
SPRING SONGWRITER SOIREE RETREAT
March 10-13, 2022
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, to allow themselves to get up and be vulnerable and show themselves….The whole experience was something special!” — Gabriella C.
“It was transformative…if you have the opportunity
to go, I really encourage you to do it. It’s a wonderful
gift to yourself and your own creative soul.”
— Elenor O.
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 was 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 tons of hiking trails, basketball, sports fields, and a beautiful lake!
Food and Accomodation at an Amazzzing Retreat center!
We are stoked to be at the Stampfer Jewish Retreat Center, about 10 miles south of Olympia, WA. They are very open and encouraging to groups of all beliefs and backgrounds. The retreat center boasts 175 acres of wild wetlands, a lake and a gorgeous river! The meeting spaces are big, updated and aesthetically pleasing with space for yoga, dance and performing!
Accommodations are clean, comfy and easily accessible near the main lodges. Sleeping arrangements mainly consist of clean, cozy shared cabins (10 beds per room). We have a limited amount of smaller hotel style rooms which each contain a queen and 4 bunks. These can be rented for an additional cost for a family, group or solo. First come first serve so sign up now if you want one). Limited tent camping and RV parking is also available for privacy (same cost as bunks) . Please inquire for more info when you register.
Guests must bring their own linens and blankets. Linens are available to rent for additional cost.
All food is included! Enjoy three nutritious and healthy home cooked meals a day, as well as 24 hour snacks, coffee, tea and other refreshments always available in the main lodge. The kitchen staff is friendly to all dietary needs including vegan, GF, Kosher, etc. And has different sections of the kitchen devoted to each! How awesome is that!
For more information on the facility please click here.
“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
“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
• A feeling of relaxation and peace
• A new song!
ARRIVAL AND DEPARTURE INFO FOR SPRING RETREAT
Check in is Thursday, March 10th between 4-7pm. Dinner is at 7pm followed by opening circle and orientation. We ask you be on site by 6:45pm at the latest. If you need to make arrangements for a late arrival please contact us.
Check out is Sunday, March 13th 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.
PRICING AND REGISTRATION INFO
We SO look forward to having you join us for this truly magical weekend! Your tuition includes all facilities, accommodations, workshops and food – Everything for just $550! And we are offering a discounted ticket price for people ready to sign up now!
COVID REGISTRATION GUIDELINES
As per the current policy of the retreat center, the retreat is currently only open to fully vaccinated participants (or people who can show proof of not being able to get vaccinated for medical reasons). You will be asked for proof of vaccination in order to attend. We will continue to update as things evolve closer to the retreat.
Cancellation Policy: We offer a full refund up to February 1st, minus a $50 cancellation fee. No refunds given after February 1st. Exceptions may be made if someone on the waiting list or someone not already registered can take your spot. We also may offer credit. There will be a $25 admin fee applied for transfers. If the retreat is cancelled by The Soiree or the venue due to COVID safety concerns, we will offer an 80% refund for all tickets or transfer 100% of your credit to the next event.
We have a limited amount of work trade and scholarships available. If interested, please contact us.
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.
It’s impossible to walk away not feeling loved, supported, and inspired! I feel welcomed into a community that has lovely altered the course of my entire life!
— Erin Chmela