Being at HATCH was one of the most inspiring and magical experiences of my life, as a human being and as an artist. I will forever cherish the feelings of ease, lightness, joy and discovery that I experienced there. I felt completely held, totally free, and deeply supported the whole time. The precedent that HATCH sets for residencies around the country, and world is remarkable, and should be recognized. I believe the womxn running HATCH are doing amazing work, setting an example of what it really means to support artists, both physically and emotionally as human beings and creators. The mission to support womxn and non binary identifying artists for their potential rather than experience, their commitment to nourishing the artists in both body and soul, the decision to pay the artists for their time and work, and the lack of pressure to produce a "finished product" is extremely important, and I believe quite revolutionary. In a country dominated by a system that more often than not expects artists to donate their skills and labor, or pay for the opportunity to create; where womxn and queer artists are overlooked, or expected to create in spaces that feel unsafe, or are tokenized, expected to perform their excellence or their identity for the benefit of the organization, rather than having space to discover and grow, be human, be artists.... In a system that capitalizes on our creativity without investing in our humanity, this residency feels like an antidote, a reimagining of what is possible. It was a very important reminder to me, and I believe to the other amazing artists I got to rub shoulders with too, that my value as an artist and human-being is not contingent on my productivity, that we are allowed to change and grow, indeed we are never done changing and growing. The womxn who run HATCH understand this, and it is this kind of emergent, loving support that I truly believe the world needs much more of. We are more than the work we create, or get paid to create. You cannot monetize a soul, or put a price tag on community and true connection. I wish for folks who hope to do similar work supporting artists to take very diligent notes, and acknowledge the work these womxn have been doing. I wish HATCH a very long and fruitful life.
HATCH is the perfect residency. I know it's not fashionable to use the word perfect anymore but I have to. Becky, Miriam and Nell are the most skilled and graceful facilitators I have ever met. The time was shockingly productive and a much needed respite from my daily machinations.
HATCH is a special place, where artists are honored not just with a beautiful setting and food, but with supportive feedback and compensation. Being able to collaborate on emerging work was a life changing experience. With communal spaces plentiful, living and working alongside other artists was a gift. I hope it will continue through the years to foster artists' work in the Philly region.