Hedgebrook Foundation Programs
Hedgebrook's WRITERS IN RESIDENCE program invites women writers to Hedgebrook's retreat on Whidbey Island for no-cost residencies from two to six weeks. Writers in Residence experience the highest level of support for their bodies, minds, and spirits. While in residence, writers stay in one of six handcrafted cottages, where they are given the gift of time and space to write. In the evenings they gather in the farmhouse kitchen for a home-cooked meal from the organic garden and share their work and their stories.
The HEDGEBROOK VOICES series features the work of Hedgebrook alumnae at venues throughout Seattle and the Puget Sound, raising awareness of the power of words and women's voices. Voices is produced in collaboration with a wide array of community partners and Hedgebrook's longstanding partnership with Elliott Bay Book Company anchors the series.
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT programs at Hedgebrook include the Master Class Retreat Series, the Salon Series and Vortext: Hedgebrook's Weekend Salon for Women Writers. Writers at all levels of experience are accepted. The weeklong Master Classes feature a celebrated writer/teacher and up to six participants, each housed in her own cottage. Participants receive five days of workshops, instructor-lead constructive feedback sessions and one-on-one sessions with the instructor. The Salon Series affords women the opportunity to experience a day of creative workshops led by and for women writers. Vortext: Hedgebrook's Weekend Salon for Women Writers offers a more in-depth salon experience through dynamic keynotes and discussions about opportunities and challenges for women who write.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
Over the past two years, the board and staff have strategically implemented grassroots outreach and community-focused programming, which are significantly raising Hedgebrook's profile and growing its audience base in the Pacific Northwest. Our subscriber list is increasing exponentially, and now includes more than 3,000 members of the local community.
In 2009, Hedgebrook began producing an annual poetry event at Seattle’s Town Hall, which has featured spoken word poets Mayda del Valle, Karen Finneyfrock, Tara Hardy, Storme Webber, StaceyAnn Chin, Ruth Forman, Suheir Hammad, and Uchechi Kalu. In 2011, we produced Hedgebrook Rocks the Mic at Broadway Performance Hall, featuring a stellar line-up of Hedgebrook Alumnae. The evening celebrated our Girls Ink program, which hosted a group of 40 girls for a week-long writing camp with Hedgebrook Alumnae as mentors. Hedgebrook’s 2010 and 2011 Women Playwrights Festival evenings at ACT Theatre have been so well attended (by more than 100 people) that we have held the event in ACT’s Falls Theatre instead of the Bullitt Cabaret as initially planned.
Despite the difficult economy, we have continued to meet or exceed our fundraising goals each year, and we have implemented new earned-income strategies that are taking important steps to sustaining Hedgebrook into the future. However, Hedgebrook is currently engaged in an important and critical phase of capacity building and faces the challenges of a truncated timeframe and a difficult economy. We need to rapidly increase our staff capacity particularly in the area of marketing and communications in order to support our growing outreach programs.