The Swimming Hole Foundation offers a collaborative residency program that brings together creative practitioners to explore, experiment and advance work, together.

Collaboration has become a survival skill for our future.

The Swimming Hole is a natural haven where people can connect with nature and each other without the noise and distraction of the outside world. It provides an environment that makes room for new ideas and insights that lead to action.


Make way for the possible.

In a world of scarce resources and urgent problems, collaboration is now a survival skill for the future. Collaboration has the potential to advance paradigms for change. The Swimming Hole is activating the power collaboration to carve pathways that lead to a kinder more equitable world.


The Swimming Hole is activating the power of collaboration.


The Swimming Hole offers people with genuine curiosity room to experiment, design, and make, together. The Swimming Hole can be converted into artist's studios, a performance space, a retreat center, a workshop venue or a place to prototype site specific work. Our facilities adapt to meet the needs of our fellows.

We support groups of up to ten fellows to convene around a theme. Themes range from co-creating artwork to cross-disciplinary performance, from multi-modal writing workshops to strategic "exploratories" that develop existing and emerging organizations.


Fellowships range from three days to two weeks and include room, meals and workspace for up to 10 people. Travel costs and personal expenses are not provided. 


Facilities include an open barn, a large sculpture/garden, an outdoor stage, a ceramics studio and many hidden, special places to set up and work.


The Swimming Hole Facilities

Situated on the side of a private mountain near historic Woodstock, NY, the Swimming Hole sits within 3500-acres of preserved land with direct access to hiking trails, mountain tops, cascading streams and expansive views of the northern Catskills. A rigorous hike up to the Lookout Tower offers 360 degree views of the Catskills and the Hudson Valley. The crystal clear swimming hole is a three-minute walk from the house.

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Living space and the daily routine

The Mountain House has seven sleeping spaces, three bathrooms and options for pitching tents. It sleeps up to 12 people. Neighboring farm houses offer additional housing for larger events.

The main floor features an open living plan with a large kitchen, dining table, living room, a library, screened porch, deck and patio. Coffee is ready at 6am for early risers. Breakfast and lunch are planned around work schedules.


The barn is the heart of the Swimming Hole workspace. The Sculpture Garden and surrounding landscape can be used for site-specific work. There are tools for woodworking in the Tool Shed, a ceramics studio and many covered spaces for setting up work outdoors. A communally prepared dinner is served on the porch at sunset. At nightfall, fellows gather around the fire for storytelling under the stars.



Currently the Swimming Hole residency program is by invitation.The Swimming Hole Foundation participates in locally produced activities that include on-site music and film festivals, studio and residency tours, perfomance and shows displaying the work being done at the Swimming Hole.


Follow us @theswimmingholefoundation to learn more.


Do something good, together.

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As a social impact organization we have a responsibility to consider what it means to acknowledge the history and legacy of colonialism in our history as a nation, community, and organization. 


The Swimming Hole Foundation acknowledges that Ulster County is the traditional territory of the Esopus (es-SOAP-us), a tribe of the Lenape (Delaware) Native Americans who were native to the Catskill Mountains. Their lands included modern day Ulster and Sullivan counties. We acknowledge the devastating history of genocide and forced removal from this territory, and we honor them and the many diverse Indigenous people still connected to this land on which we gather.

Ulster County was one of the largest slave-holding counties in the state. Sojourner Truth, was born a slave in Ulster County in the 1790s and was raised near Rosendale, 10 miles to our south. The phrase, “Where slavery died hard,” was bestowed upon Ulster County as a result of the Dutch resistance to abolition during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. 


The Swimming Hole Foundation acknowledges these painful chapters in our local history and we hope that the humble recognition of those who suffered can inspire all of us to work together towards obliterating all forms of racism that exist in our country today.