"The experience felt luxurious. The time, physical space, and the accommodations all felt abundant. I think the thing that stood out the most was feeling like we were completely taken care of, but also had complete freedom to structure our visit the way that best suited our needs. Being away from city noise and constant interactions with other humans provided me with the mental space to get to a pure stage of reflection. That was a true blessing. It felt like not just NOT doing, but also undoing some really unhealthy habits that just had become everyday life."

— Boyuan Gao, co-founder of Project Inkblot and past Decelerator resident




The Strange is a riverside mini compound in West Shokan, NY. Through our Decelerator residency and self-directed creative retreat programs, we provide an inspiring, deeply nourishing, and free-of-cost or affordable experience to creative practitioners in need of time, space, and tranquility. We have three private spaces, which together accommodate up to 12 overnight guests. Learn more about Strange HQ accommodations here. Residents and guests are required to book their own transportaion, bring their own groceries, and treat the space as a haven of positive, regenerative energy.

About our Decelerator residency:

For two months each spring and fall, we host select residents (by application) for private, free-of-cost retreats as part of our Decelerator residency program. In April and May of 2019, we hosted our inaugural cohort of Decelerator residents—you can learn more about them and their work here. In October and November of 2019, we will host our second Decelerator cohort, comprised of creative practitioners whose regenerative work supports others. You can learn more about the Fall Decelerator program here, and subscribe to our newsletter to find out when future Decelerator application periods are announced. 

About our self-directed creative retreats:

For individuals looking to book a private stay at Strange HQ, email [email protected] for availability. In general, we are booked up for the Decelerator residency throughout April, May, October, and November. Other times of the year, we offer affordable creative retreats for those looking to spend at least 5 nights at Strange HQ, including a weekend. We also offer rentals for those interested in non-creative uses of the space— learn more about rental rates here. For nonprofit organizations seeking a space to host a group retreat, please email [email protected] to inquire about our sliding-scale community rates for on-mission orgs.




"My residency at The Strange was the perfect opportunity to create space—mentally, physically, psychically, and in my practice. Being in a place that was was both beautiful and comfortable, but also quiet and remote enabled me to tune into myself and my work rather than be distracted by all the "must-dos" and "should-dos" of day-to-day life. Set in the gorgeous Catskill Mountains, the barn itself was breathtaking and felt like a complete treat to occupy. I found myself doing things I hadn't had the chance to do in maybe years: read, think, go for meandering walks, and really tune into what I needed in each moment. The set-up was beautiful, with things that made my life easy such as ample outlets, ample sunlight, and immense desk space, and these small touches really made a difference as well."

— Kate McBride, co-founder of The Cauldron, and previous Decelerator resident (pictured on the far right)


The most surprising part of decelerating was realizing how long it had been since I’d sat alone with myself without distraction. I do take a lot of solo time in the city, but I’m constantly stimulated by all the people surrounding me. I’ve always been a New York City-based artist, so I think it was crucial for me to reconnect with the practice of developing ideas and work amongst nature. Over the past years, I’ve started associating my life as a full-time artist with a specific backdrop and agenda, and taking this dedicated deceleration time has been a beautiful reminder that it is not only important to break any habits that don’t serve me, but also to encourage a constant evolution and flexibility in the ways I live and work. — Sarah Kinlaw, artist and past Decelerator resident


"It's my wish that everyone could experience a residency like this one. Slowing down allows your mind and body to unravel and uncoil. I've taken pleasure in this process and really, there can be a lot of shame surrounding slowness and pleasure in a creative culture that prioritizes productivity. Moving forward, I want to always make time for this 1-2 week deceleration.

— Jessica Lynne, writer and co-founder of ARTS.BLACK, and past Decelerator resident


"The Strange's Decelerator residency is about slowing down and focusing, and in this sense it provided me with a much-needed 'breather' to be alone with my writing. It gives you the time and the space to not just think, but to be—something that can be hard to do in any other residency or space. It was one of my favorite residency experiences I've ever had."  — Researcher and artist Caroline Sinders

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Teachers from the School for Poetic Computation pose by the pond after a group retreat at Strange HQ in the fall of 2018; students from the School for Poetic Computation seated in the barn for dinner in the spring of 2019. Read a thoughtful synopsis, and see more photos, of SFPC's retreat at Strange HQ here.