~ Swarm 2017 Will Run From July 3rd-30th at Tortuga Inn in Winnemac, IN ~

Frequently Asked Questions


Check out our Safety Plan


Who can attend?

Swarm is intended for artists of all disciplines. We are committed to giving underrepresented artists a safe space to create art and community. We welcome and encourage artists of any race, nationality, gender identity, age, sexual orientation, and religious affiliation.

Am I an artist? 

Yes. If you like making art of any kind, you are welcome here. Yes, performance art counts. Quilting counts. Cooking and painting and dramaturgy count. You do not need to be a professional artist or making money as an artist to attend. You do not need to hold a degree in the arts to attend. 

Do I need to have a project in mind to attend?

Artists are free to come with or without specific projects. While we encourage Swarm attendees to have a specific project in mind before attending, some of the most beautiful creations were birthed at Swarm through spontaneous collaborations .

Why should I do this?

Swarm is a place where you can get out of the city and treat yourself to the time and space you need for your creative process. We know that inspiration often comes from the in-between spaces--the times when you have nothing to do and nowhere to be. While there is a vibrant community of artists at your disposal, there's also plenty of space to get lost on your own. Being part of the Swarm community is probably the best part of attending Swarm. With year-round gatherings, you'll be able to connect with your Swarm friends and keep the inspiration flowing.

When should I arrive?

This year we will have two check-in times per day: 11am and 7pm. If you have extenuating circumstances that do not allow you to arrive at one of these times, please let us know, but we encourage you to do all you can to arrive at one of the formal check-in times.

What should I bring?

  • Food: or breakfast, lunch, and snacks. And booze if you want it!
  • Bedding/Linens: no matter where you are staying, we are asking you to bring your own bedding (sheets, blankets, comforters, sleeping bags, pillows, towels, etc.).
  • Camping Stuff: if you said you wanted to camp, we are relying on you to bring your own stuff!
  • A swimsuit/fun water toys: we’re on a river this year!!!!
  • The supplies needed for your art making: hile Swarm cannot be held responsible for any personal property, the barn will be locked each night to provide safe-keeping for your expensive pens and cameras.
  • Any household amenities you can’t live without: warm is CUTE AF, but modestly furnished with the bare essentials. While we promise to keep you cool and lit, if you’re someone who needs three fans or a specific type of lighting to sleep or work well, please plan on bringing those things with you!
  • Sunscreen, bug spray, and a flashlight: t’s summer, friends! We’ll be in the woods!
  • Your final nightly contribution payment: his will be due before or upon your arrival via PayPal. Please have paid this before you show up or be ready to do so when you walk onto the farm!

Is Tortuga Inn in the Eastern Time Zone?

YES!!!! This year Swarm is on EST, which means it is an hour later than Chicago time. Please keep in that mind while considering your two check-in times.

What is a Hive Queen?

One person from the Swarm Leadership Team will be the on the ground contact each day of the residency, AKA the Hive Queen. As we get close to July 1, we will send you a calendar of who is on call and when! Please reach out to that person if you are lost or have an issue getting to Swarm. This will be posted all around our space, too, so you know who to talk to if you have an issue!

Where am I staying/sleeping/eating/showering?

We have a big beautiful barn* that will be our main living and work space! There are a number of shared bedrooms with bunk beds and two dorm style bathrooms with showers. There is also a ton of land to camp on. There may be some specific spaces where our tents are allowed, which we will let you know upon arrival. We will also have access to a big room in a different building that will be more a night-time “HANG ZONE." Tortuga Inn also has, you guessed it, AN INN! There may be other visitors around the land throughout July, but the barn space will be entirely ours!

*Please note that this year the entire barn will be a SOBER space. We encourage you to store/ imbibe in the HANG ZONE or outside spaces.

is there wifi?

Yes! And lots of it!

Is Swarm providing meals?

Swarm provides a big, bountiful community dinner every night. This is what your $5 deposit paid for. You are responsible for all other meals. We will have two refrigerators for storage, but we still encourage you to bring shelf stable foods for your stay as storage will be tight! There is a grocery store in town--about a 7 minute drive from Swarm--so you can always get groceries on your way in. (If you were someone who is interested in being a Guest Chef you will hear more info about that SOON!)

What about booze?

BYO, friend. A friendly reminder that Swarm is wide open space for artists to make their work, not a frat party. No keg stands or Everclear please. And as mentioned earlier, this year The Barn will be a sober space and we always encourage you to imbibe responsibly and respectfully.

Is there any structure to the day while we are Swarming?

Kind of! Mostly you are able to do your own thing at your own pace, however we will have a community MORNING MEETING every day at 10am. All participants will be asked to attend this meeting regularly! This is a time to check in about any community needs or specific project asks. Dinner will most likely be around 7:30/8pm every night. There will also be occasional classes and evening sharing--all of which are optional but will be very fun!

What if I need to get away from camp, even if it’s just for an hour?

We are a bit further out there this year- however we are literally ON the Tippecanoe River. There are Canoe and Kayak rentals in town and we are about two miles down the road from a big state park, Tippecanoe River State Park.

How can I help support this community while I am attending Swarm?

You are so thoughtful! As mentioned earlier and in your application, we are trying to cultivate a community of personal responsibility. We will be asking you to contribute to general space upkeep (daily hospitality sign-up), meal prep or clean up, and hope that you will leave our spaces better than you found them. We also hope you will handle any conflict or heated conversation with an open heart and mind as well as a willingness to engage humbly in our complex and diverse artistic community.