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The Struggle is real for us creatives during this pandemic


Our practice is affected. The future is uncertain. Bills are piling up. Life sucks. Zoom sucks. We need a break. Except we feel too guilty to take a break. So take a retreat instead =P (it's kind of like a break, but more productive)

This 4-module long digital retreat is designed for but not limited to: performers, theatre practitioners, producers, festival managers, curators, consultants and art teachers all around the world to figure your *bleep* out.


Yes I need a break

The Struggle is real for us creatives during this pandemic


Our practice is affected. The future is uncertain. Bills are piling up. Life sucks. Zoom sucks. We need a break. Except we feel too guilty to take a break. So take a retreat instead =P (it's kind of like a break, but more productive nods)

This 4-module long digital retreat is designed for but not limited to: performers, theatre practitioners, producers, festival managers, curators, consultants and art teachers all around the worldto figure your *bleep* out.


Yes I need a break
parallax background

Updates (20th September 2020)

The first intake for the facilitated track is now closed.

But fret not! The self-paced version is still open for enrollment!

Registration for the self-paced track is on a rolling basis until 18th October and you can register anytime between then and now. As a self-paced participant, you can decide how fast you want to go through the 4 chapters and your start date will be the week you register.

We hope this arrangement makes the retreat more accessible for you during these difficult times. For those keen on the facilitated track, we are currently figuring out dates and logistics, so stay tuned!

The Struggle

We get it. Life sucks right now, doubly so if you're a creative. Making a living with art was hard enough. Now, your medium has been irreversibly disrupted.

You're trying to advocate for the importance of art (art is essential dammit!), do your work without violating 'safe workplace practices' AND figure out how to pay the bills. There's so much you're excited to explore, but also so much change and uncertainty you have to deal with. there just isn't enough spoons to deal with everything. The struggle is real.

You need a break.

You need to regroup, recharge and reframe.

You need a retreat.

(Do something nice for yourself for once.)



What You Will Walk Away With


People to Vibe With
You are not alone! This isn't a lecture, it's a journey. This retreat isn't about experts throwing solutions at you, but about finding answers alongside other people going through similar struggles. Feel heard; share your experience, knowledge and challenges and crowd source ideas and solutions (or give them!)


(Head)Space to Do the Work
You want to do the work but it just feels like there's no time and no headspace. We'll hold the space together so you can dive deep to find the answers, directions and make the plans you need to carry out. JUST DO IT ☑ (credit: Nike)


Tools for Your Process
We can't guarantee that you'll find your way at the end of the retreat. But that's not the point. The point is you now have frameworks that you can reuse over and over again to navigate future changes

The Struggle

We get it. Life sucks right now, doubly so if you're a creative. Making a living with art was hard enough. Now, your medium has been irreversibly disrupted.

You're trying to advocate for the importance of art (art is essential dammit!), do your work without violating 'safe workplace practices' AND figure out how to pay the bills. There's so much you're excited to explore, but also so much change and uncertainty you have to deal with. there just isn't enough spoons to deal with everything. The struggle is real.

You need a break.

You need to regroup, recharge and reframe.

You need a retreat.

(Do something nice for yourself for once.)



What You Will Walk Away With


People to Vibe With
You are not alone! This isn't a lecture, it's a journey. This retreat isn't about experts throwing solutions at you, but about finding answers alongside other people going through similar struggles. Feel heard; share your experience, knowledge and challenges and crowd source ideas and solutions (or give them!)


(Head)Space to Do the Work
You want to do the work but it just feels like there's no time and no headspace. We'll hold the space together so you can dive deep to find the answers, directions and make the plans you need to carry out. JUST DO IT ☑ (credit: Nike)


Tools for Your Process
We can't guarantee that you'll find your way at the end of the retreat. But that's not the point. The point is you now have frameworks that you can reuse over and over again to navigate future changes

How this works

This is a digital retreat that happens in the comfort of your own home (or wherever you want to do this!). You can choose to take it as a self-paced participant or do a facilitated experience. The retreat consists of 4 Chapters, you can think of them as four modules, Regardless of which option you choose, you'll need to commit around 7-8 hours of your time for each chapter for this retreat.

The retreat is comprised of two kinds of sessions: -Share Exchange sessions: webinar format (mandatory) -B&W Jam sessions: video calls (facilitated experience only) OR self-directed (self-paced participants) Share Exchange sessions will be where we unpack questions and perspectives around the issues and challenges creatives face during these times. Meanwhile the Jam sessions are where we sit down and do the work, going through the exercises and frameworks in the retreat playbook.

The facilitated experience (first intake closed)

Recommended for: people who enjoy working through things in group-settings; prefer structure and to be guided through processes

Time commitment: 4 weeks, around 7-8 hours each week

Once you sign up for the retreat, you will receive a retreat package with all the materials and instructions you will need for this journey! You will also be added to our Social Learning Group on Facebook, where you can interact with other participants and share your thoughts.

Your journey will first begin with an orientation session. Following which, the retreat begins in earnest. We will go through one chapter a week, with each chapter consisting of one Share Exchange Session and one B&W Jam session. You will hop on a 2-hour Share Exchange webinar at the start of the week followed by a 3-hour B&W Jam session with your fellow jammies on a separate day.

4 weeks of this and you are done! You will receive a certificate of completion and have the option of joining the bonus fifth week, where we will have emotional and technical check-in calls to see where you’re at.

The Self-Paced Experience (rolling enrollment until 18 October)

Recommended for: busy and self-disciplined individuals and those who prefer to take their time with things

Time commitment: around 25 hours of work, spread out at your own pace

Instead of facilitators, for the self-paced retreat, the playbook serves as your guide and companion throughout this journey. And YOU will be the one directing your own sessions, be it alone or with friends.

The retreat is designed to be a 4-week program, and we will release the materials for each chapter on a weekly basis. That said, you can take as long as you like and need to go through this journey. That is the beauty of the self-paced option.

You will begin your retreat experience with an orientation call, where we will onboard you on how to use the playbook and learning book to run the retreat for yourself. After that you are on your own!

At the start of each week, we will send you an email with links to the materials and the Share Exchange webinar for a new chapter to help keep you on track. The Facebook group is also there for you to ask questions, share thoughts and interact with your participants asynchronously. We have dedicated facilitators managing the group as well, so there's always someone one ready to hold space for you (asynchronously) for you. =) Regardless of your pace, on the fifth week, there'll be a check-in calls where we touch base with you again in person, just to see how you're doing and hear about your journey thus far.

You're free to continue the journey at your own pace thereafter. Once you've finished the program (which happens when you mark all your learning units as complete), you will receive a certificate for completion*!

The group is still open to you even after that. Just because the retreat is over doesn't mean the community is. You can reach out to the group any time you like (or need)!

*Note: if you aim to use the CDSA grant to claim training allowance and partial cost for this retreat, you will need a certificate of completion.




View our detailed retreat program here!

This program is organized by Empori Pte. Ltd. (UEN: 201705921W)


Self-paced VS Facilitated

Can’t decide which version of the retreat is better for you? Here’s a comparison of the features of the retreat at a glance!

Features Self-paced Facilitated
Social Learning Group
Orientation Call 2-hour session 4-hour session (with 30min break)
Share Exchange Webinars
B&W Jam Sessions Self-directed 4x 3-hour facilitated sessions
Check-in calls
Physical retreat kit
Digital playbook
Completion time At your own pace 4+1 weeks

Not sure if a retreat is what you need? Take this quiz and find out!

Who we are and why are we doing this?

We are a couple of independent creatives who also happen to be facilitators.

As creatives ourselves, we too experienced the anxieties and fear when our practice and livelihoods were impacted by the crisis. Coming together to work through these uncertainties and challenges in a group rather than going at it alone really helped us, so we thought: hey if it helped us, maybe it’ll help other creatives too.

And tadaa, the retreat was born.


Meet the Chief Sharers aka Facilitators and Designers of this retreat



ANYA

Facilitator of holistic brand conversations.

Artist and photographer turned marketing connoisseur. The person you want to talk to if you need clarity and direction about your brand, personal, corporate or otherwise. Excellent at crafting empathetic brand stories.

THINGS THEY'VE MADE
Brand worksheets
Photography thing
Paw Cat Guide

THINGS THEY'VE ACHIEVED
• Did not starve as freelancer
• Helped people grow followers
• Made Instagram a better place


RI

Creator & facilitator of unusual experiences.

Writer and story-teller turned experience artist. The person you want to talk to if you want to push the boundaries of what is possible for your craft. Excellent at breaking the norms to create new normals.

THINGS THEY'VE MADE
Empori
Zines
TEDxPickeringStreet

THINGS THEY'VE ACHIEVED
• Ran events without money
• 3-time college freshman
• Made people talk about tough things

Frequently Asked Questions

About

1Why are you doing this?
We care about what's happening on the ground with the arts right now. We worry about how the pandemic is affecting us. We are anxious about what the future holds for us, even more so if we sat by and didn't play a part right now. We believe in supporting people and walking the journey with fellow creatives as we all make important decisions that will affect our creative practice in the future and want to play a part in the way we know how to - by creating & holding space for others. We also are doing this as a means to earn income during this period.
2Why should I listen to you?
You shouldn't. We strongly advise you to follow your gut, and do what we feels right for you. We can only hope that we're creating the right space for all of the elements to come together for you to make that decision for yourself in the form of the retreat.
3Do you have experience working in the arts?
Yes, we do. Ri is a writer, experience artist & other things that are tough to label that comes with working with unconventional mediums. Anyā is a photographer, & abstract painter. We share similar philosophies about the way we look at life and grow through it - we use our art to make sense of the world around us and make a living from it along the way.
4What makes this right for me?

This retreat is right for you if you feel that the weight of all the changes that are happening right now are taking a toll on you as you make decisions about your practice for the future.


This retreat will also benefit you if you're curious to: learn or polish your walk from planning to pushing out something new, getting people to consume what you've made, or go into unknown territories with your craft.


This retreat is also going to be fun for you if you enjoy sharing your perspectives & learnings about the world in a group format (groups of people are no larger than 10-20 people), contributing to group wisdom that will benefit everyone who is going to be involved.

5How do I know which format (facilitated or self-paced) is right for me?

We have a quick quiz to help you see what is a better fit for you, but you know yourself, and the context of your life best. We recommend choosing the format that you find most enjoyable, this is a retreat after all.


The facilitated experience will be fun for you if you enjoy sharing your perspectives & learnings about the world in a group format (groups of people are no larger than 10-20 people), contributing to group wisdom that will benefit everyone who is going to be involved.


Meanwhile, if you: a) find doing solo deep-dives and soul searching, or directing your own sensemaking journey more enjoyable,


b) experience social anxiety and or prefer taking your time to go through things internally


then maybe the self-paced version is a better fit.


If you prefer group experience but are in a place where you cannot commit to a fixed schedule, you can also consider finding a group of friends to do the self-paced retreat together! (And don’t worry if you can’t find anyone, we’ll have a buddy thread on the Learning Group where you can find other participants who are also looking for a buddy!)

6I'm new to the arts, is this for me?
Yes! This retreat is open to people with any amount of experience with the arts. The processes and frameworks we will use on this journey will serve your journey in the arts beyond the time we spend together.
7I'm in theatre, is this for me?
Yes! This retreat is open to people who are in theatre. Live performances as we know it are shape-shifting, and you might be looking into other ways of practicing what you do. This retreat provides space, processes & frameworks to contextualize for theatre.
8I'm not a performance artist, is this for me?
Yes! This retreat is open to people from anyone in the arts, as long as you think the plan for the 4 weeks is something you will benefit from. There is space for many voices & different perspectives.
9Will you teach me how to create digital experiences?
In a way, yes! We will be sharing resources as well as crowdsourcing ideas to craft digital experiences if this is the way you have decided to go. Alternatively, there is also the possibility of you exploring non-digital experiences that can exist and thrive in an increasingly digital world where possible.
10Will you teach me how to market my work in digital space?
Yes! We will be going through the process of defining our audiences, where and how to find them, how to talk to them, convince them to support our practice and go live with your experiences. You will be able to walk away with these processes that you can apply for the next things you work on too.
11How is this better or different from what's out there?

We don't know about better - as far as we know, we wanted a retreat & didn't see one out there. So we are creating it.

It's different because the format isn't prescriptive, it is collaborative. You are the source of your truth, you are really good at what you do. You bring that to the table when you sign up. That and a commitment to figure out the future for your craft. We simply create the space, bring together the resources you might need and facilitate for this journey to happen as painlessly as possible for you.

Course

1Can I drop-out midway?

Kind of, but please don’t?

The first question would be, why are you looking to drop out?

If it’s because you can’t find the time:

We understand that sometimes life gets in the way, but we hope that when you sign up for the retreat it means that you want to carve out space and time in your life for yourself. That said, life can be unexpected at times.

If you are a self-paced participant, once you register and pay, the materials are yours to keep forever and you will always have access to them. So if need be, you can pause the program and pick it back up whenever it is convenient for you.

If you are on the facilitated track, we can’t stop you from skipping sessions. If you can’t make your pre-chosen Jam session, we’ll do our best to move you to other sessions as long as there are slots. But we hope you understand, our facilitators are booked for those exact hours. To respect their time and commitment, we won’t be able to refund you for sessions you’ve missed and we also won’t be able to do make-up sessions. So do your best to make sure you can make the session. If you’re uncertain, then perhaps consider taking the self-paced option instead!

If it’s because you are unhappy with the retreat:

We are very sorry if that happens to you

We hope that by the time you’ve registered, you’ve read through and made sure that this is for you. To help you make sure that this is right for you, we have 15 minute consultation calls where you can work with us to figure out if this is the right fit for you. Call it chemistry or our first date, but we hope this will give you space to figure out if this is your jam and fits yours style.

But if for whatever reason you are unhappy after the start of the retreat, please let us know so we can hop on another call with you to figure this one out with you. If it still doesn’t feel right thereafter, we are very sorry to see you go and hope that you at least have a clearer understanding thereafter about what kinds of program would work for you.

2Can I get a refund if I need to cancel?

Yes, but only before 14 September.

To cancel your registration, simply follow Peatix’s ticket cancellation request instructions.

After 14 September, we will not be able to refund you regardless of reason and we seek your kind understanding for it.

This is because all the materials for this program are being prepared to order. 14 September is the absolute latest date we have to send in the orders to create the retreat materials. This means that after 14 September, the order for producing your set of materials will already be placed and paid for and we will no longer be able to refund you. But this also means that if you genuinely cannot attend after 14 September, you will still receive the retreat materials regardless of your participation and will be yours to keep...forever.

3I can't make the timings for the sessions / I missed a session!

If it is the Share Exchange sessions that you cannot make, fear not, they will be recorded, and you will have access to the recordings. The only downside is that you will not be able to engage in discussion nor participate in the live Q&A during the Share Exchange session.

If you are on the facilitated track and cannot make the B&W Jam session, please get in touch with us ASAP so we see if we can fit you into one of the other jam sessions.

But we hope that when you sign up, you choose the timeslot that works best for you, as we cannot guarantee that there will be space in the other sessions. (Each B&W jam is capped at 10 people).

Worst case scenario, if you did unfortunately miss a Jam session and we are unable to reschedule you for other sessions, we will send across any summary findings we have from the session so you run a self-directed session during the week and catch up with the group by the next week.

If you prefer doing your self-directed make-up jam session in a group, you can head to the Social Learning Group to see if there are other participants who are looking for jam buddies. OR you can also reach out to your group mates to see if they’re open to facilitating a make-up jam session with you separately. Teamwork!

4What can I expect at the end of the 4 chapters?

You can expect to have made important decisions for your practice like the following:

• What your role as an artist will be depending on how the pandemic progresses, how you can be ready to navigate the present & future despite the uncertainty
• A project idea to work on
• A set of lenses for translating/creating digital experiences, list of digital tools for your project and craft and hopefully have all of these accounts set up and ready to go
• A digital outreach game plan for your current project, as well as the framework to create outreach plans for your future projects
•Your own digital presence map by figuring out how you as well as your craft can exist online, how to find audiences, and how to build friendships with them
• A launch-ready check-list as well as a launch plan for your project so you're ready to put it out into the world by the end of the retreat

You will also be ending this with a group of people you can hopefully reach out to in the future if you vibe with them, share resources with and/or collaborate with.

5How much time do I need to commit per week for this?

If you are asking about screen time:

For self-paced participants, you need to be able to commit a total of 8 hours for this retreat for a period of 4 weeks. This looks like a 2-hour video call/webinar every week. As a self-paced participant, you get to decide how long your jam sessions to be. But in general, the exercises and framework in the playbook will take around 2-3 hours per chapter to go through.

For facilitated participants, you will need to commit two days a week for four weeks for this program. One for the Share Exchange sessions, which are 2 hours (with the exception of orientation, which is a 4 hour session, with a 30min break in between) and another day for the Jam sessions which are 3.5 hours.

There is also a bonus fifth week where we host check-in calls. Participation in these calls are optional, but they’re around 2 hours long.

Of course, you are free to dedicate more time to the retreat. There are bonus ‘challenges’ you can take on that will help you deepen your retreat experience, but they’re entirely optional.

TLDR; We understand that Zoom fatigue is real and we have designed the retreat to minimize the fatigue and screen time where we can. And when we can’t, rest assured we’ll build some form of recovery/recharge segment to ease the pain.

6Will this solve my problems?
This depends on what you define are your current problems. If your problem is wanting to be supported through your journey of launching something new or independent through all the changes the pandemic has brought about - then yes, you will be supported both from us as well as fellow creatives who will be joining us.
7Will I be able to build a roadmap beyond this retreat?

Yes. We don't know for certain what the end of this pandemic will look like until we reach said end. But many experts and futurists have been using scenario planning to come up with possible outlooks for the future. In the first week, we will be exploring these futures and creating a blueprint for what our creative lives might look like in each of them.

In addition, the processes and frameworks we will be using can be applied to any other project beyond the one you are going to be working on during the retreat. So at the end of this journey, you should be more than able to come up with a road map and update said road map for yourself well beyond this retreat.

8When are the live calls & sessions?
The retreat is from 18 September-16 October Here is a handy calendar with all the sessions dates on it, for both the self-paced and facilitated track.
9Where are the live calls & sessions?
This is an online retreat. We will send you a link to the sessions after sign up, close to the starting date of the retreat.
10What materials and set-up do I need for the retreat?

Regardless of the track that you are on, the main sessions of the retreat will be held online - so you need access to a computer with a stable internet connection and if possible, a headset/earphone +mic for the retreat.

For self-paced participants: in addition to a computer with stable internet connection, you will also need the Playbook! The download link to the playbook and any other material will be sent to you via email and also be available on the Social Learning Group on Facebook.

For facilitated participants: in addition to a computer with stable internet connection, you will receive a retreat kit in the mail (yes a physical kit!), and any other additional material will be sent to you via email.

As for the digital tools to plan for your project, you can choose them later based on what works for you in Week 2 of the retreat.

11How long do I have access to the content?
The content is for you to keep & reuse beyond the retreat - so we'd say for life if we dare say so!
12Can I sign up for only some of the sessions? (e.g. selective sign up for just one chapter OR pick and choose certain jam sessions)

Unfortunately, not at this point. The sessions have been designed and curated so that there is benefit to attending them in the order they are organized currently. As such, the flow for information and planning is off when sessions are attended on an ad-hoc basis. Attending select sessions do not encapsulate the full experience of the supportive journey we are hoping to create with the retreat. It is important to us that you have a fulfilling experience.

This means that once you pick your track (facilitated or self-paced) you are committed to it. So for example, if you are a self-paced participant, you cannot cherry-pick, and attend a select facilitated jam session.

For participants on the facilitated track, we can’t stop you from skipping out on sessions but sessions are delivered on the assumption that participants have attended previous ones, so there might be gaps in your experience if you choose to only attend select sessions. That and you technically paid for all 8 sessions...

13What are the group sizes for the sessions?
We are capping the participants at 20 for the retreat. The Share Exchange sessions will have a maximum of 20 participants per session, and the Black & White jams will be capped at 10 participants per session to make the sessions more intimate as well as to allow space for each creative enough time to explore perspectives.
14Is this available to participants outside of Singapore?
YES! It doesn't matter where you are based, we welcome you. Of course, you might have to figure out how the timings for the webinars and calls work out for you. We're sure you have that well in hand!
tldr; yes to international participants
Sign me up!