A unique summer retreat dedicated to the preservation and appreciation of
our natural environment. Weeklong workshops are offered for youth and adults
that explore the natural world through the lens of creative arts and sciences.


News from Bearnstow

The summer 2014 season has come
to a close, and Bearnstow salutes
our Yourng Resident Aritsts. We
wish them the very best as they
pursue their future careers.

Our 2014 faculty: Ruth Grauert & Véronique MacKenzie, Peter Kyle & Scott Giguere, Susan Creitz, Robin Gilmore, Bebe Miller, Claire Porter, Gerald Otte, and K.J. Holmes

Review the 2014 Season Calendar

Meet our Young Resident Artists

Visit Bearnstow on Facebook


Bearnstow Morning


The mist rises from the cove. Turn the sound up and watch and listen. Video by Dana Crowe


Bearnstow lies on sixty-five acres of pristine woodland, bordering the serene Parker Pond in Mount Vernon, Maine. Twelve rustic buildings, most nearly a century old, are nestled along the 2,400 feet of rocky shoreline. Participants are housed in rustic cabins, complete with electricity, full bathrooms, and charming screened porches where they can enjoy the soft breezes from the lake and listen to the loons call. For more information see Bearnstow Accommodations.

The property is protected in perpetuity by a conservation easement held by the Kennebec Land Trust. Its oldest structure, the Lodge, was the only building on the lake on the 1880 geological survey. Bearnstow is located at Spruce Point Camps, which is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

Bearnstow has had a rich history of arts-related activities linked to a practice of environmental responsibility. Throughout our history the resonance of place in all activities has been central to our mission. Our unspoiled environment provides an alternative freedom for aesthetic expression away from the demands of daily life. Our attention to the care of place, land, and spirit is central to our daily practice.

Our summer programs emphasize the connection between environment and learning. The immediacy of our natural surroundings affects the breadth and depth of the learning that takes place, for both teacher and student. For a sense of the impact of our natural environment, read Experience Bearnstow, by Ruth Grauert.

Workshops for Adults in 2014

For many years Bearnstow has offered numerous workshops in movement studies taught by a world-class faculty. Summer 2014 includes workshops in movement and performance and a week devoted to natural sciences. See the Natural History Week at Bearnstow.

Sessions for Young People in 2014

In summer 2014 a two-week Day Camp for children 6 to 14 years of age will be offered June 30July 11. Children participate in a daily program focused on creative arts and physical activities, including classes in dance, art, swimming, and horsemanship.

Young people 15 to 18 years of age are invited to participate in morning adult classes from 9:30 a.m. to 12:00 noon, with permission of the instructor of the workshop. Fee is $75.00 for the five morning sessions. E-mail Bearnstow Administration to inquire.

Community Classes for All Ages

Bearnstow offers free community classes for all ages and abilities at the Mt. Vernon Community Center every Wednesday night at 7:30 p.m. through August 20. Please see the workshop descriptions for the instructors and content of each class. For more information, phone 207-293-2280.

Performances at Bearnstow

Bearnstow also presents free performances, led by prominent artists from across North America and Europe, every Friday evening at 8 p.m. through August 23 at Bearnstow. See directions to Bearnstow. On Friday, August 30, Bearnstow’s our Young Artist Residency Program dancers presented a concert of works composed in the Bearnstow workshops during the summer. The performance was held in the Union Hall in Vienna, Maine.

Young Artist Residency Program

Designed for the emerging performing artist, the Young Artist Residency Program is a summer intensive of total contact with good dance. This includes full participation in all workshop classes (8 weeklong workshops, 25 hours weekly), instruction and mentoring by an international staff of professional dancers and choreographers, and participation in weekly informal showings and a presentation of their own work in a formally mounted concert. In return, the residents assist in food preparation and camp facility maintenance throughout the summer. In addition to these duties, our young artist residents have designed programs and promotional material, conducted research, composed sound scores, choreographed their own works, and created dance videos. To apply for the Young Artist Residency Program, please send résumé, portrait photo, and letter of recommendation to admin@bearnstow.org.


Bearnstow Scholarship Fund Contributors

We gratefully acknowledge those who contributed to the Bearnstow Scholarship Fund in honor of Ruth’s 95th birthday:  Marianne Archard, Gladys Bailin Stern, Sarah Beers, Madonna Belanger Wasco, Linda Combs, Jan Connor, Susie Creitz, Janet Erickson Bird, Kathy Gaedje, Olivia Galgano, Ruth Gibbs, Annie Hickman, Andrea Kaufman, Peter Koletzke, Phyllis Lamhut, Sarah Lougee, Suzy McDermaid Fridell, Shiela Mason, Lynn Needle, Gerald Otte, Nicholaus Pekar, Claire Porter, Christine Reisner, Barbara Risen Gottschalk, Pat Rosenberg, Linn Schlaifer, Jim and Mimi Seawright, Gloria Smith, Amy Spears; Jeanette Stoner, Fred Timm, and Joan Woodbury


Acknowledgments 2013

We wish to thank the following for contributions and/or in-kind services to Bearnstow during the 2013 season: Tandy Beal, David Courtemanch, Kevin Doran, Mary Therese Duffy, Janet Erickson, Laura Faure, Arthur Fink, Jack Gambino, Barbara Gottschalk, Ruth Grauert, Carol Gregory, Carol Hedden, Mark Hedden, Andrea and William Kaufman, Kennebec Land Trust, Kents Hill School, Sandra Merrick, Bebe Miller, Morten Moesswilde, Mount Vernon Community Center, Gerald Otte, Panera Breads, Audrey Ross, Shamou, Joanna Tibby, Jim Van Abbema, Vienna Union Hall, and Clyde Walton.


    Bearnstow Board of Directors
  • Janet Erickson, Software Documentation and QA, Framingham, MA
  • Bobbie Gottschalk, Founder and Director, Seeds of Peace, Washington, DC
  • Ruth Grauert, Founder and Artistic Director, Bearnstow, Jersey City, NJ
  • Bebe Miller, Co-Director, Bearnstow, Dancer/Choreographer; Professor of Dance, Ohio State University—Columbus
  • Gerald Otte, Choreographer/Dancer/Composer; Adjunct Instructor in Dance, Hunter College, New York, NY
  • Jim Van Abbema, Webmaster and Wildlife Biologist, Bronx, NY
    Advisory Board
  • Mary-Therese Duffy, Licensed Clinical Counselor, Raymond, ME
  • Vernon Dunn, Industrial Truss Designer, Belgrade, ME
  • Laura Faure, Director, Bates Dance Fesitval
  • Susan Leibling, Kennebec Land Trust, Mount Vernon, ME
  • Sandra Merrick, Community Contact, Mount Vernon, ME
  • Jo Tibby, Community Contact, Mount Vernon, ME
  • Clyde Walton, Kennebec Land Trust, Fayette, ME
It is Bearnstow’s mission to continue its commitment to education in the creative arts and natural sciences.
Read complete Mission Statement.

Bearnstow is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation, and all contributions are tax ductible. Please mail checks to Bearnstow, 83 Sanford Place, Jersey City, NJ 07307; or contribute online by credit card through PayPal (click PayPal button on the right).

Please visit our companion Web site — Bearnstow Journal — which offers articles on the Nikolais esthetic and the arts.