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Celebrating the twentieth Anniversary of the Hermitage Artist Retreat with Creative Director and CEO Andy Sandberg

New York local and 2005 Yale alumnus Andy Sandberg has just lately expanded his completed multi-hyphenate degree and display screen occupation as a director, author, performer, and Tony Award-winning manufacturer (the youngest ever, for the 2009 revival of HAIR) together with his present place as Creative Director and CEO of the non-profit Hermitage Artist Retreat, which invitations artists throughout a couple of disciplines for residencies at its beachfront campus, at the Nationwide Check in of Ancient Puts, in Manasota Key, Florida.

Andy Sandberg. Picture courtesy of the Hermitage Artist Retreat.

Each and every 12 months, the Hermitage awards the $30,000 Hermitage Greenfield Prize for a brand new murals (rotating between track, theater, and visible artwork), the newly introduced $35,000 Hermitage Primary Theater Award for an authentic theater fee, and the Aspen Song Pageant’s Hermitage Prize in Composition. Previous Hermitage Fellows have incorporated fifteen Pulitzer Prize winners, Poets Laureate, MacArthur ‘Genius’ Fellows, and a couple of Tony, Emmy, Grammy, and Oscar winners and nominees, whose works have long gone directly to famend theaters, live performance halls, and galleries all over the sector. A number of the spectacular roster of theater artists with Hermitage residencies during the last twenty years are Paula Vogel, Lynn Nottage, Doug Wright, Craig Lucas, Aleshea Harris, Denis O’Hare, John Guare, Michael R. Jackson, PJ Griffith, Adam Gwon, Michael R. Jackson, Rajiv Joseph, Leslie Rodriguez Kritzer, Martyna Majok, Lisa Peterson, Regina Taylor, Jeanine Tesori, Liesl Tommy, Leigh Silverman, Bess Wohl, Kristina Wong, Kara Younger, and lots of extra.

Andy Sandberg, Martyna Majok, and Zoe Sarnak on the Haven Rooftop. Picture through Danny Bristoll.

Since Sandberg was once appointed in 2019, and started paintings in January 2020, he has guided the group via a duration of vital expansion and transition, dramatically increasing its programming, greater than tripling its working funds, finishing a campus-wide recovery, and organising dozens of recent collaborative partnerships all over the area and around the nation. He additionally hosted a 20th Anniversary Alumni Bash on Monday, June 5, at midtown New york’s Haven Rooftop (132 West 47th Boulevard), as a birthday party and alternative for the Hermitage Artist Retreat alumni to reconnect or, for the ones from other years, to get to understand others locally.

The day after the birthday party, Andy graciously made himself to be had to talk with me in regards to the Hermitage and his function in it.

Andy Sandberg talking on the twentieth Anniversary Alumni Birthday party on the Haven Rooftop. Picture through Danny Bristoll.

How did you develop into concerned with the Hermitage and what attracted you to it?

Andy: In fact, I used to be now not on the lookout for this chance. I had by no means been to the Hermitage myself, and I nonetheless have an energetic freelance occupation, however a Board member I had labored with on a previous challenge really helpful me for it. When I used to be approached in regards to the place, I first of all mentioned I couldn’t imagine it as it was once this type of busy time. Then I used to be contacted once more and, along with the gorgeous beachfront location, I fell in love with the group’s willpower to creating new paintings and supporting artists doing new paintings. I occasionally had a chip on my shoulder when folks would display up for opening night time on the theater and inform me they have been glad to be there at ‘the start’ – I used to be at all times thankful for his or her make stronger and trust within the paintings, however ceaselessly identified that the display had already long gone via twelve or so years of construction! The Hermitage isn’t a manufacturing group; we’re a developmental group offering artists with house, time, and sources to get their paintings achieved. I’m ceaselessly listening to that they get extra achieved in a couple of weeks with us than they might in a few years at house. Previously, we’ve been thought to be ‘a hidden gem.’ I sought after to banish that word and make sure that the Hermitage is understood for what it really is – a number one nationwide artwork incubator.

Andy Sandberg. Picture courtesy of the Hermitage.

What do you to find maximum enjoyable about your paintings there?

Maximum enjoyable is understanding that such a lot of new works got here to mild on account of the make stronger we have now given to those generative artists and writers. I additionally admire having the chance to hook up with an eclectic combine of exceptional artists from other fields, who be told from every different, simply as I be told from them. It’s additionally rewarding and thrilling as a contract artist to sign up for with others going via that very same adventure. The Hermitage is among the maximum fascinating and numerous puts on the planet and it feeds my creative soul to be running there.

How are artists decided on for the retreat?

Curiously, now not through me, or our group of workers, or the Board, and now not through utility. We have now a Nationwide Curatorial Council made up of a rotating frame of fifteen revered execs within the arts, from main arts establishments. They arrive in with an intensive listing of artists and ‘debate’ which artists would take advantage of the time, best possible profit from the chance, and advance their paintings. Additionally they imagine who will admire the camaraderie with the opposite artists and the Hermitage’s multidisciplinary arts neighborhood. I consider that this curation procedure in truth makes us probably the most various organizations. We don’t depend on open packages on the Hermitage, as a result of we’re now not all about deliverables; utility processes can occasionally lead to settling on artists according to their utility expertise.

What can the artists be expecting once they arrive for his or her residency?

After receiving many pre-arrival communications from us, they’re greeted through a welcoming and accommodating group of workers. They’re given a excursion of the ancient belongings and ecological keep, then we host a welcome dinner at which they meet different artists. Certainly one of our Hermitage Fellows just lately commented at the retreat as offering “unstructured make stronger and make stronger in one of the best ways,” that means that we offer sources for them however don’t lock them into a collection regimen or hours; they’re loose to tell us what they want. Many collaborations have sparked around the other disciplines, whilst positive artists want holing as much as get their very own paintings achieved. All of them get their very own personal ancient area and studio, they’re now not in a dorm, so they’re given the distance and time to do what they prefer.

Andy Sandberg (heart) with Hermitage alumni and visitors on the Haven Rooftop. Picture through Danny Bristoll.

Do you have got any plans within the works for long term construction of the Hermitage?

Something we’re seeking to do, and what the birthday party on the Haven Rooftop was once about, is to interact our alumni extra deeply. Many previous Hermitage Fellows have informed us that their residency with us has been essentially the most significant revel in in their occupation. We wish to proceed to interact them and develop the neighborhood, inspire networking, and feature everybody take pleasure in what it manner to be a Hermitage Fellow; there’s a large number of love for the Hermitage. Many of the present layout is person residencies; long-term, we’d like so as to make stronger extra collaborative challenge residencies. We’re additionally dedicated to presenting readings of the brand new theater works in primary facilities like NYC, London, Chicago, and LA, via our just lately established Hermitage Primary Theater Award. And we simply began making seasonal use of an alumni cabin up in Canada for additional expansion alternatives. We have now greater than 700 previous Fellows, and we wish to stay them within the dialog with the 90-100 new artists we herald every 12 months. Particularly, we’re the one primary group in Florida dedicated solely to creating and supporting new paintings, and we’re rising each nationally and across the world.

Thanks, Andy, for sharing your revel in and giving our readers extra details about this important group.



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