Geneva, New York is situated at the top of one of the famous Finger Lakes, so named because, well, look at the picture below.

Zooming in a little further, Geneva (named for its resemblance to the one in Switzerland) is parked right at the north end of Seneca Lake, about an hour from Syracuse to the east and Rochester to the north and west.

My hope is to have a nonprofit set up in the next month or two, and an advisory group of interested and experienced folks to counsel me on next steps and best practices for the dream property/scenic retreat space/adult arts learning haven. So that’s the big goal.

A still-big but not as big goal is to get something off the ground in the meantime. In early April, I’ll be spending a week in the Finger Lakes, and will hopefully come back having secured a venue for our first ever summer program!!! From what I’ve gleaned through the survey (take it here, if you haven’t already), August is the best month for a Thursday-Sunday pay-per-day sort of event, with a goal of 10-15 participants. Details will become clear after the venue is squared away. What I do know already is that University of Chicago Lab School faculty Rozalyn Torto has agreed to work with the violinists/violists. She and I met at Mimi Zweig’s Tuscan Retreat for teachers, a pivotal experience in both of our lives. She is a gifted, compassionate teacher who shares my devotion to adult learning. I can’t think of anyone else I’d rather have by my side as I try to develop this challenging, meaningful curriculum.

Depending on what I am charged by the facility, the idea is to run this first camp on a pay what you can/donation basis; since accommodations and most food will not be provided. I am also exploring the possibility of having rental cellos for folks who wish to avoid the ordeal of flying with their beloved instrument. Another option to consider is FedEx, which is how I get my instrument around the country when the distances are too long to drive and there are no good options to borrow on the ground. I just pack the thing in the giant Bam blue whale foam case and it has arrived, time and again, not just unharmed, but in tune. These flight cases are available to rent, and I have one of my own that I can loan someone, as well.

So, that’s the scoop for now. I’ll continue updating past posts, and the second book is slowly churning along. For now, my priority is getting this first camp off the ground, as it will be an important proof of concept for investors/benefactors.

See you in New York.

Finger Lakes welcome center