BAR Northeast
Since 2013 Black Arts Retreat has hosted an annual weekend-long creative gathering in the Northeast United States.  This event features a variety of arts and wellness themed workshops as well as hiking, communal cooking, jam sessions, dialogs,  an artisan swap market and access to an on-site mental health counselor.  Each year has a theme and ties to a particular African Diasporic homeland.


This series began in 2017 with a trip to BAR Foundress, Kelly Thomas’ homeland, the Commonwealth of Dominica.  Retreats to Bahia, Brazil (2017) and throughout Haiti (2018/19) followed.  BAR Homeland is a travel experience which immerses participants in the creative and cultural life of various homelands within the African Diaspora.  Eating local cuisines, exploring Diasporic history and sites, learning traditional and contemporary art forms,  meeting artist communities and supporting local initiatives are all ways that we connect to these global destinations.  These experiences are often scheduled around special occasions and festivals of a given homeland.

Black Arts Retreat 2020 : “In Our Wildest Dreams will be a VIRTUAL creative immersion experience for lovers and creators of African Diasporic Art and Culture, running December 8th-13th, 2020.

Typically Black Arts Retreat curates in-person programs and experiences. But in the time of COVID-19, we have leveraged the virtual space in the realm of transnational organizing. In turn, we have asked ourselves:

“How can we activate our dreams to create, protect, and radically envision the future?”

Our 7th Annual Black Arts Retreat 2020 : “In Our Wildest Dreams” Features:

  • SIX days of Workshops with LIVE and Offline Programming*, December 8th-13th, 2020.
  • Artists and Facilitators from Europe, South America, the Caribbean, US and Africa.
  • Performances, Creative/Wellness Events.
  • Think Tanks surrounding the theme of Dream Space and the Power of Imagination.
  • And MORE!

*All Programming will be presenting via Zoom.

BAR Events and Groups
In response to demand from our participants, Black Arts Retreat has expanded our programming beyond retreats to include special events, workshops and affinity groups like those featured below.  Visit us on instagram @blackartsretreat for most updated programs.