August 2015

n  e  w  s  l  e  t  t  e  r
                                                                                                       AUGUST  2015 

Azule is currently accepting applications for future retreats, residencies and skill shares.

The deadline date is

Dear Azule Community:

I hope you all are having a great summer. There is much to do in our communities and I wish you the best in using your unique gifts and talents to meet them. Come by and share your stories, skills, wishes and dreams as summer closes out. And don’t forget to Fall in love with Azule… AGAIN!! Sunday November 1 for our Annual Fall Event. (more details soon)

It’s been quite the year for this board member. I started my year off in Ferguson, Missouri, no special business, no protest, no action, I just wanted to see for myself a city now on the map for events between individuals, that effect the nation and thousands.

What a delightful sight for the eyes but in many ways a common one for our country these days. The diversity of the United States landscape varies all over the regions but at the end of the day everyone wants essentially the same thing, a safe space to just be. The humanity of the people is our binding force and sometimes that gets lost in the politics. And then I went to Azule, and found that again MLK weekend. My Beloved Blue Community.

Stories are medicine. Photo by Tamiko Ambrose Murray

The January Retreat brought us some more members from the Charleston, SC area and they quickly ‘turned blue.” Yes, there are house rules that give Azule structure, but how do you sustain community? How do you make community on site when the energy between each other is unknown? Simple, you go to the place where the spirit invites that, you go to Azule. Special shout out and thanks to Steve Shell and the Homeword Slam Team out of Asheville for capping off a day off workshops with and evening of Slam Poetry.

Valentines Weekend drew in an emerging women and community theme that was clear. Our family needs villages. The attending ladies shared stories of the challenges and joys of womanhood/ parenthood and the joy of giving life, as well as the holistic sustenance of a village support system. They modeled it right there on the spot not without challenges but hopefully there will be a Women’s Retreat/ Skill share coming soon, that can intentionally galvanize the women of the visiting and local Azule community, stay tuned.

Hey Omari!!! When’s the next Skill-Share?

In my mind, you’re probably sitting around thinking I havent seen a skill-share announced. In real life you’re probably living your taking care of your business. Well simply stated, the ‘SHARE’ in Skill-Share” has to be put in practice so if you have workshops you want to attend, lead, or create with community on our fantastic Azule grounds, make it happen and let’s build the weekend we all want to see. There will likely be a Skill Share weekend coming in September and October and we want to infuse the sharing model with not just my personal connections, but with anyone who wants to share the blue way.

Sharing doesn’t mean, drop in do your workshop, experience other workshops and leave, it means building equity in community through financial contribution, as well as collective care of the facility and how we govern ourselves to create that safe space in the world that we have been lucky to find at Azule. I’ve never seen or heard of someone wanting the Azule Skill-Share experience turned away for financial challenges, but we can always make an arrangement to pay what we can when we can and communicate that upon registering so by all means get your team, get your Azule.

Anyways, my summer started off with some much needed vacation time , but Charleston met one of its greatest tragic challenges in June so let’s not forget the names of those lost, and our loved ones that still remain. Celebrate the living and remember, when you feel blue, its OK come make it sky blue in Hot Springs with your Azule family.

Hope to see you soon. We have a big end of summer and beginning of fall ahead of us, till then, Peace and Love




"Peaceful, relaxing energy:
- Latonnya Wallace

"Very peaceful place to reflect and commune
with other artistic one".
- Kelly Fowler

 "Azule is the perfect place to find peace for yourself. I've been when there were workshops, led workshops, and just chilled and recharged. It is beautiful, quiet, and best of all, disconnected. You can see yourself and hear yourself. Camille is the embodiment of what Azule stands for. If I could, I'd be there every six weeks so I could breathe and sleep and laugh and love".
–Sarita Griggs


"One of the things I love most about Azule is whenever I asked someone to describe it, they could hardly find the words. Poets...writers...teachers...would say, you just have to see it for yourself."

"They were right. Not only is the facility breathtaking but the atmosphere welcomes you in like family IMMEDIATELY. The open exchange of ideas, philosophies and opinions was refreshing, especially in this age of, "I'm right and you're wrong." we as a society live in now. Once you go, you won't want to leave and you can't wait to get back".
-Tavis P Brunson-


"Come, learn, build, commune, and listen.
Azule is a gem of serenity nestled in the mountains of Asheville, NC the scenery coupled with genuine folks devoted to justice through artistic expression makes for an experience I continue to cherish".
-Connie “Journey” Johnson-


"I've had wonderful experiences at Azule"

 "The welcoming atmosphere and withdrawal from the the hum-drum world of day to day worry allows for a rich opportunity to examine complex questions and hold meaningful discussions. One of the most beautiful moments I remember is when the heart of Azule, 
Camille Shafer had an insight regarding the character of aesthetics as a consequence of our group discussion..the moment when she came to understand aesthetic engagement..not as a narrow, appearance driven descriptive, but as a fully actualized experience of awareness…that moment showed me the trans-formative power and social value of having such a delightful place in which to withdraw in order to more carefully examine the character of our experiences in the world in which we co-exist"….
–Frank Martin-


Upcoming events

- Retreat of the organizers of the “Firefly Gathering”, August 21-23. The "Firefly Gathering" is a 4-day event that held annually in Barnardsville, NC. It focuses on empowering folks of all ages to come and learn eartskills, including primitive skills, permaculture, homesteading, crafts and more.

- Retreat of the Student Crew of Warren Wilson's Writing Center, August 28-29. This is a program to support writing on the campus at large, including face-to-face tutoring, publications of a journal of undergraduate research and a litterary and arts journal

Davidson College Volunteer crew coming to help with the garden.



If you can hustle a few hours a week, Azule is looking to strengthen and expand our local connections even further. 

Part Time Local Coordinator
 10-12 hours a month.

Duties may include:

1. To promote Azule in Hot Springs and Madison County, NC. For example by placing posters and fliers at local businesses, post office, etc., and updating social media such as Facebook.  Promoting awareness of what is happening at Azule.

2.Help organize the volunteer program and resident work/trade  program with Lynda Wheelock.

3. Assist with resident presentations both at and away from Azule.  Also help residents  develop their presentations by sending e-mails, and making phone calls.  Help residents connect to the community, such as finding workshops, shows and places of interest.

4. Develop contacts with Madison County Schools and art teachers.

5.Collect content for Azule Newsletters, including photos and creating written descriptions of events during residencies, etc.

6. The applicant must be living in Madison County, NC, preferably in the local community of Spring Creek or Hot Springs. Associations with local institutions are a plus.

7.Applicant must be able to work independently, and have good written and verbal skills.  knowledge of visual art techniques and computer programs are pluses.

Salary:  $200 per month
Starting date: Sept.1, 2015

Please apply by sending an e-mail to, or call Camille at 828-6223533, or Lynda  at 828-6227433


In mid-May, AZULE was host to something of a novelty: a musical trio living, cooking, and adventuring with five of America’s up-and-coming composers all while rehearsing, recording, and performing new works written for the group.

The trio, ARCHAE TREE ENSEMBLE (ATE), consists of harpist Erin BROOKER-MILLER, percussionist Andy MILLER, and flutist Jennifer SHANAHAN. The three performers met at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign where they bonded over their unrelenting desire to create visceral, impactful, and unforgettable music. Since its formation in 2013, the trio has performed in venues such as the Milwaukee Art Museum and Constellation Chicago, as well as live on WILL 90.9. After a serendipitous meeting of award-winning composer Robert PATERSON, and a successful GoFundMe campaign to attend the 2014 Fresh Inc Festival, ATE felt inspired to seek further opportunities to collaborate with composers.  Thus the idea for TROUBLESOME GAP was born.

Hot Springs, North Carolina is home to the mountain pass TROUBLESOME GAP. This geographical title became the inspiration to explore questions of how to close the “troublesome gaps” between performer and composer, performer and audience, classical and non-classical musical genres, nature and technology, physical and metaphysical, and so many more. To address these gaps, ATE designed a retreat inviting five composers to collaborate on composing an entirely new piece of music- first through video conference calls where ideas and inspiration were shared, and second, through in-person rehearsal sessions at AZULE where the new compositions came to life for the first time. Helping ATE address the "TROUBLESOME GAP" questions was Robert PATERSON, who graciously and enthusiastically joined the project in its fledgling stages as Composer-in-Residence and Mentor to the five participating composers. In an attempt to create a lasting experience, ATE wanted to record the new works for the composers to add to their portfolios. Fortunately, the trio has a close friend in recording engineer Jeff ZAHOS, who came along to make stellar live recordings of each piece and the final concert. Finally, ATE needed artistic documentation of this crazy experiment in creating a musical retreat, and were joined by the inspired photography/videography duo Studio DÍLITT, whose photos appear with this story.

Back row, left to right: Daniel Fawcett, Scott Anthony Shell, Benjamin Richardson, Dylan Arthur Baker, Andy Miller, Jeff Zahos. Front row, left to right: Susanna Payne-Passmore, Robert Paterson, Jennifer Shanahan, Erin Brooker-Miller

ATE received applications from composers across the United States. The five selected to participate included Dylan BAKER, Daniel FAWCETT, Susanna PAYNE-PASSMORE, Ben RICHARDSON, and Scott SHELL. Together with the participating composers, Rob Paterson, Samuel and Carrie DÍAZ-LITTAUER, and Jeff ZAHOS, ATE cooked meals, hiked mountains, visited the MOOG museum in Asheville, became enthralled with the wisdom of Camille SHAFER and her beautiful AZULE, and most importantly, created music.
The final concert on MAY 24th was an extraordinary experience. Standing room only, ATE fit people and incredible sound into every crevice of AZULE. ATE is tremendously grateful for everyone who was involved with TROUBLESOME GAP, and they cannot wait to return to AZULE for another round of creation. To hear each of the pieces written for TROUBLESOME GAP please visit the ATE Soundcloud page,
For more information about ATE, TROUBLESOME GAP, and upcoming projects, please visit ATE's website, , and

All these years you have been part of the ongoing

"AZULE portraits project"

Hundreds of these portraits are now on canvas and ready for you to sign

Come and Sign yours !
Photos in this issue are contributed by
Donna Cooper Hurt,
New Danger,
Studio Dilitt, Gwylene Gallimard,
Lynda Wheelock, Michelle Suttle.


AZULE's Mission is "To provide an environment where artists and community meet, learn and work together through the arts in their many forms."


Thank you so much for helping AZULE board members and volunteers to move AZULE on its necessary journey. Come, visit and participate. Invite your friends!

THANK YOU : Kathie de Nobriga, Betsy Reiser,
 Gary and Lavonne Roy, Sherry Wilson, Lynda Scott, Michelle Suttle, Jean-Marie Mauclet, Bunny Halton-Subkis, Gwylene Gallimard, Omari Fox and Randy Bell, Henriette Brouwers & John Malpede, Takia Dickens, Joe Ebel, Todd Fowler, Louise Graff, Mark & Joyce Hulbert, Donna Hurt, Lorrie Jayne, Rena Lash, Kim Marin Rollin,   
Tom Morris & Eye Productions, Lisa Mount, Olivier Rollin, Sue Schroeder, Carolyn Stewart, Arlette Vaccarino, Rebecca Gahagan, Dan Beckwith and Barbara Bates Smith, Jeff Sebens. 

THANK YOU also to all Board Members who gave countless hours of in-kind work.
And THANK YOU to all who organize, promote or come to our programs.

AZULE is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.
Your donations are tax-deductible from your income.

For a visit call Camille  828-622-3533 
For information on AZULE's programs, to make any proposal, to apply for a residency or retreat, to book AZULE or to register for any of our offerings, visit AZULE website and e-mail us at 

You are all

AZULE may bring you the opportunity to meet great artists, attend a SkillsShare or learn about a traditional Appalachian Skill, experience a rejuvenating space for residencies, retreats, staff or wellness meetings. Come and visit, give us a call.
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