North Mountain hosted the ILSSA Group Residency, an opportunity for self-study, exploration, and redirection. Inspired by feminist sociologist Kathi Weeks, ILSSA organizes this group residency “not so that we can have, do, or be what we already want, do, or are, but because it might allow us to consider and experiment with different kinds of lives, with wanting, doing, and being otherwise.” As Weeks suggests, the ILSSA Group Residency is an example of “collective autonomy,” offering “freedom as the time and space for invention.”

Now in its third year, the ILSSA Group Residency is an experiment in living: creating the time, space, and place to imagine new ways of being. Consisting of skillshares, readings, reflection, walks, individual practice, cooking, shared meals, meditations, and conversations, the ILSSA residency creates an opportunity to reimagine and redirect our lives after the time on site. The 2018 ILSSA residents included Anna Lena Phillips Bell, Mari Jaye Blanchard, Amanda D’Amico, Nike Desis, Tristan Gordon, Emily Larned, John Labovitz, Stina Soderling, Erin Sweeney, and David Yockel Jr. Member-led workshops included zoetropes, metaphor, discussion of Weeks’ The Problem With Work, sonic meditation, and bookmaking.

2018 was also the inaugural year of the experimental ILSSA Family Residency. Following the Group Residency, ILSSA Co-Operator Bridget Elmer and member Sheryl Oring brought their daughters to North Mountain to join ILSSA Co-Operator Emily Larned for an additional week of shared meals, collaboration, and conversation.

Read more about ILSSA at