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The dock of Tofte Lake
Outside of Loon Cabin looking out at Tofte Lake
Stuart Pimsler Dance and Theatre Company in rehearsal
Inside Loon Cabin
Canoeing break at Tofte Lake

Tofte Lake Center

Emerging Program member

Tofte Lake Center is a creative retreat center for artists, scholars and thinkers of all disciplines located on the shores of Tofte Lake. From June through September, TLC offers 1-2 week creative residencies for individuals, artistic groups, and organizations who seek to create work in residence in a natural setting with arts facilities and comfortable cabins.

Our residency programming includes:

Emerging Artists Program
TLC is sponsoring its 10th annual Emerging Artists Program which enables both individual creative artists and a group of artists to focus on their current work. This program subsidizes one 2-week residency for 7 emerging artists and/or 2 person creative teams from the Minnesota and the 5 boroughs of New York, and one week-long residency for a group project that would have exclusive use of the facilities. Please note that applicants must live in either MN or one of the 5 NYC boroughs to be eligible to apply.

The residencies at TLC are intentionally interdisciplinary in nature. Artists from many disciplines can apply. Disciplines may include: playwriting, poetry, prose writing, painting, music composition, and dance. We would be happy to accept applicants who sculpt, produce films, are photographers, work with crafts; we are, however, more limited in terms of the materials we can provide. The underlying philosophy is to provide space and means of support for individual artists wishing to further their creative endeavors in the visual, literary and performing arts. The dramaturgical assistance of TLC director Liz Engelman is available if desired.

Individual Artist/Creative Team Residency: July 15-28, 2019.

Group Project Week: August 12-18, 2019.

The Gaia Fenna Memorial Fellowship
The Gaia Fenna Memorial Fellowship, in its fifth year, was created in honor of artist and nature lover Gaia Fenna, a close friend and supporter of Tofte Lake Center. This weeklong retreat is open to a Minnesota artist who exemplifies in their work and life Gaia's spirit, passions, and values.

Residency Week: September 16-22, 2019.

Individual and Organizational Residencies
Artist residencies balance group activity, personal work time, facilitated conversation, the exchange of work and performance. Creators working in any area: arts, humanities, sciences, etc. are welcome. Residencies are structured around a project’s specific needs. Days are self-directed, and could include individual/team work, afternoon excursions or on-site activity, dinners and evening gatherings with resident artists.

Tofte Lake Center is family-friendly. Artists in residence are welcome to bring their families when space allows and when agreed upon in advance.

Residency Weeks: June 24-30, September 9-15, September 23-29, 2019.


Ely, Minnesota: United States

Tofte Lake Center utilizes the facilities at Norm’s Fish Camp, which include residential cabins, work and performance spaces, community areas and recreational equipment. These facilities are set amidst woods and hills on 12 acres of forested land that are located on the shore of Tofte Lake, a dedicated trout lake surrounded by the Superior National Forest, on the edge of Minnesota's Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.

Contact Information

2209 Fernberg Rd
Ely, Minnesota 55731
United States
Tel: 218-365-7769