MidMountain
An Arts and Agricultural Space in constant growth. 

About

We are an arts collective and project in constant growth that believes in the power of people to reclaim space and caring for your neighbors. 

Our mission: Growing a resilient creative community by sharing time and natural space to develop the art of storytelling while literally nourishing our neighbors. We must imagine a better future where we celebrate differences that make us collectively stronger to grow that future. 

Our collective is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, working to support arts programming, organizing professional creative development, and seeking community input about interpreting the property’s past—which includes ties to colonization and human bondage. 

MidMountain operates from a five-acre retreat on the James River in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia that is also Andrea "River" Peterson's artist studio. The grounds are also being developed into a sustainable food forest with plans for agritourism and mutual aid distribution thanks to a River Buffer restoration partnership with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, the James River Association, and the Virginia Department of Forestry. 

Want to support our programming work? Donate here or join MidMountain by Mail to provide us monthly support and receive exclusive postcard art prints featuring work by MidMountaineers. 


Want to visit to work on a creative project here? Check out our Residencies and Fellowships.
Private rentals of the MidMountain Retreat LLC space are also available via Airbnb and VRBO


Have ideas for how to help us grow? Get in touch with River, our curator: river@midmountain.org.

For the most up to date information, follow us on Instagram or Facebook.  

Who is this?
Andrea "River" Peterson is the curator at MidMountain. We also have a growing board that helps cultivate our project. It currently includes: 

Deborah Ager is an entrepreneur, essayist, and poet. She co-edited The Bloomsbury Anthology of Contemporary Jewish American Poetry, collaborated on 35+ nonfiction books with her clients, and founded 32 Poems Magazine. 

Mariam Baksh is a federal policy reporter, with stints at The Washington Post, The American Prospect, and Marketplace Public Radio over the years, and knows way too much about U.S. cybersecurity policy. She's also been a public-interest organizer and is a visual artist with an interest in creative nonfiction.

Chad Clark is founder, composer and producer of the Washington, DC band Beauty Pill. Clark is also a film and theater composer. 


Carolyn Fiddler is communications director for Daily Kos and is the nation’s foremost expert in state politics. She's spent her professional life working for various Democratic and progressive organizations. Fiddler is from a small town in Virginia you've never heard of, and her comic book collection is probably bigger than yours.


AnaMarie King is a DC-based, a self-taught multimedia artist whose work aims to illustrate her inner struggle with all that she cannot control.


Olatunji Olaigbe is a Nigerian freelance journalist. He was a winner of the 2021 IOM West and Central Africa Migration Journalism Awards and has contributed to Wired, Rest of the World, Vice News, Inkstick, and more. 


Edward Ongweso, Jr is a New York City-based reporter covering labor and technology for Motherboard, VICE News’s technology section whose work has focused on app-based gig labor platforms, antitrust and antimonopoly law, labor movements, capital markets, and surveillance technologies. Ongewso also co-hosts a weekly podcast on technology and political economy: This Machine Kills.

Audé Negrete-Baños is a passionate advocate for social justice focusing on children’s, women’s, and Immigrant’s rights. For over two decades her advocacy work has taken her around the United States and Mexico. 


Abby Wendle is a sculptor of metal and sound. She enjoys swimming and saunas, gardening, and walking in the woods with her cat. Wendle currently works as a reporter and producer for NPR’s Embedded.


Community Calendar


Future: 


March 9, 2024: MidMountain Open House

Join us for an open house with MidMountain's Spring Fellowship cohort, featuring free workshops, a really free market, a potluck, art creation opportunities, a ritual reflecting on the property's history,  and a concert from the Laurel Hells Ramblers and The Timber Bridges!


Past:

March 2022: Mali Obomsawin

Mali Obomsawin is a songwriter, bassist, composer, journalist and #landback organizer from Odanak Abenaki First Nation. Known for her many years with the group Lula Wiles, Obomsawin is stepping forward as a bandleader in 2022 with her highly anticipated jazz debut, Sweet Tooth, and is working to complete her first solo album as a singer-songwriter. Obomsawin spent time at MidMountain working on original songs for a forthcoming solo project and did an online concert via Instagram on March 18, 2022. 


April 2022: Edward Ongweso, Jr & Erin Taylor

Edward Ongweso, Jr is a New York City-based reporter covering labor and technology for Motherboard, VICE News’s technology section whose work has focused on app-based gig labor platforms, antitrust and antimonopoly law, labor movements, capital markets, and surveillance technologies. Ongewso also co-hosts a weekly podcast on technology and political economy: This Machine Kills. Ongweso worked on a science fiction project and non-fiction book proposal at MidMountain.

Erin Taylor is a writer and editor living in New York City. They’re the author of the upcoming poetry collection Bimboland. They edit Observer Arts, and can be found @erinisaway. They worked on fiction projects at MidMountain.


EVENT: Imagining better futures, now!
April 25, 2022 9PM ET/6PM PT

Join us online for a Twitter Space hosted by MidMountain to discuss the challenge and power of imagining better futures in our current moment, featuring Cory Doctorow, Edward Ongweso, Jr, Erin Taylor, and Andrea Peterson. 


April 15, 2023: Timothy Bailey & the Humans

Join us for our first in-person event, a launch party for a journal reflecting on our germination year and celebration of our food forest planting with performances from Timothy Bailey & The Humans and our All Trans House Band on April 15, 2023. Doors at 3pm, show at 4pm, $10 suggested donation//no one turned away for lack of funds.


August 5 2023, 2-6pm: MidMountain Open House


Join us for FREE Sounds, Sights & Stories from our August residency crew including Requiem, AnaMarie King and Eve Ettinger, plus a garden produce giveaway!


Artist bios:


SOUNDS


Requiem is a DC-based audiovisual arts group founded by guitarist Tristan Welch, composer Doug Kallmeyer, and visual artist Monica Stork. Known for their immersive, cinematic and hypnotic multimedia experiences, Requiem’s sound is characterized by heavy soundscapes, deep synthetic bass, and musical percussion, imbued with emotional depth.


SIGHTS


AnaMarie King is a self-taught multimedia artist whose work aims to illustrate her inner struggle with all that she cannot control. Often working with found objects, they allow the materials to influence them and let them take new form. Their work looks at notions of society through a lens of chance and chaos. Through subjects such as race, age roles, and gender roles, they expose and mock the rigidness enforced by social norms.


STORIES


Eve Ettinger is a writer, editor, and educator in Alexandria, Virginia. They edited creative non-fiction features for The Rumpus 2019-2023, and have an MFA in creative writing from Hollins University. They're working on a memoir/collection of linked essays about trauma recovery and healing, and co-host a podcast about the intersection of Christian fundamentalism and current events called Kitchen Table Cult. As a teacher and editor, Eve is passionate about trauma-informed narrative processes and helping others learn how to craft stories which subvert existing structures of power under late-stage capitalism. 


September 6, 2023: Høly River, doors and potluck at 6pm, show at 7pm. 


The music of Høly River carries the message of humanity’s need for reconnection with the earth. Mystically political and wholeheartedly grassroots this DIY band finds themselves playing on large festival stages as well as backyard fire pits of intentional communities around the world. Doors and potluck at 6pm, show with opening set by the MidMountain All Trans House Band at 7pm, $10-30 suggested donation//no one turned away for lack of funds.


November 5, 2023: Linocut workshop at MidMountain: Art Opposing the Mountain Valley Pipeline

Join us for an afternoon of print-making to stop the disastrous Mountain Valley Pipeline!

We will provide tools, cutting medium, ink, and paper to print on. Bring your own clothing or textiles to print on! This will be a great day of creation and community building with folks from POWHR and Artivism!

We ask for a $5-15 donation to cover material costs, but no one will be turned away due to lack of funds. RSVP to river@midmountain.org so we know how many blocks to have on hand to cut!


December 8-10: #DefundMVP puppet-making workshop. This is a FREE workshop for regional artists in WV, VA, and NC hosted by POWHR. The workshop will take place from the afternoon of Friday 12/8 to the afternoon of Sunday 12/10 at MidMountain in Natural Bridge, VA (338 Arnolds Valley Rd, Natural Bridge Station, Va 24579).


This workshop is for regional activists who want to learn puppet-making skills and bring the skills they learn home to their community to organize art builds and puppet-making workshops of their own. Especially for artists committed to stopping the MVP and making art for actions.


This is an application only because we have limited spots! We will confirm via email that your spot is secured. Link for application is here.


Puppeteer Jan Burger will help us create puppets for spring actions in our #DefundMVP campaign. No puppet making experience is required but art-making enthusiasm is requested! Lodging at Mid Mountain is free and meals will be provided for a maximum of 15 attendees. Not everyone will be able to sleep alone on a bed (we will contact you about particulars). We request attendees be able to attend at least two days of the workshop - ideally all three.  


December 10, 2-4pm: Sweet & Song Swap: Join us for an afternoon of music and sugar at MidMountain to celebrate a year of art and agricultural community growth.


Folks from POWHR and Paperhand will be with us to share new puppetry works created on site for protests against the Mountain Valley Pipeline. Timothy Bailey, of Timothy Bailey & the Humans, will host us for seasonal music, with acoustic contributions welcome so bring your originals or karaoke favorites!


We’ll have several cookies on hand and encourage you to bring a few dozen of your own favorite recipe to share! A sign up sheet is linked here on the MidMountain website to coordinate sweet swapping. But don’t worry if you need to come empty handed: this is a free event where we are happy to share!


When: 2-4pm, December 10, 2023

Where: MidMountain, 338 Arnolds Valley Rd, Natural Bridge Station, Va 24578


January 21, 2024: Open Art Day at MidMountain. 

Join us for an open art afternoon on Sunday, January 21st from 2-5pm! We’ll have spaces for painting, print-making, collage, jamming, and more! Plus, information about upcoming actions protesting the Mountain Valley Pipeline.

The Site

We share space with MidMountain Retreat LLC just outside the small town of Natural Bridge Station in central Virginia. The grounds feature a three-story brick home, multiple outbuildings including our Post Office Community Center and extensive outdoor space with cleared areas suitable for large events or installations as well as access to 400' of private frontage on the James River. 

The main house is 3,500 square feet, with sleeping for up to sixteen people across 3 bedrooms and shared areas, 2.5 bathrooms, a modern open-concept kitchen, attic family room, library, dining/event space, and a gallery/theater.

Although the site is secluded, it’s within walking or biking distance of basic conveniences, including gas and limited groceries, in Natural Bridge Station and a short drive to many interesting sights!

Within a 15 minute drive:

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