Idlewild Arts connects people with arts, literature, and culture, and creates community through a diverse range of programs and resources. Each fall, Idlewild holds a writers retreat in New England. Through its retreats, Idlewild Arts provides artists and writers with creative space and community.

In addition to the annual Idlewild Writers Retreat, Idlewild Arts offers a range of one-day retreats, workshops, and programs for artists and writers. Idlewild hosts the Arts Salon Series in Northeast Connecticut, which engages visual artists, writers, musicians, and performers in creative conversation. Stay tuned in the months to come for a series of exciting announcements.


About Idlewild Writers Retreat

At the annual Idlewild Writers Retreat, our writers gather to engage with their work, and to enjoy creative space and community with fellow writers.  With spacious, comfortable accommodations for writers from out of town, and a special day rate for area writers, we welcomed writers from near and far, and at all stages of the writing process.

Idlewild in the News

Listen to a radio interview with Idlewild Arts Director Melissa Wyse on WILI 1400AM (recorded and broadcast on January 4, 2017):

You can see more recent articles, stories, and interviews about Idlewild Arts here on our Idlewild in the News page.

About Melissa Wyse


Idlewild Arts is created by writer, educator, and arts administrator Melissa Wyse. Melissa writes extensively about arts, culture, and travel.  She has been awarded Fellowships at the MacDowell Colony, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and Ragdale, and she holds a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from American University.  She is the recipient of an Individual Artist Ruby Grant from the Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance, and her work has appeared in publications including The RumpusMomusShenandoah, Urbanite, and decomP. Melissa has worked in the arts, education, and community-building for over ten years.  She is the Writer in Residence at the Pomfret School. Prior to that, she served as the Director of Development & Community Engagement for the Howard County Arts Council outside of Baltimore and as the Lead Community Resources Coordinator for Erickson Living’s flagship Charlestown Community.  She has taught writing and literature for many years, at organizations including the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth, Pomfret School, American University, SpiderSmart, and Writopia.  She leads workshops for writers of all ages throughout the community, and provides individual consultation services. You can learn more about Melissa’s work at www.melissawyse.com.

About Carolyn Wagner

Carolyn Wagner Headshot

Idlewild Arts is delighted to partner with Carolyn Wagner for its annual Idlewild Writers Retreat. Carolyn leads sessions for retreat participants on integrating mindfulness into creative practice. Carolyn Wagner has worked at Pomfret School since 1997. In addition to her role as School Counselor, she teaches a course on mindfulness, and facilitates a weekly meditation group. Carolyn’s undergraduate study in psychology led to graduate work and a degree from Rhode Island School of Design, where she received a departmental award for developing a course curriculum on enhancing creativity. The studio component of that degree was in textile design. Carolyn’s more than thirty five years of experience working with young people and their families include the New Hampton School, New Hampton, NH, and Butler Hospital/Brown University, and the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, RI. She just completed a five-year program at UMASS Medical School and is now a trained MBSR (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction) teacher. Additionally, she is a certified .b mindfulness teacher. She owns sukiblue a small artisan jewelry company, exhibits her work in galleries, and teaches jewelry workshops. She and her partner Mike operate Hamlet Hill, a USDA certified organic farm in Pomfret, CT. You can learn more about sukiblue and about Carolyn’s mindfulness programs at www.carolynawagner.com.