APPLICATIONS ARE CURRENTLY CLOSED FOR OUR 2017 Creative Solutions Symposium. PLEASE CHECK BACK LATER THIS YEAR FOR our 2018 Creative Solutions Symposium.


“It was a deeply thrilling, fruitfully productive, and wonderfully collaborative time for the four of us, and we valued it so very much. Additionally the kindness of the entire SPACE crew was just astonishing. We felt cared for and supported at every moment.”

- Sue Yacka, Anti-Violence Project, CSS ‘16


About the Creative Solutions Symposium

The Creative Solutions Symposium at SPACE on Ryder Farm is a fully subsidized week long residency for activists and human rights organizations who are creatively tackling social justice issues. The symposium seeks to support and nurture individuals and groups who are exploring innovative solutions in advancing positive social change. SPACE offers participants a unique retreat experience and creates opportunities for exchange and collaboration between creative thinkers from diverse experiences and professional spheres. 

The 2017 Symposium will offer fully subsidized residencies to 3-4 groups (no more than 4 participants per group) as well as individuals who represent social justice organizations, and will take place August 22nd-27th, 2017. 

The Symposium is committed to accepting a diverse group of organizations and professionals. We are looking for established as well as new organizations who need the time and space to work on a particular social justice or human rights initiative. Priority in selection will be given to applications that articulate a clear strategy for sustaining and expanding their work beyond the Symposium.

The Creative Solutions Symposium aims to:

  • Provide participating groups the time and space to work on their proposed social initiative, away from the bustle of the city
  • Foster idea-sharing and networking for important thinkers, activists, and advocates who are striving to create positive change in the world
  • Offer relevant workshops and topic sessions that aim to support and sustain the future of proposed initiatives, and nurture collaborations between activists from diverse fields

Residencies Include:

  • Access to Ryder Farm’s gorgeous 126 acres of woodland, meadow and lakefront
  • Three farm-fresh communal meals daily
  • Housing for five nights in Ryder Farm’s historic structures
  • Non-traditional meeting and work spaces
  • SPACE staff support

We are looking to support organizations, groups and individuals who:

  • Articulate a specific social problem/issue and propose an innovative approach to address that issue
  • Have a clear strategy as to how to sustain their work beyond SPACE
  • Are interested in expanding their work through collaboration with a diverse community of activists
  • Prioritize leadership of individuals who have lived experience of the systems they are seeking to change 


Have questions? Check out this FAQ.

Still have questions? Write to us at

Feedback from past Creative Solutions participants:

“I still am in contact with many of the great folks I met with at CSS and knowing them and watching their work provides a great sense of not being in this work alone.”

- Angelo Pinto, The Correctional Association of New York, CSS ‘15

“What SPACE did for me was re-energized me and help build more capacity within me to do the tough work when it comes to challenging and changing all that is wrong with our criminal justice systems along with the policies, which give them authority to operate the way they do. At Space I learned how to heal and create ways to deal with the trauma I face in my work.  Plus the mixture of different people who are in different fields of advocacy is refreshing because one gets to see other perspectives of advocacy work and the methods which are applied in order to get things done.”

- Tyrrell Muhammad, The Correctional Association of New York, CSS ‘15

“During these days of mental and physical relaxation I've come to realize that there's more work to be done in my arena but not at the expense of not taking care of me. My take away is to ensure  that I create a space at least once a month that allows for me to recharge mentally spiritually and physically.”

- Dr. Vanda Seward, Kings County District Attorney’s Office, CSS ‘16


“The Creative Solutions Symposium gave our team time and space for deep, focused work. Being in residence with other artists, advocates, and community organizers who were also working on creative solutions to social justice issues helped me feel less siloed while inspiring me with ideas and approaches I hadn’t considered before.”

- Una Lee, And Also Too, CSS ‘15

2017 Creative SOlutions Symposium

5 Boro Defenders with Zohra Ahmed, Ying-Ying Ma, Rage & Alisha Williams - Fit the Description with Julian Alexander, Anthony Demby, Boyuan Gao & Jahan Mantin - H.O.L.L.A. with Keron Bennett, Alexander Davis & Machlie Edouard - New York City Zen Center for Contemplative Care with Koshin Paley Ellison, Evan Henritze & Red Schiller


H.O.L.L.A. with Cory Greene - The Gathering for Justice with Julianne Hoffenberg and Carmen Perez - Kings County District Attorney's Office Re-entry Task Force with Vanda Seward - NYC Anti-Violence Project with Robert Lopez, Yasmin Renee Safdie, Emily Waters, and Sue Yacka - U.S. Dept. of Arts and Culture with Adam Horowitz - UMASS Amherst Dept. of Economics with Mark Paul