Dear friends,

I have some momentous news to share: as we enter our tenth year of programming at Mount Tremper Arts, I will be enthusiastically and mindfully passing the baton to new leadership and stepping down as Artistic Director.

It’s been ten years of public programs and residencies, and fourteen years since Aynsley Vandenbroucke and I purchased an abandoned farmhouse in the Catskills. Countless adventures and challenges later, it’s my greatest pleasure to see how this space has grown into a beloved and essential institution for artists and audiences, and I feel fully confident in the future sustainability of Mount Tremper Arts!

Back in 2003, I was a bright-eyed, energetic 28 year-old with an equal amount of stubbornness, determination, and ignorance (possibly a required trait to start-up a non-profit!) I could not have conceivably envisioned the journey that we were embarking on, attempting to build a place by and for artists where community and solitude walk hand in hand. Where planting trees and cooking meals are as foundational to the structures of artistic support as artist fees and grant writing.

In the early years, Mount Tremper Arts was our literal home; Aynsley and I did everything, from writing press releases to scrubbing toilets. In fact, back in those early days, I spent many a cold Catskill winter evening crawling under the farmhouse on my back in the mud with a heat gun, attempting to thaw frozen water pipes. It’s an apt metaphor for the journey we’ve taken and my heart has always been with those nuts and bolt entrepreneurial necessities, from hanging drywall to the creation of our recently launched Watershed Laboratory. It’s the literal building and conceiving of a place that has always captured my enthusiasm, and now the kid is all grown up!

At this point, Mount Tremper Arts has radically different needs, and I have come to feel it’s time to pass the baton, for Mount Tremper Arts to evolve and transition from a founder’s organization into its next phase of institutional life. Of course, a key part of this transition is that we are searching for a new Executive Director, details about the job search can be found here.

This doesn’t mean I will be completely divesting myself from Mount Tremper Arts. Like Aynsley, I will remain on the Board of Directors, and will continue to lead the property management company that oversees our facilities. As a co-founder and board member, I’ll continue to entreat you to invest in MTA by donating. In fact, please consider increasing your support or donating for the first time today, in celebration of this exciting and momentous transition!

I am overjoyed that Mount Tremper Arts has become the place it is, and I feel deeply confident that the organization will continue to thrive and grow. I could not be more proud of what we’ve accomplished!

With deep gratitude to the mountain, and to our artists and our audiences,

Mathew Pokoik