The Creative Solutions Symposium is a weeklong residency (August 26th-August 31st, 2019) dedicated to activists, advocates, organizers and thinkers who are striving to create positive social change in the world. The residency offers 3-4 small groups (no more than 4 participants per group) time and space to work on their initiatives, away from the bustle and noise of their daily lives and in an environment that fosters idea-sharing, networking and collaboration amongst peers.

Time is centered around three farm fresh meals daily. Additionally, each participating group facilitates one workshop for the rest of the Symposium cohort. Each group structures their days to best suit their initiative’s needs and goals. Symposium residents have access to Ryder Farm’s 127 acres of woodlands, pastures and lakefront as well as ample non-traditional meeting and work spaces both indoors and out.

SPACE is committed to supporting a diverse group of organizations and professionals through the Creative Solutions Symposium. Priority is given to applicants who:

  • Articulate a specific social problem/issue and propose an innovative/creative/non-traditional approach to address that issue;
  • Have an expressed need for concentrated time and space;
  • Describe how they will structure their time at the Symposium with specific goals and outcomes identified for the week;
  • Express an interest in expanding their work through collaboration with a diverse community of activists;
  • Have a clear plan for sustaining and expanding their work beyond the Symposium.

Past Creative Solutions Symposium participants include 5 Boro Defenders, And Also Too, Brown Girl Recovery, Campaign for Alternatives to Isolated Confinement, Chicago Community Bond Fund, The Correctional Association of New York, Fit the Description, The Gathering for Justice, Girls for Gender Equity, H.O.L.L.A. (How Our Lives Link Together), The Kings County District Attorney’s Office, New York Anti-Violence Project, New York City Zen Center for Contemplative Care, SPARK Movement, US Department of Arts and Culture, Urban Justice Center, Urban Leaders Academy, the Vera Institute of Justice Ending Girls’ Incarceration initiative and WITNESS.

The Creative Solutions Symposium is fully-subsidized. Residents cover their travel to and from the farm. If you are traveling from New York City, a round-trip off-peak Metro North ticket from Grand Central Terminal to Brewster Terminal is $29.00. Transportation between the Brewster Terminal and farm is provided by the SPACE team.

Applications for the 2019 season are due October 8th, 2018 at 11:59PM EST. Before applying, please review the guidelines as well as the FAQ page. If you have questions about applying to SPACE, please contact at

Semi-finalists will be notified by early February 2019. Finalists will be interviewed in March 2019. Final decisions will be made by early April 2019.