BY LINDA MARGISON
Musician Krista Detor has toured, juggled schedules, and handled family obligations, but it wasn’t until she attended the Hedgebrook writers’ retreat on Whidbey Island in Washington State that she started to breathe, she says.
That same experience—the chance to breathe and be inspired—is what she hopes to achieve with The Hundredth Hill, the property north of Bloomington on Fish Road where she and Dave Weber, her husband and owner of Airtime Studio Inc., are building a four-unit artists’ retreat. The idea started when Weber converted a tool shed into a guesthouse for musicians to stay while recording at Airtime Studio, attached to their home. They wanted to give musicians a place to write, focus on their music, and relax, without trekking back and forth to a hotel in Bloomington.
But once Detor returned from Hedgebrook, she realized the specialness of her wooded hilltop property. “This place is just as inspiring,” she says. “When you stay in a total crisis mode constantly, you cannot function at all creatively, and I’ve seen that so in myself. It’s an opportunity to breathe.”
Using 90 percent repurposed materials, Weber converted their garage into a loft apartment and plans to transform a trailer into one of two tiny houses they will eventually have on the property. When complete, The Hundredth Hill retreat will also have a few tent platforms, a communal bathhouse, and a performance space.
The retreat’s inaugural event, scheduled for June 11, will feature performances by 14 artists returning from a Detor-led trip to Belfast, Ireland. Next year, she hopes to host 12 Irish writers at The Hundredth Hill, and take another group of American artists to Ireland in the fall. “We could give the Irish group a cultural immersion just like their American friends get an Irish immersion,” she says.
Detor is also seeking nonprofit status in order to provide kids’ workshops and creative opportunities at The Hundredth Hill. “This is an idea that, all of a sudden, every door starts opening and you feel like this is the right path to be on,” she says, adding that it’s also a way for her to give back to Bloomington. “This town has given me so much.”
For more information, visit The Hundredth Hill on Facebook or kristadetor.com.