We gathered some of the greatest minds we know at the iconic Troutbeck estate in Amenia, New York to talk about art, culture, death, joy, pain, and resilience. There were so many lightbulb moments and takeaways from our time together, but one thing that has stuck with us is how much we all need each other.
We’re shining a spotlight on Troutbeck itself and some of the incredible people who joined us below.
We wanted to assemble this incredible group of creators, founders, imaginative minds, and makers in a place with historical significance, so this famed inn and estate was the perfect spot. As the host of the NAACP’s Amenia Conferences in 1916 and 1933 with civil rights leaders W.E.B. DuBois and Mary Ovington in attendance, Troutbeck’s owners at the time, Colonel Joel and Amy Spingarn served on the civil rights organization’s Board of Directors for years. Along with Joel’s brother, Amy established the NAACP’s highest honor, the Spingarn Medal, that would later be awarded to icons like Duke Ellington, Martin Luther King Jr., and Rosa Parks. And Amy was a longstanding champion of Black artists and creatives including Zora Neale Hurston and Langston Hughes.
SOME OF THE RETREAT’S INCREDIBLE ATTENDEES
As one of the great connectors that helped make our retreat so incredible, Joél’s imagination and vision were imprinted on almost every moment during our two-day refuge. He also led a writing workshop that helped us unlock our creative power and shared some of his dynamic and thought-provoking poems during our open mic night.
Bethany took us inside her design practice and culture, sharing with us what it means to be a citizen of the Northern Cheyenne Nation and to proudly hail from the Mighty Few District of the Crow Nation. She told us about her experience growing the B.Yellowtail brand and working with Faherty on our partnership over the years.
Jon-Adrian “JJ” Velasquez
When we’re talking about legends, JJ is exactly what we mean. During a heartfelt talk with Kerry, he brought everyone to tears after sharing his story of serving 23 years of a wrongful conviction, how he’s remained resilient and compassionate, and how despite all that he’s continuing to give back to his community.
Suleika, a New York Times Best Selling Author, invited us into her Morning Pages practice, which she learned from author and teacher Julia Cameron. We meditated, then Suleika prompted us to write letters to ourselves expressing self-love and appreciation. The warmth and emotions were flowing and we’re forever grateful.
Noor’s multi-passionate approach to global issues inspires us all, as she works as an activist, documentarian, journalist, and founder of At Your Service Media. In 2020, she launched Podcast Noor, where her conversations with other incredible minds have addressed subjects including thinking with our hearts, unlearning shame, and community care.
Behida grew up amongst carpenters and weavers in southern Bosnia, so craftsmanship is very much a way of life for her. Behida had to flee Bosnia during the Balkan War, but her love for millinery continued, and she went on to study art in Florence and San Francisco. Now based in Hudson, NY, her brand features clothing and hats for all those who love feminine, poetic designs.
A Second U Foundation
This nonprofit creates economic opportunity and end recidivism for formerly incarcerated people by training and employing them in the personal training industry. Seven days a week, the Faherty team gets to sweat it out with A Second U Foundation’s amazing trainers through virtual workouts. They brought that same motivational energy in two morning workouts that got our bodies moving and readied us to take on each day with excitement.
John Christian Phifer
Though death can be a difficult and oft harrowing topic, John Christian encouraged us all to think about it as one of life’s beautiful and inevitable stages. As the Executive Director of Larkspur Conservation, his talk with Kerry brought us closer to nature and to each other.
Andy took the vibes to a whole new level with her melodic songs and unforgettable rendition of Erykah Badu’s “Tyrone”. With three albums under her belt and as a former member of Prince’s New Power Generation band, she’s constantly in our musical rotation.
Like us, Laura grew up with a love for the outdoors and turned that passion into a deep interest for climbing. Her love doesn't stop there, as she’s also the owner of Cosmic Market, where she shares vintage jewelry, her own designs, and offerings from other small businesses.
Lehi Thunder Voice Eagle
With his family by his side, Lehi spoke on what we can all do to support Native artists and communities and why buying Native-owned and Native-designed styles is so important. One of the retreat’s highlights was the screening of our BBC Story Works film with Lehi, where everyone got a glimpse into the beauty of his Diné homelands and family, how his designs reflect a powerful history of Native craftsmanship and storytelling, and the ways Indigenous communities are preserving the culture and traditions of their ancestors.
Love was the reason for the retreat and Ruthie is very much the embodiment of that energy. After surviving a devastating accident as a teenager and chronic pain as a young woman, Ruthie rebuilt her faith and decided to share her story of healing, resilience, and strength with others in a memoir and her newsletter, Love’s Invitation.
Bringing soul to every lyric and chord, Arum Rae grounded us all with her acoustic melodies and wholehearted stories about how her songs have come to fruition. As a self-proclaimed romantic and dreamer, we definitely ended the evening feeling tender and hopeful after her performance.