Artist Testimonials

Two artists

"I came back from the Tofte Lake Center changed as an artist - with a renewed sense of my strengths and interests and with a powerful sense of direction for my future work…I didn’t expect to be so transported by the beauty of the area.  I found inspiration in literally every direction. " 

- Malinda Ray Allen, performer/playwright, NYC


"I cannot express how grateful I am for this experience.  It was one of the best weeks of my life."

- Emily Conbere, playwright, Seattle


"The aesthetics of TLC inspired and motivated me to make what I consider my finest work yet."

Tuckaghrie Hollingsworth, photographer, Minneapolis


"TLC is idyllic.  It’s gorgeous.  Breath-taking.  Eye-catching.  Heart-opening.  Art-inspiring.  TLC provides multiple ways of taking a breather in nature – ways of disappearing into the woods or on a kayak on the lake or by a fireplace in a cabin in order to open your heart, soul, mind, and lungs to the clean, wild expanse of nature and let it fill you."

- Lauren Feldman, playwright, NYC


"I feel like a totally different person: more relaxed, grateful, inspired and hopeful than I've ever been. I can't believe I got this lucky and really hope to keep this feeling going into the coming months of artistic practice."

- Steven Lang, visual artist, Minneapolis


"Basically, in 5 days at TLC, I learned more about myself as a writer than I did in three years of graduate school."

- Sarah Sander, playwright, NYC


"I felt independent, creative, inspired, at peace. It was such a gift to have to time and space provided by Tofte Lake Center. I would jump at the opportunity to go back to Norm’s Fish Camp… I feel like this trip gave me the opportunity to get in touch with the creative person I want to be all the time."

- Joanna Simmons, actor, The Living Newspaper, NYC


"It was valuable being able to share so many conversations, questions, thoughts, ideas, and artwork with Liz Engelman; and what I learned and realized in those conversations have and will go on to strengthen my work as a writer and theatermaker."

Lauren Feldman, playwright, NYC


"This kind of creative “space” + an environment that feeds the soul = ideal conditions for growth…The profundity of the experience is just beginning to sink in."

- Kimber Olson, visual artist, Minneapolis

"Never before had I written a play and caught a fish all in the same day."

Janet Allard, playwright, Greensboro, NC

"The beautiful environment at Norm’s Fish Camp somehow made reflection the opposite of a daunting experience. The mellow surroundings in combination with the rigor of the fellow artists were the perfect combination of inspiring and meditative."

- Krista Knight, playwright, NYC


"I wouldn’t change a thing about my residency.  The experience of the surrounding nature, the focused studio time, and the company of some talented people are something I will cherish about my time at TLC."

- Laura Splan, visual artist, Minneapolis


"I came away with new pages, piece of mind, and many new friendships. If I could go back right this minute, I’d be back on plane to Minnesota."

Peter Gil-Sheridan, playwright, NYC

"I can’t say enough about Liz’s unique abilities in enhancing our experience. Because she was so accommodating and flexible in facilitating activities as we requested, I felt that my creativity was all the more nurtured and stimulated…The environment, Liz’s leadership, support and positive spirit, was invaluable."

- Emily Bradley, visual artist, Minneapolis


"I’m back in my NYC life feeling more centered, rejuvenated, and blessed.  This residency gave me a chance to work, but also gave me an experience of peace that will remain with me for a long time.  I’m looking forward to continuing my work on the projects I worked on at TLC."

- Anna Moench, playwright, NYC


"My experience at TLC superseded my expectations: quiet, clean air, space, time, support and few expectations of me, besides to just be myself and do my work."

- Laura Silver, writer, NYC


"... the best part about staying at Lake Tofte is having space and inspiration to work. After a week at the retreat I always feel productive, refreshed and reconnected. Whether one wants solitude or camaraderie, Lake Tofte allows its guests to create the work environment that best suits each individual artist. I love it here! You will too."

- Lisa Arnold, visual artist, dramaturg, Minneapolis

"I’m proud and delighted to say we entered the residency as good friends, and we left the residency as great friends.  And as a bonus, we left the residency making one extra great friend in Liz."

Don Nguyen, playwright, The Living Newspaper, NYC

"I am a super emerging emerging artist and this residency, not to delve too completely into hyperbole, has launched my career."

- Sukari Jones, playwright, NYC


"I come away with a stronger sense of myself as an artist and an outline of my project. And a desire to return to TLC as soon as possible."

- Chantal Pavagaux, multi-disciplinary artist, MN