Grunewald Guild 2019 Annual Report Welcoming and inspiring all who seek to explore the relationships between art, faith & community

Vonda and Jim Drees, Executive Directors

Dear Friends,

Art has been practiced among the Ponderosas since the Guild’s founding in 1980. With each collective, creative connection, more soul emerges from this place, more love is resurrected and new ways of living, being and moving through this world are unleashed.

This report offers a way to look back at 2019, to reflect on our year together in word, image and just enough data to keep it real. And… it allows us the opportunity to share our deep gratitude for you. Your presence comes in so many forms: financial gifts, prayers, participation. We are so very grateful to be part of this community with you.

Our theme for 2019 was Opening, and what an amazing gift it was to be opened, over and over again —body, mind, heart and soul— to the beauty of this place, to the gift of one another, and to the Creative Spirit in our midst.

2020 is a big year for the Grünewald Guild. Yes, it’s our 40th year in these “Green Woods” and such an occasion calls for celebration, for creative revelry, for cake and ice cream every summer week! It also calls for a big theme and we’re counting on Forest Vision to bring it home.

40 Cheers to the Guild and to you!

With great love,

Jim and Vonda

Mike Caemmerer, Board President

Happy Anniversary to the Guild! It’s hard to believe that forty years ago this May, Rich and Liz Caemmerer led a small rag-tag group of family and friends onto a sandy parking lot with an old and dilapidated grange building on it and the goal of building a place where Art and Faith could flourish in the context of Community. It seemed a bit far-fetched on that first day, but mostly just to those of us whose imaginations needed to catch up.

Now, forty years later, our imaginations are still trying to keep up. The creative visions of a committed Board, Executive Director team, and Staff are always searching for exciting ways to develop the Guild. This annual report will help you see all the amazing work that happened just in 2019.

For all the exciting changes that have taken place year in and year out over the last four decades, from day one, the Guild has always held an important place in this world, a place of inspiration and refuge, and a place not to escape the world, but to more deeply reconnect with it.

We can't wait to reconnect with you, to reminisce with you on your next visit about your Guild experiences and to look to the future of the Guild to imagine all the great ways we can build on this solid foundation.

On behalf of Richard and Liz and all of those who first drove in to the old Grange parking lot in May 1980, thank you for being a part of the history of this magical place and for helping ensure it remains sustainable and prosperous well into the future.

With Gratitude


Fiber Arts Studio

2019 State of the Guild

Individual Contributions: $77,622

Fundraiser Donations: $17,144

Grants: $5,400

Program Revenue: $186,642

Total Revenue: $286,808

The Garden

Total Expenses: $263,034

Net Income: $23,774

Financial Health

Cash Reserves: $13,371

Capital Fund: $65,254

Endowment Fund: $68,208

Saturday Offerings

Your Support at Work

Centrum Upgrades: new furniture, dimmable gallery wall lighting, and ceiling fans

Seasonal wheelchair ramp to the upper Centrum area using a grant from the Community Foundation of North Central Washington

River House roof replacement

Raised beds created in our Guild garden

Finisterre lower stonework completed

New Outdoor Benches

Pottery Studio Ventilation System

"Glamping" Tents

We're Reaching for the River

In 2019, the Grunewald Guild embarked on an ambitious plan to expand the campus toward the river—and we have successfully completed a major first step!

The three neighboring properties (between the library and the river) have long been part of the Guild community's hopes and dreams to add to our footprint, but they have been in private hands for decades. In 2018, the owner approached the Guild about selling us the land, and the board kicked into high gear. We hired a fundraising consultant to study the feasibility of the project. When those results came back positively, every board member made a stretch gift to the campaign to get the process moving.

By last fall, early gifts to the campaign enabled the Guild to achieve an important first step in the project—purchasing the two undeveloped lots that are closest to the Centrum and the rest of our campus. Bringing these two parcels into our campus prevents private (and possibly conflicting) use a stone's throw from our community; they expand our river access; and open up new possibilities for outdoor studio space and tent or yurt camping. This alone is cause for massive celebration. Thank you to everyone who made this possible.

But we are not done yet! We still are working hard to acquire the third lot, which has a picturesque cabin next to the bridge. We envision using the cabin as a place to host faith leaders on sabbatical, paid artist residencies, summer program attendees, retreat leaders, and more. Assembling the funds for this final piece will take some time as we seek support from foundations and gifts from our community. As we near the finish line, we will have more to share with the entire Guild community about ways to participate.

In the meantime, if you would like a tour of the property or would like to learn more about early giving opportunities, please email director@grunewaldguild.com, and we'd be happy to tell you more.

2019 Impact

50 community based weaving and ceramics open studio sessions

120 pounds of rolled oats and 15 quarts of honey used to create the Guild's granola in 2019.

Hosted over 600 guests as part of our 10 program weeks, private and group retreats, residencies, and open studio participants.

11 Artists-in-Residence

2 Interns

15 Retreat groups, including clergy, college students, congregation members, confirmation youth, artists, crafters, writers, yogis, and pictured here, our friends from L'Arche!

58,291 page views on our website

Nearly 3,000 Facebook followers

842 Instagram followers

1,876 e-newsletter recipients

37 Faculty

45 Volunteers

Join us in 2020 and be like one of these happy people!!