top of page

Our Story

In 2017, we had our first thoughts and visions of creating a gathering space. Compelled by the desire to expand our community in the shadow of human-generated, destructive climate change, we wanted a place where people could come together to work on ideas, art, or practices that might have positive ripple effects in our world.

Kristen is a midwife. She has had the opportunity to create and hold safe spaces for people to do the transformational work of carrying a pregnancy, becoming parents, or expanding their families. This idea of creating a space for people to do other kinds of transformational work is deeply in line with what has nourished her for over thirty years. Frank is a software developer with an abiding commitment to repair and reuse. Keeping the lights on, the Internet flowing, and the hot tub humming in support of creative work is deeply satisfying to him.

We searched all over the Hudson Valley for a place to develop our idea, but kept being pulled back to the Shawangunk Mountains. When we found this 35-acre property under the Shawangunk Ridge, we could feel the creative potential. 

Working on the property, especially during the early months of the pandemic when we split time between Brooklyn and Gardiner, gave us an opportunity to grow into a new and radically different environment. Learning to care for this land has been and continues to be challenging and extremely rewarding. And it is work that grounds us here.

Once we had this site, we needed a space amenable to creative works. We started with a preexisting three-bay cinder block mechanic’s garage on the property. Ryan Enschede (web, insta), a friend, and architect specializing in sustainable architecture helped us develop our ideas and brought many of his own to produce a beautiful design. Mike Leonard, a skilled builder, and Kristen's brother labored with others for over a year and a half to transform the space. The construction was done with attention to Passive House principles of energy efficiency and to sourcing practical, beautiful, and sustainable materials. Our driving force in this project is to expand our network and build community. Several friends and family members have found their own reasons for relocating to the area. Many days prove to be an opportunity for us to welcome new people to our space and to meet new friends and neighbors. Since mid-2022, we have hosted weekly open potluck dinners to strengthen relationships and invite more. These simple gatherings that bring people, pets, and joys together for good food and conversation represent the spirit of Groundworks.

​We believe that place and space can inspire. And we know that simply taking a pause in a different setting can change perspectives. Our hope is that sharing Groundworks will support the creation of ideas, art, and connection within and without. We believe also that those things happen best in a well-fed spirit of joy and fun and we work to cultivate that spirit here.​

We are looking forward to hosting workshops, community events, rehearsals, and residencies or retreats for individuals and small groups. 


- Kristen & Frank

bottom of page