Summer Retreat

Beacon, NY Aug 31 - Sept 1, 2019

a weekend intensive for Artists, Musicians, and Creative Humans



After working with over 100 people last year, and leading more than 20 workshops around the country, I’m excited to return to an intimate weekend retreat in Beacon, NY. It will be a chance to take a comprehensive dive into the creative career design process I’ve been researching and developing for the past six years.

Learn to navigate your career landscape with a confident clarity of vision, making choices that are in line with how you actually like spending your days on this planet.

We will be learning to use new tools, having important conversations, and working together to move closer to a radically sustainable creative practice.

Interested? Let’s talk by email or phone to see if this course is the right fit for you.

"I walked away with more clarity than I have felt in years re: where I should be putting my time, energy, and efforts when it comes to my career. It's f***ing great and you should do it!"

-Tiffany Topol, songwriter/producer/musician/actor extraordinaire

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The Struggle

Almost every musician or artist I’ve ever met deals with so much frustration, constantly having to re-invent the wheel just so that people might hear or see what they create. Despite all this hard work even the most talented artists I know rarely break even financially.

I have seen so many brilliant people spending valuable time on jobs that they hate, having to put off amazing projects, receiving a tiny fraction of the appreciation their work deserves, and getting completely burned out by having to manage every detail of their careers.

I have dealt with many of these frustrations myself.

That’s why for years now I have focused on helping talented, driven musicians and artists who are feeling overworked and underpaid create sustainable careers doing what they love.

the Intensive workshop


The Tools

This weekend-long intensive workshop will help you apply the foundational elements of the most powerful career design tools that I've found so far in my journey towards radically sustainable creative practice:

1) Values Constellation Mapping: A physical map, unique to each human, that acts as a reference point in navigating towards the most fulfilling projects.

2) Holistic Life Context: A decision making structure that balances quality of life with career goals. 

3) Creative Resource Exchange Mapping: A project-mapping system that uses permaculture techniques to sustainably redesign your project, practice, or career. 


The Result

You will come out with a much clearer idea of where you want to go in your career and a prioritized inventory of the resources you have available to get you there, as well as the beginnings of a sustainability map designed to help you chart out what to do next.

Whether you’re frustrated and don’t know where to go next, or you feel like you’re onto something good but want to optimize it, these tools will help bring clarity and practical systems to move you towards reaching your goals sustainably.


This year I’ve taught dozens of workshops and retreats all over the country and have been grateful to connect with over 100 incredible artists and creative humans. Here are what some of them have said about their experience in group workshops and retreats:

"I'd recommend this workshop for anyone who is unwilling to compromise the well-being of their soul for their career goals. Yes, there is a practical way to analyze decisions about creative endeavors! Chris has got that mapped out and his excitement to share that is quite obvious. I love learning about myself, so I really appreciated the enthusiastic and focused container this workshop provided to dive deep into my core values and true visions." 

-Jess Kin, performer, artist, sacred-space creator

Chris teaching a day-long workshop in St. Louis this summer  (photo: Chris Bauer)

Chris teaching a day-long workshop in St. Louis this summer (photo: Chris Bauer)

"The career design retreat led by Chris was so nourishing emotionally, creatively, and spiritually. Since the retreat, I've used the value mapping and holistic context tools on several occasions in different areas of my life. I found the entire experience very grounding. I feel confident in my choices even as I am simultaneously scared while taking big risks because I've done the work to identify my values and goals. I am really grateful to have these tools, have met wonderful people, and had the space and environment to check in with myself and honor my creative aspirations. Thank you, Chris!”

-Emily Bold, performer, writer, social-justice activist

“The weekend [retreat] was so nourishing and energizing! Chris’s enthusiasm for whole-human values, growth, and sustainability are very contagious.”

-Elizabeth LaPrelle of Anna & Elizabeth, musician + multidisciplinary artist

"I went into the retreat with a clear sense of my passion and purpose yet no idea how to translate that into making a living for myself. I came out with an overarching vision for my life and tools to build it. I now feel more confident supporting the evolution of my vision in a less confused and overwhelming way. What I learned helped me begin to fill in the gaps between what I know I have to offer the world and how to best provide it and support myself in doing it. Setting boundaries and saying no to people has always been difficult for me and I love being able to quantify what I give and get out of job opportunities. This way when I need to make decisions I don't have to fight my own feelings to make a decision. It's all right there on paper. I feel like I grew my own teammate in my mind and now we can achieve anything together."

-Emily Ritz, musician & interdisciplinary artist


a deeper look at the material

If you’ve read this far you might want to know more about the actual content of the weekend retreat. We’ll spend 12 to 16 hours in teaching, conversation, co-working, and personal application covering the following content.


Envision a holistic decision-making system that brings clarity to your small and large decisions so that you can move systematically closer to your career goals, while simultaneously respecting your quality of life goals.

We'll do the deep work of identifying the core of what makes you feel most fulfilled, and mapping it into a personal navigation system that directs you towards the most sustainable paths. Move through your projects with confidence and clarity. It's like having a night sky full of familiar constellations to guide you towards your own true north. Navigate beyond frustrations and obstacles and practice designing your life to be fulfilling at any stage of your career process.


In order to design a smart, sustainable career, we'll first take stock of what resources you have to work with. Using the concept of the Eight Forms of Capital, we'll do a holistic life inventory, identifying your areas of greatest abundance and greatest need, as well as any rare resources you have access to.

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Everything you dedicate time to—every job, project, relationship—is a trade; sustainable project mapping is a tool that you can use to analyze your current projects, and assess future possibilities. If a project isn't working well for you, mapping it will help you pinpoint exactly why so that you can decide whether to redesign, or start something brand new. Either way you'll come away with an understanding of the mechanisms with which your projects operate and how to optimize them for the healthiest yield.


Having gained a clear knowledge of where you want to go and what resources you have access to, we can plan your most vital next steps with a wider understanding of the whole journey.

In this section you'll gain clarity about exactly which parts of which projects to focus on now. We'll outline a prioritized list of actionable steps that will move you measurably closer to your ideal sustainable career, while developing practices that help you experience fulfillment at every stage of the journey. You'll come away with the beginnings of your own personal Creative Atlas, a collection of maps and tools that you can continue to hone, and which will apply to any project you encounter throughout the rest of your creative career.