the gathering


Silence, Ritual, and Discipline, our first gathering, hosted by BACAS Founder Pietro Costa and Co-Founder Denver Butson, is a ten-day exploration of those three elements of the artist’s practice.  As we experience and discover the region and commune with each other, we will notice and explore how these elements, when practiced daily, create pathways to truly seeing and experiencing the world around and within us.

Our relaxing and meditative mornings and afternoons will book-end our immersive excursions throughout this dramatic and ancient landscape and its culture, an exploration of ancient agricultural, artisanal, and culinary history as it exists side-by-side with globalization and the contemporary world.

One day, we might spend the morning visiting the nearby Grotte dell’Angelo and the Museo del Suolo seeing how the grotto’s Negro river has for millennia fertilized the soil and designed the flora and fauna that flourishes around it, or learning about the Palafitte - early prehistoric human settlements on stilts at the entrance of the cave. On another day, we might visit a shepherd and follow his sheep’s milk from the utter to the cheesemaker where it is transformed into pecorino or ricotta salata.

Our excursions will immerse us in this landscape and culture.  We will see what tourists rarely see, do what tourists are unable to do.  And we will do all, charged with the prompting of our host poet Denver Butson to participate with our senses, as artists ourselves.

Other daily excursions during our first gathering may include:

  • walking ancient trails in the mountains to forage for oregano or mushrooms

  • visiting Castelli Federiciani in Basilicata

  • strolling through and learning about other hilltop towns (such as Caggiano, Atena, and Padula)

  • exploring the Cilento coast and taking a boat ride to a secluded cove in perhaps Palinuro (where Odysseus’s helmsman, Palinurus, was sacrificed by the Gods to ensure safe passage into Italy to the Trojans) and Acciaroli, where Hemingway claimed to have met the fisherman who inspired the main character in Old Man and the Sea.

  • visiting a local agriturismo (working farm) where ancient grains are being saved from extinction and dining on the “as-local-as-you-can get” delicacies, planted, cultivated, harvested, and cooked there

  • making pizza (in the very region where pizza was born) in a traditional brick oven with a local pizzaiolo.

  • or simply sitting in a cafe or a bluff and contemplating the changing light

Evenings, we might, commune with BACAS’s artists/scholars-in-residence.  We might visit their studios, listen to and participate in their conversations and presentations, hear their music, watch their dance performances, or simply break bread with them.

During this first Gathering, we will have the unique opportunity to participate in some of the following evening activities:

  • a keynote reading/talk by our Distinguished Writer-in-Residence, Edmund White;

  • a reading/conversation with Writer-in-Residence Garnette Cadogan;

  • studio visits to the studios of Visual Artists-in-Residence Karen Revis and Arturo Ianniello with host Pietro Costa;

  • the opening of the exhibition of guest documentary photographer Grace Morgan’s street art photography (and a conversation with the artist);

  • a poetry reading, possibly in collaboration with musicians, our host poet Denver Butson;

  • a reading/conversation on Homer's Odyssey and its relation to the region with Writer-in-Residence Tiziana Rinaldi Castro;

  • perhaps a conversation with all our resident artists/scholars on the topic of our gathering and the theme of walking (a prominent theme in many of their works; and

  • an evening of the gathered guests, sharing their own work and reflections from our time spent here.

** A full calendar of our gathering’s events will appear here soon and be fine-tuned as we approach July. Please register with us to receive updates. **



Details of July's Gathering:

Dates: July 6-16, 2018

Daily Excursions:
to be announced soon 

$3,800 per person (single occupancy)
$3,400 per person (double occupancy)

$1,000 due by May 15, 2018

Full Balance: 
due June 15, 2018

Cancellation Policy:
$1000 deposit is non-refundable, except in the event that the Gathering is cancelled by the Host.

*Your place is confirmed once the deposit is received.*

For further information and to review our cancellation policy, please review the Payment and Cancellation section on our FAQs page.


Single/Double Occupancy

Due by May 30.

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Single occupancy: $2,800
Double occupancy$2,400

Due by June 15.

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or - Full payment

Single occupancy: $3,800
Double occupancy: $3,400

Due by May 30.

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