Tofte Lake Center

A nonprofit organization

$6,830 raised by 28 donors

100% complete

$5,000 Goal

What is Tofte Lake Center?

Tofte Lake Center (TLC) is a nature-based retreat center providing space and time for artists to experience community, nature, play and rejuvenation — all in support of their creative lives and work. TLC is open to individual artists seeking growth through guided workshops and/or retreats, arts organizations that want to make time to re/focus on their goals or mission, and arts leaders seeking to exchange ideas and thoughts with colleagues in their field.

Not sure why a nature-based retreat would be of value to an artist?  See what past residents have to say about their experience "up north" in this amazing video:  

Help Us Make Residency and Retreat 

Possible for Artists: The Birch Fund Challenge

At TLC we envision a world where all artists are recognized as the meaning-bearers of our culture and are equitably supported and sustained in their artistic voice and vision. We intend to build upon that vision, to continue to create more space for artists who have not had access to our programming, and to move closer to the day when the 120 residencies each year at TLC are fully funded. This is a big goal, and we believe it is achievable with your help.

Over the course of her board service, Bernadette “Bernie” Christiansen became one of our strongest partners.  Bernie's legacy was solidified by her creation of The Birch Fund, rooted in her belief that all artists coming to TLC should be financially supported.  Designed to fund artist residencies, The Birch Fund goes one step further, providing stipends to ensure that cost is no barrier to the investment artists make in their creative development.  

You can help us make our dreams a reality by making a personal contribution to The Birch Fund.  Our goal is to raise $5,000 for Give to the Max Day, and when we do, our Board will direct an additional $25,000 to The Birch Fund – together we will make it possible for artists to invest in their futures.  This matching contribution makes it even more clear: each and every gift of any amount truly makes a difference.  

Thank you for helping us meet The Birch Fund Challenge, your gift today will help make nature-based retreat a reality for artists.

Things to know about Tofte Lake Center

TLC is located on a pristine lake near Ely, Minnesota, and adjacent to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Residencies at TLC embrace artists in the visual, literary and performing arts including playwriting, poetry, prose writing, painting, photography, music composition, and dance. 


MISSION / We're committed to supporting artists by providing a nurturing experience rooted in nature where artists of all disciplines and backgrounds feel safe to take a break from the "work" of art to play, feel inspired, and be rejuvenated.

VISION / We envision an interconnected world in harmony with nature, where artists are supported and celebrated and where taking a break is recognized as integral to the creative process.

Organization Data


Organization name

Tofte Lake Center

Tax id (EIN)



Arts & Culture

BIPOC Serving

BIPOC Serving

LGBTQ+ Serving

LGBTQ+ Serving


ELY, MN 55731


609 865 1139

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