It started with a drive in the country.

After many years working in art and theater in Chicago, Donna Neuwirth and Jay Salinas moved to a farm in the Driftless Region of southwest Wisconsin and learned to grow vegetables. Seduced by life in the soil and struck by parallels between farming and art making, they formed Wormfarm Institute and formalized an Artist Residency Program in 2000. They slowly transformed a dairy barn into studio space and initiated a CSA (community supported agriculture) farm-share program. Each year, resident artists of all disciplines come to the farm from across the country to grow food, eat well and make art. Out of these seasonal infusions of creative energy, grounded in the most fundamental activity—farming—Wormfarm’s public-facing programs such as the biennial Farm/Art DTour emerged.

Every grain of soil has passed at least once through the gut of an earthworm.”

Since then, Wormfarm has become a national leader in rural creative placemaking. An evolving laboratory of the arts and ecology and fertile ground for creative work, Wormfarm explores the links between urban and rural communities within and beyond the food chain, creating opportunities for cross-sector collaboration. By bringing together farming, conservation, and the arts, we aim to rekindle the cultural and enhance the economic possibilities of our region while celebrating its unique natural and human history.