BodyStories: Teresa Fellion Dance

Middlebrook Arts Research + Residency Center

Middlebrook Arts Research + Residency Center (MAR+RC) is an accessible and inclusive dance, arts, community, and wellness center located in Jefferson, NY. Residents can experience a rural atmosphere, with scenic mountains, thriving wildlife, and the overall natural beauty of the 9 acres of land. MAR+RC is operated by Teresa Fellion, Founder & Artistic Director of BodyStories: Teresa Fellion Dance, and serves as a second home base for the company, in addition to their base in NYC. The barn was acquired with the vision of utilizing the property to further BodyStories’ goals to promote equity and social justice through dance research, performance, the arts, community programs, and wellness programs. Since then, the company has taken over operations and enhancements of this refurbished barn, converting the structure into a three-story, multifunctional arts facility.

The barn was originally built in 1900 in Jefferson, Schoharie County, New York, with a small population of 1,285 people. Through the development of MAR+RC, we aim to enhance diversity and inclusion within the Jefferson and larger Schoharie County communities by making arts and culture accessible to all residents and visitors. BodyStories has begun to engage the local Jefferson community while serving New York State, national, and international artists through performance, community engagement, education, and accessible, low-cost art space and programming. MAR+RC strives to serve as an immersive, multicultural healing ground and platform for marginalized communities including people of color, indigenous communities, LGBTQIAP+-identifying persons, and people with disabilities.

Offered programs include a robust artist-in-residence program, ongoing performance programming steered by resident artists, an annual performance series by BodyStories: Teresa Fellion Dance, dance classes for adult and youth students, community gatherings, and health/wellness retreats. Moreover, since its official opening in June 2021, we have been grateful to host several successful events at the Center, including four BodyStories seasonal Dance Intensives, a yoga retreat, three artist residencies, three dance workshops, four performances, and a monthly class series, but there is still much work to do to fully achieve the mission of this facility. The barn remains a space for creators of various mediums within the performing, literary, and visual arts. 

Current Space Availability:
Visitors and artists-in-residence currently have access to three functional art spaces at the Center including the second-floor main hall, a large multi-purpose room, and a third-floor dance studio. Residents also have access to MAR+RC’s amenities, including a fully equipped stainless steel kitchen, office space with desks and a library, 9 acres of outdoor pasture and brooks, and an outdoor deck.

Great Hall: As you enter the Center from the main entrance, you will be walking directly into the high-ceiling art gallery and performance space. The great hall provides ample space for live performances, solo or small group rehearsals, and gallery showings. 

Mid-Level Studio Space: Located on the mid-level are two expansive rooms connected in a large L shape. This studio is ready and available for small or large groups and individual artists. This studio offers expansive space for movement, including the outdoor deck, an ample amount of natural light, beautiful pine wood floors, and a sound system. 

Writer’s Room: This office-style space comes with a large working desk, fireplace, beautiful meadow and mountain views, and a well-stocked library, equipped with essential performing, visual, and literary arts books, among others. This space is available for visitors looking for a cozy, private space to work.

Third-floor dance studio: This spacious dance studio is equipped with a bamboo-based sprung floor and a complete sound system. The room will also have a beautiful, large new window overlooking the grounds which serves as a major source of inspiration for movement creation! 

Our current sleeping arrangements include three private rooms that can comfortably sleep individuals or small groups, and one communal larger room. The communal sleeping space provides a “glamping” style set-up, with comfortable mattresses and linens provided. 

Artistic Opportunities at MAR+RC: