Help Create a Retreat for Artists, Creators and Innovators
The beautiful Madeira Island in Portugal is known for many things; it offers breathtaking displays of flora and fauna, has a rich history of winemaking and is internationally acclaimed for its hiking trails. Known as the “Garden of the Atlantic,” it is a magical place that is home to several micro-climates and offers an escape from the cares of the everyday world.
About halfway up the mountain, in the village of Santo de Serra, sits our five-room Airbnb that has become popular among locals who find its beauty and serenity the ideal place for parties and gatherings. As we heard about the incredible experiences our guests enjoyed on our property, we realized it was destined for a greater mission. And so the vision for Quinta do Lagar began to evolve.
On the well-manicured grounds surrounded by majestic, natural beauty, guests of Quinta do Lagar experience a “reset” as they enter an environment that offers an immediate escape from the cares of the world. And within that peaceful beauty, creativity naturally emerges and blossom.
We soon realized that Quinta do Lagar could provide the quiet creative space for artists to share their craft and knowledge with others in an intimate setting. Each room of this spacious guesthouse includes its own private bathroom and opens to an exterior walkway. This ensures complete privacy and solitude when it’s needed, but there are also spaces for gathering together with others in the common room, communal kitchen and garden-like grounds — complete with a gazebo and duck pond.
Building upon these established features, we have developed a concept that provides a unique retreat experience that an artist or creator can provide to a core group of patrons. Each experience will be customized to the participating artist’s specialty and can culminate in a public event — such as an art or photography exhibit, poetry reading, dance recital, music performance, etc.
Because of the versatility of this space, retreats could include (but are not limited to):
Art classes (painting, photography, sculpting, multi-media)
Yoga / Wellness retreats
Cooking Classes (wood-fired oven and classic wood smoker on site)
Music classes or private concerts
Poetry / Creative Writing classes
Master gardener intensives
Fitness / Nature hikes
Couples Retreat with a trained moderator
Renovations of the Airbnb will ensure that it can host a broader range of activities and includes updating all the guest rooms. As part of those renovations, at least one room will be made fully accessible with a roll-in shower. Other improvements to the property will include:
Expansion of the current “Adega” to include a fireplace and patio. This will create another communal gathering spot for guests and add to the overall ambiance of the property.
Creation of a kitchen garden that will not only provide a farm-to-table experience for guests, but can serve as a practical space for guests to learn about gardening.
Renovation of the existing common room to provide a space for lectures, classes, and other communal experiences as well as for relaxing.
Expansion of the current parking lot to accommodate more guests.
Acquisition of needed furnishings and equipment for classes and performances.
In addition to these property improvements, the campaign will help fund a robust website artists can use for booking space and attracting students and participants.
The rooms will reflect the combined American and Portuguese cultures of the owners, with themed rooms representing New York, Texas, and Santa Fe or California as well as Porto and Lisbon. A custom mural and themed décor will bring all the elements of the rooms together.
Meet the Founders
Andrea “Sid” Gouveia and Marco Gouveia hail from Texas and Portugal, respectively. Their shared love of animals and the outdoors brought them together, and they currently live on an alpaca farm and work with the animals. In addition to an alpaca named Deucey, they share their lives with a Flemish Giant Rabbit named Hasenpfeffer, a Kinkajou named Dexy, and a Great Dane named Arthur.
Sid, a veteran of corporate event industry and an artist in her own right, used the COVID-19 lockdowns to reflect on what happiness means and how it can be attained. She understands first-hand the importance of nurturing one’s own creativity and saw the potential of Quinta do Lagar to provide the time and space for others to do that. Sid and Marco are eager to develop a unique environment that nurtures artists and innovators and allows them to get in touch with their creativity and discover the world it opens up to them.
Risks and challenges
Regardless of whether the funding goal is met, most of these initiatives will be implemented. However, the purpose of the campaign is to expedite the process and begin work on this project immediately.
In the event that the goal is not met, backers will be entered into a database and will enjoy discounts to stay at Quinta do Lagar once these changes have been implement and the new facility is open for business.
If funding goals are exceeded, the additional money would be used as funding to sponsor artists for residencies in which artists would be paid a stipend and receive free room and board.