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Montreat Conference Center - Radical Beauty

Radical Beauty

Living in the Tension of Healing and Social Change

October 9 - 12, 2017

This conference seeks to witness and create together through performance and study. Come; be nourished, find healing, and leave equipped to integrate this Radical Beauty into your life and worship.


To register and/or reserve accommodations for this conference online, please click on the RATES & REGISTRATION tab above.

Receive a free copy of The Porch Magazine

Gareth Higgins, founder of the Wild Goose Festival and The Porch magazine will be the creative director for Radical Beauty and is offering you a free issue of The Porch:

I’m really looking forward to being with you all at Radical Beauty, which I’m expecting will be a rich and inspiring time. In the meantime, I’d like to invite you to join the ongoing conversation we’re hosting at The Porch magazine, stories of beauty that help us live better.

I’m delighted to provide a free issue of The Porchjust click here to read it. If you like it, please subscribe at www.theporchmagazine.com, and join our community. I’d be delighted to have you with us – and your subscription will help us continue to nurture a community of hope amid the anxiety of the current moment.

Thank you friends, and I look forward to seeing you in October!

Warmly, Gareth

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Rates & Registration

Special Group Incentive for the Radical Beauty Conference!
When you bring your spouse or a friend – or a whole group of friends – with you to this conference, take advantage of our special group incentive rate. The first registration from a church group or presbytery team will be at the full comprehensive or commuter rate. Any additional registrations (all the friends and colleagues who come with you!) from the same church group or presbytery team will be reduced by $25 per registration. Two or more people constitute a group, and there is no limit to the number of people in your group who may take advantage of this offer. (When registering online, you may use the “Comments” section to notify the registrar of any additional people in your group. Some discounts may be applied separately by the registrar.)

Comprehensive Rates

Register online for conference, room, and meals

Comprehensive rates below include conference fee, room in Assembly Inn or the Winsborough (Monday through Wednesday night), meals in the Galax Dining Room (Monday supper through Thursday breakfast), plus a $3 community services fee per adult for public services provided by the Town and the fire district. Rooms are assigned on a first come, first served basis. Rooms in Assembly Inn have either private baths or connecting baths. Rooms in the Winsborough have mostly connecting baths.

After August 14, 2017, these rates will increase by $75 per person.

Assembly Inn:
$458.50 single occupancy
$622.00 double occupancy (includes “group” discount)
$80.50 for children 12-15
$40.00 for children ages 5-11
no charge for children under 5

$308.50 single occupancy
$472.00 double occupancy (includes “group” discount)
$80.50 for children 12-15
$40.00 for children ages 5-11
no charge for children under 5

Commuter Rate

Register online for conference only

Commuter rates below include conference fee plus a $3 community services fee per person for public services provided by the Town and the fire district.

On/before August 14: $108 per person ($191 with spouse)
After August 14: $183 per person ($266 with spouse)
Daily Rate – $70 per person/per day (when registering online, enter “daily rate” and the date you wish to attend in the “Comments” section)

Refund Policy

Cancellations must be received by August 28 in order to receive a full refund less a $25 service charge. Cancellations received after August 28 but on or before October 2 will receive a 50% refund of the conference fee and payments made toward room and meal charges (if applicable) less $40. No refunds will be issued after October 2. All requests must be in writing and received via email, fax, or U.S. mail.

Contact the Registrar

If you have any questions about the registration process, please email the registrar at SusanA@montreat.org or call 828.419.9829.

Key Leadership

Montreat Conference CenterNatasha Trethewey – Presenter

Pulitzer Prize-winner Natasha Trethewey served two terms as the 19th Poet Laureate of the United States (2012-2014). Among her many honors, Trethewey is the recipient of the 2016 Academy of American Poets Fellowship which recognizes distinguished poetic achievement. Trethewey, formerly the Robert W. Woodruff Professor of English and Creative Writing at Emory University, will be joining the faculty of Northwestern University in the fall of 2017. In addition to being United States Poet Laureate, she held the position of State Poet Laureate of Mississippi, from 2012-2016.

Montreat Conference CenterGareth Higgins – Presenter/Creative Director

Gareth is a northern Irish peace activist, author, and beloved film critic. He is the founder of the Movies & Meaning Festival, The Porch Magazine, and helped found the Wild Goose Festival, a national justice, spirituality, and art festival launched in 2011. His most recent book, Cinematic States, explores the myth and dream of the United States through movies. He travels and speaks about film, peace activism, and Celtic spirituality.

Montreat Conference CenterFr. Eric Hollas – Presenter

Fr. Eric Hollas is a monk and priest of Saint John’s Abbey in Collegeville, MN. Since 1980 he has been a member of the faculty of the School of Theology and Department of Theology at Saint John’s University in Minnesota, and for nine years (1993-2002) he served as the executive director of the Hill Museum & Manuscript Library at Saint John’s University. He currently serves as Deputy to the President for Advancement, at Saint John’s University. Among his many activities, Fr. Eric was instrumental in initiating The Saint John’s Bible, a project in which the monks of Saint John’s have commissioned Donald Jackson, scribe to the Queen of England, to create a hand-written and illuminated Bible.

Montreat Conference CenterAbraham Jam – Concert Artists and Presenters

A Muslim, a Jew, and a Christian walk into a concert hall……and put on a great concert together, modeling their mutual respect and affection, entertaining listeners, and creating music that is strengthened by their diversity, rather than hindered by it. These three musicians of the three Abrahamic faiths, each of whom has performed extensively and put out many CDs of original music, team up to play together as Abraham Jam. They don’t just take turns sharing songs, but create music together, contributing vocal harmonies, percussion, and instrumentation to each other’s songs. Dawud Wharnsby is an insightful and passionate musician based in Toronto, Canada. He sings beautifully-crafted original songs on guitar and mandolin. Billy Jonas is an accomplished percussionist, guitar player, pianist, and songwriter, with infectiously whimsical songs and a knack for inspiring audiences to join in. David LaMotte is a well-loved songwriter, with over 3000 concerts on five continents and every state in the U.S. on his musical resumé, his guitars and drums in tow. Together, they make up the Abraham Jam, a band of brothers.

More Information

Available Scholarships
We have limited scholarships available for program fee only.  Download the application form.

Child Care Information
Child care is available for this conference for an additional charge. Pre-registration is required. Enrollment is limited. Questions about child care? Email the registrar at SusanA@montreat.org.

Continuing education units are available for this conference.

Private Housing
The following is a list of private rentals for individuals and groups:

Meals for Commuters
Please check out the Black Mountain Chamber of Commerce as well as our Business Patrons web page for a list of restaurants in Black Mountain.