Idyll Dandy Arts (IDA) is a Southern, rural community land project and educational space tucked into the hills of Middle Tennessee. The mostly wooded hollow provides residential and communal space for queer, trans and gender non-conforming people of color (QTPOC).
The residents and the larger IDA community work to provide a safer space for queer, trans, and gender non-conforming people with varying experiences, identities, and abilities. Visiting Ida offers time and space for play, creating, crafting, work projects, learning rural living skills and maybe most importantly–making connections with each other and the land. Ida is host to garden interns in the spring and summer and hosts artists residents and workshops and other gatherings throughout the year. Idapalooza is Ida’s annual summer music festival and community coming as well as the primary fundraiser for IDA’s annual land payment.
Those of us who live at IDA love these beautiful wooded hills and hollows, and the opportunity to create and build community here in the South. We hope to share this space with queer and trans people who may have historically been isolated from these experiences–we love visitors! And it’s nice for the residents to know when to expect company; Questions and visitor inquiries should be e-mailed to .
We steward and encourage a world within a world, where ideas and marginalized LGBTQ+ people can flourish; to build upon the traditions of survival organizing that have kept our intersecting communities afloat through difficult times. Using consensus process and horizontal organizing, we govern ourselves with a focus on autonomy. We seek to catalogue and share our learning, within the organization and with interested parties seeking to do similar work. We seek to unburden poor people of the responsibility to fund these endeavors through outreach to benefactors, while retaining our anti-capitalist drive. We remain mindful of our ecological impact. The vast majority of IDA land has not been and will not be deforested. IDA stewards model sustainability and communal living. We prioritize education with other people in our extended community about how to exist with land, people, and ideas in different ways by empowering people to skillshare with us. Sharing the wisdoms and technologies that we’ve
learned from our own experiences at IDA is among our top directives.
IDA operates on traditional Choctaw, Tsalagi, Yuchi land, and that of many other peoples. There are still Indigenous people from these nations alive here today, despite large scale relocation to other lands where their tribal governments now operate. In occupying this land, we are benefiting from the forced displacement and genocide of Indigenous people and their ancestors. Ida’s residents are people of color. We resist the erasure of our intersectional identities.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are we currently accepting visitors?
The well-being of our residents and the surrounding community is our main priority. Due to COVID-19, we are accepting a low volume of visitors under the condition that our guests go through a testing/quarantine process. Guests can get tested at any of these facilities near Smithville, After getting tested guests must quarantine/practice self-isolation while awaiting results- which means practicing social distancing, avoiding communal spaces, washing/sanitizing hands, wearing a mask when in proximity of others until results have returned negative. That being said, it is crucial that Guests contact IDA residents through phone or email before visiting.
Can I come to Idapalooza 2021?
Do we offer an artist/gardening residency?
We are currently accessing how to responsibly navigate Idapalooza 2021, Work-Weeks and other future events. We'll keep you posted.
For the Artist-in-Residence program application click here. Applications close on January 25 2021.
For the Garden Internship program, come back for updates!
How can I support/donate?
“This is a way that you can be part of actively decentralizing white supremacy in the heart of queer community. This is a way to actively help to ensure that Ida is a queer sanctuary for years to come.”
-former Ida resident Mona Wam
Click here for more information on how to donate!
Can I bring pets?
While we appreciate all of the furry, scaly, and feathered companions who enrich the lives of or community members, we are unfortunately not in a position to handle the added responsibility that comes with hosting pets. There is currently a pack of resident dogs at IDA and while they work very well with humans, it would be best to limit the number of additional pets on the land.
That being said, exceptions will be made for those who have service animals. If you would like to request a service animal accompany you to this event, email