Artist Labs

Life-changing retreats for artists that inspire and inform their activism, philanthropy, advocacy, and art.

All of the events and information we received were planned and executed so well and I really and truly felt blessed to have met every single one of you. My heart was crushed and my spirits were lifted. Artist Participant
Have questions about the Artist Labs? Contact us.


Since 2006, RPM has worked with local and national partners to bring over 100 musicians to the front lines of social justice issues in places like New Orleans, the US-Mexico border and eastern Kentucky. Together, these artists have generated over $1M and raised critical awareness for groups working on environment and social justice issues.

What are the Artist Labs: A program for artists interested in, or currently working on, issues related to social justice and environment issues. Participants will travel to New Orleans for a program that includes:

  • facilitated discussion on topics related to participating artists’ activism and philanthropy, as well as strategies and resources to make this work more effective;
  • time with local artists, musicians, tradition bearers, and cultural experts who will help to ground the group in the rich history and culture of the region;
  • roundtable discussions with artistic peers and issue experts;
  • time with community leaders and experts working on the front lines;
  • incredible music, amazing food, and much more.


Why: RPM believes in the power of bringing together people with diverse talents. We regularly convene programs to connect artists with a vetted and varied pool of issue experts and top notch advisors. We are committed to sharing best practices and lessons learned in order to help artists maximize the impact of their work for the issues they care about while avoiding having to reinvent the wheel. We also believe in having fun while changing the world.

The Lab: The program is designed to provide information and strategy to participants, but to also allow ample time and space for participants to talk, think, collaborate, have fun, and dream with their peers. Throughout the four days of the program, participants are introduced to local activists and experts doing fascinating and inspiring work, we meet fellow artists who are passionate about or aspiring to be activists, and experience New Orleans—the city, the culture, the food, the music, and the people.


Past Participants:

Mariam Adam [Imani Winds]
Nicole Atkins
Sarah Baliet [Murder By Death]
Sunpie Barnes
Ceci Bastida [Tijuana No!]
Janet Bean
Maryliz Bender [Twin Limb]
Steve Berlin [Los Lobos]
Charles Bissell [The Wrens]
Zach Blair [Rise Against]
Stephen Brackett [Flobots]
Timothy Bracy [The Mendoza Line]
Joey Burns [Calexico]
Cody ChesnuTT
Amber Coffman [Dirty Projectors]
Ami Dang
Lateef Daumont [The Truthspeaker]
Kimya Dawson
Angel Deradoorian [Dirty Projectors, Slasher Flicks]
Ryan Dobrowski [Blind Pilot]
Steve Earle
Sage Francis
Tomas Fujiwara
Merrill Garbus [tUnE-yArDs]
Rebecca Gates
Binky Griptite [Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings]
Meklit Hadero
Patrick Hallahan [My Morning Jacket]
Nick Harmer [Death Cab For Cutie]
Sean Hayes
Jolie Holland
Catherine Irwin [Freakwater]
Vijay Iyer
Jim James [My Morning Jacket]
Terry Jones [Helen Bruner & Terry Jones]
Naeem Juwan [Spank Rock]
Shawn King [Devotchka]
Craig Klein [Bonerama]
Wayne Kramer [MC5]
Damian Kulash [OK Go]
Jon Langford [The Mekons, Waco Brothers]
Jamie Laurie [Flobots]
Sandra Lawson [Bells Atlas]
Steve Marion [Delicate Steve]
Daniel Martin Moore
Scott McCaughey [REM]
Tim McIlrath [Rise Against]
Nellie McKay
Erin McKeown
Paul Miller [DJ Spooky]
Mike Mills [REM]
Daniel Martin Moore
Allison Moorer
Tom Morello [Rage Against The Machine]
Papa Moussa Lo [Waterflow]
Mark Mullins [Bonerama]
Matt Nathanson
Mirah [Thao and Mirah]
Israel Nebeker [Blind Pilot]
Thao Nguyen [Thao and The Get Down Stay Down]
Will Oldham [Bonnie “Prince” Billy]
Mutulu Olugbala [M-1, Dead Prez]
Alec Ounsworth [Clap Your Hands Say Yeah]
Coco Owino [Quadron]
Raul Pacheco [Ozomatli]
Aja Pecknold
Sandy Pearlman [Blue Oyster Cult]
Elvis Perkins
Martín Perna
Justin Poree [Ozomatli]
Tim Quirk [Too Much Joy]
Amy Ray [Indigo Girls]
Toshi Reagon
Vernon Reid [Living Color]
Mike Relm
Luke Reynolds [Guster]
Boots Riley [The Coup, Street Sweeper Social Club]
Matana Roberts
Zach Rogue [Rogue Wave]
Ron Rona
Emily Saliers [Indigo Girls]
Nathan Salsburg
Paul Sanchez
Jeanie Schroder [Devotchka]
Leah Shapiro
Joan Shelley
Tom Shimura
Hank Shocklee [The Bomb Squad, Public Enemy]
Jill Sobule
Becky Stark
Be Steady
Gabriel Teodros
Jon Theodore [Queens of the Stone Age]
Kristin Thomson [Tsunami]
Josh Tillman [Father John Misty, Fleet Foxes]
Sally Timms [The Mekons]
Corin Tucker [Sleater-Kinney]
Adam Turla [Murder By Death]
Ira Tuton [Yeasayer]
Laura Veirs
Shontina Vernon [Tina Vernon]
Ilana Weaver [Invincible]
Saul Williams
Pamela Z