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What is going on lately at our Gell Center?

The following blog post was written by Kathy Potetti.

Every April, The Gell Center of the Finger Lakes opens its facility for the season – through the end of November. From Writers & Books in downtown Rochester to the Gell Center is only a 45 minute drive south. This breathtaking, scenic drive is captivating with the rolling hills so green and lush this time of year. When I actually arrive at Gell, I’m already in a tranquil state of mind.


The first program this season was entitled Behind the Scenes, at the Gell Center on Sunday, April 12th. How does a play go from the page to the stage? This collaborative program with Bristol Valley Theater directors Karin Bowersock and David Shane, and actors, plus two local playwrights, Bill Capossere and Mark Jabaut gave us a sampling of this process during the afternoon class. This was a new initiative really captured the creative process and the writer/director/actor relationship. It was a wonderful afternoon had by all! We look forward to more collaborative programs with BVT.

This past Sunday afternoon, June 14th, we hosted another new initiative entitled: A Day of Celebration for our Veterans, their families, and friends: Writing the Military Experience. I sat in the Gleason Lodge writing this blog while the Veterans were on the deck with Norm Davis’ Poetry Writing Workshop. It was an afternoon of writing workshops in various genres in a relaxed, rural setting, which everyone enjoyed!

Gell porch

I’m always amazed each time I come here how truly inspired I am. When I arrived at Gell this past Sunday I looked upward into the lush, green Bristol Hills from the deck of the lodge and thought of how breathtaking this view is during each of our four seasons: lush and green during the spring which fades to a lighter, dryer look during peak summer months, then changes abruptly to a canopy of brilliant fall colors, to a blanket of fallen snow, untouched during the winter months.

The Gell House is booked quite steadily this season with writers-in-residence from across the globe. Why here of all places you may ask? The natural beauty of the Finger Lakes Region in upstate New York, that’s why! During the summer there are two weeks of youth writing camps, where they are transported from Writers & Books in Rochester to the Gell Center in Naples, NY each day, and we are also hosting two yoga groups that return annually since this particular venue has met all of their needs.

The fall season still has space available either in the Gell House, or the Gleason Lodge. If you’re considering hosting your event at the Gell Center, or would like a tour of the facility, please contact Kathy Pottetti at (585)473-2590 or Please visit our website at for further information.

Thank you.