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Ask a Local: Jerod Santek Founder & Artistic Director of Write On, Door County


Call it kismet, call it writer’s luck — Jerod Santek dreamed of organizing a writers’ retreat in Door County, his favorite vacation getaway — and quickly that vision turned into reality. In 2012 he connected with other literary-minded folks in the community. Before they knew it, in 2013 a parcel of land and a building were anonymously gifted and turned into what would officially become Write On, Door County in January 2014. 

Today the building is a home for artists-in-residence, who use this quiet place for writing and teaching at the main center. There are also plenty of walking paths on the property, including a trail to Edgewood Orchard Galleries, where Write On conducts one of its free creative labs. Santek coordinates year-round programs on behalf of Write On, including the Washington Island Literary Festival, Door County Reads, creative camps for kids, weekend conferences, community outreach, and more.

Q. Where do you go for a taste of art and culture, besides Write On, Door County?
A. Midsummer’s Music is amazing. They collaborate with Write On; poets write responses to music scores, then they share them at the performances. We also have so many wonderful theater groups here, from Third Avenue PlayWorks to Door Shakespeare. I moved here from the Twin Cities, and I found there’s as much to do here as there is in the big cities!

Q. Where do you go for the quintessential Door County gift?
A.  Local jarred products, like jams, pickled veggies, mustards, and sauces, from Koepsel’s Farm Market, Hyline Orchard, and Schartner’s make great gifts. 

Q. What is your favorite cherry recipe?
A. I use dried cherries to make vanilla-cherry cookies.

Q. What is the best place for baked goods?
A.  I bring Scaturo's Baking & Cafe's coffee rings to programs at Write On: peach cobbler, blueberry. They’re always gone in a flash!

Q. What is your favorite place for a cup of coffee?
A. 5th & Jefferson Coffee House. It’s in a sweet old house, and in the summer there’s an expansive lawn with plenty of seating.

Q. What do you like to do outdoors?
A. We have wonderful county parks here. One of my favorites is Frank E. Murphy County Park. I also like to go for drives and explore new places I’ve never been to around the peninsula.

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