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American Utopias


Lecture/Slide Show

We live in a fertile time for exploration of ways in which communities can grow in harmony with aspiration, and this impulse is nourished by a deep wellspring in American culture. America has always attracted Old World iconoclasts who needed virgin territory in which to found new communities. They came to establish enclaves dedicated to social and economic justice or realizing a religious vision and many took root in American soil.

The American Utopias program covers intentional communities from the colonial era Ephrata Cloister with its Medieval German architecture through the contemporary Nyland Cohousing Community and the visionary Sirius and Faraway Ranch enclaves. I cover the Shaker community at Sabbath Day Lake in Maine, Robert Owen's New Harmony in Indiana, John Humphrey Noyes' Oneida in New York, the Arts & Crafts villages at Arden, Delaware and Byrdcliffe, New York, and the largest remaining 1970s communes at The Farm in Tennessee and Twin Oaks in Virginia. It is a fascinating range of styles of community building in harmony with aspiration.
This slide/lecture program covers 16 sites in 12 states:
Sabbath Day Lake (ME), Ephrata Cloister (PA), New Harmony (IN), Oneida (NY), Rugby (TN), Arden (DE), Byrdcliffe (NY), Celo (NC), Twin Oaks (VA), The Farm (TN), Sirius (MA), Seaside (FL), Blount Springs (AL), Gorham's Bluff (AL), Nyland (CO), Faraway Ranch (CO).

Other lecture/slide show:
A View from the Veranda: The Chautauqua Experience