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.