RE: music/arts centered community
From: Craig Ragland (craigsongaia.com)
Date: Wed, 3 Aug 2005 16:28:00 -0700 (PDT)
Hi all,

I've lived at Songaia Cohousing for the past 13 years. Songaia hasn't had
much exposure within the cohousing circles, so here is a one-page summary
that describes our community:

http://directory.ic.org/records/?action=view&record_id=1533

Relative to Karen's question, here's a snippet from our website
(www.songaia.com):

"Our name, Songaia, means Song of the Living Earth. It symbolizes our vision
for an ever evolving community which uses song to help pull us together
around our love of the ever evolving earth. Together, we continue an
exciting journey growing within our intentional cohousing community." 
 
We at Songaia never formally declared ourselves as having an arts focus -
there has, however, been self-selection due to our active use of song. Often
on their first visit, prospective members would be invited to join in
singing community-oriented songs, a cappella... We sing at some meals, at
all meetings and circles, and at virtually all celebrations. This can be
daunting to people not interested in the arts or insecure about their voice.

In our small cohousing group (13 units with 2 studio apartments), we have a
number of people very active in the arts, most part-time, with one fulltime
artist. We have a number of instrumentalists, people doing fabric arts of
various types, ceramics, painting, etc. We also have an art room (in our
barn) which is currently under construction. Interestingly, we bought our
potter's wheel and 2 kilns from the estate of Sharingwood Cohousing's
founder.

Relative to cohousing vs. "commune" - years ago, when in the thick of our
marketing efforts, I stridently proclaimed into a TV camera, "we are not a
commune" - as if that was something bad. I'm embarrassed by this now, as
I've come to appreciate just how important shared income communities are to
the intentional communities movement. Here's a snippet from the primary
Intentional Community website (www.ic.org):

"Intentional Community is an inclusive term for ecovillages, cohousing,
residential land trusts, communes, student co-ops, urban housing
cooperatives and other related projects and dreams..."

Craig Ragland

-----Original Message-----
From: Karen Haines [mailto:bnmkaren [at] verizon.net] 
Sent: Tuesday, August 02, 2005 9:09 AM
To: cohousing-l [at] cohousing.org
Subject: [C-L]_ music/arts centered community

Hello all:

I've been lurking for over 6 months now, took the mid-Atlantic cohousing
tour, and I'd like to ask the entire list a question.

I know that there are cohousing communities that are united by environmental
concerns, or working communal farms, etc. Are there any that you know of
that share an interest in music and/or the arts? Where the common house
doesn't just have meeting rooms and dining areas, shared computer space or
tools, but shared recording equipment or audio-visual setups, or art studio
space? 

I've been told this sounds more like a commune than co-housing, but I don't
think so. Any ideas?

Thanks for whatever insight you can provide.

Karen Haines
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