Alice Alexander's blog

Coming Full Circle with the National Conference and the Importance of Consultation

It’s been almost a decade (seven years) since we traveled to the National Cohousing Conference in Boulder Colorado to learn about how to build our own community in Nashville, Tennessee. We’ve come full circle now with the Conference to be held in Nashville this week.

Back then two of us traveled to Boulder and met two other individuals from Nashville, also attending. They were taking a driving tour through the southwest looking for cohousing. We were surprised to run into other Nashvillians in Boulder that weekend!

Fertile Soils for Cohousing in Africa

Mark, Alan & Bright, earlier that day in a township pub, locally called a “shebeen”
80+ year old Ans Pappenfus Clark, a ten year resident of Memel Organics Cohousing, instructs Thabile in the rose garden

A few days ago, to my amusement, I learned that cohousing shares a lot of principles with many African cultures. This happened over (way too many) drinks with a filmmaker called Alan O’Hashi following a dinner party at a cohousing community in the small town of Memel, amidst the Drakensberg Mountains of South Africa. In fact, I also found out that this is the first and only cohousing community in South Africa (and I assume for most of Africa?) (Why???!).

Grace Farm: in community, we are inspired to be better than we are individually

Grace Farm is a group of friends, with an average age of about 35, who have been exposed to community living through a few different experiences and have been motivated to potentially start our own cohousing community. The 10 founding members of Grace Farm have experienced community living most notably from our time at Bethlehem Farm, an intentional community in the mountains of West Virginia with a mission of service and outreach to the people of Appalachia.

We Enjoyed National Cohousing Open House Day 2017

We were surprised but pleased when a boat load of people arrived just as we opened our doors for the Cohousing Open House Day on April 29th. We had steady visitors for most of our four hours. Nobody was counting, but we estimate 50-60 folks came, which was great!

SAGE Cohousing International and Quimper Villagers Co-Present at the Conference

We are thrilled to announce that three members of Quimper Village will co-present Senior Cohousing: A Roadmap to Starting a New Community with Chuck Durrett at the 2017 National Cohousing Conference from May 19-21.

President Threatens to Tear Down Walls of Isolation in Nashville

No, not that president! Peter Lazar, president of the National Cohousing Association, has led the board this year in the ever-growing cohousing movement to create better communities across the country. And, he will greet you graciously when upon arrival at the National Cohousing Conference May 19-21.

Cohousing: Building Community in a Society Largely Removed from Community

I’m really excited for the National Cohousing Conference, May 19 - 21, in Nashville, TN. Cohousing as a model is growing and evolving at a rapid pace, and this is great news for intentional communities and cooperative ventures everywhere. Cohousing communities have long been on the forefront of dealing with financial institutions, zoning officials, and developers, all people who are steeped in practices antithetical to what the community is trying to create.

The Art of Facilitating: Fishing at Deep Water

Join Laird Schaub at the 2017 National Cohousing Conference where he is presenting several sessions, including this intensive: Building a Better Meeting: Facilitation Skills for Everybody

The art of facilitation is analogous to a set of nested Russian dolls: it's as many-layered as an onion..... Good facilitators are expected to work at subtle levels, too.

Congolese Refugee Family Helped by Cohousing Communities

Congolese refugees playing basketball at Rocky Hill Cohousing

Concern about Obama’s decision to increase the number of Syrian refugees coming to America became an issue in the recent Presidential election. Many Republican governors announced: not in my state. In response the Northampton (Massachusetts) City Council unanimously passed a resolution welcoming international refuges. Catholic Charities, under contract as a refugee resettlement agency, came to the City Council and proposed 51 refugees for resettling in Northampton.

Architecture: Concepts that play a role in cohousing design

Reposted from News from The Cohousing Company: McCamant & Durrett Architects. To continue this conversation, please join us in Nashville for the National Cohousing Conference, where Charles Durrett will be presenting several sessions, including: If it Doesn't Work Socially, Why Bother?
Architecture plays a key role in the long-term success of cohousing, once the honeymoon phase is over. The activity around the common house is a key indicator of this. Some common houses, for example, have 100 people-hours (number of collective hours that people spend in a certain place) per week, some have 450. In each case, it cost the group $400K to build it. For a group that hardly spends time in their common house, that is a lot of humanity left on the table and a lot of lost value.

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