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07/23/09
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  Meadowdance is an egalitarian, child centered community that welcomes human diversity, ecological sensibility, mutual learning and joy.

Meadowdance was an intentional community in the state of Vermont from May 2000 until September 2008. We ranged from eight to 21 members over those eight years, and shared in the birth of three children. We lived together in a cooperative household, ran businesses together to support ourselves and shared in the raising of each other's children. Over the years we lived in three different houses and bought a beautiful piece of land in Marshfield, Vermont. Though building the village of our dreams never came to pass we shared in each other's lives and in working on a wonderful project.

We created Meadowdance over three years of planning and gathering, using an energetic e-mail based discussion, in-person gatherings every few months, and working groups to get things done. We began living together in May, 2000. Our members came from a variety of locations in the US and ranged in age from newborns to 50 somethings. Our members might be married or single, straight or gay, atheist or agnostic or spiritual, vegetarian or omnivorous, outspoken or quiet. We shared a love of children, decision-making by consensus, an enthusiasm for learning as part of daily life, and a sense of fun.

Our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page, gives a great deal of detail on a wide range of subjects.

Following is an excerpt, describing our main values and goals.

What are your major goals and values?

Intentional communities have a broad range of goals and values. It's probably fair to say that communities that define these goals and values clearly have a tendency to be more successful than communities that don't. Our major goals and values include:

  • Providing a safe, challenging, and nurturing environment for children
  • Being part of a community where people know, help, and support one another, and where people can come together to do things they couldn't do alone (art, activism, conversation, shared child care, etc.)
  • Having a work requirement for each adult member, and in return being able to ensure that each member has the basic necessities of life (a comfortable place to live, good food, medical insurance, clothing and a stipend)
  • Putting few or no restrictions on outside income, earning or spending money, as long as a person's basic work requirements are met and a person honors the community's agreements, values, and guidelines.
  • Equality among all members, including an equal say (through the consensus process) in community decisions
  • Equality among all people, regardless of race, color, gender, religion or spirituality, sexual orientation or background
  • As much as reasonably possible, living and working together, so that people's lives aren't divided between a 9-5 community of co-workers and a nights-and-weekends community where they live.
  • Ecological responsibility, especially in regard to living in the most sustainable, beneficial (and non-harmful) way possible
  • Encouraging this and other models of intentional community
  • Having friendly, mutually beneficial relationships with our neighbors in our town

You can contact Ken, our historian, at kenhww@meadowdance.org.

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