Interested in a community with a vision?
If you'd like to live in a spectacular mountain setting with natural foods and housing provided, as part of an open-hearted and open-minded intentional community, read on!
We are looking for independent-minded and energetic residents, with a strong desire to learn, grow, and contribute to cutting-edge social change, personal growth, and community-building projects. Our main residential project, Allegheny Crest Intentional Village (ACIV) (http://cfnc.us/aciv) is a unique approach to combining sustainability, personal growth, rural revitalization, and social change. Located two and a half hours from Washington DC or Pittsburgh, it combines the best of rural living with reasonable access to major metropolitan areas.
The length of stay for a resident is entirely flexible. They can join us for as little as a week, or can stay with us indefinitely, or anything in between. Each individual assumes the level of responsibility that they choose and are capable of to contribute to the economic health of the community and its businesses. However, we encourage and support each resident in finding work that will meet their needs for outside expenses as well—which for most of us, turns out to be very little!
Residents are "at choice" to determine their own experiences, with projects ranging from permaculture development, alternative energy projects, forestry, construction, store staffing and management, outreach, recruitment, facilities maintenance and repair, social media strategy, website management, marketing, event creation and planning, and production of educational materials and programs. This can involve working closely with and under the guidance of experienced organizers, or taking on projects as the project leader, or branching out into areas that require new skills from all of us. They must be capable of functioning autonomously, but also as part of a supportive skill-sharing community.
The experience provides a unique understanding of New Culture (http://cfnc.us/newculture.html), offers a chance to connect with personal growth and social change activists, and learn group management skills.
We have immediate openings that provide room and board, as well as assistance in creating independent income opportunities. The work is quite varied, and includes every aspect of managing, maintaining, and improving our existing businesses, properties, events, activism, and educational programs. Among other dimensions, we are social entrepreneurs, transforming conventional business models into responsible and creative tools for social change. There are also opportunities to develop your own businesses as well in a cooperative and resource-rich environment. Please contact Michael Rios at email@example.com or 304-825-3555 to see if this would be a good fit for you.
We have a strong focus on social enterprise: creating and operating self-sustaining businesses that foster social benefits as well as providing income. Unlike many conventional non-profit organizations that depend on grants, gifts, etc., social enterprise is self-funding, and can be more independent than grants-based agencies. Our Abrams Creek Retreat Center (www.abramscreekcenter.com), for instance, provides an affordable venue for life-affirming events. These include workshops and celebrations focused on ecology, permaculture, primitive skills, personal growth, social change, spiritual development, music, the arts, and education of the whole person. The great natural beauty of the site contributes significantly to the growth and healing of the individual, to the power and depth of the event, and to the cohesion and vitality of any organization.
New Culture is a grassroots network that seeks to build a sustainable, violence-free culture through transparency, equality, and compassion. These principles are applied in every aspect of human existence, including intimate relationships, social networks, parenting, education, employment, and activism.
New Culture (www.nfnc.org www.cfnc.us) focuses both inward and outward, developing personal insight and empowerment while developing effective social change strategies; a core insight is that "It is hard to bring peace to the world when you are at war with yourself." It also incorporates a continual reaching out to other visionary individuals and groups to expand our insights and practices.
Unlike many visionary groups that try to conform reality to their principles, we acknowledge that our principles must be informed by and consistent with real-life experience. When the principles and the reality don’t match, that is when the most exciting learning begins.
Through workshops, open houses, weekend events, and ten-day summer camps, the Center for a New Culture has built a network of participants stretching across the country and beyond. There are also intentional communities and businesses that have been built on New Culture insights, extending its scope and reach. These varied contexts give us opportunities to test our ideas against what actually happens.
The vision for Allegheny Crest is to create a sustainable intentional village. We have businesses that are intended to form an economic base for a viable, flexible kind of intentional community that we refer to as an "intentional village". The distinctions from an "intentional community" include that from the start, economic sustainability is built in; we are starting with viable businesses, and we want to create an entrepreneurial "incubator", so that new businesses are created regularly as well. Also, no one is expected to make long-term commitments to a larger entity, so that we can live out the practice of "being in the moment", and creating an environment that works because people are there because they *want* to be there. Individuals will live near each other, but not necessarily on the same property, and the culture will focus on encouraging each person to achieve personal responsibility for themselves to the highest practical degree in all aspects of their lives. Since Allegheny Crest has grown from the New Culture community, the tools for creating intimacy and cooperation are already in place, *before* people come together for a particular project. This gives any project a much greater chance of success as well as of having satisfying relationships that grow from these projects.
Currently, Allegheny Crest consists of three locations totaling over 23 acres of land, a whitewater stream, and several established businesses, including Abrams Creek Campground (www.abramscreek.com) for individuals and small private groups; Abrams Creek Center for retreats, conferences and other events (www.abramscreekcenter.com); AC General Store, the only store serving this area, and the Mountaineer Motel, all located in or near Mt. Storm, WV. There are currently eight full-time residents, one half-time resident, and a number of people who regularly come to Allegheny Crest to work, play, and enjoy both the warmth of the community and the magical energy of the land. We can accommodate more full-time residents, as well as offering shorter term opportunities for those who would like to explore the Allegheny Crest experience!
Abrams Creek's 20 acres of forested land includes a 4000 sq ft, 9 bedroom lodge house, a two bedroom cottage, 10 rustic cabins, 35 campsites, and a spectacular whitewater stream. The land hosts walk-in customers and long-term guests as well as special events and weekend or longer retreats. We now host a steady series of classes, workshops, and retreats that support New Culture principles – similar to Omega Institute or Harbin Hot Springs (for example), but on a smaller and much more affordable scale.
After extensive restoration, we have opened the 8-room Mountaineer Motel, on 2 acres in the small town of Mt. Storm. In addition to travelers, the motel complements Abrams Creek Center by providing more formal accommodations than are available on the campground itself. There is a second building still under renovation with 16 rooms, plus a five bedroom house, a three bedroom house, a two bedroom cottage, a two bedroom apartment, and a laundromat onsite.
The motel has high-speed internet--and no zoning restrictions! It is an ideal space for incubating small businesses such as: a computer repair shop, an eBay drop-off center, an internet café to serve the local population, a tutoring center, a thrift store, a coffee shop, etc. Your ideas are welcome!
We also operate the only store in town. The store serves not only as a retail outlet, but also as a communications hub for the people who live in the surrounding area.
Because there are no zoning restrictions and no building code restrictions, Allegheny Crest is an ideal location for using alternative construction techniques, land use, energy generation and management, and much more. We already have a geothermal heating and cooling system for the motel, and geodesic domes for large group meeting spaces; we are excited about exploring other projects that move us more towards sustainability.