We had a great conference this year. It's trite to say except that it happens to be true that it was one of the best in recent years. Through some combination of good organization and support from a solid core of Oakers, no rain (at least until towards the end) and divine intervention of no unforeseen stressful complications and/or people immediately available to deal with aforementioned complications, the weekend was a smooth flow of revolutionary communalism in action. [posted 16 Sep 2004]

Report by Valerie

Why did the communard cross the Mid-Atlantic region?
To get to the Twin Oaks Communities Conference!

We had a great conference this year. I know it's trite to say except that it happens to be true that it was one of the best in recent years. Through some combination of good organization and support from a solid core of Oakers, no rain (at least until towards the end) and divine intervention of no unforeseen stressful complications and/or people immediately available to deal with aforementioned complications, the weekend was a smooth flow of revolutionary communalism in action.

Highlights included:

• workshops from Laird SH, Tony DR, Patricia EarthHaven, CT Butler, Valerie and McCune TO, Elph Great Oak stepping in the last minute and others

• Stories by Founders of Community--a selection of funny, challenging and poignant tales by founders of Dancing Rabbit, Dunmire Hollow, Earthaven, Tekiah, and Sandhill.

• a benefit auction for the FIC which raised about $1000 for spreading the gospel of community

• a relaxed Sunday evening program including a viewing of Geoph Kozeny's "Visions of Utopia" video, a sauna, and playing The Getting Real Game. (communication/profound life questions)

• an amazing Sharing Stage which included a professional opera performance by EL/Erika Ganas, native american drumming by Barry and his sons, klezmer-funk fusion by TO's own Vulgar Bulgars, and more

• representatives from over 30 communities were present to share their experiences and connect with each other as well as seekers

Changes this year:

• three instead of two Open Space Sessions for "do-it-yourself" workshops on Sunday

• upgraded kitchen in response to feedback from last year

• an increase in the number of people of colour (although still a fraction of overall participants), including members of a co-op system of 7 houses in Philadelphia, and a couple from Nigeria

• more kids than usual, so an expanded child-care scene including a separate kid's party/marshmallow roast on Saturday night

Overall we were thrilled with the weekend. Special appreciations to Anissa and Valerie (Main Coordinators), Turnip and Bri (Registration), Kassia (Outreach), Alex and Chuck (Site FYI Chuck lives at Anahata in New Zealand and spent the summer at TO working his electric and plumbing magic at the site) We also appreciate everyone who help promote the event, who participated and who supported the general effort. Next year in Utopia!