As we round the corner of this new year, 2019 (sure to be banger), I find myself in the thick of things at Arcosanti. There are about 70 of us here occupying the "urban laboratory", that is, a place to experiment with what might become a model for future cities. And I have to say, it's dope here.
The landscapes inspire awe, and the built environment displays an unmissable beauty. The people, well, imagine the average, vanilla American. There's not one of those people here. Everyone has something interesting to offer, and many have wonderful gifts and vision to share.
A culture of craft and artistry holds the center at Arcosanti, and probably has since its beginning. Although we host many events and run several educational programs, it's bronze and ceramic wares, mainly windbells, that are the primary source of income for the project.
There are at least 4,000 acres of undeveloped land that surround us, with unending potential for hiking and enjoyment of the outdoors (the property even borders the Agua Fria National Monument). And if you happen to know where to look, you may even get to touch a piece of history, and for a moment, share in the reverence for this land that has been going on for millennia.
When I arrived here 10 months ago I had some very basic intentions. I wanted to better understand what was going on at this strange desert oasis. But more than that, my hope was to find two things: inspiration and collaborators. I wanted to be opened up to new realms of possibility, and I wanted to find lively, engaged people to play with. I can very happily say that I've found both, in spades!
In some ways I’m still reeling. I couldn’t have imagined what I was getting myself into, but now that I’m here, I can’t imagine not being a part of it. I love this place and the people despite the difficulties. Tempers flare, personalities collide, but eventually, there is synthesis. We’re here pulling together because we all believe in a better future that we can help to create.
This place gets people talking about possibilities. It renews and revitalizes people’s hopefulness. And that is something the world so desperately needs now.
Also watch this video! Shout out to Molly Duerig for putting this together.