Intentional Communities Program

Each year we get dozens of inquiries from individuals and groups who are interested in creating intentional community.

Happy in community

In observing this phenomenon around the U.S., it's clear that many people are involved in the revival of an old urge — the desire to weave together the often disjointed core components of our lives: family, work, home, friends, social change, spirituality, celebration, study, and leisure interests.

  • Some people want to buy an urban house together, lowering their costs and sharing their lives in the city. 
  • Others want to find land in a rural area to farm, build natural homes and share resources. 
  • Still others seek to form a community to be the basis of an educational center, spiritual retreat or business venture.

Responding to this need, OAEC gives workshops and provides consultation services to those who aspire to create and sustain intentional community. We draw from our own experiences in creating our thriving Sowing Circle community and the non-profit Occidental Arts and Ecology Center, as well as from observing hundreds of communities around the country.

OAEC's Intentional Communities Program includes:

  • Teaching “Starting and Sustaining Intentional Communities" courses at OAEC, which focus on locating land, finding the right people, financing a purchase, financial models, decision-making structures, group process and agreements, legal forms for holding real property in common, and working with zoning and county or city regulations.
  • Teaching Democratic Decision-Making courses to help nonprofit organizations, public agencies and local businesses operate more effectively and more democratically.
  • Consulting with existing intentional communities, nonprofit education centers, nonprofit organizations, and farm operations in Northern California and around the U.S.

Contact Dave Henson (ext. 104) or Adam Wolpert (ext. 109) for more information.