This year, OAEC celebrates two decades of work in cultivating community-scale sustainability and resilience!
The Evolution and Impact of OAEC
In the summer of 1994, a small group of inspired friends created the Occidental Arts & Ecology Center on this beautiful 80-acre site and began practicing, educating and organizing for a more just and sustainable future. Equipped with their own diverse knowledge and deep passions, as well as valuable lessons learned from the Farallones Institute that preceded them, OAEC’s founders methodically grew innovative programs to develop community-based strategies for positive social change and the restoration of biological and cultural diversity. In the process, OAEC matured into a highly respected organization that helped define and lead the movement for the transition toward resiliency.
Today, OAEC is a unique and treasured resource in the Greater Bay Area, while serving as a model of sustainability and an inspiring meeting place for social change makers from around the world. Specifically, the OAEC site has served as an ideal outdoor classroom to teach and model conservation hydrology and watershed health, restorative horticulture and heirloom seed saving, sustainable land management and native species restoration, traditional ecological knowledge, permaculture and ecological design, democratic self-governance, and multicultural organizing methods.
Through interwoven programs, OAEC’s work has formed needed bridges between spheres that are that too often isolated from one another – environmental and social movements; rural and urban populations; creative thought and right action; and self and community. These critical links build the capacity of movements and facilitate lasting, meaningful change.
Twenty years ago, climate change and resiliency were merely terms on the fringe of our cultural and social movement dialogue. We take pride in the fact that OAEC has helped guide the conversation and movement toward their rightful significance, but acknowledge the overdue attention is partially in response to the severity of rapidly mounting crises.
In short, human society must immediately become restorative rather than destructive.
Manifesting this transition will depend on those with relevant, long-term experience and place-based movement resources — like OAEC — to help people gain new perspectives, practical skills, and inspiration for sustainable living and strategic organizing.
OAEC’s 20th Anniversary is a monumental event for our truly unique organization. We invite you to help us celebrate the past and usher in this new era by making a contribution to OAEC. While any amount is greatly appreciated, we gratefully ask you to consider a special level of giving to commemorate OAEC’s twenty years of success and to ensure it continues for decades to come. While the requested contribution is monetary in nature, the return will be in the form of social and ecological capital as direct outcomes of OAEC’s work in the world.