Atheneum 40th Anniversary Celebration: The Future of New Harmony as a Cultural Town Panel Discussion


Good evening everyone, I’m James Beeby the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Southern Indiana and it’s my honor and privilege to welcome you all to the first event to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the Atheneum have invested everything which I think’s
amazing the other side’s relationship to harmony well to me as someone who’s ever
been here by now is to make us all happy honkers one of the same they have
forgiven history that they should intertwine so to me the US I Bahamas
future is one of the same they both soul together so to me it’s an honor to be
here we’re talking about thank you folks
I also I absolutely some of you are a politician Hubert Humphrey he used to go
I’m pleased as punch please I’m pleased as punch to be here
tonight in fact I’m thrilled this is a what first of all lucky
wonderful venue and congratulations to the community I attributes that I had
community for the Federals 50 years I’ve been where I wasn’t aware of it’s like
he died heard of New Harmony but boy I you are envied by so many communities in
this part of the country and you have a marvelous cultural reputation and like
you I’m anxious to hear just how great it is and what the future will bring
for these very talented people that we have assembled what I’d like to do is
first of all something like this doesn’t happen I wish you could if you would if
you would applaud the USI foundation and of course historic New Harmony now let me introduce our illustrious
panel if you would over your applause till they’ve all been introduced we know
dr. James Beebe Jean of Liberal Arts at us I also with us this inept the retail
entrepreneur and owner of the views retail store in New Harmony we welcome
to Sir Jeremy Ephraim son Ephraim sin’ family fun and a sponsor for the eponyms
fortieth celebration mr. friended Fraser is with us president
Board of Trustees workingmen’s Institute we welcome mrs. Joseph Lewis artists and
cultural entrepreneur mr. Kent Parker investor and philanthropist and a
sponsor for the Athenaeum 40 celebration if I may I think he deserves a round of
applause mr. greeson’s are we talking about the poor also women is dr. George
Raft New Harmony paid out event and a sponsor for the Anthony in celebration
it is dr. wrap that if you could if you’d let him know about a month ago doctor congratulations
we are also of them they have another Kent Kent shooting professor emeritus of
architecture and urban design at Purdue University and completing our
star-studded group from the Robert Lee laugher foundation please welcome miss
Sheree and Stanley there are some questions that were put together by a
distinguished group and what we’re going to do they’re directed to the panelists
and they will be active asking actually one direct question maybe more but the
panel is also welcome to comment even though we will direct it as individual
but to start off to all of you and dr. Beebe will start on your end how did you
come to know New Harmony and was there a person or experience that motivated you
to get involved well I am I’m from the 51st state of the United States so I
live out to Hampi when I was in school in England so I can talk about New
Harmony before you come home to the United States as I was excited about
utopian communities in Soria and moved to the United States one year in 1993
and some reason decided to take the rest of my life I’m hacking the people so I knew about
McCarthy as a stop so when I had an opportunity to apply to the University I
was just overjoyed because I knew if I got the job so that to me was a huge
tour to come to us our so I knew about me about the town not for many many
years so I came I think we need any encouragement to come out with your that
makes any sense however the member met some great waters
will I be praying they always encourage you to do lots of things and they
approached you to spell and I have I’m saying thank you for both of them
because you need to come out here and get to the place I say thank you both
for them that’s wonderful just go right down the line so I was
going to talk about four books bunch of blankets and a barrier that’s the
problem borrow books or read luck certain by my
great aunt Cara was a great granddaughter and they were one of them
was called the beckoning growth and the other was the town of the berries and
these were read to me when I was a child and I always loved the town of Arras
this is rich there is that and in 1960 I came here for the dedication church my
mother as an estimate so about every ten years I’ve been there
for the summer I was conditioned as a gang
we were a textile designer to the and week 61 its Lord and heard in any other
seventies we all hear it I was right at the time my mother died wish to be very neat so I
came burial and then another Pokemon my mother had written a book both look to
the distaff two generations of women and she didn’t finish the book that her wish
was so I took that project research material letters of support
ended up the WMI so I had another encounter Jay Sean invited me as a
personal residence too early by Lachlan I birthday to remember me in
1977 I had moved to Illinois from Washington DC I was a read read history
major and so I quickly found real harmony on my own it’s like history and
that was the Mexican it evolved over years that I intended through the energy
children’s and then in 1990 purchased antique showrooms and so I’ve spent 20
million years behind the counter and such as the owner of the showroom the
muse even though I was a retread history majored in history and practically I
recall reading in we interpolate Auto magazine why people travel the number
one reason why people travel for sporting events which meant you don’t
have a golf course or we don’t have plans
the second one was shopping and my 29 years behind the counter suggest that
even though people are attracted by the historical and the ambience of our town
they brought something to do when they give you history was number seven on
that drivel and I think gives us pause and we need to think about it in our
country my name is Ken Sheree and I first came to New Harmony after idea
sort of position at Purdue teaching senior urban design studio March on inferno right saves like a
Florida correct under the door kept last five years
and what are the assignments that I’m here that was they already lined up in
relation to professor Davidson so he became my wife tonight
to New Harmony in the fall of 1981 and produced this document and then I met
mrs. Owen and 1996 through who was going to tear down the second or was building
on campus animality Hall and I thought it would be great for plenty of
architecture so I produced this little document called completely circled and
had the nerve to Damascus for a million bucks to make this on agriculture Hall
she rushed eyes and the vegetables hi I’m Sherri Ann Stanley and your
program probably says I’m here on behalf of the black foundation which is true
but I’m also a retired person from the university of southern Indiana and
that’s how I originally became involved with New Harmony one of the almost
instant positive developments after us I became the separate State University was
the agreement that brought historic New Harmony under the umbrella of the
University and some might not remember that the change was initiated by the
Lilly Endowment Lilly Endowment had spent millions of dollars a year on
physical improvements and they were ready to stop investing money in
and start urging historian attorney to work on educational interests
development and so Gordon st. Angelo who was the Senior Program Officer for the
Lilly Endowment at the time and who had hit one of his assignments was historic
inharmony came to president David Rice at USI and initiated conversations with
him about having historic New Harmony move under the university’s management
and some in some circles that was something that was met with questions
DW Vaughn who was the chair of historic New Harmony incorporated at the time was
not necessarily anxious to relinquish that the management of historic New
Harmony to this new university but we did work it out because the Lilly
Endowment said thou shalt so anyway that that was my original involvement I mean
I’ve been Janu harmony many times before but I’ve never really been deeply
involved and all of the issues that were here that we needed to think about and
manage and mr. bond was the consummate gentleman and even though he was not
happy about this change David Rice and Byron right it was our vice president
for business affairs at the time used to use me as a courier of documents to take
contracts between the University and mr. bond because Anu
not be Odin to me he might have been swamped with them but he would not have
been overly with me because he was such a gentleman
anyway we did we did manage to get that that management move to a sort over to
us I and there was a promise really for lieutenant governor’s office
through the Lilly Endowment that there would be an appropriation coming to the
university to help what the operating revenues here what was was several years
before that appropriation really ever materialized Cindy breakers sitting out
here she could probably tell you what foot year we finally did that and the
university was already involved over here dr. Don kisser is up there taking
pictures in the audience they’re not convinced there have been doing research
here for several years and so you know we we had things that we were interested
in doing here and we became interested in doing more as we were given the
challenge to really build the educational component of historic New
Harmony and also I want to mention Josephine Elliot who was our university
archivist at the time she was a New Harmony resident and and she had done so
much research so we had Josephine’s expertise we had dr. pisser’s expertise
and we had the entire community kind of looking to us to give a different kind
of leadership over here and I would just say that I wanted to mention I think I
mentioned Mr Bond anyway I just want to mention that I too was an old history
major and a retread the history major so it’s really interested but we were going
to do here and so over the years we we became more and more involved and try to
bring a new vision from the university to the start a new heart
and I hope that we did that I’m so thrilled with what has happened here
because really the collaboration between the certain party and the New Harmony
community and all of the people who are so supportive of what we do over here thank you
I’m Fred Frasier I’m here on behalf of the working man’s Institute this evening
I can’t really tell you exactly why I came to do I’m you because I’ve always
been here raised here I’ve spent my early years in the Leave It to Beaver
era and knew Harvey was typically that that community decided as an adult to
stay here because this is family it was a pleasure to come back here and teach
for a number of years I spent 38 years of the local system but as an adult I
saw this community with totally different eyes and I begin to have even
more of an appreciation of the community and all the things that went on in this
community it is just simply amazing as you well know because I see all kinds of
volunteer faces sitting out there it’s just simply amazing the number of
activities that events that go on in this community
and if you can’t find something to do an enjoyment over here you’re not trying so
thank you for allowing me to departments hi I’m Jeremy percent of the econsent
Family Fund I started coming down in harmony when I was in law school which
is like the early 90s and I’d seen this part of quality arts Indiana magazine
and it said was about New Harmony and it said that they were building
condominiums like crazy I think they’re the three or four that you built the
whole town was going to change if you want to become in the veteran community
of Evansville and if you want you better get something quick before you know it
all changes so I think coming down you know here since the early nineties
and obviously there’s something very special about this place which we all
know and with that is two guys have some serious notes so hi I’m Kent Mercker I
just think I’m gonna heat this mic is that better than again all right yeah
yeah I can see there’s two things we need to invest in behind this screen so
my story is I’m not from the area but as a kid I had parents and
grandparents that you and I fell in love with the place I wasn’t sure what was
about I knew some mystical place labyrinth and the old fort and this
eccentric lady from Houston Texas that was spending all this money doing crazy
things in new poverty but I left the area in the early 80s and it was gone 20
years and 20 years ago I was visiting with my wife you know I’m the generation
I really would like to have at least a place to go to Indiana and we came back yeah it was breathing rustling sound
system a microphone so in 20 years ago we decided to come back and we were
thinking of buying some farmland and building a kind of a retreat to come to
occasionally my father gave me some advice that said you know if you bring
your wife who’s not from Indiana Indiana and you’ve literally piece of property
out the middle of Indiana farmland chances are that’s not going to stick we
came we were looking at some property outside of this town we came into town
and you know I remember what kind of from my childhood I remember this was a
special place and so long long story you know after 20 year absence of Indiana we
found a property here in town and it established a place here it was at that
point and I don’t have a great story I mean I’m gonna I’m a mechanical engineer
with an MBA working business entrepreneur running public companies I
have no are interesting artistic or historical or any phone in my body that
would suggest that I can play guitar sort of but nothing to suggest that I
would be enthralled with this place but a funny thing happened was I moved here
I met a couple of people that were really kind of inspirational one sitting
next to me so embarrass him the other words of Lading a gentleman and you know
I noticed two things about Jane Doe and right away as a business leader and a
business executive who’s used to dealing with people with exceptional leadership
skills was number one she had an amazing way to connect with people I mean I felt
like I had this most special relationship with her and chances are
all of you the audience could relate to what I’m talking about in some way or
shape or form if you ever met Jane you don’t she connected with everyone and I
was involved with that but I mean most importantly she was in a business model
that I was know you’re with me and she spent time kind of mentoring and
discussing with me these concepts around entrepreneurship and I came to realize
that ultimately we’re identifying of Jane was she’s an entrepreneur – she’s a
social entrepreneur and that’s pretty it was pretty incredible effect if you
google social entrepreneur now you can find the definition on Wikipedia I don’t
think you could have 20 years ago but as someone who you know id8
invest in carries through with ideas that perpetuate history the arts social
community environmental causes so it was a different form of entrepreneurism and
I was blown away and so it converted and I you know was going to California
I’m still working place up there was around every week but I come back here
and I would recharge and I would reground and I started to learn what it
was and be part of a community and what it was to be you know someone that could
help move a community forward and it was a pretty good feeling so I’m delighted
to even be delighted to be a new Harvey I’m very glad to be on the stage with
these kind of people that have don’t you know shape the communities so it’s a
it’s a true honor so ladies ready Robin sack dresses with no
shoes on I am five-seven that wealthy would do this but she was later I think
there are teachers and coaches excellent can you hear from them we’re very good
the fact they although had a master’s degree the school became a very good in
our departments particular to it is the best orthopedic surgeons in the world I
mean you know I just really worked with this did and somebody I got appointed to
the board research swamp by fella that had been
creature of fishers and fellowships Miami and became interested in our yeah
I sort of like we’re supposed to make too much that I called but I thought how
am I going with this thing we don’t have anyone well we got a very good director
of first she said well you know what we haven’t seen a group of track campus but
we need a project might be a good project for us
so some I had 25 volunteers and I want the bitch in this now I think this the
best and I think if we did a record in the United States because he volunteer
every week I think if we took percentage of people living there like 850 or so
and what percent blog here I’m sure is higher than about any town in the United
States it certain higher than ever I love about coming back it’s the
cultural background of the town and the volunteerism and the people we meet here
like people the University no we’re not in the middle of much
vitamin C and I think we have a good start I always still think I wish that they would have started at university
because universities would stay with you family would have probably man Harvard says because at that time there
was no school like that around here there are those schools to be built with
maybe six or eight professors well that’s it for my commission to mention
his wife harder but I was lucky that way because if I had I just come down there
to see Dan but just for one day it’s a great place this question is directed to three of
our distinguished panelists that shooty I’ll have you started off then toasty
and then dr. BB the question is what qualities do you think they knew how
many you D as a cultural time I’m not talking about ones where I came from
what real darkness and shame really believe in taking the secular site near
the realm of a spiritual – take a sacred place and you have so many years you
have roofless Church Dylan Clark Cathedral apperance Church Park Gerald’s
party and many private cousins and you all take there so that really was the
presence of an acre in nature and appreciation of nature but he’s already
said that things that are in my notes I’m going to get very personal and say
first seven years under the gear I would wake up every morning and just rub my
eyes and say how can I eat all this beauty I lived in Connecticut which was
also a beautiful role in farm country but it wasn’t curated the way this
and well I won’t say after seven years I woke up and I thought it’s all over now
it wasn’t but my my wonder matured into better take responsibility for some of
us you can’t just be a user you have to give back in some way so I’m engaged at
that point but my angle is still beauty I’m a designer I don’t feed on beauty I
can’t do my work and so they’re quiet the beauty the
friendships with all kinds of people people I would never be friends with in
a million years I’m very good friends with because we’re
on the ark together and that enriches our lives to have such a broad community
and such a small community we have no choice we have to get along we have to
share a vision and so I celebrate being at that table
and speaking of tables every seven years or so 7 is a good number we get new
comers and we’ve had a batch of newcomers that are totally fantastic and
we could go Saturday we had a meetin of Street dinner 250 people showed up maybe
300 it all brought dishes we all sat together we ate together it was magical
that’s half the town where do you get that so those personal things are what
make harmony special to me shameless plug I just had my first art
show in years I had an appointment at the gallery of Contemporary Art it was a
fabulous experience Carrie are you here you know you were terrific to work but
so unprofessional where do you get that in a town like
this it was just a few than all my food stirred up people thought stuff I just
and so thrilled I’m going to be here for it and over the next decade you know
that I’ve made it this far and landed the music stop it from I’m in a chair Thank You Josie beauty as a historian
and a scholar I would say that what makes you happy because a corporate town
is in part its history to me as a scholar the fact that there were two
utopian communities here with a short span of time I think you can’t get away
from that I think it’s but as a historian what I like is that you
harmony and makes it unique is even though history is everywhere the town is
not trapped by its past that is still in the living can be someone I Colonial
Williamsburg which is also that is it’s not a portable town it’s sort of trapped
by the past it doesn’t really live this town lives and it has water so yeah
wonder fellas we appreciate that this next question is directed against
against you he can’t to be our leadoff man then Fred and Annette if you will
answer why is it important to you personally to be in this community
called Newhart amazing opportunities but we’re really
seeing invisible ship and a lot more families on the street than we’ve seen
before so I say hello many visitors you know the New Harmony in has 80 rooms
we’ve added in the last five years an additional 80 overnight rooms in New
Harmony through ins air pcbs house rentals we’ve doubled the capacity of
the Challenger of sort cultural tourism without having to build a holiday and
Travel Lodge or some cookie cutter so there’s a very good example of how we
have a rapid growth through how do you achieve excellence and remain small and
spread that economic benefit how come the citizens of the town and that’s
somewhat outside cooperation so like they thinking that wedding whether we
don’t work in that way it’s really the direction probably a number of reasons like excite
this is yeah again as I said earlier I’ve looked at my entire life and I feel
like I can now continue to contribute at my base I’m not working I’m retired and
I can spend the time with things that are important to me that I think will be
beneficial to the community going along with the weight being lifted the
governor if Nicole Campos at the Workmen’s Institute in July and
President Roh monies for this part of the state and after the program
complaint was completed he talked with his furlough MA and one of the comments
that he made was when I come to New Harmony I feel like I can breathe and I
thought that was pretty pathetic to think that folks notice the difference
that it’s here there my whole life kind of take it for granted but I’m learning
to see it through those different eyes again and it just continues to amaze me
and thank you for all but you continue to do working metastatic continues to
strive to provide programming that will interest a community I’m very pleased to
say that the lecture series has grown considerably in the last five years a
number of other lectures and events throughout the year again check our
website no you are not finding something to it there you’re not looking very
closely so it just amazes me that I can go and do anything I want any night of
the week basically and learn or enjoy a participate so that’s why I stay in you
are or at that excuse me I’m sorry I think because you have been have an
impact I grew up in a small town smaller than your Merman and we used to say you
have to have a good voice to be in booth please up you didn’t have to be an
athlete to be on a football team all you had to do was show up and I think that
that spirit is still struggling a new murder you you could volunteer and feel
like you can contribute you don’t have to be the smartest burger in the room
you don’t have to be the most talented we just have to provide the energy and
enthusiasm I can remember and I think you can you can achieve things I can
remember where dr. Rath came to the Business Association and talked about
having something called p.m. which was kind of a strange term and that event
has brought such vitality to our screen here in new her knee in and I like it it
is a cultural activity we have artists but I also like it because it brings in
artists of all income levels it’s it is not community activity in this case it
gives people who have talent but it is it welcomes all it comes to choosing the
permit and it has become the most important spring event we have I believe
the other thing that I I like about this unity and I
Business Association now we are not a Chamber of Commerce 300 people paying
big dollars we are like all small businesses with the emphasis on small
always kind of amused when they talk about small businesses under so many
millions but it is organization the business people we are basically
business people put on four major festivals and a lot of that volunteer
work thank you very much our next research will begin with Jeremy if
you’ll kick it off followed by dr. Rath and then sherry Ann and the question for
you what aspect of New Harmony do you most admire Jerry okay
I’ll skip over the obvious like this is a special place thing I like um you know
the walkability or the excuse me golf cart ability of our mate I always have
to remind myself because Indianapolis you have to give yourself but to one of
your 30-minute head start oh wait a minute every place in town to link one
minute away and so I like that and I think also what goes with that is like
she was saying I’m the large amount of public spaces at the green spaces you
know so it’s a great place to just kind of walk around and call for her with
doctor dr. Rath remember think it was first down either
the Dobrin by big city even though the person next to you then you make because
you know you’re busy there are so many people you’re busy with your thing because these almost art galleries 95%
failed in the first three years so it’s not a good placement it’ll make it buddy
but here artists is called twenty years especially because the volunteers
run and we get everyone comes to understand this very good you’re
stanking sherry yeah I most admire new harmonies ability to evolve as a
community and I’ve been watching I’m not going to say from afar because I live in
Evansville because I hope you’re all the time but I watched this communities from
the time I got deeply involved back in 1985 until now and I’ve watched the
community evolve I watched the business associates really
take great leadership in the community and I remember when mrs. Owen died
everyone said whatever will we do in our community now that our visionary leader
is gone and you know she would be so proud of what has happened in this
community because people just they understood that they needed to give
leadership themselves and not just rely on one person and so I kind of watched
this community take wings new wings I guess and say and and the artists were
noticing that you have built through the blender foundation
their interest has taken hold so the cultural interests are growing and the
people there are people who have moved here like Kent and others who when I
heard that they moved here I thought how did they know about the alarm any of
course I asked every one of you how did you know about me harmony well they were
attracted I mean the sense of community here is a real magnet for people who
want to be a part of that and I think I think new harmonies ability to evolve
and keep that sense of community intact and become who you have become this just directed to Kent Parker and if you’ll
start followed by Fred and Josie if you’ll be our third person the question
is what is through harmonies biggest threat what is the one thing you wish
you could change or could have changed natural science is the biggest threat
naturally we live on the Wabash River and we’re at the Wabash Valley seismic
zone and you know that is a that’s a threat and in my mind you know it’s not
flooding that’s not the direct macton island was formed in 2008 how
many of you witnessed that either in person or on the television anybody so
everyone on the wall – that’s the last been to the wall passion if changed
course in a matter of hours and in fact I did it twice it changed course twice
over over a year’s period if both times it was a cataclysmic event and so I
think that the river is the biggest threat that we face physical natural threat and it’s not to
be taken lightly so our vigilance on managing the south
bank of the bin here it needs to continue going out and measuring it’s
not that very deep right now that’s not really you know that’s not really what
we have to fear we have to manage the erosion on a continual and gradual basis
and even then you know it may not be enough but we’ve got to do what we can
on that front but in terms of what I think about the most you know I I never
really lived in a community before the park I was raised on a farm in rural
Indiana and then you know in my career I lived in places I lived on places that’s
what I’d like to say I lived on suburbs I lived on big cities I you know and I
just consumed them I think those would make a point about that earlier and here
you know you you’re part of the community and you’ve heard other to talk
about that’s really important but as someone who was raised in Indiana and
has an affinity for rural America jump in a car or driving 100 miles in any
direction on two-lane highways through places that have a green side with an a
long that was a town and folks that’s home for someone like who was raised out
in the country here and has family members in towns like buckskin
Summerville and Mackay of course I was snake run
yeah look economic sustainability of our community is really an important issue
and it’s as you know for someone like myself given my backgrounds you know how
could you contribute well I think a lot about and have been very keen to be
involved in trying to drug micro economic sustainability in our community
I think that’s important I think needs to augment the philanthropic activity
and with without having real economic sustainability on top of billa
philanthropy and volunteerism and grants and all the good things that help make
our communities especially as it is we can’t remain a real community so for me
what does that mean it means that people make free choices to be in a business or
to consume from a business and everybody benefits without anybody in the fight of
interfering and that’s an important element of our town being able to buy
groceries being able to go to the drugstore being able to have meals being
able you know to live here to live here comfortably is related to work so I
think about that a lot you know some of the things I’ve been involved you know
with George we bought the Harmony house em up and trying to manage that you know
is that going now we’re managing that that building to try to keep it in
community Jeremy mentioned church tree Commons we worked with a couple of other
investors 10 years ago to build some houses and then during the Bicentennial
we did the Bicentennial house those are all things that are outside of the
confines of really being filled with profit they’re more about trying to
drive commercial viability by the best and in the community so for me that
macro micro economic sustainability motivation Brett to build on that I
really think our greatest threat is losing our sense of community I’ve never
seen the problem come up in to harm me that as a community we couldn’t get
groups together and solve that problem as a community we laugh together we cry
together we celebrate together we do all of the things that are necessary to keep
new Hardy alive and I think that’s my greatest rip we can never lose the human
element that has that desire to keep New Harmony alive
I think the one thing that I would like to see changed if it were possible to go
back a few years was I believe it was May 21st 2012 the last day for new
Harvey school and the day the bridge was closed I think those were two
devastating events for this community to stop and think even though they were
horrible you know people the community’s gonna
die and you can’t survive this but look around you we did survive we’ve adapted
we have continued to strive for the excellence that is frozen in everything
that is done by this community so yes I would change it I keep the school going
and keep the bridge open but we’re gonna survive in spite of that and I think
that’s a great tribute to the community so let’s keep up the good work
Josie number one how high this was the river but that’s taking so the next threat
aging out of the population it’s not just the population its aging out of our
trees our infrastructure our gardens our houses and unless we get young people in
to pick up the mantle we’re just going to go into an interview or you know
interest people giving grants to their by the trees the house young people are the lifeblood you don’t
have that many children running around in the streets a few but we lost one
really good family this year with three absolutely extraordinary children and
when I asked them why they were leaving they said we don’t want our children to
grow up and not burning we live a new harmony and they have to go to school do
not burn it so I agree with Fred that when we lost the school we lost a
generation of young people who might come along and populate take our places
so my regret is wonder what I would do differently I can’t go back time but had
I been in young mother here with my children I would have bought to replace
that school with a smaller school a one-room schoolhouse of some kind every
retired person here is a professor of something I’m away oh you know so much and we
could have an educational system that’s outside the box should we do that and
have young people that needed that education so on my wish list is
something like that but I’m going to end by the words here
with a quote from Keele Wilson one of my favorite entomologist and futuristic
environmental champion it’s about existential threats we’re
drowning in information while starving for wisdom the real problem of humanity
is the following we have Paleolithic emotions medieval institutions and
godlike technology and it is terrifically dangerous and it is now
approaching a point of crisis over all until we understand ourselves until we
answer those huge questions of philosophy that philosophers abandon a
couple of generations ago where do we come from who are we where are we on New
Harmony is a place you can ask those questions and you might get an answer
but we do have to replace ourselves with those young and intelligent bright
lights who are burning out in front of their little boxes jobs that are
absolutely mind deadening even I who supposedly in the hands-on artisans
spend 10 days in front of my can pretend 10 hours a day off we need to invent a
future that includes all of the arts creativity community we already have it
we don’t have to invent it here we may have to sell it to the burn house and
get all of the utopian visionary things we
like to imagine we actually need to do for our esteemed panelists and then if
you’d like we’d like to open up to any questions you might have for any one of
our panelists but the last question is directed to Kent Parker
dr. Beebe and Jeremy if you will wrap it up your question is what are your hopes
plans to continue Harmony’s excellence as a cultural time
yeah do prom on mic mark was through philanthropic efforts when I retired
seven years ago my my family decided we set up a foundation for small foundation
I was impressed J no one told me I think that she started the Galactic foundation
with a quarter million dollars of Exxon stock you know that seems like a small
amount even what it’s worth today but maybe you know excellence done
really well supposed to but that inspired me and I kinda felt like you
create a little nest egg there that could be used to donate to nonprofits
and towns important so that’s one step and we’ll continue to do that but the
other thing that I’m very interested in is something that’s kind of taking a bit
of what I saw Jane Owen do with like awesome social entrepreneurism it’s like
well this is no she capitalistic philanthropy and the notion is this is
that you know if you’ve got let’s say you have a million dollars and sit in
the bank drum 3% interest you’re giving the bank 3%
can you invest that in things in your community that will yield 3% you don’t
have to give the money away you can do things
our for-profit you can help things that are for-profit is still different let
the bank ultra money your let them your community hold the money and so that’s
the second way that I think there’s opportunity force in town and that would
allow you know to build residential housing or to invest in commercial
projects perhaps alternative energy there’s other things that could be done
in our community in the future outside of just you know giving money to
nonprofits that might help this micro economic sustainability the community
and that’s that’s very close collaboration continue and being passed
between the university which is a public university
how many relationship with it with a town that it’s almost unheard of in the
United States you may have quite the smooth able arts colleges that have a
relationship with its ally which they exist but our public university a very
young public university we sometimes forget that the us i’ve gotten around
that one have a really close relationship we have a lot of young
people at a university and a lot of opportunities for students to interact
with the members of the community but people from the community come to the
University so I think that’s one of my there’s a stronger collaboration there
my call I believe you know New Harmony is so special that I hope for the future
that embraces its uniqueness and supports and attracts people from all
walks of life to video to town and I heard about the school and I think you
know value is something that makes it difficult
tract younger people to the town and so back I hope you don’t look at that
poison you can attract people to come to this I think it’s a special place and
the hope would be that it develops and changes with the times that doesn’t
become fascinated with the latest fad and so stay true to it to its past and
also embrace but not become consumed by the present
thank you dr. Giri yeah I think kind of look it’s similar lines but what I
really think is that like media definitely be to be to intentionally be
a friendly place for children like haven’t come here with my kids in a
certain way this is a great time because you can wander all over you got out but
like when you’re trying to find someplace to eat with like a four five
six year old can be very capable also I don’t understand
Mason talking about like having a Montessori School I think everyone else
is saying that too that you need some kind of school here locally so kids can
go to school here and I think affordable housing is really important that might
even be something that somebody you know has to subsidize but it sounds like
there’s kind of this gap in you know housing here where we want these
families to come here with kids but there’s no
to live and so I think that’s kind of important and yeah like I have all kinds
of ideas about this like but but I was reading this book called I think it’s
called the angel of the circuit which was written in the 60s it’s kind of what
everyone says about resiliency here like back in that Buffy’s like and the
population is aging and young people are coming back yeah you know I guess we
weren’t down like 200 population says that so it’s not perfect but we’re all
we’re still here you know so I guess yes my wife wanted probably we could have
walked up and down Fifth Avenue design in every store and looked at quilts and
we never could have looked as many clothes as we look at on Amazon grind
and order it and have it show up the next day and our guests I mean the world
is available to small towns now you’re not if you want all of Italy you can
happen tomorrow if you want salmon from Seattle’s Pike Place Market you can have
it in the morning it’s all coming at us so I think might fear this that the
community needs to develop a growth strategy that embraces the value of
achieving excellence and remaining small because I believe there has been in the
last four decades a great migration to cities I think you’re gonna see in the
next four that is a great migration out and we better be ready to figure out how
we want that to come here because we’ll have no control over we don’t we have people in our town council I
look out in the audience and I see only one current councilman I see two
candidates for the council I think as we partnership and work to develop that is
isn’t working as successfully as I think it potentially could I think our present
town council have has addressed issues of infrastructure but I think the idea
the concept of how we develop what we’re looking at down down the realm of the
future vision I think that’s a lily and I think that is a concern and I think we
have an election before we opened the audience any other
kind of you’ll have a chance again maybe to what they asked folks how about differently and cysts are the three days
celebration they’ll be some wonderful centers and discussions tomorrow what’s
one thing that you’d like to ask any one of these fine panelists does anything
come to mind yes question for dr. Beatty what steps
will you take to bring more usi students to new high
is there the possibility that this could be a rural campus option for
international students we lack studio spaces and design that we have spaces
for students to the app doing that you know art brings lots of people together
and obviously it’s good for the economy but to have I think that’s a perfect
opportunity international students should be out here is a wonderful place
faculty would need to be bringing their students and so we do that in Liberal
Arts we’re probably the most engaged college at the university with this with
this town in terms of research projects for students in terms of
opportunities so everything they will have to be supporting with me you can
have is that because well I got a couple of a small village in England that I
found to be there a thousand years before the conquest and people still
know how to even though I left there in 1988 so I understand that the important
a small town and the fact of it is a village and the fact that you have this
University comes by really is a huge plus for this the new part
so we’ll do everything we can to put students and we happy to do this
watch it what’s your then then then I will I would say that a university makes
an effort to bring students here for orientation and programs but those are
those are mostly one day programs where they come and they learn about the
community and those are mostly our student leadership groups who come but
we do make an effort to subsidize that and to bring them here so that they know
about New Harmony and are and are attracted to the Harmony so we can do
that and dr. Jones up you can chime in here and Lesley but we you know we’ve
looked at doing programs here of residential programs that we run into
the question of housing you know if you’ve got to bring students over here
and they’re gonna live here for a whole semester how do you house them and then
you know it’s a 27 mile commute to canvas and so I mean do you run them
back and forth for the core courses they need and they get their specialties here
so those are all dilemmas that we have browser mode if you all want to chime in
about that but the university is aware that the more students that we exposed
to the Murphy and then learn about them underneath the more opportunity we have
for them to catch the magic Christmas Day so I will actually say that I’m
standing there right now because I was exposed to harmony through USI through
Katie through Connie through Matthew and that’s why through my corporate career
we flew from San Francisco to come here for long politics that’s why when we had
the opportunity we came here and so I will tell you and Lesley and I have had
this conversation many times that once this wonderful celebration and I hope
you all come the next couple of days is in the books
the next is a vision and I would everything that was said on the board
right now we have to force a vision we do if we don’t know where we’re going we
can’t make it happen from University from a historic New Harmony perspective
believe me we’re defining it right now I want people to be able to use the cards
that they face of food at the old tavern or wherever else in town right it has to
happen relative to housing we have to solve that even if it’s tense I don’t
know I don’t know I so if orgetorix you have been made into
a temporary housing for visiting students it would really use nearly
empty museum but we have these things we just uphill everyday I have a question I
know but I’m just curious you have any ideas you the question about how do you
get young families here that’s the sake of being a cracker a
pragmatic thinker and saying something to make the controversial like the
Dollar General good or bad it’s great yeah you know I didn’t think the
community from any of us didn’t think that before it came into your question
if you want to get a younger family here not only do they need a house that costs
less than $50,000 they need a place to go five Geithner’s all right they need a
place to go buy food that they by at a grocery store or Walmart as
cheaply as as as they’re here I mean we’ve got to make our community liveable
and we don’t have a family restaurant kids can go to eat at on a Friday night
after 8 o’clock that family’s affordable restaurants that families can afford
right so creating this sustainable economic sustainability ideas around
affordable housing and the services that go with that sometimes require us to
think in terms of compromise okay well we built the Bicentennial house we
thought we could build that house for other two hundred thousand dollars and
guess what you can now I’m in the kitchen it’s a great house but even if
hollow-core doors in that house and really cheapened it up you know not that
we would do that you know and the second one was attempted by Rodney wake and
going into $200,000 markets well what’s a 200 150 thousand dollar house look
like well it’s called look like a box sort of
with Ruth a bathroom were – two or three bedrooms I mean we need those kind of
homes as well doesn’t mean they have to be ugly they could be they could be
designed simply and elegantly but we need things that that will allow
families Midwestern families to come and live here not only to buy a house here
once they’re here to be able to afford to live here and have the services that
they need as well and I would challenge all of us but I
look across the room and I and eyes loved us you know someone’s
point out that we’re really older or economically a little bit more stable
we have great taste and we love great things and and so forth but you know
let’s not forget part of what we’re talking about is is this balance of
making the community liveable for the average person anyone else yes question who went to dr. Afridi dr.
BB is on the board of the Center for communal studies at the University of
Southern Indiana and I wondered if he would speak something to the new binder
that we are implementing at the University in communal studies and maybe
emphasize the collection of Josephine Elliot started back in the 60s and 70s
we now have a communal Studies collection in the archives that has
thousands of communities that are available to research we have some of
their providing materials we have images thousands of images and you can access
these online and so he’s a wealth of information about this and pleasure I’m
wondering how we can do more to tie the Workmen’s Institute in Andover there are
lectures and so forth and located great things there that make these
presentations possible well I thought those will have to do plenty of time we
do have a minor ausi and the hope is that if that takes off it’s a major
because there’s a lot of interest of students not just or suburban or
whatever it is you know communal studies is not about utopian histories only it’s
about Missouri can you societies today so we have one
of the largest collections in the United States in communal studies archival
holdings at US huh so there’s a lot of opportunities for
that relationship began to do hard it’s a living laboratory if you want to call
it that so there’s a lot of things that can have to go into thinking that up
another you know people are looking for those communities today so a great
example to do harmony could be to talk about you know a retreat center but
people who have been involved in kind of spiritual and the kind of spiritual work
they’re basically on the west coast and Washington state where people spend
whole weeks staying in a community on a retreat now I don’t know if we do that
we want to do that and actually we’ve been doing because of the communal
aspect and because we do turn in history it’s a natural way
but attract visitors who did the quinhagak or the families that you do
have people coming to visit the tent you have a commutators problem that you have
will send people that come so that you have that consciousness about the place
but people coming into the pumpkin that enriches the place we have a researcher
on the west coast and Janssen and he has been finding online that everything they
have is solving itself and intentional community and this is from groups like
they were University now problem an intentional community all sorts of
organizations and knew the scams well folks this is just the start absolutely thank you for bringing that up
dr. pit sir as you know we’ve spent most of the last five years dreaming planning
hoping to do just the types of things that we’re hearing here this evening we
have fifty six thousand square feet of empty space sitting down there going to
waste we worked very closely with dr. rabbit Jeremy a number of the things
that were mentioned we talked about studio space being available we’ve
talked about the farm-to-table program we’ve talked about makerspaces maker
spaces seem to be very important because just starting out you can’t afford all
that equipment that you need to do the various things that you might want to do
whether you’re a sculptor over the year Potter or whatever it may be that space
is still sitting there we know the interest is there it’s just a matter of
putting some funding together to make it happen also know that that space that
56,000 square feet of empty space sits on 30 acres how nice to build a
community house number two there as a dorm space for us life students to take
part in those programs and the design of the program was that hopefully as part
of the education process the students would have hands-on opportunities to
develop a small business right there in the building and hopefully grow to be
successful enough to move their business dantana
we also hoped that those working with the food to table program would become
well acquainted with the plants that we want to keep in our community and that
they would help with garden spaces as part of their their project we
hadn’t even talked with the FHA groups in the county about giving them class
credit in the learning process as well so there are a number of opportunities
for WMI or still looking i personal is still very much so believe with that
that concept for that 56,000 square feet of space and hopefully we can start
working with Eric armored as he now owns the building and I hope them develop
something whether it looks like that what that’s a perfect opportunity for
new Harvey to grow in those areas our panel discussion it is just the first
night we hope you’ll come back don’t forget tomorrow the speaker series will
begin and you you have some of the top minds of art and architecture in the
country coming you also have a standing keynote speaker
Carla Britton right from Yale University and that this series will start tomorrow
at 2:00 in tomorrow night L or discussion rather is free to the public
so as they say spread the gospel and bring as many people at you can at first
you have the gala later in the week but right now congratulations to you somebody
mentioned that there’s knowledge in this wonderful facility right now and the
lives and the number of people and organizations that you contact I you are
envied as I said before New Harmony is a very special place and it’s because of
people like you your loved ones and all the other people that you know and that
you felt bring to this community and thanks to those of you who have come
back again there’s challenges and in this crazy world of ours but it’s a
let’s think of it this way it’s the best of times and the best of New Harmony is
yet to come folks thank you and have a great night
please come back

About the author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *