Indiana Daily Student

Summer Commune to debut in Bloomington

Two people are looking to bring a new, collaborative community to Bloomington.

Inspired by movements of the past and the community fostered by hostels, organizers Nicole Kelly and Joshua Heller decided to have the first Summer Commune in 2012. Then, it was in Moscow, Idaho, and now it’s coming to Bloomington.

The Summer Commune is described as “a diverse and temporary intentional community.” According to its website, , it’s like a summer camp but with more potlucks and no curfew.

Kelly and Heller visited Bloomington during Lotus Fest, and it was then that Kelly said she realized Bloomington had the atmosphere they were looking for.

For the first summer commune, Kelly and Heller made a post on Tumblr and were able to gather friends, acquaintances and strangers.

“People were really into it,” Kelly said.

Their virtual community grew for 6 months in Moscow before June 2012, when “Communers” met one another for the first time.

“It’s something unfamiliar,” Kelly said. “It’s a challenge where you and others grow.”

Communers traveled from places as far away as New York and London, as well as from more local ?areas.

The summer was spent working at local caf é s, helping on farms, playing with local musicians and just hanging out on porches, ?the website says.

For the 2014 Summer Commune in Bloomington, there are already events planned, but Kelly said interested participants are encouraged to enter their own event suggestions.

“We really want to take advantage of the nature in Bloomington, have ?camp-outs and events like that,” Kelly said.

Participants are not obligated to stay the entire month of July, but the longer visitors can stay the better, she said.

Individuals already ?living in Bloomington are welcomed to partake as well.

Kelly said it’s unconventional, but the organizers actually don’t directly help with living accommodations.

“We just recommend people use Airbnb, Craigslist and other tools like that to find housing,” Kelly said.

With small towns, especially college towns with sublets, it’s not really a challenge, Kelly said.

It’s free to attend the Summer Commune, but some events cost a basic fee, which is indicated on the calendar using a dollar sign. But each participant pays their own travel and living expenses.

The motivation behind the event is accessibility to community and culture.

“We are over the idea of starving for our art,” the Summer Commune’s website says. “We are being alienated from nature and each other. We want to live in communities where our friends live, but we’re priced out of neighborhoods that gentrify in 10 seconds, and gentrification makes us feel weird, anyhow. We want to live in great communities that we can also afford; our plan is to go somewhere new together, and to make cool happen where we are.”

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