Tuesday September 30, 7pm Free Columbia Opening Circle at 84 Main Street, Philmont.

Please join us for the opening circle to welcome in the sixth year of Free Columbia. This year we have 10 full time students in our painting program. We will also be offering weekly shoemaking classes, children’s classes, community weaving, a study of the Philosophy of Freedom by Rudolf Steiner and once a month movies on Art and Social Change. Join us for a festive overview of the year and meet our new students.


Click here to read our appeal letter 
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Free Columbia 

Practical investigations of art in relation to the spiritual aspects 

of the human being and the world  

An Annual full time painting course 

Puppetry internships and puppet performances in the local community 

Week long intensives in fine and practical arts 

Summer residencies and conferences 

Evening lectures and study groups 

All supported by freely given donations.

The Free Columbia Art courses are intensive explorations into art. Currently an eight month painting course is available, as are week long intensives in the summer and winter, after school classes for children, once a week practical arts classes, evening lectures, a study group, music performances and once a month movie night.

Free Columbia is based on an understanding of the importance of creating independent and accessible educational and artistic opportunities.  There are no set tuitions. Suggested donation amounts based on what it costs to run courses are provided.  It is possible to make a monthly pledge to support Free Columbia as well.  

Free Columbia takes place in rural Columbia County, New York, 2 hours north of NYC.  It is supported by people all over the country.  We receive a great deal from the supportive community of individuals in our area who help us in many ways. 

Free Columbia is part of a multifaceted association called the Hawthorne Valley Association.  This association is dedicated to promoting social and cultural renewal through the integration of education, agriculture and the arts.  Its mission is cultural renewal and this includes striving to foster cultural activities that facilitate individuals developing themselves, making spaces where a person's latent gifts can grow in freedom.  It is rooted in the view that though freedom and culture may not always satisfy immediate demands of society, ultimately, when taking the wide view of time, their fruits nourish all branches of human life.


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“Political and Legal measures for the nurturance of the spirit sap the strength of the cultural life, while a cultural life that is left entirely to its own inherent interests and impulses will strengthen every aspect of social lifehuman ethical impulses wither away if they are not allowed to arise within a free cultural life, but are instead forced to take the particular turn that the political-legal structure of society finds necessary for carrying on work in the spheres it has previously mapped out.  A person brought up and educated within a free cultural life will certainly, through his very initiative, bring along into his calling the stamp of his or her own personality.  Such a person will not allow himself to be fitted into the social works like a cog into a machine. In the end, however, what he brings into it will not disturb the harmony of the whole, but rather increase it.      

-Rudolf Steiner,

Culture, Law and Economics