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Social Alchemy Symposium-IN Context

Apr 12 @ 9:00 am 10:00 pm CDT


* * * Click here for the updated SCHEDULE AT A GLANCE.  It includes the Zoom links.

The Social Alchemy Symposium is a participatory mini-conference happening online and in person in New Harmony, Indiana April 10-13, 2022.

Each day is themed and each Facebook invite is focused on single days. The symposium is free to attend either virtually or in person. Donations are appreciated and can be made via the registration link.

Discounted lodging is available at the New Harmony Inn (details below). Attendees are welcome to join any parts of the conference in person, online, or both. Registration is required to support communication and feedback.
8-10am -Mini-tours on the hour.

Jump in either in person or on-line for artist led tours of New Harmony landmarks! Check out the Harmonist Labyrinth, a wunderkammer in the Workingmen’s Institute, The Wabash River, the Roofless Church and more.


9:00 – 9:30 am

Welcome remarks & New Harmony Intro video

Opening conversation: Learning from each other (Utopic public places, small towns and cities) with Lora Arneberg [New Harmony community leader], Nina Chase [landscape architect with Merritt Chase], Shauta Marsh [director of Big Car’s affordable housing program].

David Rubin — The Dystopian Utopia in Practice with David Rubin [landscape architect of Land Collective].

Co-operative Ownership for Healthy Communities: Jacob Bower-Bir
[political scientist-policy specialist] & Nathan Bower-Bir [sustainable housing

12:10 – 1:00 pm Opera House – LUNCH & Listening party

New Harmony in Historical Context – 19th Century American Uotpian Communities with Claire Eagle [Historic New Harmony], Tom Guiler [Oneida Community Mansion House], Jon M. Childers [Executive Director of Amana Heritage Society].

2:15 – 3:00
Contemporary utopias and planned communities with Director of USI Communal Studies, Dr. Silvia Rhode and USI Archivist, Jennifer Greene

3:15 – -3:45 *Activity: Who Are You & What Do You Want? Brief introductions by
attendees: whatever you’d like to share about your work or interests.

4-5pm Indiana in Context/ New Harmony and Columbus, IN
New Harmony Meets Columbus, Indiana with Richard McCoy [Landmark
Columbus Foundation], Kathryn Armstrong [Columbus Area Arts Council], &
Kent Schuette [professor of landscape architecture & planning at Purdue].
Moderated by Chris Merritt.

5:15 – 6:15 pm

Opera House – DINNER & Listening party

6:30 – 7:30 pm
Utopian Architecture with Marsh Davis [president, Indiana Landmarks],
Lourenzo Giple [deputy director of planning, preservation, & design, City of
Indianapolis], Adam Thies [associate VP for capital planning at Indiana
University]. Moderated by Anne Laker.

In person activities.  *Choice of activities: tours, walks, performance.

Note: New Harmony, IN (CST) and Indianapolis, IN (EST)are in different time zones.

More about the Symposium:
The Social Alchemy Symposium is a participatory mini-conference happening online and in person in New Harmony, Indiana April 10-13, 2022.
Twice the site of utopian experiments in communitarian living, New Harmony is now a town rich in beauty, culture, and history. And it makes the perfect location for people to enjoy some moments of respite and reconnect with others through conversations about the roles of art, design, and place in society.

Conversations — led by more than 20 notable authors, artists, designers, researchers, and philosophers from Indiana and around the world — will look at the role of utopian thinking today and tomorrow while connecting with the past.
The symposium — organized through a partnership between Big Car Collaborative, the University of Southern Indiana, Historic New Harmony, and the New Harmony Gallery of Contemporary Art — is made possible by Indiana Humanities, the Efroymson Family Fund, and New America. Additional partners include Indiana State Museum and PATTERN Magazine.

To register:


Apr 12
9:00 am – 10:00 pm CDT
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419 Tavern St.
New Harmony, IN 47631 United States
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