"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.

Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has"

Margaret Mead, Anthropologist
(used with permission)

"If you don't like the news .... go out and make some of your own !!"

Wes "Scoop" Nisker, Newscaster


Government is a slow and tedious process. While it often includes citizen and neighborhood involvement, non-governmental, private organizations have created movements and interesting groups which can create positive change in our cities and towns.

I am fascinated by the way groups are created and how they influence public decision making. This blog merely recognizes them and forwards the description of these groups from their own websites.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Cosanti Foundation

Location: Mayer, AZ

Website: www.arcosanti.org

Welcome to Cosanti in Scottsdale (Paradise Valley), Arizona. The word “Cosanti” comes from two Italian terms: “Cosa” and “Anti,” which together mean, literally, “Before (or Against) Things.” Here at the residence and sculpture studios of Paolo Soleri and his staff, architecture has come before everything else, and indeed, it is the architecture of this place that makes things possible here.

Choosing the idea that Cosanti means “Against Things” leads to an understanding of Soleri’s anti-materialist stance: the ideas generated here have helped to develop a lean and frugal methodology for approaching life on earth and the designs of cities that would support that attitude and that life.

Either way, Soleri, (later joined by his students) began work on the experimental buildings of Cosanti in the mid 1950’s. Designated as an Arizona Historic Site, Cosanti presents a unique bio-climatic architectural environment. Its structures feature many imaginative design elements, reflecting Soleri’s innovative construction techniques.

Cosanti is open from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. on Sunday, and closed only on major holidays. Visitors are welcome to take a self-guided walking tour and may be able to see bronze Windbells being poured (call ahead for information). Guided group tours are by reservations only.

The Cosanti Foundation, a non-profit educational organization, seeks opportunities to build partnerships that ensure the growth of Arcosanti and the educational opportunities inherent in the project.

Here are some of the existing and future programs and projects that assist in broadening our capacity to fulfil the goals of the participating partners, while developing Arcosanti to its fullest potential.


A. Focus educational parameters of construction workshops and grow student numbers

B. Engage in critical inquiry/ interdisciplinary dialogue with institutional/educational partners

C. Develop support for publishing/media and public lecture activity

D. Develop support for conference activity at Arcosanti

E. Grow public visitation at Arcosanti and at the galleries at Cosanti

F. Expand on- and off-site exhibitions and the work of the Soleri Archive in general

G. Maximize and cultivate potential of alumni to support ongoing work

H. Collaborate with institutions, communities, and industry

I. Expand opportunities for engagement with/outreach to neighboring communities

J. Develop scholar/artist in residence program

K. Develop support for performance and other cultural events at Arcosanti


A. Improve existing physical facilities and support infrastructure

B. Develop/demonstrate architecture
for food and heat production: greenhouses

C. Program residential and commercial/institutional activity

D. Create and review 5-year financial plan

E. Expand Cosanti Originals (Soleri craft studios) production and sales

F. Expand Board of Trustees for fundraising and planning capability


A. Strengthen and expand Arcosanti’s Planning Internship program and support

B. Accept commercial commissions that further our planning and technical expertise

C. Promote professional partnerships with governments, development entities, and with architects and urban designers globally

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