Research 2009

The 2009 Michaelmas Week was packed with exciting public events from Friday, September 25 through Sunday, October 4. Highlights included an Exhibitors’ Reception for Transforming Capacities: An Art and Science Exhibition, a sold-out Farmer-to-Table Family Style Dinner at the Hungry Hollow Co-op, lectures by artist Frank Chester, a walking tour of Anthroposophical history in New York City with historian Kevin Dann, and dramatic and musical performances.

The North American Youth Section offered a miniconference on the theme “Inner Affinity: Cultivating a Human Connection”; a description of that gathering can be found here.

If you were in the neighborhood, you had multiple opportunities to participate in Michaelmas festivities put on by Eurythmy Spring Valley, the Pfeiffer Center, Green Meadow Waldorf School, and the Fellowship Community.

The week culminated with Creating Living Connections, the 2009 Annual Conference and Members’ Meeting of the Anthroposophical Society in America, attended by some 300 people from all over the US and Europe.

Transforming Capacities: An Art and Science Exhibition

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Stirring Preps and Stuffing Horns at the Pfeiffer Center

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Michaelmas Festival at Green Meadow Waldorf School

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Kevin Dann's Walking Tour: Anthroposophy in New York City

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North American Youth Section Meeting

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Creating Living Connections

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A Research Manifesto

At the 1924 Christmas Foundation Conference, Rudolf Steiner placed spiritual scientific research at the center of the work and mission of anthroposophy. In 1926, Threefold Farm in Spring Valley, New York, was founded as a living laboratory for spiritual science in social threefolding, biodynamic farming, and the arts. Our mission was codified in 1965, when the Threefold Educational Foundation was chartered by the State of New York Education Department “to establish, conduct, operate and maintain conferences, programs of research and adult education in all fields of human endeavor emphasizing the principles and methods enunciated by Rudolf Steiner.”

We recognize that research is not a luxury, it is a necessity—life itself depends on it. However, research, like any living thing, requires a convergence of essential elements in appropriate amounts. These elements include: qualified researchers carrying worthy questions; time and space in which to do research, and means for researchers to live on; and a social and physical setting that is supportive of the researchers’ work. In short, what is urgently needed is for qualified researchers to be paired with appropriate institutional, social and financial support.

Over the past year, Threefold Educational Center has consciously acted on its task as an anthroposophical institution, which is to create and foster the conditions necessary for spiritual scientific research to take place. A series of conferences hosted by Threefold have brought together interested parties from all over North America and Europe, in part to investigate and discuss the nature and meaning of such research in the past and going forward. A community of researchers and a constellation of questions have been identified. We have developed our physical facilities to create appropriate spaces for working, meeting, exhibiting and performing, a process that continues as new needs and opportunities arise.

A major step in this process was the creation in 2010 of the Threefold Researcher in Residence program. Our first Researcher in Residence, artist and geometrician Frank Chester, worked with a team of eleven research fellows at Threefold from September 19 to October 30. Their work culminated in an exhibition at Threefold Auditorium, “Art as Research and Scientific Inquiry as a Creative Act.” The exhibit’s opening coincided with a weekend Symposium on Anthroposophical Research, co-sponsored by the Collegium of the North American School of Spiritual Science and Threefold.

As the Threefold Researcher in Residence program takes shape and evolves, a continuous dialogue with the Collegium of the School of Spiritual Science is intended to ensure that our work harmonizes with the Collegium’s efforts in the same direction.