The membership process
is like getting married and starting a new business venture.
Both at the same time.
With several people, at once.
A small village like ours has a number of advantages and risks
that are unique in comparison to the larger cohousing complexes.
On the one hand,
a small collection of kindred spirits will afford a greater potential
for deep intimate connections, coming to know and trust
each member like family.
On the other hand,
having such a compact social structure
means that if one person becomes unhappy or has a significant problem,
everyone else will become aware of it, and is likely to be affected by it
in some way, pretty quickly.
It is because of this that we take great care in getting to know each other
in several different ways, on several different levels,
before making a full commitment to join together.
Some of the ways that we do this are through becoming involved
in increasingly progressive stages:
The first can be thought of as an
Reading through this website, especially this page, the "More About Our Vision" page,
the "More About Decision Making" Page, and the FAQ page.
Joining our interactive FaceBook group
to see and post pictures, videos, questions, comments and updates.
Through joining our Meetup Group and sharing in experiences like
attending meetings, pot-lucks, game and talent nights,
holiday celebrations, work parties and regional excursions
we interact together in various different ways,
and get to see each other in different lights.
enables you to learn about current details of the project..
The residents at Ingenium have been actively training and practicing
NVC/Compassionate Communication since our very first days here.
Completing the NVC introductory video series
enables newcomers to learn what that's all about and begin the training process.
After all that, if folks decide to actively pursue residency
they may fill out and send in a
Preliminary Application, and enter an
Joining a "Virtual Tea Party" gives a comprehensive introduction to Ingenium,
and at an in-person group Tour you will get to experience the land, the buildings,
and meet the residents who are on-site.
At both of these events there is ample time for a full question and comment period.
Typically people offer a small service task during their first private in-person visit.
Ask your host to see the current "Small Projects List" before you arrive.
Purchasing and reading the "Creating A Life Together" book by Diana Leafe Christian
shows a willingness to understand, and eventually share,
certain responsibilities of creating a venture like Ingenium.
This is optional for renters but required
for seasoned members who are pursuing Land Partnership.
During the exploration stage you will be invited to resident's meetings,
cooperative processing sessions and other get-togethers.
It is at this stage where you can start to arrange
Ingenium group events of your own.
An exciting part of this stage is exploring your prospective living space
by arranging for a weekend overnight visit.
At this time you would be expected to be close to completion of
your ten hours of volunteer service.
Now is when you would also complete either the"Living NVC" course or the "Get Started with NVC" course at this link: NVC Training; or another significant NVC training modality.
Once some time and experience is formed between us at this level, interested folks can then enter a
Here is when would arrange for a week-long visit.
This offers the prospective member an Ingenium "immersion",
and we can each experience what it will be like to
communicate, work and play together on a day-to-day basis.
At this time we would also check for canine compatibility if you have a dog.
By this time, prospective residents would be expected to attend most
Resident's Meetings and Cooperative Processing sessions.
Prospective residents now organize a special, interactive event to share
that showcases the creative/expressive-arts passion that they bring.
Once your immersion week, service hours, NVC training, and special event are complete,
you can ask for a formal application.
Questions about your personal history, lifestyle, long-term aspirations,
and how you can contribute will be clarified;
certain financial information will need to be disclosed;
and a list of references, which will be checked, would need to be supplied.
The application process is intended to be "reciprocal", meaning that
once an application is approved,
the incoming resident will have a chance to view all other established members information.
Then, a month-to-month tenant contract is signed, a rental deposit will be collected,
and you can begin a preliminary, or "trial" residential period on the land.
is established after a series of interpersonal assessments
usually every few months after your move-in date, for about a year.
Tenancy can then continue for as long as is mutually desired.
Successful residents at Ingenium inhabit the following:
- They reliably fulfill their routine obligations with ease.
- They have generosity of spirit and a mutually supportive mindset
as a natural way of being.
- They embody the qualities of humility, introspection, vulnerability, emotional self-responsibility,
curiosity, respect, and relate to others from a place of sincere "heartfullness".
- They show fluency and ease in using "Compassionate Communication"/NVC,
especially when tensions arise.
- They're instrumental in leadership, group cohesiveness and conflict resolution.
- They are sensitive to any divisive group dynamics and easily set boundaries to curtail them,
guiding residents towards healthier, more supportive ways of relating.
- They make participation at group meetings a priority, and join in on other activities often.
- They routinely visit and check in with current landowners, and are helpful in working out decisions, issues and/or any changes desired. They actively find ways to collaborate together
in making Ingenium a special place.
- They regularly initiate creative projects and group events or gatherings.
Seasoned residents who consistently demonstrate
a high degree of support and compatibility
and who desire a long-term lease
or to become partners in owning the land and the project as a whole
may be invited to do so
when they carry out all of the above qualities and skills on a day-to-day basis.
- They have excellent rapport with the landowner (as well as other residents)
and they are eager to spend free time together.
- They habitually check the land for maintenance issues and converge with the owners
and often the caretakers/residents on how to attend to them.
- They've read the book, "Creating A Life Together" by Diana Leafe Christian.
- Typically, they live at Ingenium for at least 18 months as a rental tenant.
- They feel completely at ease and supportive of the decision making structure here at Ingenium.
- They have increasing investment and authority the more they establish themselves in this role.
- They make a financial investment proportionate to Land Partnership percentage.
- They share liabilities and responsibilities.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
So there you have it!
Here are the steps to integrate
into the Ingenium Expressive Arts Village project.
In these ways we create together the chance to form
a solid assurance that each of us is an optimal fit together,
and begin growing mutually deep and fulfilling connections.
Come! See what it's all about.
We look forward to a uniquely rewarding process
of interpersonal discovery!