Summer Commune FAQ

What’s a Summer Commune?


It’s a diverse & temporary intentional community. It’s like summer camp but with more potlucks and no curfew. It’s a utopian social experiment.

Summer Commune will bring an assortment of people to a small town for two months, where participants will collaborate & work independently to create new art, new media, new technology, and new ideas for a new society. Summer Commune provides attendees with an audience, potential collaborators, and an existential support network.

We hope that Summer Commune proves another world is possible, and that the alternative can be freeing and just as much fun.

Why are we doing this?

The talent in the community we build over each summer could incubate the next stellar start-up, be an opportunity to meet future coworkers, or inspire the next band, novel, web series, or film. And the conversations this experiment encourages will inform how we live when Summer Commune is over.

We are over the idea of starving for our art. We are over being alienated from nature and each other. We want to live in communities where our friends live, but we’re priced out of neighborhoods that gentrify in 10 seconds, and gentrification makes us feel weird, anyhow. We want to live in great communities that we can also afford; our plan is to go somewhere new, together, and to make cool happen wherever we are. (See: This still sounds like gentrification.)

Who should come to Summer Commune?

This is a community built by academics, architects, bakers, bloggers, chefs, designers, DJs, farmers, gardeners,  inventors, musicians, potters, painters, political organizers,  philosophers, poets, producers, visionaries, radicals, spiritualists, students, teachers, travelers, technologists, visual artists, writers, and urban planners.

Summer Commune is for anyone who wants an alternative.

If you can work virtually, you can Summer Commune. The project lasts two months, so it’s not like you have to quit your job.  Start ups and small work teams can relocate temporarily (lease your NY office space, save on overhead), or perhaps you already freelance from home. A sympathetic boss might let you work remotely for the summer (telecommuting can even save the company money). We’ll be moving somewhere with strong broadband connectivity.

This is a project in flux; we’re constantly seeking new collaborators, storytellers, and iterations.


Where is Summer Commune?


Summer Commune is right now through August 15 in lovely Moscow, Idaho. Have a suggestion for Summer Commune 2013? Email us!


What will we do all summer?


At Summer Commune you can record your next album, write your novel, develop your website, grow your own produce, practice yoga, finish your dissertation—whatever you want to do!

Though most days and nights will be unstructured, we’ll definitely be planning potlucks, parties, sporting events, skill exchanges, time banks, salons, happenings, readings, concerts, field trips, and fun times. We’ll have weekly meetings to discuss community issues & to plan events together. Both local & visiting Communers are encouraged to suggest their own events. (See: How can I help?)

Like anywhere else, the summer will be what you make of it. How you choose to participate is up to you.


Where will we all live?


Summer Commune is not a physical space — participants find housing on their own via Craigslist, AirB&B, and other online resources.  Use the For Communers Only Facebook page to find a roommate, find a rental, and share tips about relocating to the area. If you live in the area and would like to visit, send us an email.


Why would I leave Bushwick/Echo Park/The Mission/East Van/Hackney?


“The rent is too damn high!” in The Mission, Capitol Hill, or wherever you’re paying a premium to live.

Outrageous rents are the result of a system that rewards greed over people. When our privileged community gets priced out of previously-undesirable-turned-trendy neighborhoods and moves into cheaper, currently less desirable ones, the process often displaces poorer communities of color who already live there. Underground dive bars pave the way for gourmet cupcake shops that turn into Starbucks franchises.

We are following the national migration trend of moving back to the center of the country because it costs less to live there, and we’re not expecting anyone to make a permanent change.


This still sounds like gentrification.


Though Summer Commune is great for local economies & tourism, its brevity (only 2 months!) prevents it from impacting small towns in lasting negative ways. Our goal is to integrate with good will into the community that exists, not to impose ourselves upon it. We do hope, however, that our ideas linger.


What are your politics?

We love personal freedom but we’re a lot more Abbie Hoffman than Ayn Rand.

How long will Summer Commune last?

Roughly 2 months. Summer Commune 2012 started June 1 and ends August 15.

Can I come for a day, a week, a weekend, a month?


Yes! We understand that not everyone can make a commitment to the full summer, so we’ve made it possible to accommodate weekend guests and short-term visitors. But the longer you can stay the better! If you live in the area and want to visit, email us.


Is this a cult?

Yes, but it’s better than the one that makes you work too hard for not enough money to be able to live around the corner from your friends.

How can I help or become involved?


We’re excited that this is all happening, and that you want to be part of it! Our goal for this summer is to connect Communers with each other, as well as with like-minded people in Moscow, Pullman, and Palouse. Check out our calendar for the time & location of the next Open Meeting & other events.

Get involved by planning an event.

So you’re coming out to Summer Commune with your magic show/reptiles seminar/dance party/knitting workshop and don’t exactly know how to make it happen? We can help you with that. We can help you find a place, a date, and any other resources you need to make a successful event go down. 

Send us an email with the following information you need, and we can help you set it up. 

  • EVENT NAME 
  • DESCRIPTION
  • WHEN DO YOU WANT IT? 
  • WHAT KIND OF SPACE DO YOU NEED?
  • WHAT MATERIALS DO YOU NEED?
  • HOW MANY PEOPLE ARE YOU EXPECTING?
  • DOES THIS EVENT RECUR?

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