Hancock Shaker Village to Host Peace Conference in September

Hancock Shaker Village and the Center for Peace through Culture to Co-Present Peace Conference and Festival on September 17


Pittsfield, Mass. — Hancock Shaker Village and the Center for Peace through Culture will co-present Pathways to Peaceful Living: Tools and Explorations, a one-day peace conference and concurrent festival on Saturday, September 17, 2011 from 9  to 5  at Hancock Shaker Village. The goal of the event is to raise awareness and consciousness about diverse peaceful practices, from the past and the present, that inspire people to live more peaceful lives.

Congressman Dennis Kucinich of Ohio will give the keynote address. There will be 18 workshops addressing peace through the lens of the individual, relationships, community, and the world. In conjunction with the conference, there will be festival activities stationed throughout Hancock Shaker Village, such as Native American ceremonies, dances of universal peace, New Games, storytelling, face painting, Tai Chi, musical entertainment, and an exhibit of the art of Nicholas Roerich.  There will also be a concert Saturday evening in the Round Stone Barn (details TBA). The festival activities will be open to all visitors to the Village that day – not just conference attendees.




The interactive workshops at the Pathways to Peaceful Living conference will be organized around five themes: 1) religion, spirituality, and philosophy; 2) arts and creativity; 3) science, wellness, health, and environment; 4) education, parents, youth, and family; and 5) economics, politics, and justice. The nationally known presenters include Daniel Entin from the Nicholas Roerich Museum, Donald Goodrich, whose son was killed on 9/11, Colin Goddard a Virginia Tech Survivor, Charles A. Pillsbury the executive director of Mediators Beyond Borders, and Nancy Roof from Kosmos Journal.  Berkshire County workshop presenters are Mathew Breuer, Will Conklin from Greenagers, Margo and Lawrence Davis – Hollander, Rachel Fletcher, Ani Grosser, Bryn and William Hogan, Nanette Hucknall, Kaya Stern- Kaufman, Deb Koffman, Dr. Susan Lord, Anealisa Vanegas-Farrara from Manosunidas, Natalie Shiras, Yaquin Joseph Aubert, Pat Simon, JoAnne Spies, and Rosa Zubizarreta.

“We hope that visitors to the peace conference will leave with a heightened belief in their ability to make a difference, including some clear and perhaps simple ways to express peace in their lives,” said Barbara Boughton, executive director of the Center for Peace through Culture.


“Although there is a long tradition of working for peace among many religious and social justice groups, we believe that in the 21st century, there has emerged an unprecedented recognition of the urgency of the search for peace, not least because the consequences of not realizing peaceful coexistence are becoming ever more catastrophic,” added Peter Hansen, interim director of the Village. “The Shakers’ name for what we now call Hancock Shaker Village was the ‘City of Peace.’”


When people speak about the search for peace, they can mean anything from personal meditation practice, to politically challenging international work with governments in conflict. In between are a range of initiatives that explore peaceful relations at the personal, family, school, community, and societal levels. The Pathways to Peaceful Living conference recognizes that meaningful efforts toward peace can and should happen in all these ways, and respects that people will be drawn to work differently, some personally and some more publicly.


Registration for Pathways to Peaceful Living is $90 prior to July 31, 2011. Registration fees include the keynote address and attendance at three Peace Workshops, as well as festival activities throughout the day and general admission to Hancock Shaker Village. Tickets to the evening concert will be sold separately. To register, see www.hancockshakervillage.org.



The Center for Peace through Culture (CPC) envisions a world connected and enriched, rather than divided, by diversity.  The CPC is dedicated to creating peace from the individual to the community to the world. The CPC also brings people together from various arts, sciences, and philosophies, and from diverse cultures to explore new ways of thinking and problem solving. Programs include Greenagers, Monterey Meets Ngalla, and educational workshops. This international non-profit educational organization is based in Great Barrington, Mass.  For more information, visit www.centerforpeacethroughculture.org.



Situated on a picturesque expanse of farm, field, and woodland in Pittsfield, Mass., Hancock Shaker Village is an outdoor living history museum and center for the study of principled living in the 21st century. The fully restored Village includes 18 historic buildings, heirloom medicinal and vegetable gardens, 22,000 examples of Shaker furniture, crafts, tools, and clothes that depict daily life at the Shakers’ City of Peace through its 220 years, as well as heritage breed farm animals and spectacular hiking trails. There are daily tours, craft and cooking demonstrations, lectures and workshops, and a variety of activities for children and families, as well as a Museum Store and Shaker-inspired cuisine at the Village Harvest Café. The Discovery Room offers hands-on opportunities for kids of all ages to try their hand at chair seat weaving, working at a loom, trying on Shaker-style clothing, or milking a life-sized replica of a cow. An interactive audio tour (free with admission) is available in English, French, Italian, and German. For more information, call 800.817.1137 or see www.hancockshakervillage.org.


Hancock Shaker Village is located on Route 20 in Pittsfield, Mass., just west of the junction of Routes 20 and 41. For GPS purposes, the Village is located at 34 Lebanon Mountain Rd., Hancock, Mass. 01237. Or, enter 1843 W. Housatonic St., Pittsfield, Mass. 01201 then proceed 1/2 mile further west on Rt. 20 to the parking lot.



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