Friday, December 16, 2011

Beauty Shop Music Residency update

Residency gets $1000 grant from Iowa Arts Council for January!!!!

Wade creates an amazing video about the program, and about the December residency!!!

The Beauty Shop Music Residency Month One from Wade Koch on Vimeo.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Workshop building update

We've got a team working on setting up the workshop building on the NW corner of the property into a woodworking shop. There had been plans to do a work day this Sunday, but that has postponed. Here's why (from Roland):

So because the utilities to the building have been off for so long, Alliant has advised that we need to have an electrical contractor certify that the electrical is up to (the state) code, and have an hvac contractor certify the NG piping & fitting. Also, Connelly has not been able to drop off a dumpster yet.

We are postponing the Sunday work day until we can get the utilities organized (due to the potential cost that may be needed to bring the wiring to code).

We are looking at the option of beginning the workshop in the 3-bay garage between buildings. I'll send more on that soon.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Bonnell U update

We met yesterday to discuss the next steps for Bonnell University (BU), and we are excited about taking the next steps to making this educational alternative available to more people in the near future. (For more info on BU, go to

Attendees: Anna Bruen, Andrew Perry, Colin Heaton, Gabe Kretchmer, myself

What we talked about/next steps:

Monday, November 14, 2011

Images for site planning - St. Mary's property

Beginning the process of a site plan for St. Mary's property, gathering some base images for use by the group.

First image is from Avi Pogel, second is from the Jefferson County Assessors office (, third and forth are from a SketchUp drawing I threw together.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

New Chicago meeting

New Chicago is the Fairfield neighborhood centered around 4th St. between the railroad tracks and Hempstead Ave. We had been approached by one of the property owners in this neighborhood to discuss possible collaboration with the St. Mary's project, so last night we met with three of the property owners to begin that discussion.

In attendance were: Andrew Perry, Channing Congdon, Kyla Utegaard, Emanuel Schachinger and myself representing BBP/St. Mary's, and New Chicago property owners Rob Davidson, Paul Glossop and Victor Tichy.

For me the most important points from the meeting were:

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Organizing the Kitchen Team

Initial introductions of contributors and tours of the kitchen have taken place, building on the already mounting excitement of producing food for our community with emphasis on high love content. Current creations envisioned include croissants, pastries, specialty cakes, bagels and bread made by your friends and neighbors. A community food sharing concept is incubating and holds great potential for local gardeners/farmers to put their produce to good work in the hands of caring and knowledgeable culinary artists. Cooperation between this project and Pathfinders, a non-profit organization that works with local citizens to develop and implement various projects that benefit the local community, is already taking place.

We have tested the electric oven which proves to be in good working order. The gas oven and range has been lit but not tested. We plan to have a freezer by the end of the week and a refrigerator purchase is in the works. Anyone interested in donating/building work surfaces, prep tables, shelving or heavy duty kitchen carts should contact Michael Emerson,

The local health inspector has been contacted and the ball has been set rolling to certify the space for safe, legal food preparation.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Tiny Homes

There are a bunch of people involved in our project interested in building and living in tiny homes, including Victor Orne, Zoe Kivio, Taylor Ross, Andrew Perry, and Jim Cassidy (check out the house he's building).

Taylor wants to build one for the Beauty Shop Music Residency Program.

Lane Weaver shared an amazing tiny homes video with us yesterday, thinking we could even build some of these to have inside the Artists Residency living quarters space in the St. Mary's building. Whadya all think?

Bonnell University

Bonnell University has been going on for some time informally, and we now have a team working on making it more explicitly available for people to plug into. Here is my take on what it is.

Bonnell University is not actually a university in the way it is usually defined - namely a campus with degree programs, a faculty, courses, and students - but is intended to be an alternative for those for whom the traditional university system is not completely meeting their needs. It is a container to support self-driven, peer-to-peer, open, integrated learning and development. We believe that this kind of container or space can be a more effective and efficient way for many people to learn and grow.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

BE U Lounge ideas

As a result of some discussions we had over the last weeks, we came up with the idea of creating a lounge space for people to stop by, get info about the project, see whats going on, hang out, have fun, and get involved.

Here is my brainstorm about the lounge:
First we need to clarify some things around that though:
functions that it should perform?

here is my shot at it:
Goal is to provide a space for people who are new to the Bonnell Building Project and the St. Mary's Project, to see what the project is about, where it came from, what we do, how we operate, etc.
It should also be a space where people can just come, relax, hang out, and have fun.
also we would like to communicate information and tools we use.

Friday, November 4, 2011

St. Mary's & BU Workshops coming up

We are in the process of organizing 4 workshops/meetings for the St.Mary's project.
Yesterday we had our first meeting around content and ideas.
The four workshops came out of discussions we had with people interested in the project with the idea of presenting some of our frameworks and connecting with people interested.

  • Communication workshop
  • Spiral Dynamics Introduction
  • Intergenerational Integration
  • New Chicago Community integration
The goal is to present some of our resources, to connect with people that are interested in the project and to enhance our own skills. Furthermore we are hoping to provide positive experiences, and reach out to the people in Fairfield!

On the next pages you can see a summary of our brainstorm...

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Green House Project

Ok, since i can't wait to post something, ill give a short summary of yesterdays meeting around the green house.

We had a good group of people at the school house to discuss the potential of a community green house.
The people involved:

Lead: Eric Randall
possible greenhouse design
Colin Heaton, Steve cooperman, Bill Runyan, Alexi Toraji,  Wendi Bruen, Sascha Kyssa, John Freeberg, Avi Pogel, Taylor Ross.

Eric Randall has been taking awesome lead in this project. 
The idea is to create a greenhouse to strengthen the community and maybe start a gift community feeling.

some possible uses are:

Personal food use
Community use
Community kitchen
Plant propagation

Space Jam

We have formed a team - which we are calling Space Jam - that is reviewing requests for space usage at the Bonnell Building and St. Mary's property. Members include Emanuel Schachinger, Colin Heaton, Joseph Mayfield, Taylor Ross, and myself. If you have a need for space, please email

(Steve Cooperman)


We have created this blog for sharing general information about what is going on with the Bonnell Building Project, and particularly at the St. Mary's property, in the early days of deciding what will be going on there. Plans are in the works to create a site with more of the details of individual projects and how to get involved, but for now, hopefully this will be a good way to keep in the loop.

(Steve Cooperman)