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Housing / 2013

SelfSustainable Artistic Community

SelfSustainable Artistic Community

Idea submitted in the My LA2050 Maker Challenge by ValhalLA

A community of a self-sustainable Earthships where artistic and innovative youths, (though not solely limited to this demographic), may pursue their dreams. This would serve as a sister community to Valhalla Montreal. We do not have the opportunity to act on our dreams at an early age. This freedom requires money. We become trapped. Youth is wasted in a materialistic and capitalistic world as we vie to become financially secure enough to pursue our passions. We get caught in the pursuit of material fulfillment. We become jaded. We lose sight of our true selves. Few die happy or fulfilled. Our dreams are stunted. Our energy is wasted in support of a business model that provides little for humanity's greater good. We have no option than to partake in the rat race. Unless we are blessed by being born into the correct family or experiencing a wild stroke of luck, we cannot survive and succeed in the physical manifestation of our innermost artistic desires. We have little time to spend on the person that truly matters: ourselves. Self-sustainable communities have the potential to revolutionize not just Los Angeles... but the world. They require a pioneer investment, but from that point forward sustain themselves by the upkeep of their inhabitants. After all is established and runs smoothly, money may cease as a necessity. Each day would be devoted toward inner growth and creating whichever art form we wished to pursue. There would be free exchange of materials. 
If inhabitants lived in complete harmony and felt positive energy toward their beautiful community, any negative tension or struggle for power would be eliminated. A screening process would be implemented until proven unnecessary. This society can only flourish with positive people who demonstrate true compassion. These people would channel their energy into its love, abundance, growth, and advancement. There are many negative beings who do not well-wish the world at present. If they were to became members early-on, their thoughts and vibrations could cause the community to fail. This is why Valhalla Montreal has an application process that includes multiple interviews and tasks to test the talent of potential members. Structure and stagnancy would entail a few hours daily devoted to community upkeep. Upkeep would be crafted in a fun, engaging manner. This would be views as acts of loving kindness that respect and nurture the environment that offers them its support, (cleaning, building, harvesting food, etc). A mandatory hour of daily meditation would be tailored as the individual sees fit. This would provide internal growth, healing, and evolution of well-being. It would be highly recommended that an hour be devoted to daily exercise. The body is a temple. It is the only thing we truly own. Exercise stimulates endorphins. Endorphins make us feel better and provide us with more energy. Innovative and fun exercise classes would be offered. Various offbeat and "un-mainstream" or uncommon classes and discussions about any and all interests would be offered. Different divisions would include: art, song, dance, poetry, sculpture, innovation, holistic healing, culinary, gardening, etc. Collaboration between divisions would be highly recommended. Major goals are to make everything as creative, innovative, thought-provoking, positive, and unique as possible. This would require members to think beyond, break boundaries, and firmly believe that anything is possible. Community participants would be surrounded by nurturing and open-minded people who do not pass judgement. It is hypothesized that, under such circumstances, members would feel such bliss that word of this lifestyle would spread. Others would open their minds, challenge their beliefs, and consider a new perspective toward community and reason for existence. Unlike other ‘hippie communities’, we are not shutting ourselves off from the world. We are doing everything possible to make this lifestyle universally appealing. We will be as loud as possible so that we’re either loved or hated, but never unheard of. The art, ideas, and inventions that could come to fruition from such surroundings would be of high commodity in the marketplace, should a system centered on monetary value continue to exist. It is time to try something new. The old methods have been tried and are not true. Once this idea is tested, there is no doubt of its success. Yes, it is an idea vastly different from that which we are accustomed; a functioning base for all ideas that have changed the world.

What are some of your organization’s most important achievements to date?

Valhalla Montreal formed in the summer of 2012. They then launched the website and spread the word to garner support. They have 60 acres of land and will begin building this spring. They have raised almost $8,000 of $10,000 in 4 days through Kickstarter for the first 100% off-the-grid, affordable, low-maintanence greenhouse. Valhalla Washington has also started taking its first steps toward spreading awareness so that it may also sprout into a sister site.

Please identify any partners or collaborators who will work with you on this project.

Valhalla LA is a seed that hopes to spread into a forest. Apart from Valhalla Montreal, this project does not currently have any local partners or collaborators… though a meetup was created earlier this week! However, it has also not had enough time to build its resources. Once awareness is spread, this will change. Valhalla Montreal was formed last summer and already has plans to begin building this spring. There are many groups in Los Angeles that work on and support the varying aspects necessary for Valhalla LA to thrive. LA2050 is the best opportunity to allow these moving parts to come together to advance the common goal of community and change.

Please explain how you will evaluate your project. How will you measure success?

Success will first be measured by awareness and support. People need to be inspired and willing to group together to create a self-sustainable community. The determination of its individuals mixed with the varying degrees of talent, ideas, and skills are what will cause Valhalla LA to truly take off. The next step is to put the idea in motion. This will happen quickly as word of the idea spreads. After Valhalla LA is created, success will be measured by the happiness and health index of its people. The ultimate goal is to make self-sustainable communities mainstream.

How will your project benefit Los Angeles?

Earthships are modernized sustainable structures made from recyclable materials. They are 100% off-the-grid. They heat and cool themselves. They provide their own energy, food, and water. Bills, utilities, and grocery bills then become extinct. This allows members complete freedom. Each Earthship hosts 1-2 greenhouses with the ability to produce crops year-round. Water is recycled through a rain-harvesting system and is used for showers, toilet-water, and plants. It can even work in an LA climate with minimal rain! Tires filled with dirt comprise an Earthship. They absorb and store solar heat, so temperatures within homes register around 70 degrees in any weather condition. There are an overabundance of discarded tires; supply would not be a problem. Walls are made of a mixture of concrete + plastic and glass bottles. Solar panels provide the home with energy. This project addresses each indicator. It would benefit Los Angeles in all aspects. It would: improve the environment by eliminating fossil fuels and other hazardous chemicals that damage our health, create cheap housing, provide organic food, allow inhabitants complete freedom to create a new culture in a social community that encourages collaboration and artistic expression, and would allow us to experience a well-rounded education tailored to our interests. We would also learn how to build homes and support ourselves by being resourceful and respecting our environment, instead of destroying it for profitable gain. We would have more time. We would use this time to be healthy, to learn, to work together, and to produce things that could cause the world to truly progress.

What would success look like in the year 2050 regarding your indicator?

We will have prevented our current problems in time to save our future. Success of self-sustainable communities will spread, and LA will have transformed into an all-inclusive sustainable city. Its inhabitants will have the freedom to follow their dreams and create what they desire. Each person will be seen as an individual and will express themselves without judgement. All will be conscious of their impact on the environment and will be extremely resourceful. We will work together for the greater good.