On our blog, in our “Contributor Series”, we will be featuring our speakers and contributors at the Forum, so you can get to know the individual, their work, and their passion, before you arrive at the end of August.

laura-summer-bio-pic-e1498089986825Laura Summer

Painter & Co-Founder of Free Columbia



“Though culture is often marginalized, the health of society is actually completely dependent upon it. Culture is the wellspring from which all economic and political forms and reforms are born. 

 We can understand it as the realm of creativity – the domain where individual capacities are nurtured and given expression through education, art, science, religion and spirituality. ” – In discussing “Free Culture”, from Free Columbia

Free Columbia

free columba banne.jpg

fc puppetsMission:

To provide an artistic course of study out of the inspiration of Anthroposophy which seeks to promote and ignite freedom.

The Story:

Free Columbia is about change – change in ourselves, change in the world. It is about learning to perceive through color, form, movement, creative process and thinking. Learning to perceive what is needed, what is being asked for from the world. It is about new social forms of interacting, of understanding, of financing.

The Free Columbia Art Courses are intensive explorations into art. Currently ongoing painting blocks are available, as are week-long intensives in the summer and winter, after school classes for children, once a week practical arts classes, evening lectures, a study group, music performances and artist residencies.

philmont window

Free Columbia is based on an understanding of the importance of creating independent and accessible educational and artistic opportunities.  There are no set tuitions. Suggested donation amounts based on what it costs to run courses are provided.  It is possible to make a monthly pledge to support Free Columbia as well.

Free Columbia takes place in rural Columbia County, New York, 2 hours north of NYC.  It is supported by people all over the country.


 Free Columbia has 5 books available here.

Laura Summer is a painter and co-founder of Free Columbia, an arts initiative that is financially accessible to everyone. She has been working with questions of color and contemporary art for 25 years. Her work, to be found in private collections in the US and Europe, has been exhibited at the National Museum of Catholic Art and History in New York City and at the Sekem Community in Egypt. She founded two temporary alternative exhibition spaces in Hudson NY, 345 Collaborative Gallery and Raising Matter-this is not a gallery and initiated ART DISPERSAL 2012-17 where 450 pieces of art by professional artists have been dispersed to the public without set prices.

Ready to join our cultural collective and see free culture in action with Laura Summer? Join us in LA at our forum, from August 31st-September 4th, 2017.

Register here!

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