Note:  These are rough notes; other comments will be posted as time allows. (sh)

Spirit of Split Tree

A Split Tree "Next Steps" meeting was held Sunday, July 27 at the farm.   It was organized by Atlanta composer/pianist Allan Dynin and STF volunteer house manager Kendra Moon to talk about the future of STF, board/advisory committees, events, sleeping/shower facilites needed, paid/volunteer help, philosophy and vision issues such as the current "participatory arts emphasis," concert possibilities, dinner/music/dance events, co-housing development on our 200 acres, fund-raising, and more.  About 15 people from Atlanta, Nashville, and Chattanooga attended.  At the top of the agenda was the possibility of joining CDSS (Country Dance and Song Society) as a non-profit, tax-exempt associate member eligible for low-cost dance/event insurance.  Those gathering were not an in-group of select insiders but representatives of all STF participants regardless of residence who are connected with our idea and place.  From written and shared notes a statement of purpose emerged and a draft is being prepared by Allan Dynin for review by those atttending and others interested.  A mission statement and summary of the meeting will be emailed to the STF list and posted here by mid-August. Suggestions and comments can be emailed to: splittree [@]

Writing Cabin Status

Labor Day crew chinks three external sides of the writing cabin; adds outdoor showers; pipes solar hot water to hot tub, weeds flower garden, and more.  The crew included, according to Bart Ruark, actually two separate crews neither knowing of the other until they met on the front lawn (Sid was on a working (?) vacation at Pinewoods Dance camp and Omega):  Chief Chinkers - Bonnie Davis & Anna Sue Courtney;  Chief lawn mowers - Becky Forster & Patty Altenbernt; Chief helper - Bart Ruark; Chief Chief - Don Walker - Master plumber, electrician, fix it all Chief; Chief chef - extraordinaire - Becky Forster.  

Bonnie Davis as as 9/18/97 has chinked two inside walls; more volunteers needed.

Sept. 6, 1997                               VISION STATEMENT DRAFT

Please email us your comments, suggestions at splittree [@] and indicate if your text may be posted on the Next Steps page for others to read.

We appreciate Allan's excellent efforts on this first draft of a STF mission statement. Sid Hetzler


Vision/Mission Statement Draft from STF "Next Steps" meeting July 27, 1997 at the farm.

by Allan Dynin, coordinating our writes and discussion notes and priority listing


        Our intent at Split Tree is to be a "safe space," metaphorically and physically, for experiencing personal expansion and community through shared creative activities. By immersion in participatory events (dance, music, movement and more) in a serene and compelling retreat space--nurtured further by both an inclusive atmosphere of belonging and high spirits--we experience regeneration of our life energy and dreams. This frequently encountered result has emerged due to an interplay of factors which we are committed to maintaining. They include the inherent beauty of the land and surrounding mountians, a sensitive architecture, a visionary leadership, and, most of all, structures, both physical and social, that have been built and sustained by a base of volunteer/participants.

         Split Tree intends for its visitors to experience a range of traditional and innovative activities varying from exploring waltz styles to musical improvisation to free writing in a tolerant, healthy communal atmosphere conducive to playfulness and intimacy. All this lends itself to participants leaving with a sense of enlivened fulfillment. The Split Tree emphasis on community entails the past and future reality of artists and other committed individuals living on the property, and contributing to Split Tree activities while they personally develop.

        Split Tree means to nurture not only each participant's "inner artist," but also to support local, regional and national artists, workshop leaders, and performers whose talents and energy match the Split Tree vision. Thus, one of our commitments is to use, to the fullest extent possible, live music for events. Additionally, through personal inspiration gained while here, we fully expect numerous individuals to recharge expressive and creative activities in their home communities while contributing to, and hopefully becoming a part of, our community here.

        Amid the soul stultifying overload of ever faster streams of "information" and media stimuli, Split Tree is a haven where life can slow down to focus on doing and being in a way that is truly satisfying. We look forward with excitement to Split Tree's continued growth as a oasis where meaning and joy, and communion with self, nature, and others can be sought and found.


Draft notes by Bart Ruark:

Hi Sid -

Going over some of the notes from the mtg last Sunday. See attached.

Feel free to share w/ whoever. Also will the contact list be available?

Regards, Bart


Thoughts/words from meeting on 7/27/97

Words/phrases that help describe STF from the writings of those

present. Re-arranged by Bart Ruark 8/2/97 from the initial order

(which was random to begin w/) into some groupings. There is no

significance of position between or within groups - just an attempt to

find some connections in the chaos of creativity.

Levels of abstraction


Living Traditions


Commune w/ self/others/nature


Free flowing form guided by organization

Push past ourselves - limitations

Fear - Excitement - Anticipation

Self Discovery thru creative process

Personal growth thru the arts

Re-Creation / recreation



Simultaneous leading & following

Acute sensitivity to others from within


'Mountains are like arms surrounding me w/ love'

Open Acceptance - Nuturing






'Safe Place' - sacred space for creativitiy - healthy

Built & Sustained by participants

Playful soulmates


Hi Sid -

More from notes I took. See attached.


Meeting to consider 'Next Steps' for STF

7/27/97 at STF

Those present:

Sid Hetzler

Dave Karas

Jim & Peggy Pierce

Bonnie Davis

Dee Tison

Marilyn ???? (Friend of Dave K)

Phyllis & Dan Bowles

Becky Forster

Gana Van Laanan

Don Walker

Alan Dynin

Kendra Roberts

Bart Ruark

Intro by Sid

Writing exercise

Reading of writes

Distillation of writing into key words/phrases.

Alan Dynin volunteered to write mission statement.

Much discussion of mission and analysis of words.

Live vs recorded music discussion - left it as 'live whenever possible'.