We chose our board of directors for their experience in leadership, management, business start-ups, fundraising, accounting, nonprofits, advocacy and community organizing, and for their creativity, compassion, intelligence and integrity. Each director has a deep understanding of Terra Cultura’s mission and vision. And each of them has a unique reason for investment in the project, lending insight into various entry points to the complex ecosystem that is Terra Cultura.
Some of them are excited about cultivating sustainable practices in the ways we eat, live and relate to one another. Some are passionate about the multi-disciplinary Creatives-In-Residence program. Some are most interested in the community component, and offering a gathering place for events, education and cultural engagement. Some are inspired by the charitable practices of giving back to the community, nourishing bodies and minds in ways that help the environment. Some see Terra Cultura as a project that addresses many of the problems they see in the world today under one umbrella organization. Some are eager for the campfires and cooking, the good food, good people, and good stories that we’ll share through our collaborations and contemplations. Some are excited to come teach, create and cultivate. Whatever their reasons for choosing to spend their time building this collective dream, we, the executive team, are gushing with gratitude.
Some people look at the nonprofit organizational structure and say: that’s a lot of bureaucracy, a lot of cooks in the kitchen. But I can certainly say this crew knows how to get things done and how to have fun. We spent June 9-11 in the lush mountains of Tahoe for our first annual board retreat, and we accomplished so much. Along with incredibly informative workshops on meeting facilitation and leadership, collaborative skills, fundraising, and nonprofit financing, we did some great brainstorming and planning for the next 6 months. During our meeting, the board officially hired the executive team, approved the budget and discussed some exciting upcoming events and programs. Though our bylaws require that decisions be made by voting, we honor a culture of building consensus, and all resolutions were passed unanimously.
The weekend also included a treasure hunt, some collaborative poetry composition and songwriting, a trust walk, a vegan/gluten-free birthday cake, campfires & s’mores, a trust walk, an origami lesson, music jams and much discussion on what sort of alien species Persie pup is. The conversations around what we have accomplished and where we are headed were inspiring and motivating.
On the way home, the freshly hired executive team visited four properties and settled on two to present to the board as potential future sites of Terra Cultura. It’s all very exciting. Thanks for traveling down this wild, meandering trail with us.