March 26th Gala to Celebrate Camphill Movement’s 80-Year Legacy of Compassion and Inclusion

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Harvard Divinity School’s Daniel McKanan to Receive Leadership Award at NYC Benefit

Camphill Hudson Players, Camphill Hudson, inclusive theater

The Camphill Hudson Players, an inclusive theater group, will perform two vignettes from their original production, "Portraits of Us," at Camphill Foundation's 2020 Gala.

This year's Annual Gala celebrates the 80th anniversary of the Camphill movement, founded by Austrian refugees who established a safe place for children with intellectual and developmental disabilities to live in 1940 at the Camphill estate in Aberdeen, Scotland.

On March 26th, Camphill supporters from throughout North America will convene at New York’s Edison Ballroom to celebrate a legacy 80 years in the making.

The cause for celebration dates to 1940, when a group of Austrian refugees led by Dr. Karl König, purchased the Camphill estate in Aberdeen, Scotland. Theirs was a humanitarian mission. Having fled their homeland under Nazi occupation, the founders of the first Camphill community sought to establish a place where they would care for, live with, and educate children with intellectual and developmental disabilities, such as autism and Down syndrome.

In a world where institutionalization or segregation were the norm, the work of these disability rights pioneers was groundbreaking. Following the teachings of philosopher Rudolf Steiner, they sowed the seeds for a global community-building movement. Today, there are 15 Camphill communities and affiliates in North America, and more than 100 in 22 countries worldwide. Thousands of people with and without intellectual and developmental disabilities have lived and worked as part of Camphill, their lives shaped by its unique approach to inclusion.

Camphill Foundation will celebrate this impact—and the people who make it possible—at its Annual Gala at New York’s Edison Ballroom on March 26, 2020. Launched in 1986, the Annual Gala gathers community members and patrons in support of the Camphill movement. The event benefits Camphill Foundation’s grantmaking program. All funds raised go to grants awarded annually to Camphill communities and organizations.

At this year’s Annual Gala, Camphill Foundation will present Daniel McKanan, Ralph Waldo Emerson Unitarian Universalist Association Senior Lecturer at Harvard Divinity School, with the prestigious Camphill Elizabeth Boggs Leadership Award.

McKanan studies religious and spiritual movements for social transformation, and has authored six books, including "Eco-Alchemy: Anthroposophy and the History and Future of Environmentalism" (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2017) and "Camphill and the Future: Spirituality and Disability in an Evolving Communal Movement" (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2020). He has also served as board chair of the International Communal Studies Association.

Past recipients of the Camphill Elizabeth Boggs Leadership Award include author and activist Andrew Solomon; philosopher, theologian, and L’Arche founder Jean Vanier; and author, professor, autism education expert, and animal husbandry pioneer Dr. Temple Grandin.

“From his days as a Camphill volunteer coworker to his ongoing work raising consciousness of Camphill’s vital contributions to humanity and environmentalism, Professor McKanan has done much to advance communities where people of all abilities are embraced and empowered,” said Karen Murphy, Executive Director of Camphill Foundation. “We are thrilled to recognize his achievements during this momentous 80th anniversary celebration.”    

Camphill Foundation’s 2020 Annual Gala will be held at the Edison Ballroom, located at 240 West 47th Street, New York. It will feature a silent auction, as well as a performance by The Camphill Hudson Players, an inclusive theater group based at Camphill Hudson in Hudson, New York. The event is open to all ticket holders.    

Individual tickets to the Camphill Foundation Annual Gala are available for $380. Sponsorships are available at eight levels: Camphill Pioneer ($80,000), Camphill Builder ($25,800), Camphill Benefactor ($15,800), Camphill Sustainer ($10,800), Camphill Sponsor ($8,000), Camphill Partner ($5,800), Camphill Supporter ($2,580), and Camphill Friend ($1,080). Visit bidpal.net/CamphillGALA2020 to purchase tickets or a sponsorship package.    

About Camphill Foundation

Founded in 1966 to support two fledgling Camphill communities in New York and Pennsylvania, Camphill Foundation has grown dramatically over the past six decades. Today, its mission is to grow, strengthen, and safeguard the Camphill movement at 15 Camphill communities and affiliates in the United States and Canada. A 501(c)(3) nonprofit, Camphill Foundation primarily accomplishes this mission by providing strategic grants and low-interest loans that help grow and sustain the Camphill movement. Visit http://www.camphillfoundation.org for details.

About the Camphill Movement

Camphill is a worldwide movement of vibrant lifesharing communities that provide a unique model of care for persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The Camphill movement draws inspiration from the principles of anthroposophy. In valuing the profound significance of each human being, practicing the art of daily living, and emphasizing mindfulness of our responsibility to the earth, the Camphill movement offers a model for social renewal.

Please e-mail amy@camphillfoundation.org with photo requests.

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Amy Syracuse
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