Nonstop’s Big Adventure

May 7th, 2009

By Diane Chiddister, Yellow Springs News — read the original editorial here.

It’s hard to overstate the ways that the Nonstop Liberal Arts Institute has enriched this community. After Nonstop launched in September, Yellow Springs hummed all year long.

Has any small town experienced the sort of rich intellectual and cultural life that Yellow Springs enjoyed, thanks to Nonstop’s classes, workshops and Nonstop Presents? Every week brought new lectures, films or conversations on complex, contemporary issues, ranging from urban youth to peak oil, Hiroshima to feminist theory. Poets read poems, dancers danced, singers sang and many of us danced and sang right along.

Some of us stretched ourselves taking classes, whether studying photography or French or finally getting around to learning the history of jazz or the roots of the Middle East crisis. Along with encountering new information, we encountered each other in new ways.

Nonstop brought to town splendid young people, who serenaded us downtown with their drums and guitars, made unique fashion statements and taught us all the meaning of community when Hurricane Ike swept through. And especially, Nonstop allowed our friends and neighbors, the former Antioch College faculty and staff, to stay in their homes and community.

Nonstop gave many of us courage. As villagers despaired at the closing of Antioch College, Nonstop showed that a few people with outsized dreams, talents and caring can pull off almost anything, including creating a college from scratch.

It will be wonderful if alumni leaders succeed in their efforts to revive Antioch College. But it will be a huge mistake if those leaders don’t include the Nonstop community as valued partners in the revival. More than anything this year, Nonstop kept alive the unique values, gumption and spirit of Antioch College. That story is what sets this college apart.

Villagers have an opportunity to celebrate Nonstop at its commencement this Saturday. Thank you, Nonstop, for including this little town in your big adventure.