Nonstop Inspiration

Dec 11th, 2008

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

As the Nonstop Liberal Arts Institute wraps up its first semester, it’s a good time to acknowledge the many ways that Nonstop has enriched village life.

Nonstop community members enriched Yellow Springs by believing fiercely in the traditions and values of Antioch College, choosing to carry on those traditions even after the campus was closed. Nonstop reminded us that the magic of learning has little to do with expensive buildings or high-tech equipment, and everything to do with dedicated teachers and passionate learners, engaged in exploration and critical inquiry.

Nonstop enriched Yellow Springs by including all of us in their adventure. Has any village of less than 4,000 had so many opportunities for thinking, learning and talking about critical current issues? This fall villagers could attend free public programs on environmental sustainability, higher education, the judicial process, the economy and American social justice, among other topics. Daylong workshops and regular classes offered opportunities to study jazz, dance, performance art, Islam, sustainable agriculture, anthropology, and the philosophy of revolutions. Young people and elders, villagers and college students came together in ways they hadn’t before.

Nonstop organizers built this new venture from scratch, on a shoestring budget, holding tight to the unique but challenging Antioch College model of transparent and inclusive governance. While many at Nonstop must feel exhausted by now, they can also feel proud. They took a huge risk, and they succeeded. Next month, they’ll begin their second semester, offering villagers more opportunities to take part in this exciting experiment.

This Saturday evening at The Emporium, Nonstop is throwing a party to thank the community. But this tiny group of teachers and learners are the ones who deserve our thanks. Most of all, Nonstop enriched the village by inspiring us with their example of audacity, perseverance, and the glory of winning a victory for humanity.