Learning is an essential dimension of true healing, and it emerges through dialogue. We believe that we are designed to learn better through conversation, story, and art. Our love of learning and our need for healing forge our destinies—individual and collective.

Our arts and education programs create spaces for learning and healing as a community. The New School at Commonweal has more than 3,000 partners exploring nature, culture, and the inner life in live conversations, talks, art exhibits and musical events, many of which are available in our audio podcast and video library. EDGE: The Center for Creative Community is a new program exploring dialogue, cognition, creativity and community. We invite you to browse through all of our arts and education programs, below. Virtually all Commonweal programs are essentially educational in nature; the Institute for the Study of Health and Illness (ISHI) curricula for medical students and nurses are explicitly educational.

Visual Thinking Strategies

Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS) is a method initiated by teacher-facilitated discussions of art images and documented to have a cascading positive effect on both teachers and students. It is perhaps the simplest way in which teachers and schools can provide students with key behaviors sought by Common Core Standards.

Gift of Compassion

The Gift of Compassion focuses on under-served and under-resourced communities, integrating ancient practices with current conditions to help bring clarity and healing into the lives of both youth and adults. The program uses art as a portal to meditation and contemplative practice, creating opportunities for difference to merge as oneness. In pursuit of this experience, […]

Arts and Healing Work

Commonweal has a long history as a center for art and healing. We have seen the value of the arts as a vehicle to and modality for self expression, inspiration, and healing. The connection between the two runs as a thread through many of our programs, most notably the Commonweal Cancer Help Program, Healing Circles, the Center […]

The New School at Commonweal

The New School presents conversations, readings, and performances with thought and action leaders of our time. The New School presents conversations, book signings, art, and lectures. Most of our events are free, and so are our podcasts and videos—200 on iTunes, Soundcloud, Vimeo, and our Library.

The Center for Creative Community

The Center for Creative Community (C3) at Commonweal explores the intersection of dialogue, cognition, creativity, and community. C3 seeks to deepen our exploration of complex issues in our world—issues that many Commonweal programs confront daily.

Regenerative Design Institute at Commonweal Garden

The Commonweal Garden is a beautiful 17-acre site in Bolinas, California—just down the road from the Commonweal Administrative Building—which has been developed into a large-scale living permaculture classroom and demonstration center for regenerative design.

In 2003, Penny Livingston Stark and James Stark became the caretakers of the Commonweal Garden land, bringing with them the expertise they had developed over decades of landscaping, permaculture design and education, and nature awareness education. The Regenerative Design Institute (RDI) was born. The Regenerative Design Institute, which has cultivated and developed Commonweal Garden, offer programs in permaculture, leadership, nature awareness, and urban homesteading.