Woodfolk 10 Year Anniversary!
On Saturday, May 16th we celebrated 10 years of Woodfolk “putting the crazy back into community,” and honored the many folks who have helped create this amazing place over the past 10+ years! Alexis Zeigler, former Twin Oaker moved to Charlottesville in the mid-ninties. Around 1998 he bought the property that was to become Woodfolk House. The first semi-official collective of people began the communal life of the house in 1999.
Alexis’s initial intention was to create a community that could support folks with mental health issues. The house has served this purpose for many folks, as well as serving as an important hub for activism and funky culture in C’ville.
There are few ways to get people together easier than the 10 year anniversary of a place that has been important to so many people. Folks came out from Twin Oaks, Acorn, Shannon Farm, and Open Circle Community. Many former Woodfolk Residents joined the festivities throughout the day, including some that hadn’t been back in years. The theme was to dress up as your favorite former, current, or future Woodfolk Resident. We had several Spots!, though the dog himself was dressed as former resident Kiery Kat.
The party was an all day affair–folks began trickling in around 2pm, snacking on garden salad and chatting. A contingent of die-hard discers went down to Tonsler park for a game of Ultimate Frisbee. Alexis led several tours throughout the day, focusing on the extensive orchard he has lovingly cultivated over the years. It now numbers over 40 trees!
In the late afternoon, we gathered in the living room and folks shared their talents open-mic style, including music, belly dancing, miming, and a special guest appearance by future Woodfolk Resident, Barack Obama! The talent was interspersed by tales of Woodfolk yore. Choice quote: “Alexis is something of a master at the make-it-up-as-you-go-along method.”
After the open mic, we organically morphed into the “something like dinner” portion of the day, with lots of grilled organic meat and tempeh (thanks Rob!), as well as tons of delicious food provided by our many guests. Alexis made 3 giant apple crisps. 2 were forgetten in the oven for several hours, but by the end of the night they had all been devoured. Folks lingered outside among the fruit trees and in the beautiful sunny living room.
After dinner, we had music from the lovely and enchanting Maya Solovey (a friend of Twin Oaks who is definitely now a friend of Woodfolk House), and then the brewing storm finally exploded as the Accordian Death Squad took the stage. Folks began to swing their hips to those crazy Ratsylvanian melodies and we had a crew of toddling, dancing babies right up front. The house filled up with folks escaping the storm, and eventually a few masked men entered the stage at the end of ADS’s set, leading folks upstairs for the Nectar Bats Noise Jam. Chris and John, current Woodfolk residents and the resident Nectar Bats created a fantastic noise jam rock out session in their room. A crowd of folks (including some ecstatic kids) slam danced with abandon.
Eventually, the downstairs scene morphed into a dance party with DJ equanimouse taking over with some funky beats. Both levels of the room were crammed full of gyrating bodies, and folks danced hard for hours. Eventually, DJ Teonactl (aka Chris) took over to close out the night. By 1:30, the only folks left were us housies and a few stray folks staying on the couch. We estimate 150 – 200 folks came by over the course of the whole day, with about 100 people packed into every public space and most private rooms at the peak of the evening. It was an a truly awesome event, the perfect commemoration for Woodfolk’s 10th year.
(Sadly, we failed to take any pics during the party – but some pics of the house will appear on the blog shortly.)