Camphill Soltane was founded in Chester County in 1988. The founders of Camphill Soltane recognized the gap in educational opportunities and choice of work for young adults with special needs. They envisioned a Camphill community that would provide a college-like experience for these young people to facilitate their transition into adulthood.
Camphill Soltane was founded in Chester County in 1988, as a lifesharing, college-like supports model for people with disabilities. The initial intention of the community was to augment lifesharing disability supports already provided by nearby Camphill communities: Camphill Special School, which serves grades K - 12 in an educational setting; and Camphill Village Kimberton Hills, which serves adults in a long term vocational setting. Over the course of its existence, Soltane has cultivated a strong horticultural initiative, developed numerous art and craft offerings, and has opened inclusive business operations; all while serving countless individuals in residential, educational, and vocational capacities.
All Camphill communities are based on a spiritual understanding of the human being. Anthroposophy (literally “wisdom of the human being”) was conceived by Dr. Rudolf Steiner of Austria in the early 20th century. Insights from Anthroposophy have given rise to Camphill communities, Waldorf education, biodynamic agriculture, and new forms of medicine, therapies, and the arts. All share a common dream of social, cultural, and economic renewal.
Soltane sees the vision of a threefold social order achieved through the conscious development of community, cultural, and enterprise-based initiatives. We develop inclusive community, both on our estate in Glenmoore as well as in the greater community. We develop culture by sustaining a rich festival life and by facilitating arts-based offerings that can be freely accessed by all. We develop sustainable enterprise-based initiatives that work cooperatively with other local businesses and that support the vitality of the broader community.
Adrian Bowden, Executive Director
Adrian Bowden holds a Bachelor of Laws and a BA from the University of Sydney, Australia. He has lived and worked at Camphill Soltane since 2009. Adrian's career in Camphill began in a community in Norway, where he held a variety of roles over a 12-year period. During this time Adrian completed a three-year Seminar in Social Therapy and a one-year Seminar in Practical Mentoring. Adrian and his wife Rachel live in Phoenixville with their daughter.
Danielle Cowan, Soltane General Manager
Danielle Cowan joined Camphill Soltane in 2011, and after traveling across the country in an RV, returned to become the General Manager of Soltane. As a central aspect of her work, Danielle oversees Soltane's Enterprises, including the Soltane Café, Entwine, Sol Kitchen, and Community Arts Phoenixville. She is passionate about artisans, makers, local businesses, yoga, and radical inclusivity.
Kristen Pell, Director of Community Arts
Kristen Pell received her BFA in Painting from Tyler School of Art, Temple University in 2010 but has loved art all her life. She has been blessed to combine this love with her passion for working with people in all her career experiences. Kristen has experience in therapeutic recreation, art education, and art curating. She has taught art to all ages and abilities, from day cares to retirement centers. Kristen has been a part of Camphill Soltane since 2015 and Community Arts Phoenixville since its creation.
Rachel K. Bowden, President, Camphill Soltane Foundation
After graduating from Bennington College with a focus in music, education, and psychology, Rachel Bowden came to Camphill Soltane, where she has held many roles, from direct supporter to cafe manager to training coordinator. She has been President of the Camphill Soltane Foundation since 2010. Rachel lives in Phoenixville with her daughter and husband, and is pursuing a Masters in Social Service (concentration in Community Practice, Policy, and Advocacy) from Bryn Mawr College.