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, who serves grades K - 12 in an educational setting; and Camphill Village Kimberton Hills, who serves adults in a long term vocational setting. Over the course of its existence, Soltane has cultivated a strong horticultural initiative, developed numerous arts and crafts-based offerings, and has opened three inclusive business operations in nearby Phoenixville; 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, bio-dynamic 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 community intentionally on our estate in Glenmoore, where more than 40 people, with and without disabilities, share their homes and lives as equals. We develop culture by sustaining a rich festival life and by facilitating arts-based offerings that can be freely accessed by all. We develop inclusive, 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 degree 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.
Chris Clother, Director of Community & Culture
Chris Clother grew up in Portland, Oregon where he earned his BA in Fine Arts at Portland State University. He has been a part of Soltane for seven years and a residential manager for five years. Previously, Chris worked for a drug rehabilitation center for teenagers, and as an office manager for The City School, a small Waldorf School in Los Angeles. He is presently raising his three young children on Camphill Soltane's Glenmoore campus with his wife, Cate.
Danielle Cowan, Soltane Enterprises 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 Enterprises, which include the Soltane Café, Soltane Store, GCGC, and Community Arts Phoenixville. She is passionate about local artisans, makers, and businesses, yoga, and radical inclusivity.