Quink Books – Open your mind

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Good festivals build on people’s excitement, this is why so many events are designed around performers and their personalities. But there are lots of other excitements which are available.

As we have been talking about quinks more, people keep asking for examples – and especially what are common quinks? Things that don’t require the heroics of breaking a toxic relationship or the mastery of enlightenment.

Wolf (on left) coordinates fire and flow arts for QuinkFair

Wolf suggested Quink books. Almost everyone has read a book that has changed their life in a way which they look back on positively now. These books hold a power and story for you and as organizers we want to bring that to our event.

On Friday Oct 1st at dinner we will have the participants of QuinkFair bring copies of their favorite books to dinner with the intention of discussing them, why they changed…

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Meet the Communities – An evolutionally stable design

Paxus wrote this introduction to the Meet the Communities event, happening at QuinkFair on October 2.

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Evolutionarily Stable Design

There are some evolutionary marvels out there.  Designs so stable that they make the dinosaurs look like the new kids on the block.  I am speaking specifically of dragonflies,jellyfish and cow sharks.  

Turns out one key to all of these creatures is their success in hunting.  Top hunters stay on top.

Say you have an event where you have brought together 200 participants and perhaps 100 of them are hunting for a new community (the others are from communities or are just community-curious). Let’s say there are 40 communities represented. How do you get the key information to the right hunters so they can make good choices?

I don’t know exactly who developed the Meet the Communities format that the Twin Oaks Communities Conference has used for decades, but it is an evolutionarily stable format, because it works so well. 

Can you be compelling…

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Pronto & Presto

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If someone asks you “What is the best type of site for a transformative festival?” you might consider answering “a former paint ball course”.  I would not have thought this way a year ago, but today I am delighted at our good luck in finding this beautiful site with supportive and engaged property owners. The paint ball course was designed with a spagetti like collection of roads an paths. Add to this wild flowers, bee hives and lovely water features and you have a ready made fairy land where with the right people and activities you might just change someones life.

Early map without most of the spaghetti trails, hidden nooks and magical features.

We had a pretty successful ProtoQuink event recently, which was a build up camp and systems test for the QuinkFair celebration. We got the first dome up, we tested the gazebo that will host the Temple…

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So you want to build a festival?

Join us at the QuinkFair site on August 28-29 to help improve the festival site, eat great food, and start gearing up for QF21. RSVP on the Facebook event page if you’re interested (link in post).

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On August 28th and 29 we will be preparing theQuinkFair site. We are in essence running a mini-festival to help prepare for the full sized event on Oct 1,2 & 3. This free event is at a location which will be disclosed to volunteers and is just a few miles from Acorn Community in Mineral VA. Below are some of the things we are working on:

  • Assemble Domes
  • Build a floating dock
  • Mapping/Naming and Sign making
  • Tiny bridge upgrades
  • Assemble wooden benches
  • Decorate the Temple of Oracles
  • Craft a Riddle Garden
  • Clear brush

Build a dome, create a space, craft a culture

Assemble Domes: We have 2 thirty foot diameter geodesic domes which we hope to assemble in this work weekend. These domes have seen many events and the components are well marked for easy assembly. And it is still a satifsfying and challenging experience getting these up.

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A Festival with Homework

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This is an ambitious event. We are striving to create a temporary community celebration where we positively change the lives of participants. This experience strives to strike the delicate balance between joyous celebration and transformative self reflection. We want you to have a crazy good time, and we also want you to walk away from the event a wiser, wilder, and more inspired person.

To this end we are trying some unusual things: this festival has homework you need to complete before arriving. We are asking everyone to bring a very specific type of memory. A rememberance where you made a choice and things in your life improved. It could be a little thing, standing up for yourself or taking a small risk. It could be a large thing, like breaking an addiction, falling in love or reaching a spiritual enlightenment. Reflecting back on the lock downs, how are you…

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The Words You Don’t Know Might Help You

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Many years ago in the bright Nevada sun of Burning Man, I was talking with Rob Brezney, the author of Free Will Astrology. He made the case that part of what hampers efforts to build a more just and positive future is a lack of the right words. He complained that the English language was asymmetric in a fashion that favored negative terms: jealousy, paranoia, contagion, trauma. He helped popularize the term “pronoia” (paranoia’s opposite), the belief that the universe and the people around you are conspiring to do good things and/or make you happy.

Quick Fair disorganizers hard at work

Activists and organizers, politicians and propagandists will oft tell you that we are in the business of storytelling. These new words allow us to tell new, richer stories. You want to coin something that is simple and elegant, yet compelling and desirable. A word that once someone hears…

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Newsletter #1

We’re less than two weeks out from the start of QuinkFair 2019, so without further ado here is our first (and hopefully not last) newsletter.

This newsletter has a few parts:

  • Useful logistics (rides, food, what to bring, when to come, etc)
  • Making the event magical (theme camps, etc)
  • Volunteering to help before the event (promotion, build up, etc)
  • Stuff about tickets
  • Propaganda (inspiring blog posts and more)


Ride Share:  We have people coming from all over (Montreal, Ashville, Boulder, WV, Baltimore, DC and more).  We might be able to help you find a ride, and if you have space we would love to potentially fill it with other participants.  Contact quinkfair@gmail.com

Mass Transit: We are running free shuttle services from Charlottesville or Richmond.  All shuttle trips include a 30 minute grocery store stop if you want to pick up snacks or drinks.  Reservations are required for the shuttle, and you can find the schedule and details on how to sign up here.   

Food/Water: Haven House will be providing 3 meals a day, plus snacks and drinks at other times.  Please bring your own bowl/plate/silverware if at all possible. For more details, menus, and info on dietary needs check out the Food Logistics page, or email Angie at HavenHouseQuink@gmail.com 

What to Bring:  We have designed this event so people who are traveling light (or coming via mass transit) can attend.  You could get away with a sleeping bag, a flashlight, a water bottle, a bowl/plate, a cup/mug, clothing, and toiletries.  Check out the Quink Fair Survival Guide for packing lists and sleeping info.

When can I arrive:  Gates open for general admission at 10 am on Friday, July 12.  If you are interested in helping before the event starts and would like to arrive early, please email us at QuinkFair@gmail.com 

Kids: Quink Fair will have a “kiddie village” camping area which families with kids are welcome but not required to stay in.  There will likely also be a kid-care co-op organized partly by the Quink disorganizers and partly by parents. Please email us at QuinkFair@gmail.com if you are interested in participating in shared child care at Quink.

Social Media: We’ll be posting updates on our Instagram and Twitter accounts in addition to the Facebook Page, so follow @QuinkFair on Instagram or Twitter for the most up to date info.

Making the event Magical

Bringing someone:  The single most effective thing you can do to make Quink Fair! amazing for you personally, is to bring someone who you think is lovely to the event.  Ask yourself who this might be and consider sending them a Facebook Invitation or this invitation email.

Theme Camps:  You need not be part of a theme camp to enjoy and participate in Quink Fair!  And you could bring your own, spark to this event. If you are having trouble thinking of what type of theme, you should consider what has brought quinks into your life before (significant positive changes sparked by an event or experience) and design your camp around creating this for other people.

There are three “open” theme camps which you can join:

Volunteering before the event  We have over 60 people (from outside of the communities) who are confirmed coming, but there is still lots of work to do before this event happens and is successful and we could certainly use your help.  This is especially true for event promotion and build up camp.  

Promotion – The first thing you could do is to tell your friends you are going to this event and ask them to come too.  The best way to do this (if you are on any social media) is through social media. You could post the poster (available at the end of this post) or a link to quink.org or a blog post which you find inspiring.  The disorganizers of this event would be really happy if you did this, and if more of your friends came, you would be excited too.

Build Up Camp – Starting July 8th there will be people on site in Louisa (at Sophia House where Quink Fair is happening 1872 Yanceyville Rd) getting ready to build up for this event.  We would happily house and feed you if you wanted to work on preparations. If you are interested in this, please contact us at Quinkfair@gmail.com


You can purchase tickets online for $90 per adult, $45 for accompanied children 11-17 (all those under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a legal adult over the age of 18), and kids 10 and under are free.  Online ticket sales close at 5pm on Thursday, July 11. Tickets will be sold at the gate if there are any available, and prices may increase. You can buy tickets here, or by emailing us at QuinkFair@gmail.com and we’ll initiate a PayPal payment request.

It would greatly help our event if you were to purchase as early as possible so we can plan ahead! 


There are a number of blog posts about Quink Fair which if you have not read them might get you more excited about the event.

Check these out and please feel strongly encouraged to repost any ones which feel inspiring or exciting to you.

QF poster

Paths to Ignition

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Photo Credit: Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay 

How can you spark a quink?  This is the central question around the Ignition theme camp at the upcoming transformational celebration, Quink Fair! July 12 thru 15 in central Virginia.

Put another way, what kind of guidance can you provide to someone who is coming to a festival so that the experience will be positively transformative and healing?  From the start we have to recognize we are guessing. We do not actually know much about these mysterious quink things and we know even less about how to induce them.  But our ignorance is no excuse for not making clever guesses and trying to figure it out through imaginative experiments how we might do this. This post is a bit of what we have come up with so far.

In contrast to the Temple of Oracles, which uses various different…

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An unexpected path to quinks

Chop wood, carry water

I don’t consider myself a spiritual person. I was raised in a religious family, and in a small town where the church was the center of community and social life.  As I’ve grown, religion and spirituality have been less present in my daily reality. Part of this is no longer living in that small town, but the larger part is that I am a practical person and there are few spiritual paths that fit the way I approach the world.  Prayer may be emotionally helpful for someone coping with the death of a spouse, but a casserole or helping with child care are equally (or more) important things that will help them get through this week. The church community I was raised in had a healthy balance with an emphasis on practical support, but that’s been difficult for me to find as an adult.

The one religious sentiment which resonated with me for the past few years is the Buddhist koan “Before enlightenment; chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment; chop wood, carry water.”  Enlightenment can bring richness and meaning to one’s life but the practicalities of life remain.  To the observer little has changed, but enlightenment comes from within.

Image by John Hain from Pixabay personal-growth-2268884_1920
Photo Credit: Image by John Hain from Pixabay


So what does this have to do with Quink Fair, a festival designed to help people seek out quinks like love and enlightenment and a new community?  Everything! There are many paths to quinks- travel, meditation, adventures, a new relationship, a new job, and more.  

The path I travel is one of “chop wood, carry water.”  Or more accurately “cook food, carry water.” (and coffee, and some Advil, and maybe some bandaids, and all the other stuff necessary to put a big event together.)

I genuinely enjoy cooking, and organizing, and building a framework that gives other folx the freedom to explore and seek out their own quinks or adventures.  It’s probably my theatre stage manager background coming through, but there’s something really satisfying about facilitating a beautiful experience for an audience.  People don’t usually see the work and sweat and tears and spreadsheets that go into the final product, but in some ways that’s even more satisfying. Doing my job as a stage manager or an organizer correctly makes me almost disappear to the casual audience member.  It’s magic.

And food is a universal connector- passing down recipes, cooking together, eating as a community, are all experiences that cross cultural and social and economic barriers.  Visit any place in the world and you’ll find people cooking and eating together. Some folks have more access to food or resources than others, but we all eat. Local food is a great way to experience and begin to understand the local culture.  Cooking and sharing food has sparked more quinks in my life than any other type of experience or adventure.

For Quink Fair, the path of “chop wood, carry water” led me to put together the Haven kitchen, which will provide hearty, nourishing, free meals for any and all folks who attend the festival.  I put together that plan partly because it’s a task I enjoy, and partly because I run a bed & breakfast and I’m SO SICK of cooking breakfast.  Quink Fair became my excuse/reason to cook lunch and dinner for a big group of people.

I honestly expected to be the only person interested in cooking at Quink Fair.  Cooking for a large group is a big, complex, sweaty (kitchens in Virginia in July get HOT), and largely hidden, endeavor.  Cooks do important stuff, but they don’t usually get the same applause or spotlight that musicians and artists and fire spinners get at festivals.  

Boy, was I wrong.  Within the first few days of my coming onto the organizing team and declaring that I was going to cook free awesome food for anyone who wanted it, there were 2 other people who reached out wanting to get involved.  At this point we’re up to half a dozen folks who’ll be contributing to meals at Haven House, with the list still growing. I started by building a plan based on what kind of meals could I put together with myself and maybe one other helper, and am now looking at the next awesome and amazing thing that’s going to become possible.  

Have we sparked any quinks with Haven house so far, or will we in the future?  It’s hard to say for sure, because change is often only visible in hindsight. What I know is that my life is far richer and more fun since I came on board the Quink Fair organizing team, and that’s quink enough for me.

Image by silviarita from Pixabay salad-2756467_1920
Photo Credit: Image by silviarita from Pixabay

Haven house details and meals

We’ll serve lunch and dinner on Friday, 3 meals on Saturday and Sunday, and breakfast and lunch on Monday.  Breakfast is 8-9am, lunch is 12-1pm, dinner is 6-7pm. Snacks, coffee, tea, drinks, and friendly folks will be available throughout the day and night.  Come by anytime to get tasty treats, find company, or lend a helping hand.

Please bring your own bowl/plate if possible.

Meals at Haven House are a gift, there is no requirement or expectation to contribute food or labor. Meals will meet a wide range of dietary needs including vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, nut-free, no white sugar, and more.  If you have dietary needs or food allergies and want to be sure we’ve got you covered, drop Angie an email at HavenHouseQuink@gmail.com.  You can find more info on food logistics here.

Haven house is a kitchen (and theme camp) inspired and influenced by the Gratitude Bowls project, the TO communities conference, and the Rainbow gathering. We will feed anyone and everyone who wants it, for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  We’ve also got lots of coffee (or tea, or lemonade, or water), and snacks available throughout the day and night. Haven house is a wholly unholy amalgam of BM’s Center Camp cafe, a Rainbow Gathering kitchen, the CommConf’s lounge, a place to make connections or lend a hand, and more.  If you’d like to join this camp and/or crew, please email Angie at HavenHouseQuink@gmail.com.

Rainbow versus Burning Man

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The idea was compelling, study the really exciting festivals and celebrations, take the best pieces of these cultures and combine them into a beautiful Frankensteinian creation.  The tricky part is establishing which are the finest parts and figuring out if (and how) they fit together.

Central rituals are a major difference between Burning Man and the Rainbow Gathering. At Rainbow thousands of participants hold hands in silence in a giant ring on the 4th of July. When the moment feels complete the children run into the center, break the trance, and thus commences wild dancing. At Burning Man there are two central rituals, the effigy burn and the temple burn, both of which revolve around fire but have very different flavors. The former is a pyrotechnic exhibition of tremendous scale, with fire dancers and a giant man which blazes for hours leading into a bacchanalian celebration of wild dancing…

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