For generations, the Hilltowns have been a place where dreams of self-reliance and realities of interdependence weave together to help create the messy fabric of our culture, beautiful and imperfect. Hilltown Vision looks to preserve what brought and keeps us here, and to improve upon this place we call home, with humility rather than hubris.
While Hilltown Vision and the New Rural Advocate began on parallel paths, they quickly converged. This website is now a virtual home for Hilltown Vision, which in turn — formally incorporated in 2019 as a 501(c)(3), the Hilltown Vision Fund, Inc. — provides a nonprofit home for the New Rural Advocate.
Hilltown Vision first came into being out of concern over a proposal for a Dollar General store in Cummington. The visceral “No!” that reverberated throughout the hills — ultimately decisively ending that nightmare chain store scenario — helped focus the question: “If not that, then what?”
An obvious part of the answer was the need to support our local, homespun businesses, farms, and people.
Our first project, “Friends of the Creamery,” has allowed community members to make charitable contributions to support the Old Creamery Cooperative, our local food co-op and community hub, which has navigated tumultuous leadership transitions topped with pandemic adaptations.
For 2022, we are organizing Youth Arts in the Park: Programs at Pettingill Park in Cummington to be led by professional artists and educators as well as qualified young people from the Hilltowns looking to share their talents. The loss of Cummington’s elementary school heightens the necessity of creative community-building for our children. Programming will be open to youth from the surrounding communities.
Hilltown Vision’s corporate purpose is to support activities that further a common vision for an ecologically and financially sustainable rural economy and culture in the Hampshire County Hilltowns; and to support the education and training of community members about the nature and benefits of cooperation and community engagement.
Our Board Members:
Katy Eiseman, President
Marty Schotz, Secretary
Josh Wachtel, Treasurer
Hilltown Vision Fund
P.O. Box 82
Cummington, MA 01026