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. In the fall of 2022, we hosted a community party to celebrate the Creamery’s 10th anniversary as a cooperatively owned business.
The fall of 2022 also was our first arts festival, Youth Arts in the Park, with an array of arts activities at Pettingill Park in Cummington led by professional artists, educators, and other community members. The loss of Cummington’s elementary school heightens the necessity of creative community-building for our children.
In 2023, we are organizing an all-ages Hilltown Community Arts festival, scheduled for June 3rd at Pettingill Park. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to get involved!
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