We made it! The Ilan-Lael Center is open for inspiration and action. Thanks to all the individuals who collectively donated almost $1 million to the Ilan-Lael Foundation, we now have a magnificent home base from which to engage the community.
What a gift to watch Jim Hubbell create on such a grand scale. Our team broke ground in 2011, and brick by brick, wall by wall, artwork by artwork, James—with the help of many talented builders, artists, and volunteers—breathed life into the Center’s plans, building a space that manifests our mission: celebrating human creativity, unlocking the renewing power of nature and art, exploring beauty and myth, and trusting life.
How will we use it? Practical considerations guide us. We want the space to remain quiet and tranquil, and our impact to be light. We won’t be open every day, nor to every activity. Parking spaces have been kept to a minimum. As is true everywhere on the property, natural beauty must fill the eye. We’re located on a private road, so we will respect our neighbors.
Nature, too, has a way of keeping us grounded. Summer can be hot. Water is scarce. Fall brings east winds. Winter, storms. Yet these limitations are also our greatest assets. When we are quiet and listen, nature delivers its gifts in abundance; sunshine dapples paths with oak-leaf shadows, boulders rise from every hillside, Volcan Mountain gazes down, breezes carry scents of sage and manzanita, and occasional snowfalls spread their pristine blankets. Many creatures, too, call our property home: turkeys, deer, coveys of quail, birds and bees.
Beauty and tranquility also make things happen. Exciting things. Art created at Ilan-Lael (and taught to new generations) continues to be at the forefront of our mission. With the new Center, however, we can facilitate meetings and conversations on issues of importance to our community, in an environment free from distraction. We can host international conferences to build bridges of understanding and cooperation—like our recent Gateway Conversations. Musical performances, art shows, retreats, and classes that nurture beauty and the human spirit…all possible!
Our dreams aren’t small, but we want to keep it simple. To stay nimble and responsive to the needs of our community. To lead but also to follow. To stay compassionate, committed, and engaged. To listen sincerely and always work with partners who our friends, volunteers, docents, donors, supporters. We are not an island. We never want to stand alone.
Do you feel the same? Will you work with us to help create a more humane and harmonious future? We hope so, and hope you will consider joining with us so you can experience the unique possibilities of Ilan-Lael.