In April of 1986, a group of theatre, film, and television professionals gathered in Indianapolis to explore the trend in those arts toward exploitative and sensational material. They concluded there was a need to engage and support writers whose work sought a goal beyond mere entertainment, work that sought to empower and uplift. It was out of this meeting that The New Harmony Project was created.
It was no accident that The Project was founded in the small town of New Harmony, Indiana. From 1814-1824, the original settlers, the Harmonie Society, built a flourishing self-sufficient community.
In 1824, this small town was bought by the renowned social reformers Robert Owen and William Maclure. They gathered scholars, scientists, and educators and brought them to New Harmony to create a social and cultural utopia in the Midwest.
It is that same spirit which helps guide The New Harmony Project to bring together talented writers, directors, dramaturgs, filmmakers, actors, and students from around the country. Our participants gather each spring to create a nurturing environment for writers -- a setting free of the restrictive pressures of the professional world. In this community, every artist becomes a resource to the process of the writer. Through an intensive series of readings and rehearsals, we afford each writer the rare opportunity of having the freedom to explore ideas without the fear of failure.
Now in our 27th year, we are still firmly rooted in the tenets upon which we were founded. Our unique mission is not only to develop new scripts for film, television, and theatre, but also to positively impact the culture by seeking out and nurturing writers whose work offers hope and celebrates the dignity of the human spirit.
We have found that the fellowship and encouragement of the entire community is essential to serving the writers and our mission. The New Harmony Project is built on relationships -- some old, some new, but all growing.