Enjoy the view from the newest meeting space at Jubilee Farm during the Creative Arts Center open house, 1:30-3:00 p.m. Saturday, September 30, 2017. Jubilee Farm is 3.8 miles west of Veterans Parkway on Old Jacksonville Road in New Berlin, Ill.

The building is a long-needed addition to the 164-acre center for ecology and spirituality sponsored by the Dominican Sisters of Springfield. It provides 1200 square feet of space for meetings and purpose-built facilities for the sister-weavers, potters, and woodworkers. There is also a small gift shop, workroom, and bathrooms.

The arts center replaces a picturesque but termite-ridden 100-year-old barn that used to grace the land. The new center, built entirely through the generosity of donors, overlooks rolling prairie and the stately sycamore tree that has become an icon of sorts for the farm.

“We have so many special folks to thank for the new building at Jubilee Farm,” said Sister Sharon Zayac, the Jubilee Farm director, “We hope they will come to the open house.”

The mission of Jubilee Farm is to preserve the integrity, stability, and beauty of the Earth community and to share the gift of the land, which calls each of us to live simply and sustainably.  It is a gift to those who seek solace and spiritual renewal in nature, providing miles of walking trails, a library that features works on spirituality and ecology, and a place to find unique gifts of pottery, fiber arts, and woodworking. Resident Dominicans, Sister Sharon and Sister Anita Cleary, provide on and off-sight  programs and retreats for children and adults, offer spiritual direction, and open the facilities for public rental.

“Jubilee Farm is a sanctuary for us; we’d like it to serve as that for everyone who visits, whether they just want to stretch their legs on the land or are looking for spiritual guidance or an inspiring meeting space,” Sister Sharon says.

Sister Sharon Zayac, OP, Sister Anita Cleary, OP, and Michelle Knox of WindSolarUSA, Inc. flipped the switch of the solar panels at Jubilee Farm in November 2016. The  panels have been powering the Creative Arts Center ever since, generating seven megawatt hours as of September 2017 and providing carbon offset benefits equal to planting 266 trees.

Here’s More:

Sycamore Room: Accessible meeting space with capacity for 50 persons; includes kitchen facilities and a beautiful view.  Rental fee determined by number of participants.

La Casa: Three-bedroom home can be used as a private spiritual retreat or for meetings. The library and spiritual direction offices are located there.

Volunteer opportunities

The sisters welcome volunteers who’d like to help in the garden, on the grounds, or provide assistance to the artists. Call 217-787-6927 for more information.

Events

Weaving a Holiday Gift. November 3-5, 2017. Weave a shawl, scarf, or rug for someone special. Participants will have Sister Anita Cleary’s expert assistance to prepare looms and guide their work in this unique weekend experience. No experience necessary. Registration fee of $125 includes all materials and instruction. Non-refundable deposit of $40 required at time of registration. Eight-participant limit, children 16 and under require accompanying adult. Register by September 24. Call 217-787-6927 for details and registration.

Holiday Craft Sale. Sisters’ artwork and baked goods sale, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Saturday, December 2, 2017.