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Daniel A. Brown Collection Gallery

Michael Metelica

Michael Metelica, 1975

The Brotherhood of the Spirit commune, later renamed the Renaissance Community, was one of the largest communes in the eastern United States during the late 1960s and early 1970s. From the time of its founding in Leyden, Mass., in 1968, through its various moves and incarnations, the community has been well documented photographically. One of the principle photographers during the period 1973-1983, Daniel A. Brown, preserved an archive of hundreds of images that he has allowed SCUA to scan and make available to the public.

The following images are organized in roughly chronological order from the early years of the commune’s founder, Michael Metelica, to his death in 2003. They are broken into four main sections, reflecting the major periods of the commune’s history: the Brotherhood of the Spirit (1968-1973), Metelica Aquarian Concept and Renaissance Community (1973-1978), the 2001 Center/Renaissance Community in Gill (1975-1983), and the reunions and gatherings (1992-2002).

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One Response to “Daniel A. Brown Collection Gallery”

  1. 1
    Bill Needy Says:

    I became aware of The Renaissance Church through their radio broadcast business in 1977. They made at least one very high quality audio production. In early 1977 while driving home from work, I listened to a broadcast that ran on several late nights on WLRS FM in Louisville, Kentucky. The story had Pink Floyd’s Wish You Were Here album as a background track, and was of a British military man who was assigned to a weather recording station at one of the poles. One day while making his rounds to check on recording instruments, he saw that a very sudden and particularly violent snow storm was nearly upon him. He raced off to try to make it back to his shelter, but was overtaken by the storm, eventually falling to the ground where he began to dream or hallucinate. Perhaps he had actually died. In his dreamlike state, he believed he was being transported through a vortex of snow to another reality, a fantastic and beautiful place where peaceful people communicated non-verbally by thought. I do not remember how long he was there. At one point, he picked a beautiful flower and placed it in his jacket. He was fascinated with this other world and wanted to stay there forever, but was told by his new friends that he must return to his own world and try to help others. He did not want to go but the vortex reappeared and pulled him in, taking him back to his world. When he awoke, the storm was gone, and he found himself lying in the snow, with sun shining on his face. Afterwards, he tried to tell people in this world what he learned about the power of thought. But they said he was crazy, and even discharged him from his job. He continued his effort for some years but was never successful. Sometimes he even began to believe that maybe they were right and he was crazy, but he would look at his flower, that was still as beautiful as it was the day it was given to him in the other reality. End theme: “So, so you think you can tell, heaven from hell…” The narrator had a voice that was reminiscent of Helmut Bakaitis who played the Architect in the Matrix movies. I heard this piece again later that year when a friend, Sammy P, played it on the sound system in his St. Matthews foosball parlor. He made a cassette copy for me from the reel to reel version he received from the church. (At the end, the listener was told they could get a copy of the broadcast by sending a request to the Renaissance Church at Box 222, Turners Falls Mass.) Unfortunately my cassette copy was lost during a cross country move some years later, and I lost track of Sam. I would love to find a copy of this very inspirational piece again. If anyone knows how, drop me a note? Thanks! Bill in Fayetteville, AR at av8r49a at yahoo dot com.

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