North Wind Manor and the Power of Place

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Since the inception of the Rabbit Room community, we’ve believed that real relationship requires more than merely an online exchange of ideas. The last decade of creative work has taught us that an exchange of ideas needs to be accompanied by shared laughter, by the satisfaction of a shared meal, by the joy of friendship. We’ve realized the power of bringing big ideas into three-dimensional space inhabited by flesh and blood people.

In other words, we believe in the importance of place.

To that end, we’ve dreamed of the day when the Rabbit Room would be embodied in a physical space of its own, moving these hopes from theory into practice. And now we have that opportunity.

Imagine, just south of Nashville—a city brimming with authors and artists and musicians—a beautiful farmhouse on four acres. There’s a group of writers meeting every Tuesday. On Thursday nights there’s an intimate concert. On Wednesday evenings there’s a Bible study with a potluck dinner. When theologians or authors pass through town there are symposiums and lectures, open to the community. Some days people drop in to browse the library and sit on the porch. It’s close enough to Nashville to be part of the community, but just far enough away to provide a real sense of peace.

From an operational standpoint, the Rabbit Room is bursting at the seams. With more than thirty books published by Rabbit Room Press, we need storage and a shipping office. With the Local Show and Hutchmoot and the Podcast Network and all the other spokes on the wheel, we need office space for staff and room for growth.

After researching the area, the board determined that renovating North Wind Manor, a 130-year-old farmhouse, was the best and most financially responsible way to accomplish all these goals. The house has been our base of operations for three years now, but after dealing with plumbing disasters, leaks in the roof, an utter lack of insulation (you can actually see your breath in the winter), and an insurmountable list of repairs, the board determined that the only way to make it work was a deep renovation.

When we’re finished, the house will not only be a tremendous help from an operational standpoint (saving money on storage and leasing office space); it will help us fulfill our mission to foster spiritual formation and Christ-centered community by hosting an array of events and providing hospitality. We interviewed several contractors and landed on Israel Holladay, a Christian with a passion for the Rabbit Room’s ministry.

Because the Rabbit Room is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit ministry, your contribution to the renovation of North Wind Manor is tax deductible—and not only that, a very generous anonymous donor has offered a matching grant of $160,000! That means every dollar is doubled until we reach $320,000.

The Lord has led us to this place. We’re ready to get to work. We’re ready to open the doors and be a blessing to the community. We hope you’ll consider helping us build something that will last, something that will serve the Kingdom for years and years to come.

Click here to contribute to the renovation of North Wind Manor.

As a singer-songwriter and recording artist, Andrew has released more than ten records over the past fifteen years. His music has earned him a reputation for writing songs that connect with his listeners in ways equally powerful, poetic, and intimate. He has also followed his gifts into the realm of publishing. His books include the four volumes of the award-winning Wingfeather Saga.


4 Comments

  1. Matt Garner

    @mattgarner

    Curious about the Tuesday writer’s meeting. I’m a local playwright who meets monthly with a more secular group of writers but have been feeling the tug for a community of artist believers for lack of a better term. Is there a threshold to clear for joining such a group? One of these years I plan to get to Hutchmoot when the finances align in my favor. I’ve only heard good things.

  2. Ryan

    This sounds so cool! And awesome you’re remodeling instead of building new. I live in an old house and it has a wonderful story (part of which revolves around a tombstone in the basement!) Have you considered incorporating solar panels into the remodel on the house or possible “barn”? In addition to providing long-term cost-savings, they’d be a wonderful testimony to caring for God’s good earth, and would make a cool story in and of themselves!

  3. Matt Garner

    @mattgarner

    Aha! I read that as an existing group meeting which renovations would ameliorate. On a second read, I see what you mean now! Here’s hoping!

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