Our space is open to like minded collaborators who want to join us for projects or as residents.
TL;DR: We are Estate of Mind, an intentional community centered around creative collaboration, based in the historic Whitin-Lassel Manor complex in Whitinsville, MA. We are looking for new est8mates (pronounced “estate-mates”; this is our term for roommates or flatmates who share an estate).
Your monthly rent includes the costs of all utilities, wifi, basic household supplies (like toilet paper, dish soap, laundry detergent), parking, and more. We also expect our members to contribute to making this community great. That can mean a lot of things. Often it means that something breaks and we have to be prepared to roll up our sleeves fix it ourselves. While we welcome folks of all sorts, we are an intentional community built for artists/makers/creators, resilient folks with previous warehouse or co-living experience tend to thrive here, and right now there is much construction and renovation to be done so relevant skills are most appreciated.
Apply to Become a Resident
The best way to join our community is to introduce yourself and get involved. Here's how.
1) Join our Discord and introduce yourself in our #introductions channel.
2) Reach out about volunteering. In your introduction, post about the types of contributions you'd like to make, and when you're available to come by and collaborate with us. This is the best way for us to get to know each other, to see if you like working with us, and to learn about what our growing community needs. Part of our culture is bonding over recreational logistics. (Since we are a community of volunteers, if you don't hear back from us, don't take it as rejection, just ping us again, we were probably just distracted with cool projects away from our computers)
3) Come visit! Reach out if you're from out of town and want to book overnight accommodations as our guest, while you visit and get to know us.
4) Come to an upcoming event and introduce yourself IRL.
5) Meet us remotely, if you must. If you can't make it here in person, you can reach out about setting up a time to meet by video chat. Try us on Discord first, but if you have a hard time getting our attention there, you could also try emailing email@example.com
6) Make a friend who's part of our extended community and see if they're excited enough about you joining that they'd be willing to vouch for or sponsor your community onboarding. A referral from someone already here goes a long way in helping your application stand out.
7) Plan a project with someone here. As a community centered around creative collaboration, we give extra weight to candidates who are planning on creating together here.
Visit as a guest
Short term guest accommodations are available for creative collaborators, such as those who want to make art or music or sawdust with us.
Please note: we typically do not extend guest stays. Please ensure you have a clear departure plan before you arrive. We are not in a position to extend the stays of guests who arrive with 'no where else to go'. Empathy is not a tangible enough resource for us to to feed and house people who show up and surprise us with the expectation that we can act as a shelter.
$500 new resident referral bonus
OUR HOUSE CULTURE
Trying to define a community's microculture is HARD. We're going to try, but you'd probably do best to come visit us and see for yourself if we're a good fit for you. Meanwhile, here are some of the things that unite and define us:
Some of us are neurodivergent. Neurotypicals live here too, but a few us identify as being on the autism spectrum, or as having ADHD. This means several of us can be blunt or direct communicators, or may not have as much patience during social interactions.
We optimize for emtional stability. Residents who thrive here seem to be those with lots of emotional stability or at least emotional maturity. Our residents know that if they are having a bad day, it does not help to take that out on everyone else. But it also means that if someone does take their bad day out on us, that we don't let it ruin our days. It means bouncing back quickly if someone says something that upsets you, working past it, and having a rational dialogue to reach a resolution. As a result, we have not been a great environment for those who are in emotional crisis, as we are not a community of social workers or psychologists, we are artists trying to scrape by, and don't have the spoons to be eachother's crisis counsellors.
Some of us are queer. We have cis-gendered straight people here too, but some of us are queer or non-binary. We have no tollerance for homophobia or transphobia. We strive to be a safe space for LGBTQ+ people, we proudly fly a Pride flag over our manor, and we offer to host queer events and gay weddings.
We're marijuana-friendly. not everyone here smokes weed, but we have such an accepted culture of 420-friendliness that we do smoke weed indoors (which is perfectly legal to do in Massachusetts, in the comfort of our home). We do not grow any cannabis on the property.
Some of us are in recovery from alcoholism. This tends to make alcohol extremely deemphasized in our community. We don't have a shared liquor cabinet, we don't serve or bring alcohol to house gatherings, and we do not offer alcohol to people we don't know or pressure people into social drinking.
Some of us are nomadic (#vanlife). Some of us come and go, living in our RVs and occasionally parking on the grounds here to join the community intermittently. We also occasionally have digital nomads passsing through.
We're artists. our mandate is to provide a place for artists to live together and collaborate creating art together.
Some of us are tradespeople. there's a lot of renovation to be done, and this means several of our residents are here on the construction crew. if you have a skilled trade, you'll likely find likeminded people here, and no shortage of projects to keep you busy.
We're event organizers. We love creating spaces for others to host events, and we love to create our own events.
We're hosts. We love having guests in our home, who travel from all over the world to visit and volunteer. We're used to having all sorts of new people entering our home, and we're equipped to deal with the challenges that this can present, because we enjoy the rewards it brings.
We're volunteers. Creating a communtiy like this is a labor of love.
We've chosen community as a lifestyle. We believe in co-living as healthy way for people to live, and strive to normalize it through example.
We're a mix of extroverts and introverts. You'll often find the extroverts in the center of the busy social spaces, telling stories and entertaining. You may find the introverts walking along the trails, in the workshop creating art, in a nook reading, or outside practicing flow arts.
EQUAL-OPPORTUNITY HOUSING STATEMENT
We do not tolerate bigotry, racism, racial prejudice, intolerance, or discrimination.
Black Lives Matter.
We acknowledge that our community operates on the ancestral and unceded territory of the Nipmuc People. We pay respect to those Indigenous Peoples who stewarded this land and lost their lives in the colonization of this land and recognize that these Indigenous tribes are still today facing violations of sovereignty, territory, and water.
We acknowledge the existence of racism in housing opportunities and commit to learning from and correcting our mistakes.
We recognize the systemic injustice that exists in what are considered "standard" rental applications, and we have made the deliberate choice to eradicate as many of those as possible in our own applications:
we do not request credit checks, bank statements, or proof of income
we do not request police background checks
we do not request employer references or past landlord references
We see that asking for these sorts of thing leads to systemic injustice, and we are tired of the gatekeeping that occurs by asking for these things before giving people housing. We believe it is possible to lead by example, by demonstrating a healthy residential community that does not require any of these things.
we ask to speak to one person the candidate has lived with in the past, as a character reference
we ask prospective residents to self-report areas in which they might need extra support, so that we know how we could best show up for them as they transition into life here
MASSACHUSETTS lIFE FAQ
Q. Is marijuana legal in MA?
A. Yes! (And many of us at the est8 enjoy it!) "Adult-use and medical marijuana are both legal in Massachusetts. Recreational marijuana is legal for only Massachusett residents who are 21 years and above. Meanwhile, medical cannabis is for all patients that meet the qualifying conditions contained in the law." Source: MassachusettsCannabis.org. More info about marijauana laws in MA is available at Mass.gov.
Q. Is abortion legal in MA?
A. Yes! "Abortion in Massachusetts is legal up to at least the 24th week of pregnancy, with exceptions allowing later termination of pregnancies in some circumstances." Source: Wikipedia. More info about abortion laws in MA is available at Mass.gov.
Massachusetts Abortion Legal Hotline: 833-309-6301 (for free and confidential legal advice for Massachusetts residents and those who travel to Massachusetts for an abortion, and also connects patients with information about abortion access and care in the state.)
If you need to visit MA to have safe access to abortion care, and need some where for you and your caregiver(s) to stay during your recovery, please reach out to us as we will be sympathetic to your cause.
Q. Is kink legal in MA?
A. No. Uhh... wait... WHAT? Well, it's complicated. And likely unconstitutional. This does not stop us from creating safe spaces for consenting adults to engage in kinky activities. The last known case of legal intervention in a Massachusetts kink space was in the year 2000 in Attleboro, MA, in a case that was jokingly dubbed "Paddleboro". In July 2000, police raided a sex club and fined one woman for spanking another woman with a paddle, although consensual. Her case was dismissed in court about a year later. Here's an article about that.
Q. Are there any free STI-testing clinics near Estate of Mind
Q. Is sex work legal in MA?
A. No. You can read more about it on this website about decriminalizing sex work.
Q. Can women go topless in MA?
A. No. "In most parts of the U.S., it is illegal for women to go topless in public. Women may legally do so only in six states, and specific cities and beaches. If a woman goes topless in public anywhere else in America, it is considered indecent exposure. In Massachusetts, the maximum penalty for indecent exposure is up to six months in jail and a $200 fine. Public toplessness for men, however, is legal everywhere." Source Massachusetts Daily Collegian. However, according to gotopless.org, the Massachusetts state laws are ambiguous on the matter. We do allow nudity and toplessness on parts of our property, although in practice this hasn't proven to be a popular course of action (sorry if you were hoping to see a bunch of naked people while you were visiting, but also perhaps you would benefit from learning to separate nudity from sexuality).
Q. Does Massachusetts have free healthcare?
A. Maybe. There are some healthcare programs for low-income residents, called MassHealth. Read more about it on Mass.gov.
Hope this helps you decide if life in Massachusetts is right for you!
CREATOR COMMUNITY PLAN
Use of the Space
Details coming soon about guest policy (for guests of residents), meetings, participation, member voting, etc.