In 1972, Lisa Monges initiated a training in eurythmy that in time evolved into Eurythmy Spring Valley, which graduated its first class of full-time students in 1976. After some growing pains, Dorothea Mier arrived from Dornach, Switzerland in 1980 to lead the re-founding of the eurythmy school. Dorothea continued as the head of ESV for twenty-five years. The Eurythmy Spring Valley Ensemble embarked on its first performance tour in 1986.
More anthroposophically oriented adult-education initiatives followed. Threefold initiated a Foundation Studies program in the 1970s, and a painting school was added in 1982. In 1986, the Waldorf Institute, a Detroit-based Waldorf teacher-education school, relocated to the Threefold campus and adopted the name Sunbridge College. From 1991 to 2009, Sunbridge College was accredited to grant the M.S. degree in Waldorf education, making it the only state-chartered Waldorf teacher-education program in North America. Responding to changing needs, in 2010 Sunbridge College re-imagined itself as Sunbridge Institute, focused on low-residency programs for aspiring and practicing Waldorf teachers, including a Master’s program offered in partnership with Empire State College. Sunbridge Institute’s programs are recognized by the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America, qualifying graduates to teach in Waldorf schools worldwide. Sunbridge’s popular summer programs for Waldorf teachers carry on the Threefold tradition of summer adult education in service of anthroposophy.
In 1993, the Hungry Hollow Co-op Natural Foods Market, which began in 1973 as a natural foods buyers’ club in the basement of a Green Meadow teacher’s home, opened its doors to the public at the location of the old Threefold Corner Store. The Co-op’s building was renovated and expanded in 2004, Threefold extended its mandate for conscious land care by installing a 3,000-square-foot rain garden and starting an ongoing program of ecological landscaping.
In 1996, Renate Hiller and Michael Howard co-founded the Applied Arts program of Sunbridge College. After Michael moved away from the Threefold community, Renate led the development of the Fiber Craft Studio, which in 2008 became an independent institution operating under the Threefold Educational Foundation umbrella. Today, the Fiber Craft Studio offers two year-long part-time trainings, one-day workshops, classes for Sunbridge Institute, and the only Waldorf Handwork Teacher Training in North America.
It was also in 1996 that the Rudolf Steiner Fellowship Foundation acquired neighboring Duryea Farm, one of the last remaining family farms in Rockland County. Biodynamic farming and gardening had always been central to the Fellowship Community’s work and life; the addition of Duryea Farm’s orchards, fields, and forests dramatically enlarged the scale of that work. Among other activities, the Fellowship added a cow barn and dairy to their portfolio.
The story of the Threefold community has always been intertwined with the development of the biodynamic agriculture and land care in North America. In its earliest days, Threefold Farm was home to the first biodynamic gardens in North America. Ehrenfried Pfeiffer, whom Rudolf Steiner selected to be ambassador of biodynamics to our shores, taught at the first summer conference in 1933, and at dozens more courses in the years that followed. He lived and worked at Threefold from 1946 until his death in 1961, and work at his biochemical laboratory in Threefold Auditorium carried on its until 1974.
In 1996, Threefold built upon this legacy by creating the Pfeiffer Center for Biodynamics and Environmental Education. The Pfeiffer Center’s first director, Gunther Hauk, brought to Threefold many years’ experience as a Waldorf teacher, biodynamic practitioner, and beekeeper. In its first ten years, the Pfeiffer Center’s programs for adults and children earned it a national reputation. When Gunther retired in 2007, direction of the Pfeiffer Center passed on to Mac Mead, a former Fellowship Community co-worker and farmer whose ties to the community reached back to the 1970s.
The Seminary of the Christian Community in North America, which was founded in Chicago in 2001, relocated to the Threefold community in 2011. The influx of seminarians, and the Seminary’s public workshops and courses, was a valued addition to the community’s cultural life through the spring of 2019, when the Seminary relocated again to Toronto.
The Otto Specht School, a Waldorf School for children with developmental delays, social and sensory sensitivities, and learning challenges, which operated for many years within the Rudolf Steiner Fellowship Foundation, came under the wing of Threefold Educational Foundation in 2010.