Arcosanti - An Urban Laboratory in the Arizona Desert.

Colly Soleri

October 19. 2016

This coming Saturday we celebrate the life of Colly Soleri with a memorial concert in the Colly Soleri Music Center Amphitheater here at Arcosanti.

Colly was very much the backbone of the Cosanti Foundation, both at Cosanti and Arcosanti.

[photo: Colly Soleri with daughter Kristine in the completed Domehouse, ca. mid 1950's]

Here in the archives we are amazed at the amount of work she did, and how she left it all so perfectly organized. There are handwritten copies of the text of Soleri's early sketchbooks, many many typed manuscripts, correspondence with schools and universities and people all over the world, minutely detailed itineraries for Paolos lecture trips, photos and slides of all of the early construction efforts and so much more.

[photo: Colly and Paolo Soleri at the opening of the Corcoran exhibition in 1970]

She was brilliant, yet gentle and kind with a serenity that is rare. Colly was loved and highly regarded by many, many people.

[photo: Paolo and Colly Soleri at the International Centennial Conference/Celebration TEILHARD AND METAMORPHIS at Arcosanti in September 1981. Plates with concrete were transported hand to hand to cast a planter at the south-east edge of the Colly Garden [in front of the Vaults]. This planter is symbolic to present one of the pillars for the Teilhard de Chardin Center planned for the site right below the Colly Garden]


Excerpts from a letter of Paolo Soleri in 1982:

"From Colly's work and radiance we will call out music for years to come, for children and grownups, for bodies and minds.

The instrument for this process is the COLLY SOLERI MUSIC TRUST. The trust has been established in her name to develop a living testimonial to Colly's extraordinary contribution to the Arcosanti project in Arizona within the discipline she loved best, music.

With funds from the trust we will bring live musical performances to Arcosanti and the neighboring communities, and develop a school of music with a resident faculty of performers and teachers as part of an interdisciplinary approach to cultural studies. Music and theatre will articlate with history, philosophy, science, technology and theology in a program of rehearsals, concerts, original works, retreats and the international conferences and events held bi-annually at Arcosanti"