Kat Kinkade

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Kathleen Kinkade
Kat Kinkade at Twin Oaks Community in March 1984
Kat Kinkade at Twin Oaks Community in March 1984
Born(1930-12-06)December 6, 1930
DiedJuly 3, 2008(2008-07-03) (aged 77)
Literary movementCommune Movement of the 1960s and '70s

Kathleen "Kat" Kinkade (December 6, 1930 – July 3, 2008) was one of the eight co-founders of Twin Oaks, an intentional community in Virginia originally inspired by the behaviorist utopia depicted in B.F. Skinner's book Walden Two. Kinkade was the only one of the original founders to remain a community member for most of the community's history. Her daughter, Josie, was also a member of Twin Oaks Community as an adolescent and young adult.


A native of Seattle, Washington, Kinkade helped found Twin Oaks in 1967, when she was in her mid 30s, after a career as a "bored secretary" and a brief stint at a cooperative house in Washington, D.C. In the 1970s, Kinkade left Twin Oaks to move to Missouri to help found East Wind Community, an offshoot of Twin Oaks. She eventually returned to Twin Oaks, though East Wind continues to this day. In 1993, Kinkade was one of the founders of Acorn Community, her third income-sharing intentional community.

Kinkade was also instrumental in founding the network of income-sharing egalitarian communities called The Federation of Egalitarian Communities or the FEC.

Kinkade became disillusioned with certain aspects of Twin Oaks, such as what she perceived as its rigid adherence to egalitarianism. She also found it difficult to live without air conditioning as she got older, which most of the community's members were unwilling to install. A Washington Post article on the community from 1998 available at the Twin Oaks website details her objections to the way that the community developed over time. At age 70, she moved into a small house fifteen miles away in the town of Mineral.

In 2008, with metastatic breast cancer, Kat was no longer able to care for herself. Twin Oaks took her in to provide end-of-life care for her, an exception made in honor of her unique contribution to the Community. Kinkade died of breast cancer complications on July 3, 2008, aged 77, shortly after Twin Oaks' 41st anniversary.[1]


  • A Walden Two Experiment; The First Five Years of Twin Oaks Community William Morrow & Co (February 1974) ISBN 0-688-05020-4
  • Is It Utopia Yet?: An Insider's View of Twin Oaks Community in Its Twenty-Sixth Year Twin Oaks Publishing; 2nd edition (August 1994) ISBN 0-9640445-0-1


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