The Pioneer Valley Sustainability Network is a work in progress. Here are some resources we have used as we articulate who we are and how we function as a network of sustainability professionals in the Pioneer Valley region of western Massachusetts.

“A Handbook for Network Builders Seeking Social Change”
by Peter Plastrik and Madeleine Taylor

PVSN seminar with Roberto Cremonini BARR Foundation
(PDF Format) (Powerpoint Format)

The Thirteen Essential Questions to Design a Network

Art Contest Submission by David Fessenden

Art Contest Submission

by David Fessenden

The traditional Silversmith has practiced recycling since the art’s inception.  Patrons typically brought their old flatware, vessels and coins to the town silversmith be melted down and hammered into new more fashionable pieces.  This aspect of Steve’s work was recently documented by the Discovery Channel when they included a segment on his work for their “Green Planet” channel with begins airing in June 2008 ,taped in Ashfield at the last week of May.

I met Steve when writing a newspaper story about the chandeliers he made for Sanderson Academy and for the Ashfield Town Hall.  I was struck by Steve’s almost evangelical commitment to rediscovering and preserving the lost techniques of hand wrought silver, copper and brass. Together committed toward  filming a detailed video diary documenting the evolution of Steve’s commissions along with workshops hosted by The Paul Revere House in Boston and Historic Deerfield. We call the gave the project the working title “Painting With A Hammer”  Some of our footage can be viewed on Google video.  A link is also on Steve Smithers web site http://stevesmithers.com/

We were making record time on or project, but we have no idea where we are headed.  Steve and I approached WGBH, Museums and commercial cable outlets and came to the conclusion that in every case we would have to compromise our mission in one way or another in order to fit their programming needs.

 

  1. Concept description:  A twenty minute film on Steve Smithers and his work.  Possibly with narration and defiantly with original music created with local talent.  Subliminally embedded in our film is the supposition that American craftsmanship and locally based, entrepreneurial fabrication of goods has fallen by the wayside in our country.
  2. Final work will be a DVD with all intellectual property rights secured with releases.
  3. Concept of sustainability: The work of a traditional metalsmith, as practiced by Steve Smithers, encompasses many concepts of sustainability.  Since the inception of metalworking more than 5000 years ago, metalsmiths have been recycling their material. Patrons typically brought their damaged or out of fashion vessels, utensils, and coins to be melted down and fashioned into new objects of function and beauty. Steve works with his son to create new objects as well as repairing and conserving antique metal pieces.  They use the classic hand tools of the ancient art, which require human energy, as opposed to the energy intensive process of mass production by machines. Their work is typical of, and well represents the many small art and craft studios throughout the Pioneer Valley  The work produced in these shops is carefully  and well made, destined to be passed down as heirlooms, as opposed to poorly made products which eventually find their way to the landfill.  Steve’s small shop is made of native and local lumber.  He teaches and demonstrates his art in museums, schools, and other locations, helping to foster interest and enthusiasm for this earth friendly movement among the next generation.
  4. Materials to be used:  Existing footage, music yet be purchased, possibly narration and the editorial talents of Harry Keramidas.  Harry is a retired to Ashfield three years ago after a career as a feature film editor.  Harry and I have since collaborated on only what we consider worthwhile film projects such as our 90 minute concert documentary on Village Harmony and an in progress  project for John Bos on the creation of a local hospice choir here in Franklin County.
  5. Our project can be completed within the award amount because most of the footage is shot, we own the equipment and have the technical experience to finish our film.
  6. The film would be available for screening, without charge and distributed for a nominal charge.  Copies would be offered to local libraries and schools free of charge, as I have done with all my locally produced films.
  7. Specifications: A twenty minute film, possibly longer.

I have a BA degree from Ohio University (Communications Radio/TV)  and two years post graduate study toward a MFA in film.  After college I worked as a cameraman in Los Angeles, until 1989 when I left the commercial film industry in order to peruse interests in woodworking arts and crafts. In 2001 I came back Ashfield, MA  to be with family and build a homestead..  The films I make today are projects worthwhile and mostly documentary in nature.  Most of the profits gleaned from video production go toward camera gear and editing hardware. 
 
My five minute short called “The Three Seasons of Winter”  took first place at the First Annual Ashfield Film Festival  last year.   Ongoing and completed video projects this summer include a yet untitled documentary for John Bos’ Rural Renaissance about the formation of a hospice choir group in Franklin County. Recently completed is a 90 minute concert video on Village Harmony’s leaders concert here in Ashfield.  Earlier this spring I recently shot a documentary  video portrait of Sonya Kitchell which is now in post production.

Art Contest Submission by Erica Wheeler

Sustainability in Place

by Erice Wheelerwww.ericawheeler.com
Singer/songwriter, workshop facilitator, speaker

Goal: To foster engagement in sustainability by engaging peoples hearts. This project generate stories of place through a series of “free” writing workshops, to be followed with a public presentation of the works created. “Free” writing workshops will be geared towards all residents from all walks of life, all ages, incomes and levels of experience.

My work is dedicated to connecting and re-connecting people with their sense of place. Songs I have written help to evoke a sense of place in the listener, while my hands-on writing workshops provide the opportunity for participants to uncover their own stories of place and belonging. I have significant experience in organizing, offering and promoting public events, having been a full time touring singer-songwriter for over 15 years and, for the past 8 years having presented my workshop “The Soulful Landscape” at conferences, events and learning centers across the country. In addition, I have a career as a keynote speaker, offering presentations focused on the importance of emotionally connecting people and place. I combine my background in the performing arts and my life-long interest in the environment and cultural history to offer relevant and inspiring presentations.

This current work has brought me full circle to when I was new to the valley, as a student at Hampshire College. The bulk of my work there was a project entitled “ A Sense of Self, A Sense of Place,” which focused on how we effect our environment and how our environment effects us.  Living in the valley now for  almost 25 years, I have lived here long enough to witness changes, both positive and negative.   My most recent CD has songs about people and their relationship to place from different perspectives, and several are about the valley itself. “Good Summer Rain,” is a song, which tells the story of a valley farm sold and developed. “To Deep Water,” is a song I wrote about a lake near my home in Colrain, reflecting the beauty of this area and what it means to me.

I believe our current state of environmental degradation comes the disconnection we have between our surroundings and ourselves. When we get caught up in our individual needs and busy modern-day lives, we make choices that have immediate rewards with dire consequences for the future.  Wendell Berry has written: “ You don’t know who you are if you don’t know where you are.” I believe we can reverse our course of disconnection in several ways. You can give people the information, skills and tools they need to make new choices, but we cannot create lasting change without first creating a change of heart. Our stories of connection from the heart are a crucial spoke in the wheel sustainability. As author Terry Tempest Willams wrote “Story bypasses rethoritc and pierces the heart.”

 I teach “The Soulful Landscape” so people at any age, with any level of experience, can gain the skills needed to communicate effectively what it is they love most about their  “place,” and what it means to them. These workshops help to generate memories, imagery, and metaphors, which can be crafted in, to song, stories, essays or poems. I would like to help others find and express their voice, so that everyone can be part of the sustainable conversation. Often the word “sustainability” conjures up ideas of elitism: being something only for those with the income, education or liberal leanings to create and enjoy. Our future demands our “whole community” participate. For those already engaged in sustainability, our stories will help keep us inspired and focused on the deeper meaning of the work we do. For those unfamiliar with sustainability we can give them the “how’ and “why”, but only they themselves can find the reason in their own hearts to change. The opportunity to find and give voice to our stories of place and belonging may be just the incentive some people need. Remembering what we love about the valley, we can make sustainable choices for its future.

Our imagination is the key to a sustainable future. To be able to know and communicate the relationship we have with our surroundings is foundational in our ability to re-imagine our future.  We them can begin to embrace the notion in Aldo Leopold’ wrote about in  “A Sand County Almanac” that “when we see the land as a community to which we belong, we can begin to use it with love and respect,”

 My proposal is to offer  “free” writing workshops for towns in the valley. This will attract people from all age groups, all levels of experience and all walks of life. This will generate songs, stories, essays and pomes, which will help us, understand the diversity of what we love about “our place.” An outcome of Sustainability in Place (proposed title) could also be open mics and potlucks at town meeting halls to create community and share our works.

An additional outcome or direction for my involvement in this project could be to produce a video/audio component, in collaboration with a videographer and/or photographer. This would highlight some different aspects of the valley and include a soundtrack of original songs. An outcome could be a video for PBS or a CD to benefit a local organization.

Ultimately, my project could go three directions or have three components:
1. A series of free writing workshops in valley towns to generate stories of how people lived in a sustainable way here before, and still do.
2. A video honoring of the ways people have lived sustainably off this land and still do.
3. A CD cycle of songs about the valley.
A public presentation of works generated from this project. The public will benefit from this project by a public showing of the work, be that a video on PBS, a CD, chapbook, concert or a reading.

This project will also involve partnership with another organization. Perhaps with The Trust for Public Land, who co-sponsored my current CD, or other organizations like CISA, HCI (Highlands Community Initiative) or the American Farmlands Trust.
Funding will be used for expenses such as: room rentals, publicity, production of concert, video or CD, and for personal income while creating the project and offering it to the public.

Click here to see video of Erica singing “Good Summer Rain”

 

Art Contest Submission by Kenneth Leaning

The Cyclopedia of Sustainability

by Kenneth Leaning

My submission idea, The Cyclopedia of Sustainability, is a large book, a book that has the form of and appearance of an alchemist’s log, or a sorcerer’s book of spells.  It would be approximately 36” tall by 24” wide with a binding made of recycled cardboard and covered in canvas or hemp fabric and held together with earth-friendly adhesives. The pages would be made from, again, recycled paper, or of handmade papers and would contain, written by hand, in biodegradable, non-toxic inks, a series of stories, designs, theories, and practices which convey and promote sustainability. The pages would be illuminated as were the texts translated and transcribed by medieval monks and educated elders. The mysterious appearance of the text is intended to show the irony of how accessible the ‘secret formulae’ for sustainable living is to all people. It is not some quaint antiquity, or lost art, but instead, a state of mind easily achieved if one breaks free of modernistic, blasé consumerism.

This book might be the centerpiece of a compendium of information on how to spare the planet our overbearing presence. It would have, of course, all of its contents and resources available simultaneously on the internet – that great saver of paper. Its component information will be gathered from many sources, making it a book written, ultimately, by the community, for the community. It might be one original volume, or their might be sequels, as developed out of the Foxfire series of books on Appalachian folklore.

My background is in architecture and, as such, I am accustomed to team building. I imagine this Cyclopedia being created by a collaborative of artists, students, scientists, academicians, et al. whose involvement would be rewarded with publicity and honor. The materials and coordination costs would be easily covered by the $5000 award. My role would be to design, delegate, organize and, generally, produce the finished work.


PROFESSIONAL OBJECTIVES

To create spaces, landscapes, artifacts & artworks which function beautifully and invigorate the spirit and the planet.

PROFESSIONAL SKILLS, APTITUDES AND EXPERIENCE RANGE
Architectural, landscape, furniture, product and tradeshow exhibit design; Existing buildings measuring and drafting; Construction and personnel management; Computer literacy in CADD (AutoCAD 2005 &’07, Cadvance), Microsoft Office, Photoshop, Corel; Carpentry (all phases), interior finish work (tile, painting, lighting design, trim, space planning), architectural modelmaking, cabinetmaking, mechanical repair, plumbing, light electrical; Landscape, hardscape and garden installation and maintenance; Art and real estate/construction photography; Writing, editing and proofing.

WORK HISTORY
Sole proprietor, Elysian Arts 1992- Present Greater New England
Ongoing operation of a small, independent, art, design and fabrication business creating works involving:

  • Residential projects, garden development, out-buildings, stone wall and walkway design and construction;
  • Furniture (built-in and free-standing) design, construction, installation and finishing;
  • Restoration of antique (or collectible) architectural details, furniture and decorative items;
  • Photography (with as-needed, computer retouching) for sale at art shows and for professional portfolios;
  • Exhibit and display installations designed and executed for corporate administration buildings;
  • Co-produced, wrote, directed, edited, narrated a 1997 grant-funded, documentary film. Wrote grant proposal.
  • Independent Contractor to Solpoints, Inc. Dec.’06- Sept.‘07 Wilbraham, MA
  • Designed tradeshow exhibit booths and component details using 3d modeling and rendering in AutoCAD 05 &07
  • Independent Contractor to Regional Builders, Inc. Mar.- Nov. 2006 Monson, MA
  • Designed several renovations and worked at all phases of carpentry for residential building company.
  • Project Designer/Job Captain, Architectural Insights, Inc. 1998-2005 Palmer, MA
  • Ran three multi-million dollar VA Hospital renovation projects. Acted as designer, project manager, detail
  • drafter, specifier and estimator. Personally responsible for creating all architectural construction documents
  • and coordinating project development with client and all consulting engineering teams;
  • Designer and/or cadd drafter on over 90 residential, commercial, municipal, ecclesiastical and hospital/health
  • care projects of varying scale, bringing code-compliant, approval-ready construction documents to completion;
  • Proofed and edited public media releases and marketing materials; performed most office operational duties;
  • Trained all new employees in office procedures and computer software systems. Cabinetmaker/Antiques Restorer, Beckerman Antiques, Inc. 1993-1998 Boston, MA
  • Managed daily operation of high quality antiques restoration and sales facility;
  • Restored antique furniture, frames, paintings, accessories and artworks using techniques, which included: carving, casting, turning, gilding, welding, distressing, color toning, machining, finish matching and more.
  • Modelmaker, Trip Tech Models, Inc. 1990-1991 Waltham, MA
  • Constructed highly detailed architectural models for international clients in costs ranging between $20-250K
  • Team leader on model for Philadelphia’s 30th Street Railway Station.
  • Draftsman/Modelmaker, Archtellic Architects, Inc. 1987-1989 Boston, MA
  • Carpenter, Alex Skene, builder 1986-1987 Brookline, MA
  • Program Supervisor, Palmer Associates, Inc. 1981-1986 Palmer, MA
  • Managed community based residential program, with a staff of ten, for alternatively capable adults.

EDUCATION
Boston Architectural Center (B. Arch program) 1986-1993 Boston, MA
University of Massachusetts (Liberal Arts, Regional Planning) 1977-1981,’98-‘99 Amherst, MA
Institute for American Universities (French) Fall 1980 Aix-en-Provence,
France

Art Contest Submission by Kelly Gallagher

Sustainability Looks Like…You

by Kelly Gallagher

A documentary art film reflecting the thoughts and ideas of people living in the Pioneer Valley interwoven with images of the beautiful life of the Pioneer Valley – from the Hilltowns to the cities, from farm to shops to schools.  The wisdom lies within each of us – we know what sustainability looks like.

Sustainability looks like us…it is in our hands – let us engage the population in this discussion.  It is my experience as a filmmaker that people possess deep wisdom and insight and, when given the opportunity, will articulate their visions and experience with incredible beauty.  This film will incorporate group discussions and individual reflections, tapping into the resources of young and old alike.  When discourse and honest reflection are allowed to happen, beautiful thoughts and profound ideas emerge.  Keeping in mind the purpose of this contest, “to stimulate thought and action on sustainability in the Pioneer Valley,” this project will consist of a film of people in the Valley reflecting on the idea of sustainability, their part in it and their commitment to attaining it motivated by their love of this place and its beauty.  Images of the beauty of this place will be interwoven with music and voices to offer a piece that will engage and empower the people to seek and establish sustainability.

We will look for people and places where sustainability is already happening as well as encouraging it where it is just an idea.  From fairs to youth groups to Rotary clubs, the questions will be posed – and inevitably profound thoughts will emerge.  Through humor and sincerity the people of the Valley will speak – and together we will learn what sustainability can be.

The final piece will be a film that can be distributed to community access stations as well as a series of Public Service Announcements that can be used by PVSN to fulfill the purpose of the project, “to stimulate thought and action on sustainability in the Pioneer Valley.”  Also, a study guide will be created to accompany the film to be distributed to discussion groups, churches, and organizations.

The piece is meant to communicate that sustainability lies in our hands, and that we have the power and the resources to attain it.  By allowing people to share ideas, ask questions, make commitments, they are given a stake in the outcome.  Wherever the project goes, people will be asked to participate, to learn, engage and become a part of the solution.

To view cut of an 8 minute short filmed in South Sudan go to www.shelteredthefilm.com/ceasweb.  Please allow 35 minutes to download.

Art Contest Submission by Leslie Cerier

Streams of Light

by Leslie Cerier
lesliecerier.com

Brief Description of Submission:

I propose to create a new series of impressionistic nature photographs and a new 3-minute digital story including these new images expressing the theme of sustainability.

A physics professor from Mount Holyoke College once told me upon viewing my work that I am photographing the natural refractory patterns of sunlight reflected over moving streams. These I call *jewels in the water and streams of light.

*I would carry on from *”Photographing the Jewels in the Water”,* the impressionistic nature photography series and the digital story that I created last year.  Please view it on my website: lesliecerier.com

The grant/funds will give me the money needed for materials to print 8 new images on large cotton canvases about 20 inches by 28 inches, printed with natural pigment inks, pay the person with the equipment to make the digital story, who happens to live in my neighborhood. (I will support the local economy, walk to her house with my script and digital files.) No need for driving and burning gas. I would also like to use the funds to buy a new point and shoot digital camera with more meta-pixels to enable me to print even larger, and I will continue the search to find the right person/place to print my work on fabric. (I have a lead of someone in Ashfield, MA.)

The funds will also be used to post this new series of photographs along with the digital story on sustainability on my website. Pay for bringing the work to be shown in galleries in locations throughout the Pioneer Valley. I have shown my work at the Forbes Library, Northampton, MA (2006) the Jones Library’s Burnett Gallery in Amherst (2007), and the Amherst Chamber of Commerce (2008). All venues would be happy for me to exhibit there again.

Using a point and shoot digital camera, printing the images on cotton canvases with pigment inks, I honor the earth and engage in sustainability by clicking my shutter when peak sunlight lights up the woods and shallow streams, sometimes using wind to move the water: natural energy.

No toxic chemicals are used to bring these images to life.

Most of these photographs are taken within walking distance of my Western Massachusetts home (another facet of the sustainability of this project). They are a celebration of the pioneer valley seen through the eye of my heart.

The sun calls me to a particular spot and I click the shutter when I see that rich, dancing light.

My photographs are about being so present in the moment that everything vibrates and shines. I see perfection in nature – patterns – artistic jewels that reveal themselves.

My photography is a reflection of the peaceful energy I find in the woods. Living in the moment, I capture beauty as I click the shutter.

These images can be looked at from different angles. There is no one right way to explore them. Please relax, take your time, have fun. I invite you to look for faces and figures; there are jewels in the water, and streams of light.

Art Contest Submission by Maya Apfelbaum

Maya at the Parade

Growing Green

L. Maya Apfelbaum

Maya at the Parade

Growing Greener is a multi-media performance piece for all ages. It includes a unique giant solar puppet, dance, visuals and interactive drama. It involves its audience members in facing the questions, sorting through the information, and deciding on doable actions that will help the Pioneer Valley become an increasingly sustainable and restorative region. Growing Greener’s public shows will tie into one or more relevant sustainable action projects co-led by an existing environmental group. Both the show and the follow-up project(s) will be video-recorded to air on TV, U-tube, and/or other media and — in turn — inspire others to learn more and take action towards co-creating a sustainable culture.

I understand and agree that any entry materials I submit become the property of the Pioneer Valley Sustainability Network – via project staff at the PVPC for use by it and its project partners working on sustainability issues throughout the Pioneer Valley. PVSN reserves the right to photograph and or copy any of the entries for reproduction and distribution. I understand that in all cases, credit will be given to the artist or inventor.

We are often bombarded with news about disasters-in-the-making and/or faced with experiences that tell us that change is afoot, prices for food and gas are soaring and water is no longer clean enough for our drinking or even swimming. We may try to integrate that information, push it away or avoid it. We numb out or struggle with decisions.
 
Performances have been used for centuries to move people, open their minds and hearts, raise awareness and inspire action. I am creating a simple yet powerful multi-media performance that accomplishes all the above while grappling with many aspects of building a sustainable society.

The primary characters in this piece are a man and a woman to whom we can all relate. They are conflicted between their desire for a consumer-oriented, American-Dream life-style and their growing awareness that the earth’s resources, climate and economic situation are calling for change. Our Characters (to be named later) are introduced to a magical being, a giant solar dancing puppet named Sunny Green (see photos), in Act One. Sunny Green serves as a Sustainability Spirit, reappearing and guiding them at tough moments throughout the performance until they finally join her.
 
In Act 2, our friends are confronted with dramatic and sometimes humorous vignettes of different but overlapping sustainability topics. They are challenged about local habitat and species loss; food production, storage and consumption patterns; our carbon footprints and global warming. They begin to take a look at alternative energy, transportation, building and lifestyle choices. 
 
In the final act our friends become clear that they want to take action on living in a sustainable way and influencing those around them. Issues left unresolved in Act 2 begin to find some answers and they join Sunny Green in planting symbolic seeds of hope and in compelling the audience to sign up for an upcoming local sustainability project or event. A soul transformation also is underway and a giant rainbow fish decorated with solar panels and recyclables such as broken glass and bottle caps swims out to celebrate the work underway and to leave us an evocative message about the daring, collaborative and innovative spirit we will need to cultivate to forge ahead.
 
I work with digital images and a projector; props, puppets and masks made from standard art materials combined with recyclables and scraps (including solar panels), versatile performers and a vast array of theatre, dance, visual and eco- arts skills, as well as community building and educational leadership strengths (see resume).

I will draw upon associations with NESEA, the Hitchcock Center, and the Deerfield and Connecticut River Watershed Councils to help me develop the informational content in the performance. My prior work with leaders in the education, arts, and sustainability fields will help me determine where to present the show and how to hitch the show to action. I intend to inspire new groups of people to become interested in sustainability and to spark new levels of empowerment in those already involved, so we all “grow greener”.

EXPERIENCE

Maya Apfelbaum, M.A.

Professional Experience:
1997-2008    Director, Teacher and Artist.  Develop, supervise and teach programs in the creative arts, dance, theatre, environmental and outdoors education for children, youth, adults, and seniors including those with special needs. Work independently and as employee for organizations such as Bonnyvale Environmental Education Center, Brattleboro, VT; Venture into Well-being, Amherst, MA; Hampshire Education Collaborative programs in Turner’s Falls, MA; The Revolving Museum, Lowell, MA; Framingham Community Charter School, Framingham, MA; First Night Boston, Inc.; the Labrador Creative Arts Festival, Canada. Also produced, marketed and performed in original performance pieces and community-based parades (see bottom of pg. 2).

2007-2008   Aquatics Teacher and Lifeguard. Teach water aerobics, therapy and children’s swimming classes part-time at the Greenfield YMCA.

1999-2002    Activities Director, Mt. Ida Rest Home, Newton, MA. Developed and delivered enrichment programs including self-esteem and interpersonal skill-building councils, creative arts, gardening, and literature club activities for a population of multiple-special-needs and elderly residents. Tracked patients’ mental and physical health in logs. Residents showed a marked increase in their positive engagement with life and their physical well-being.

1992-1997             Program Coordinator, Educator and Special Events Developer. Commonwealth Zoological Society’s Franklin Park Zoo, Boston, MA.

Principle Role: Coordinated, budgeted and implemented a grant-funded interdisciplinary program called Zoom into Animals in 15 Boston inner city elementary schools. Taught mainstream and special needs classes. Collaborated with the Boston Public Schools central office, principals, teachers, and zoo staff. Recruited and trained volunteers to help teach and enhance programming.

Secondary Roles: Developed programming and taught 4 years of the Museum Institute for Teaching Science (MITS), an accredited seminar for K-8 teachers. Wrote grants and headed year-long pilot program, Arts and Animals. Helped institute and manage Jungle Dreams overnight adventure program. Led zoo into its first collaboration with and Boston’s Earth Day and First Night celebration and received award for the multi-racial and multi-generational community-building this project entailed. Supervised and trained volunteers including youth from City Year and docents in the Zoo’s education department.

1986-1992     Arts Integration and Experiential Education Teacher: Initiated unique team-building projects and arts-integration curricula while also teaching conservation and outdoor skills classes at Thompson Island Outward Bound, Boston, MA; The New England Home for Little Wanderers and Hillside Shelter, Department of Youth Services facility, Boston, MA. Taught in Head Start and other multi-cultural and special needs pre-school, after-school and camp programs in VT, ME, and MA.

1980-1986
     Fundraiser. Campaign organizer, public speaker, door-to-door and telephone fundraiser for Environmental Advocacy Groups such as League of Conservation Voters, Philadelphia, PA; Mass PIRG and GreenPeace, Boston, U.S.A.


Educational Background

2001                    M.A., Interdisciplinary Studies. Lesley University, Cambridge.  Specialization:
Arts, Multi-Cultural Education and Ecology as applied to Performance, Education and Community Building. Included performance training at N.Y.U. and research in Tennessee. My thesis was an interdisciplinary research and 3 Act theatre script which wove together personal, cultural, historical, economic, socio-political and mythical information about elephants; highlighting how their endangered species status is emblematic of the complex and critical relationships between human populations,  wildlife, and questions about reverence for life and use of resources.

1989                        B.A., Intercultural Relations. School for International Training, Brattleboro,VT. Thesis: The Arts as Tools for Social Change. Degree work included theatre and cultural studies in a radical Arab-Jewish Theatre and on a kibbutz in Israel, an internship at the Philadelphia Zoo in environmental education, and teaching children at the Cambodian Mutual Assistance Agency in Lowell, MA. Undergraduate studies also included Sociology studies at Oberlin College, OH; and Environmental and Theatre Studies at U. Mass., Amherst.

1980-2008    Continuing Education in Community Building, Non-violent Communication Practices, Special Needs Programming, the Arts, Environmental Advocacy and Deep Ecology through classes, apprenticeships, and intensive workshops.

Performances, Special Events and Festivals
2006-2008    Parade organizer, Performer, and/or leader at festival and fairs such as the the International Dance Parade in NYC; Mother’s Day Peacable Planet Puppet Parade in Northampton, MA;  the Green Fair and Green RiverFest in Greenfield, MA; First Night in Northampton, MA; The Folk Festival and SouthEast Asian Water Festival in Lowell, MA; The RiverFest in Shelburne Falls, MA; and The Solar Fest in Tinmotuh, Vt.

2004-2008    Producer, Director, Choreographer, and/or Performer:  Directed Bonnyvale Env. Ed. Center’s (BEEC.org) annual Forest of Mystery theatre event in Fall, 07. Performed a variety of short performance pieces at nursing homes throughout Franklin and Hampshire County, Performed  The Vagina Monologues, Feb. 2006, Bellows, Fall Theatre, VT. Grand Pele Dance, Oct. and Nov. 2005, at the Pushkin Gallery Opening, Greenfield, MA and at the Women’s Womb and Belly Conference at Sirius Ecovillage, Shutesbury, MA. Ashes and Sparks; a full-scale dance, and sacred theatre event Sept. 2005 at Earthdance, Plainfield, MA. Shadows on the Ground a Hiroshima/Nagasaki commemoration, Aug. 2005, A.P.E. Theatre, Northampton, MA; Inside-Out Women in the World multi-media piece, Oct. 2004 at the Florence Arts and Industry Building, Florence, MA; Heartbeat Trilogy, July 2004, Community Theatre, Westminster West, VT.; Bones, a site specific theatre/dance piece, May 2004 at Earthdance, Plainfield, MA.

2001-2004
    Producer and/or Performer of community events or dance and theatre shows:
“Elephants and the Seven Sacred Directions.” 2000-2004 one-woman dance/narrative with live music shown at venues ranging from the international San Francisco Kinship with All Life conference (www.kinshipconference.com) to First Night Boston and Omega Institute (www.eomega.org) in 2002 to the Sacred Theatre Festival in NH. Assistant Artistic Director for All Souls, the Boston metropolitan artist-created multi-media event responding to Sept. 11, 2001 (http://artsept11.twindsl.com). Co-director of the Kosovo Refugees Arts Benefit. Lead artist and workshop organizer for the Spy Pond Festival, July ’03. Dancer in Bill T. Jones’ performance project, Last Supper at Uncle Tom’s Cabin at the Emerson Majestic in Boston, MA. Dancer in Tarnation Improvisational Dance co. (www.luthais.com/tarnation), 2001-2002, Boston, Ma “War R Us” by Rozann Kraus, May 2003; “Passages”, an inter-generational piece produced in June, 2003 at Boston’s Museum of Science, and many other performances.

Travel Experience and Projects
2004 Mexico: study and participate in eco-village communities, ritual, and dance.
2002 Thai: help “Elephant Orchestra” CD project and create dance to music by elephants.
1993 Jamaica: study sub-tropical rainforest ecology and Jamaican theatre and culture.
1988 Israel: study avant-garde political theatre, archaeology, Hebrew, and kibbutz.
65-79 Live and travel in India, Europe, USA, and Mexico with my family.

Volunteer Work
’04-’08 Organizer and participant in development of community vision for Lupinwood.
’97-’08 Director for Earth Day Festivals, holiday parades and other community festivals.
’06-‘07 Events, mask-making, and organizational development with Five Rivers Council.
’96-’03 Lead Organizer/Artist, Friends of Spy Pond conservation group, Arlington, MA.
’95-’01 House Manager and Usher:  Dance Complex and Dance Umbrella, Boston, MA
’96-’98 Board of Directors, Dance New England, an organization for which I now teach.