CULTIVATE

Creative Practice in the Belly of Impermanence

~ Realizing, Manifesting and Releasing our Living Artistry ~

A 10-week online workshop series
 Led by Lauren Beale & Brooke McNamara

with guest teachers

Aithan Shapira, Onye Ozuzu,  Donna Mejia, & Jamie Catto

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Sundays, September 13 - November 22 

(no class November 1) 

9-11 am MDT, 5-7 pm CET

$325 Suggested Investment. Please pay what you can.

"Art opposes tyranny by freeing beauty from the clutches of the powers of this world. True beauty is not pretty. It is a tear in the facade of the everyday, a sudden revelation of the forces seething beneath the surface of things. Only the revelation of beauty can save our world."

~ J.F. Martel

In this potent chapter of global unpredictability, we are called to gather with brave and tender humans willing to dive into the belly of our ever-changing circumstances. Welcome to CULTIVATE Creative Practice: an embodied, interdisciplinary exploration and training in which we harness, catalyze, and source the creative aliveness of our churning world. 

 

We begin with the truth that every human being is innately and uniquely creative. 

 

CULTIVATE is a practice of attuning to, cohering with, and yoking the generative principle that inherently pulses through each of us in every moment. We practice not only to refine skillful awareness of this creative vitality, but to grow a multidimensional capacity to realize and mobilize the imaginative power and potential at the center of our deepest humanity. As old structures within and around us collide, collapse and transform…

 

CULTIVATE ignites our skillful capacities to sense, sniff, woo, court,
magnetize, and catalyze living ideas and inspiration,
 

 

AND 

 

to prime, tenderize, forge, steady and awaken ourselves as vessels
for these living ideas to come into form!

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ABOUT YOUR GUIDES:

Lauren Beale (MFA, she/her) and Brooke McNamara (MFA, she/her) are performing artists and embodiment activists living in Boulder, Colorado in the USA. Lauren and Brooke met while both earning an MFA in Dance from CU-Boulder after performance careers in New York and San Francisco. In 2010, they created the collaborative identity and organization, Eunice Embodiment, which offers cutting edge dance-theater performances, embodiment education, and CULTIVATE creative practice workshops and retreats.

Brooke and Lauren herald from the experimental and experiential art lineage of Michelle Ellsworth Artland and Gesel Mason Performance Projects, somatic practice lineage of Yoga, and Zen Buddhist meditation and facilitation lineages of their teacher, Diane Musho Hamilton, Roshi. Their performance work and creative practice labs have been presented in residencies, festivals and conferences in Colorado, New York, Montana, Mexico and Hungary. Lauren and Brooke's creative work centers around the magical power at the intersection of imagination, collaboration, emergence, and awareness.

 

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GUEST TEACHERS

Aithan

Aithan Shapira

Teaching September 27: 

Aithan Shapira (MFA, PhD, he/him) is an established artist, Lecturer at MIT Sloan, and founder of Tilt, a culture design and transformation firm focused on change-ability. As facilitator and coach, he draws on 20+ years of transforming creative process into cultural practice that he is applying with global leaders in organizations such as NASA, Google, and Roche.

Aithan serves on McKinsey’s think tank for Advancing Adult Learning and Development and has pioneered progressive curricula at the edge of leadership and skills retraining for the future of work at MIT Sloan, Harvard iLab, Stanford d.school, and the Berklee Institute for Creative Entrepreneurship.

Aithan developed his research on the creative process at the Royal College of Art & Design, lived in an Australian Aboriginal community for three years to study art’s impact on cultures of survival, and continues to be a visiting critic at arts institutions internationally. He exhibits his artwork in museums and galleries in New York, London, and Miami. www.madetotilt.com, www.aithanshapira.com.

 

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Onye Ozuzu

Teaching October 11

Onye Ozuzu (MFA, she/her) is a dance administrator, performing artist, choreographer, educator, and researcher currently serving as Dean of the University of Florida College of the Arts in Gainesville, FL. Actively presenting work since 1997, Ozuzu has presented work nationally and internationally at The Joyce Soho (Manhattan, NY), Kaay Fecc Festival Des Tous les Danses (Dakar, Senegal), La Festival del Caribe (Santiago, Cuba), Lisner Auditorium (Washington, DC), and McKenna Museum of African American Art (New Orleans, LA). 

Ozuzu has dedicated much of her work as a dance artist to cultivating space for diverse dance forms to exist in pluralist relationship to one another. In her body she has negotiated the inter-sectionality between many movement forms from tennis to ballet, West African dance to Hatha Yoga, freestyle House to salsa, contemporary dance to Aikido. Rather than just “collecting” these dance styles, she cultivates the ability to make choices among these techniques with an intention to access a purposefully hybridized movement practice. She seeks a relationship that is like the relationship of a maker to their tools, rather than a person to their habits. http://ozuzudances.com

 

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Donna Mejia

Teaching October 25:

Donna Mejia (MFA, she/her) is Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in Dance, CU Boulder Theatre and Dance Department, as well as a choreographer, scholar, performer and composer specializing in contemporary dance, traditions of the African and Arab Diaspora, and emerging fusion traditions in Transnational Electronica.

Donna has served as Director of the Colorado College International Summer Dance Festival, Managing Director of the award-winning Harambee African Dance Ensemble of CU-Boulder under the amazing leadership of Instructor Emerita Letitia Williams, Guest Artist in Residence for Smith College Dance and has been awarded numerous national and international residencies.

In 2011 Donna was selected by the Fulbright Association to present the Selma Jeanne Cohen Endowed Lecture for International Dance Scholarship in Dance and her research was the featured keynote of Syracuse University’s 2012 Symposium on Public Diplomacy.  In 2014 Donna directed the first Viral Dance Colloquium; an interdisciplinary gathering of scholars and artists to discuss the impact of Internet usage on human affairs. She is also the founder of the movement and social action collective, “The Sovereign Collective.” https://donnainthedance.com/

 

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Jamie Catto

Teaching November 15: 

Jamie Catto (he/him) facilitates professional, personal and creative breakthroughs, drawing from his own processes in ground-breaking film production, philosophy voyages and music.

Says author Tom Robbins, “Jamie Catto is a human icebreaker with a prow of determination and a motor of love, slicing through the frozen seas around us.”

Jamie’s mission is to make self-reflection hip enough to save us from ourselves. He believes that by collectively acknowledging our insanity and our deepest darkest shadows, we can learn how to work with it to tackle global crises by channelling our energy into action for the world rather than using it all up on fighting ourselves. In doing so, we give each other permission to let our masks fall and focus on what’s really important.

Jamie leads workshops and trains creativity teachers around the world, and is the author of the amazing book, “Insanely Gifted: Turn Your Demons into Creative Rocket Fuel.” He lives in Oxford, UK. www.jamiecatto.com.

 

 

As CULTIVATE facilitators, we are devoted to guiding the manifestation of creative aliveness from a place of wholehearted intention, embodied knowing, micro and macro interconnectedness, honoring of each participant’s uniqueness, and genuine community. Our interwoven practices inside of our series include: 

 

  • intimate and playful conversation
  • improvisational movement 
  • exploratory free writing 
  • meditation and visualization
  • deep rest and daydreaming 
  • imaginative prompts 
  • visual art

 

 By engaging these multiple dimensions of self, other, and world, participants gain access to a dynamic field of powerful perspectives and playful possibilities with which to engage and respond to any given moment. Each of our unique, inborn artistry then comes to life with purpose - revealing, affirming and catalyzing truth, beauty and goodness intertwined with each other, our ancestors and all life to come.

 

In CULTIVATE Creative Practice (for people of all backgrounds, identities, and levels of experience) we aim to create a brave space in which we can: 

 

  • Descend, to include deeper layers of body, psyche, soul, and imagination 
  • Tenderize, through conscious contact with emergence and impermanence
  • Become fertile ecosystems to magnetize inspiration and ideas
  • Recognize that wounds and challenges are entwined with deepest gifts
  • Transform internal leadership from conditioned tyranny to wakeful sovereignty
  • Track creative aliveness and engage  it as a compass for purposeful choice making
  • Forge a reliable practice in a community of care and dignity

 

Our practice together in community is deeply rigorous and wildly fun. 

We also believe that creative practice is not only about what emerges into form. CULTIVATE Creative Practice consciously works with processes of creation, preservation, refinement, AND dissolution and destruction. Cycles and patterns of expanding and contracting, inhaling and exhaling, creating and destroying, birthing and dying appear to be features of reality itself on every scale, and express through all of our human stories and experiences. We believe it takes sustained and wholehearted practice as artists, as well as the support of a caring community, to allow ourselves to consciously participate with the full range and intelligence of these cycles. The fruits of this wholehearted practice can come in the form of deeply satisfying artmaking and/or the profound feeling of being truly, artfully alive.  

 

And yet - how can we have the courage to go into the Belly of Impermanence and fully experience these cycles without knowing something boundless, resilient and unconditioned in our being?

 

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This practice may sound exhilarating, or it may sound like a tall order. In our experience, as artists and facilitators, there is an indispensable key to accessing an open space of mind in which creation, preservation, and destruction can all occur. The degree to which we can access an open, unbiased awareness in any given moment is directly related to how fully and courageously we can encounter the waves of feeling and joys and challenges of the material we are working with creatively. 

 

Therefore, throughout CULTIVATE trainings, we braid in awareness practices such as meditation and yoga nidra, to train ourselves to access a bigger perspective in which our creative process can flow more fully and freely. As we come to know and trust something boundless, resilient, and unconditioned in our being, we can more gracefully shed outdated or toxic ways of being in the world or engaging our creative practice. We can release habits and patterns that have bound us to narrow expressions of ourselves and our relationships. We can transcend limited perspectives or world views of who we are as artists and how living artistry can serve the world around us. We can grow beyond a self-serving, isolated sense of self - and yet include our uniqueness and wisdom born of our wounds. We can adventure into the broader dimensions of what’s possible in creative practice together in harmony with life and death. 

 

In CULTIVATE, we measure the growth of our creative practice by how much we are able to track and channel our own creative aliveness in any given moment of artmaking or living.

We hope you’ll join us and a kind, powerful, international community forming around this practice: artists of all mediums, curious thinkers and feelers, and so many yearning to join together more fully with each of our creative capacities!

 

What people are saying about CULTIVATE:

 

“...surprising, enlivening and intimate…”

“The community of people coming together served me deeply and cracked my heart open.”

“You are both brilliant, human women and I am so moved and inspired by you. This time has brought more sacredness, attention, gentleness and the feeling of being lit from the inside. I have treasured being seen and bearing witness as others share who they are.”

“You are deeply inspirational and I have fallen in love with your partnership too; it is magic to experience your togetherness and how you each enliven and beautify the other.”