Carolina Bedoya is an artisan and upcycle designer, educated at SUNY Purchase with a degree in arts. She has facilitated upcycled craft workshops for the Eileen Fisher Leadership Institute for the past five years and currently coordinates the Next Life program at the Eileen Fisher Learning Lab.
Aliya Bonar is an artist, community organizer and event producer based in New York City. Her art engages individuals - their bodies, their stories, their memories, their human-ness - to explore how we interact and engage inside of an increasingly branded, technological, and orchestrated world. She has worked with Creative Time, Flux Factory, Elsewhere Collaborative, The Wassaic Project, the Laundromat Project, and the Eileen Fisher Leadership Institute to teach workshops and produce events that engage everyday people in making authentic connections.
Aliya holds a BA from Hampshire College. She currently lives in New York City.
Alanna Coby is a writer, actress, director, and visual artist working in Brooklyn, NY. She is the founder of Ugly Comics, an online comic series, and We Risky Few Theater Collective, soon to take up residency in NYC. She is also a founding member of San Francisco's Revel Art Collective. Born and raised in San Francisco, Alanna has recently re-located to New York City after working for American Conservatory Theater for the past two years. She created Ugly Comics and began promoting the Ugly Comics Revolution/Manifesto in May of 2009, encouraging artists to seek out ways to liberate the process from the end result. As the founder of We Risky Few Theater Collective, Alanna taught Viewpoints-based theater workshops at Presidio Dance Theater in San Francisco, and worked with Amios SF as a freelance actor and director. She is also a published essayist, with works appearing on The Rumpus and Art of Hustle. She maintains websites at www.uglycomix.tumblr.com and www.cookingrage.wordpress.com
Melody Cooper’s screenplay, Northern Cross, an action thriller that deals with illegal immigration, was a 2nd Round Finalist in the Austin Film Festival, an Official Selection of both the 2009 Mexico International Film Festival and the 2009 Action On Film Festival.
Her most recent play, Sweet Mercy, which deals with the genocide in Rwanda, was developed by New York Stage and Film in their summer Powerhouse series, and was presented as staged readings at Primary Stages in NY and Antaeus Theater in Los Angeles. Her one-act, Truth Be Told, was produced by Ensemble Studio Theatre’s Going to the River Festival for 2009.
Melody is the recipient of the Jane Chambers Award for Playwriting for Day of Reckoning, a play about the forgotten 19th century black activist Lucy Parsons. Day of Reckoning also won the MultiStages New Works Competition in NY and was produced at New Theatre in Miami.
Her one-act, Reading Zimbabwe, was produced in NYC three times in 2003 (including by Epic Rep at DR2 with premieres by Lee Blessing and Romulus Linney). She has received two commissions: from Epic Rep to write a new play, and from Labor Voices to develop Truth Be Told, a piece focusing on the tragic events surrounding an Iraqi reporter.
Her play proposal Absolute Magnitude, about five time-scrambled female astronomers, was a Sloan New Play Initiative finalist.
Aliyah Hakim is a theatre artist based in NYC (Brooklyn) where she is studying theatre and media at The New School and is a Joker-in-Training with Theatre of the Oppressed NYC. Connected to people, communities and justice, her art/theatre practice aims to be conversational about and accountable to race (blackness), gender (femmeness) etc., and systems. Lately, Aliyah has been meditating on love, dreaming of a critical, accountable, social justice-minded love in the world. She also has a thing for cats, noodles, and any kind of traveling.
Desirée is an actor, writer, & blogger living in Inwood, New York. She is currently devising a stage adaptation of “The Descent of Inanna” entitled The Inanna Project to share the myth with a new audience. Desirée also shares the myth through her work at EFLI engaging the next generation of empowered women in goddess culture. “Goddess Inanna is rooted deeply in her humanity. Through my exploration of her I am able to accept and embrace all parts of myself, without apology or justification. It is my great honor to introduce women to Inanna, and bear witness to their transformations.”
The Inanna Workshop was developed by theatre artists Leslie Ayvazian, Olympia Dukakis, Joan MacIntosh, and Remi Messenger in the 80s & 90s, and is now being led by Desirée Matthews and Elizabeth Morton. With exercises and discussions inspired by the myth, each participant in the workshop is given the opportunity to acknowledge how she has uniquely prevailed in the world. She then goes on a journey from her worldly glory into the metaphoric underworld so that she may discover and recover the lost/suppressed/unwanted parts of herself.
Rob is dedicated to empowering people that they might achieve their dreams and live lives of deep fulfillment. Awakened to his own healing journey over a decade ago, Rob has tirelessly pursued a path of unification and transcendence. He is a certified teacher of Turtle Longevity Qigong, and a graduate of the Four Winds Society’s Healing the Light Body School.
Grateful for all the wonderful teachers who have graced his journey, Rob is committed to sharing this collected wisdom and helping his clients integrate body, mind and spirit for optimal health and enlightened well-being.
He is also a singer/songwriter who sings songs to nourish the heart and soul as they make the epic journey.
An instigator and facilitator, Daniela guides organizations and individuals to unlock creativity and expand leadership capacities through immersive experiences that ignite body-mind synthesis.
Daniela’s approach blends modalities ranging from embodied awareness and play-based problem solving to integrative coaching and strategy design. Through these modalities, she helps individuals and groups to access the innate intelligence of the body, forge connections, and find imaginative ways to move beyond stagnating personal and professional patterns.
Her energizing and nourishing programs, classes, and workshops are infused with ancient wisdom, modern science, and playful exercises that accelerate self-awareness, team spirit, and creative zest.
Daniela’s work has served and catalyzed thousands of people at dozens of nonprofits, social enterprises, conferences, and Fortune 100 companies, including Eileen Fisher Leadership Institute, Facebook, Omnicom, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Stanford University, Social Venture Network, Omega Institute, Conscious Capitalism at Fortune (magazine), Nexus Summits at the United Nations, US Congress, and more.
She holds a BA in Psychology, an MA in Expressive Arts Consulting & Coaching, and is certified in Integrative Health Coaching and 5Rhythms, a movement meditation practice she has been studying for fifteen years.
Andrew Tepper is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and a Program Director of the Music and Theater Program at Four Winds Hospital. Since 2009, Mr. Tepper has used music production and improvisational theater exercises as vehicles to engage participants of all ages in the therapeutic process. Mr. Tepper has extensive training in Psychodrama - an experiential form of in action group therapy. He has volunteered for years recording music with veterans through the non-profit organization Intersections International.
The We Will Not Be Silent Language Project is a collective of artists and activists that bring awareness to, and inspire dialogue about, issues of social injustice through the creative use of language embolden on shirts and signs and in a variety of other mediums, including direct public actions and workshops designed to empower individuals, particularly younger people, in the creative use of language and art to address issues of social justice.
Sarah Wellington joined the We Will Not Be Silent collective in 2007 and holds workshops with young people to explore language and guide them in designing their own public actions.
HEATHER HOMONOFF WOODLEY
Heather Homonoff Woodley is an educator, researcher, and activist. Her work focuses on meeting the academic, linguistic and social-emotional needs of emergent bilinguals, particularly Muslim immigrant youth who speak less common languages. Woodley’s research takes a pedagogical approach to arts-based research, using visual and performing arts to spark and build on youth voices in classroom spaces. She has published work exploring multilingual classroom practices and arts as social justice education, and received a 2014 Outstanding Dissertation Award from the National Association of Bilingual Education. Woodley was a Fulbright Scholar in Morocco, and earned her PhD in Urban Education at The Graduate Center, City University of New York. She was recently a Research Assistant with the City University of New York – New York State Initiative for Emergent Bilinguals providing teacher support, classroom resources, and leadership training for public schools. Prior to this, she taught middle and high school TESOL and ELA in the Bronx and Washington, DC, and was a teacher-educator at City College, CUNY and with the NYC and DC Teaching Fellows. Woodley serves on the national planning committee for Free Minds, Free People, a conference for transformative education with the Education for Liberation Network, and works with the Eileen Fisher Leadership Institute, teaching Raqs Sharqi (Middle Eastern dance) with young women.