Spring ELEE Series Schedule
Past Events and Speakers
March 19th, 2017 - 4pm - "Us Plus Them"
MICAH BLUMENTHAL, Designer and Artist, "Social Architect"
I do the work that I do because I believe that we are each the social architects of our society. So we can manifest whatever it is we choose and in fact do. I see choice as the only force in the universe. I am an artist and though my work is only occasionally in tangible form, my life is my art. The way I walk, talk, move and breathe is my expression. I believe in living in possibility, and want to prove to my kids that anything is possible, even world peace. Anything is possible. I believe that we are moving towards oneness. I work to unify where there is division. I work selfishly to expand my own definition of self till I can act selfishly and towards the good of the universe simultaneously knowing that they are one in the same. In seeking unity I work to counter-measure the us vs. them paradigm. I do this as creator of DAY 1, as a yoga teacher at Mudita, on the board of Wild Earth and the Center for Creative Education, as a part of O+, working at the Kingston Farmer’s Market, as a City of Kingston Art Commissioner, just as a human being and especially as a father. For more information contact Micah at email@example.com or visit day1united.com
DENNY DILLON, Improv Actress and Teacher, "Mission Improvable"
Former cast member of Saturday Night Live is a Tony-nominated stage, television and film actress. She is also passionate about and an accomplished teacher of the art form of Improvisation. She has taught professional actors, students, children, as well as master classes at universities; and finds it valuable for everyone. “Improv is like cliff-diving without a net. I love the creative challenge of leaping into the Unknown with complete trust and relaxation to create something out of nothing.” Improvisation which is acting with no script, no set, and no costumes; develops heightened spontaneity, listening, and awareness of the moment. It is a spiritual ensemble ride. Together and separately we learn how to relax in the center of our being when we don’t have a clue what will happen next. For more information on classes, contact Denny at firstname.lastname@example.org or (845) 687-4466
BEN GIARDULLO, Business Developer, "Modern Food Systems and the Future of the Local Market"
Benjamin Giardullo is a business development consultant and entrepreneur focused on food systems and community development. He is passionate about improving local economies through regional food system development, and making nutritious food more accessible for whole communities. He is the principal of Hudson Valley Market LLC and the co-founder and CEO of BBG Ventures LLC, currently developing a retail market and food & beverage manufacturing facility in Kingston, NY. In the past 5 years he has helped to build Hudson Valley Harvest, a local distributor of meats, produce, dairy, and other farm products for approximately 100 family farms in NY. He serves as the chairman of the board of Common Ground Farm, a 10 acre non-profit farm focused on food access, food justice, and education programs. He is also a member of the Agriculture Advisory Board for US Congressman Maloney, and the Agricultural Working Group for US Senator Gillibrand. Previously, he held pivotal leadership positions in the global expansion of American Apparel, where he was responsible for growing the company’s most profitable region to $80M revenue, leading a team of 750 employees, and developing the company’s global operations and inventory systems. For more information, contact Ben at email@example.com
September 13th, 2016
STEVE GORN, bansuri virtuoso, “The Transformative Power of Music”
Music as a healing art, and a transformative modality which synchronizes body and mind, as well as our relationship to our world. This has become the essence of my work as a musician and as a life practice. My music over the past 40+ years spans Indian classical music, Grammy winning records, composition for theatre and dance, and an ongoing search for aliveness in sonic landscapes and life - for more information please visit www.stevegorn.com or contact at Stevegorn@earthlink.net.
BARBARA NEIMAN, occupational therapist, yoga instructor, and author of Mindfulness and Yoga Skills for Children and Adolescents, “My Calm Place : Tools to Manage Our Collective Trauma”
Barbara Neiman, OTR, is the author of My Calm Place card deck and Mindfulness and Yoga Skills for Children and Adolescents: 115 Activities for Trauma, Self-Regulation, Special Needs and Anxiety. Barbara just launched with partners CalmKards.com a free service to receive calm text messages in a web platform. A pediatric Occupational Therapist for 35 years, Barbara is a Yoga Teacher 200RYT, a Body Mind Centering Practitioner and a coach. She is a National Presenter to Healthcare professionals on Trauma Informed Mindfulness and Yoga. Her trainings help people to manage trauma by feeling more grounded and connected to their body. - for more information please visit www.barbaraneiman.com
TAMMI PRICE-LALL, N.D., naturopathic doctor, acupuncturist, "Nourishing Destiny and the 5 Element Theory of Chinese Medicine"
Dr. Tammi Price studied medicine at the National College of Naturopathic Medicine where she received both a doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine and a Masters degree in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. Dr. Price strongly believes in the body’s inherent ability to heal. She uses a wide range of natural remedies and therapies, including acupuncture, botanicals, homeopathy, and various somatic emotional release techniques aimed at stimulating and supporting patients’ abilities to heal themselves.
December 13thth, 2016
DAVID BROWNSTEIN, founder and executive director at Wild Earth, "Wild Earth - Creating a Nature Connected Mentoring Community in the Hudson Valley"
In 2004, David co-founded and, today, is the Executive Director of Wild Earth, where he seeks to help regenerate healthy community culture and create opportunities for people to connect with themselves, each other and the Earth. Prior to founding Wild Earth, David worked as a wealth advisor on Wall Street for twelve years before realizing a life dream – fully sharing in the care and parenting of his three children, and creating a small family farm. Today, the Brownsteins raise dairy cows, goats, chickens, bees and vegetables in season. David also maintains an active counseling practice called Root Connections, where he focuses on helping individuals, couples, groups and business leaders identify and manifest their unique vision. Learn more about David's work at WildEarth.org rootconnections.org or email at firstname.lastname@example.org
CASSIDY BARNES, inventor, mathematician, metalworker, "The Mathematics of Nature and the Future of Human Systems"
DIANA BRENES SEILER L.M.T, massage therapist, massage instructor, mindfulness instructor, "The Origins of Thai Massage and the Future of Healing Touch in The Paradigm of Modern Medicine"
Massage has proven to be an endless source of joy and discovery for Diana. Inspired by the deep fulfillment that she felt in her own yoga practice, Diana decided to pursue Thai Yoga Massage as a means for assisting others in experiencing a similar fulfillment. She began her studies in 2003 at the Lotus Palm School for Thai Yoga Massage. There she found herself intrigued, inspired and adept at this flowing, dance-like therapy. After two years of practice, she decided to go to the Finger Lakes School of Massage to expand her knowledge of the body and learn new approaches for healing through touch. Both of these schools ingrained the principle of intention in loving kindness as the foundation of giving an effective massage. Her passion for massage has continued to lead her on her study in numerous advanced trainings over the years. *Since 2006, Diana has had a private practice in New Paltz and has worked at the Wellness Center at the Omega Institute. She has been a massage instructor at The Finger Lakes School of Massage in Mount Kisco since 2008 and teaches Thai Massage workshops throughout the Hudson Valley and beyond. More recently she has been training nurses in the use of Acupressure with their patients at the VA Hospital at Montrose. To learn more about her visit: www.hudsonvalleythaimassage.com
November 8th, 2016
BARBARA BASH, calligrapher, illustrator, author, performance artist, “The Leap to Letters : The Evolution from Natural Forms, to Pictograms, to Letters”
Barbara Bash is a calligrapher, illustrator, author and performance artist who explores the moving line through the alphabet, big brush strokes and the natural world. She has written and illustrated a number of books for children and adults , most recently True Nature : An Illustrated Journal of Four Seasons in Solitude .Barbara offers workshops widely in expressive calligraphy, illustrated journaling and mindfulness. Her website is barbarabash.com
ARTEM REPIN, Native-American style flute builder, "The Magic and Music of Emptiness"
When the hands move holding a smoothing plane or a carving chisel, shaping and transforming one form into another, there is no thought, there is only presence. The body, the vessel, is a tool that is holding another tool to uncover or mold together what has already always been there. A flute essentially is a chamber of empty space with holes that hold more empty space and a splitting edge that cuts air stream directed at it. Before there is a flute player there is silence and space. The sound edge of the flute splits the silence when the player guides his or her breath into the flute, the fingers of the player mold the empty space by opening or closing the playing holes and the energy-in-motion (emotion) directs the feeling, thus the music is created. But when all the movements stop, it becomes that which always is vast space, the ever expressive silence and the Self. - for more information please visit ArtemRepin.com
SARAH URECH, assistant director of the Omega Women’s Leadership Conference - “Playback Theatre, Presence, and Building Community Through Stories"
Sarah Urech is a multilingual performer, social worker, and singer. She is the assistant director of the Omega Women's Leadership Center at the Omega Institute for Holistic Studies, encouraging women leaders to #DoPowerDifferently. A Licensed Master's Social Worker and certified practitioner of Psychodrama, Group Psychotherapy, and Sociometry, Sarah is a 22-year member of Hudson River Playback Theatre. She has taught and performed playback theatre in 15 countries, including Cuba, Japan, and Russia. Originally from Switzerland, she speaks seven languages and is passionate about creating opportunities for international exchange and community dialogue. For more information contact Sarah at email@example.com or 845 901-6328
October 11th, 2016
JOEL ELDER, distiller, owner-operator at Quita Essentia, “How Hudson Valley Distillers Will Help Shape 21st Century Agriculture”
Joel Elder is the founder of Quinta Essentia Alchemy, LLC, a Farm Distilling Consultancy. He first began working in the craft beverage alcohol business in 2000 as an apprentice brewer at McCoy’s Public House in Kansas City, MO. Realizing that farms are the foundation of all beverage alcohol processes, he set off on an agricultural apprenticeship journey that eventually led him to New York’s Hudson Valley. Equipped with an awareness of the needs of sustainable agriculture and a conviction that value added practices would play a pivotal role in 21st century food systems, he began working at Tuthiltown Spirits, LLC and soon became Chief Distiller, a position he held for more than 7 years. In addition to continuous involvement with local and national agricultural practices and legislative efforts, Joel was present at the beginning of the Craft Distillation movement and has successfully launched numerous products for a diverse clientele. For more information please visit http://www.quintaessentia.co/about-qe
STEPHANIE HERTEL, herbalist, garden coordinator at the Anderson Center for Autism - "Horticultural Therapy and Herbalism in Autism Spectrum Communities"
For more information please contact Stephanie at
JOHN MICHELOTTI, mycologist, and founder of Catskill Fungi, "Pairing with Fungi; How We Can Improve Ourselves, Our Environment, and Our World”
John Michelotti is the owner of Catskill Fungi whose mission is to empower people to appreciate fungi and nature via outdoor guided mushroom walks, cultivation courses, educational talks, private consultations, mushroom art, and mushroom health supplements which he makes from mushrooms he grows on his family farm in western Ulster County. His interest began when he went on a mushroom walk and since then the more he learns about fungi the more interested and passionate he becomes. His goal is to educate and empower people to pair with fungi to improve our health, our environment, and help us solve many issues we face in the world today. for more information, please visit www.catskillfungi.com
June 11th, 2017 - 4pm - "Creating the Path Forward"
AMY MCTEAR, Author, Coach, Musician, and Founder of One True Voice --
“We Need You-A Call to an Imaginal Reality” -- My work is about helping people distinguish their one true voice from the cacophony of cultural and mind-generated voices that mitigate their power. I help people discover what matters to them most, help them find their gift and bring it to life. I believe each of us holds within something essential for the whole. Governed by our one true voice, we naturally draw upon our greatest capacities and we are vitalized rather than depleted by our doing. We gravitate toward the associations and experiences that bring the greatest joy and connection, and we fulfill our personal mission by making a unique offering to the overall web. Contrary to cultural myths, it is by being resolutely true to ourselves that we enable our most potent, successful life and our most valuable contribution to the whole. This is the philosophy I work with in my private coaching practice, augmenting with therapeutic sound, brainwave entrainment therapy, self-hypnosis and Heartmath practices. I am the developer and founder of Soundescapes, a sonic power nap program to relieve stress, elevate mood, enhance cognition and support overall health and wellbeing for use in corporations, hospitals and colleges. My signature transformational events inspire audiences to take their place among the architects of the new reality by claiming their most inspired life. These events weave voice, music, mindfulness, visual inspiration, eclectic instrumentation and community song in a way that inspires audiences to disarm, bond, become more self-aware and motivated to improve their lives and contribute to a better world. My manifesto book is We Need You, A Call To An Imaginal Reality . More information at www.amymctear.com. 914-388-0632, firstname.lastname@example.org.
MARIO RINCON, Flamenco Artist and Musician, “Quiero Curarle Yo (I want to heal him myself): Cries From the Mines of Andalusia, and the Roots of Flamenco today" --
"Cante", or flamenco song, is a centuries old folk tradition known to many as the “blues of
Spain.” Fortunate to have been raised in a family of flamenco artists, the development
of my craft has been similar to that of countless generations of cantaores before me -
within the home, among relatives, informal. And yet as an American, my relationship to
flamenco - a cultural narrative unique to Andalucia - has been that of a foreign language
student to his/her studies, broken into formulas and translations. This outsider’s
perspective has required me to form my own definition of cante as it pertains to the
world beyond the borders of Iberia. From the sea shanties of Cadiz to the hammer-
drummed blacksmith chant of Triana to the miner’s lament of Levante, the universal
themes celebrated and bemoaned in flamenco help strengthen our understanding of our
own folk traditions and their historical context.
LIBBY ZEMAITIS, Founder of UpHomes.com and Climate Change advocate, “Building climate resilience and a sustainable business in the Hudson Valley” -- Libby Zemaitis, CEO and co-founder of Up Homes, is building a more sustainable home owning experience for the new generation. The Hudson Valley is her home and her inspiration. Libby has spent over 12 years working in clean tech and resilient design, bringing the science and business worlds together to tackle rapid climate change. She holds a dual M.S. in Climate Science and Policy and M.B.A. in Sustainable Business from Bard College and B.A. in Geology from Vassar College. In her free time, Libby performs her violin in local rock bands.
April 16th, 2017 - 4pm - "Reinvention and Rebirth"
DECORA, Hip-Hop Artist, DJ, and Performance Poet, “Normal is Not a Feeling”
Decora is a hip hop artist, DJ, and performance poet based in New York’s Hudson Valley. He is best known for his unique brand of composition, which unites a folk music ethos with hip hop for social change. Since his debut album “Bread and Oats” in 2015, Decora has shared bills with Lauryn Hill, Lenny Kravitz, Kaytranada, and Saul Williams to name a few. 2016 proved to be a successful year as Decora curated large productions intertwining performance and visual arts centered around his music. After performing across the U.S. and Canada, headlining a festival in the Pacific Northwest, and south west sponsored by Leica. In 2017 Decora also interviewed for MTV and NPR, Decora received rave reviews by the influential media publications such as Chronogram, Upstater and AfroPunk. Decora's 2017 international tour is already underway and a much anticipated EP entitled, “Beyond Belief” will be released in the beginning of 2017.
EVAN PRITCHARD, Author, Algonquin Scholar, and Activist, “The Indigenous Roots of the Easter Story”
IAN ROBERTSON DUNCAN, Founder of Norther Dipper Daoist Temple, “The Mysterious Waterwheel: Daoist Inner Alchemy”
Ian Robertson Duncan is a teacher of meditation, movement, and internal alchemy on the path to Enlightenment. He moved to the Hudson Valley in 2009 with his wife to begin to build a timber frame building in which to start a family, and establish a Daoist temple — Northern Dipper Temple. A winding path took him through iterations of self as a rock climber, painter, poet, timber framer, and now a teacher. His teachings are informed by several Daoist lineages and one Tibetan Buddhist lineage (Bon Dzogchen). They find their clearest expression in the view and methods of the Daoist E-Mei School.
May 21st, 2017 - 4pm "Visionary Leadership"
JULIA WALSH, Social Activist and Water Rights Advocate, “How New York Banned Fracking Through Uniting Communities” -- Julia Walsh is a community organizer and political strategist who has worked on progressive issues and campaigns for over 15 years. In 2010, Julia started Frack Action in response to the immediate threat that fracking posed to New York State. This organization played a pivotal role in winning New York State’s 2015 ban on fracking. Prior to starting Frack Action, Julia served as an elected official on the Village Board of New Paltz, New York from 2003 to 2007. During her time in office, she was instrumental in passing environmental legislation and organizing New Paltz’s high-profile, politically charged same-sex marriages that drove an important dialogue in the national media. In the Hudson Valley, Julia founded and organized Synthesis, a grassroots youth organization that empowers students to become organizers for social change in their communities. She established and volunteered at the New Paltz Cultural Collective, an artist group and fair trade cafe in downtown New Paltz that was in operation from 2004-2010. For over a decade, Julia was an NGO Representative to the United Nations on behalf of children’s rights and indigenous rights organizations
MARC GROSSMAN, Optometrist, “Windows to the Soul - Expanding your Inner and Outer Vision”
How you "see" helps determine who you are. Visual symptoms provide valuable messages that allow you to become more aware of your true soul nature. This eye-opening program integrates the art and science of expanding your vision, as well as its practical and spiritual aspects, so you can reprogram your consciousness and gain skills to enhance your perception of the world.
Optometrist/Acupuncturist Marc Grossman uses a full range of mind-body therapies, including Chinese medicine, applied kinesiology, holistic vision, Continuum Movement therapy, and Emotional Freedom Technique. Marc’s pioneering approach can help you see more, feel more, and be more—in everything from intimate and business relationships to career choices and financial planning.
Dr. Marc Grossman, O.D. L.Ac. is a developmental behavioral optometrist for more than 36 years, is also a licensed acupuncturist. He founded the Rye Learning Center in 1980 and more recently cofounded Integral Health Associates in New Paltz, New York.author of 5 books on natural vision care including Greater Vision: A Comprehensive Program for Physical, Emotional, and Spiritual Clarity and the international best seller Magic Eye :Beyond. 3D; Improve Your Vision.He lectures and teaches workshops nationally on his integrated approach to vision and its influence on the body, mind, and spirit of each person.
Email email@example.com or 845-255-3728
LINDA WINNICK, Yoga Instructor and Ayurvedic Practitioner, “Women Giving Good : My meetings with His Holiness the Dalai Lama"
Linda Lalita Winnick, MA has been on the path of Yoga and Truth seeking for over 30 years, She has been sharing her knowledge of Yoga and Ayurveda -- she is not only certified as a Yoga Teacher and Ayurvedic Practitioner, but also has a Master of Arts degree on these subjects. After studying Psychology and graduating with a BA degree, Linda lalita pursued her studies of Eastern Philosophies and Healing/ Therpeutic Modalities as being more consistent with her beliefs about achieving wellness using the mutidimensional techniques of Yoga and Ayurveda. Lalita owns Shakti Yoga of Woodstock and also has studios in Saugerties and Kingston where teachers from her specialized Yoga Teacher Training program instruct using the Shakti method.
Linda Lalita is passionate about medicine and healing , strength, deep inquiry, physical exercise, and self actualization. She worries that people are losing their investgative thinking and not questioning information enough, therefore we are becoming unempowered and dependent on false authorities. She is the mother of two boys who help her grow stronger in her practice.