December Appeal for Support

The Waterfront Project, 1997 / photo by Chris Bertelsen

In years past, I have gotten great pleasure in these stark, grey, stripped-down days of November/December. As I write this funding request to you for the educational part of what I do, I am realigning, taking stock of what has happened, and making plans for 2017.

Right along side all the profoundly disturbing news of the past months, is joy and love. Hearing of the actions at Standing Rock Reservation brought tears to my eyes and a feeling of, “Oh, this is the new path” through this muddied, confused, and polarization time. I am grateful for my training in improvisation that has shaped my life’s course and helped me embrace change. This technique demands that I know myself, feel deeply, trust my instincts, be present, see the big picture, speak the truth, rely on others, collaborate, and erase the boundaries that separate. I am committed to practicing these abilities in all my relationships, those close and known as well as those distant and not familiar.

This list of values is what I have to share with those I mentor. These life-skills also happen to be the skills most valued in performers of excellence. As I expect of myself, I encourage my students to close the gap between onstage and offstage persona, to strive to be fully, authentically engaged, and to do no harm in this short life.

I am asking for your financial support for Lisa Spencer’s and Denise Casey’s course of study. They are powerful, effective, contributing members of their communities who make a difference. I am humbled and honored to be their mentor.

Lisa and Denise are in their second year working with me. Each woman’s schedule is specific to her needs. Once a week, Lisa meets with me for three hours. Once a month, Denise and I meet either in person or on the phone. In the interim, they have individual or group sessions with the team of teachers: Sara McMahon (Fundamentals of Movement); Susan Borg (voice); Lida Winfield (performance skills); and Rebecca Dietzel (kinesiology and nutrition).

Your financial donation will pay for a year of training with the teachers. Please help us meet our goal of $9400. Be a partner in this educational endeavor. Your tax-deductible donation can be made online at our secure site or checks can be made out to Cradle to Grave Arts and mailed to PO Box 8 in Chelsea VT 05038. We are grateful for your belief in what we at Cradle to Grave Arts do in the wide world.

In closing, we five teachers are discussing the idea of an “open studio” sometime in the spring to offer those interested in process a chance to see and experience what we are working on with our students. If you would like to be notified please send me an email so that I can inform you.