I was steeped in world culture from an early age. Growing up in Europe and Latin America have had a profound impact on my work as an artist, educator, mentor and parent. Surviving cancer, overcoming obesity, single parenting, and then losing my beloved 13-year-old son to brain cancer in 2008, have taught me many lessons in courage, empowerment and integrity. I live with mobility and CPTSD disabilities made easier with my amazing Assistance/Service dog Flat Stanley, who accompanies me everywhere I travel.
My career as a director, performer, visual artist, writer, singer, Life Skills mentor, counselor and educator has spanned more than 25 years. I am a graduate of the National Theatre Conservatory's MFA program, studied at the Art Institute of Boston, and have served on the boards of Expressive Arts Collaborative, Outward Spiral Theatre, The North of Boston Arts Center, as well as on the Parent Advisory Board of the University of Minnesota Amplatz Children's Hospital, and Parenting 2.0.
In addition to my theatrical & music career, I have worked for many years as an independent arts educator, mentor, counselor and creative education consultant in both public and private schools, and also served for many years as a teacher and administrator in two Waldorf schools. I use many of the same principles in my theatre work with children today.
After my beloved son became ill in 2006, we founded The Brain Candy Project together, a non-profit organization serving parents living in hospitals with their critically ill children. We established a permanent endowment at the University of MN Children's Hospital. Since then, the mission and name have grown and transformed to become The Lost Travelers Club, a travel group for parents who have outlived their children, to step back into the world alongside others who "get it." It has, along with my theatre work, become a way to channel my grief into service. In 2021, we launched the new BRAIN CANDY wing, which provides art supplies to criticall ill youth. In the future we will create Brain Candy Magazine, an art & literature periodical to be created by and for youth who are living with critical illness, as a way to bridge to one another, offering reassurance that they are not alone on their journey.
The Lost Travelers Club and Brain Candy are funded in part by THE LOST TRAVELER PODCAST, produced regularly, where I engage with Life Skills experts from around the globe, discussing the vital Universal Life Skills for our time.
In August, 2009, I moved from Minnesota to Cape Ann, MA to begin a new life. There, in historic Gloucester, I founded The Folklore Theatre Company in 2011. We produced 40 original inter-generational productions based on local stories, along with outstanding arts and cultural programs for youth year-round.
In 2014, I partnered with the United Nations Development Programme in Suva, Fiji, to develop a workshop in creative activism, called Talanoa Mada/Stories to Tell, using folklore as a vehicle for youth empowerment and as a vehicle toward positive change. I maintain an ongoing mentoring relationship with the group to this day.
In 2020, I co-founded, as director and company member, THE LIMINOS PROJECT - an international company that explores the dance between the human physical and spiritual worlds through the art of theatre toward achieving artistic, social and economic freedom. We are soon launching Luminos Liminos Tales, a folk and fairy tale audio theatre series for children of all ages that offers a homeopathic dose of goodness during these challenging times. It also serves to preserve and protect storeies that may otherwise be dying with those who carry them.
I am an ambassador for The Global Presence, the educational wing of Parenting 2.0, an organization that focuses on Life Skills education worldwide.
Since 2016, I have also been a judge for the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University's annual Scholastic Art & Writing Awards.
Creative Life Skills Education, Humanitarian Activism, Personal Growth and Freedom of Expression are areas of deep commitment and passion in my life, and I am excited to share them with my global community.
if you have died, all the leaves will fall in my breast,
it will rain on my soul night and day,
the snow will burn my heart,
I shall walk with frost & fire & death & snow,
my feet will want to walk to where you are sleeping,
but I shall stay alive...
- Pablo Neruda