“Types and Shadows” Feature

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I’m glad to share a peak at the Fall 2014 Types and Shadows, Journal for the Fellowship of Quakers in the Arts! My artist book Puzzling the Moon is featured, and pictured on the front is one of the work’s … Continue reading

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Standing in the Light

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Your strength is to stand still, after you see yourself. Stand still in the Light that discovers, then strength comes, and mercy. ~ George Fox On this rainy morning here in Kalamazoo, somewhat inland from the Big Water of Lake … Continue reading

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The Deep-Deep Down: Where Book Art Meets Spiritual Community

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Fall greetings, Dey of the Phoenix readers! I’ve been Stateside a few weeks after a month’s sojourn to Europe. This phase is one of integration, because the summer provided multiple profound encounters. For new readers — or anyone who may … Continue reading

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The Horizontal Plane

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While hiking out of the Porcupine Mountains, I set down my backpack for a rest. Here a mighty Eastern hemlock had fallen. (Not in this photo, though!) The former treetop had been cut apart and set aside, presumably by a … Continue reading

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Summer-ing Spiritual Community, Part 2

Here’s a first on Dey of the Phoenix — a slideshow presented by Slide.ly! This book art was created during the annual Gathering (Friends General Conference), which I blogged about last month, “Summer-ing Spiritual Community, Part 1.” My inspirations stemmed from the week’s theme “Let Love Be the First Motion” and a powerful healing experience among Quaker artists in my workshop “Honoring Our Stories.”

The accompanying musical selection for the slideshow is from an album that has accompanied me much this summer. The very moving work of Breathe Owl Breathe has been good company during round-trips to Lake Michigan at Saugatuck. The songs are vibrational poetry, and “Vision Quest” is a wonderful riddle for experiences embodied by this book art created in the spiritual community of Friends.

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Summer-ing Spiritual Community, Part 1

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Summer greetings! I last posted on Dey of The Phoenix in late spring, after an eventful performance season. The following period has been a time of recharging and, most recently, extended fellowship among spiritual community. These encounters are precious, tender, … Continue reading

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shining light up/on “The Basement”

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Note: This post includes some experiences as a survivor of sexual violence, in case a reader may wish to know this in advance. The Chicago weekend-scape was a choice to breathe lightly after an August whirlwind.  I felt unsettled by … Continue reading

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Culminations Abound!

At the Michigan State Capitol with organizers of the Greater-Lansing event series "Healing with Community, Thriving in Unity", plus State Senator Gretchen Whitmer. Left to right: Rachel Berzak (TBTN), Sen. Whitmer, Tashmica Torok of the Firecracker Foundation, myself, and Katie Sochacki (TBTN). Photo credit: Laura Swanson.

At the Michigan State Capitol with organizers of the Greater-Lansing event series “Healing with Community, Thriving in Unity”, plus State Senator Gretchen Whitmer. Left to right: Rachel Berzak of Take Back the Night, Sen. Whitmer, Tashmica Torok of the Firecracker Foundation, myself, and Katie Sochacki of TBTN. Photo credit: Laura Swanson.

Greetings on this sunny morning! The early light glows over the greening grass. It’s a sight that warms my heart here in Kalamazoo after a week in Lansing. During my visit, I performed as the featured artist of Take Back the Night of Greater Lansing with percussionist Nicholas Brabhan. The experience was uplifting from inside a room at the MSU Museum that generated the intimacy of our collaboration Emergence. Thanks to those who supported these Lansing appearances in person and spirit! Video from TBTN will be forthcoming.

balancescaledIn Kalamazoo this week, I am in a group performance titled Balance. The multimodal program incorporates visual art, poetry/ spoken word, and movement. My co-performers are Denise Miller, co-founder of Fire Historical and Cultural Arts Collaborative and current board member; and Laura Sprague of Kalamazoo. We are presenting this artistic exploration of healing to the public as adult survivors of childhood sexual violence. The two showings at 8:00pm on Friday April 18 and Saturday April 19 at Fire — for just $5 at the door — are a culmination of our meetings since August 2012. It is unlikely that this performance will be recorded, so join us for the live event and also to take in the accompanying exhibition at Fire with our art work.

Opening of the exhibition at Fire Historical and Cultural Arts Center on April 4, 2014. From left to right, my co-exhibitors Laura Sprague and Denise Miller. Our group show is on exhibit through April and may be seen at Fire events, including our performance Balance on April 18 and 19.

Opening of the exhibition at Fire Historical and Cultural Arts Center on April 4, 2014. From left to right, my co-exhibitors Laura Sprague and Denise Miller. Our group show is on exhibit through April and may be seen at Fire events, including our performance Balance on April 18 and 19.

It’s a very intense week, as you might imagine, between the debut of Emergence to the eight-month-delivery of Balance. I am extremely grateful for the encouragement of loved ones and hearing how persons from these programs are inspired. My deepest respect to each of you who extend care and a part of yourself as I endeavor forward in the creative-healing arts. Whether it is that pep-talk over dinner or your smiling eyes meeting mine when I am on stage, I experience that connection as a thread of the great web of life. It is such a gift to share this web with you. Let’s “spider” on together!

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The Launch of Emergence

emergencetagA new project of mine, “Emergence,” combines poetry, percussion, movement, and visual art into an interactive experience with small audiences. Percussionist Nicholas Brabhan (South Bend, IN)  is my collaborator, who I met through the community at Crow’s Nest Center for Shamanic Studies. We share an interest in the creative arts as a healing tool, and “Emergence: An Intimate Performance” is our first public expression of the partnership.  Thanks for reading this post about how “Emergence” came into being, our partners, and how you can become part of the project.

{{Donations accepted here.}}

INSPIRATIONS

The poetry I perform in “Emergence” is rooted in my healing journey, and has been composed since the fall of 2013.  My focus these recent years on healing from childhood sexual violence in parallel with creative expression has expanded my artistic disciplines and use of media. “Emergence” springs from this ongoing evolution as a survivor-activist and as an artist.  From this base, “Emergence” is designed as an interactive performance for anyone with an openness to explore the creative arts as a healing tool.

As a whole, “Emergence” is a gentle exploration through performance. Poetry and percussion create a safe container to experiment with movement and visual art.  While inspired by my healing journey, the poetry is not focus on survivorhood as an explicit topic. I have set out, though, to bring “Emergence” to the public in partnership with ongoing programs that serve survivors of sexual violence. Survivors, allies, and persons open to engage arts in healing are especially encouraged to participate.

{{Donations accepted here.}}

COMING TO LANSING

The first engagement of “Emergence” takes place Sunday, April 13, in Lansing, Michigan, at Just B Yoga as part of the event series “Healing with Community, Thriving in Unity”, in unison with Take Back the Night of Greater Lansing. Thanks, TBTN, for donating funds for the venue!  Separate performances at 4:30pm and 7:00pm each have five openings for audience-participants; please register by email at MelissaHasbrook@gmail.com or phone 313.389.6866,

Teaming up with the Lansing engagement is The Firecracker Foundation, a nonprofit serving youth-survivors of sexual violence. Firecracker is processing donations for “Emergence”, and will receive half of the proceeds. The remaining portion supports the artists. This means that 50% of your donations also is tax-deductible.

{{Donations accepted here.}}

SUPPORT INVITED

When envisioning a community-support model of fundraising and sustaining my creative work,  I wanted to make possible a healing experience for audiences not rooted in mandatory payment. I envisioned how a community could be a part of the whole, and also benefit somehow from the performance.

Donors are receiving gifts to honor contributions, in addition to the knowledge that every dollar contributes ongoing support to individuals’ healing and artists channeling creative energy in experimental ways. All donors (with permission) will be recognized on here on Dey of the Phoenix. Additional gifts include the following:

- Donations of $10 receives the poem “Emergence” personally autographed.
– Donations of $25 receive an audio recording of the performance.
– Donations of $50 receive a mini-booklet of all poetry from the performance
– Donations of $100 receive both the mini-booklet, audio recording, and the Soulfire calendar from The Firecracker Foundation.

{{Donations accepted here.}}

FUTURE ENGAGEMENTS

Stay tuned here at Dey of the Phoneix for news of “Emergence: An Intimate Performance” coming to Kalamazoo, Michigan. And throughout the year, I will be developing new works toward a solo exhibition in 2015! As always, Readers, thanks for your continued support.

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A Bountiful Month

Collective painting from the pilot of "Emergence: An Intimate Performance" in March.

Collective painting from the pilot of “Emergence: An Intimate Performance” in March.

With April around the corner, days warm and “season greeters” pop-up through the not-yet-green landscape. At my new home-ground in Kalamazoo, I await for who appears. Thanks to Mildred, who tended the plant-life between the 1940s and 2010s, perennials are making themselves known.

With watchful eyes, I discovered a rock-laden pathway hidden by sod. The excavating of  flat squarish stones has begun! In this case, what lies underneath is predictable — or so it seems. I am reminded of life as art, and contemplate this season’s combined lesson of rising up and digging below.

Detail from one of my new pieces; mixed-media collage.

Detail of new work for Art Hop, April 4, 2014, in Kalamazoo.

Rising up and digging below. These parallel actions resonate recent months in my community-arts collaborations in Lansing and Kalamazoo, Michigan. Early spring is a time of debut for these interdisciplinary projects, and I look forward to meeting you anew at upcoming events. Thanks for your company on the journey of creative-healing arts!

Art Hop, Friday, April 4, from 5:00pm to 7:30pm at Fire Historical and Cultural Arts Collaborative, Kalamazoo. The exhibition is by project s.t.e.p. — speaking truth = power. I’m showing new work along side my artist book The Vision Journal.

emergencetag“Emergence: An Intimate Performance” brings together poetry, percussion, movement, and visual art as healing tools. The interdisciplinary and interactive experience is designed for small audiences. I perform with percussionist Nicholas Brabhan (South Bend, IN) in Lansing on April 13 (Facebook listing here), and in Kalamazoo on May 3. Please register by email, MelissaHasbrook@gmail.com, or phone, 313.389.6866.

TBTN2014apr15scldTake Back the Night of Greater Lansing takes place on April 15, on the campus of Michigan State University, and concludes with a march to the State Capitol. It’s an honor to be featured and to perform with Nick again. Join us at 4:00pm for “The Beat, The Word, & The Body” at Beaumont Tower. (For the full-sized event flyer, just select the image to the left.) Please consider making a donation to this grassroots campaign via GoFundMe, which also supports my public work as a survivor-activist.

stepbalance2014scaled“Balance” is an intermodal performance with artists who are adult survivors of sexual violence. Shows take place at 8:00pm on April 18 and 19, at Fire Historical and Cultural Arts Collaborative, Kalamazoo. Also, art work exhibited will expand upon the Art Hop debut of April 4.  I am honored to perform alongside the very talented and inspiring Laura Sprague of The Body Love Project and Denise Miller, co-founder and Board member of Fire.

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