Image Left: Lisa D’Amour, Laurie Carlos, and Shay Youngblood in Austin. Image Right: Robbie McCauley, Daniel Dodd Ellis, Daniel Alexander Jones, Jason Phelps, and Laurie Carlos, in Minneapolis, 1997. Photos courtesy of Daniel Alexander Jones.
In Memory of Laurie Carlos
It is with sadness that we mark the passing of award-winning American actor and avant-garde performance artist, playwright, theater director, visionary and past MFAIA-WA guest artist Laurie Carlos. Laurie was born and grew up on New York City’s Lower East Side. An influential American theatre artist and original player in the New York Avant-Garde Performance scene, Laurie developed new characters and new aesthetics for the stage for over 40 years. A gifted writer, whose oft-anthologized pieces, including White Chocolate, The Cooking Show and Organdy Falsetto that represented daring and successful forays into abstract aesthetics. She was a dynamic, OBIE Award-winning actress, who created the role of Lady In Blue in Ntozake Shange’s for colored girls who have considered suicide when the rainbow is enuf; an inventive, two-time Bessie Award-winning choreographer (for White Chocolate and Heat) whose work with the Urban Bush Women is the stuff of performance legend; and a unique director, who helmed the premieres of new work by award-winning writers Sharon Bridgforth, Carl Hancock Rux, Luis Alfaro, Rebecca Rice and past MFAIA-VT Faculty Advisor Daniel Alexander Jones. Laurie, Robbie McCauley and Jessica Hagedorn formed the performance group Thought Music in the mid-1980’s producing the revolutionary performance work, Teenytown. She was the co-artistic director, with Marlies Yearby, of Movin’ Spirits Dance Theater Company; served as Artistic Fellow at Penumbra Theater; and curated the celebrated performance series Non-English Speaking Spoken Here at Pillsbury House Theater. Laurie was recipient of numerous grants and awards from the New York Foundation for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Theater Communications Group and The McKnight Foundation; and she was a 2004 Bush Fellow and Program Director for The Naked Stages Performance Art Series at Intermedia Arts.

Alumna Storme Webber (MFAIA-WA ’15) remembers:
The world that Laurie had remade made a different place of entry for me, and others like me. I heard her voice, full with feeling and pain and joy all mixed up. Something profoundly, truly real. Our paths did not cross enough, but thankfully, Goddard brought her for a residency. We had one day of earthrooted conversation. She had an incredible magnetism, brilliance and clarity. Her incandescence onstage and in theater making was natural. She saw, she truly, fearlessly, saw. She read from her performance novel The Pork Chop Wars and we witnessed the voices of multitudes leap from her. We have far too few like her. The loss of her being on Earth is tremendous. I will choose to understand that she has merely transformed, shape shifted into easeful, eternal grace and continued creative joy. Laurie, go easy, go light. We miss you so. We will never forget you. We honor your memory forever and a day. Until we meet again, Beloved. We love you always.
MFAIA-WA Faculty Advisor Seitu Jones remembers:
About 8 PM on December 30, 2016, my wife, Soyini Guyton got the call that Laurie had passed. Laurie always teased me about how early I went to bed and would sometimes just call me to get me out of bed to work. She was a constant collaborator and friend, who was absolutely nocturnal and worked all night long, while I slept. Well, truth be told, I was in the process of taking off my clothes to get ready for bed when the call came in and like other times when Laurie called, I put my clothes back on and went to work. My wife and I drove to the hospice, where Laurie spent her last week. We walked into Laurie’s room less than a half hour after she died and her room was already filled with people. Out of all those folks, only two people were crying. Everyone in that crowded room was an artist and was laughing, telling stories and offering prayers and meditations, celebrating Laurie’s rich life and contributions to our lives. After a while, a few folks called Laurie’s family and some of her friends around the country and in grand Laurie Carlos fashion, a ritual was created and acted out to send her on.
For a big part of my adult life, I’ve explored aspects of theater. While a few others often opened the door for me, it was Laurie that kicked down the doors to the performing arts for me so they would never close again. She was my theater teacher, mentor, collaborator and friend.
On New Year’s Eve, the morning after Laurie’s passing, I began my last collaboration with her wonderful spirit in creating a small wooden urn for Laurie’s ashes. Laurie’s daughter Ambersunshower, was coming from New York to the Twin Cities for Laurie’s cremation. I worked on Laurie’s urn for three days, even staying up way past my bedtime! Laurie once again got me up to work on her stuff.
Laurie worked all night long, because she was driven by a deep well of passion and love to create narratives and stories to change the world. I will always remember falling asleep listening to Laurie and my wife laughing. I only hope that I can live to tell truths with the same passion she demonstrated to me.
I will miss you Laurie.
Past MFAIA-VT Faculty Advisor Daniel Alexander Jones recalls:
In the fall of 1992, during my second year of grad school at Brown, Aishah Rahman was doing a workshop and asked me to come read scenes from Mojo and the Sayso. Her friend was coming up from NYC to do the workshop and was going to direct. Her train was delayed so we started “acting” and I was “acting” up a storm when her friend walked in. “OH!” she said to Aishah. “It’s AWFUL! Why do they teach them to do that? It’s so AWFUL.” All this, as I was “acting”. She stopped me and following a rapid fire series of questions, direct manipulations of my body and my breath, realigned me and stripped me of the affect I’d acquired. At the end of that time, chastened, humbled, and transfixed, I knew that I wanted to seize every opportunity I could to work with this artist again. Before we all went our separate ways, she looked me in my eyes, with a glimmer and some tinkling magic in her aura and said, “Ah, I know you. I. Know. You.” Weeks later it struck me like a ton of bricks. Aishah’s friend was Laurie. Laurie Carlos. {THE LAURIE CARLOS} That picture. It was utterly true, that I had found her all those years ago, and we had found each other in Providence. [Read Daniel’s full text here.]

Links: Laurie Carlos Interview with Nicky Paraiso
Laurie Carlos New York Times Obituary 
Shannon Holmes in performance. Photo: William Fallows
This is The Sound of My Memory
Alumna Shannon Holmes (MFAIA-WA ’14) will be giving a performative presentation on February 5, 2017 at the 25th annual Festival of Original Theatre (FOOT) conference entitled Sounding The Inner Ear of Performance at the University of Toronto. The abstract for her part paper and part performance presentation is titled This is The Sound of My Memory and an excerpt is available here.
Launching the Hanna Institute in Sonoma, CA
Starting January 1, 2017, current MFAIA-WA student Nick Dalton is assuming the role of Assistant Director of the new Hanna Institute. Housed within the Hanna Boys Center, a residential home for 100 high-risk boys ager 12-19, its focus will be as a training/development/research facility for trauma informed care. The Hanna Institute will use the creative arts, arts therapy modalities, meditation, non-traditional healing methods, and more to help create a self-healing community not only at HBC, but also in Sonoma Valley through collaboration with other non-profits, healers, schools, and health care institutions.
Louise Halsey, covers of the two books on fiber art. Far right: Louise Halsey’s tapestry Supersize My House. Wool, linen, wooden hanger with Monopoly houses. 27 ½”H (including top with houses) x 17 ¼” W. 2011. Courtesy of George Chambers. Private Collection.
Two Fiber Art Publications
Alumna Louise Halsey (MFAIA-VT ’07) will have work to be published in two books about fiber art — Artistry in Fiber: Wall Art Vol. I, and Fiber: Sculpture Vol. II published by Schiffer Publications, available: summer 2017.
Petra Kuppers Book Signing and New Book
MFAIA-WA Faculty Advisor Petra Kuppers will be signing her new poetry collection, PearlStitch, at AWP 2017 in DC, as part of the DisLit (disability literature) consortium. Feb 8th – 11th 2017. And Petra’s new book Theatre and Disability published by Palgrave will be available November 2017.
Link: Interview with Petra Kuppers on the podcast at Being Human

Image Left: Devora Neumark at the Val-de-Marne City Hall, week one of “Presence (revisited). Text Images Center and Right: Things that can happen Instagram screen captures announcing the dialogue circles convened by Devora and Jennifer. Images courtesy of Devora Neumark.
Presence (revisited)
MFAIA-WA Faculty Advisor Devora Neumark was invited by the curators of the “Vocales” exhibition to reenact her “Presence” project (first performed in Montreal in 1997) in Val-de-Marne and Brétigny-sur-Orge, France over the two-week period from January 21 – February 4, 2017. (site in French only).
Cultivating Joy as Radical Practice – Artist Book in collaboration with Small Tune Press
As an extension of their month-long artist research residency at Things that can happen (Kowloon) Devora, in collaboration with alumna Jennifer Van de Pol (MFAIA-VT ’13), will be collaborating with Hong Kong-based visual artist, cultural producer, educator and independent publisher Beatrix Pang of Small Tune Press to create an artist book involving material that emerged from the residency.

Michael Lent’s Book Published
In his latest book, Courting Dissolution: Adumbration, Alterity, and the Dislocation of Sacrifice from Space to Image, alumnus Michael Lent (MFAIA-VT ‘09) asks what role art has in colonization and subsequent dissolution. He proposes a practice informed by the fatal strategies and “raw” phenomenology of Jean Baudrillard as a challenge to a system of disappearance. Focusing on the otherness of space to prevent its ultimate dissolution, Lent promotes a spatial practice of radical alterity. Examining ideas of disappearance put forth by Baudrillard and Paul Virilio, he utilizes art as a means for investigating loss of potentiality and experience through the representation of space, shifting their ideas – originally ascribed to objects – into a new emphasis. This book ultimately attempts to break a cyclical system that causes everything to disappear into representation and equivalency.
Michael Lent is head of fine art at the University of Teesside, UK. As an artist, researcher, and academic working with visual and textual media, he investigates non-productive expenditure in art and culture and specifically how these ideas relate to space.

Mary Edwards with John Luther Adams at the premiere of Become Ocean at Greene Space, NYC. Photo: Camille Boccio
The Mentor That Matters
Alumna Mary Edwards’ (MFAIA-VT ’07) essay on Pulitzer Prize-winning composer John Luther Adams is included in the groundbreaking anthology, The Mentor That Matters: Inspiration from Transformational Teachers, Role Models and Heroes.

Slumber Party Shanty & Friends. Photo: Anthony Chapin
Slumber Party Shanty Returns to the Ice!
The Slumber Party Shanty is returning to White Bear Lake for a second run, in the Art Shanty Projects’ On-Ice Program, an annual public art festival in Minnesota. Each February, Art Shanty Projects transforms a frozen lake surface into a creative community space that is part art gallery, part art residency and part social experiment. Thousand of people are drawn to this outdoor event during a time of year when weather often keeps residents isolated. Runs weekends in February 2017, 10am-4pm.
Slumber Party Shanty is a giant enclosed bed (made to withstand subzero winter weather and winds) that promotes interactive, non-digital, old school creative play between generations. Guests of all ages don robes, interact with the monster under the bed, and climb up to the 2nd story mattress to engage in storytelling games, make ‘exquisite monster’ drawings or simply daydream together without the distraction of electronic devices.
Current MFAIA-WA student Erin Lavelle is a co-creator of this project with a core team of collaborators that includes: Anthony Chapin, Sarah Chapman, Alexandra Eninsche, Thomas Menke, Phillip O’Toole, Tami Traeger and Ryan Weber, among many other volunteers.
Sample cards from THE END
Swim Pony brings THE END to Philadelphia
This spring, graduating MFAIA-VT student Adrienne Mackey’s Swim Pony Performing Arts will premiere THE END: a unique blend of site-specific theater and gaming for social change. The work is a month-long interactive experience in which audiences are guided through a meditation on what holds value in the lives they are living. Funded by the Knight, Barra and Wyncote Foundations this project features a set of tarot-like cards that invite audiences to play a “round” lasting roughly 10 minutes per day. Each card inspires an act of contemplation, experience or action culminating in a final party in which players are “gifted back” their lives. In rehearsal now and premiering May of 2017:
One of the featured companies, Murmurations Dance, artistic director Nicole Degasse, will present their newest work When Women Were Birds, in the February Winter Dance Gala. Photo courtesy of the artists.
Winter Dance Gala
Alumna Hanna Satterlee (MFAIA-VT ’16) has been working since early summer 2016 to form the new Vermont Dance Alliance, with the mission to create more professional dance offerings for Vermont’s public. In collaboration with Lost Nation Theater, the Vermont Dance Alliance will present Vermont’s finest new works, highlighting choreographers from around the state and region. Two evenings of performance and one day of master classes!

Performances Friday and Saturday, 7:00 pm.
Buy tickets in advance on line,, by phone, 802-229-0492
or in person at the LNT office or at the City Clerk’s Office on the first floor of City Hall. Or buy your ticket at the door. We are very grateful to have Halyard Brewing Company as a sponsor to this event! Halyard Brewing Company uses organic and fair-trade ingredients to brew gluten-free and alcoholic ginger beers.

Contemporary Dance Master classes Saturday February 4th!
11am-12:30pm and 2:30-4pm!
Register through to hold your spot!
$10-20 sliding scale per person, 4-person minimum/18 person maximum per class
Winter Dance Gala would really like for dancers and dance enthusiasts in the area to know of this event — it happens the first weekend of the MFAIA-VT S17 residency — making a longstanding wish true, to make dance events and classes happen while in residency.
Ruth Wallen, Jeffrey pines in Laguna Mountains, from Listen to the Trees, 76.5″ x 50″. Image courtesy of the artist.
Weather on Steroids: The Art of Climate Change Science
MFAIA-VT Faculty Advisor Ruth Wallen’s installation Listen to the Trees, which provides a place to contemplate current and potential losses of San Diego forests will be part of Weather on Steroids: The Art of Climate Change Science, an exhibition of collaborative works between California artists and scientists at Scripps Institute of Oceanography. The exhibition will be on view at the La Jolla Historical Society from February 11 through May 21, 2017 and the San Diego Central Library Gallery from June 10 through September 3, 2017.
Mozart Scenes
Current MFAIA-WA student Deanne Meek
directed scenes from The Marriage of Figaro and Don Giovanni for the University of Washington School of Music’s Opera Workshop in Seattle, WA, incorporating interdisciplinary training in theatre, movement and vocal performance for an evening of some of Mozart’s most beloved music. Saturday, January 14, 2017 at 7:30pm, Meany Studio Theater, School of Music, University of Washington.
H. Cynthia Brooke, The Sierras – 2014 / Photography / 10′ X 2.5′ – A NE vantage point. Photo courtesy of the artist.
Peninsula College Faculty/Staff Biennial Art Exhibition
Current MFAIA-WA student H. Cynthia Brooke has three works on display at exhibition Peninsula College running from January 10 through February 10, 2017.
Collective Strategies for Women of Color in DancePhoto (courtesy of Brenda Dixon Gottschild) from left to right are: Vershawn Ward, Zita Allen, Gaynell Sherrod, Brenda Dixon Gottschild, Cara Hagan, Julie Johnson.
Collective Strategies for Women of Color in Dance
Alumna Cara Hagan (MFAIA-WA ’12) participated in a panel, Collective Strategies for Women of Color in Dance, presented as part of The International Association of Blacks in Dance’s 29th Annual International Conference and Festival of Blacks in Dance, in Dallas Texas on January 28, 2017.
Cara also just finished a guest artist visit at Missouri State University, where she reset the rhythm tap piece that she had choreographed last spring, gave a series of master classes, and performed her new work, Declaration.

Important Announcement

The Board of Directors for Goddard College have made the difficult decision to close the college at the end of the 2024 Spring term.  


Current Goddard students will have the opportunity to complete their degrees at the same tuition rate through a teach-out with like-minded institution, Prescott College. Updates and scholarship funds will be available in the coming weeks and months. Information will be posted to

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