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Karen Arp-Sandel. visual artist, spiritual activist, co-founder of FeMail and arts educator brings a fresh playful approach to mixed media creativity. Like a good collage, her life is an exciting mash-up.  From being faculty at IS183 Art School of the Berkshires, to being a FeMail collaborator, Karen integrates art making into daily living. Whether leading students on the Yoga mat, or in studio art, Karen draws inspiration from living inside the creative experience with mindfulness. When wearing her Kripalu program presenter hat, she elevates both body and spirit as paths for self-discovery during her annual retreat: Vibrant Visionary Collage.  Karenʼs passion is to illuminate the transformational power of living a creative life.  Read more about Karen

Karen Arp-Sandel

Co-Cure-ator + Performer:




Cynthia Atwood has spent the last twenty- seven years in the Berkshires of MA and practices her avocation congruent with a sewing business. The use of sewing techniques in her business and in her studio practice has brought an integration of the real and the surreal into her everyday life.  She graduated with a B.F.A. in Painting and Printmaking, and graduated with my M.F.A. in Visual Arts/Sculpture in 1999.  In 2000, she was awarded the Sculpture Prize in the Cambridge Art Association’s National Prize Show.  She has taught and has been involved with “The Body Project”, a project for women of all ages addressing body image and adornment with the Railroad St. Youth Project of Gt. Barrington, IS 183 School for the Arts in Interlaken and Community Access For The Arts, and is currently an artist/teacher at the Vermont College of Fine Arts Graduate Program in Montpelier, Vt.

Cynthia Atwood

Cure-ator + Performer: MENOPAUSE


Creator: "Life-Death-Life"


Suzi Banks Baum defies description. At one moment she is writing about mothering and creativity and at another she is stirring jam. Another finds her producing events, and another making books. At all times Suzi is the proud mother and partner, and descendant of a line of women who wrote letters, made things, taught others, and loved chickens. Suzi hails from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. She recently published An Anthology of Babes: 36 Women Give Motherhood a Voice that is available on Amazon or at local Berkshire bookstores. Her mail art correspondence with Karen Arp-Sandel called FeMail keeps her making art wherever she goes.. You can keep up with seeing and celebrating the sacred in daily life with Suzi, her writing workshops and conference appearances at

Suzi Banks Baum

Co-Cure-ator + Performer:


Cure-ator: “Confessions of Motherhood” in MOTHERHOOD


Lorimer Burns worked for many years with small modern dance companies in Salt Lake City, Utah, NYC and Paris before earning her BFA from NYU. She performed with Jennifer Sargent and Dancers, Clay Taliaferro and MJ Becker, retiring in 1993. Lorimer taught full-force knock-out self-defense at Model Mugging of Boston for 10 years. Shortly after moving to the Berkshires, in 2003, she established Lorimer Burns Ceramics. She is a faculty artist at IS183 Art School of the Berkshires and Community Access to the Arts in Great Barrington, MA.

Lorimer Burns

Cure-ator + Performer:




Cathy Fisch is a fiber artist, massage therapist, magical herb woman and mother of three. She studied the fine arts of woven and spun things at The Threefold Center for Fiber Arts and loves sheep, wool, baking delicious cakes and collecting books. Legends about her award winning breads and wool have been circulating around Berkshire and Columbia Counties since her arrival from Weymouth, MA in 2006.  Rites of Passage was her first major artistic work.

Cathy Keenan

Cure-ator + Performer:


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Lori Fisch loves the arts in all forms.  This love has drawn her to an exploration of numerous mediums. Interior design, stained glass, fiber arts, collage and clay sculpture are among the channels of her creations.  Rites of Passage signals her return to artistic work after raising her two children.

Lori Fisch

Cure-ator + Midwife:


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Kristin Grippo is an educator, yoga instructor, and all around go-to-girl. 

When Kristin was 13, she loved chunky peanut butter, star stickers, and writing poetry in her journal. Not much has changed since then. Co-Curating the adolescent room (with Dina Noto) for Rites if Passage was her first major artistic project

Kristin Grippo

Co-Cure-ator + Performer: ADOLESENCE


Krysia was born in Wroclaw, Poland, where she attended art schools for six years and became a successful jewelry designer. Since moving to the United States she has applied her skills and sensibilities to children's book illustration, graphic design, painting, and photography. She has recently added video to her arrays of artistic expressions. Her paintings, prints, and photography have been shown and sold to private collectors. She currently resides in Great Barrington, MA, where she runs a herb CSA herb farm.  

Krysia Kurzyca




Sarah Nicholson studied photography in high school and college and has taken various painting classes over the years. She continues to develop her love for honoring the

mystery and beauty of life with her camera, collaging, pastels, fabric arts and whatever captures her fancy in the moment. She has participated in multiple group shows

culminating most recently in Rites of Passage. Her photographs can be found at

Sarah Nicholson

Co-Cure-ator + Midwife:



Pooja conceived, gestated and collaboratively birthed the first production of Rites of Passage in 2013. As an artist who explores life in many mediums including theatre, dance, writing, music, and visual art, she has been fueled by the ritual traditions of India in which all forms of art-making are simultaneously incorporated to produce a whole work of art.  Rites of Passage was just such a work. Her vision and need for theatre are drawn as much from her cultural roots as from her lack of rooting. Born in Zambia, Africa, she was raised in her native Kerala, India until age 4, and then re-planted in the suburbs of NY with English as her 2nd language. In 2012 she founded and directed The Ritual Theatre, an experimental site-specific ritual-theatre company based in the Berkshires, that has created several original solo and group plays including Isis-Chernobyl, Endure, The Lift, and A Lot to Ask - each grounded in the desire to re-member the connection between humanity, Nature, eco-politics, and the Feminine. She has a BA in Folklore & Performance Arts from Bard College at Simon’s Rock, and has been the recipient of numerous grants and generous patronage. She also leads transformative workshops and collective community rituals. More at and

Pooja Prema




Rites of Passage overall concept, room concepts, & artistic direction

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A native of Rochester New York, Dina Noto graduated from the Experimental Animation MFA program at the California Institute of the Arts in 2008, completing a broad academic career that began with traditional 2D fine arts and moved into animation and experimental film. Her thesis film Temporary Services has been recognized in a variety of national and international festivals including the Stuttgart Festival of Animated Film, Ann Arbor Film Festival, the Black Maria Film Festival, and the Barcelona Art Contemporary Festival.

More about her work can be found at


“Lovecat” is the patron saint of the Adorable and the Awkward, the product of an all growed up woman still holding fast to her childhood obsessions with Hello Kitty, Care Bears, unicorns and Tom Selleck's mustache.

Dina Noto

Co-Cure-ator + Performer: ADOLESENCE

Camille Roos grew up among sailboats and tipi's with supportive parents who encouraged self-expression. From childhood onward, she would fight for her rights of poesy and paper, finding all time to write and draw to loved ones and herself. She practiced martial arts and was part of an improvisation troupe until high school, when she began her volunteer work and attended open mic nights in downtown Worcester, MA. Camille spent much of her time picnicking in graveyards and the forest, and went to Simon's Rock to study philosophy and visual art at 17. She received her A.A. in 2010 and promptly went a-wanderin' to artist residencies and collective houses around the world, and then earned her BA at Goddard College in Vermont.  She lives with her two children in the Berkshires, MA.

Camille Roos


Cure-ator + Performer:


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Belle O’Brian is a Pittsfield native.  A 1955 graduate of PHS, she worked at General Electric in Marketing until the birth of her second child. 

She attended Berkshire Community College, and worked in the Pittsfield School Department while her children were in school then went back to General Electric, retiring in 1993.  She has spent the last 15 years associated with the Women’s Club of the Berkshires, Inc. as a Board member and as President. Rites of Passage was her first major artistic project.

Belle O-Brien

Cure-ator + Performer:


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Gabrielle Senza is an internationally recognized multidisciplinary artist focused on environmental and human rights issues that directly impact our lives today. Her work has been included in solo and traveling group shows throughout the U.S. and abroad, and is included in the collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, MoMA New York, Lifetime Entertainment, and numerous other corporate and private collections. She is happiest working out in the world where she can creatively engage with individuals in a variety of public and intimate spaces. Gabrielle seeks to make visible the invisible through multidisciplinary projects and to create opportunities for people to feel seen, heard, respected and connected, and is the founder of the Walk Unafraid Foundation. Currently, Gabrielle divides her time between Berlin and the Berkshires, focusing primarily on the phenomenon of invisibility. She was part of the first Rites of Passage in 2013, having cure-ated the room Hysteria, and is happy to be back as an artist and facilitator for collaborative community art-making as a tool for women's healing.

Gabrielle Senza

Cure-ator + Performer:


Artist: “The Collaborative Scroll”


Cindy L. Parrish is the founding co-director of Heroic Productionz, an educational media, curriculum guide production, and consulting company.  Heroic Productionz has produced, to date, two award-winning educational projects, MAGIC PLANET, and HEROIC GIRLZ  directed by Meg Agnew and co-written by Cindy with four 11-year-old girls.  HEROIC GIRLZ, the movie, and its accompanying documentary, MAKING HISTORY, were written and directed by Cindy and have won numerous awards and screened at many venues including the Women’s Rights Convention National Park in Seneca Falls, NY and at the 2009 United Nations Commission on the Status of Women. Cindy is also the author of a dozen screenplays, and is a founding member of the storytelling trio, The Snickering Witches. She is the co-author, with Jennifer Browdy de Hernandez of the graphic novel, JOLIE ROUGE (the story of two real-life women pirates)! Aside from curating the room ‘Animus’ in Rites of Passage, she also filmed the entire project.

Cindy Parrish

Cure-ator: ANIMUS

Creator: Audio Reel in MOTHERHOOD

Rites of Passage

Videographer + Film Editor


Kiki has been painting in oils for the last twenty five years. She studied painting at the San Francisco Art Institute from 1992-1996 with some of the leading artists in the Bay Area movement as well as landscape painting at the New York Studio School in N.Y.C. She's most drawn to the figure and the landscape. Each painting develops through a series of spontaneous action from which the figure and/or landscape evolve out of. For her, the process of painting remains an ongoing journey and an exploration of that which can never be fully defined.

More of her work at

Kiki Dufault

Oil Figure Paintings

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Rosalind has a deep reverence for the eARTh.  Clay allows for her to
both ground and become present. She listens to the mediums wish to take shape, while honoring both her and the clay’s true nature.  She was honored to have her clay vessels shown, shared and illuminated at Rites of Passage as well as her painting in " A Womb of Her Own".

Rosalind Mae Reis

Pottery + Painting


Florence, now 100 years old, was an “inveterate punster” who liked to shock people, she told lots of jokes,

and she was very charming.

Starting in 1968, Florence turned her house into a creative haven, taking up macramé and weaving. Florence added found objects like feathers, beads and other items to her macramé designs which ranged from wearable art to wall hangings. Florence took up weaving and began to combine it with her macramé work, again adding in unexpected objects to create one-of-a-kind pieces. She has shown and sold her work widely in prestigious venues.

Florence Morrow

Macramé + Weavings

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Deb makes art (stories, poems, cartoons, installations, card decks) to understand, reflect and honor her emotions and thinking patterns. She writes stories about choice, poems that give her advice, cartoons that remind her what really matters to her heart and soul. She's deeply drawn to Buddhist teachings and to the practice of meditation and mindful awareness. She  practices paying attention to her reactions, her thinking, her speech, her physical sensations. Her books, cartoons and card decks all offer  guidance, wise advice, reminders when she's stuck or struggling, lost or confused.

Her hope is that her work encourages your well-being, helping you navigate your emotional and mental life more easily.

More at

Deb Koffman

Soul-Food Boxes


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Meg Agnew


Ritual-Dance-Theatre Ensemble Member

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Elizabeth Blackshine


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Takaiya Brown


Samantha Elliot


Hazel Elsbach


Laura Geilen


Ritual-Dance-Theatre Ensemble Member

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Tanya Himeji


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Laura Lin


Ritual-Dance-Theatre Ensemble Member

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Lucinda Karp


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Samantha Keyes


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Hillary Melville


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Gill Panchy


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Danielle Roos


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Nancy Rothman


Ritual-Dance-Theatre Ensemble Member

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Gail Ryan


Ritual-Dance-Theatre Ensemble Member

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Julie Vallun
& Ukiah


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Olivia Wilbur


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Tamarack Garlow


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Justin Green


Ritual-Dance-Theatre Ensemble Member
Burr Milliken


Ritual-Dance-Theatre Ensemble Member

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Hartmuth Sommer


Ritual-Dance-Theatre Ensemble Member


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Erin Bell


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Eva Goodman


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Esteli Kitchen


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Sarah Ferholt

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Ira Khonen


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Hannah Temple.jpg
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