Click the PHOTOS button to access all of Bob Levine's amazing photographs from 2013!

August 10 to 17, 2013

The Art of Listening:

Where Empathy Meets Creativity and Action


2013 co-Chairs are Jeila Gueramian and
Scott  Anderson

Join us for an engaging week of exploring how we listen to each other, incorporate inspiration, and examine the resulting expressions in the arts as well as social and political spheres. There will also be fun workshops focusing on music and the arts, physical well-being, and group action, in addition to the unstructured celebration of the favorite pastimes, rocking, talking, and reading.





The Theme Speaker for LOAS I, 2013 will be Anna Sale, politics reporter for WNYC public radio, regular contributor to NPR and The Takeaway, and a life-long UU, will lead us in a series of conversations entitled, How Do We Hear Each Other, about national politics, reportage of the election and how we as citizens consumed it, and what we can learn from the art and science of empathy and listening.





Minister of the Week:
The Rev. Dr. Leon Dunkley is a lifelong Unitarian Universalist and a Star Island veteran, attending YRUU, as a member of the Pelican staff, and even a past LOAS I minister. He received his undergraduate degree at Tufts University and his Ph.D. in Ethnomusicology from the University of Pittsburgh. 

Leon entered the Starr King School for the Ministry in Berkeley, California, and was in St. Paul from 2008 to 2012 and began serving the Unitarian Universalist Church of Silver Spring in August. He sings and plays several instruments— including guitar, piano, conga, gangogwe (West African double bell), didjeridu. He is writing a book on spiritual growth and radical forgiveness.

Youth Leaders:Jen Kavari saying Hi!

YOUTH COORDINATOR: Jennifer Khavari 

Julie Romero & Betsy Kates 

Lunging  Bowie Zunino & Roseannah Mills tbd
Cedar Vanessa Rose & Fred Mills tbd
Duck Dick & Martha Pereli tbd
Smuttynose Toby Dills & Christine Monty tbd
Appledore Ross Pustell & Suzy Rudomen tbd

 Our Youth Coordinator this year, Jennifer Khavari is heavily involved in Bangor Children's Museum, YMCA, PEO International (a non profit dedicated to raising college funds for women), The American Folk Festival, as well as being a certified National Ski Patrol EMT.

Registrars: Joyce and Jim Pickel

Workshops and Starbursts:

Week long classes offered daily

Inhabiting Other Lives: Empathy in Narrative Nonfiction
with David Whitford

DavidOften the magazine stories we find most memorable and affecting are the ones that take us inside the hearts of others. In this workshop we’ll read and discuss one outstanding example of empathetic long-form journalism each day. Think of it as a book club on island time. I'll provide photocopies as needed but if you have one, bring your tablet for digital access to the entire reading list.

David Whitford is a staff writer at Fortune magazine. 

To get started, please download the select reading material from Dropbox HERE!
Feel free to get a head start on the assignments!
If you do not have an electronic reader, please make copies of the readings and bring them to the island.

with Jeff Barnett-Winsby

JeffPhotography is an accessible and democratic medium that is capable of becoming powerful journalism, high valued art, or priceless memories. 

With these ideas in mind, we will be doing a series of exercises to explore meaning within photography, define our relationships to place through photography, and ask how we get to know one another using photography.  My hope is that this can be a class of conversations and picture making. 

Limited technical help will be offered outside of class on a one-on-one basis. First come, first served through a sign up sheet. 

You may use any digital camera you like for this class from phone cam to pro cam. If you would like feedback from the group, or would like to utilize the printer, please bring the equipment you need to transfer the images to our main computer temporarily. (Ex: USB thumb drive, external hard drive, email device).

This class is flexible and will form to the needs of the group. Please come prepared to challenge yourself and to meet new people.

Jeff Barnett-Winsby is an artist and community organizer with an MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design in Photography, and served on the faculty at the RISD and the URI.  He is a co-executive director of the Wassaic Project and Artist Residency Program. He lives in Wassaic, NY with his wife Bowie and daughter Gilvey. They are trying to open a restaurant. 

Afternoon Intergenerational Crafts Workshop
with Sam Francis and Gail Henry

Sam & GailSam Francis, elementary school science teacher at Sidwell Friends School in DC, and her partner Gail Henry will lead a drop-in afternoon crafts workshop for four days of LOAS 1.  This workshop will take place after youth programs have ended.  All ages are welcome, but the projects are designed for partners whose combined ages must be 20+ years.  Each participant can make and take his/her own creation, but assisting each other throughout the process is key.   The projects will include:  rain sticks, kaleidoscopes and other optical illusion toys, origami boxes and jumping frogs, simple machine puppets and “window fish.”  One of these projects or set of projects will be featured each day and the schedule and location will be announced on island.  

Improvisation and Group Mind
with Ken Keech 

KenThis workshop will utilize improvisational theater techniques that are focused on listening, collaboration and game.

Over the course of the week we will use improv exercises and group activities to form a cohesive and supportive troupe, create an improvisational happening on the island, and join in making a collaborative art piece. Participants will experience the freedom of relying on a common group mind, grounded on trust and agreement. The experience is sure to prove challenging, silly, and exhilarating.

Ken Keech has been studying, performing, and teaching improv for the last fifteen years. He is a founding member of Improv Everywhere, a global prank conglomerate, has performed extensively throughout New York City and state, and was a featured performer at TEDx Buffalo, utilizing text messages to create a group mind. Currently Ken lives in Syracuse, New York where he is an advisor and Quantitative Reasoning Specialist at a Big Picture High School. He performs regularly with the Syracuse Improv Collective and is the front man of an all-Fugazi ukulele cover band, Fugeuele.

Art Encounter
with Brendan Rose

BrendanIn this workshop we will design objects and interactions, aiming to create moments of contemplation and enjoyment within the community. Strategies to engage community with art will evolve collaboratively over the week based on each days’ successes and failures. The goals of this workshop are: to improve our skills as designers of aesthetic experiences, to enrich the Star Island environment physically and conceptually, and to have fun.

Born in Syracuse, NY, Brendan Rose has worked professionally across the disciplines of architecture, visual art, and construction. Brendan studied architecture at the University at Buffalo and Syracuse University, completing a master’s degree in 2010. Brendan served as the Syracuse Public Artist in Residence from 2011-2012, working collaboratively with community members and Syracuse University students to design and install a series of sculptures within Syracuse. Brendan’s work focuses on engaging people to take an active role in making their environments beautiful, healthy places to live through both art and architecture.

Symphony For The Non-Musician
with Tim "Love" Lee

If you can listen, you can compose and perform your own symphony ! Over the week we will listen to music for inspiration, create musical instruments, compose a symphony with them, and then perform the finished piece for everyone. No musical knowledge or skills needed at all, just a pair of ears, and an open mind. (Of course musicians are welcome too!)

TimTim is a world renown record-label owner, producer, musician, and DJ, coming to Star island for the first time. Born in South Africa and raised in Cambridge, England, he now makes his home in Brooklyn, NY. He has hosted radio shows for the BBC and currently has hosted a show for 10 years on East Village Radio, called ‘Two for Tennis’. His musical career started straight out of high school, playing keyboards in a little band called Katrina and the Waves, and his musical pursuits have brought him around the world, performing, djing, and including discovering bands like Groove Armada, and Phenomenal Handclap Band. He is also a music publisher for Carly Simon, and Steve Arrington among many others.

with Stephanie Gannon

StephanieStephanie has been a UU for the last 10 years and is one of the lay leaders in the Brooklyn congregation, where she is the long-time coordinator of the Small Group Ministry program. She just completed her first year as a UU seminarian at Union Theological Seminary in New York with a program emphasis on Psychology and Religion.

A 200-hr Hatha yoga RYT certified teacher, Stephanie has been practicing yoga for over a decade and received her teaching certification in the Anusara style two years ago from Todd Norian and Ann Greene in the Berkshires. A member of First Unitarian Universalist in Brooklyn, Stephanie has offered a community class in the church chapel for the last three years and subs at a studio in DUMBO. Besides her Anusara yoga background, Stephanie completed a restorative yoga teacher training with Jillian Pransky at Yogaworks in New York City, has studied meditation with Harshada Wagner, and has taken numerous workshops on yoga philosophy, anatomy, advanced asana, the Hindu goddesses, acroyoga, and yoga slacklining. She has also taken several laughter yoga workshops and has volunteered to do laughter yoga with seniors on a regular basis. Stephanie’s classes tend to be very heart-oriented and playful and yet challenging at the same time. 

She is thrilled to lead the yoga workshop on beautiful Star Island during the second week of August. Themes we may explore together include community, deep listening, the five elements, and having the courage of your own heart.


Single, 45 Minute Mini-Workshops to fill in your days



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