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August 15 to 22, 2015
Your Chairs for LOAS 1, 2015 are Rebecca Armstrong and Dawn Reed
Archived: Feb 2017

"Small Star, Big Universe"

Rebecca ArmstrongDawn ReedThis week we will explore the many ways — political, social, artistic, spiritual — that we interact with each other and our world. There will be continuing morning and afternoon workshops as well as one-shot ‘Starbursts,’ athletic and musical activities, and ample time for hanging out in the rocking chairs on the best porch in New England. We will soothe, uplift, entertain, and replenish ourselves and each other as we share a week on this beautiful island. Come join us!




Theme Speaker: Dorian Warren
"The American Dream in the 21st Century"

Dorian Warren will address where the notion of the American dream came from, how people have experienced it, and why it so defines us; challenges to the American dream over the last 40 years (rising inequality, lower social mobility, continuing patterns of discrimination, and lack of full inclusion in our democracy); potentially disruptive demographic, technological, and environmental changes on the horizon; and the possibility of a reimagined American dream for the 21st Century.

Dorian T. Warren is an Associate Professor at the School of International and Public Affairs and the Institute for Research in African-American Studies at Columbia University. He is also Co-Director of the Columbia University Program on Labor Law & Policy, a Fellow at the Roosevelt Institute, and an MSNBC Contributor. 

Warren specializes in the study of inequality and American politics. His research and teaching interests include labor organizing, politics & policy, race and ethnic politics, African-American politics, urban politics and policy, American political development, community organizing, social movements, and social science methodology.

As a commentator on public affairs, Warren has appeared regularly on television and radio, and currently hosts his own show entitled Nerding Out on MSNBC's online platform, Shift. He is the author of the forthcoming The Three Faces of Unions: Inclusion & Democracy in the U.S. Labor Movement (Oxford University Press), and (with Virginia Parks) Boxing Out: Walmart & the Politics of Labor Market Regulation from Below (Russell Sage Foundation Press).

Minister of the Week: Rev. Ana Levy-Lyons

The Rev. Ana Levy-Lyons is Senior Minister at First Unitarian in Brooklyn, NY. She brings to her ministry a passion for social and environmental justice and a belief in the power of liberal religion to transform our world. She also brings a love of creative, embodied, music-centered worship from her previous life as a musician.

Ana grew up in Tenafly, New Jersey. After receiving a B.A. in Music from Brown University, she started a web design business and worked in online advertising, while also pursuing a career writing and performing music, winning the International SIBL Songwriting Competition for her song “Hunger” and receiving a rave review in Billboard magazine. 

Ana went on to receive an M.Div. from the University of Chicago Divinity School. Prior to First U in Brooklyn, she served as Acting Associate Minister at the Unitarian Church of All Souls in Manhattan, and before that as Minister for two Chicago UU congregations, in Beverly and Park Forest, Illinois. She has won numerous awards for her sermons; her sermons and articles have been published in UU World, Criterion, and Tikkun Magazine, where she is a contributing editor.

Ana lives in Manhattan with her husband Jeff, four-year-old twins Miriam and Micah (who love to sing and play the drums), and a big, dumb dog named Yofi.

Registrar: Patti Emmons

Youth Coordinator:
Kristin Tlili

Floater: Fiona DeVito

Group Youth Leaders
Malaga Tanya Kensley, Sam Francis, and Ann Ford Ages 0 to 3 Louisa's Barn
Lunging  Anne McPherson & Ellen Emers Age 4 to Grade 2 Kiddie Barn
Cedar Fred Mills and Henry Kaempf Grades 3 & 4 Lawrence
Duck Scotty Bohnen & Lize Lange Grades 5 & 6 Parker
Smuttynose Toby Dills & Christine Monty Grades 7 & 8 Brookfield
Appledore Andrew Kensley & Ken Keech Grades 9 to 12 Marshman



Workshops and Starbursts:

Week long classes offered daily

Fermata Nowhere:
A Capella with Shoal
with Graham and Kristina Fuller

This is a reprise of last year’s a capella workshop! In 2014, the "singing flash mob" learned songs such as "Home" and "Happy" and shared their work with the other LOAS 1 island-goers with song breakouts on the front porch, among other locations.

This year's workshop will continue to strive to foster creativity, joy, and community through a capella music. Since the music is performed without instruments, participants only need to bring their voices. Singers of all ability-levels are welcomed!

Kristina and Graham Fuller are from Longmont, Colorado, where they both enjoy participating in music in many different formats.

Achieving Peace and Economic Justice in a Challenging World
with Tom Kennedy

Our focus in the just society workshop will be on understanding and discussing the key economic and social drivers creating an increasingly unequal distribution of wealth around the world and what we can and should do to restore the American Dream.  Our sources will include summaries of Thomas Picketty’s recent master work on Capital in the 21st Century, Robert Putnam’s analysis of the state of the American Dream in Our Kids and shorter materials as well. We will also evaluate top 10 lists on various fun topics.  Brave enthusiasts can share our conclusions with the conference through tastefully worn stickers.


Relevant summaries of the written materials to be discussed will be available before the LOAS I conference to anyone who requests them from  

Exploring our Differences
with David Whitford

During year's book club on island time we'll consider questions of race, class, gender, religion and age, inspired by the the promise of this years's conference to "explore the many ways that we interact with each other and the world."

Each day we'll read and discuss one or maybe two notable examples of magazine journalism. We'll talk about the pieces themselves and the journalists who wrote them, and we'll examine questions of craft, execution and meaning. There will be daily, manageable assignments designed for the reading habits of porch-rockers and rock-sitters. Participants are under no obligation to commit to perfect attendance but instead should feel free to peruse the assignments and join us for the topics that interest them.

Hard copies of all the assignments will be provided but those who have bring e-readers are encouraged to bring them. Once the reading list is ready, advance copies of the texts in digital form can be obtained by emailing, Subject: LOAS 2015 reading list

Basic Yoga
Cynthia Eisemann

Using a vinyasa -- sun salutation -- format, we will explore all the poses that echo the heavens and sky. Beginning each session with breathing, balancing and grounding moments, we will warm up, taking into consideration all the levels of practice of those in the room. Surya Namaskars -- sun salutations -- will get us moving, and there will be occasional challenge poses to allow us to laugh at ourselves. We will also incorporate some partner/group exercises to bring us closer together. Rounding off the practice will be Savasana, corpse pose and a meditation to take you through the day. Namaste

Assemble Yourself
with Hally McGehean and Quinn Kostman

In the spring of 1912 Pablo Picasso affixed an Italian postage stamp onto his own depiction of a letter. That moment is the storied genesis of collage. The word collage comes from the french coller meaning to glue and is generally art that co-opts pre-existing materials on a two-dimensional surface. When found objects are repurposed in three-dimensional work it is known as assemblage

“Assemble Yourself” will explore the art of three dimensional collage using the techniques of twentieth and twenty-first century artists like Picasso, Dustin Yellin, Yang Yongliang, Rodrigo Torres, and Geoffrey Farmer. The workshop will encourage experimentation and refinement with the goal of finding the conceit in the story that is told when the process and the material come together. 

We will also facilitate conference-wide participation in an assemblage in the lobby.


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 for them, and the 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!)

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

Stenciling with June House -one time event

Here’s your chance to make your own Star Island original! Stenciling is fast and fun. You bring the stuff you want to stencil -- any kind of cotton clothing you wish, tote bags, socks, pieces of driftwood…. I will bring original stencils, paints, and applicators. You will leave this workshop with one or more original creations celebrating Star Island. … Something you will wear/use year after year when you return. I love my tote bag, stenciled many years ago. (photo attached) This old bag is more dear to me than any Gucci or Prada could ever be. It comes with me to the Island every year.   If you wish to make your own tote, blank canvas bags are typically available in the craft department in big box stores. Dharma Trading (online) also has quite an assortment. Give it a wash to remove sizing before you come to the island.
     Bring an item you want to Stencil    Join June Thursday: 3:30-5 in Sandpiper

Tea Tasting
Brian and Emily Levine

Rob Meier

Cynthia Eisemann

Human-Powered Water Skiing

Will and Stephanie Ronco


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