current: August 26th, 2019

August 10 to 17, 2019
Your Chairs for LOAS 1, 2019 were
Bernadette Clemens & Scott Jones

Bernadette and family Scott and family


2019 LOAS 1 LogoJoin us for kinetic experience, engaging discussion, and artistic interpretation as we examine the interactions of technology and culture over the ages. Humans make and use tools, and always have -- from the spear point to the plow, to the internet and to artificial intelligence. How do our inventions change us? And, what will happen to sex and love and the family when our tools become more powerful than we are? We will host keynote speaker Debora L. Spar, Baker Foundation Professor at Harvard Business School, former president of Barnard College, former president and CEO of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, and author of the forthcoming book, The Virgin and the Plow: How Technology Shapes How We Live and Love (links below). Debora will explore how social structures have evolved as new technologies have emerged, from prehistory to the present. In this context of discovery and reflection about who we are, how we live, and how we love, she will examine the agricultural revolution, the pill and feminism, online dating, robots, artificial intelligence, and more. Reverend John Marsh and family return to the island to offer chapel services and reflection. Workshop leaders including longtime favorites will provide collaborative experience, thought-provoking discussion, environmental engagement, exercise, and fun. Musicians will return to the porch, lime rickeys will be drunk, and old and new shoalers will be invited to wonder, question, play, and connect.


Theme Speaker: Debora L. Spar

Debora Spar is a Baker Foundation Professor at Harvard Business School where she teaches the first-year Strategy course. Her current research focuses on issues of gender and technology, and the interplay between technological change and broader social structures. Spar tackles some of these issues in her forthcoming book The Virgin and the Plow: How Technology Shapes How we Live and Love.

Spar served as the President of Barnard College from 2008 to 2017, and as President and CEO of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts from 2017 to 2018. During her tenure at Barnard, Spar led initiatives to highlight women’s leadership and advancement, including the creation of the Athena Center for Leadership Studies and the development of Barnard’s Global Symposium series.

Before joining Barnard, Spar spent 17 years on the HBS faculty as the Spangler Family Professor in the BGIE unit. She also served as Senior Associate Dean for Faculty Research and Development. During this period, her research primarily explored how political forces shape and constrain market behavior.  She looked in particular at the politics of foreign trade and investment, and developed a second year course entitled Managing International Trade and Investment. In 2001, she published Ruling the Waves: Cycles of Discovery, Chaos, and Wealth from the Compass to the Internet, a comprehensive history of commercial technological revolutions that traced the intricate ways in which even the wildest of technological booms are likely, over time, to fall prey to political demands for control and regulation.  Spar also studied the specific politics of reproductive science and tracked, in her 2006 book, The Baby Business, the emergence of a large (and largely unregulated) commercial market for fertility.  In 2013, Spar published Wonder Women: Sex, Power, and the Quest for Perfection (2013), an exploration of how and why women have failed to realize many of feminism’s early promises.

Spar is a member of the Academy of Arts and Sciences and serves as a director of Value Retail LLC and a trustee of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. She has also served as a Director of Goldman Sachs and a trustee of the Markle and Wallace Foundations. Spar earned her Ph.D. in Government from Harvard University and her B.S. from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service.

Check out these links to Debora’s inspiring public speaking: 

- The Virgin and the Plow talk at the University of Edinburgh

- Gender Equality Talk at Stanford University

- Women and Power Talk at Wharton School of Business

- TED talk on Rethinking Failure at Barnard College


Minister of the Week: Rev. John Marsh
John Marsh is an accredited Interim Unitarian Universalist Minister.  When we gather at Star he will have recently finished a two year interim in Lansing, MI, and and will heading to New Haven, CT this fall to serve the Unitarian Universalist Congregation there.   In the past he has served as interim at Churches in upstate New York, Arlington, MA, and the South Jersey Shore.  He has also had settled ministries in Edmonton, Alberta, San Francisco and Ottawa, Ontario.

He is married to Alison Patrick, a social worker.  They have three grown children and are currently raising their eight year old grandson, Daniel.  This will be Daniel’s first time on the Island.

John has served on the Board of the Unitarian and Universalist History and Heritage Society.  He has two entries in their online Dictionary of Unitarian and Universalist biography.  He is currently promoting the bicentennial of William Ellery Channing’s Baltimore Sermon by writing a blog on Channing and food: Dining with Bill

Registrar: Patti Emmons

Patti Emmons - Registrar


Youth Coordinator: Kristin Tlili

Kristin Tlili - Youth Coordinator

Name: Malaga Group
Ages:  Infants to Preschool
Meets at: Louisa's Barn
Leaders: Stacey Dawkins,
Madelyn Emers  & 
Jackie Trimble Shapiro

Jackie Trimble Shapiro
Name: Lunging Group
Grades:  K to 3rd
Meets at: Kiddie Barn
LeadersAmy McAvoy & Steve Goodman
Name: Cedar Group
Grades:  4th and 5th
Meets at: Sandpiper
LeadersEllie Emers & Anne
Name: Duck Group
Grades: 6th and 7th
Meets at: Lawrence
Leaders: Madeline Bergstrom & Hop Hopkins

Name: Smuttynose Group
Grades:  8th
Meets at: Brookfield
Leaders: David Garvoille & 
Hope Griffin-Ortiz

Name: Appledore Group
Grades:  9th through 12th
Meets at: Marshman & Parker
Leaders: Ken Keech, Andrew Kensley, Emily Jones & Mark Povinelli



Workshops and Starbursts:

Week long classes offered daily

Race, Racism & Justice
with Brian Jones 

Each day in this workshop, participants will use primary documents from U.S. history to think together about concepts of race, racism, and justice. Brian Jones is an educator and activist in New York City, and the Associate Director of Education at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. He recently earned a doctorate in Urban Education from the City University of New York. He is currently working on a book, based on his dissertation research, about the explosive 1960s Tuskegee student movement. Brian taught elementary grades for nine years in New York City’s public schools, and has also taught in Hunter College’s School of Education. He contributed analyses of the politics and history of racism, social movements, and education to several books, including What’s Race Got To Do With It? How Current School Reform Policy Maintains Racial and Economic Inequality and in a wide range of media, including recent articles in The Guardian and The Journal of Negro Education. Brian has lent his voice to many other projects, such as the film, The Inconvenient Truth Behind Waiting for Superman, and to several audiobooks, including Howard Zinn’s one-man play, Marx in Soho. He serves as a teaching artist for the Voices of a People’s History project, and is also on its board of directors. Brian is the recipient of awards and fellowships from the Lannan Foundation, the Ford Foundation, and the City University of New York.
"This workshop is made possible through the generous support of Star Island Corporation"

Public Art: Site-Specific Sense from Nonsense
with Jimmy Kuehnle

     How do you engage with a site and creatively respond? Learn how to make inflatable objects and structures from common everyday materials. Topics will include sketching and idea generation, simple model making, visualizing shapes in 3D, patternmaking and inflatable fabrication. This workshop will follow a simple creative process that can be applied to other projects by participants, and will include daily instruction for newcomers. For those who attend throughout the week, concepts will progress and build upon previous sessions. The goal will be a large-scale collaborative sculptural installation influenced by the environment of the island, materials on site, and investigations by the workshop leader and participants. In addition to the formal workshops, Jimmy will be collecting materials, exploring the island, and creating a new on-site studio project. This work will be presented in the workshops. Workshop participants are invited to drop by and work with the artist on a collaborative, creative journey. 

     Jimmy Kuehnle is an American contemporary artist known for interactive inflatables, site-specific installations and public performances.  Jimmy researched public art and sculpture as a Fulbright Graduate Research Fellow in Japan after completing an MFA at the University of Texas at San Antonio. Kuehnle’s solo exhibitions in national museums have featured site-specific, interactive, inflatable sculptures. His past work has also featured public performance treks through rural and urban cities in the United States including Chicago, Detroit, Austin, St. Louis, Cincinnati, San Antonio, Dallas and New York as well as performances in Japan, Italy and Finland. Jimmy serves on faculty at the Cleveland Institute of Art. In the last decade, Jimmy has been awarded numerous public commissions, solo exhibitions, creative fellowships, and national attention. In 2014, he was selected for the national survey exhibition, State of the Art: Discovering American Art Now at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. Additional national exhibitions include: a large kinetic inflatable at MOCA Cleveland as part of the group exhibition, How to Remain Human; a solo exhibition at the Hudson River Museum reviewed in The New York Times, New York Magazine, New York Daily News, Artnet, and Hyperallergic; monumentally-scaled, site-specific inflatables at the Akron Art Museum in the Wiggle, Giggle, Jiggle exhibition; and a site-specific interactive inflatable installation at the Exploratorium Museum in San Francisco in 2018. In 2019, Jimmy will open a solo show at the Columbia Museum of Art in South Carolina that will span four interior galleries and include a monumental site-specific inflatable sculpture on the museum’s exterior.
"This workshop is made possible through a grant from the Isles of Shoals Association"

Vinyasa Flow Yoga
with John Vitarelli

     John Vitarelli and Diana D’Amato-Vitarelli co-direct a yoga studio in Philadelphia, Dhyana Yoga, where the focus is as much on community and fun as it is on discipline and effort. They have each been teaching for over 20 years, and are also advocates for the earth and animals, big-time foodies, travel buffs, and parents to 6 year old Lorraine who will be with them at LOAS 2019!
John has certifications in Ashtanga Yoga from the Ashtanga Yoga Center and in Vinyasa Yoga from Dhyana Yoga, and he teaches a vigorous yet accessible Vinyasa flow practice. His style is informed by his athletics in youth, long time studies of Qi Gong, commitment to the breath, and the Krishnamacharya school of yoga which emphasizes that the practice must be of service to each individual. You will sweat AND laugh in John’s classes each morning!

Meditational Kundalini Yoga
with Diana D’Amato-Vitarelli

     Diana holds certifications in Kundalini Yoga from Yoga West and Primordial Sound Meditation from the Chopra Center, as well as in Ashtanga from the Ashtanga Yoga Center, and teaches a more free-form and meditational practice based in the White Tantric lineage of Kundalini Yoga. Her offerings are an invitation to turn inward and soul gaze. The physical part of the practice is incredibly simple, allowing for a state of meditation to occur, even if you choose to sit in a chair for class. Special techniques to release stress and steel the nervous system will be woven into these wild, charming, and high-vibration practices each afternoon!

A Rock Critic's Guide to Classical Music
with Tim Riley
    Have an interest in classical music but don't know where to start? You probably already know some tunes and concepts in the classic rock catalog that lead directly to classical pieces. These workshop sessions introduce some key moments in classic rock, from Paul Simon and James Gang to the Beatles and Yes, that work as windows into the classical world.
     NPR Critic and Emerson College associate professor Tim Riley reviews pop and classical music for NPR's Here & Now and On Point. He has contributed to The New York Times, Radio Silence, and The NYT Book Review hailed his first book, Tell Me Why: A Beatles Commentary, for bringing "new insight to the act we've known for all these years." He has since authored Hard Rain: A Dylan Commentary, Madonna: Illustrated, Fever: How Rock 'n' Roll Transformed Gender, and Lennon: Man, Myth, Music. In 2016, he won the LA Press/NAEJA Best Cultural Critic Award for his truthdig reviews.

Book Club on Island Time
with David Whitford

     Each day, participants will read and discuss one, maybe two notable examples of magazine journalism or short fiction that relate (directly, tangentially, obscurely) to this year's conference theme, Technology, Culture, and the Family. We will talk about the pieces themselves and the people who wrote them, examining questions of craft, execution, and meaning. We will seek to connect what we read to the unique stores of wisdom and experience each of us has gathered over the years, in a setting with significantly more gender and age diversity than any book club you may ever have been a part of.
      David will provide daily, manageable assignments designed for the reading habits of porch-rockers and rock-sitters, including a limited number of hard copies; do bring an e-reader if you have one. Once the syllabus is ready as of spring, David will be happy to send advance copies of the texts in digital form to those who email him at with the subject: "LOAS I 2019 reading list." 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 most. 
     David Whitford is a former sportswriter (Sport magazine, Sports Illustrated) turned freelancer (GQ, Esquire, UU World, and several books on sports, business and politics) turned financial journalist (Inc., Fortune), and now gratefully employed by UNITE HERE, the hotel workers union, for whom he is writing the union's history. David has been a member of First Parish UU Arlington (MA) since 1992, and with his family, a regular conferee at LOAS 1 with a perfect attendance record since 1998.


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

Island Moth Story Hour with Kate Conquest

     Our Star Island Moth Story Hour starburst will take place on two days, inspired by The Moth, a non-profit organization based in New York City that presents storytelling events in other cities across the country. Themes designated by starburst host, Kate Conquest, for respective sessions will be Something Borrowed and Almost. Anyone can present a story in a five-minute time limit that relates to the theme. Stories must be true, and must have happened to the person presenting. Interpret as you will, come prepared, and practice! If you have questions, or are curious about how the story hour works, check out and enjoy their collection of outstanding stories! 
     Old shoalers will recognize Kate Conquest as “Dr. Faye”’s daughter and Joyce Homan’s granddaughter. Kate has been lucky enough to attend LOAS with those two wonderful women for her entire life, with the only exceptions being the three recent summers she worked as a Pelican on island. These days, Kate lives in Burlington, VT and is a social worker. She hopes to be enrolled in graduate school by the time LOAS I starts!   

Reading Aloud -- Narration for Everyday Life
with Peter Berkrot


     Join Peter Berkrot for a two-day starburst with anything you want to read, approximately 2-3 pages of a book, any prose genre, and enjoy a group interactive coaching session with Peter to amplify your reading skills and develop interpretive power in delivery. Participants will read a first segment, receive some minor adjustments, and then enjoy a richer 2nd reading -- inhabiting language more, improving technique, and becoming effective storytellers. Whether it's fiction or non-fiction, reading aloud can be a highly satisfying experience and a gift to others. 
     A veteran of stage and screen, Peter Berkrot's career spans four decades. Highlights include feature roles in Caddyshack and Showtime's Brotherhood, and appearances on America's Most Wanted and Unsolved Mysteries. His voice can be heard on television, radio, video games, documentaries and industrials. He is a prominent acting coach and a regular contributor to the award-winning news program Frontline produced by WGBH in Boston. Peter served as director of narration for the Emmy-nominated The Truth About Cancer. Peter has voiced over 400 audiobooks and more than 250 for children, winning 10 Earphones Awards and a 2012 Audie Award nomination. He was part of the cast honored with a 2016 Audie for THE STARLING PROJECT, starring Alfred Molina. He was also part of the ensemble in the Audible Original THE X-FILES: COLD CASES starring David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson. Favorite titles include: Toby and the Secrets of the Tree by Timotee de Fombelle, Unholy Night by Seth Grahame-Smith, The Accident by Linwood Barclay, The Last Policeman trilogy by Ben H. Winters, the Junior Bender series by Timothy Hallinan, and Caddyshack: The Making of a Hollywood Cinderella Story, in which he is also featured as a character.

Island Choir – Let’s lift our voices in song!

     This two-day group singing Starburst is for anyone who likes to sing. Seasoned choristers or just-in-the-shower types are welcome. We will sing through a variety of songs, new and old, unison and four-part, some easy and some challenging. We will have fun. And, depending on how things go, we might even want to prepare a song for the Musicale! Bring your voice; Linnea will provide the music.
      Linnea Bardarson is active as a choral accompanist and performer in the Boston area and served as Music Director for First Church and Parish, UU, in Dedham, MA for many years. She teaches piano at Dedham School of Music and enjoys making music with others.


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