Presenters

 
 

Kim van Aelst

Kim is the recipient of the Connecticut Coalition on the Arts Award and the Emma Louise Warfield Grant in Puppetry. Kim has performed her original and quirky scripts at La MaMa in New York City, The Museum of Photographic Arts in San Diego, Puppet Showplace Theatre in Boston, with the Bindlestiff Family Circus at the Galapagos in Dumbo, and at Dixon Place and Tank in NYC. She received her Masters in Dramatic Arts in Puppetry from the University of Connecticut in 2018. In addition to her training from the Uconn Puppetry Program, she has a background in clowning through the Carol Siguro training program and acting at the Actor’s Studio in New York City.

  • Children & Family


Sara Balkun

Sara is a Reggio-inspired Early Childhood Educator, intuitive artist, and registered yoga instructor who compassionately holds space for people of all ages, abilities, and experiences as they safely bridge the gap between their mind, body and heart. Little Creative Hearts is a fun and mindful sensory experience for the little yogi! Practice simple breathing techniques and explore various visual art mediums to create personal mandalas. All ages and abilities welcome. All materials provided.

  • Children & Family

  • Conversations & Workshops


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Maya Breuer

Maya is the current Vice President of Cross-Cultural Advancement for Yoga Alliance, cofounder of the Black Yoga Teachers Alliance, creator of the Yoga Retreat for Women of Color™ and an Emeritus Trustee of Kripalu. As a yoga consultant and educator, Maya served as a member of the Data Safety Monitoring Board for a National Institute of Health (NIH) Study from 2010–2015 and coauthored Back to Health: Yoga vs. Physical Therapy for Minorities with Chronic Low Back Pain, a NIH-funded study conducted by Boston Medical Center and published in the Annals of Internal Medicine. Her background of yoga practice and study at the Lakulish School in India and founding of the Santosha School of Yoga in Warwick, RI has garnered her recognition as one of America’s most distinguished black yogis. “As an African American Jew, she has felt exclusion keenly, which inspired her ‘unity within diversity’ view of yoga.”

  • Conversations & Workshops

  • Yoga


Ali Cramer

Ali Cramer is the Director of the Ayurveda Program at Laughing Lotus NY and the author of the brand new book Modern Ayurveda-A Practical Guide for Applying Ancient Wisdom into Modern Life, published by Althea Press. Ali teaches workshops, retreats and trainings on yoga and Ayurveda both nationally and internationally. Her goal is to make the practices of Ayurveda simple, practical and accessible for everyone. As Ali puts it “Ayurveda and Yoga go hand in hand. All of my flows are based around the pitta, vata, or kapha seasons, and you'll experience an intuitive mix of yoga, Ayurveda and the chakra system to balance out the imbalances of daily life.”

  • Conversations & Workshops


Dragonfly Studios

Children’s Yoga classes offered by Dragonfly Studios will combine age-appropriate yoga poses, meditation, and breath work with activities that appeal to the imagination, enthusiasm, and energy of kids. This is an active class for children ages 2-5 with an adult. No yoga experience or mat needed; be prepared to move! Family yoga classes for ages 3-8 (with adult) incorporates poses, games, songs, and storytelling that encourage self-expression and foster a sense of teamwork. Mindfulness activities can be recreated at home to continue the bonding experience. No yoga experience needed, just the open heart of a child!

  • Children & Family


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Meredith Evangelisti

Meredith is a Boston-based certified Bikram, Vinyasa and Yoga Sculpt Instructor who has been teaching for more than a decade. Meredith is the owner and designer of Hotdrop Apparel, a men's hot yoga clothing company, and the creator of the Shape Up Program, a 12-week diet and exercise program. Meredith is best known for her Hot Hatha Sculpt class that beautifully fuses together the power practices of Vinyasa and Bikram yoga, making her classes appealing to yogis and athletes alike. Prepare to get fired up!

  • Yoga


Leland Faulkner

Leland Faulkner is a man of a thousand faces. Recipient of Kennedy Center accolades for directing Shadowplay, and multiple awards for original films, Leland has also consulted on the popular film The Polar Express. Beginning with movement theatre and evolving through new vaudeville and performance art, Leland Faulkner was trained in the Old World tradition of master and apprentice. He is a professionally-trained film maker, mime, actor, and director. Leland studied with a variety of distinguished teachers, including: Tony Montanaro, Jacques Lecoq, and theatre masters from Italy and Japan. With a vision dedicated to the necessity of make-believe and the ability of theatre to be a universal art, Leland continually searches for entertaining and meaningful theatre. His work has gained acclaim both at home and abroad.

  • Children & Family


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Fiery String Sisters

This engaging and inspiring all-woman jazz ensemble offers a refreshing alternative to the standard jazz band. Led by cellist Nioka Workman (daughter of master bassist Reggie Workman), the stellar chamber ensemble presents performances that incorporate aspects of world music, women’s culture, and string improvisation, while highlighting their deep connection to jazz history. The ensemble has performed at exciting venues and festivals throughout the U.S. including the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Sugar Hill Music Festival, Coltrane Day Festival and the Hudson Park Bandshell.

  • Sights & Sounds


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Girish

Girish is a world music artist, teacher, and author whose talents find expression in a wide array instruments and music genres including roots jazz, world, and sacred music. Drumming has always been instinctual to Girish, flowing freely from his fingers and knowing no musical bounds. Guided as always by rhythm, and now by his spiritual pursuits, Girish began to study tablas with Jagadish in the Nada Yoga tradition (yoga of sound current), which emphasized the spiritual import of music. Girish learned from the musician and spiritual teacher Bob Kindler, known as Babajithat, "sacred music is a viable outlet of spirituality, one that is profoundly uplifting and transformative." Girish also studied with legendary tabla master Swapan Chaudhuri at the Ali Akbar School of Music in Marin County, California. It was in northern California that Girish met other musicians at the forefront of the chant music explosion in this country. Krishna Das was just gaining popularity at that time and Girish played with him regularly. In this context, Girish was quickly introduced to a wider world of music for yoga. Soon he was accompanying many of the names in the yoga music genre, including Wah!, Dave Stringer, Donna DeLory, Thomas Barquee, Snatam Kaur, Shanti Shanti, Steve Ross, Swaha, and Rasa. His move to Los Angeles in 2000 brought him to the nation's epicenter of chanting and world music. Now he’s here with us in Hartford, CT.

  • Sights & Sounds


Chris Grosso

Best-selling author of Indie Spiritualist, Everything Mind, and Dead Set On Living, Chris Grosso is a youth mental health group facilitator with Newport Academy. Public speaker, and writer for Revolver Magazine, ORIGIN Magazine, and Huffington Post. He is a member of the advisory board for Drugs Over Dinner, hosts The Indie Spiritualist Podcast on Ram Dass’ Be Here Now and is a member of The Evolutionary Leaders. His work has been endorsed by a diverse mix of celebrated individuals including Jeff Bridges, Ram Dass, Tony Hawk, Andrew Harvey, Sharon Salzberg, Richard Rohr, Alex & Allyson Grey, Tara Brach, Ken Wilber, Jack Kornfield, Krishna Das, Robert Thurman, and more.

  • Conversations & Workshops


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Kiley Holliday

Kiley is a New York City-based yoga teacher, wellness counselor, and certified Tea Master. The practice of yoga, in her view, is a means to heal the body and focus the mind in order to maintain a relative state of equanimity. Always accompanied by an inspiring playlist, Kiley’s classes emphasize precise physical alignment while increasing strength and flexibility within the framework of an innovative vinyasa sequence. She strives to honestly assess the strengths and limitations of her students and offers instruction designed to help practitioners maximize their potential both on and off the mat. Kiley recently concluded a two-year stint as a Lululemon Brand Ambassador and is now proudly sponsored by Tanya-B, Carbon 38, Spiritual Revolution Yoga Mats, and KIND snacks.

  • Yoga


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Tiare Kahana

As part of her Hawaiian heritage, Tiare learned the ancient and sacred art of hula in early childhood. She continues to study hula under Kumu Hula (Hula Master) Kawika Alfiche of Halau ‘O Keiki’ali’I of San Francisco and was honored as a guest dancer in his New York Times critically-acclaimed production of “The Sacred Hula: Ka Wa Hula – Hula Through Time” at Symphony Space. She is the founder of Kahana Hula, a Polynesian Dance Company, presenting Hawaiian culture and dance performances.

  • Children & Family


DJ Kered

In the DJ booth, Kered’s sound is all about the dance floor. Armed with a deep arsenal and collection of music, Kered’s sets reflect a deeper, emotional sound that’s combined with peak hour rhythms and some classic favorites. Influenced by early Detroit techno and Chicago house, a typical Kered set knows no boundaries and is weaved together to tell a complete story from start to finish. He has entertained crowds on the sun-drenched beaches of Ibiza to the clubs of Berlin, Montreal, Los Angeles, Munich and more. Kered has released music on acclaimed labels such as Definitive Recordings, Nervous Records, Witty Tunes and ultimately on his own label, Loot Recordings. With a passion for discovering new sounds, Loot Recordings has become a platform for new artists to release their music together with established artists who have become a part of the label’s family.

  • Sights & Sounds


Khaiim Kelly

Khaiim is Hartford’s own “RapOet” who lectures on Creativity & Culture around the country. His fans prefer to catch him diving off stages, performing internationally with everyone from Pulitzer Prize poets like Alice Walker to Grammy winning MCs like Common. Hip-Hop heads know him as Self Suffice, the charismatic lyricist whose album with J Cole's engineer Mez summited the Indie Hip-Hop Top 40. His positive use of rap music has been recognized by Obama's Champions of Change, the NY Times, NPR, and others. See him live at a college near you, performing the new album "Self Control." Or, see and hear him as our Spirit Festival MC!

  • Emcee

  • Sights & Sounds


Tim Latta

Tim Latta is an actor, dancer, choreographer and director. He has traveled the globe with companies such as Pilobolus, Momix, and Faustwork Mask Theatre. He was co-founder of the rhythm duo Testi di Bosca with tap dancer Joe Orrach and did a stint with The Royal Lichtenstein Circus. He has been a guest artist with Theatre de la Jeune Lune, Iso, The Deutsche Opera, and Shawn McConneloug and her Orchestra among others. Highlights include being a featured performer in Nachtmond with David Shiner, at the Wintergarden Varieté in Berlin, choreographing the award-winning ALICE for the Lindsay Kemp Company in Barcelona, Spain and playing “Bob” in Kevin Kling’s Lloyd’s Prayer at ACT in Seattle. He is the founding director of Lattawork.

  • Children & Family


Daniel Lauter

Dan is one of the first to pioneer experiential performances and the vibrational qualities of Crystal Bowls in the U.S. and has developed an extensive palette and collection of Sacred Sounds which he brings to his work. He is certified as an Integrative Music and Sound Practitioner within the field of the Healing Arts and as an educator holds a Masters in Educational Technology. Following a classical music conservatory education in New York, he pursued further studies at the Center for Interdisciplinary and Experimental Art in San Francisco. A multi-instrumentalist, Daniel has performed with a variety of vocalists, ambient ensembles, and has collaborated internationally with teachers, musicians and artists including Grammy award-winning musician Steven Halpern.

  • Sights & Sounds


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LeoRising

LeoRising is an elemental entity that brings confidence, clarity, and cosmic comedy to the forefront of yoga & wellness culture. Heralded internationally as a cosmic personality & divine muse to celebrated clients in the fields of tech, business, film, television and Broadway theater, LeoRising’s awareness of how to support the physical body, expand and focus the mind, and amplify positive energies positions him as leader of #TheRoarriorTribe, a committed international group of truth seekers & conscious creatives. LeoRising Yoga is in service to all peoples through remote healing or in person, based in New York City & airborne upon request! @LeoRisingYoga

  • Yoga


People of Goodwill

The music of People of Goodwill reflects the diverse composition of its band members. Their music in homage to Africa, is based around the drum and always reflects a deep respect for the power of rhythm. The music freely uses a wide variety of popular styles including jazz, funk, rock, reggae, rhythm & blues, Latin, Brazilian and Afro-Cuban beats that have evolved from the African Diaspora. They take special pride in being a band that reflects the unique blend of styles and cultures in both its music and membership. Their performances are a combination of original compositions and arrangements of select compositions by some of the most outstanding songwriters and musicians of our time.

  • Sights & Sounds


Alphonso McGriff, III

Author, inventor and speaker, Alphonso McGriff, III can often be heard saying, “when people improve the quality of their consciousness, they will also improve the quality of their decisions, their actions and ultimately their reality.” He has found his present LIFE purpose in sharing McGriff’s Unique Approach to Harmonious and Productive Communication, a facilitated discussion method for effectively sharing sensitive ideas, confronting implicit bias and resolving conflict. Alfonso will lead a series of community conversations on a range of topics and will serve as the Spirit Festival Ombudsman. What do you want to talk about?

  • Conversations & Workshops


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Dr. Brandon Nappi

Brandon is a spiritual teacher, speaker, and writer who passionately believes in the capacity of the human spirit to flourish. While pursuing doctoral studies in spirituality, he experienced a profound awakening through the practice of mindfulness. Ever since, Brandon has dedicated his life to sharing the transformative power of meditation with thousands of seekers from every conceivable background. Brandon founded the Copper Beech Institute, a retreat and training center which brings mindfulness and spiritual practice to the greatest challenges of our age. A lifelong student of many spiritual paths, he shares perennial wisdom that supports the freedom, joy and peace that all of us are designed to know.

  • Conversations & Workshops


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Deb Orosz

Deb is a deeply intuitive and compassionate Iyengar style yogi and certified Reiki Master in the Usui tradition. Her decades of study, practice and instruction follows a corporate career as a Chemical Engineer. As a licensed clinical nutritionist with an emphasis on Herbal Medicine, Deb is committed to providing each of her students with tools that will enable them to find more peace, health, and a better understanding of themselves. She even custom-blends herbal wellness teas for clients and serves these before yoga class. Deb has a deep understanding of using holistic health practices for grief and mental health and credits her yoga practice with helping her to keep her heart open and living a healthy, connected life. Come and be restored!

  • Conversations & Workshops

  • Yoga


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Randolph Osgood

A daily practitioner of Ashtanga, Randolph Osgood excels in small groups and caters to the individual. If you are fortunate enough to be one of his students, you will learn the Ashtanga practice with an emphasis on the foundations to the practice—Breath, Asana and Dristi. Recovering from addiction and committed to a large family Randy brings the “stuff” of real life to his heartfelt and soulful teaching. He has trained with Manju Jois, trained by Valerie Schneiderman. His most significant influences include Peter Marchand, Nykki Poole, Ramaswami Srivatsa, Stan Woodman (The Yoga Shala). Randy keeps it real!

  • Conversations & Workshops

  • Yoga


Iddi Saaka

A dancer, dance teacher, and choreographer from Ghana, West Africa, Saaka has choreographed and performed at the World Festival of Sacred Music, the International Festival of Masks, the Skirball Center, Royce Hall, the Fowler Museum, Dance Arts Academy, Debbie Allen Dance Academy, El Portal Forum Theatre, and the Music Center in Los Angeles. At Wesleyan, he teaches courses in West African dance and also directs the West African Drumming and Dance Concert at the end of each semester. He has served as a visiting instructor of dance at UCLA, University of California San Diego, and the University of Ghana.

  • Children & Family


Balam Soto

Balam is an award-winning New Media Artist who creates at the intersection of science and the visual arts. His exploratory works fusing low tech with high tech have been exhibited at fine art venues including the New Zealand Art Festival, Gallery of Oi Futuro in Brazil, the National Library of Cameroon and the World Maker Faire in New York. His innovative designs seamlessly connect the human and digital experience, incorporating intuitive, tactile interfaces that allow individuals to experience physical computing while forgetting they are interacting with an inanimate object. The work comes to life as they begin to explore. Balam loves innovators who push culture forward!

  • Sights & Sounds


 

Sound Lounge, presented by the Conduit Center

The Sound Lounge is a designed space to offer attendants and artists a place to rest and recuperate away from the high stimulation of a festival event. In the Sound Lounge we offer sound journeys which is live performing of calming sounds for meditation. We at the Conduit have a studio where we have honed this technique for stress and relaxation, and what we offer at the festival is a modified version of that for the attendants. Through the sounds, participants experience deep healing and inner journeying, which is both rejuvenating and relaxing. We find that the practice complements yoga and other modalities being pursued at the festival. 

  • Sights & Sounds


DJ Wasine

Wasine is a passionate and purposeful DJ, activist, producer and radio personality whose eclectic and synergistic selections are influenced by his love for numerous genres including Roots Reggae, Soca, Zouk, Funk, and hip-hop. Originally from the island of Saint Lucia, DJ Wasine has hosted and spun for some of the largest Soca and Caribbean events in Connecticut. He is regarded for his remarkable fusion blends, using tantalizing island rhythms and intense bass-lines to create a unique international fusion of musical artistry… all on top of an unmistakable island beat! Just let the music fill you up!

  • Sights & Sounds


Dennis Waring

Dennis is an Ethnomusicologist and former CT State Troubadour, who is masterful at incorporating a wide array of indigenous and homemade instruments to weave fascinating tales of the origin of music and how all cultures through time utilized their natural environments for creating fantastic sound-making devices. His instrument-making workshops for people of all ages is a signature activity and his DVD From Trash To Tunes has garnered international recognition. The Trash-to-Tunes show is a demonstration/performance of almost fifty handmade/ homemade musical instruments based on ideas and inspirations from around the world. Interesting sights, sounds and stories provide audiences with new awareness into folklore, music, craft and science.

  • Children & Family