TLA Classes

We offer online classes to help you deepen your understanding of Transformative Language Arts, explore the craft of various genres and arts related to TLA, and develop your livelihood, community work, and service related to TLA.

Designed and taught by leading teachers, transformative language artists and activists, and master facilitators (want to be one of them?), these classes offer you ample opportunities to grow your art of words, your business and service, and your conversation with your life work.

The online nature of the classes allows you to participate from anywhere in the world (provided you have internet access) at any time of the day while, and at the same time, the intimate and welcoming atmosphere of the classes helps students find community, inspiration, and greater purpose.

While each class is unique to the teacher's style, all classes include hands-on activities (writing, storytelling, theater, spoken word, visual arts, music and/or other prompts), plus great resources, readings, and guidance. We use the online educational platform, Wet Ink for our classes. Our classes generally combine a combination of in-person meetings on Zoom and asynchronous gatherings via Wet Ink:

  • Our Community Online Classes have a set period of time, ranging from four to six weeks with a small cohort of 5 to 25 people. Every Wednesday a new weekly module opens for you to engage with on your own time, with forums and opportunities to share, interact, and receive feedback from peers and the teacher. If the teacher wants to schedule a live meeting, they will coordinate directly with enrolled participants. Classes remain open and available to enrolled participants for at least a week after the class end date.

Enrollment Cost

Classes are priced by the number of weeks they run, and members get a $20 discount. Early Bird rates end two weeks before the class start date, and registration increases by $40 thereafter.

Each registration is for one participant only, and all classes, unless arrangements are approved beforehand by the teacher and the TLA Network managing director, are for people age 16 and up.

NOTE: When there is a sale, the class page only displays the non-member discounted price. If you are a member, it will show the member discount once you start the registration process.

Cancellation & Refund Policy

Cancellations: A nonrefundable fee of 10% is included in each registration. No cancellations after the class begins. In the case of extenuating circumstances, please contact us.

Low Enrollment Cancellations: Classes that do not meet a minimum enrollment may be canceled a minimum of 3 days prior to the first class meeting with full refunds for all registrants.

Incomplete: Students seeking certification in TLA Foundations who cannot complete a class due to extenuating circumstances may be granted a discounted registration on the next available offering of that class. To be eligible for the discount students must communicate their circumstance to the teacher as soon as possible.

Community Online Classes

    • 15 September 2021
    • (EDT)
    • 27 October 2021
    • (EDT)
    • Online
    • 1

    There’s beauty and meaning to mine from your life story, and this workshop will help you artistically express what you’ve overcome and achieved, and creatively share your experience to benefit others through the medium of theatre. You’ll learn how to write successful dramatic monologues based on your life that are personally meaningful, emotionally satisfying, and relevant and engaging for an audience. In class, through thematic writing prompts and creative exploration, you’ll develop your ordinary and extraordinary life experiences into powerful, dramatic monologues that can be performed – by you or an actor – with universal appeal. In class meetings will present elements of dramatic structure and explore the artistic qualities necessary for an effective dramatic monologue.

    We’ll explore the role of conflict, plot, communicating subtext, voice, narrative, and the importance of set-up. New writing will be generated in and out of class, shared in class and aspects of revision will be presented and practiced.

    SPECIAL FEATURE: The course will culminate in an online SHOWCASE of works in progress generated by participants, featuring readings by actors, during the TLA Network's annual Power of Words Conference, which is being held online October 28-31. Beginning and experienced writers in any genre are welcome. Returning participants are welcome as new work will be generated.

    “Memoir as Monologue taught me the power of my own story. Kelly’s guidance on creating effective drama, her concrete feedback on improving my work, the nurturing environment she created for participants and the excellent resources she brought to the table opened a whole new world for me. This was one of the most effective online classes I’ve taken.”  Diane Glass, 2016 class member.

    Read an interview here with Kelly on this dynamic class. 

    Week by Week 

    Week One: Memoir vs. Monologue: How Dramatic Writing Makes the Leap from Page to Stage

    All kinds of expressive writing, from diary/journal writing to memoir to poetry, foster healing and personal growth. Writing for the stage offers a uniquely imaginative process for healing and transformation as well. We’ll explore how writing for the stage differs from writing a memoir or personal essay. You’ll learn tools for adapting personal story for dramatic writing as a theatrical experience that engages an audience. Elements of dramatic structure will be introduced.

    Week Two: The Art of Crafting Set-Up

    We’ll explore taking a short piece of memoir and shaping it theatrically, focusing on developing an effective dramatic set-up. Crafting an effective monologue  set up involves imagination and immediacy, a distinctive voice, cohesive narrative structure, meaningful theme, and cohesive plot. We’ll explore personal themes of life choices, mistakes, roads taken and not taken, encountering internal and external obstacles, new beginnings, thresholds, rites of passage as the source for crafting dramatic monologues.

    Week Three: Conflict – Experiencing Obstacles, Crafting Resilience

    Conflict is a universal experience, a fact of life, and a necessary element of dramatic writing. How we meet it, how we shape it, how we share it is the stuff of wise living and great storytelling. We’ll experiment and explore conflict as a personal encounter and literary device and as a necessary stage of any journey toward wholeness. This session will explore how to artistically construct compelling narratives from personal conflicts, shaping the experience of resilience to involve and inspire an audience.

    Week Four: Showing Versus Telling – Voice as a Vehicle for Dramatic Action

    The memoir writer uses written description and authorial narration to illustrate setting, character, internal thoughts, external actions, feelings, motivations, needs, conflicts and consequences. The dramatic writer of monologue must craft, from the voice of a single character/speaker, compelling speech and gesture to show, rather than tell a story. We’ll explore how monologue presents a speaker’s needs, motivation and conflict in a way that involves the audience by establishing a “willing suspension of disbelief.”


    Week Five: Creative Tools for Revising & Fine-Tuning

    Focus on how the process of revision moves from page to stage - and stage back to page; additional thematic writing prompts for use with writing already generated in class; discussing strategies for going deeper; dealing with creative blocks and putting it all together – theme, arc, voice, stagecraft.


    Week Six: The Art of Collaboration – Presenting Your Monologue

    Whether or not you plan on personally performing your dramatic monologue or putting it in the hands of an actor, your writing will take on additional dimension in the journey toward sharing it with an audience. We’ll explore aspects of collaborating with a director, an actor, a designer, producer or publisher in the process of reaching an audience as well as resources for finding potential collaborators.


    Whether or not you plan on personally performing your dramatic monologue or putting it in the hands of an actor, your writing will take on additional dimension in the journey toward sharing it with an audience. We’ll explore aspects of collaborating with a director, an actor, a designer, producer or publisher in the process of reaching an audience as well as resources for finding potential collaborators.


    Who Should Take This Class

    This class is ideal for people who do word arts–writing, storytelling, spoken word, theater, and other forms of TLA–and are ready to put themselves out there more in the world and in their work. Because of the innovate exercises and engaging discussions, this class would be very appropriate for both new and seasoned word artists who want to learn more, and find greater community together.


    This is an online class with weekly assignments in Wet Ink, including three, bi-weekly, webinars on Zoom (scheduled during the first week according to best availability of participants).


    PLEASE NOTE: THERE IS AN ADDITIONAL ONLINE SHOWCASE where works in progress will be presented as readings during the Power of Words Conference. Learn more about about the conference here. (Participants of the class will attend the conference for the SHOWCASE at no charge, but may register to attend the entire conference.)


    Format

    Each week will consist of engaging content designed to spark personal reflection, discussion and dynamic writing to be shared in the group forum on Wet InkParticipants should expect to spend no more than 2 hours or so on the weekly writing prompt, revisions, reading and commenting on the work of others, viewing and participating in live discussion, and sharing works in progress live. We’ll create a safe and supportive environment, offering respectful support that inspires the development of every writer’s voice.

    About the Teacher

    Kelly DuMar, M.Ed. is a poet, playwright, and workshop leader who generates enlivening writing experiences for new and experienced writers. This is the fifth time Kelly has offered this monologue class for TLAN. Author of three poetry collections, girl in tree barkTree of the Apple, and All These Cures, Kelly is also author of Before You Forget— The Wisdom of Writing Diaries for Your Children. Kelly’s award winning plays have been produced around the US and Canada, and are published by dramatic publishers. She founded and produced the Our Voices Festival of Women Playwrights at Wellesley College for twelve years, and she is a past president of Playwright's Platform, Boston. For the past five years, Kelly has led the week-long Play Lab Intensive at the annual conference of the International Women's Writing Guild. Kelly is a certified psychodramatist, former psychotherapist, and Fellow in the American Society for Group Psychotherapy and Psychodrama. She founded Let’s Talk TLA, a bi-monthly tele-conference and poetry open mic for members of the Transformative Language Arts Association. Currently, Kelly serves on the board & faculty of The International Women’s Writing Guild. Kelly inspires readers of #NewThisDay - her daily photo-inspired blog - with her mindful reflections on a writing life. You can learn more about Kelly, at www.kellydumar.com.

    • 10 November 2021
    • (EST)
    • 22 December 2021
    • (EST)
    • Online
    • 13
    Register

    In the disability community many people prescribe to the spoon theory. This theory is a way of describing the ways a sick or disabled person has to ration out their energy in order to get through the day. 

    As a disabled person dealing with chronic pain and fatigue, I, Angie Ebba, know that many days I don’t have enough “spoons” to do the things I need or want to do. Likewise, people living with chronic illness face similar challenges.

    I have found writing to be a very healing act for me, both in allowing myself to accept the feelings I’m having, but also to give words to the things going on in my body and mind, both for myself as well as for others wondering about why or how I’m sick.

    This class investigates the healing aspects of writing for those with disability and chronic illness, and will provide participants the opportunity to write and share their own narratives.

    Week by Week

    Week One will begin with an overview of chronic illness and disability and how creative writing can add to our personal understanding and healing.

    Week Two and Three will look at the ways that the practice of writing can help us deal with and manage illness and disability.

    Week Four will discuss ways we can use writing to broaden awareness about disability and chronic illness.

    Week Five will investigate systems of self-care and how we can integrate writing and creativity into our self-care routines.

    Week Six will look at ways we can access our creative outlets when we are out of spoons or aren’t otherwise able to do writing in the ways we would most like to.

    Who Should Take This Class

    Anyone with disability or chronic illness who is interested in exploring this more through writing, as well as those who facilitate workshops for people living with disability or chronic illness, or caregivers/medical professionals, etc. All attempts will be made to make this course as accessible as possible to those participating; if you have specific accessibility needs please contact the facilitator.

    Format

    Each week will consist of engaging content designed to spark personal reflection, discussion and dynamic writing to be shared in the group forum on Wet InkEach week will include various texts to help us explore disability and creative modalities that can help us deal with and manage chronic illness and disability, and will include discussions of the readings and our personal experiences, as well as creative writing prompts. Students should plan to spend 3-4 hours per week on the class. However, because our spoons vary day to day, the class will be formatted in a way that is flexible for working when you can and resting when you need.


    About the Teacher

    Angie Ebba is a queer disabled writer, educator, and performer who has taught writing workshops and performed across the United States. She has poetry published in Closet Cases, Queering Sexual Violence, and several literary magazines. She's also a published essayist with a focus on writing about health and disability, body positivity, and relationships. Angie teaches poetry and writing online and in person. Angie believes strongly in the power of words to help us gain a better understanding of ourselves, to build connections and community, and to make personal and social change. Angie can be found online at rebelonpage.com.

    • 10 November 2021
    • (EST)
    • 22 December 2021
    • (EST)
    • Online
    • 12
    Register


    In this class, the participants will write, reflect, meditate, and engage in discussions about what it means to free ourselves from fragmentation and to find ourselves whole again. Fragmentation of the self has unintended consequences, such as depression, anxiety, blocked creativity, and especially fear. By exploring Mindfulness in our writing and lives, we can pivot from fear and panic toward the freedom of embracing our humanness.

    This class is informed by the Buddhist way of living and seeing the world, with specific focus on the four Noble Truths, the Eightfold Path and the four Brahmaviharas  or the “immeasurables” (Love, Sympathetic Joy, and Equanimity).

    Through this process, we will approach both a personal and communal awareness of the playful and cleansing power of language, in keeping with the Jewish proverb: “As soap is to the body, so laughter is to the soul.”

    Week by Week

    Each week includes Mindfulness meditation, writing, and other activities, and all weeks include online interactions. Each assignment is intended to solidify a Mindfulness practice in the general sense and specifically to writing. An important aspect of the assignments is that they are conducted or developed within a symbolic, ritualized context. That is, that you establish specific times during the week to read and work on the assignments via specific rituals that serve as conduits for the creative, authentic expression of the mature human you are or strive to become.

    Each practice we do is intended to tap into body, mind, and spirit to awaken parts of the self to render it whole.  The paths are illustrated by poems that can help generate integration. The practice of meditation and the seeking of wisdom leads to what is called a mature human being.

    The following poets, among others, will be center-stage: J. Rumi, Mary Oliver, David Whyte, Naomi Shihab Nye, and Wendell Berry.  


    Week 1

    (Zoom Session: 6pm EST)

    Theme: Pathways to Wholeness

    Topic: Shaping our community

    We’ll get to know each other and to discuss in depth the central tenets of the Pathways to Wholeness.  The kind of writing we’ll do together has the potential to open new pathways in the brain to help us venture into the vastness of being focused on the present moment and free from fragmentation. We will also do introductions via our Zoom session.


    Week 2

    Theme: Re-cognizing the Self

    Topic: Fragmentation and wholeness

    We’ll focus on how we can release our creative potential by recognizing depression and anxiety as forms of separation from the true self. Examining the shadow parts of us can shed light into our consciousness. We’ll examine the First Pathway: Dwell in the house of the self


    Week 3

    Theme: Discernment and the freedom to be

    Topic: Our story in the context of our history. We’ll examine the Second Pathway: Use Discernment to understand the true meaning of history and our own story.


    Week 4

    Theme: Shared Humanity

    Topic: Changing perspectives

    We’ll examine the Third Pathway: Recognize Shared Humanity and accept suffering as part of life. To do this, we’ll take a “Momentous Leap of Meaning.”


    Week 5

    Theme: Cultivation of kindness and equanimity

    Topic: Shedding the Light of Consciousness on the Shadow

    We’ll examine the Fourth Pathway: Cultivate kindness toward the self through the four immeasurables. Also, we’ll briefly focus on the shadow part of the personality.


    Week 6

    (Zoom class: 6pm EST)  

    Theme: Closing (holding a council)

    Topic: Our ending is your beginning

    The power of transformation begins right at that moment when we are willing to challenge our own assumptions. Our closing is an invitation to practice self-inquiry by practicing the activities.


    Who Should Take This Class

    This class would benefit individuals who are on the path of self-discovery as well as those who facilitate self-discovery with others. Teachers, therapists, writers, community leaders are ideal candidates. This class was designed for individuals who are curious about how to integrate the multiple parts of their lives into a cohesive whole. We welcome individuals interested in having a regular integral practice in their lives that includes living with integrity and excellence, becoming more alive and creative, and engaging in mindful movement, sitting meditation, walking in nature. Lastly, this class is for individuals interested in creating more psychological flexibility, so they can embrace life with curiosity, detachment, and depth.

    Format

    This is an online class with two Zoom sessions. Students are encouraged to set aside a minimum of two hours a week to engage in practices, including reading and writing about poems and essays pertaining to the topics of spirituality and psychological flexibility. Students are expected to read and respond to comments on the accessible and welcoming online platform.

    About the Teacher

    Marianela Medrano is a Dominican writer, poet. and a psychotherapist, with aPh.D. in psychology, whose practice includes Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Mindfulness, Transpersonal & Integral Psychotherapy. Medrano has extensive training in Mindfulness Based-Stress Reduction with Jon Kabat-Zinn and Saki Santorelli, and Mindful Eating with Jan Chozen-Bays and Char Wilkins. She has taught at the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, now Sophia University, in Palo Alto, California, and as a visiting scholar at Goddard College.

    Her work as a poetry therapist was recognized with an outstanding award from the National Association for Poetry Therapy. in 2007. She is also a mentor/supervisor for the International Federation of Biblio/Poetry Therapy and currently serves as the president of the National Association for Poetry Therapy, NAPT.

    Through the Palabra Training Center, she offers on-site and remote programs for individuals and groups in poetry therapy, applying literature and psychology to help participants forge their own paths to wholeness. She also presents, with poet Annie Finch, Woman, Poetry, and Spirituality at the Garrison Institute. Her Four Pathways to Wholeness workshop has been presented at the Expressive Therapies Summit in NYC, the Association for Contextual Behavioral Studies World Conference in Seville, Spain in 2017, the National Association for Poetry Therapy Annual Conference, and the Mount Carmel College in Bangalore, India.

    Her individual publications include: Oficio de Vivir (Buho,1986), Los Alegres Ojos de la Tristeza (Buho,1987), Regando Esencias/ The Scent of Waiting (Alcance,1998), Curada de Espantos (Torremozas, 2002), Diosas de la Yuca, (Torremozas, 2011), Prietica (Alfaguara, 2013).  Rooting (Owlfeather Collective, 2017). Her poetry has been translated into Italian and French. In 2015 she did a TEDTALK at Ursuline College.

    • 10 November 2021
    • (EST)
    • 22 December 2021
    • (EST)
    • Online
    • 26
    Register

    Believe it or not, you are an artist. Every action you take creates and colors your life, like a paintbrush transforming a canvas into a work of art. If you choose the unbeaten, creative path, there are no paint-by-numbers to follow. Lucky for you, you have a muse. Your muse is a courageous, intuitive, collaborator who can help you navigate all the wild twists and turns of the journey. A mirror of your inner artist, she reflects your innate creativity, wisdom, and power — to manifest a masterpiece or a mess! It doesn’t matter whether you dabble with watercolor, or cake frosting, write poetry or prose, or can't draw a stick figure to save your sister. Kissing your muse will illuminate your authentic path to happiness, and help you navigate along the way. 

    Think of this class, then, as a compass and map and the muse as your internal guide. Through self-empowering “kissing practices'' in collage, mixed-media, and expressive writing, you’ll invoke — and creatively kiss — a different muse for each phase of your own life’s messy, magical, creative adventure. Approach each encounter as playfully or seriously as you would any romantic entanglement. Simply flirt to find out what makes your muse sing, go on a few muse dates to choose, chart, or change your life’s course, or make a long-term commitment to creatively manifest a particular dream or desire. 

    Whatever your passion or commitment to pursue it, kissing your muse fans the flame. But be forewarned, the muse has a mind of her own, and even a peck on her cheek could change your life.

    So, grab a glue stick, and pucker up!  

    INSTRUCTOR’S NOTE:

    Throughout this course, I use the “feminine” to invoke the muse and suggest the inward-focused “heroine’s” journey often experienced by writers and artists, in contrast to the externally-focused hero’s journey that dominates our culture today. However, the creative adventure of Kissing the Muse is ultimately about integrating all of our inner archetypes, and both the “masculine” and “feminine” aspects of our psyches. Please feel free to replace the pronouns “she” and “her” with whatever feels more comfortable for you. 

    __

    Week by Week

    Each week, you will engage in the core “kissing practice” — a guided invocation meditation and collage-making process — to invoke a different muse. Each muse represents a particular phase of your life’s messy, magical, creative adventure. Following your muse mirror collage, you will also complete a kiss & tell writing flirt to receive each muse’s message in a love note. You will repeat this core kissing practice every week, for six different muses.*  The first kissing practice will take place over ZOOM, so we can meet each other and I can guide you.

    Each week’s lesson also includes a diverse array of additional muse kissing practices — expressive-art and writing inspired “tickles, dares, and flirts,” that encourage you and your muse to go further (creatively ).

     *The Messy, Magical Creative Adventure is a repeating cycle that moves through 12 phases in total. This course covers the first six. It is not necessary to go through each phase in order or to complete the entire cycle to benefit from kissing your muse. Like the moon, we are always whole, even when partially shadowed. No matter what phase we’re experiencing, we can look up (by looking inward) and discover our place in the universe. 


    Week One: The Daily Dance—Kiss Your Home-at-Heart Muse

    “Fill your daily dance with more joy.”

    • OPENING ZOOM session: Saturday, Nov. 13, 10:00 am -12:30 pm, Pacific Time Zone: Guided invocation meditation, muse mirror collage, kiss & tell writing “flirt” for Home-at-Heart Muse.

    • Additional kissing practices — expressive art and writing inspired “tickles, dares, and flirts” to go creatively further.  

    Week Two: Creative Call—Kiss Your Seducing Siren Muse

    “Rekindle your passion through change.” 

    • Guided invocation meditation, muse mirror collage, kiss & tell writing flirt for Seducing Sire Muse

    • Additional kissing practices — expressive art and writing inspired “tickles, dares, and flirts” to go creatively further.  

    • Reading & poetry to inspire and support you during the Creative Call phase of your creative adventure


    Week Three: Critical Resistance—Kiss Your Reluctant Rebel Muse

    “Resist critics and take a stand.” 

    • Guided invocation, muse mirror collage, kiss & tell for Reluctant Rebel Muse.

    • Additional kissing practices — expressive art and writing inspired “tickles, dares, and flirts” to go creatively further.  

    • Reading & poetry to inspire and support you during the Critical Resistance phase of your creative adventure.


    Week Four: Open to Learning—Kiss Your Magical Guru Muse

    “Receive what you need to act next.”

    • Schedule your 1/2 hour personal coaching session with the instructor. Dec.1-8

    • Guided invocation meditation, muse mirror collage, kiss & tell writing for Magical Guru Muse.

    • Additional kissing practices — expressive art and writing inspired “tickles, dares, and flirts” to go creatively further.  

    • Reading & poetry to inspire and support you during the Open to Learning phase of your creative adventure.


    Week Five: Bridge to Commitment—Kiss Your Bold Bride Muse

    “Commit to your own path and Self.” 

    • ZOOM session: Saturday, Dec. 11, 10:00 am -12:30 pm, Pacific Time Zone:

    • Commitment ritual for Bold Bride Muse./closing send-off into the Wild Unknown.Core 

    • Additional kissing practices — expressive art and writing inspired “tickles, dares, and flirts” to go creatively further.  

    • Reading & poetry to inspire and support you during the Bridge to Commitment phase of your creative adventure.


    Week Six: Wild Unknown—Kiss Your Daring Adventurous Muse

    “Venture into the unknown for new insight.”  

    • Core kissing practice for Daring Adventurous Muse.

    • Additional kissing practices — expressive art and writing inspired “tickles, dares, and flirts” to go creatively further.  

    • Reading & poetry to inspire and support you during the Wild Unknown phase of your creative adventure.

    • **Course discussion board remains open until TBD. 

    Who Should Take This Class

    Kissing the Muse: A Messy, Magical, Creative Adventure is a fun, fresh approach to the craft of creative writing and self-improvement. Designed for creatives from all walks of life, this course is an inspiring, safe space to explore and express your artistic voice through a variety of mediums. Through an inventive method of self-inquiry, participants embark on a personal journey of transformation and integrate insights into their own creative practice and projects. Open to all arts disciplines, writing skill levels, and genres.

    Format

    This is an online class, hosted on the online teaching platform, Wet Ink. Students should expect to spend 3 hours (minimum) per week perusing resources and readings, engaging in several writing/creation prompts, and briefly responding to peers’ work. From our interactions, we sustain a welcoming and inspiring community together.

    About the Facilitator

    Robbyn Layne McGill forged her multifarious career path by chasing her passions, wandering wildly, and kissing her muse. By her mid-20s, she had realized that living spiritually and personally connected to whatever “turned her on” creatively, was far more important than proving herself professionally. So, she quit her job as a corporate video producer in Kansas City and followed her heart to San Francisco. There, she met a wild band of creative bohemians who epitomized her idea of what it meant to be artists. She soon began crafting her own personal, poetic film “collages” using found 16mm footage, eventually earning a spot in an MFA program. 

    Upon graduation, she stumbled upon her dream job—associate professor of transformative art for a university’s “Arts & Consciousness” department. So, like any aspiring, naive academic, she decided to write a self-help book based on everything she “knew.” But her muse had a better idea—not to write a book, but to live one.

    Robbyn holds a Masters of Fine Arts degree in New Practices (painting and cinema) from San Francisco State University (2006), and Master of Arts degree in Transpersonal Psychology from John F. Kennedy University (2013), and a Bachelor of Science degree in Journalism from the University of Kansas (1993)—but the story of how she came to live in Amsterdam (with a man she truly loves, and a cat named Leonard Cohen), and host collage-making “Muse Dates” is far, far more interesting. www.kissingthemuse.com.

    • 12 January 2022
    • (EST)
    • 23 February 2022
    • (EST)
    • Online
    • 30
    Register

    In these facilitated exploration sessions, you will be guided and inspired to develop your own creative notebook practice specifically dedicated to processing emotions related to grief, change and loss. With the individual and collective changes and losses sustained throughout the past two years, we will explore how the making of expressive arts forms can support the integration of difficult life experiences and facilitate communicating both with and beyond words. We will see how self-compassion can extend to compassion for others, and how images can support the meaning we seek in stories and words.

    In each session, a new mixed media art technique will be demonstrated as inspiration for your own spontaneous work using the materials you have gathered. Between sessions, you will be provided with written and visual inspiration drawn from other artists and creative prompts to start your own expressions. Finally, an important component of our time together will be the sharing of our work and/or our experience of making the work, where we will practice the art of witnessing ourselves and others in a supportive way.

    This class will involve 4 live Zoom sessions (dates listed below) with active participation, along with sharing of work online between sessions via the online platform, Wet Ink. The bulk of our interactions and all instruction will occur “live” in our Zoom sessions, and the Wet Ink platform will be used to share impressions and visual work between sessions for those who wish to engage there.

    Zoom sessions:

    • Saturday, 2/19/21 at 9:00am PT (two hours)
    • Wednesday, 1/26/21 at 5:00pm PT (75-90 minutes)
    • Wednesday, 2/9/21 at 5:00pm PT (75-90 minutes)
    • Saturday, 2/19/21 at 9:00am PT (two hours)

    Please note: a basic materials list will be provided upon registration and we will be using these materials during our first class.

    Week by Week

    This class begins with a basic framework and intention, but is co-created in the living container of YOU, the participants in the class! Below are some general ideas of what and how we will be doing things, but the specific topics and emphasis will be generated by what is present in the “room” of our Zoom sessions, as well as what is shared in the Wet Ink platform. I highly encourage you to participate live in the Zoom sessions. If there are extenuating circumstances that prevent you from doing this, there will be recordings made available, but please do not plan to take the course entirely via recordings.


    Week 1: Connecting with First Impulse

    Class portal opens Wednesday, January 12, 2021


    **LIVE 2-hour introductory Zoom session: Saturday, January 15, 2022, at 9:00am PT/12:00pm ET**

    We will get to know one another through some embodied activities using our voices, movement of our bodies, and activation of our non-verbal brain areas.

    I will share a presentation with an overview of our creative notebook practice as well as some background on the subjects of moving through grief, change, and loss (including definitions of these words to explore together).

    We will practice together to get our first taste of the expressive writing and mixed media visual art we will be combining and weaving together in our notebooks.

    I will demonstrate visual art techniques as you play along in your own notebook.

    We will end with inspiration, encouragement, and some creative prompts for writing and art making to complete in next week (includes poetry + suggested writing prompts + specific instructions for artmaking).

    You are highly encouraged to participate LIVE in this Zoom session in order to receive the most benefit. If you cannot attend for an extenuating circumstance, this session will be recorded and be made available for viewing.

    Week 2: Building the Cocoon

    Sharing of work in Wet Ink platform.

    Instructor will monitor Wet Ink comments and provide feedback.

    More creative prompts/inspiration for next time (poetry, visual inspiration, writing prompts, art making prompts).

    Week 3: Naming Losses, Practicing Trust

    **Live 75-90 minute Zoom session: Wednesday, January 26, 2022, at 5:00pm PT/8:00pm ET**

    Sharing of work, experiences in large group and breakout rooms.

    Practice of different ways to listen and witness skillfully in grief, change, and loss.

    Demonstration of mixed media art technique(s).

    Discussion of prompts for the next two weeks (we will expand our own practice and make discoveries about how the techniques and materials work for us in our uniqueness).

    Week 4: Holding and Being Held

    Sharing of work in Wet Ink platform.

    Instructor will monitor Wet Ink comments and provide feedback.

    More creative prompts/inspiration from writers, poets, filmmakers, other artists.

    Week 5: Patience, Presence, and Allowing

    **Live 75-90 minute Zoom session: Wednesday, February 9, 2022, at 5:00pm PT/8:00pm ET**

    Individual sharing of work and experiences in large group and breakout rooms.

    Final demo of mixed media art techniques, including additional materials and techniques to expand your practice beyond this class.

    Week 6: A Practice Emerges

    **Final 2-hour closing Zoom session: Saturday, February 19, 2022, at 9:00am PT/12:00pm ET**

    Group reflection on the experiences of the creative notebook practice itself, as well as the journey of moving through emotions related to grief, change, and loss.

    Ideas for how to continue your practice and use it to support you in your journey through life.

    Any other subjects that arose in the wet.ink discussions or during the previous Zoom sessions will also be incorporated.

    Who Should Take This Class

    Anyone who is processing life changes or losses, individual or collective, and would like to learn how to develop a personal practice using expressive writing plus mixed media visual art in a creative notebook as a way of supporting this process. Please note that this is not a substitute for professional grief support or therapy, but can be a very valuable complementary or supplementary practice for those going through either grief support or psychotherapy.

    Format

    This is an online class, hosted on the online teaching platform, Wet Ink, and via Zoom. Students should expect to spend 3 hours (minimum) per week perusing resources and readings, engaging in several writing/creation prompts, and briefly responding to peers’ work. From our interactions, we sustain a welcoming and inspiring community together.

    About the Facilitator

    Lisa Chu, MD, is a multidisciplinary artist and SoulBodyMind life coach. She enjoys encouraging people of all ages to recognize and explore their own creative potential, which Lisa herself has explored through research and practice at the intersection of expressive arts and healing for the past decade, and performing arts and teaching for the past three decades. She has written and performed a solo autobiographical theater show, performed live as both classical and improvisational violinist and pianist, exhibited her visual art in group and solo shows, and self-published illustrated books. Lisa earned an A.B. magna cum laude in Biochemical Sciences from Harvard-Radcliffe Colleges and an M.D. from University of Michigan Medical School. themusicwithinus.com

Past Classes

30 August 2021 For the Love of it: A Mindful Moment of Rejuvenation for Educators // with Joanna Tebbs Young
21 July 2021 Changing the World with Words: TLA Foundations // with Joanna Tebbs Young
07 July 2021 Future Casting: Writing Towards a Just World Vision // with Caits Meissner
02 June 2021 The Art of Facilitation: Facilitating for Change & Community // with Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg & Joy Roulier Sawyer
17 May 2021 Tools for Teachers: Creating a Strong TLA Course Curriculum // with Liz Burke, EdD
26 April 2021 Tools for Teachers: Marketing Your TLA Class // with Liz Burke, EdD
18 April 2021 Monologue Showcase: Voices of Change
05 April 2021 Tools for Teachers: Creating a Strong TLA Course Proposal // with Liz Burke, EdD
24 March 2021 Tools for Teachers: Creating a Strong TLA Course Curriculum // with Liz Burke, EdD
24 February 2021 Tools for Teachers: Marketing Your TLA Class // with Liz Burke, EdD
03 February 2021 Tools for Teachers: Creating a Strong TLA Course Proposal // with Liz Burke, EdD
03 February 2021 Your Memoir as Monologue: Writing Monologues for Healing and Transformation // with Kelly DuMar
09 December 2020 TLA in Action: Connection, Collaboration, & Community
05 December 2020 Fireside Tales: A Virtual Camp In // with Lyn Ford
04 December 2020 A Virtual Greenhouse: Cultivating, Nurturing, and Sustaining Creative Growth through Literary Friendship
04 November 2020 Leverage Your Expertise as a Social Arts Practice, for Community Engagement, and Radical Livelihood // with Yvette Angelique Hyater-Adams
28 October 2020 The Art of Facilitation: Roots and Blossoms of Facilitation // with Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg & Joy Roulier Sawyer
18 October 2020 Writing to this Moment: Taking Uncertainty to the Page // with Joanna Tebbs Young, MA-TLA
14 October 2020 Kissing the Muse: A Messy, Magical, Art-Making Adventure // with Robbyn Layne McGill
23 September 2020 How Pictures Heal: Expressive Writing from Personal Photos // with Kelly DuMar
05 August 2020 Pathways to Wholeness: Mindful Writing Toward Momentous Leaps of Meaning // with Marianela Medrano
24 June 2020 & They Call Us Crazy: Outsider Writing to Cross the Borders of Human Imagination // with Caits Meissner
24 June 2020 The Art of Facilitation: Facilitating for Change & Community // with Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg & Joy Roulier Sawyer
25 March 2020 Changing the World with Words: TLA Foundations // with Joanna Tebbs-Young
25 March 2020 The Elemental Journey of Purposeful Memoir // with Jennifer Browdy, PhD
15 January 2020 Your Memoir as Monologue: Writing Monologues for Healing and Transformation // with Kelly DuMar
15 January 2020 The Art of Facilitation: Roots and Blossoms of Facilitation // with Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg & Joy Roulier Sawyer
23 October 2019 15 Poets to Change Your Life & Spark Your Writing // with Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg
23 October 2019 Poems As Prayers: Writing Towards a Just World // with Caits Meissner
04 September 2019 Speaking Your Truth: Creative Writing in Political Times // with Angie Ebba
26 June 2019 15 Poets to Change Your Life & Spark Your Writing // with Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg
24 April 2019 Changing the World with Words: TLA Foundations // with Joanna Tebbs-Young
06 March 2019 Fantastic Folktales & Visionary Angles to Transform Our Stories // with Lyn Ford
16 January 2019 How Pictures Heal: Honoring Memory & Loss through Expressive Writing from Personal Photos // with Kelly DuMar
24 October 2018 Coming Home to Body, Earth, and Time: Writing From Where We Live // with Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg
24 October 2018 Leverage Your TLA Expertise for Publication, Community, Business, and Livelihood // with Yvette Hyater-Adams
05 September 2018 Cultivating Our Voices: Writing Life Stories for Change // with Dr. Liz Burke-Cravens
27 June 2018 Wound Dwelling: Writing the Survivor Body(ies) // with Jennye Patterson
27 June 2018 Changing the World with Words: TLA Foundations // with Joanna Tebbs-Young
27 June 2018 & They Call Us Crazy: Outsider Writing to Cross the Borders of Human Imagination // with Caits Meissner
16 May 2018 Values of the Future Through Transformative Language Arts // with Doug Lipman
04 April 2018 Stories with Spirit: Creativity as a Spiritual Practice // with Regi Carpenter
14 March 2018 Writing for Social Change: Redream a Just World // with Anya Achtenberg
21 February 2018 Funding Transformation: Grant Writing for Storytellers, Writers, Artists, Educators, & Activists // with Diane Silver
10 January 2018 Fantastic Folktales & Visionary Angles to Transform Our Stories // with Lyn Ford
18 October 2017 Writing Our Lives: The Poetic Self & Transformation // with Dr. Liz Burke-Cravens
18 October 2017 Changing the World with Words: TLA Foundations // with Joanna Tebbs-Young
06 September 2017 Your Memoir as Monologue: How to Create Dynamic Dramatic Monologues About Healing and Transformation for Performance // with Kelly DuMar
06 September 2017 Wound Dwelling: Writing the Survivor Body(ies) // with Jennifer Patterson
14 June 2017 The Five Senses and Four Elements: Connecting with the Body and Nature Through Poetry // with Angie River
14 June 2017 The Poetics of Witness: Writing Beyond the Self // with Caits Meissner
19 April 2017 Diving and Emerging: Finding Your Voice and Identity in Personal Stories // with Regi Carpenter
01 March 2017 Changing the World with Words: TLA Foundations // with Joanna Tebbs-Young
01 March 2017 How Pictures Heal: Honoring Memory & Loss through Expressive Writing from Personal Photos // with Kelly DuMar
11 January 2017 Values of the Future Through Transformative Language Arts // with Doug Lipman
11 January 2017 Writing from the Root & Through the Body // with Marianela Medrano
11 January 2017 Your Callings, Your Livelihood, Your Life // With Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg
26 October 2016 Leverage Your TLA Expertise for Publication, Community, Business, and Livelihood // with Yvette Angelique Hyater-Adams
26 October 2016 Not Enough Spoons: Writing About Disability & Chronic Illness // with Angie River
14 September 2016 Wound Dwelling: Writing the Survivor Body(ies) // with Jennifer Patterson
14 September 2016 Creating a Sustainable Story: Self-Care, Meaningful Work, and the Business of Creativity // with Laura Packer
29 June 2016 Coming Home to Body, Earth, and Time: Writing From Where We Live // with Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg
29 June 2016 Making the Leap into Work You Love // with Scott Youmans
18 May 2016 Saturated Selfies: Intentional and Intense Photography and Writing
18 May 2016 Changing the World with Words: TLA Foundations // with Joanna Tebbs Young
28 March 2016 Gathering Courage: Still-Doing, Big Journaling, and Other (Not So Scary) Ways to Begin Accommodating the Soul
15 February 2016 Living Out Loud: Healing Through Storytelling and Writing
15 February 2016 Soulful Songwriting: How To Begin, Collaborate, And Finish Your Song
04 January 2016 The Five Senses and the Four Elements: Connecting with the Body and Nature Through Poetry
04 January 2016 Your Memoir as Monologue: How to Create Dynamic Dramatic Monologues About Healing and Transformation for Performance

"The Transformative Language Arts Network" is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. P.O. Box 873 Lansdowne, PA 19050 USA

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software