Core Team

Suiko Betsy McCall co-founded the Art Monastery Project in 2008, an international arts organization dedicated to applying the collaborative and intentional “social sculpture” of monastic life to art-making and creativity. In 2013, she published the book Hosting Transformation: Stories from the Edge of Changemaking. In 2017, she published the workbook Live Your Dream: Start Here, Start Now. Garnering degrees from Yale University and San Francisco Art Institute, Suiko’s large-scale pattern-based drawings and videos (suiko.art and mirrorproject.art) have been exhibited from San Francisco and New York to Amsterdam and Rome. She practiced Zen Buddhism in residence at Green Gulch Farm / Green Dragon Zen Temple on and off for four years and focuses her spiritual growth on studying from the land, shamanism, and her own intuition.

NevaHeadshotNeva Cockrell is a professional dancer and interdisciplinary artist who uses art as a tool for social change. She tours internationally with Pilobolus and directs new dance-theater works in the US, Dubai, and Europe with her company Loom Ensemble. She is passionate about teaching and leads many forms of embodiment practices, including her own 2-hour creation, Catalyst Training. She has been practicing meditation for the past 15 years, joined the Art Monastery in 2012, and has been serving as a co-Director since 2015. Through this journey she has found beautiful overlap in her artistic creations and her meditation practice. Her life path is deeply grounded in communal living, body-based activities, art-making, being outside, and contemplative practice.

RaphaelSacks HeadshotRaphael Sacks has sung, danced, made theater and taught yoga in New York, Italy, Belgium, Netherlands, Berlin, Stockholm, Dubai. He is a founding member of Loom Ensemble and a co-director of Art Monastery Vermont. NYC credits include performances at BAM with Meredith Monk; Lincoln Center with Urban Research Theater; and La MaMa with Loom Ensemble. Raphael teaches meditation and yoga in Dubai and Vermont. His spiritual path is outdoors.

Qayyum Johnson was born into an American Sufi family and grew up in intentional communities. A bricolage poet/writer, sculptor, sound & video artist & ordinary person inspired by indigenous, folk & street traditions & mash-ups—revolutionary life that stirs the body and mind to reconnect with elemental truth. He was an organic vegetable farmer and resident Zen student at Green Gulch Farm Zen Center / Green Dragon Zen Temple for more than ten years. Qayyum has studied & practiced myriad spiritual paths, served on an interfaith street chaplaincy board, and corresponds with incarcerated men seeking contemplative comrades.

The entire core team lives at Art Monastery Vermont, in the aboriginal Abenaki Dawnland of modern Vermont, alongside Kwanitekw, the Long (Connecticut) River.

Board of Directors

Derek Wright, Chair, Oakland, California

Musician (oud, saz, percussion, voice, body), dancer, certified Breema Bodywork instructor, producer, computer scientist and programmer, project manager, builder, problem solver, seeker of self-understanding and body-mind connection.

B.S. of Computer Science, University of Wisconsin, Madison; 10 years of vocal and instrumental study at the Ali Akbar College of Music, San Rafael, CA

Neva Cockrell, Director, Colorado & Vermont

Choreographer and dancer from Colorado. Neva Cockrell is a dancer, director, and movement instructor. She tours internationally with Pilobolus and directs new dance-theater works in the US, Dubai, and Europe with her company Loom Ensemble. When she isn’t directing or performing, she is teaching her own movement technique, Catalyst Training, which she developed in 2016. In 2012, she joined the Art Monastery Project, and currently serves as a co-director of Art Monastery Vermont.

B.A. Oberlin University

Phoebe Rosquist, Director, Berkeley, California

Soprano and choir director. Phoebe has appeared as a soloist with the Waverly Consort, Voices of Music, American Bach Soloists, Musica Angelica, Bach Collegium San Diego, and North Holland Opera. Among her varied collaborations are the baroque ensemble La Monica; medieval ensemble Cançonièr; art song with celebrated pianist Robert Thies; and early music and dance with Art Monastery Project and Bologna-based Cappella Artemisia. Phoebe has also toured the US and Indonesia with Gamelan X (a Balinese/hybrid world music ensemble), and sung Balkan & folk music with Kitka and VOCO.

M.A. in Early Music Performance, U.S.C.

Liz Maxwell, Director, New Orleans, Louisiana & Labro, Italy

Award-winning theater director, dancer, and actor, specializing in devising original pieces

Product Manager of SOCAP365, formerly Events Coordinator at Impact Hub NYC, consultant for The Feast and United States Department of Arts and Culture, and Artistic Director of Art Monastery Italia

B.A. Louisiana Scholars’ College at Northwestern State University

Past Board Members

Nathan Rosquist, Director (2009-2018), Berkeley, California

Interdisciplinary artist and software engineer; Art Monastery Project founding member

B.A. University of Colorado, M.B.A. Bainbridge Graduate Institute at Pinchot University, M.F.A. San Francisco Art Institute

Suiko Betsy McCall, Director, (2008-2013), San Francisco, California & Labro, Italy

Co-founder & Executive Director of the Art Monastery, President of Art Monastery Italia, visual artist and synchronized swimmer

B.A. Yale University, M.F.A. San Francisco Art Institute 

Raphael Sacks, Director (2015-2016), New York City & Dubai

Voice and theater artist from NYC. He has performed internationally in Sweden and the Netherlands, in London with English National Opera, and Italy with the Art Monastery project. NYC appearances include Lincoln Center with Urban Research Theatre, BAM with Meredith Monk, and La MaMa with Loom.

B.A. Oberlin University

Charles Darius, Treasurer (2012-2015), San Francisco, California & Labro, Italy

Musician specializing in original works for voice, guitar, piano, and trumpet

Karen Gifford, Director (2011-2013), San Anselmo, California

Attorney turned meditation teacher and autho

Leah Hofkin, Chair (2013), Director (2009-2012), San Francisco, California

Development Director specializing in non-profit arts organizations

Nadine Kano, Chair (2008 to 2012), Seattle, Washington

Computer scientist, senior director in the IT department at Microsoft

B.S.E. Princeton, M.B.A. Stanford

James Marketos, Director (2008 to 2013), Washington DC

Attorney at Law

Mia Martin, Director (2008 to 2012), Bloomington, Indiana

American travel guru and founder of Cartolina Mia, a custom tour planning business specializing in Italy

B.A. Indiana University

Pierre Theodore, Director, San Francisco, California

Chair of Thoracic Surgery at University of California at San Francisco

Christopher Fülling, Chair, Los Angeles, California

Theater director and tenor; co-founder of the Art Monastery

B.A. Princeton, M.F.A. California Institute of the Arts

Past Board of Advisors

Artistic Council

Terri Cohn, Writer, Interdisciplinary Studies, San Francisco, California

Terri Cohn is a writer, curator, and art historian, and considers these facets of her career to be intertwined through her research and writings in the areas of conceptual art, public art, and socially-engaged art practices. She was a Contributing Editor to Artweek magazine for 20 years, and recently wrote a historical overview of interventionist art for Viz. Interarts. Currently editor and lead writer for a book about Sonya Rapoport—an early adopter of technology in art making contexts—Terri is co-curating two exhibitions of Rapoport’s work for Kala Art Institute and Mills College Art Museum (2011, 2012). She was a Visiting Artist at Columbus College of Art and Design (2010) and has been a writer in residence and received Artist Grant Awards from Vermont Studio Center (2009, 2011). http://www.artpractical.com/review/interview_with_terri_cohn/

Leon Ingulsrud, Actor, Theater Director, New York City, New York

Leon Ingulsrud helped found SITI Company and has appeared in Orestes, Seven Deadly Sins (New York City Opera), Nicholas & Alexandra (LA Opera), bobrauschenbergamerica, Hotel Cassiopeia, Who Do You Think You Are, Radio Macbeth, Under Construction, Antigone and American Document with Martha Graham Dance Co. Previous to SITI, Mr. Ingulsrud was a member of the Suzuki Company of Toga for seven years, during which time Mr. Ingulsrud also served as a resident director at the ATM Arts Center in Mito, Japan. Mr. Ingulsrud served two years as the Associate Artistic Director of Swine Palace in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Directorial credits include Endgame, The Hairy Ape, Macbeth, Martini Ceremony, Medea, Angel/Babel, Short Stories, The Sea, The Grapes of Wrath, The Tempest, Death of a Salesman, Saint Joan, Our Town, Laramie Project, Eurydice, Psyche, Callie’s Tally, Big Love, A Show Of Force, Jamestown, Dr. Faust and three different, original adaptations of Moby Dick. Mr. Ingulsrud has taught in workshops and universities around the world, translates Japanese theater texts into English, and holds an M.F.A. in directing from Columbia. www.siti.org

Julia Pond, Dancer, Choreographer, London, UK

Julia holds a BFA in Dance from The Boston Conservatory and an MA in International Relations from St. John’s University in Rome. From 2001 to 2005, she was a member of Lori Belilove’s Isadora Duncan Dance Company of New York, with whom she performed and taught the repertory of Isadora Duncan in the U.S. and Europe. She continues to be an International Affiliate of the Company, teaching when she is in New York. Julia also worked at the Glocal Forum in Rome, an international NGO dedicated to city networking and peace-building. She’s currently in London developing a new dance and baroque music piece for cloisters and studying yoga while continuing to lend her efforts to programming and partnerships at the Art Monastery. juliapond.com

Marije Nie, Percussionist, Tapdancer, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Marije Nie is an extraordinary tapdancer. She is a musician with her feet, a percussionist with the physical energy of a dancer. Strong technique and timing are the roots of her training. With her creative talent and a love for improvisation, Marije is one of the most versatile tapdancers in Europe. Marije loves to seek out new paths for tapdancing, above and beyond classical tapdance tradition. In the course of her career, she has danced with classical symphonic orchestras, Balinese gamelan, experimental electronics and computer musicians, New Dutch Swing musicians, a choir, house DJ’s, and all kinds of dancers (modern, hip hop, butoh). As a soloist, she can be a guest to a (big) band, orchestra or DJ to add extra excitement to a concert or tour. As a leader, she organizes a number of small ensembles, each with different musicians. The atmosphere and music of these groups can be tailored to the specific event. She works with some of the most renowned musicians and orchestras in The Netherlands, including Luc Houtkamp (winner of the Boy Edgar Award 2005, Holland’s most prestigious jazz award), DJ DNA (Urban Dance Squad), trombone player Wolter Wierbos (ICP Orchestra), the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, and composers Theo Loevendie and Maurice Horsthuis—and, of course, her own group, Limoncella, with singer Dorona Alberti. Marije has performed in Europe, USA, Asia, and Africa. www.marijenie.com

Andrea Paciotto, Theater Director, Spoleto, Italy

Andrea Paciotto is a director dedicated to the creation and development of theater, media performances, and audiovisual projects. He began studying in Italy as an actor, but soon concentrated on creating and directing performances. He continued studying in the United States, receiving a B.A. in theater and an M.F.A. in directing from Brooklyn College – City University of New York. Later, he led a period of research in DasArts, Centre for Advanced Research in Theatre and Dance of Amsterdam University, focusing on the application of new technologies in the performance, for which he holds another M.F.A. degree. Very important to him was the encounter with Ellen Stewart, founder and artistic director of New York’s La MaMa Experimental Theater Club. This signaled the beginning of a journey that brought him to work in different countries, initially as an actor/performer and later as director. He worked for several years at La MaMa as resident artist and still today collaborates as a coordinator of the La MaMa Artist Residency in Italy. Since then, Andrea has collaborated with various theaters and organizations in Europe and his work has been presented in Italy, The Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Turkey, Serbia, Bosnia, Switzerland, Poland, Macedonia, United States, and Mexico. Since 2004, Andrea has been living in Italy. He has funded and directs OFFUCINA ECLECTIC ARTS, a production company based in Spoleto, focused on development, creation and promotion of innovative artistic and cultural events. Among some of his most recent projects are the Spoleto Fringe Festival (started in 2009) and the Horovitz-Paciotto Company a collaborative project with American playwright Israel Horovitz. www.offucina.com, www.lamama.org

 Monastic Council

Father Martin Claes, Catholic priest, Wijchen, The Netherlands

Father Martin Claes is a Catholic priest, theologian, and musicologist. He recently obtained his Ph.D. in Theology: Exercitatio mentis as a Case: Investigating Augustine as a Pedagogue. He is a research fellow at the Centre for Patristic Studies, Tilburg University, where his research focuses are early Christianity, patristics, Augustine, philosophical anthropology, late antiquity, rhetoric, and ethics. He is a spiritual coach at Ignatian-style retreats.

Ph.D. Theology, Tilburg University; M.A. (drs.) Musicology (Gregorian chant, medievistics), Utrecht University; M.A. (drs.) Philosophy (ancient philosophy, anthropology, ethics), Free University

Michelle & Joel Levey, Ph.D., contemplative teachers, Kapaau, Hawai’i & Seattle, Washington

Joel & Michelle Levey are internationally recognized speakers, authors, educators, and consultants. Founders of Wisdom At Work, the enduring benefits of their pioneering work in mind fitness, change resilience, collective intelligence and innovation has inspired leaders in hundreds of organizations around the globe, from NASA and the World Bank to Google and U.S. Special Forces. They are faculty at University of Minnesota’s Center for Spirituality and Health and Bastyr University Center for Spirituality, Science, and Medicine, and advisors for the International Campaign for Compassionate Cities. The Leveys have published numerous books such as Living in Balance: A Dynamic Approach for Creating Harmony & Wholeness in a Chaotic World and Luminous Mind: Meditation and Mind FitnessThe Dalai Lama, an advisor and supporter on a number of the Leveys’ projects, encouraged them in their work, saying: “You are presently engaged in work that has great prospects for bringing the inner sciences of human development and transformation to a very wide section of people who may not under ordinary circumstances come into contact with these teachings.” www.WisdomAtWork.com

Christine Valters Paintner, Ph.D., Benedictine oblate, author, and teacher, founder of Abbey of the Arts, Vienna, Austria

Christine Paintner’s primary work is to integrate spiritual formation & contemplative practice rooted in the Christian tradition with the healing practice of the expressive arts and the cycles of the natural world. Her Ph.D. is in Christian spirituality and she earned her professional status as a Registered Expressive Arts Consultant and Educator (REACE) from the International Expressive Arts Therapy Association.  She also holds certificates from programs in spiritual direction, supervision of spiritual directors, and 200 hours of training as a yoga teacher. Rooted in the Catholic mystical tradition with a strongly ecumenical spirit and love for the wisdom of all spiritual traditions, she is a Benedictine Oblate at St. Placid Priory, which means she has made a commitment to live out the monastic way in her daily life. She has a heart for interfaith dialogue, especially the ways contemplative strands from Christianity, Buddhism, and yoga philosophy nourish and challenge one another. Christine is committed to contemplative living, one rooted in Sabbath rhythms, and considers herself an urban monk and part-time hermit. She is the author of several books on monastic wisdom and creativity, including The Artist’s Rule: Nurturing Your Creative Soul with Monastic Wisdom and Lectio Divina–The Sacred Art: Transforming Words and Images into Heart-Centered Prayer. Christine is the founder of the Abbey of the Arts. abbeyofthearts.com

Maurice van der Putt, Ritual designer, Den Haag, The Netherlands

In addition to his role as ritual designer, Maurice is an independent minister in Den Haag, The Netherlands. He acts as a mentor and legal representative for psychiatric patients with dementia and coaches Korsakow patients. Maurice is also a spiritual coach at retreats.

M.A. (drs.) Theology, University for Theology and Pastorate