Holding Hope for the Holidays
The holidays can be hard - especially this year, as we come to terms with the countless losses we have experienced and many of us cannot be together with our loved ones. As we approach the end of 2020, let us take time to be together in community - honoring all that we have experienced this year and planting seeds of hope for the new year.
Hosted by Reimagine’s Founder and Executive Director, Brad Wolfe, and multimedia artist and grief advocate, Bea Martino, this special event will include a creative expression ritual led by Indiginous spiritual counselor Yvonne Brock, breakout sessions for story-sharing facilitated by Taylor Buehler and Charly Jaffe from the COVID Grief Network, a grounding meditation with end-of-life doula Oceana Sawyer, a musical offering by violinist Mindy Anderson, poetry with writer and interfaith minister Naila Francis and more! Join us for a beautiful day of community connection and ritual to round off 2020!
Note: Please bring a candle, a notebook and/or paper, and a pen for an interactive ritual experience.
About the Hosts:
Beatrice (Bea) Antonie Martino is a Reimagine event producer and Brooklyn-based multidisciplinary installation artist, choreographer, and grief advocate. She specializes in crafting site-specific, multi-sensory experiences and interactive environments that hold space for introspection, emotional processing, and community connection. Working at the intersections of live performance and technology, she uses video art, projection, movement, and choreography to build worlds that encourage holistic engagement with our shared humanity. Her current work explores individual and collective relationships to grief and mourning, and seeks to create new healing rituals to honor the dead. Bea's academic background includes B.A. degrees with honors in Dance and Psychology from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and an M.A. degree from New York University Gallatin School of Individualized Study (Artistic Thesis: What Remains: Ritual Spaces for the Contemporary Mourner). Driven by multiple experiences of significant personal loss, Bea has been exploring themes of grief, memory, loss, and identity in her creative work since 2007. In a society where death and grief are marginalized, she believes that we need to make more concerted efforts to create communal spaces in which people can process these experiences through ritual. To engage with Bea’s work and learn more about her upcoming projects, please visit: https://www.beatricemartino.com
Brad Wolfe is the founder of Reimagine, an events platform and community where people of all backgrounds come together to navigate the hardest parts of our existence and inspire one another to live fully now. As a nonprofit organization, Reimagine draws on design, art, medicine and spirituality to transform taboo cultural attitudes around death and grief, and to address the inequities surrounding how we live and die. Brad's personal interest in these topics began as he performed bedside concerts for his friend Sara, who died of a rare pediatric cancer. In Sara's honor, Brad co-founded the Sunbeam Foundation for pediatric cancer research and formed Brad Wolfe & the Moon, a band which has performed concerts for other young people facing terminal cancer and been featured on MTV. Brad has a BA and MA in sociology from Stanford University, and an MBA from UC Berkeley, where he has served as a lecturer on the topics of creativity and innovation. He is passionate about the power of culture design, creativity, and inspiration. He translates his experience into programs that can make a difference in individuals’ personal and professional lives and their communities. Brad is particularly interested in the power of storytelling and has combined it with theories of marketing, experience design, organizational behavior, art, and innovation strategy to create solutions that motivate people of all ages and backgrounds toward positive action.
Yvonne Brock is an Indigenous Spiritual Counselor, who supports women to gain insight, balance and amplify personal power through spiritual and holistic exploration. She invites people to become empowered by their own wisdom, and the wisdom beyond personality known by many names (Creator, Divine Feminine, Science, Justice, Meditation, Art, Nature, etc.) to create direction in their life. Her individual and group facilitation often utilizes wisdom from Yvonne's Indigenous background. Practices shared by her may include: Altars, Ritual, Creative expression, Meditation, Visualization, Breathwork, and Writing. Yvonne has a MA Transpersonal Psychology, a Graduate Certificate in Spiritual Guidance, and is a member of Spiritual Directors International. Her work includes being a labyrinth facilitator, and a professional artist. Learn more at http://www.yvonnebrock.com/
Charly Jaffe is a crisis counselor, executive producer and best-selling author on a mission to help people find freedom in the places we run from. As a yoga teacher and award-winning Google change maker, she interweaves data, storytelling and insights from her own mental health journey to help others replace shame and isolation with connection and empowerment. Charly also helps organize The COVID Grief Network, a mutual aid organization undoing isolation for young adults grieving the death or serious illness of someone close to COVID-19. Charly received an M.A. in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Columbia University, where she focused her thesis on media, positive psychology and suicide prevention.
Taylor Buehler is a tech support manager, sometimes playwright, and amateur banjo player. After losing his partner in 2016 to a sudden bike accident, Taylor has focused his energies outside of work on exploring grief through writing, ritual, and dark humor. He also helps organize The COVID Grief Network as a means of undoing isolation for young adults grieving the death or serious illness of someone close to COVID-19. He earned a Masters of Theological Studies in Studies of Women, Gender, Sexuality, and Religion from Harvard Divinity School where he focused on queer grief and ritual in the time of AIDS. In 2020, he co-wrote a play, Changing Lanes, loosely based on his experiences losing a partner.
The COVID Grief Network is a volunteer-run mutual aid network that offers free 1:1 and group grief support to young adults in their 20s and 30s who are grieving the loss of someone to COVID-19. Please share if you know anyone that can use the support or can offer it, because as cases rise we need more volunteers and are particularly looking for volunteers of color and folks in their 20s and 30s. Learn more and follow the Covid Grief Network at: https://www.covidgriefnetwork.org/ or on social media @covidgrief
Oceana Sawyer is an end-of-life doula specializing in the liminal space of active dying and after death bereavement. She writes and facilitates workshops on the topic of embodied grief, and in particular as it relates to the experience of Black, Brown, and Indigenous people. Holding space for death cafes and private virtual living funerals are also among the pleasures of her work. She is also available for remote consultation for end-of-life planning and keeping vigil at the end of life. New programs are currently in development. Stay in touch via her website: https://www.oceanaendoflifedoula.com/
Naila Francis is a writer, grief coach, death midwife and ordained interfaith minister. She worked for many years as a journalist profiling artists and entertainers such as Brandi Carlile, Mavis Staples, Audra McDonald, k.d. lang and James Earls Jones. Being present at her dad's death bed eventually led to her work creating and holding space for the dying and the grieving. Learn more at: www.thishallowedwilderness.com, www.journeysoftheheart.org, and www.NailaFrancis.com