Arlene Ashack, IBVM, MFA
As an artist I would say there are several prominent threads making up the fabric of my life, my biography. One is certainly the multi-colored thread expressive of the artist. Another would be the calming white thread of the spiritual director weaving in and out with the dominant red thread of the social-justice activist. The fabric itself with so many more threads simply expresses the overflow of delight from the experiences of the life-long journey of integrating the sacred and the profane.
All the colors of the threads certainly are reflected in my art work, and also in my roles as founder and director or Anawim Arts (Anawimarts.com), liaison to the IBVM UN NGO office, and board member of the Institute for Communal Contemplation and Dialogue.
Karen Hurley Kuchar, MS
I have always loved writing and am an avid reader. I am fascinated by both the power and beauty of words. I have written poetry for several years, and self-published a collection of poems on transition. Using the Amherst Writers and Artists method, I facilitate circles for writers who wished to explore writing as a means of self-discovery. I worked with a team at the domestic violence organization to encourage clients to write about their experiences and edited two books of survivor stories that are moving and heart-breaking.
In my career in social services, I provided counseling, developed programs, and later served as the Executive Director of Family Shelter Service. For the past 5 years, I have been a leadership coach and consultant. I am privileged to serve as President of Anawim Arts, and volunteer at a community organization to facilitate creative writing.