From the seemingly vast, shapelessness of suffering, the concept of Akilia was birthed; the realization that a reconnection to a higher sense of self became apparent, and thus an all inclusive community of artisans, musicians, dancers, international travelers, yoga practitioners, gardeners, colorful genderless people, and curious minds came together. The thought? Together we can grow beyond our own expectations, together we can rediscover Love– for ourselves and for one another. As a community, we grow by communicating our experiences, through sharing our strengths, by identifying our weaknesses, and through acts of service–with and for one another.
Akilia is a collective that meets monthly in hills of Lake Arrowhead for a weekend of skill sharing, community dialogue, laughter, dance, meditation, and personal growth. During the course of an Akilia weekend one can enjoy a communal meal, an afternoon of live music, various workshops–from origami to theatre arts; from hooping to body care. Each day is begun and concluded with a “tribe circle” in which guests share and discuss their thoughts regarding the topic and theme of the weekend–from safety and healing, to past experiences and future ideas. In short Akilia is a vortex away from the mundane.
In co-creating future visions for Akilia, we the Akilialites, participants of this collective, have begun to extend our reach beyond our local community in order to share the lessons we have learnt from one another, because the amount of talent that is present within this community is immense. For individuals that would like to support the growth and creative endeavors of this community, we ask that you join our open forum via Facebook. Other ways in which you can contribute are by facilitating a skill-share workshop, or by buying a limited edition Akilia printed t-shirt (designed by one of Akilia’s featured artists). Lastly, if you would like to host an event and bring the experience to you please contact Creative Director, Matthew Parkey, MatthewParkey@gmail.com
To Purchase an Akilia t-shirt, visit the link bellow and follow the instructions attacthed:
Under “Notes” please specify the size(s) and design(s) of the shirts you are ready to buy, along with the promotional code “Electric Cocoon, Michael Ray 2015” and then continue to the purchasing page by clicking the “Pay Now” button and proceeding to Checkout.
Each printed shirt is preshrunk and costs $30
The exercises that I have developed for Akilia are collaboratively based and utilize my background in theatre, writing and visual art. The intent of the “Transformative Power Of Art” workshop is to overcome the limitation consciousness, the part of self that says “I cannot write,” “I am not creative,” and/or “I have nothing to say” by utilizing individual and collaborative exercises to “jumpstart the creative mind.” We will overcome these limitations imposed on the creative consciousness by verbalizing and sharing our personal narratives through individual and group writing, drawing and physical exercises, as well as through several constructive feedback cycles. By the end of the workshop participants will be have been supplied with various tools to create their own artistic pieces and methods to critique, review and edit their own works as well as the works of others. In short you will share your story along side other AkiliAns, in a safe, respectful of body, mind and spirit space, in an effort to jump-start the creative mind.
Michael Ray De Los Angeles Bio:
I am an author, researcher, musician, and graduate of Humboldt State University; for over a decade I have served as a camp organizer for the city of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks; theatre artivist, and poet. Throughout this time I have explored various mediums, from print to canvass, from film to spoken word, many of my efforts tapping into the social consciousness of ecological and environmental oppression. The process has been, transformative to say the least.
As the contributing editor of the Toyon Literary Journal, and content contributor of the biannual publication “The Matrix” I have come to the conclusion that art is, not only transformative, but it is also a cathartic process that taps into the collective consciousness. As Benjamin Stewart stated during the opening of Hierosonic’s song Dance to the War, performed at the 2012 Zeitgeist Media Festival, “art.. inspires people to change and embrace change, it inspires people to connect with others. It is a fire, an intangible thing that you feel, inside you…[art] inspires revolution.” My experience with writing and painting, poetry and performance have assisted in confirming that art does indeed inspire revolution within self, and that it can spread like wildfire is fueled, and cared for. Personally, art is, and possibly always has been, a tool for self liberation that releases the self from the limitation consciousness; and with infinite doorways, to know art is to know self.
“To reshape the world, I must first reshape myself.“
This is a critical thinking practice as well as a collaborative exercise in which we will be using our bodies to create various shapes, such as triangles, squares and circles. How many ways can the body be contorted to embody these shapes and what are the various interpretations that each participant has of each particular Shape? The problem posing question of the activity is “how many variations of each shape can be made until assistance is needed–either for larger, smaller or more complex shapes such as large octagons, stars and even objects such as bridges, and towers.
“Rock, Paper, Charlie Chaplin.”
A variation on the classic game of “Rock, Paper, Scissors,” this exercise involves quick thinking, as well as innovation. Utilizing the art of miming, participants will attempt to outwit one another by developing unique characters to “win” each round– for example a person miming a turtle could beat the person miming a pancake, because the turtle can eat the motionless pancake, the same could not be said of a cactus. The group/collective however can intervene, and decide which individual wins according to ingenuity, likeliness of the object, or simple humor found in the object chosen– pet rock with glued on rabbit ears, hula hooping sunflower dancing in the wind.
“Collective Consciousness Art”
The cure for writer’s block is to write profusely. When one is writing as part of a group, the availability for immediate feedback is greater, and when one is writing with a group, the sense of attachment to one’s own work (as a finite and static entity) is reduced and is replaced by the potential for growth, and change. The exercises utilized for this aspect of the workshop will include, topic based free writes, stream of consciousness writing, collective feed back and editing tools. These practices will also be applied to the mediums of sculpting, and drawing.
Aloha and good morning Akilia,
This is a post Akilia wrap up, first and foremost Thank you & gracias, for attending Akilia this August twenty-third through twenty-fifth, secondly, be sure to check out the links section at the end of this post so that you can stay connected with us through the next session– no doubt it will be transformational. In an effort to better service our community we are also asking that you fill out our feedback and community input forms so that we can better prepare for the next Akilia.
There are several thank yous and shout outs that we would like give, our hosts, Nobel Electric Cocoon , Matthew Parkey, Christine O’hara; our tribe circle facilitator and guided meditation speaker Aliss Wang, the inspiring deejays Nick TripMonk & Skyler Seiben; Paul Grubb for the food donations peppers, grapes, potatoes, apples, frozen applesauce (am I forgetting anything?) and Tristan Wolf for the safe transportation and delivery of the food.
Moving forward, our closing tribe circle began with the questions, “what is safety and what is your safe space?” As an performance artist, I often find myself in situations which may appear to be hazardous, or dangerous–see fire spinning, rock climbing or acrobatics for more details. The key is to find the peace within the chaos, to locate the structure within the formlessness, to find serenity, comfort and safety within the self. As you venture into the new week, with new eyes and fresh experiences please keep these questions in mind as you begin to explore and co-create as part of the Akilia community.
In closing, be sure to keep in contact, to stay in touch and reach out to the amazing people that you have met, because the Akilia experience is about community and the growth of sharing and co-inhabiting space with one another. Once again, thank you so much for such a transformational experience; for being part of this amazing, growing and flourishing community and for the heart-Love and spirit-energy that you brought to Akilia.
Michael Ray De Los Angeles
Transformational Power of Art Workshop Facilitator
Event Page, to reconnect with Akilia familia:
Skyler Seiben: https://soundcloud.com/skylerseiben