I have been leading Human Art of Play and CircusYoga in-school arts residencies, teaching core curriculums through movement arts for over 25 years. I lead multi-genrational events and retreats and also lead collaborative, municipal-wide, creative placemaking projects through the Human Connection Project. Foundational to my work are embodied group experiences of Inclusion, Connection, Co-authorship and Empathy. For the past 20 years I have been designing and leading teacher trainings around the world for teachers, social workers and community leaders.
Erin Maile O’Keefe is originally from Hawai‘i, of Hawaiian ancestry and lives in Vermont. As an educator, trainer and community artist/activator, Erin Maile has developed kinesthetic, multigenerational curriculums that facilitate group inclusion, connection, co-authorship and empathy called the Human Art of Play. For over two decades, she has led in-school arts residency curriculums that activate anatomy and life science studies for elementary students, ending in a community performance and student-led workshops. Erin’s background in dance, theater and architecture has made the crafting of temporal spaces and community arts engagement at the core of much of her work. With the completion of a Master Certificate in Creative Placemaking at Ohio State University, Erin founded The Human Connection Project that focuses on activating communities through municipal-wide arts projects, creative placemaking, and experiential engagement. Partners include local arts institutions, schools, businesses, organizations, municipalities and unsuspecting pedestrians. In 2016, Erin co-founded Tiny House Fest Vermont, focusing on regional housing solutions, innovations and resources and hosting meaningful conversations about “place”. She believes in the importance of the arts to strengthen our community and support social and economic development. Beginning in 2019, Erin collaborated with Chris Hart and Felicity Ratté to launch the Water Way(s) project, with the short term goals of community arts + educational engagement along the Whetstone Brook in the village center of West Brattleboro and the long term goal of co-creating a village commons. Indigenous knowledge, story-telling, environmental education, art-making and movement-making bring folks together to form meaningful bonds to history, nature and one another. Erin is excited by a new collaboration called Ask the River in which 3 movement artists and 3 visual artists lead Vermont communities in deepening their relationships to their watersheds. She works through an asset-based lens and knows that effective creative solutions emerge when everyone has a seat at the table.