Profile Type: Artist
NEFA Grant Recipient
karen Krolak

karen Krolak is a free range collaborator based in Boston, MA who lives with a rare chronic health condition. She is the co-founder/Artistic Director of Monkeyhouse and the creator of the Dictionary of Negative Space. Her embodied explorations weave in elements of text, textiles, choreography or story telling to spark dialogues that reverberate between communities. Her idiosyncratic pieces have been presented abroad in Italy,  the UK, Canada, and S. Korea, as well as nationally and throughout New England. For over twenty years, she has collaborated with Nicole Harris on a diverse range of dance and other media projects. In addition, Krolak frequently collaborates with Jason Ries, Jeremy Wechsler, Kwaq7aj', Ralph Farris, Eric John Meyer, Anne Howarth, Kim Holman, Cassandre Charles, Adria Arch, Scott McPheeters, and Barry Duncan.

Much of her recent work has centered around the theme of finding physical poetry in imperfect bodies and around mourning. Krolak’s quirky knitting pattern/personal essay/instruction based art piece, Slippers to Soothe Your Emergency Room Blues, won the First Annual Feels Blind Literary DIY Prize and has been presented in at the Institute for Conceptual Studies online and at the CICA Museum in Gimpo, Korea. Her essay, Unexpected Artist in Residency in a Hospital, and her DIY hospital robe pattern were recently published in Piney Woods Atlas’s Midwest edition. She is currently directing and costume designing a new play by Eric John Meyer that has been supported through residencies at the Lark and at Dutch Kills Theater in New York City. 


Find Me On …

Additional Links: 
Online iteration of my ongoing project that holds space for the unnamed ideas in the English language related to grief, death, and trauma
Monkeyhouse is an award winning nonprofit that connects communities through choreography. We have worked with over 115 choreographers/dance organizations through our COVID Collaborations sparked by donations from the Miner Nagy Family Fund
Audio illustration of entry number [24] from the Dictionary of Negative Space. Performed and recorded at the Podcast Garage.
An interview with me from a podcast that has been picked up by PRX and played all around the world
An interview with me by Emmy award winning writer Randy Cohen
My quirky knitting pattern/personal essay/instruction based art piece, Slippers to Soothe Your Emergency Room Blues, winner of the First Annual Feels Blind Literary DIY Prize.

I Have Worked With


  • NEFA Grantee
  • Artist

Contact Information

First Name: 
Job Title/Position: 
Choreographer, teacher, costume designer, writer
Mailing Address: 
PO Box 221
Somerville, MA 02143
Physical Address: 
Malden, MA 02148
Last Name: 


Profile Type: 
Primary Discipline: 
Additional Disciplines: 
Dance - Modern / Contemporary
Humanities - Linguistics
Literary Arts - Non-Fiction
Literary Arts - Spoken Word
Media - Animation
Media - Audio / Sound
Media - Cyberart
Media - Video
Theater - General
Theater - Devised / Artist-Led
Visual/Crafts - Experimental
Visual/Crafts - Fiber
Visual/Crafts - Installation
Year Founded: 
Populations Served: 
General Public
People with Disabilities
Institution/Business Type: 
Artist (Individual)
Activities and Services: 
Arts for Social Change / Creative Activism
Arts in Healthcare
Arts Instruction / Lessons
Consulting - Curatorial Services
Consulting - Organizational Capacity
Creation of a Work of Art (Including Commissions)
Film Showings
Performance / Concert / Reading
Public Art Projects (In Free, Public Spaces)
Residency - In School
Theater Technical Production
Workshops / Demonstrations / Master Class
Events Per Year: 
Seasons Active: 
Geographic Reach: 
Multi-State Region

Affiliations and Accomplishments

Professional Associations: 
Co-founder/co-Artistic Director - Monkeyhouse, MA
Artist Advisory Board Member - Boston Dance Alliance, MA
Circle of Advisors - Dance Complex, MA
Fellow - Institute for Conceptual Studies, OR
Mentor - NACHMO Boston, MA
Minister of Pom Poms & Big Ideas - Clary & Cimermanis Little Free Library, MA
Mentor - Luminarium's 24 Hour Choreofest, MA
Artist in Residence - Lark Theater, NY
Faculty - Cambridge Center for Adult Education
B.A. Linguistics Northwestern University
M.F.A. Interdisciplinary Arts Sierra Nevada College
2021 Production Residency, Dutch Kills Theater, New York, NY
2020 Medford LCC Grant, Medford, MA
2020 Public Art Learning Grant, New England Foundation for the Arts
2019 Research Fellowship, Institute for Conceptual Studies
2019 Feels Blind Literary Magazine DIY Prize
2015 Starland Scholarship, Sierra Nevada College, Incline Village, NV
2019 Newton LCC Grant
2019 Malden LCC Grant
2015 Travel and Residency, Scholarship, Sierra Nevada College, Incline Village, NV
2020 Malden LCC Grant, Malden, MA
2015 Hiraeth 2.0, One of the Best Dance Pieces of 2015, Arts Fuse, Cambridge MA
I am a NEFA Grant Recipient

Accessibility of Services

Access accommodations for people who use a wheelchair and have limited mobility

I am a Touring Artist

I am NEST eligible
Technical Requirements: 
Prefer a wood floor but can be flexible. Other tech requirements depend on performance.
Fee Range Minimum: 
Fee Range Maximum: 
State of Residence: 
Minimum Number of Performers: 
Maximum Number of Performers: 

I am a Teaching Artist

Teaching Settings: 
Afterschool Program
Arts and Cultural Center / Venue
Community Site / Center
Healthcare Facility
Private Studio
School / University
Subject Areas: 
Arts Integration - Communications
Arts Integration - English Language / Literacy
Ages Served: 
Middle School-age
High School-age
Fee Range Minimum: 
Fee Range Maximum: