Events Archive - Rancho La Puerta
Events Calendar
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The Heart of Americana

Claudia Russell and Bruce KaplanClaudia Russell, a celebrated California troubadour, and her husband Bruce Kaplan, a master of electric guitar and mandolin, form an enchanting duo that brings a tapestry of Americana sounds to life. With Claudia’s angelic voice and Bruce’s intricate accompaniments, they create music that resonates with both the heart and soul. Based in the Bay Area, Claudia and Bruce take their audiences on a musical odyssey through the diverse landscapes of American music. Their journey pays homage to the iconic sounds of Laurel Canyon, the historic folk of Greenwich Village, the soulful essence of blues divas, and the rustic charm of Bakersfield’s country scene. At the core of this journey is Claudia’s evocative voice, her skillful guitar playing, and their shared talent for storytelling through music. Since their debut in 2000, this dynamic duo has captivated listeners in over 1000 performances across the United States, from intimate clubs to major festivals and everything in between. Their music, known for its genuine emotion and captivating melodies, has not only thrilled live audiences but has also been celebrated in esteemed circles. Claudia has twice been a finalist in the prestigious Kerrville New Folk competition, and their artistry has been recognized in American Songwriter, Sing Out, and even on NPR’s All Things Considered. As they prepare to grace the stage at Rancho La Puerta, Claudia Russell and Bruce Kaplan promise an unforgettable musical experience that harmonizes the spirit of Americana with the charm of this Mexican paradise. Their performance will be a journey through song, inviting listeners to explore the richness of American music and the intimate stories that make their artistry so unique. Join us for an evening of soul-stirring music and discover why Claudia Russell and Bruce Kaplan are not just performers but true musical storytellers.

Jaeger and Reid Concerts

” . . and the love between the singer, who sings the song well, and truly, and the audience, which has been waiting for the song, and knows it when they hear it, is a true love.” -Malvina Reynolds

 

Judi Jaeger and Bob ReidSome of the best discoveries are made by accident and that’s what happened in the fusion of the musical talents of Judi Jaeger and Bob Reid. They unwittingly found that perfect harmony while standing next to each other at a music camp jam in the summer of 2015. Their musical spark quickly caught fire and was noticed by those around them – and the successful collaboration between Jaeger and Reid was born. Judi grew up near Montreal, Canada, where her world was filled with music; her mother and brother sang and played guitar and she listened to Leonard Cohen, Peter, Paul & Mary, Pete Seeger and many others. She began her career as a performing songwriter as an expression of her loss after the death of her mother and has written songs for her local domestic violence prevention organization. Bob is a fourth generation Californian, and like Judi, Bob also grew up surrounded by music. Bob’s mom performed in coffeehouses in the 1960’s, while his father was a gospel concert promoter. Bob has been a California Arts Council Artists in Schools, performed at the United Nations in New York, in concert, at festivals and in schools across the United States. His original songs have been sung by Pete Seeger, Bill Harley, Cathy Fink & Marcy Marxer and many others. Bob was chosen by the Seeger family to perform at memorial concerts for both Pete and Toshi Seeger in New York. Bob has a keen eye for musicality, empowerment, appreciation of nature and social causes in his writing. Jaeger & Reid have been performing around the United States, in Canada and France in a variety of venues, indoors and out, including house concerts.

The Techy Traveler

The Techy Traveler
Technology for Travel – Be prepared with the right technology. Devices, apps, and tricks to guide you around the world and help you stay connected with home.

Security While Traveling
How to make sure your devices, data, and home are safe throughout your travels.

Challenge the Techy Traveler
Bring your devices and questions for advice on getting the most out of your technology.

 

Brett MitchellBrett Mitchell is a self-employed technology consultant, who specializes in educating his clients about the very latest in devices and how to use them.

The Writer’s Journal

The Journal as a Starting Place
Journal writing is an ideal way to express and develop ideas, emotions and creativity as well as a way to heal the self, discover hidden abilities and desires—and, of course, deal with life’s realities. Writers often use journals to work out ideas, to sketch out characters, capture memories and describe settings. Being at Rancho La Puerta with a notebook is the perfect time to begin a journal practice or resume one that you might have left behind. The journal you keep will be a treasure trove of pieces to develop further in memoirs, non-fiction, fiction and all of your writing.

Three Journal Writing Workshops. All of them are hands-on writing experiences:
The List of 100 Desires
An exploration of the ways in which list-making can be an effective tool for writing

Dialogue with the Self
An examination of why and how writing dialogues can unleash powerful insights and effects in writing

Right Brain/Left Brain Collision
A journey into the ways external stimuli can be used to uncover new realizations and empower storytelling

Rita JacobsRita D. Jacobs, Ph.D., is the author of The Way In: Journal Writing for Self-Discovery; Tommy: The Musical; A Day in the Life of America and A Day in the Life of Canada. She is a widely published journalist and book reviewer whose articles have appeared in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, PARADE Magazine, Diversion, Frequent Flyer, Glamour, SELF and GRAPHIS. She is Professor Emerita of English at Montclair State University and in the past twenty years has taught workshops on journal writing nationally and internationally. In 2012, Random House commissioned her to write 20 columns titled, “From Journal to Memoir” which are available on her website Rita D. Jacobs – Biography (ritadjacobs.com)

Classical Concerts

Classics and Originals for Flute and Piano
Enjoy an entertaining evening of beautiful classical and original music for flute, piano, and exotic winds. The musical selections will represent a variety of styles, and will range from poignant lyricism to brilliant virtuosity. To enhance the listening experience, Natalie and Brice will also include interesting commentary about the music and the lives of the composers.

Musical Meditation
Come relax and enjoy a collection of miniature musical gems, performed by Natalie Dalschaert, pianist, and Brice Martin, flutist. The selections are brief yet beautiful, and are chosen for their calming, soothing qualities. Savor this meditative musical interlude following your morning classes, and before heading off to lunch.

 

Pianist Natalie Dalschaert has performed on television, coached actors and has been a production musician for the shows Star Trek: The Next Generation, Perfect Strangers, JAG, Wings, and Song of the Lark. Ms. Dalschaert has performed on many concert series with her husband, flutist Brice Martin. Performances include the Sundays at Four radio broadcasts at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Redlands Bowl, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Cal Tech and for the Los Angeles Philharmonic Committee concerts. A lover of musical theater, Natalie has been musical director and pianist for numerous shows with the Los Angeles Youth Theater. Additional concerto performances include appearances with the Chautauqua Festival Orchestra and the Toulouse Orchestra in France. Natalie is a sought after pianist and accompanist for recitals, competitions, master classes and social events. Natalie has an active teaching studio and is a member of the Music Teachers Association of California. A number of her students have won concerto competitions and MTAC festivals. She received her Bachelor of Music degree in Piano Performance from the Juilliard School in New York and her Master of Music degree from the University of Southern California, where she received the Koldofsky Memorial Scholarship.  As a student in Philadelphia, Natalie entered competitions and appeared as soloist twice with The Philadelphia Orchestra and also with the Haddonfield Symphony and the Lansdowne Symphony Orchestra. At the Interlochen Centers for the Arts, she received the Van Cliburn Scholarship. Natalie studied with Jacob Lateiner as an undergraduate student at the Juilliard School in New York. In her second year, she won a Juilliard Concerto Competition and performed the Beethoven Concerto No. 1 at Lincoln Center with the Juilliard Symphony. Upon graduation from USC, Natalie received an Outstanding Graduate of the Year Award.

Brice Martin’s formal training includes degrees from The Julliard School and the University of Southern California. He is an active studio musician and plays for film, TV and commercial soundtracks. He has played for Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, The Grammy Awards Orchestra, Star Trek: Voyager, and the Wonderful World of Disney. Brice is also a composer and has written music for film and television. He specializes in woodwinds and has a large collection of exotic woodwinds from around the world. 

Hands-On Cooking Classes and Chef’s Table Dinner with Courtney Labree

Courtney offers hands-on culinary experiences, 3.5 hours each, during which you will enjoy preparing your own meal along with fellow cooks. Classes take place at La Cocina Que Canta, our culinary center on Tuesday and Wednesday, at 4pm. In addition, Chef Courtney will collaborate with La Cocina Que Canta’s Executive Chef Reyna Venegas and her team to create a special feast (with wine pairing!) on Thursday at 4:45pm.

Tuesday Hands-On Cooking Class 4:00 PM Sign Up
Each class $145 (tax included). Class subject to change, check your weekly planner and schedule for updates. The maximum number of guests per class is 14.

Wednesday Hands-On Cooking Class 4:00 PM Sign Up
Each class $145 (tax included). Class subject to change, check your weekly planner and schedule for updates. The maximum number of guests per class is 14.

Thursday Farm-to-Table Dining Experience 4:45 PM Sign Up
Celebrate the abundance of our organic farm and the connection to community with a Farm-to-Table dining experience – a perfect blend of health, tradition, flavor, and fun! Cost is $150 per person, tax and wine pairing included. The maximum number of guests is 30. Sign Up at the Appointments Desk or through the link above.

 

Courtney LeBreeCourtney LaBree is a Culinary Instructor and Personal Chef from Los Angeles. Courtney taught cooking classes at Hipcooks before attending Bauman College in Berkeley, CA to become a certified Natural Chef. She specializes in therapeutic cuisine for variety of diets, but her favorite way to cook is with the seasons and a focus on local sustainable ingredients. Courtney lives in Los Angeles with her husband, Geoff, and her toddler, Isaac.

Checkmates & Charms

Give your brain a workout this Family Week with challenging chess play for people at all levels and mind-bending card tricks!  Chess coach and puzzle enthusiast Alex Freuman brings his annual array of mental challenges back to the Ranch… don’t miss this chance to stretch your mind after a satisfying day of physical exertion!

Family: Social Chess and Lessons
Join Alex and your fellow chess enthusiasts nightly from Sunday through Wednesday at 7pm for social chess games, to learn/play chess variants like “Hand and Brain” or “Bughouse,” and/or participate in chess lessons for those who wish!  This year, new chess puzzles will also be offered nightly!

Family: Deconstructing Hollywood’s Famous Chess Games
Join chess coach Alex Freuman for a glimpse into the exciting games developed by internationally renowned chess masters for Hollywood. We will review the famous positions depicted in Wizard Chess from the film Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and another featured in Searching for Bobby Fischer. We’ll also review a full game from the Netflix series The Queen’s Gambit played by the character Beth Harmon.Participants will develop a deeper appreciation and understanding of chess strategy and tactics.

Kids: Close Up Magic Tricks
Join Alex to learn some mesmerizing magic tricks to wow your family! Kids will leave class with the supplies they need to repeat the new tricks they’ve learned.

Tweens and Teens: Clever Card Tricks
You’ll leave everyone wondering ‘How did they do that??” after taking this class and learning a couple of brilliant tricks that use nothing but a standard deck of cards…. and some clever sleight of hand.

  

Alex Freuman, MS, BA, is a high school STEM teacher who holds a BA in mathematics from Oberlin College and an MS in mathematics education from Hunter College in New York City.   At Oberlin, Alex was a founding member of the Juggling Club, where he honed many circus skills, including fire juggling, fire eating and balancing tricks. Also a long time chess and puzzle enthusiast, Alex coaches the chess team at Nyack Highschool (Nyack, NY), is faculty advisor for the Nyack Highschool Puzzle Club, is the founder and President of the Rockland County Chess Club, and is a certified US Chess Tournament Director.  His current United States Chess Federation (UCSF) rating is 1900, and he hopes to break 2000 before his children beat him to it. Alex is passionate about creating community and fostering multi-generational connections through the joy of chess.

Food Fights!

Family Week at the Ranch is the perfect time for a little healthy competition! Join nutritionist-in-residence Tamara Freuman for a fun opportunity to learn about nutrition and local food traditions; play with your food; and use your knowledge to compete with your Ranch family for cheap prizes and priceless bragging rights. (Everyone wins when you leave the Ranch with some healthy new nuggets to bring back home!)

ChildrenThe 4th Annual Great Guacamole Throwdown
Tweens: The 4th Annual Great Guacamole Throwdown
Think you have what it takes to make authentic Mexican guacamole?  Learn what makes a great bowl of guac and compete against your fellow Ranchers to create your signature version of this beloved dish.  You and your teammate(s) will choose from a variety of fresh ingredient options and use a traditional molcajete and tejolote(Mexican mortar and pestle) to craft your delicious creation!  Our panel of three expert judges will taste all of the creations and award prizes for the best-of across several categories.

Teens: 2nd Annual RLP Cake Boss Challenge: Quinceañera Fruit “Cakes”
The quinceañera is a time-honored Mexican tradition that celebrates a girl’s 15th birthday, similar to an American “Sweet 16.”  No celebration is complete without a showstopper of a multi-tiered decorative cake. In this healthy competition, you and your teammates will compete to create the most beautiful, elaborate “cake”—made entirely of fresh local fruits carved into creative, decorative, Instagram-worthy imposter cakes.  Our panel of expert judges will be on hand to demonstrate fruit carving techniques if needed and to crown one fresh fruit cake the winner. All the gorgeous creations will be devoured by RLP campers for their snack!

Teens vs. Adults: Nutrition and Health Trivia Kahoot! Showdown
Bring your phone or iPad (or team up with someone who has one) so you can compete against your fellow Ranchers in a spirited trivia showdown that tests your knowledge of all things food, health and nutrition.  This fast-paced Kahoot! competition will separate the nutrition novices from the health gurus and reward those with the greatest knowledge with moderately desirable prizes!

Adults: The Surprising Science of Gut Health
Gut health is on everyone’s mind these days, as the linkages between the composition of our gut microbiome and our overall health are increasingly revealed.  In this session, we’ll dive into findings from the latest research on digestive health and the gut microbiome, unpacking some surprising research findings pertaining to how various foods impact the microbiome; elimination diets; probiotics; food additives/processed foods and more.  We’ll also touch on some cool new therapeutics in the field of digestive symptom management, including hypnosis, virtual reality, vibrating capsules… and more!

 

Tamara Duker Freuman, MS, RDN, CDN is a New York-based registered dietitian, author and America’s Trusted Digestive Nutrition Expert. A nationally-known authority on nutrition therapy for digestive diseases, Tamara is a member of New York Gastroenterology Associates, a private Manhattan-based practice. She earned a Master of Science degree in Clinical Nutrition from New York University and completed her training at Mount Sinai Medical Center.  In addition to her clinical work, Tamara is a high-profile nutrition writer whose advice on healthy living and dietary management of digestive disease is read by hundreds of thousands of people each month via leading online media platforms. She has been featured in leading TV, print and radio/podcast media, including TV’s Good Morning America, Live With Kelly & Ryan, Inside Edition; National Public Radio; The Washington Post, Reader’s Digest, Prevention, Women’s Health; and the Huffington Post, CNN.com, SELF.com and Business Insider. She is the author of the acclaimed book, The Bloated Belly Whisperer (St. Martin’s Press, 2018).

The Mediterranean Diet +Travel Photography

The Mediterranean Diet: A Way of Life
Paulette’s talk is a slideshow featuring photos that she has taken in Mediterranean countries, many shot in colorful and lively food markets where freshness is of utmost importance.

You will learn how residents in the Mediterranean region enhance well-being and increase longevity with prudent eating and wise living.

The Mediterranean diet recommendations do not eliminate many natural foods but instead offer suggestions for the best items to eat in various categories. In general, the foundation of the diet is plant-based, natural, and unprocessed foods, such as whole grains, vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, herbs and spices. Olive oil is the main source of added fat. Fish, seafood, dairy, and poultry are included in moderation.  Red meat and sweets are eaten only occasionally. The Mediterranean diet principles can also be easily be adapted for vegetarians thanks to the wide variety of recommended natural, nutrient-rich foods.

The Mediterranean lifestyle is also part of the plan, including daily physical activity, as well as placing a priority on taking time to gather around the table to savor and share healthy meals.

Perhaps this diet and way of life is why people who live around the Mediterranean are noted as being some of the healthiest people in the world.

Photography Classes:
Cookbook author, photographer, and international traveler Paulette Mitchell will explain how to transform your travel photos from simple snapshots to artistically crafted images. Paulette’s Tips are illustrated with her photos from around the world, so you will also be entertained as you view the images of both sophisticated cities and humble locations, and the people who dwell in them.

It’s not necessary to have a complicated or expensive camera. With the right techniques it’s always possible to capture a mood. Know when to press the shutter to show emotion in your shots of people. Make a personal statement through a picture. Reveal the beauty of the grandest or simplest subjects. And become aware of the elements of composition to artfully represent your travel memories.

Travel Photography: Tips for Pleasing Composition
Paulette will discuss photography basics, as well as tips for engaging your five senses, not just the visual. Learn how to develop a personal strategy and become aware of simple methods to turn snapshots into artful photos using the camera of your choice, cell phone, iPad, or SLR.

Travel Photography: Capture Ambience in Cities & Emotions in People
Create more than simple images with photos that express distinctive qualities of places and people by seeing the world through a photographer’s eye. Paulette will discuss how to engage locals on a personal level. Paulette will also talk about Becoming a Traveler, Not a Tourist, and how that approach will be reflected in your photos.

Paulette MitchellPaulette Mitchell is an internationally-known author of 14 cookbooks, several of which received Gourmand World Media Awards. Her most well-known cookbook series is The 15-Minute Gourmet, and she is recognized for other cookbooks addressing vegetarian soups, appetizers, homemade salad dressings, vegetarian sandwiches, and cooking with the various forms of soy.

Paulette has also produced several series of travel and culinary videos, which received Telly Awards. These videos feature the food markets and customs of Italy, Spain, France, and China, as well as the techniques and ingredients for many international cuisines.

Paulette is a freelance food and travel writer, culinary speaker, and photographer, with images from around-the-world travel to 128 countries. For 25 years, Paulette has been a frequent lecturer and guest chef on luxury cruise ships, where she speaks about destination-related topics and demonstrates the cuisines. She has also been a guest and speaker at Rancho La Puerta since 1987.

Hands-On Cooking Classes and Chef’s Table Dinner with Nina Curtis

Nina offers hands-on culinary experiences, 3.5 hours each, during which you will enjoy preparing your own meal along with fellow cooks. Classes take place at La Cocina Que Canta, our culinary center on Tuesday and Wednesday, at 4pm. In addition, Chef Nina will collaborate with La Cocina Que Canta’s Executive Chef Reyna Venegas and her team to create a special feast (with wine pairing!) on Thursday at 4:45pm.

Tuesday Hands-On Cooking Class 4:00 PM Sign Up
Each class $145 (tax included). Class subject to change, check your weekly planner and schedule for updates. The maximum number of guests per class is 14.

Wednesday Hands-On Cooking Class 4:00 PM Sign Up
Each class $145 (tax included). Class subject to change, check your weekly planner and schedule for updates. The maximum number of guests per class is 14.

Thursday Farm-to-Table Dining Experience 4:45 PM Sign Up
Celebrate the abundance of our organic farm and the connection to community with a Farm-to-Table dining experience – a perfect blend of health, tradition, flavor, and fun! Cost is $150 per person, tax and wine pairing included. The maximum number of guests is 30. Sign Up at the Appointments Desk or through the link above.

 

Nina CurtisChef Nina Curtis, a renowned figure in plant-based cuisine, stands among the 25 Top Women in Foodservice and Hospitality for 2024. Honored as America’s Top Hospital Chef in 2020, her culinary journey spans over two decades, showcasing the vast potential of plant-based cuisine on a global scale. Her influence as a trendsetter and award-winning chef resonates not only in her culinary prowess but also in her leadership within the culinary world.

With a passion for crafting delectable whole plant-based cuisine, Chef Curtis has redefined the culinary landscape, earning accolades and admiration from both vegans and non-vegans alike. Her cuisine isn’t just plant-based; it’s an exquisite symphony of flavors, textures, and tastes that leave a lasting impression.

One of her crowning achievements was being invited as the first guest chef by First Lady Dr. Jill Biden to curate a historic plant-based menu for a White House State Dinner honoring Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a strict vegetarian. With over 400 guests in attendance, this groundbreaking event marked a turning point in culinary history, proving that plant-based cuisine could be both luxurious and satisfying.

Chef Curtis’s passion for plant-based cuisine extends beyond her kitchen. She is a dedicated advocate, sharing her profound knowledge and enthusiasm through captivating dining experiences and enlightening lectures. Her expertise in whole plant cuisine has positioned her as a respected authority, inspiring culinary enthusiasts worldwide.

Her remarkable career journey has seen her in pivotal roles such as Director of Culinary and Executive Chef positions, underpinned by rigorous training from esteemed culinary and nutrition institutions. Her pursuit of excellence also led her to earn an MBA from Pepperdine University, a testament to her commitment to both her craft and business acumen.

Chef Curtis’s involvement in the American Culinary Corps, a collaborative initiative of the James Beard Foundation and the State Department, underscores her dedication to culinary diplomacy and cultural exchange. She embodies the notion that food transcends boundaries and fosters cross-cultural understanding through its universal language.

In a realm where taste, innovation, and nourishment converge, Chef Nina Curtis stands as a true trailblazer. Her unparalleled culinary expertise and imaginative creations continue to captivate palates and inspire culinary enthusiasts worldwide.

 

Five Paths to Wellbeing and Change

Some of the keys to Inner Fitness are: Radical Acceptance, Mindful Presence, Self-Compassion, Gratitude, and Embodiment.  Once we unlock these keys, we can open the gateway towards deeper focus, intimacy, and joy, and lessen the grip of anxiety, tension and worry. In each lesson, we will explore the keys through lecture, reflections, experiential exercises and Q+A.

Radical Acceptance: Tapping into Life
D.H. Lawrence says “we are like a great tree with our roots in the air. We need to replant ourselves—in our bodies, hearts and spirit.”
Learning to quiet a restless mind and embrace the peace of the present moment is one of the most useful and effective things we can do for our well-being. We are often unaware of how much tension and pain are created by being caught in the story of our lives, as well as how much of the inherent goodness we miss when we are caught in the story.   In this lesson, we learn the art of embracing the moment with acceptance, which helps us to change our story and experience our lives with profound newness.
Lesson 1 Keys:

  • Peaceful Presence Practice: Learning the Artform
  • Observing Your Own Thoughts: Changing the Narrative
  • Mindfully Feeling your Feelings: Dropping the Story

Paying Attention: Using Mindfulness to come to Presence
Our habit of paying attention totally shapes our moods each day, and they are very repetitive. It’s said that we have upwards of 86,000 thoughts today, and we had many of the same thoughts yesterday. The Buddha said “whatever we think about regularly, that becomes the habit of our mind”. In this lesson we look at how we pay attention, and we will learn the art of paying attention in a more wholehearted way.
Lesson 2 Keys:

  • Loving Kindness Metta Meditation: The Gateway to Presence
  • Mindful Awe: Learning Powerful Exercises
  • Curiosity: The Antidote to fear

 Self Compassion: Being Awake For Your Life
Dr. Kristin Neff advocates for treating oneself with the same kindness and understanding that you would offer to a dear friend. This shift in self-perspective transforms us from inner critics into inner allies, leading to greater emotional well-being. Embracing these elements helps us not only cultivate self-compassion, but in turn, leads to vastly improved mental and emotional health, core qualities of inner fitness.
Lesson 3 Keys:

  • Learning: Self Kindness vs Self Judgment
  • Practicing: Common Humanity vs Isolation
  • Experiencing: Mindfulness vs Over-Identification

On Purpose Gratitude: Happy For No Reason
There is the saying “whatever we practice grows stronger.” When a negative experience happens it immediately goes down into our implicit memory and takes root and it gets recalled over and over. And when a positive experience happens, it takes far longer to install the positive trait. But, If you practice a lot of gratitude, true On Purpose Gratitude, the gratitude grows. Gratitude will change your biology.
Lesson 4 Keys:

  • Understanding Gratitude
  • Breaking through the Barriers to Gratitude
  • Gladdening the Mind; A new Happiness

Embodiment: The Goal
James Joyce, in his short story A Painful Case, tells us: “Mr. Duffy lived a short distance from his body”.  How many of us are living this way? And what are the ramifications?|
We live in a mental world, with so much of our life happening in our minds. It’s virtual and we’re disembodied. It can be rare that we we really are awake in our bodies
Learn a powerful technique to help you come home to your innate aliveness.
Lesson 5  Keys:

  • Relax the body
  • Raise Your EQ: Embodiment Quotient
  • Micro Shifts: Daily Moves for the body
  • A New World: Mind-Body Integration

 

Rachel FleischmanRachel Fleischman is a licensed social worker, psychotherapist, registered expressive arts therapist, workshop facilitator and speaker who over the last two and a half decades has supported thousands of humans to deepen their creativity, feel understood, and love themselves fiercely. Through her private practice, Bliss Counseling, and a unique movement system and workshop curriculum called Dance Your Bliss, Rachel works with individuals and couples and has expertise in solution-focused therapy, body image, relationship and sex therapy, depression, anxiety, life transition, and panic disorder, to name a few.

Fleischman is currently developing new e-books and coursework surrounding; Sleep Health, Body-Centered Psychotherapy and Mindfulness Workshops. She has developed the Relaxed and Real model for psychotherapists. She can regularly be found leading international workshops and programs at conferences, corporate retreats, and wellness centers such as the Esalen Institute, the Omega Institute’s Women and Courage Conference, Canyon Ranch, the Naropa Institute’s Hakomi Conference, the Hollyhock Retreat Center, UCSF Women’s Health, Rancho La Puerta Spa, and the International Dance Therapy Conference.

Her sought-after mental health expertise has been featured on numerous podcasts and in magazines such as Verywell Mind, Best Life, Psychology Today, Martha Stewart, and Parade, to name a few.

Media Contact:
Lena Rose PR // Charlotte Silverstein
charlotte@lenarosepr.com
1.415.516.7352

Change Your Genes, Change Your Life: Living to 100 & Beyond

We are not victims of our genetics. We now know that only 5% of our health and life expectancy is governed by our genes. According to Dr. Kenneth R. Pelletier, there is a new science of “Epigenetics” which demonstrates that our day-to-day, year-by-year choices govern which of our genes will be expressed and which will be suppressed. Influences include stress management, meditation/visualization, diet and nutrition, environmental toxins, social connections, and a sense of purpose to determine optimal health and extended longevity.

Kenneth PelletierKenneth R. Pelletier, PhD, MD, is a Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of California School of Medicine. He is also Chairman of the American Health Association and is a vice president with American Specialty Health. At the UCSF School of Medicine, he is the Director of the Corporate Health Improvement Program (CHIP), a research program between CHIP and 15 Fortune 500 corporations, including Ford, Oracle, IBM, Apple, and NASA. Dr. Pelletier has served as a member of the Board of Directors and Chairman of the California Wellness Foundation, Foundation Health Systems (FHS), Health Systems International (HSI), the Social Venture Network, and the NOVA Institute. He was a Woodrow Wilson Fellow, studied at the CG Jung Institute in Zurich, Switzerland, and has published over 300 professional journal articles in behavioral medicine, disease management, worksite interventions, alternative/integrative medicine, and epigenetics. His research, clinical practice, and publications have been the subject of numerous national television programs, including numerous appearances on ABC World News, Today, Good Morning America, CBS Evening News, Dr Oz, 48 Hours, McNeil-Lehrer Newshour, the award-winning BBC series The Long Search, and the 5-part PBS series Healthy People, Healthy Business. Dr. Pelletier is a peer reviewer for several medical journals, including the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, and serves on a number of corporate boards. He has published over 300 professional articles and has appeared on ABC, CBS, CNN, NBC, and the BBC to discuss his research. He is the author of 15 books, including the international bestseller Mind as Healer, Mind as Slayer and Change Your Genes, Change Your Life.

From Scott Joplin & George Gershwin to Billy Joel

Immigration and Opportunity
An extravaganza of four-hand piano music celebrating composers from around the world and the places and experiences that inspired them, with DUO MUNDI GEORGE & GULI.

Duo Mundi George & Guli thrills audiences around the world with their exciting, innovative, diverse, and intimate programming style. They explore music for both one piano four hands and two piano four hands in the standard and contemporary repertoire as well as commissioned new works by national and international composers. Lauded as “…breathing the same artistic air…” with an adrenaline of communication that captivates audiences of every generation, Duo Mundi George & Guli creates beautifully synchronized performances that engage both the eye and ear in a dance of emotions. Since their inception in 2018, Duo Mundi G&G have given standing room only performances of Bernstein’s Symphonic Dances from West Side Story for the centenary celebration of the composer’s birth and their two-piano program “Immigration and Opportunity” with works by composers inspired by or writing in foreign lands. They have been invited to perform and give master classes throughout the US including venues in New York City, Kansas, Colorado, California, Texas, Florida, and Oklahoma. In their 2022-2023 concert season, they performed in Mexico and premiered their four-hand arrangement of Chinese composer Shi Fu’s Tajik Drum Dance at the 44th International European Piano Teachers’ Association Conference in Portugal. Their upcoming recording projects include Music of the Americas, music written for and/or inspired by children, and a series of newly commissioned and rarely performed works. Duo Mundi G&G have an exciting 2023-2024 concert season with upcoming performances and tours in New England, the Northwest, Florida, North Carolina, the Bay Area, Colorado, Texas, and Mexico. They gave their New York City recital debut at Steinway Hall on April 1, 2023 and hope to complete their 2020 tour of China which was interrupted by the pandemic in 2024.

From Scott Joplin & George Gershwin to Billy Joel, with George Lopez
If you love piano music then come out for a fun and exciting program of solo piano music from the last 150 years to the present. George Lopez has wowed audiences throughout New England and the world with his entertaining and easy performance style, where he brings each piece to life with a dynamic narrative that totally draws in the listener. Some piano favorites will include the great American ragtime composer Scott Joplin, the iconic George Gershwin and the classical stylings of none other than William Martin “Billy” Joel. Not to be missed!

The Robert Beckwith Artist-in-Residence at Bowdoin College, George Lopez, has been a dynamic performer, sought-after pedagogue, and engaging lecturer for over 30 years. Known for his “…kaleidoscopic colors and clarity of conception…” (LA Times) in the standard repertoire as well as being a champion of newly written works, his debut at the renowned Concertgebouw in Amsterdam was lauded as “… authentic and memorable …” by the Nederlands Dagblad for his interpretation of Bach’s Goldberg Variations along with all Twenty-Four Preludes of Chopin. He performed worldwide as a soloist in major cities throughout Europe, Australia, Japan, Mexico, Central and South America.  George’s extensive performances covers most major U.S. cities, including New York’s Lincoln Center, Merkin Hall, and Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie, Paul Hall at the Juilliard School, Benaroya Hall in Seattle, Ambassador Hall in Los Angeles, the Shao Lin Arts Center in Rockport (Massachusetts), The Cleveland Art Museum, Harvard University, and Tanglewood.  After his performance at Lincoln Center, the composer Lowell Liebermann described the performance of his work as “…exciting and decisive!”  A featured soloist at many international music festivals throughout Europe and abroad, Mr. Lopez performed at the renowned Salle Pleyel in Paris, the Girona Internacional Festival de Música in Spain, the Kowmung Festival just outside Sydney, Festivale d’Internazionale Solisti e Musica da Camera in Umbria (Italy), and the renowned Latin-American music festival Cubadisco in Havana (Cuba). He also performed as guest soloist with the National Symphony in São Paolo (Brazil), Rose Hall in Osaka, at Asahi Hall in Tokyo.

Gulimina Mahamuti is the first Uyghur from China to receive a Doctorate of Musical Arts in Piano Performance from the U.S.  She made her Carnegie debut in New York City at Weill Recital Hall and has performed internationally in Montreal, Copenhagen, Istanbul, Budapest (at the invitation of the Turkish Ambassador), and across the U.S. and China, broadcasting on these nations’ radio and TV programs. She has performed piano concerti with the Southeast Kansas Symphony Orchestra, Mansfield Symphony Orchestra, and Harbin Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra, and was featured on the radio in San Francisco, Queens College/CUNY podcast, China Touch Radio, and Istanbul Technical University Radio.

The Surprising Secrets of Happy Couples

The Surprising Secrets of Happy Couples: Tips on how to keep your relationship at peak performance

Sexuality and Health- and live longer and better!
Sex not only feels good, but research also indicates it may actually make you mentally and physically healthier. This talk explores why we may be inhibited and offers some suggestions about how to have a more confident and pleasurable sexual self.

Behind the scenes of Reality TV What Married at First Sight has taught me about love and marriage

 

Pepper Schwartz, PhD, is a renowned social psychologist and television personality. Well known for her 26 books on relationships, sexuality and family issues, she is also one of the three experts on the extremely popular Lifetime television show Married at First Sight, now in its 17th season. Two of her books, American Couples: Money, Work and Sex and The Normal Bar: The surprising secrets of happily married couples have been on the New York Times Best Seller lists. Among her many accomplishments she received awards from the American Sociological Association for Public Understanding of Sociology and was elected President of the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexualities. There is the Pepper Schwartz Professorship on sexuality and aging in the medical school of the University of Minnesota and the Pepper Schwartz Graduate Fellowship on Sexuality and Intimate Relationships at the University of Washington where she has been a professor since 1972. While she has published many academic articles and books, she is also known for writing well researched books and articles for popular consumption. She has also reached out to the public over the years as a columnist for Glamour and as the AARP Ambassador of love, sex, and relationships. Besides her tv appearances, she conducts workshops on marriage, intimate relationships and sexuality and writes a column for Seattle magazine. Her newest book, Relationship Rx was published February 13, 2023 with co-author Psychologist Dr. Jessica Griffin, who heads the Trauma Institute at the medical school at the University of Massachusetts in Wooster, Massachusetts. Pepper, a long-time contributor at the Ranch, is married and has two children, and four grandchildren. Pepper also has a four-legged family- three dogs and two horses and lives on a horse ranch in Snoqualmie, Washington.

Color Journals: Learning to See Color with Fresh Eyes

This workshop will focus our attention on the color environment in and around Rancho La Puerta with the aim of increasing our observational acuity and color perception while examining the emotional, cultural and personal foundations of our chromatic preferences.  The workshop will be modular, with daily activities. The workshop will utilize simple materials and will be designed for non-experts to have success while stretching their understanding of the way we see color and how it can be used.  Participants who attend multiple sessions will accumulate pages within a color journal that will be a visual record of their color experiences at Rancho La Puerta.

Hand Binding a Sketchbook
Participants will make an Italian-style hand sewn sketchbook/notebook that we will fill with the color exercises over the course of the week.  (Anyone who doesn’t attend the first session can still participate in any of the later sessions!) 90 mins

Color Perception:  New Eyes
We will discuss and observe the ways that our eyes and our minds collaborate to create the perception of color.  We will experiment with color combinations using paper collage to examine the ways that color can change dramatically based on context. 75 mins

Color Preferences:  Learning to Love All Colors
We will discuss our emotional reactions to colors and the reasons for those feelings.  We will practice recontextualizing colors to turn even the most disliked colors into combinations that we can appreciate. 75 mins

Complicated Color:  Looking Closer
We will experiment with optical mixing to color match the myriad complex color combinations that make up the colors of natural objects.  We will test our ability to remember colors accurately, then expand our color perception through extremely close observation of plants, rocks, etc., from the grounds. 75 mins

Intrinsic and Extrinsic Color:  Color Truths & Color Lies
We will discuss the differences between natural and artificial colors.  We will make watercolor paints out of locally found materials and natural pigments, discuss the various visual, physical and tactile qualities of “real” colors versus “fake” colors, and make a visual record of some of the colors found at Ranch La Puerta. 75 mins

 

Clayton Merrell grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and Puerto Ordaz, Venezuela. He holds an MFA from the Yale School of Art and received a Fulbright Grant for research and creative work in Oaxaca, Mexico in 1996-97.  His work is exhibited widely, with recent exhibitions at: the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum; Penn State University; Concept Gallery, Pittsburgh PA; the A+D Gallery, Chicago; the Westmoreland Museum of Art, and the Strohl Art Center, Chautauqua, NY.  His work is in the collections of the American Embassy in Belmopan, Belize, the Smithsonian Museum, the Anderson Museum of Contemporary Art, the U.S. Department of the Interior, and numerous private and corporate collections.  He was the 2005 Artist of the Year at The Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, and in 2016 was named Creator-of-the-Year by the Pittsburgh Technology Council. He has received awards and grants from the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Skowhegan, The Millay Colony, Blue Mountain Center, Vermont Studio Center, and the Roswell Artist-In-Residence Foundation.  In 2015, the Pittsburgh International Airport completed a 69,000 sq. ft. terrazzo floor based on his design.  He is currently the Dorothy L. Stubnitz Professor of Art at Carnegie Mellon University, where he teaches Color, Painting, Drawing and Concept Studios.

Brilliantly Navigating Life’s Transitions

Life is filled with powerful transitions, constant change, and growth. How to navigate them with flow and wisdom is the test for each person. Understanding the natural stages of transition and how to move through them with grace and clarity leads directly to a sense of empowerment, joy, and fulfillment. Behavioral research has revealed many of the tools for steering through these powerful periods of change. Learn clear practices to help you with the transitions and the changes happening in your life.

Dr. David Surrenda will offer four classes:

  1. Understanding the dynamics of transition – reviews what we have learned about how to successfully make a transition.
  2. Letting go with grace – provides exercises and models for releasing those things that are really now part of one’s past and not part of one’s future.
  3. Navigating the space between – identifies the challenges and processes for navigating the unknow space between releasing the old and starting something new.
  4. Setting my new direction – practices and tools for successfully taking a new direction so that your life unfolds as you intend.

 

David SurrendaDavid Surrenda, Ph.D.,  is a pioneer in the study of human consciousness. As founder and Dean for the Graduate School of Consciousness Studies at John F. Kennedy, the first accredited graduate school of its kind, he developed nine separate Master’s programs as well as spearheaded the development of research and counseling centers. These programs have graduated over 10,000 students and were the forerunner to the current efforts in Integrative Health. As the CEO of the Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health, the largest retreat center in the US, he led the development of their innovative blended learning programs to reach a global audience. He is the co-author of four books.

A Celebration of the Great American Songbook

You’ve Got a Friend! A tribute to the Singer/Songwriters of the 70’s! Music from Irving Berlin, Jerome Kern, Rodgers and Hart and Duke Ellington

 

For over 34 years, two-time EMMY® Award winning composer and performer Dave Powers has been a vital part of the Columbus, Ohio music scene as a pianist, keyboardist, vocalist, entertainer and educator. Dave has traveled and performed nationally and internationally. Dave is a consultant and a frequent guest of the Public Television Show “The Piano Guy” and has taught a series of master classes with “Piano Guy” host Scott Houston. Dave is also an adjunct faculty member of The Ohio State University School of Music. Considered one of the most successful musicians in the Midwest, Dave manages to win over the hearts of all who hear him perform. From concerts to clubs and restaurants to corporate events and private parties, his vast repertoire is as diverse as the audience that he entertains. Dave has performed with noted performers such as Steve Allen, George Benson, Rusty Bryant, Buddy DeFranco, Mark Farner (of Grand Funk Railroad), Eric Gale, Terry Gibbs, Ernie Krivda, Wilbert Longmire, Johnny Lytle, ‘Blue’ Lou Marini (of the Blues Brothers), Joan Rivers, Arturo Sandoval, Grover Washington, Jr. and many others. In addition, Dave is associated with the Jazz Arts Group of Columbus, and performs with the Columbus Jazz Orchestra. Dave has been hosting a jazz concert series from his home, and has re-located at the Clintonville Woman’s Club called “The House Jazz Concert Series.” davepowers.com.

Louis Tsamous grew up in Cambridge, Ohio and began playing the drums at age 10. He has since become one of the most versatile and active musicians in America. He has toured Europe, Asia and the Caribbean and has recorded and performed with jazz artists Stanley Turrentine, Etta Jones, Jimmy McGriff, Dr. Lonnie Smith, David “Fathead” Newman, Joey DeFrancesco and Kevin Mahogany among others. He played in the Ohio State University Jazz Ensemble while a student at OSU and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1982. In addition to performing with various groups in the Midwest, Louis has done clinics at many high schools and universities across the country. Louis has been touring and recording with jazz organ sensation Tony Monaco since 1999 and is featured on six national releases on The Summit record label.

S’Wonderful!

The Swinging 60’s…a bit of all things musically from the Peace and Love Decade! Music of George Gershwin and Cole Porter.

 

For over 34 years, two-time EMMY® Award winning composer and performer Dave Powers has been a vital part of the Columbus, Ohio music scene as a pianist, keyboardist, vocalist, entertainer and educator. Dave has traveled and performed nationally and internationally. Dave is a consultant and a frequent guest of the Public Television Show “The Piano Guy” and has taught a series of master classes with “Piano Guy” host Scott Houston. Dave is also an adjunct faculty member of The Ohio State University School of Music. Considered one of the most successful musicians in the Midwest, Dave manages to win over the hearts of all who hear him perform. From concerts to clubs and restaurants to corporate events and private parties, his vast repertoire is as diverse as the audience that he entertains. Dave has performed with noted performers such as Steve Allen, George Benson, Rusty Bryant, Buddy DeFranco, Mark Farner (of Grand Funk Railroad), Eric Gale, Terry Gibbs, Ernie Krivda, Wilbert Longmire, Johnny Lytle, ‘Blue’ Lou Marini (of the Blues Brothers), Joan Rivers, Arturo Sandoval, Grover Washington, Jr. and many others. In addition, Dave is associated with the Jazz Arts Group of Columbus, and performs with the Columbus Jazz Orchestra. Dave has been hosting a jazz concert series from his home, and has re-located at the Clintonville Woman’s Club called “The House Jazz Concert Series.” davepowers.com.

Louis Tsamous grew up in Cambridge, Ohio and began playing the drums at age 10. He has since become one of the most versatile and active musicians in America. He has toured Europe, Asia and the Caribbean and has recorded and performed with jazz artists Stanley Turrentine, Etta Jones, Jimmy McGriff, Dr. Lonnie Smith, David “Fathead” Newman, Joey DeFrancesco and Kevin Mahogany among others. He played in the Ohio State University Jazz Ensemble while a student at OSU and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1982. In addition to performing with various groups in the Midwest, Louis has done clinics at many high schools and universities across the country. Louis has been touring and recording with jazz organ sensation Tony Monaco since 1999 and is featured on six national releases on The Summit record label.

Music, Magic and Mayhem

Marshall ChapmanMarshall Chapman is a multi-hyphenated American treasure. The singer-songwriter-author-actress was born in Spartanburg, South Carolina, on January 7, 1949. To date, she has released fourteen critically acclaimed albums. Her 2013 release, Blaze of Glory, was hailed a masterpiece. And the Associated Press proclaimed her most recent Songs I Can’t Live Without (2020) “perhaps her best.” Chapman’s songs have been recorded by everyone from Emmylou Harris and Joe Cocker to Irma Thomas and Jimmy Buffett. In 2010, Chapman landed her first movie role, playing Gwyneth Paltrow’s Road manager in Country Strong. During filming, her musical Good Ol’ Girls (adapted from the fiction of Lee Smith and Jill McCorkle, featuring songs by Matraca Berg and Marshall) opened off-Broadway. That fall, Chapman simultaneously released a book (They Came to Nashville) and CD (Big Lonesome). They Came to Nashville was nominated for the 2011 SIBA Book Award for nonfiction, and the Philadelphia Inquirer named Big Lonesome “Best Country/Roots Album of 2010.” Of her three rockin’ albums for Epic, the Al Kooper-produced Jaded Virgin was voted Record of the Year (1978) by Stereo Review. Her album, It’s About Time… (Island, 1995), recorded live at the Tennessee State Prison for Women, drew rave reviews from Time, USA Today and the Village Voice. Chapman’s first book, Goodbye, Little Rock and Roller (St. Martin’s Press) was a SIBA bestseller, 2004 SIBA Book Award finalist, and one of three finalists for the Southern Book Critics Circle Award. Chapman continues to land film roles:  Mississippi Grind (2015); Lovesong, which garnered glowing reviews at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival; Novitiate, which opened to rave reviews at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival. Marshall is a contributing editor to Garden & Gun. She’s also written for The Oxford American, Nashville Arts Magazine, Southern Living, W, Performing Songwriter, and The Bob Edwards Show (Sirius/XM). “But music,” she says, “is my first and last love.” Marshall was featured in “Outlaws & Armadillos: Country’s Roaring ’70s” at the Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum in Nashville, through February 2022. Since Covid, Marshall has been livestreaming every Saturday at 1pm PT (4pm ET). Called “Perfect Imperfection,” these livestreams are free on Facebook at ‘Marshall Chapman Music’.

An Eclectic Night of Blues, Jazz, Folk, and Funk

Internationally renowned guitarist/composer/recording artist Mimi Fox has been recognized in numerous Downbeat Magazine International Critics Polls and has been hailed by writers and colleagues alike as one of the most eloquent guitarists on today’s scene. In one of many feature stories, Jazz Timeshailed Mimi as “a blazing fret master who combines be-bop infused lines with an abundance of soul…spinning solos that unfurl with surprise twists like expertly tailored short stories.”  In a further nod to Mimi’s guitar artistry, and in conjunction with Heritage Guitars’ 30th anniversary, the historic Kalamazoo guitar company has rolled out the Mimi Fox Artist Signature model. Mimi Fox has performed and recorded with many jazz greats, including fellow guitarists Charlie Byrd and Charlie Hunter; Grammy-nominated saxophonists Branford Marsalis and Houston Person; vocalists Abbey Lincoln and Diana Krall; and powerhouse drummer Terri Lyne Carrington. She has also shared the stage with music legend Stevie Wonder. Mimi has toured the world, playing such major festivals as the Montreal, Guinness Cork, Perth International, and Jamaica Spice Jazz Festivals. Stateside, she has headlined at elite venues such as Monterey/Newport Festivals, The Blue Note, The Kennedy Center, Yoshi’s and the Great American Music Hall among countless others.
“Beyond her passion and technical virtuosity, Fox plays with a profundity that only results from a lifetime of commitment and total immersion in one’s art”. – Guitar Player Magazine

Candlelight Gentle Yoga, Meditation & Cello

Gentle Therapeutic Yoga and Cello is a collaboration between Nancy Wang Gaeden and Joanna Morrison to bring forth a soulful and deep exploration of body, mind, heart, and spirit. As a certified yoga therapist and instinctive meditation teacher, Nancy guides this gentle practice with full presence and heart, through movement inquiry and yoga’s inherent invitation towards transformation. Joanna skillfully brings the full embrace of sound – the cello being the only instrument that encompasses the entire range of the human voice – to help us move through the body and uplift consciousness. This collaboration is a special experience designed to let us drop in and be carried.

 

Nancy Wang GaedenJoin Nancy Wang Gaeden for a gentle and meditative yoga practice to stretch, release, and rejuvenate. Nancy is an ex-Buddhist nun, a Certified Yoga Therapist (C-IAYT), and a faculty member of the school for Instinctive Meditation. She has served countless chronic pain and cancer patients in northern California over her last 10 years of teaching. She holds therapeutic yoga certifications from Duke Integrative Medicine and Oregon Health and Science University, and is a graduate of the Kripalu School of Yoga & Ayurveda.

 

 

Cellist Joanna Morrison completed her Bachelor of Music and Master of Music Degrees at Boston University.  In 2007 Ms. Morrison won a position in the Honolulu Symphony and served as principal cello of the Hawaii Symphony from 2012 to 2015.  Concert tours have taken Ms. Morrison to Japan, Taiwan, Singapore and South Korea as well as much of Europe and the United States performing under conductors including Zubin Mehta, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Leonard Slatkin, David Zinman and Manfred Honeck.  Joanna was an acting member of the San Diego Symphony from 2016-2020.  An avid chamber player, Ms. Morrison has collaborated with various artists and has studied under members of the Guarneri and Juilliard Quartets. She has received fellowships to summer festivals around the world including Verbier Festival where she served as principal cellist for the world tour with Charles Dutoit and Martha Argerich.

Passport to Travel and Food Journaling

When we write about travel or a great meal, we revisit the experience for a second time. When we read what we’ve written, we’re transported again. A well-kept journal is an everlasting free return ticket to places and dishes we’ve savored.  Antonia Allegra and Alison DaRosa will offer tips, exercises and prompts designed to instill your journal with the flavors, vibrancy, and soul-enriching essence of your unique travel/food experiences. You’ll have the option to share your writing with peers in exchange for constructive, supportive comments. Each session will begin with a somatic exercise to center and inspire you. Join any or all three workshops.

 

Antonia AllegraAntonia Allegra, Toni, is a professional coach dedicated to working with writers. Her background is as a writer, editor, and teacher. Honored by the San Francisco Professional Food Society with a Lifetime Achievement award, she founded the Symposium for Professional Food Writers (1989-2011), and in 2005 founded the still-active Symposium for Professional Wine Writers. She was on the launch team for the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in the Napa Valley, near her home. She was instrumental in the origins of La Cocina que Canta culinary center here at Rancho La Puerta, an experience she treasures. Toni is also a celebrated poet and memoirist who has strong convictions about the value of writing one’s own story. 

 

Alison DaRosaAlison DaRosa is a six-time winner of the Lowell Thomas Gold Award, the most prestigious national prize for travel journalism.   Her career includes  30 years at the San Diego Union-Tribune – with her final 15 years as Travel Editor. She accepted a buyout in 2008 – but continued as a freelance contributor, writing travel features and a monthly Travel Deals column for the newspaper. Alison taught Travel Writing for several years at UC-San Diego’s Extension. With Sutro Media, she produced the San Diego Essential Guide, a highly rated travel app for mobile devices.  Ten years ago, she joined the staff at Wine Dine & Travel, an online magazine, where her travel stories and photography are featured quarterly.

The Healing Power Of Music

Chris’ personal journey throughout the years as a singer and songwriter has helped him explore the miraculous ways that we can use our voices as a source of motivation, change, dissent and healing even when even the faintest of notes ring through. The human voice and the art of songwriting constantly reminds us of the indomitable power of our spirits and our capacity for renewal. Sound is a form of energy, and our voices are our wisdom, courage, fragility, and influence.

At a young age, Chris developed a rare hearing disorder called Otosclerosis that led to the loss of hearing in one ear and partial deafness in the other, a setback that would deter many young musicians forever. The reality, however, fueled his passion and determination even more, forcing him to re-learn almost everything he had known prior. To Chris music was, and still is, an unconditional companion.

For the Rancho La Puerta workshop presentation, Chris will guide the attendees emotionally and theoretically through his songwriting process, and the search for his own authentic voice through music. He’ll share with the attendees the processes of conceptualizing, listening, crafting, recording, and performing original songs that motivate togetherness, civil discourse, and action. He will discuss the inspiration behind my music and perform examples during the workshop of my own original songs. At the end of each concert, we will seek emotional venerability, share ideas, and work on a song together to sing together as a unified chorus of humanity.

 

In 2023, Chris Pierce was handpicked to be the special guest opener for the NEIL YOUNG Coastal Tour. Recently, he gained additional worldwide prominence with “We Can Always Come Back to This”. His hit co/write aired on 3 episodes of the NBC primetime series ‘THIS IS US,’ then went on to #1 on the Billboard Blues Chart.  Pierce has also done worldwide headlining tours and has supported: Neil Young, B.B. King, Seal, Al Green, Steve Earle, Allison Russell, Ramblin’ Jack Elliot, Rodrigo y Gabriella, Keb’Mo, Blind Boys of Alabama, Aaron Neville & others.

Other recent highlights include: a solo concert at The Kennedy Center, a ‘Playing for Change’ duet with Sara Bareilles, a sold-out Troubadour concert with Allison Russell, and performance/interviews on NPR’s WORLD CAFÉ, MOUNTAIN STAGE, AMERICAN FOLK SHOW, SoCAL SOUND, and more. Stellar performances at Newport Folk, AmericanaFest, Folk Alliance, Rancho La Puerta Folk Fest, Four Corners Folk, MerleFest & NC Folk Festival led to further acclaim.

His album, ‘AMERICAN SILENCE’ garnered critical acclaim from NPR, Rolling Stone, NoDepression, SiriusXM, The Bluegrass Situation, AmericanaUK, Acoustic Guitar and others. PopMatters named ‘AMERICAN SILENCE ’THE #1 Best Folk Album of 2021 and FolkAlley named “Residential School” from AMERICAN SILENCE one of the 100 Essential Folk Songs.

His newest album ‘LET ALL WHO WILL’ was released on September 1, 2023, with critical acclaim from NPR, NoDepression, American Songwriter, Hi Times and more.  In addition to his solo career, Chris Pierce performs/records with both Americana/Folk/Soul sensation WAR & PIERCE with Sunny War, & the Americana/Roots band LEON CREEK.

“One of America’s most talented, gifted, and affecting artists.” – AMERICAN SONGWRITER
“I haven’t been so deeply, deeply moved by just a person and their guitar like this in a long time.” – NPR MUSIC

chrispierce.com

History of James Hubbell’s Artwork

Guided Tour of Hubbell Artwork & Las Piedras Environmental Center
A walking tour across the Ranch indoor & outdoor property discussing James Hubbell’s works and the stories behind them.

Hubbell & Hubbell Architects Presentation on Green Building Design and Alternate Building Materials
A discussion of the use of green building design around Rancho La Puerta as well as H&H’s works throughout San Diego County

Drew Hubbell Presentation on the Pacific Rim Parks & World Design Capital 2024 Activities in San Diego & Tijuana
A discussion about the Pacific Rim Parks around the world as well as Kuchumaa Passage and the collaboratve design process.

Drew Hubbell is the son and business partner with Jame Hubbell. His diverse background ranges from historic restoration and adaptive reuse of existing structures, to custom residences and remodels. He especially enjoys working on cultural and nature centers for non-profits and municipalities. He collaborates with his father—renowned artist James T. Hubbell—merging art and architecture in ecologically and aesthetically mindful ways. His firm specializes in sustainable architecture, green building materials and the use of alternative building materials such as straw bales, insulated concrete forms, adobe, and sprayed concrete construction. Drew worked on a number of the art installations at the Ranch as a young man and was the architect for Las Piedras in collaboration with Sarah Livia Brightwood.

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