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Rockaway, NJ 07866

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© 2018 LIFE Center Stage

When we first met with Kristy and Paul of Speak Easy Art Gallery, they excitedly shared Elisabeth Ladwig’s artwork with us. At first glance we could see that her photographs were filled with deep emotion and told such powerful stories through their imagery, we knew this was going to be a great event to work together on.

We invited poets, spoken word artists, and musicians to join us as we teamed up with Speak Easy Art Gallery to present Community Musings, a collaborative event brought together through inspiration and creative reverie. Through Inspired “Introspection” the community further explored Elisabeth Ladwig’s metaphors through writing and music.

On Friday, March 3 2017, at the Speak Easy Art Gallery in Boonton, NJ – Arianne Peterson, Mike Z., and Eric Fielo put together a great musical performance of the community’s poetry. Carolyn Messina, wrote and performed a song titled Walk with Me, inspired by Elisabeth Ladwig’s artwork and her conversations with the artist.

 

It was a powerful night in Boonton, you could truly feel Elisabeth’s artwork alive in the music and spoken word performances. I watched as everyone who entered the gallery enjoyed the performances by our LIFE Center Stage community and Elisabeth’s art with a sense of wonder and delight. Elisabeth Ladwig watched the performances and listened to the spoken word intently with a smile on her face. She seemed happy and humbled that her work created such a spark of inspiration in us all. It was amazing to experience first-hand this co-creative experience.

We hope you will join us for one of our Creative Socials so you can experience it for yourself.

Creative Socials at LIFE Center Stage offer the opportunity for our community to come together, participate, nurture, grow, express and exchange these budding seeds of self-expression in a safe recovery-friendly environment. Our artful and inspiring gatherings are designed with the intention of sparking the seed of creative genius that lies dormant within each one of us.

There are forums for music, writing, poetry, family drumming, improv and much more in the works. It is our intention at LIFE Center Stage to partner with you, our local community, to offer an alternative to a commute into “The City” to experience the raw, passionate, emerging and brilliant talent that is available right here in our own “living room social salon.”  Come join us for an interactive experience or simply listen in and enjoy “artfulness in play.”

Is the world barren?
A cold, muted void?
Where music is missing and lyrics won’t flow,
and minds and hearts
lay battered by a madman’s bullets?
They fly through dank air laden with the rotten decay of hate,
explode into reckless, noxious words—
Not those of humanity, love, rich russet Earth’s tight embrace.
No!
Yet we can fill the bleak, murky scape
with this and that, the whole damn alphabet,
key by key by pounding key.
Spell it out. Snuff it out. Our fingers fly.
Love’s words hurtle through the crackling air.
Beat the bullets
in a victory dance across the page.

(Inspired by Elisabeth Ladwig’s The Writer)

Beyond Bullets by Nikki Busch

barefoot
so that clouds
slipper my way
once I asked a spider
will you silk a stairway
to the moon?

(Inspired by Elisabeth Ladwig’s Tied to the Moon)

Tied to the Moon by Andrea Grillo

desire
that feral feeling between
musk and must

(Inspired by Elisabeth Ladwig’s Truce)

Truce by Andrea Grillo

Bumpy
riding book stack
Ozone looking hole pokes thru thunder
Splashes, lighting up
a
teacup.

Can you
judge by cover
the face the book is over

The weather behind the mystery of us

When within reading done
We thumb (a)
new stack of second-hand books —
the one with the windy black hair has read and left
pressed flowers in

You find us,
cracking old lightning open
tempting out the fire spill of storms.

Exactly & not
what hands-free means : The world I go to see

Not book burners
but real page
turners

(Inspired by Elisabeth Ladwig’s The Writer)

Taken Till by Druven

cages
with or without bars
the distant fog
caged bird
teach me how to sing
of open sky

(Inspired by Elisabeth Ladwig’s The Caged Bird)

The Caged Bird by Andrea Grillo

Tea stained blouse on the floor
in the corridor

Nothing but the sound of pages
anymore

She buries her nose in the books
that save her

They saved her

From the wasted hours, wasted years

She hides from the sorrow and the pain and the tears

She lets the tea spill from her cup

She lets the tea spill

(Inspired by Elisabeth Ladwig’s Once Upon a Time)

Spilled Tea by Arianne Peterson

I am afraid for her
As she nears the water at high tide.
Will she pause in the shallows
to let the salty sea massage her feet?
If she writes something in the sand
will it be an epitaph
or a love letter?

She carries the weight
of our shell-shocked world on her back.
Can she walk on water?
I am afraid for her.
Our humanity is more than a little bit twisted.
Will it matter at all
that she even existed?

(Inspired by Elisabeth Ladwig’s Healing)

Afraid by Barb J. LeMasters

The words are stuck on the pages,
Her thoughts are stuck in her mind.

The moss grows up the back and side,
And in her hair entwined.

She walks on the edge of clarity
Where inspiration she can find.

It cycles through from ash to blue,
To green and all combined.

Though it tells the story of her life,
She leaves the notes unsigned.

(Inspired by Elisabeth Ladwig’s The Writer)

Unsigned by Arianne Peterson

Alone she sits high upon a cliffhanger,
her yesterdays vanished in the wind;
withered emotions sank like stones,
a life of romantic melodies dimmed.

How could she walk away from love?
We drifted on a gentle summer breeze,
our young hearts ran free from regret,
and into a wonderland we would squeeze.

Suffocation finally frayed her senses,
divergent dreams jaded her vision,
sadly the fiery craving burned out,
she was lost, left with indecision.

Needing to breathe liberation’s air,
to her inner voice she soon replied;
she escaped into narrative horizons,
where imagination wouldn’t be denied.

Books have become her steady lover,
life’s vignettes she now comprehends;
a once quelled creativity born-again,
joyfully, an awakened spirit ascends.

(Inspired by Elisabeth Ladwig’s Once Upon a Time)

A Turn of the Page by JLY

light
would stars expect it
any other way?

(Inspired by Elisabeth Ladwig’s Catching the Light)

Catching the Light by Andrea Grillo

Time slowly pulls them away from each other
She stands alone in this desolate field

The birds wildly stir in the wind
The cows keep their gaze unfazed
Knowing the familiar sound of chains
Only she can change the gears

The grass pricks her bare feet
Stormy clouds loom in the distance

Her pale limp body falling slowly
Her heart whispering break free

Then she remembers
The lover who is not yet ready for a woman of her measure
She pauses and awaits for the pleasure
That she last tasted in the cold of November

(Inspired by Elisabeth Ladwig’s Against Time)

Against Time by Laurie Hart & Kim DeCicco

Once upon a time
in her smile
the story
hand-stitched wings
the moon invites me
to tea
a hint of rain in the story he hands her a rose

(Inspired by Elisabeth Ladwig’s Once Upon a Time)

Once Upon a Time by Andrea Grillo

Is the world barren?
A cold, muted void?
Where music is missing and lyrics won’t flow,
and minds and hearts
lay battered by a madman’s bullets?
They fly through dank air laden with the rotten decay of hate,
explode into reckless, noxious words—
Not those of humanity, love, rich russet Earth’s tight embrace.
No!
Yet we can fill the bleak, murky scape
with this and that, the whole damn alphabet,
key by key by pounding key.
Spell it out. Snuff it out. Our fingers fly.
Love’s words hurtle through the crackling air.
Beat the bullets
in a victory dance across the page.

(Inspired by Elisabeth Ladwig’s The Writer)

Beyond Bullets by Nikki Busch

Steel tracks narrow
Cut through sky
Keyhole to the horizon

(Inspired by Elisabeth Ladwig’s End of the Earth)

Untitled by Karen Hatler

paper roses
all the poems
I never wrote
sometimes my muse
folds stars into paper
I always look twice

(Inspired by Elisabeth Ladwig’s The Writer)

The Writer by Andrea Grillo

Heroes & Villains
Youth were invited to work with a teaching artist and art therapist to create a mask and story that shows the challenges that they experience each day. Their masks will be featured in a short film. A second group of youth are working with musicians to compose the music score for the film.
Knock Out Opioid Abuse Day
We created a call to action leading up to Knock Out Opioid Abuse Day where we invited the community to submit inspiring songs around this crisis. 6 songwriters won a spot in an Collaborative Anthem Writing Workshop where they composed three songs. They performed their songs at Knock Out Opioid Abuse Day, one song was picked as the official anthem and was recorded in a professional studio.
I AM... Photo Project
I Am Photo Project
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