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Art, Cosmology, Healing, Creativity, Individual and Community Empowerment

42 Commerce Street 3f
New York, New York 10014
(212) 243-8190

155 West Granite Ave.
P.O. Box 316
Crestone, Colorado 81131
(719) 256-4611

Dear Friends,

I want to take this opportunity to wish you all a Happy New Century and Millennium and to let you know the plans for School of Living Arts in the year 2000.  First, though, I'd like to give the background for my decisions:

The significance of our new era struck me very strongly when, on New Year's Eve, 1999, for the first time in the history this planet, the Earth celebrated the same event together.  The global 24 hour celebration for the New Millennium was the first Global Art Event! With the media tracking it all and bringing the world wide events into everyone's living room, we truly passed a milestone in Earth history-- planetary consciousness is awakening.  I know many who watched those events are still  "glowing from the outpouring of good will and positive vision" as one friend put it.  We seem to be having a glimpse of our true role as members of the Earth Community; as cultural historian Thomas Berry asserts, our role is to celebrate, to enhance the Universe's impulse to express itself through greater and greater diversity and to surpass all previous moments of beauty. 

This spontaneous outpouring spontaneous in the sense that no one engineered the whole event has shown us how the arts and media working together can lift consciousness.  Too often we are fed what's lowest in human nature by the media, instead of what is highest in the human spirit.  The partnership of the media and the arts is powerful, as these recent events have shown us.  The arts are the creative element of this partnership, injecting new images of hope, beauty and unity in to human consciousness, while the media mirrors back what the unaided eye cannot see -- images from far away, drawing our planet closer together, as it must as we enter this new era. 

"We need to be retaught our loveliness," Sharon Salzberg says in her book on Lovingkindness Meditation.  As artists, we can teach, uplift, illuminate and exhilirate. We can heal false concepts of who we are as a species and a planet. Through our creations, we can also open the floodgates to action -- we can motivate through our ability to evoke emotion in our work.  In these early days of the Third Millennium, whether we know it or not, the foundation is being laid for the next thousand years.  As Bishop Tutu said before the New Year's celebrants in Washington D.C., "Now we have before us and unspoiled time."  What will we create? What will we make of this blank canvas of unspoiled time? 

Ultimately, as is the case for all humans, our true medium is life itself and it must be understood that the creative process requires being both active and receptive.  Both spontaneous and conceptual forms of art need the receptive, contemplative element in order to bring through the best and healthiest expression an individual can offer. Besides being an artist and iconographer, my role as founder and director of The School of Living Arts for Creativity and Ecological Culture has also been an important form of expression for me, another way of coaxing our culture to embrace life-affirming values and learn ways to put these values to work.  This long-range vision for the School is nowhere near its realization, but time is most clearly a very essential part of our medium.  Being a very active artist, I have had to juggle my need and desire to make art with my equal desire to bring the extraordinary teachers and concepts I myself have benefitted from to the public. 

As I was recently making the final schedule for the coming year, I found somthing else calling me instead to leave space, to CULTIVATE EMPTINESS to allow what is asking to be born through me to enter.  I don't know all of what this will be, but I have a strong sense that it is significant for myself as well as the culture.  It is too early to speak about it, as another step in the creative process is gestation, a time when incipient ideas and desires are cultivated in secret, in the depths of one's heart, just as a fetus needs the darkness of the womb to grow.  Despite my desire for community and stimulation, I know I must go to this dark empty place inside for new light and life to shine forth from within. 

Thus, I am postponing all School activities for one year.  I know this will disappoint some of you who have enjoyed the programs in recent times.  I too will miss the learning, comraderie, depth and inspiration that these workshops and lectures have given us all.  I welcome hearing from all of you and how you're doing in this wonderful symbolic year of new beginnings or pre-beginnings ('00, not '01).  I would very much like to continue being in touch, to hear from you what programs you would enjoy in the future. 

In deference to the spontaneity of the creative process, there may be a few impromptu, and very intereting events this year. I will be happy to keep you informed if you email me that you would like to be put on our mailing list. 

So for now, I want to leave you with two visions for the Third Millennium from two of my most important teachers:


Transcendence is the power to be born anew,
to make a fresh start, to turn over a new leaf,
to begin with a clean slate, to enter into 
a state of grace, to have a second chance.

Transcendence makes no reference to the past,
whether your past has been overflowing with
victories or filled with defeats. When you enter
a state of transcendence you are able 
to create a new life, unburdened by both
the victories and the defeats of the past. 

Transcendence is more than just the accurate
realization that the past is over. It is
also a realignment of all the dimensions 
of yourself with the very source of life.

                  From The Path of Least Resistance
                  by Robert Fritz

. . . a luxuriant Earth community, mutually-enhancing 
in all its layers and levels of life and being, where
the minds of the universe are safeguarded and 
nurtured; where the creativity of each nation of 
every species is energized for the total vibrancy 
and joy of the whole community of beings.

                                                       -- Thomas Berry

The latter is Thomas Berry's vision for the emerging Ecological Age. May this new era give us the capacity to hear what the Earth is telling us, and the courage to make her dreams a reality.  We are ultimately only one being, and her health, her truth, her beauty and her goodness is ours.

Angela Manno
Director, School of Living Arts for Creativity and Ecological Culture



Professor of Theology, 
Fordham University

Solviva Bioshelter

Founder/Director of
Greenspirit Institute

Editor,  Communities Magazine

Intuition Consultant, 
Author of Intuition Workout


Program Director, 
Kriplau Center for Yoga and Health


"We think in secret, and it comes to pass -Our environment is but our looking glass."


"Creativity is less the creating of things, but much more so the ability and tenacity to consistently use the tests, the trials and triumphs of one life over many years' time, in order to become oneself, a true and living work of art."


Plein Air Landscape Painting Workshop
with Chuck Ceraso

Byzantine-Russian Icon Painting
with Dmitri Andrejev

End of the Millennium
Plein Air Landscape Painting Workshop

An Evening Talk
with Fordham Theology Professor Ewert Cousins, co-sponsored by
the Spiritual Life Institute

Personal Story Telling
with performance artist, counselor and Story Teller, Marcie Telander

Together We Can Make It: Communities That Work 
with Diana Christian

Three Day Rejuvenating Juice Fast and Retreat
with Allison Shore Gaines

Weekend Intensive in Batik as a Fine Art
with Angela Manno

The Architecture of the Soul
an evening talk with poet and environmentalist
Albert LaChance

an ongoing changing exhibition by internationally acclaimed
artist Angela Manno


Copyright © 1998 - 2002 by Angela Manno