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The Casa Franciscan Renewal Center
Scottsdale, Arizona

The spectacular yet secluded 25-acre Franciscan Renewal Center offers a tranquil oasis in the heart of greater Phoenix for quiet reflection, prayer, learning, healing or joyful worship. Nestled in the lush desert valley at the base of majestic Camelback Mountain, The Casa is just a quick 20-minutes from the Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. The campus features a newly remodeled 60-ft swimming pool and spa, gift and book shop, labyrinth, healing garden, desert walkways, buffet-style dining, and private bathrooms in every lodging room. Owned by the Franciscan Friars of the Saint Barbara Province, The Casa has been renewing lives through spiritual growth, healing and transformation, and service to others for over 60 years.

Power of Words
Conference

Join us September 26-29th, 2019 at The Casa Franciscan Renewal Center in Scottsdale, Arizona for our 16th Annual Power of Words Conference: Transformation, Liberation, and Celebration Through the Spoken, Written, and Sung Word. Find your voice with workshops, performances, talking circles, celebration, and more, featuring writers, storytellers, performers, musicians, community leaders, activists, educators, and health professionals.

The conference, founded in 2003, features workshops in four tracks: narrative medicine, social change, right livelihood (and making a living through the arts), ecological literacy, and engaged spirituality.

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Testimonials from POW 2018

"Come and meet some seriously interesting and diverse people with a love of transformational politics, poetry and language. I loved the whole experience!"

Barbara Bloomfield

"I always appreciate the comraderie at this event. People are non-judgemental and open. I don’t think it would be possible to feel more accepted or at peace. This truly satisfies and transcends the human experience by combining heart with art."

— Anonymous

"The Transformation Language Arts conference provides a home for artists, writers and musicians who want to help create a peaceful world. I go to learn, I go to contribute, I go to sustain hope."

Diane Glass

"As an artist and philanthropist who participates in artistic/humanities conference and festivals throughout the United States, Europe, Canada, Mexico and the Middle East - I'm very impressed with the Vermont conference! The workshop and performance presenters were diverse; audience participants supportive; key note speakers memorable; staff magnificent. A genuine pleasure to be in attendance!"

Joseph Galata

"The TLA Conference is an adventure of diving into a deep pool of unexpected discoveries. Some are delightful and awe-inspiring, some frightening and strange, but the immersion in diversity and the authenticity of the presenter's (and participant's) stories and presence is palpable and real. A necessary reminder of what we are so starved for in the current climate of media and political rhetoric. If change is going to be sustainable and humane, we need more people trained and working with the qualities of these warriors. The Conference is a way to either dip a toe in or dive in head first."

Robin Russel

"The Power of Words at Goddard College in the fall of 2018...in the midst of the unpredictability of daily life, for a few precious days I found myself surrounded by beauty, reminded yet again how art and wordcraft are not luxuries, to paraphrase Audre Lorde, but tools for survival, 'sanctuaries and spawning grounds for the most radical and daring of ideas.'

"We think and language into existence, whether our language takes the shape of words, images, sounds, or movements, summoning new worlds with our breath and our bodies. And as we come together to share we move away from isolation and fear and into one another, drawing close to the hearth where we warm and nourish ourselves before heading back out.

"This is the power of words -- that something so fragile, awkward, limited and limiting can, in the end, still be a way in: a key in a lock, a warm breeze signaling an end to winter's slumber, a torch to light the way."

Shomriel Sherman

2019 Keynoters

Gregg Levoy

Gregg Levoy is the author of Vital Signs: The Nature and Nurture of Passion (Penguin), and Callings: Finding and Following An Authentic Life (Random House) –rated among the "Top 20 Career Publications" by the Workforce Information Group and a text in various graduate programs in Management and Organizational Leadership. He is a former "behavioral specialist" at USA Today, and a regular blogger for Psychology Today.

A former adjunct professor of journalism at the University of New Mexico, former columnist and reporter for USA Today and the Cincinnati Enquirer, and author of This Business of Writing (Writer’s Digest Books), he has written for the New York Times Magazine, Washington Post, Omni, Psychology Today, Christian Science Monitor, Fast Company, Reader’s Digest, and many others, as well as for corporate, promotional and television projects. He lives in Asheville, North Carolina, and his website is www.gregglevoy.com

Noa Baum

Noa Baum is an award-winning storyteller and author who presents internationally. She works with diverse audiences ranging from The World Bank and prestigious universities to inner city schools and detention centers.

Born and raised in Israel, she was an actress at Jerusalem Khan Theater, studied with Uta Hagen in NYC and holds an M.A. from NYU. Noa offers a unique combination of performance art and practical workshops that focus on the power of narrative to heal across the divides of identity. In a world where peace is a challenge in the schoolyard and beyond, Noa’s work builds bridges of understanding and compassion. 

Noa’s book, A Land Twice Promised – An Israeli Woman’s Quest for Peace,  – a winner of the Anne Izard Storytellers’ Choice Award – is an introspective memoir that mines the depths of the chasm between the Israeli and Palestinian experiences, the torment of family loss and conflict, and the therapy of storytelling as a cleansing art. With her storytelling background, Noa captures the drama of a nation at war and her own discovery of humanity in the enemy.

Usha Akella

Usha has authored three books of poetry, one chapbook, and scripted and produced one musical drama. She is pursuing a Masters in Creative Writing at Cambridge University, UK. She read with a group of eminent South Asian Diaspora poets at the House of Lords in June 2016. Her work has been included in the Harper Collins Anthology of Indian English Poets. Her recent book The Rosary of Latitudes carries a foreword by Keki Daruwalla. She was selected as a Cultural Ambassador for the City of Austin for 2015. She has been published in numerous Literary journals, and has been invited to prestigious international poetry festivals in Slovakia, Nicaragua, Macedonia, Colombia, Slovenia, India etc. She is the founder of ‘Matwaala,’ the first South Asian Diaspora Poets Festival in the US.

Usha has won literary prizes (Nazim Hikmet award, Open Road Review Prize and Egan Memorial Prize), and enjoys interviewing artists, scholars, and poets for reputed magazines. She has written a few quixotic nonfiction prose pieces published in The Statesman and India Currents. She is the founder of the Poetry Caravan in New York and Austin which takes poetry readings to the disadvantaged in women’s shelters, senior homes, hospitals. Several hundreds of readings have reached these venues via this medium. The City of Austin proclaimed January 7th as Poetry Caravan Day.

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"The Transformative Language Arts Network" is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Kansas, P.O. Box 442633, Lawrence, KS 66044

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