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2018 Spirit Fest Presenters


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Roberta And The Brothers (Friday Evening)

“Music for the Ageless” Featuring husband and wife, Roberta and Tommy Nowlin and Rusty Weaver – locally -based son of famed Western actor, Dennis Weaver.

Three seasoned entertainers performing an Americana selection of guitar and banjo music, crooning close harmonies, and showcasing traditional Cowboy and Western Music, but with a spiritual underpinning, a tinge of humor and a whole lot of heart.



Richard Rohr (Friday and Saturday)

Fr. Richard Rohr is a globally recognized ecumenical teacher bearing witness to the universal awakening within Christian mysticism and the Perennial Tradition. He is a Franciscan priest of the New Mexico Province and founder of the Center for Action and Contemplation (CAC) in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Fr. Richard’s teaching is grounded in the Franciscan alternative orthodoxy—practices of contemplation and self-emptying, expressing itself in radical compassion, particularly for the socially marginalized.

Fr. Richard is the author of numerous books, including Everything BelongsAdam’s ReturnThe Naked NowBreathing Under WaterFalling UpwardImmortal Diamond, and Eager to Love: The Alternative Way of Francis of Assisi. His newest book is The Divine Dance: The Trinity and Your Transformation (with Mike Morrell).

Fr. Richard is academic Dean of the Living School for Action and Contemplation. Drawing upon Christianity’s place within the Perennial Tradition, the mission of the Living School is to produce compassionate and powerfully learned individuals who will work for positive change in the world based on awareness of our common union with God and all beings.

Note: Father Rohr has stated that pre-reading for his presentation should include these two books: "Naked Now" and "Just This." Not absolutely essential but recommended. Obtainable from the website.

Image by Real Life Photography

Image by Real Life Photography

Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer (Sunday afternoon)

Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer’s poetry has appeared in O Magazine, TEDx, in back alleys, on A Prairie Home Companion and on river rocks around town. Her poems have been described as “a deep oasis for all who seek to experience the sacred in every moment.” Her most recent collection, Naked for Tea, was a finalist for the Able Muse Poetry Prize. Other recent books include Even Now, The Miracle Already Happening and The Less I Hold. She’s included in the acclaimed anthology, Poetry of Presence and leads mindfulness poetry discussion groups. She served as San Miguel County’s first poet laureate and was appointed Western Slope Poet Laureate (2015-2017). Since 2006, she’s written a poem a day. Favorite themes in her poems include parenting, gardening, the natural world, love, thriving/failure and daily life. She’s performed and taught poetry for Think 360, Craig Hospital, Ah Haa School for the Arts, Weehawken Arts, Camp Coca Cola, meditation retreats (with Susie Harrington), 12-step recovery programs, hospice, Deepak Chopra, and many other organizations. She earned her MA in English Language & Linguistics at UW-Madison. Favorite one-word mantra: Adjust.

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Beth Quist (Sunday afternoon)

Beth Quist is a multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, and composer, who began playing piano at age 2. She was lead soprano and instrumentalist for the creation band in Cirque du Soleil’s “KA”, and currently performs solo, with Sherefe which specializes in Balkan and Middle Eastern music. She has sung & toured with Bobby McFerrin’s Voicestra since 1997, and appears on his albums “Circlesongs”, “Mouth Music”, and “VOCAbuLarieS”. Beth has also composed over 50 scores for dance, theater, television, & film, including musical contributions to the Emmy nominated documentary “The Two Escobars”. Other notable musical collaborations include Roger Fisher (Heart), Geoffrey Castle, & Scott Cossu (Windham Hill).

Her early musical influences were “Batman,” “Star Trek,” and “Dr. Zhivago.” “I’m a Little Leopard Prowling Around in Sneakers” was her first musical composition at age 8.

She has a 4-octave soprano voice, and plays piano, keyboards, santour (hammered dulcimer), dumbek, daff, guitar, flute, and various other toys that she can get her hands on. Her music combines influences from the Balkans, the Middle East, and India with her Western upbringing.

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Kate Kissingford (Sunday afternnoon)

 Kate is co-founder of UpstART, Theater that Moves and Ouray County's professional theater company. For the last 28 years, Kate has gotten on stage as much as time and the Fates would allow. In 2003, Kate earned her Masters of Fine Arts in Acting from Florida Atlantic University. Locals may have seen her last year in The Other Place, by Sharr White and in Ta that Moves and the Ouray County's professional Theater Company. ming of the Shrew. Kate has fond memories of playing these favorite roles: Julianna in The Other Place,  Lady Macbeth, in Macbeth, Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing, Father Toulon in Red Noses, various roles in The Laramie Project and TheVagina Monologues, Laura in The Glass Menagerie and Sylvia in Sylvia. Kate is a resident of Ouray, Colorado, where her counseling practice and motherhood keep her otherwise occupied. Kate appreciates your support of her theater habit and hopes you make a habit of seeing UpstART productions! 

"Not only are we in the Universe, the Universe is in us> I don't know of any deeper spiritual feeling than what that  brings upon me." -- Neil DeGrasse Tyson.

There's often a misconception that acting is a practice of deceit, pretending, or a covering up up of self in order to portray a character. Nothing could be further from the truth! In this presentation, Kate and John Kissingford will offer experiential exrercises as well as performance to evoke the sense of the sacred through the art of acting. They invite us all to join with them for a taste of the spiritual essence inside the theatrical moment.

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John Kissingford (Sunday afternoon)

After studying and teaching literature, theater and criticism a lot over these past few decades, John Kissingford finally realized how much he loves playing with his friends onstage and being part of the conversation great plays inspire. He has acted with various regional and touring companies, and explored Original Practice approaches to Shakespeare with New England Shakespeare Festival as well as No Holds Bard, which he and Kate founded in 2005. Favorite roles include Jacques and Richard III (NESF), Don Quixote (Boston Flamenco Ballet), Hamlet and Petruchio (NHB), Siegfried Sassoon in Not About Heroes (Chasm View), Tom, Phyllis, and Leslie in Sylvia, and Ian in The Other Place (Ouray County Players). Above all, he finds it delightful to play in Ouray County, whether in the high school English classroom, on the fencing strip, out in the mountains, or, of course, onstage with UpstART. 

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Ann Dettmer (Sunday afternnon)

“An epiphany came about on a canvas in a painter’s studio one day. It had to do with the path through the oil and pigment and soul… with the ridges and strokes of search, despair, discovery. The painter got lost in the sacred paint… floundered there, grieved there, loved there. All pretense fell away and the painter returned, exhausted and new.”

To facilitate a more immersive experience, attendees at this presentation will be encouraged to touch paintings and run their fingers over the brushstrokes on canvas, to handle the embellished papers, to pick up the brushes, paint tubes and tools stained from use... in short, to experience visual art on a  tactile, intimate level more akin to the painter's experience which is usually reserved for the privacy and sacred confines of her studio.

Highly respected by artists and collectors throughout the US, Dettmer lives and paints in the mountains of southwest Colorado. Her far- reaching interests are demonstrated by a broad range of subject matter; all of her work, however, maintains the strong vision and underlying mystery which are her signature. She has been the subject of numerous articles, recipient of many awards and is featured in Ann Templeton's last book "Color and Beyond."