Carrie Brunk and Bob Martin work with people and organizations to envision and enact a better world. We lead with our art, cultural and community organizing, transformative facilitation and stewardship of the land.
Carrie currently works primarily as a facilitator and coach to support transformative personal, organizational and systems change. Her approach is informed by two decades of experience in social change movements, community and coalition organizing, non-profit management, event production, popular education, leadership and organizational development. Carrie collaborates on projects ranging in scale from local communities to national networks and has experience in many sectors including arts, business, community development, government, grassroots organizations, labor, philanthropy and service.
Much of Carrie's current focus is the Ridgeway Transformative Leadership Experience, a program she designed to support Appalachia’s post-coal transition to a brighter future. Ridgeway is an intensive year-long experience that brings together cross-sector cohorts of regional leaders to focus on personal development, interpersonal awareness and network-building (more at RidgewayLeadership.net).
As a facilitator and coach working with folks near and far, Carrie has supported a wide range of incredible collaborators up to good work in the world (many of whom you can find here). Her approach is informed by personal experience and self-guided study as well as training with the Social Transformation Project, Presence-Based Coaching, generative somatics, the former Social Justice Leadership (SJL) and through joint programming of SJL and the Rockwood Leadership Institute. Carrie’s work and perspective is also influenced by extensive travel and cultural immersion abroad and throughout the U.S. as well as studies in economics, politics and history during a year-long Fulbright Fellowship at Oxford University.
At home on Clear Creek in the Appalachian foothills of East Kentucky, Carrie shares in the joy and responsibility of the woodlands and gardens, the mountain spring water, the off-grid power system, the community gathering infrastructure and all the rest. She serves as a co-host, curator and producer for what happens on the land through Clear Creek Creative ranging from abundant local farm-fresh performative feasts to rustic artistic residencies and learning exchanges to all sorts of other productions, festivals, celebrations and more. She has had the beautiful opportunity to discover herself as a creator in this setting through personal and collaborative endeavors in writing, theatrical devising & costuming, performance, visual & ceremonial installation, ceramic & multi-media works, sustainable & vernacular building as well as culinary & healing arts.
Carrie will be on a sabbatical of sorts in late 2018 through early 2019. The intent is to put a pause on external commitments and open space for many possibilities to arise, including long-intended personal artistic endeavors, more extensive gardens and the vision for a series of women's empowerment retreats that call to our evolutionary spirit and our inherent feminine capacity to bring about transformative change for the collective good at the personal and societal level.
Robert (Bob or Bobbyb) Martin works primarily as a community theater artist and cultural organizer, producer and educator to support people and communities in transformative change. His approach is informed by two decades of work within cultural organizations, community advocacy non-profits, schools and universities, businesses, media firms, theater and flim companies. He works intergenerationally and interculturally and has collaborated in projects ranging from rural Kentucky coalfields and farmlands to the urban centers of New York and New Orleans.
Bob's current artistic focus is the development of a solo performance, Ezell: Ballad of a Land Man, a piece that explores the root causes of domination behavior and land-based trauma in rural Appalachia. Ezell arises from years of research and content development in rural Kentucky through first-hand story gathering and devising as well as prior Clear Creek Creative ensemble work including Land, Water, Food Story and Where's That Power Gonna Come From?. Ezell was presented as a work-in-progress at Clear Creek, at Alternate ROOTS and at the Hurrican Gap Community Performance Institute in the summer and fall of 2018 and is in further development for a premier in 2019.
Bob has co-written, devised and directed dozens of community performance projects including Higher Ground: Talkin’ Dirt and Higher Ground: Find A Way with SECTC (Harlan Co, KY); HomeSong I, II, III with OCAT (Owsley County, KY); The Homecoming with the Cowan Creek Community Center (Letcher Co, KY); Los Voces de las Apalaches with the University of Kentucky Appalachian Center; Red Hook High and Rise Above at the NYTVFF (New York, NY). He has been a leader in the use of community story projects as a strategy of regeneration and equitable development, inspiring communities to reframe their narratives and rebuild their communities. In support of this body of work, he is a co-conceiver and producer of the Hurricane Gap Community Performance Institute which offers training, network-building and collaborative inspiration to community story practioners throughout East Kentucky.
As an educator, Bob has taught undergraduate theater courses at Eastern Kentucky University and has worked continously as a teaching artist in schools for students of all ages for over two decades. In addition to theatre and story-specific offerings, Bob provides professional development and facilitation focused on creative community engagement strategies, public speaking, media training and digital story development, cultural asset mapping, arts education curriculum design, team-building and project visioning.
Bob is an active member and former Board Chair for Alternate ROOTS and currently serves on the board of Carpetbag Theater (Knoxville, TN). Recent training and collaborative influences include residences with the Lincoln Center Theater Director's Lab (New York, NY), Double Edge Theater (Ashfield, MA) and Mondo Bizarro (New Orleans, LA). Bob holds a MA in Applied Theater from the City University of New York (CUNY) School of Professional Studies and a BFA in Classical Theater from the HARTT School. When home on Clear Creek, Bob is responsible for maintaining the off-grid homestead and community gathering grounds as well as driving the tractor and co-curating and producing works of transformative art, learning exchanges and artistic residencies, all sorts of other productions, festivals, celebrations and more.
Banner photo at page header by Carrie Brunk.