Ian Levy is a hip-hop , trumpet player, and educator who uses rap as a medium for self-expression. It is through the creation of his music that he is able to understand and move past different points of struggle in his life. Ultimately he seeks to inspire others to find their vessel for self-expression and emotional exploration.
Ian created a workshop called the “Find Your Voice” lyric writing workshop. The workshop aims to give students a broader understanding of the lyric writing process (i.e. rhyming patterns, rhythmic phrases, understanding what inspires us to write). The workshop also focuses on displaying Ian’s personal writing process, through discussion and rap performance, with the purpose of explaining how useful lyrics can be as a means for descriptive emotional expression. His goal is to instill a sense of comfort and confidence in whatever voices the students chose.
Ian will be creating Conscious Hip Hop workshops for students.
Jenny Sauer-Klein is an internationally renowned teacher, coach, director and speaker. Her specialty is the design and delivery of transformational live events, from workshops and trainings to festivals and performances. She has dedicated her life to gathering people in real space and time and leveraging the power of collective consciousness to create radical positive change. She feels like the best version of herself when she is leading groups and is a self-proclaimed transformation junkie.
Jenny grew up in New York City, seeing shows on Broadway, and crying at the end of each one because she was so inspired every time. She has been living her life on stage since age 5, and graduated magna cum laude from Emerson College with a BFA in musical theater. She collaboratively created and performed in 2 full length shows with BoxTales Theatre Company at the Lobero Theater in Santa Barbara, California. She recently artistically directed the Wanderlust Spectacular, a fully original hour long show, known as the “the Cirque du Soleil of yoga”, touring internationally with the Wanderlust Festival.
As the co-founder of AcroYoga, Jenny has successfully developed a thriving international brand, community and organization from scratch. Over the past 14 years, she has trained tens of thousands of students in over 20 countries, and has certified hundreds of teachers. This movement, now with hundreds of thousands of practitioners on six continents, has been deemed a “global phenomenon” by Yoga Journal Magazine.
She is also the founder of The Movement Blueprint, where she works with mission-driven entrepreneurs and founders to create their own micro-movements and create a massive ripple effect with their message. She leads programs with help leaders learn how to rock the room and design powerful live events.
She is a regular presenter at events such as Yoga Journal Live, Wanderlust, Wisdom 2.0, Asia Yoga Conference, German Yoga Conference, Caribbean Yoga Conference, and Camp Grounded as well as at esteemed venues such as Esalen, Omega and Kripalu. Her work has been featured in publications such as The New York Times, Yoga Journal, Origin, Newsweek, Shape, and Elle.
Kate Gilroy is a writer, director and film producer. She holds bachelor’s degrees in English Literature and International Relations. She also has a master’s from NYU in Film and Television, the most prestigious film degree available. She is fortunate enough to count Ron Howard as a close mentor. She has had award-winning films in the Cannes Film Festival, and has had her work displayed in MOMA. She has also produced MTV videos for major artists. Kate creating and coordinating the Mission Be film.
Xavier Rodney is often described as a self-motivated, hard-working individual who loves the work he does! He is ecstatic to be apart of this gound-breaking program. Xavier received a BFA from SUNY Stony Brook University where he minored in Theatre and Digital Arts. He is a company member and Artistic Director of ‘Stories of Substance’, which uses drama, humor and music in a creative, powerful and efficient way to educate students about Alcohol, Tobacco & Other Drugs (ATOD). Mr. Rodney is currently in production of his web series, “Going Nowhere”, which he writes, directs and produces. He was born in Brooklyn, NY where he enjoys film-making, comedy, awesome… and shameless plugs.
Charles Barbieri has been working for the past 28 years of creating joyful times of children in kindergarten afternoon programs and after school activities. He has a Masters in Environmental Education and Peace Education. His interest include; building a global holistic educational experience for children; introducing non violent compassionate communication techniques to children; doing mindful parenting workshops for the past 16 years and Nature awareness education. Last year for the celebration of MLK day he created 20 jump ropes with elementary school children and created artwork to send to schools around the world encouraging world peace via “jump roping” all over the globe.
Charles will be involved in creative classroom curriculum development for the elementary students and a workshop for parents on mindful parenting.
Paul Tapogna taught in Islip Public Schools for 34 years mostly at the middle school level. While there he served on the founding committees of Islip Middle School, and he presented at two National Middle School Association conventions in St. Louis and Toronto on Middle School teaming.Paul also taught at Dowling College in the Education Department for twelve years as an Adjunct Professor.
Paul is a graduate of Fordham College and Stony Brook University. He met the love of his life, Kathleen, in a schoolyard in Brooklyn when she was a seventh grader and he an eighth. They have been married for 43 years, have three children, six grandchildren, and are still living in their “starter home” in East Islip. These days Paul is busy at St. Patrick’s Parish in Bay Shore teaching and working in other ministries.
Lisa Benson draws from a wealth of experience. She was stockbroker on Wall Street from 1983 to 1988, both in institutional and retail sales. After her second son was born she started teaching, and she successfully implemented a grammar curriculum into Chesapeake, Virginia middle schools. Moving to Fire Island, New York, she started a food co-op and wrote a manual for women’s gatherings. Later, she was the Managing Editor of the Fire Island Express, now the South Shore Monthly. Lisa is an Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher with Yoga Alliance and has been teaching this fountain of healing for over 20 years. This mother of two artistic, talented sons teaches mindfulness to teachers as well as students and is currently writing a book on mindfulness tips for teachers. Lisa currently teaches high school English on Long Island, teaches Yoga in Ocean Beach, Fire Island, and is an active member of the Ocean Beach Community Fund which raises funds for the communities of Fire Island.
Lisa will be assisting with editing the classroom curriculum and written materials. She will also be assisting in sub-committees on the creative end, as well as implementation into her own classrooms.
Mike Philson is CEO & Founder of MMP Guided Entertainment. As an international recording artist, songwriter & producer, writer, actor & filmmaker from Plainfield, New Jersey, Mike’s communicative art embodies the struggles, hopes, and dreams that persist in all of us. Through music, film, writing, and fashion, Mike shares entertaining stories of enlightenment, perseverance, and faith.
Additionally, Mike studied Government and was an on-campus cultural & civic leader, as well as an entrepreneur at Harvard University. Mike has a diverse set of experiences ranging from Investment Banking on Wall Street, Management Consulting in Private Equity & Technology, to running a global urbanwear fashion line sold in leading retailers & modeling for high-end brands, as well as educational mentoring & community leadership. He has recently launched a Superfoods beverage Company, Banana Wave Banana Milk, in efforts to make humanity healthy.
Philson has spoken at numerous engagements including industry-leading Conferences from Finance to Branding, also at Harvard University and Columbia University Events on Hip-Hop, entrepreneurship, Politics, and engaging urban communities. Mike Philson is a man of the people and steward of humanity & the arts.