John Z. Amoroso
In his earlier years, John was a professional jazz, rock and roll and classical musician before attending the certificate program in painting at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in 1984. For almost 10 years he dedicated his creative time to fine art photography and studied under wildlife photographer Joseph McDonald and famed fine art photographer Paul Caponigro. For the last 15 years John has concentrated his creative activities on painting and multi-media arts with a focus on transpersonal art.
John holds a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the Union Institute and University as well as an MBA from Temple University and a BS in Molecular Biology.
While engaging in his creative endeavors, for 30 years he has maintained a full time psychotherapy practice in the Philadelphia area in addition to a part time teaching schedule in private venues and at the graduate level in clinical psychology, transpersonal psychology and creativity studies. During those years he served on 26 doctoral committees.
In his clinical practice, John specialized in past life regression utilizing Integrated Imagery – a technique he developed using hypnosis to enable clients to access their unconscious process. Through his research and clinical practice he also developed a psychological model – Complex Psychology – which identifies positive and negative themes or complexes that play out in one’s course of life.
It was in 2012 through the Fourth Dimension Press that he published Awakening Past Lives: A step by step guide to self discovery. This is a self help book that enables that reader to explore their personal positive and negative complexes through Integrated Imagery on the path to clarifying their unique sense of Soul Purpose as well as their inherent creative talents. PROJECT PAGE
John Briggs, holds a PhD in aesthetics and psychology from the Union Institute and University, an MA in English from New York University, and a BA from Wesleyan University in Connecticut. He has authored and co-authored several books on chaos, fractals and creativity, including Metaphor, the Logic of Poetry (Pace University Press); Fire in the Crucible (St. Martin’s Press), Fractals: The Patterns of Chaos (Simon & Schuster) Looking Glass Universe (Simon & Schuster), and Turbulent Mirror (HarperCollins). Patterns of Chaos is being reissued by Echo Point Press. Prof. Briggs was the editor of a 2012 collection of essays, Creativity & Compassion, How They Come Together (Karuna Press).
Prof. Briggs taught for 14 years on the Humanities Faculty of the New School for Social Research. During the 1970s and 1980s he was Managing Editor of New York Quarterly and co-host of The Logic of Poetry Show for PBS station WNYC.
For 25 years, beginning in1987, he taught at Western Connecticut State University where he was named one of 12 Distinguished Connecticut State University Professors for the four-campus system. He served as co-chair of the English Department and was one of the founders of the Department of Writing, Linguistics and Creative Process. He was one of the principal developers of the MFA in Professional and Creative Writing. He is the former senior editor of Connecticut Review. He retired in 2012 as emeritus Professor of aesthetics and writing from Western Connecticut State University.
Briggs began his career as a journalist for the Gannet Newspapers in Westchester, NY, and The Hartford Courant.
Briggs’ fiction and poetry has appeared in such publications as Cream City Review; Northwest Review, Iowa Review, Prairie Schooner; Parting Gifts; New Novel Review; Manifold; Ibis Review; Paragraph; Art Times; Drunken Boat; and Café Irreal. His collection of stories, Trickster Tales, appeared with Fine Tooth Press in 2005. He co-author a chapbook of stories and poems with James R. Scrimgeour entitled Entangled Landscapes, the mind in nature. (Pudding House Press).
He has been a science writer for Omni magazine and Science Digest. He is the author of many articles on creative process and creative genius. These publications include chapters in Advances in Consciousness Research; Voices on the Threshold of Tomorrow; Quantum Implications (Routledge); The Variety of Dream Experience, and others. He is a Fellow at the Black Earth Institute. His article on animism and the environment appeared in the Nov. 2015 issue of the scientific journal Explore.
Briggs is also a fine art photographer with recent shows at the Cello Factory Gallery in central London and The Jasper Rand Museum in Westfield, Mass. He is a student of the famed landscape photographer Paul Caponigro.
From 1987-1992 Briggs served on the three-person Board of Selectmen for his New England town of Granville, Massachusetts, and was for the 10 years following one of the town’s voluntary policeofficers. PROJECT PAGE
Stephen Dydo is a composer, guitarist, and master of the Chinese qin. He has written for virtually all musical media. His compositions include vocal and choral works, as well as various combinations of instrumental and electronic media. He has recently written a number of pieces for Asian musicians using 8th century sources; these have been performed in New York, Cambridge, Berlin, Taipei and London. He was a featured guqin soloist in the Jiangsu Qin Conference in 2002 in Suzhou and has performed in many solo concerts in New York, and at the Sevenoaks Music Festival in England; in 2006, he presented his creation, the electric qin, in performance in Beijing. In 2000 he cofounded the New York Qin Society, of which he was president from 2005 to 2015.
At the same time, interest in the music and culture of the Himalayas brought him twice to Ladakh (the Indian part of Tibet), where he gathered recordings of traditional musicians which are commercially distributed. In the US, he is involved with a Buddhist center in Connecticut and worked with Western Connecticut State University in Danbury to bring the Dalai Lama there in 2012. This served as a catalyst for the creation of the Center for Compassion, Creativity and Innovation, where he serves on the Governing Board.
Recently, he has collaborated with the English artist Susan Haire on a number of large-scale multimedia projects, all involving music unfolding in space as well as time: One, riverrun, at the Hammond Museum in New York, was a reflection on the power of water; another, La vita nuova, developed themes from Dante’s work. Ten thousand currents showed for six months in 2009 in Maidstone, Kent. In 2010 they mounted two shows in the Netherlands, at the OutLINE Amsterdam and the International Water House in The Hague. Spring 2012 saw their 15-installation show Reflection occupying the entire cathedral at Peterborough, UK for two months; a smaller version was created for the visit of the Dalai Lama to Western Connecticut State University in Danbury three months later. The premiere of As Above, so Below at the 2014 Borealis Festival in Bergen has been followed by presentations at SEAMUS 2015 and NYCEMF.
His awards include the Bearns Prize and a BMI award. He developed computer music in Utrecht for two years under a Fulbright grant, and has received fellowships from Weir Farm, Meet the Composer and the Composers Conference. He studied at Columbia University, where he received a doctorate in composition. PROJECT PAGE
Genette Nowak Merin
Genette Nowak Merin is a writer and English professor whose short stories and creative non-fiction have been published in the Connecticut Review and the Carrier Pigeon. After receiving a BA in English from Western Connecticut State University, Genette moved to New York City where she obtained an MFA in Fiction from The New School. Her work concentrates on the (im)morality of fiction in conjunction with effective ways to build bridges of empathy between writer and reader. In addition to creative writing, she has written for several arts and entertainment publications including Jezebel Music, Zink Magazine, and Tribe, and has interviewed icons such as Bob Weir of the Grateful Dead and fashion designer Christian Siriano.
Genette continues her literary journey with Between Lines Books and Arts. Her current project is a book on the not-so-pretty moments of motherhood; it is being published as a work in progress shedding light on the creative process.
Currently residing in Providence, Genette teaches literature and composition at Three Rivers Community College and the Community College of Rhode Island. PROJECT PAGE
Violinist, composer, essayist, conductor, recording artist
A native New Yorker, violinist Eric Lewis earned both his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in violin performance at the Manhattan School of Music. With encouragement from his teachers, violinist Rachmael Weinstock and world-renowned violist Lillian Fuchs, Mr. Lewis launched his own concert career in 1968 with the formation of the new Manhattan String Quartet. With Lewis as first violin, the group was soon known to classical music lovers the world over.
Their residency at Music Mountain, the chamber music center in Falls Village, Connecticut, brought his activities recognition as music director, teacher and first violinist of the international radio concert series from 1981 to ’89. Mr. Lewis served as U.S cultural ambassador to the former Soviet Union during the Glasnost era of the 1980’s, performing throughout that country until its dissolution in 1990. The Manhattan String Quartet’s recording of the Shostakovich Quartet Cycle was the only chamber music to be named by Time magazine in its best of 1991 classical list. He retired from the Manhattan Quartet in 2013 after 45 years as founder and first violinist.
Mr. Lewis, is now professor emeritus of the music faculty at Western Connecticut State University. He was for thirty five years teacher of violin and viola; director of chamber music and conductor of the WCSU orchestra. Prof. Lewis continues his association with the CUNY Graduate Center in New York City as professor of chamber music. He was instrumental in the formation of the Charles Ives Center for the Performing Arts, Danbury, Ct. beginning in 1978 with pianist Howard Tuvelle and singer Marian Anderson.
In recent years Mr. Lewis has broadened his concert and recording, performing with the several innovative ensembles, composing, and writing essays about music and its importance in human health. He is a founding member of Prometheus Ensemble (piano quintet); Delphi, a soprano and violin duo and the Elysium Chamber Orchestra where he is both conductor and violin soloist. Mr. Lewis is committed to bringing great music into the lives of school children and to date has performed more than a thousand young people’s concerts. His musical compositions range from solo, chamber works to composing projects reflecting Mr. Lewis’ diverse holistic interests such as cinematic sound tracks (Migration: the Journey of Mongolian Reindeer Herders Documentary) and a Lullaby Requiem for the children victims of violence. He is co-director of the Lewisonian School for Strings in Danbury, Connecticut where he makes his home with violinist/teacher Katherine Dorn Lewis. PROJECT PAGE