A letter from TLAN founder Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg

As I retire from volunteering for the TLA Network, I’m in awe of the work we do make brave spaces for individuals and communities to break silences, build connections, and envision and embody greater justice, peace, and meaning in our lives.

One of the miracles of TLA is how it helps us grow our sense of belonging. Just by coming together in classes, conferences, trainings, and other projects, we can often find the people who really “get us” and resonate with the song our heart is singing and the work of our callings. Like many of you, I’ve drawn great strength, inspiration, and courage from being with other transformative language artists, which I try to pay forward in my writing, workshops, classes, coaching, and consulting.

I have great trust in the generous leadership of the TLA Network, and I want to give a shout-out in particular to Wendy Thompson, who is bringing her considerable vision to chair the classes committee, something I’ve done for so many years I can’t remember when I started. I have great faith in TLAN’s council, our leadership body, chaired by Liz Burke-Cravens, as they look at TLA and TLAN with new eyes in this time of fast-moving change and challenge.

My work encompasses online classes, Zoom workshops (particularly with people living with serious illness, a group I’ve worked with for 17 years), and coaching people on writing, facilitation, and right livelihood.

I’m grateful to TLAN for helping Laura Packer and me launch Your Right Livelihood, now an independent project in the process of developing a partnership with TLAN.

I spend my days, even when it gets crazy-hot (as it does in Kansas) on the porch, writing blog posts and poetry about the pandemic and a memoir about healing, cancer, and climate.

Being outside to witness the undaunted beauty and grace of the living earth led me to writing (and consequently, TLAN) in the first place, and continues to feeds my soul.

Please Help the TLA Network Grow! – A Letter From Liz and Hanne

Dear TLA friends and members,

Thank you for being part of the Transformative Language Arts Network. Our network continues to grow, and we are delighted to be building community with you – one of the powerhouse poets, writers, word-smiths, spoken word artists, storytellers, and deeply engaged community activists, health professionals, educators and others who make up our incredible network!

We write to ask you to consider making a contribution to support the work of the TLA Network, a not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) organization.

Your contribution will go far in helping us expand our reach, and build on our Power of Words conference, online classes, Chrysalis: A Journal of TLA, and blog to offer all kinds of communities ways to amplify voices and visions for a better world.

The TLA Network serves as a supportive community of thoughtful and engaged practitioners, activists, health professionals, educators, and community leaders dedicated to making the world a better place. In these times, finding our voice, sharing our words, and pulling people together to effect change through the power of words is especially essential. With the rise of corporate-controlled media and the increasingly fractured world of social media, it is crucial that our work and our voices find solid purchase, that we develop new audiences, and that our words continue to serve as invaluable calls to action.

TLAN is also on the cusp of greater reach and effectiveness than ever before with a renewed vision, a new director, and our delight in featuring U.S. Poet Laureate Joy Harjo as our keynoter at our next Power of Words conference, October 30 – November 1, 2020, in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

At our recent Power of Words conference this past September, in Phoenix, Arizona, we met many amazing TLA Network members who eagerly shared what a difference the TLA Network and our conference make in their lives. In the short time since we started our roles as TLA Network Chair and Managing Director, we have witnessed how many dozens of people find greater meaning, vitality, and connection through our vibrant online classes, the Your Right Livelihood training, and our TLA Foundations certification.

We imagine you’ve experienced your own stories: friendships forged, collaborations created, and enormous good work enacted. People leave our conference, classes, and trainings feeling reconnected, rejuvenated, energized — inspired to continue doing powerful work that changes the world.

We ask you to contribute toward any of the following:

  • Scholarships for the Power of Words conference so that we can widen the circle to include more folks who are economically disadvantaged, more young people and people of color, those living with disabilities, and others on the margins who have something vital to say and share,
  • Scholarships for our online classes and to support people immersing themselves in right livelihood training,
  • Helping underwrite some of our keynoters, including Joy Harjo, for the 2020 Power of Words conference,
  • Website re-design to better communicate the scope of our work and depth of our vision, or
  • General operating expenses so that we can expand our capacity to reach more who would benefit from the power of words in their lives and communities.

To the power of words,

Hanne Weedon, Managing Director                                     Liz Burke-Cravens, Council Chair

Welcome to Hanne Weedon, Our New Managing Director

The Transformative Language Arts Network announces the hiring of Hanne Weedon as our new Managing Director. Hanne comes to TLAN with over 20 years of leadership and program development experience in not-for-profit and government-funded organizations. A longtime community, arts and social justice advocate, she resonates with the goals and values of the TLA Network, as she explains:

We are at such an interesting and challenging moment, with all that is happening in our families, our communities, and on our planet. There is much important work to be done to shift the trajectory, and there are exciting opportunities to have real and significant impact on what comes next. Artists have always played crucial roles in times of social transformation, and I feel truly honored and  lucky to have been invited to play a leadership role around supporting, empowering and engaging with storytellers dedicated to using their art to further social justice issues!

Hanne is committed to working collaboratively with TLAN members to expand the organization’s reach. Her previous experience bears this out: She co-founded Women Creating CommUNITY Landsdowne, a start-up community-based arts program, headed up a government-funded arts-and-economic development initiative in her town, helped build a national nonprofit dedicated to supporting working families, and has worked with a variety of large and small nonprofits as a fund raiser. In an earlier iteration, she also worked as a labor organizer, ran a small side business making wedding dresses, and made a living as a bike messenger.

As a community member and deeply engaged parent, Hanne built a flourishing neighborhood association of 1000+ neighbors, created a diverse and vibrant parent-led play group and preschool in her town, and has led peer counseling workshops, trainings and classes for young people and adults alike. A first-generation American, Hanne’s ties to family and friends overseas run deep, and her appreciation for, understanding of and dedication to building representative, inclusive and diverse communities is a core aspect in all her work. To say her name (it’s Norwegian): Hah-nah. 

“Hanne brings us deep experience in board development, non-profit management, marketing, fundraising, and administration to reach many new communities at a time when finding, amplifying, and witnessing our individual and collective stories is crucial,” says Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, one of the founders of the TLA Network.

Hanne is now available for your TLA Network questions at director@TLANetwork.org.