THE LOFT SESSIONS
Loft Sessions VII: Courage, Creativity, & Identity
            

Join inspired individuals from Boston and beyond to explore…

The Loft Sessions VII Flier: Courage, Creativity, and Identity


Click here to purchase your space for April 26!


Loft Sessions VII:

Courage, Creativity, and Identity

Saturday, April 26
7:30pm - 10:00pm (doors open at 7pm)

At the Venture Café 
@ the Cambridge Innovation Center
1 Broadway, 5th Floor
Cambridge, MA 
(Steps away from the Kendall Square T-Stop, Red Line)

Featuring:

Nadia Manzoor
Dr. Jason Hill

Live Music by The Stretch Collective
Photo Booth by Tara Jones Photography
Food & Drink by Capone’s Kitchen and Flourish Boston

Conversation with YOU!

Admission: $25
Space is Limited

Click here to purchase your space!
 

It’s going to be a unforgettable evening!

I can’t wait to see you there!

With warm regards,
Kenzo

PS. In case you’ve missed some of my past emails, here’s some great content on our featured talent:

Burq_Off_Moral_Courage

Click here to watch Nadia Manzoor on “Burq Off!” from Moral Courage TV (4 minutes)

Jason_Hill
Nadia_on_CNN
In 4 minutes…Burq Off!!
            

Produced for Moral Courage TV (“the most inspiring channel on YouTube”), I have for you a wonderful & powerful 4 minute film on Nadia Manzoor and her acclaimed one-woman show "Burq Off!" 

In Cambridge, MA, on Saturday, April 26, Nadia will perform an excerpt from “Burq Off!” as part of our Loft Sessions VII: Courage, Creativity, and Identity. In this 4 minute feature (linked below), you’ll see clips of some of the 21 characters she embodies in her show, drawn from her own journey as a British-Pakistani-Muslim woman transcending conflicting cultural norms towards self acceptance. You’ll feel her culture-shaking passion as she speaks to what’s motiviating her. And you’ll also get a shot of some of her phenomenal street dancing skills!

Improv artist gets real about life as a brown girl in Britain

Click here to watch Nadia Manzoor on “Burq Off!” from Moral Courage TV (4 minutes)

On April 26, along with Nadia Manzoor, we’ll also be featuring a talk by the profound and provocative Dr. Jason Hill, professor of philosophy at DePaul University (as seen in my email last week). We’ll rock out to our awesome jazz-funk-hip-hop house band The Stretch Collective. We’ll have delicious food and drink. We’ll have the warm social-space architecture of The Venture Café. And most importantly, we’ll have you! 

Loft Sessions VII:

Courage, Creativity, and Identity

Saturday, April 26
7:30pm - 10:00pm (doors open at 7pm)

At the Venture Café 
@ the Cambridge Innovation Center
1 Broadway, 5th Floor
Cambridge, MA 
(Steps away from the Kendall Square T-Stop, Red Line)

Admission: $25
Space is Limited

Click here to purchase your space!

THIS IS GOING TO BE A PHENOMENAL EVENING.

I can’t wait to see you there!

With warm regards,
Kenzo

He’ll take you there…
            

Jason Hill

Returning to our April 26 Loft Session will be Dr. Jason Hill, professor of philosophy at DePaul University, and author of several books including: Becoming a Cosmopolitan: What it Means to be a Human Being in the New Millennium, and Civil Disobedience and the Politics of Identity: When We Should Not Get Along. 

Dr. Hill was our featured speaker at our debut Loft Session in February 2013. Now that it’s been a year of many spectacular Sessions, we’re honored to have him back to the forum that he helped kick off!

As I wrote you last week, our April 26 Loft Session will also feature Nadia Manzoor, performing an excerpt from her acclaimed one-woman show Burq Off! (just covered this week in The Daily Beast). In the show, she embodies a cast of 21 characters drawn from her own journey as a British Pakistani Muslim struggling through conflicting cultural norms towards self acceptance. We simply couldn’t think of a greater mind and voice today than Dr. Hill to speak to the kind of moral courage that’s required to create one’s own authentic identity. Here’s a quote by him from one of his books:

Rather than waiting for others to create a world that you yearn for, a world that must be in place for your so-called true self to emerge, you imbue the world with the noblest of values wrought from the depths of a dissatisfied spirit whose hunger only you can sate. Moral creativity satisfies this hunger, and in the process it provides the world with a new model, a new paradigm of existing and of dealing with your fellow human beings. In your efforts, you are in effect forging the honorable traditions of tomorrow.

Click here to see and learn more about Dr. Hill’s books available on Amazon.com

This is a magnificient Loft Session lining up for you: Nadia Manzoor & Jason Hill. In next week’s email, I’ll reveal to you even more featured talent for the evening, and the link to purchase your ticket.

SAVE THE DATE: Saturday April 26!

Thank you as always for your interest, attention, and support.

With warm regards,
Kenzo

PS. Here’s some photos from the amazing Signal Salon we had last Saturday night at our South Boston loft, featuring author Michael Wombacher via Skype from San Francisco. He spoke to an excerpt on Beauty from his upcoming book: The Purpose Driven Cosmos: Evolution and the Search for Meaning.

Signal_Salon_3_Dinner

Signal_Salon_3_Hanging

Signal_Salon_3_Watching

And here’s a “behind-the-scenes” shot. It’s our test run earlier that day of Skyping Michael in from San Francisco. We were all delighted with how intimate it felt to bring him to the salon virtually…It’s opened the possibilities of the speakers we can bring for future Signal Salons!

Signal_Salon_3_Testing

"I started to unravel at an early age…"
            

Nadia_ManzoorLet me introduce you to Nadia Manzoor. She’s a dazzling actor, comedian, and cultural critic. We’re honored to have her as one of the featured talent at our upcoming Loft Session on April 26 at the Venture Cafe (in the Cambridge Innovation Center in Kendall Square).

Nadia will perform an excerpt from her acclaimed autobiographical one woman show, “Burq Off” (currently showing in New York).In the show, she embodies a cast of 21 characters drawn from her own journey as a British Pakistani Muslim struggling through conflicting cultural norms towards self acceptance. It’s a story infused with comedy, cultural critique, and philosophical depth. And as a former street dancer, she’s got some poppin’ sprinkled in there too. 

"I grew up in London, went to an all white, all girls English school. While my blonde friends were teaching me about handjobs and smoking, I was learning how to be a good Musilm in my home. Constantly perplexed between the cultural dichotomy of the English and the Pakistani, I started to unravel at an early age, and later on find myself again through the page."

I’d like to share with you Nadia’s recent interview on CNN (4 min) where her passion and inspiration behind this show really shines through:

Nadia Manzoor interviewed on CNN about


Click here to watch Nadia Manzoor’s 4 minute interview on CNN from December 2013

 
We’re so thrilled that we’re bringing to Boston a sneak peek of her boundary-breaking show. I will let you know in next week’s email about some of the other amazing talent we’ve got lined up for the April 26 Loft Session! 

It’s going to be an unforgettable event…Save that date!

With warm regards,
Kenzo

Friday @ MIT: She’s important…
            

I planned on letting you in on some of the talent for our upcoming Loft Session on April 26, but then this came up—and I had to let you know! This Friday, March 14, 7pm, at MIT, there’ll be a free screening of the recently released award-winning documentary on social activist legend Grace Lee Boggs.

Grace Lee Boggs is a fiery 98-year-old Chinese American woman in Detroit, who’s still blazing today as a writer, activist, and philosopher. Her life has traversed the major U.S. social movements of the last century; from labor to civil rights, to Black Power, feminism, the Asian American and environmental justice movements and beyond. She offers a novel vision of America’s future that’s emerged from her epochs of hard won experience in the trenches of social change. 

"American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs" by director Grace Lee, will be shown at 77 Massachusetts Avenue, in BLDG [4-270] of MIT’s campus. Here’s a trailer for the film:

Trailer for

Click to watch the trailer for “American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs

And on other upcoming news, our 3rd Signal Salon will be on Saturday, March 22, 6pm-9pm at our South Boston Loft. We’ll be featuring author Michael Wombacher who’ll be speaking to an excerpt on Beauty from his upcoming book: The Purpose Driven Cosmos: Evolution and the Search for Meaning.

Click here to read “Beauty”: an excerpt from Michael Wombacher’s upcoming book

 
With Featured Guest
Michael Wombacher
“Beauty”
from his upcoming book: 
The Purpose Driven Cosmos: Evolution and the Search for Meaning
 
 
6pm – 9pm
 
The Signal Building
154 West 2nd Street
South Boston, MA 02127
 
A delicious dinner and refreshments will be included along with
Ample time for socializing and great conversation
 
Admission: $15

WombacherThis upcoming book will be Michael’s fourth book. His last book, “11 Days at the Edge”, published by Findhorn Press, was endorsed by two time Nobel Peace Prize nominee Ervin Laszlo, and which evolutionary thinker Barbara Marx Hubbard called “epic in scope and purpose.” When Michael’s not writing, he’s a highly successful dog trainer, having done over 25,000 private behavioral consultations, including for high profile celebrities such as: Robin Williams, Charles Schwab, Linda Ronstadt, Sharon Stone, Barry Levinson, Kirk Hammett (of Metallica), Joe Satriani, and many others. He’s written two books drawn from his expertise with dogs.

And to announce again, our next Loft Session will be on Saturday, April 26. I’ll really send something out about one of our incredible featured talent in next week’s email!  :-) 

Thank you as always for your interest, attention, and support!

With warm regards,
Kenzo

Beauty…
            

From all of us at the Signal Collective, we cordially invite you to our third Signal Salon on Saturday, March 22nd from 6pm-9pm at our South Boston Loft. Our salon will have its usual signature elements: a delicious dinner with drink, a wonderfully intimate atmosphere for lively conversation, and a featured speaker giving a concise, thought-provoking talk. For this evening, we’ve invited author Michael Wombacher, who’ll be presenting from San Francisco via Skype. Click here to reserve your space at the salon. 

Michael is currently writing a book entitled The Purpose Driven Cosmos: Evolution and the Search for Meaning. His intention behind the book is to help convey the potent philosophical significance of the fact that we live in an evolving universe. In the book, Michael pulls together many strands of contemporary thinking from the fields of cosmology, evolution, philosophy, and theology to explore questions of both human and cosmic meaning and purpose in an enormous context.

For his 20 minute talk, he’ll speak to the essence of an excerpt of the book on the moral purpose of Beauty. This will be followed by Q&A and open discussion. 

Below in the Chinese character for Beauty, I’ve linked Michael’s beautifully written and extensively researched excerpt. Please note: it’s not necessary to read the excerpt before seeing his talk.

Click here to read “Beauty”: an excerpt from Michael Wombacher’s upcoming book

 
With Featured Guest
Michael Wombacher
“Beauty”
from his upcoming book: 
The Purpose Driven Cosmos: Evolution and the Search for Meaning
 
 
6pm – 9pm
 
The Signal Building
154 West 2nd Street
South Boston, MA 02127
 
A delicious dinner and refreshments will be included along with
Ample time for socializing and great conversation
 
Admission: $15

WombacherThis upcoming book will be Michael’s fourth book. His last book, “11 Days at the Edge”, published by Findhorn Press, was endorsed by two time Nobel Peace Prize nominee Ervin Laszlo, and which evolutionary thinker Barbara Marx Hubbard called “epic in scope and purpose.” When Michael’s not writing, he’s a highly successful dog trainer, having done over 25,000 private behavioral consultations, including for high profile celebrities such as: Robin Williams, Charles Schwab, Linda Ronstadt, Sharon Stone, Barry Levinson, Kirk Hammett (of Metallica), Joe Satriani, and many others. He’s written two books drawn from his expertise with dogs.

And to announce again, our next Loft Session will be on Saturday, April 26. I’ll send something out about one of our incredible featured talent in next week’s email!

Thank you as always for your interest, attention, and support!

With warm regards,
Kenzo

Everyone has to go through it…
            

Following on from last week’s email on confidence, I wanted to share with you this remarkable 2-minute film featuring public radio personality Ira Glass (of This American Life). In this short piece, he speaks volumes on the kind of perseverance it takes to be successful in one’s creative work. While he’s addressing people who pursue creative work professionally, I found his message completely applicable to areas in my life where I’m trying to close the gap between my higher ambitions and what I actually produce.

And along with Glass’s deeply motivational and inspirational talk, the accompanying visual narrative by photographer Daniel Sax is outstanding. Enjoy!


Click here to watch Daniel Sax’s short film “The Gap” featuring Ira Glass

 
As I wrote last week, we’re super excited to announce our next Loft Session will be on Saturday, April 26. I’ll let you know soon about the program we’ve planned!

And on Saturday, March 22, from 6pm-9pm at our South Boston loft, we’ll be hosting our 3rdSignal Salon. Along with our usual delicious dinner and drink (which we’ve gotten unanimous rave reviews on), we’ll be skyping in from San Francisco author Michael Wombacher on his upcoming book The Purpose Driven Cosmos: Evolution and the Search for Meaning.

He’ll give a 20-minute talk on an excerpt from his book on the moral implications of beauty, followed by a short open discussion. Here’s a snippet from the excerpt:

“Beauty has long puzzled me. What is its point and why should we perceive it? Or perhaps more properly, why should we at times be moved by it so deeply? Its stirring poignancy, when felt most profoundly, seems so far in excess of its utility…

There seems to me to be no obvious advantage to being drawn into rapturous stillness by the majesty of a crimson sunset or the cavorting of butterflies across poppy dotted fields. Yet such things happen and, with the veil of the mundane momentarily dissolved, these poignant perceptions often strike us as the deepest reason for living.”


Next week, I’ll send out the link to reserve your space at the salon.

Thank you as always for your interest, attention, and support!

With warm regards,
Kenzo

Confidence is…
            

If you’ve been to a Loft Session before, you’ve seen my good friend Steve Haase breathing fire out of his trumpet as part of our slammin’ house band The Stretch Collective. Below is a photo of Steve in action at one of last year’s Sessions.

Steve recently wrote an uplifting and lighthearted blog post for Aquin Yoga that I wanted to share with you. It’s his insightful reflections on what confidence is, and a fresh take on how we can find more of it (he uses the evolution of his own stellar musicanship as an example). Steve and his fiancée Erin Aquin are conducting a yearlong holistic leadership course called Project One, and their blog is drawn from their ongoing work. I hope you find it as inspiring as I did!

Steve Haase on trumpet at the Loft Sessions


Click here to read Steve Haase’s blog post, “Four Sources of Confidence” 

And it’s official: our next Loft Session will be on Saturday, April 26. I know, it’s a while; but it’ll be worth the wait. We’ve got a program in the works for you that we’re seriously excited about… 

We’ve also have our next Signal Salon on Saturday, March 22, which will feature author Michael Wombacher on his upcoming book, The Purpose Driven Cosmos: Evolution and the Search for Meaning.

Stay tuned for more updates!

Thank you so much as always for your attention, interest, and support.

With warm regards,
Kenzo  

PS. Here’s a few photos from our last Signal Salon on February 8. Special thanks to chefs Dan Capone & Diane Bensel for their mind-blowing Afghani-inspired meal. And deep thanks also to our featured presenter Melissa Burch for her stirring talk and facilitated discussion on her upcoming memoir “Lessons Learned Going into a War Zone”.

Signal_Salon_II_(Dinner) 

Signal_Salon_II_(Talk)

Signal_Salon_II_(Groups)

Happy Friday!!…
            

Here’s a paradox for you: the subject line of this email is "Happy Friday", but I’m sharing a video with you entitled “Existential Bummer”… it’s a 3 minute video featuring the ridicuously awesome human firecracker from the future Jason Silva musing upon a documented conversation between Sigmund Freud and poet Rainer Maria Rilke on the transience of life.

It’s fiery, fun, poignant, and deep…I hope it gives a kickstart to your weekend and a contemplation on what it means to be truly happy!  

Jason Silva's Existential Bummer...


And last reminder! This Saturday, February 8, will be our next Signal Salon, which will take place at our South Boston Loft from 6pm to 9pm.

Click here to reserve your seat (limited to 30)

For this intimate evening, we’ll offer a delicious dinner & drink, conversation, and we’ve invited author Melissa Burch to speak about her upcoming book, My Journey Through War and Peace: Explorations of a Young Filmmaker, Feminist and Spiritual Seeker.

Her 20-minute talk for the evening is entitled, “Lessons Learned from Going into a War Zone”. It’s about the Hero’s Journey, myth-making, and what it takes to “face your fears and do it anyway”.

Melissa’s talk will draw upon material from her book. It’s a memoir about her discovery of a profound connection to something greater than herself, in the midst of danger and adventure in Afghanistan during the Soviet invasion, and in the Soviet Union during the Cold War.

With Featured Guest
Melissa Burch
“Lessons Learned from Going into a War Zone”
Saturday, February 8, 2014
6pm – 9pm
The Signal Building
154 West 2nd Street
South Boston, MA 02127
A light dinner and refreshments will be included along with
Ample time for socializing and great conversation
Admission: $15

* To preserve the intimacy of the event we’re limiting our number of participants to 30
** For all who are attending, Melissa asks you to contemplate a time in your life when you overcame fear, so we can journey together, and share our personal experiences as myth-makers

We’re really delighted with this new forum for more regular gatherings. Also please stay tuned about our upcoming year-anniversary Loft Session!

Thank you as always, and hope to see you soon.

With warm regards,
Kenzo

PS. Thank you Steve Haase for flagging this terrific video!

Your Life = 28,835 Days…
            

My friend shared with me this astonishing 3 minute video that uses thousands of jellybeans (28,835 to be exact) to show how precious the time we have to live really is. 

As you settle into your weekend, I hope this video inspires a deeper appreciation for whatever you love to do!

Your life = 28,835 days...What will you do with that time?


Another reminder: next Saturday, February 8, will be our next Signal Salon, which will take place at our South Boston Loft from 6pm to 9pm.

Click here to reserve your seat (limited to 30)

For this intimate evening, we’ll offer a delicious dinner & drink, conversation, and we’ve invited author Melissa Burch to speak about her upcoming book, My Journey Through War and Peace: Explorations of a Young Filmmaker, Feminist and Spiritual Seeker.

Her 20-minute talk for the evening is entitled, “Lessons Learned from Going into a War Zone”. It’s about the Hero’s Journey, myth-making, and what it takes to “face your fears and do it anyway”.

Melissa’s talk will draw upon material from her book. It’s a memoir about her discovery of a profound connection to something greater than herself, in the midst of danger and adventure in Afghanistan during the Soviet invasion, and in the Soviet Union during the Cold War.

 
With Featured Guest
Melissa Burch
“Lessons Learned from Going into a War Zone”
 
Saturday, February 8, 2014
 
6pm – 9pm
 
The Signal Building
154 West 2nd Street
South Boston, MA 02127
 
A light dinner and refreshments will be included along with
Ample time for socializing and great conversation
 
Admission: $15

* To preserve the intimacy of the event we’re limiting our number of participants to 30
 
** For all who are attending, Melissa asks you to contemplate a time in your life when you overcame fear, so we can journey together, and share our personal experiences as myth-makers

 

We’re really delighted with this new forum for more regular gatherings. Also please stay tuned about our upcoming year-anniversary Loft Session!

Thank you as always, and hope to see you soon.

With warm regards,
Kenzo

PS. Special thanks to Sam Rosen for spotlighting this wonderful & thought-provoking video!