Music Workshop

Music at IA takes many forms. We have always welcomed a surprising number of talented instrumentalists to the conference and their talents are happily exploited in all sorts of times and places. The workshop, held every day from 3:30-5:00, is a choir, made up of anyone in the conference who likes to sing. Experience is not required, nor is the ability to read music, although experienced music readers are enthusiastically welcomed. Traditionally, we sing in chapel every morning, and often appear in the IA Follies, which is an all-conference talent show.

The music we sing varies from simple hymns to folk music to classical rounds to short anthems to African freedom songs to Broadway songs to original tunes written about Star to just about anything else you can think of. I deeply believe in the ability of virtually anyone to sing; to lend their voice to that of others in holding up everything that is good about life, and sharing it in song with everybody else. IA choir is a great place to try that out, whether it’s for the first time in your life, or whether it’s what you do all year long. Come and join your voice with ours and find out how much fun singing in a safe, non-judgmental, friendly atmosphere can be!

Beth Armstrong

Beth ArmstrongBeth Armstrong has been a choral director and UU church music director for over thirty years. She currently conducts three community choruses in Rhode Island. She is a member and frequent substitute director of the First Unitarian Church choir in Providence, Rhode Island. She started her Star Island connection as the island Music Director in 1997 and 1998, and has been coming to IA as the conference music workshop leader pretty much ever since. Her husband, Stewart, sings in the IA Choir and accompanies them on the piano. She couldn’t do her job very well without him.

Art Barn Workshop

All are welcome at the Art Barn, Star Island’s arts and crafts studio with stunning sea views from every window! As “The Oceans” is our theme this week, we’ll start right off creating mini-seascapes using a fiber technique called Needlefelting. We’ll work with merino fiber especially in blues and greens.

Mid-week we’ll use specialty paper and alcohol inks to create hand-dyed papers. Once dry the papers are dry, we’ll use them to create intricate pen and ink drawings of North Atlantic sea life and Star Island motifs.

For a final session, we’ll make felted Star faces and Earth globe ornaments with the remaining merino fiber!

The art barn workshops are geared to beginning artists as well as advanced. We all learn together. As always we’ll have drawing materials, pastels, watercolor, drawing boards that can be borrowed daily for artists who would like to work independently or in addition to the Art Barn session.

Julia Morgan

Julia MorganJulia Morgan is returning to lead the art barn workshop this year. She is the illustrator of The Bear Who Missed the Boat, written by her good friend and fellow Shoaler, Portia Williams Weiskel. Julia lives in Williamstown, Massachusetts with three daughters (triplets in college), a dog, a cat, and three llamas. She teaches as an Adjunct Art Professor at Manchester Community College in Connecticut and shows her work nationally and internationally. She loves leading overseas Art and Culture trips particularly to Egypt, India, and Provence, France.


Yoga and morning stretch classes are designed for beginners all the way up to experts. All are welcome to attend! Lisa’s classes will combine a warming flow with strengthening poses to open the heart and mind and deeply rejuvenating restorative poses to inspire profound listening and a fresh perspective. Classes also include deep relaxation, aromatherapy and meditation.

Lisa Weinert

Lisa Weinert is passionate about powerful voices and the potential of storytelling to heal and transform lives. She has worked with authors as a publicist, editor and agent for fifteen years and is the creator of the debut annual Program in Narrative Medicine at the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health (save the date: July 9-14, 2017).

Lisa WeinertShe launched Lisa Weinert Consulting (LWC) in 2011 to advocate for writers as they explore new opportunities in publishing. Over the years, she has produced dozens of book projects and publishing campaigns. She specializes in narrative nonfiction, personal narrative, wellness, women’s leadership and spirituality.

Lisa has completed a 500-hour certification at YogaWorks, and is also certified in Restorative and Therapeutic Yoga with Jillian Pransky. She teaches restorative yoga and curate STORYFLOW workshops pairing writing and yoga in New York City. She is also a visiting Professor at Wesleyan University in spring 2017 and speaks regularly on publishing innovation, publicity and narrative medicine.