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INSTRUCTORS

SUE GILBERT ABARE studied at Ohio State University & at the Cincinnati Art Museum. She has taught privately and at the Kaleidoscope School of Art in Barrington. Sue exhibits throughout the Midwest & South, has artwork in many private & public collections, and tries to devote most of her time developing her own paintings. Watercolor: Toes in the Water & Splashdown!

MICHAEL BETTINE has been working with percussion instruments for over 40 years. He has written various books on percussion and released over 40 recordings under his name. His long running blogs, The Way of the Gong™, Art As A Spiritual Practice, and, Percussion Deconstruction™, have been embraced by both the meditation/sound therapy, and percussion communities. He is also one half of the GONGTOPIA TAIRAKU duo, along with shakuhachi flute player, Brian Tairaku Ritchie (of Violent Femmes fame). Michael is also devoted to music education and has presented workshops on Gongs at the prestigious Percussive Arts Society International Convention (PASIC) in 2005 & 2012; and was the Artist in Residence at the 2016 MONA FOMA Festival in Hobart, Australia. Gongtopia in the Garden

KAREN BIASIN graduated from the University of St. Francis with a Master’s in Healthcare Administration. She works in a Cardiac Cath lab. Karen recently received her Reiki Master status. During her life journey, she has found the art of manifestation using vision boards and positive affirmations to make her dreams come true! Manifesting Your Heart's Destiny

MARGE BLAKE has been teaching children from preschool age to teenagers for over ten years. She is a Girl Scout Leader as well as the Spring River Service Unit Manager. Marge currently serves on the Womanspace Board of Directors and has been the chairperson for our Womanspace Fairy Festival for the past four years. One of the ways that Marge expresses her creativity is by sharing her love of art with children of all ages. Girl Scout World Thinking Day, Spiritual Encounters Group, Fairy Festival

HELEN BOND is a dynamic percussionist, teacher & storyteller who has found music to be an inspiration and source of strength and resiliency since her childhood. Since 2000, Helen has traveled regularly to Guinea, West Africa to study the intricate musical traditions and culture of the Malinke people, whose ancestors created the djembe and dunun drums centuries ago. She also teaches at retreats, local schools, colleges and universities. She is adjunct-faculty at Lake Forest College where she teaches the “West African Drumming Ensemble” class. Helen offers classes in Guinean percussion music, drum facilitation, and gives storytelling performances. medusadrums. com   Drumming Workshop

MARY BOYD, SSSF is a School Sister of St. Francis and just retired from the field of education after 52 years. She has an MA in Art History and was an Art Studio Major at NIU. She currently teaches art history classes at The Fine Line Creative Art Center and other groups. Art Lectures

DELORES BURKHOLDER has delighted people with a variety of sculpture and handbuilt clay art since 1997. As part of the American Kennel Club circuit, her pottery dogs are inspired by actual canines from around the world! Delores is one of our clay studio managers. Whimsical Handbuilt Creations

BETH CAMPISI is a Licensed Massage Therapist, Certified Chakra Instructor and Holistic Wellness Practitioner. Her focus and passion is helping others connect on the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual levels to achieve wholeness, balance and well being using Spirit led holistic Healing Arts modalities such as Reiki Energy Healing, Essential Oil Raindrop Therapy, Movement/Dance, Tuning Fork Therapy and Chakra balancing. Chakra Rhythms, Chakra Club

JEAN KATHRYN CARLSON, M.A., Dream Alchemist, speaker and author, considers it a gift to be alive at this time when we get to challenge traditional beliefs and consciously choose what we hold dear. She intuitively weaves dream interpretation, EFT, Law of Attraction and essential oils to welcome the magic in life that is available to each of us. Jean Kathryn is a certified Dream Group Facilitator, certified ProEFT Coach, and Law of Attraction Life Coach. Crone Series VI: Tap Out Aging; Tap in Youthing, Dream Circle

MICHELE (MICA) CASCARANO BERG, founder of Soulitary Journey LLC, is a past life intuitive, discovering past lives since the age of three and doing regression since 2001. Mica is a certified hypnotist trained by Dr. Brian Weiss, author of Many Lives, Many Masters. She offers group and private past life regression sessions integrating her skills as a certified life coach. An educator for over 35 years, holding an MS in Educational Leadership, she is also bilingual, with a BA in Spanish language and literature. Michele grew up in Rockford and officially resides in Milwaukee yet her spiritual pursuits have guided her to travel all over the US and abroad. Mica is currently working on her first book about her past and present life experiences. Past Life Regression, Past Life Regression Experiential Workshop

IFAT DERIWALA has been doing traditional Indian, Arabic and contemporary henna designs for 15 years. She loves to customize the designs to match her clients’ personalities and likes which puts a smile on their faces. As a mother to two beautiful kids, she loves to create a peaceful home for her family. She also has a Masters Degree in management from DeVry University. Minimalism: Stage 1 & 2, Girls' Night Out: Henna Tattoo!

JEANNETTE DIDDENS, LCSW has been helping professionals with burnout prevention for over two decades. From empowering new parents and aiding clinical therapists to guiding educators and administrators, Jeannette has found self-care to be the most effective tool for transforming compassion fatigue into personal and professional flourishing. Jeannette is a high school social worker with a private practice that specializes in burnout prevention and woman’s issues. She also hosts a podcast titled “Humanology” that dives into many human experiences. Helping the Helpers: Don't Develop Burnout

KATE DOWNING grew up in nearby Dixon, the daughter of two teachers. She obtained a degree in Finance at UWWhitewater, where she also completed on their NCAA bowling team. She still bowls recreationally with her husband and enjoys other hobbies such as tennis and photography. Kate entered the financial planning profession so that she could have a positive impact on people’s lives by helping them fulfill their financial goals and protect their families. How Are Finances Different for Women?

REBECCA DOWNING PELLEY is an award-winning art educator and watercolor painter. For 46 years, she helped foster curiosity, nurture critical thinking, and reward creativity in Rockford public and private schools. She's led Advanced Placement College level courses in Studio Art, 2D Design, and Art History. Pelley received the Mayor’s Art Award for Excellence in Teaching from the Rockford Area Arts Council,  the Golden Apple Award for exceptional teaching, and 13 Commendations from the National Scholastic Art Awards program. In 2017, she received the Northern Illinois University College of Visual and Performing Arts Outstanding Alumni Award for a lifetime of contributions to the visual arts in our region. An avid watercolorist, artist and writer, Pelley regularly exhibits her artwork and has published poems in the Rockford Review and Korone: Women’s Voices. Pelley’s watercolors and drawings have won awards and been selected for national, state and local exhibitions and are found in Midwest collections, such as at the Illinois State Museum, Rockford Art Museum and corporate locations. Pelley sees infinite potential in each student and has always enthusiastically embraced the responsibilities and challenges of her profession: “Exceptional teaching is marked by a teacher’s unquenchable fire and a fervent belief that she has the power to transform. She knows that her work is not merely essential, but always and ever a sacred trust.” The synergy of teaching is a source of endless excitement for her. Ink Drawing Plus, Basic Ink Drawing, Crash Course: Pastel Drawing


LINDA EWALT & JEAN SCHNACK are retired teachers who love clay and working at Womanspace with the fantastic people in clay classes! They look forward to helping students explore and expand their clay experience in a fun environment. Wild Women in Clay

DEBORAH GAINES is Program Coordinator for Womanspace. The writing classes she teaches were developed as part of her coursework at the California Institute of Integral Studies. She graduated with her MFA in Writing and Consciousness in 2012. Deb has been a Reiki Practitioner since 2003 and completed her Master Teacher training in 2009. Deb is the chair of the Wild Women Retreat Committee. She loves creating ritual and dancing with wild abandon. Reiki One & Two, Film & Discussion: City of Joy

BARRIE CARTER GIBBY works on that creative edge between the branches of words and movement expression. A long-time educator, community builder and labyrinth facilitator, Barrie interweaves her background in theater, design, music, and ritual-making to facilitate workshops and spiritual pilgrimages across the nation on a variety of themes. Her annual pilgrimage to the 13th c. Chartres Cathedral labyrinth, in Chartres, France, provides sacred inspiration for her ongoing labyrinth work. As a Veriditas Certified Advanced International Labyrinth facilitator, Barrie finds sacred spaces everywhere.  River Path Pilgrimage: Labyrinth & The Feminine Water Archetype, World Labyrinth Day: Walk As One at One

KAREN GINES is an artist known in the Rockford community for her abstract paintings. During her long career as an artist she participated in the summer art circuit on the coast of Northern California for ten years, had numerous one-woman and group shows, shown in galleries in California, Utah, Washington State and Illinois and taught art to both children and adults. She owned and operated a gallery in Rockford for ten years showing her fine art but also painting wall murals, furniture and ceramic tile. Click here to see her paintings.  Paint as Your Muse

MARSHA GOODHEART is a mixed media artist, who likes to color outside the lines. She has exhibited work locally for many years. Marsha says her work is spirit driven, like a form of meditation, it comes from her heart. Retablo Workshop 

DELINDA GRINDLE, LCSW, is a grief counselor and Director of Grief Services at kp counseling. Delinda holds a MSW and a Certification in Grief & Death Studies. In 2011, Delinda partnered with Fitzgerald Funeral Home & Crematory LTD., to develop the Soulprints Aftercare Program, a caring and sensitive program to assist those who have lost a loved one for a year following the death. Delinda assists the individuals’ and families’ journey through grief and loss, and provides opportunities to begin the process of embracing the uniqueness of their grief. Journeying through Grief, Healing through Creative Grieving

CHERIE HECK loves to play with art and has a serious addiction to art supplies. She teaches a number of art classes at Womanspace where she is also Art Program & Volunteer Coordinator. Her artistic talents are many and her beautiful creations have appeared in many of our art exhibits and fundraisers. Light Up Your Garden

ELAINE HIRSCHENBERGER is the Executive Director and CoFounder of Womanspace and has years of experience of practicing mindfulness and attentiveness. She received her degree in English from Alverno College and pursued further studies in art and design at College of DuPage, Rockford University and NIU. She is an active member of School Sisters of Saint Francis. Mindfulness, Seekers, Supper & Films

RUTH ORA JACKSON, MS, ND, CNHP has a doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine and offers psychological and health counseling in her private practice. A member of Womanspace for over 25 years, Ruth has been president of the board and received the Womanspirit Founders Award. Crone Series V: Wisdom of the Crone—Choices & Challenges of Aging Well 

DIANE JOHNS has been involved with country dancing for over 40 years. She is the founder of the Eugene Country Dancers in Eugene, Oregon and has a teaching certificate from the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society (RSCDS). Diane has taught English Country Dance (ECD) classes at Kishwaukee and Waubonsee Community Colleges and has led numerous workshops in the northern Illinois area. Her approach to ECD mirrors that of the pioneering dancing master Carl Wittman (1943-1986), who believed that the country dance form encompasses “a sense of community . . . the highest of spiritual values . . . [and] good fun.” She encourage others to consider these aspects while simultaneously watching, listening, and learning how to set, cross, turn, slip, and cast. She also follows Carl’s use of universal (or gender-free) calling, in which the dance instruction is free of traditional gender designations or gender roles. The entire experience is thus more welcoming, inclusive, and enjoyable for all participants. English Country Dancing

JENNIE JOHNSON SIC enjoys every opportunity to throw on the wheel! Jennie has taken college level classes in Minnesota & Oak Park, IL, as well as, been mentored by a potter in Antigua, Guatemala. Jennie is so thankful to have found Womanspace, a place to throw, be inspired and teach. Beginning Wheel Thrown Pottery, Advanced Beginner–Intermediate Wheel Thrown Pottery

NORM KNOTT is a recycling artist and works with a variety of themes and images from around the world as well as collections of nostalgia and American culture. He enjoys preserving the past in color and textures that soar as a visionary. Norm is a well-known artist in the Rockford Region and has exhibited his work locally, nationally and has international patrons. Prayer Flags, Build a Fairy House in the Forest, Build Your Own Magical Fairy House

KERI KNUTSON, Official Yoga Teacher of the Rockford IceHogs, Certified Advanced Yoga Nidra teacher, Rockford Native, and 20 year practitioner of yoga. Keri is trained in and currently teaches Vinyasa Flow yoga, Traditional Hatha Yoga, Restorative, Chair/Adaptive yoga, and Yoga Nidra in the Rockford area. She also teaches several workshops and events throughout the year and specializes in Yoga for Athletes, Yoga Nidra (a conscious relaxation practice), and working with those who live with chronic conditions, injury, illness, and/or disease. Keri, a nature and animal lover, enjoys spending her free time outdoors, reading, devoting time to her own yoga practice, and traveling. Hatha Vinyasa/Restorative Yoga, Adaptive Yoga, Yoga Nidra, Rockford Yoga Day

SONIA & CONRAD LANDOLA, owners of Plum River Farm, have worked to develop a systematic approach to raising grass-fed cattle humanely, taking all their cropland out of row crops and putting it into hay production, including drought resistant grasses, which they raise without the use of pesticides, herbicides, or chemical fertilizers. Conrad has farming in his blood. Many decades ago, his family were truck farmers near Chicago. He and his wife, Sonia, decided to settle on the family farmstead in Pearl City. They dabbled in farming for a number of years, but became more serious about it in 2007 and were determined to produce food sustainably. Sonia & Conrad invite their customers out to their farm to learn more about how their food is raised and to enjoy the beautiful rolling hills of NW Illinois. Plum River Farm Beef, Grass-fed Beef

KIM McIVER is an internationally- published, award-winning Ojibwa author and speaker. Her family is from White Earth Reservation in MN. Kim’s Ojibwa name, “Bekaadiziikwe” means, “Quiet Woman.” The creative writing side of her includes 15 years of newspaper and photo-journalistic work. The genres she works in include romance, children’s picture books, plays, and Native American non-fiction, and fiction writing. A hybrid author, she’s traditionally published and self-published, and is the Commissioning Editor for McIver Publishing. She’s presented Native American programs at venues all across the Midwest, and is a member of the Illinois Humanities Road Scholar Speaker Bureau. Exploring Native Culture through Craft & Oral Traditions, Traditional vs. Indie Publishing: Which One is Right for You?

PETREA MEIER started using and sharing essential oils three years ago for occasional foot pain. She had tried many forms of traditional medicine, but they just weren’t cutting it. Right away, Petrea experienced the power of essential oils and was impressed. She set off on a path to take control of daily health needs without toxins, drugs, copays, AND full of choices! She is excited to empower others to do the same. Petrea offers many learning opportunities and support to make your oil journey great! Essential Oils: Vacation & Travel; Support Your Outdoor Fun, Gardening & Yard Work

KATHY MOEHLING, RN is a Board Certified Holistic RN, Traditional Naturopath, Holistic Health & Life Coach, energy work practitioner in Therapeutic & Healing Touch, and a Massage Therapist with over 40 years experience. In addition to teaching teleclasses in holistic coaching with Wisdom of the Whole (formerly Bark Coaching Institute), Kathy maintains a private practice in her home and at Womanspace. Chakra Club, Edible Flowers & Flower Essences

KIM MORHARDT really enjoys the process of learning new things. She likes being able to share and teach what she has learned so that you too can be inspired to step out and try new things. While living in Freeport she owned her own business called Heavenly Desserts, where she showcased her love of baking. She has many hobbies, which include baking, soap making, stained glass, pottery and gardening. She loves spending time with her family and teaching her grandchildren how to bake and other fun things. Cold Process Soap Making 

ANYA NELSON is a full time high school teacher who fell in love with clay when she allowed her college counselor to randomly pick an elective class for her that ended up being ceramics. She was so happy when she found Womanspace. It gave her an opportunity to reconnect with her passion and meet an amazing, creative, and supportive group of artists. Manic Monday: Intermediate Wheel Thrown Pottery

DENISE NICHOLS, OTR/L, has a passion for outpatient whole body rehabilitation. She has been an Occupational Therapist for over 20 years. She believes in the power of an educated consumer and that every day is a new journey towards health and wellness. Denise is the owner of Motivate Health Inc, an outpatient rehab clinic with 6 therapists whom all specialize in pelvic floor therapy and whole-body education. She is board certified in pelvic floor muscle dysfunction (PFMD) and biofeedback for PFMD, is also certified as an Integrative Yoga Therapist and massage therapy. She loves working with a wide variety of ages, diagnoses, and patient populations and has a long history of working with patients with chronic pain. She has a passion for working with postural re-education and body mechanics in relation to helping others gain functional mobility and improve their quality of life. She believes that a whole health approach is team oriented and empowers her patients to seek what works best for them. Healthy Habits for Women: Pelvic Health, Postural Health, Tissue Health

BARB PHILLIPS likes dabbling in many different forms of media, but photography is one that has always been consistent. From her first beloved Instamatic 104 to her current Pentax DSLR, she realizes “the best camera is the one that’s with you. So many great shots are with cell phones, because they are always with us.” ViewFinders Group

MARY ANN PRESMAN's first job was as a page in the branch of the local public library—which meant she shelved books. When business was slow, she was actually paid (70ยข/hour) while she hid behind bookcases and read to her heart’s content. Thus began a lifelong love of reading that blossomed into a way with words which served her well in various careers as an advertising copywriter, radio disk jockey, and TV weather person. In retirement, she began to attend writing workshops. It seems she has now evolved into a writer of short stories and a playwright. She co-authored a collection of stories with James Wolfe—Curse? There Ain’t No Stinkin’ Chicago Cubs Curse, and some of her other stories have appeared in anthologies compiled by the Ex Libris Writers of Galena. Mary Ann and her husband Bob live happily in Rockford, Illinois, and Tucson, Arizona. Book Launch Party: The Good Dishes Stories

MICHAEL PRINDLE is a graduate from University of Illinois. He continues a thirty year spiritual journey, including sitting meditation practice, practitioner of Tibetan vajrayana dzogchen, certified Qigong group instructor, completed four levels of external medical Qigong healing (courses) from a Chinese master. He has an avid interest in acquainting others with the extraordinary benefits of Qigong practice. Basic Qigong

HEIDI PROVO has worked as an educator of children for 20+ years. She is trained in both High Scope and Montessori methods of teaching. A Girl Scout Troop Leader for 10+ years and current Service Unit Manager for the Creek View Service Unit, Heidi loves camping, fishing, cooking, art, reading and teaching children of all ages. Girl Scout Programs

KAREN RADTKE, MSN, APN, is a holistic Nurse Practitioner and Board Certified Health Coach. She has had over 18 years experience as a Nurse Practitioner working in a variety of settings, including Primary Care, Nursing Education, and Chronic Disease Management. She is the Director of Integral Health Solutions, a practice dedicated to using Lifestyle Medicine to reverse and slow the progression of chronic disease, such as diabetes and heart disease. Crone Series IV: Optimal Health for the Next Chapter of Life

SHANNON REDDEN, M.H., is a master herbalist and works as a holistic health practitioner. She studied beneficial herbs for endurance athletes for her thesis project. Shannon enjoys trail running, mountain biking, camping, and kayaking in her free time. Create a Smudge Stick, Herbal First Aid Kit, Medicinal Plant Identification Hike

ANGIE SCHMIDT is a trained facilitator, licensed psychologist, and board certified personal coach. She established her coaching business, Potentialocity, (Potentialocity.com) to help women regain their confidence, find their purpose, and reach their dreams. She joined the Womanspace board of directors in 2016. Explorers Group

KELLY SIMMONS says writing is her joy. She has been blogging every week for years, plus writes a weekly newspaper column, has written 30+ books, is an editor and writing coach, is a judge for the Erma Bombeck Essay Competition, and now is playing with fiction. Kelly is tech-adept too and can teach you the back-end of blogs! Blogging Basics

ALICEAN “LI” SLOUGH lived and studied Chinese Brush Painting in Hong Kong for over 10 years. She taught students alongside her painting instructor for 3 years and taught private lessons for a year and a half before returning to the USA. She exhibited her work at art fairs in Hong Kong and has paintings in private collections in the UK, Hong Kong, Australia and the US. Originally from Texas, she moved to the Rockford area in 2012. Introduction to Chinese Painting, Beginning Chinese Painting

SABRINA TASSONI is a visual artist who has been creating for as long as she can remember. She has dabbled with many mediums over the years but finally found her passion for pottery after taking classes in college. Now, she works out of her home pottery studio developing her skills in throwing and surface decoration. She enjoys being able to encourage others to make art a bigger part of their lives and working every day to do the same in her own. Beginning Printmaking, Evening Beginning Wheel Thrown Pottery, Beginner–Intermediate Handbuilt Wheel Thrown Pottery, Kids' Beginning Wheel Thrown Pottery

SHIRAZ TATA came to the U.S. from India to get a doctorate in Counseling Psychology from SIU-C and then just kept moving up the state of Illinois to Rockford where she has lived for over 20 years! She is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist in private practice where she creates a safe space for people to share whatever may be weighing on their minds or hearts. She loves to facilitate discussions on diversity and all topics multicultural. She also enjoys teaching mindfulness and meditation classes. Meditation: A Wellness Practice

REBECCA TAYLOR attended the Harrington Institute of Interior Design and worked as an Interior Designer for Thompson’s for many years. She has been working with pen and ink since Jr. High School and has been tangling for years before it became popular. She is now a full-time artist in local shows and competitions. Tangling with Pen & Ink, Mandalas in Pen, Ink & Colors

TRES TESTOLIN is a self taught artist and avid equestrian. Currently obsessed with fluid painting and glitch photography. Tres loves the pouring processes; mixing, moving and developing the paint. Pour Painting

JULIE THOMPSON is a retired social worker who was born and raised in Rockford. Her career was spent working in various mental health settings including DCFS, adoption, grief work and private practice. She is mother of 4 wonderful daughters, 8 grandchildren. Drumming Circle

RON WICK captures glimpses of familiar vistas and warm memories throughout America. He studied at the prestigious American Academy of Art, was asked to join the faculty, and taught there for 12 years. Ron has had many one-man shows and his paintings are in corporate and private collections in the U.S. and Europe. Painting with Acrylics on Canvas

RAFAELA WICKSTRUM enjoys teaching others to express themselves through sculpture and painting. Rae was self-employed for over 3 decades owning a printing business and a folk art gallery. She is listed in the International Sculptors Digest and has won state awards for “most creative.” She has also developed gift lines for two companies. “Most days I don’t know whether to pick up clay or a paint brush as my compulsion to create is overwhelming.” Sculpt It!

SANDRA WILLIAMS, LCSW, LMT, has been in the health care field in Rockford for almost 30 years. In her private practice, she counsels individuals in becoming more self- aware and improving their lives with goals beyond surviving and into thriving. As a certified and advanced practitioner of CranioSacral Therapy (a form of body work), Sandy has facilitated health improvement and integration of mind, body and spirit with her clients for over 20 years. She uses a variety of therapies in her practice and is drawn to those that incorporate mind, body and spirit. Sandy has a passion for holding a sacred and therapeutic space to help individuals become more present in their lives and use their whole body to live fuller richer lives. She is in the final stages of becoming certified as a presenter of Healing from the Core: Introduction to Full Body Presence, pioneered by Suzanne Scurlock-Durana. 

GINA WISE has a B.A in philosophy from Indiana University and has studied poetry, religion and spirituality all her life. She is a poet who loves nature, hiking and her dog, Mimi. She made Rockford her home over 20 years ago and Womanspace is her home away from home. Learn How to Make Kefir & Quark, Explorers Group, Metaphysical Book Club: Hildegard of Bingen



Office Phone: (815) 877-0118

Fax: (815) 877-0265


3333 Maria Linden Dr.

Rockford, IL 61114


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