Preview article in the indy - thank you Ninette Paloma!

LA Weekly - thank you Ann Haskins

SEE Dance Review - thank you Jeff Slayton

IN SHORT? It was awesome!



3 great cities known for their dynamic art communities

Expect to be moved, shifted, inspired, humored and uplifted!

"An artist as one blade of grass, all alone, coping with the survival elements? Or, as a community, with interwoven root systems, the potential to generate a powerful sense of turf. Turf because dancers are a fierce breed: courage, heart, poetry, rich soil. As a dance maker, I liken them to wild mustangs. So, given it is my turn to lead in terms of community production, I wanted to use a metaphor that serves wild ponies well. Turf tended with principles of conscious leadership.bee-ing the change we wish for the world!" Turf tender MD Kelly Dances for the community A project of artbark.org.



Barbara Mahler

Klein Technique

Thursday November 3, 11-1

Montecito School of Ballet

529 E. Guttierez

Santa Barbara, CA 93103

$5 low dough

$18 suggested



up close and intimate

NOVEMBER 5th, 1:00 pm


420 West Avenue 33
Los Angeles, CA 90031

Tickets at the door


NOVEMBER 6th, 6:00 pm

Gail Towbes Center for Dance

2285 Las Positas Road

Santa Barbara CA 93105 

Tickets at the door






Nancy Evans Dance Theatre



Barbara Mahler

Trina Mannino


Valarie Mulberry 

Mindy Nelson 

Stephen Kelly 

Misa Kelly 

E. Bonnie Lewis and Ken Gilbert 

All artists contribute to the production process and equally divide revenue from ticket sales and our fundly drive.


What we value in life


relationships of trust




our students



What we admire in others


a willingness to listen






What is important to us in the production process

clean, concise and visual appealing marketing materials

serving the art and not the ego

good and respectful communication

attentive listening from all involved


smooth running, clarity, and beauty


Nancy Evans Dance Theatre - photo by Misa Kelly

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barbara mahler photo julie lemberger

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ArtBark International photo by Stephen Kelly

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Nancy Evans Dance Theatre - photo by Misa Kelly

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Our work is made possible by the generosity of the artists as well as our loyal patrons!

Rudi Schulte FAmily Foundation

Kelly Family Foundation

Mannino Family

Federico Family

& Friends!

Santa Barbara Artists: Mindy Nelson, E. Bonnie Lewis, Ken Gilbert, Misa Kelly, Stephen Kelly, Valarie Mulberry

New York Artists: Trina Mannino, Barbara Mahler

Los Angeles Artist: Nancy Evans Doede

The Creative Work​


Misa Kelly (ArtBark Co-Founder, Misa Kelly Dances) will be sharing ???.

Kelly states "The creative impetus for this work began in Slovenia during our community's 3 week creative residency. Dancer Mojca Majcen broke down in tears when we, as a community, discussed the state of the world.  I suggested, rather than focus on what is not working in the world, each time we find ourselves upset by something, to ask ourselves “What’s the Solution?” I took this query into the studio and ??? was the first section to emerge. 

Stephen Kelly (ArtBark Co-Founder) will be presenting a new work set on two local dancers, Nikki Pfeiffer and Nicole Powell. The dance will embody a juxtaposition of honed, demanding movement with spontaneous task-oriented challenges. Stephen thanks the Santa Barbara Dance Arts AMP rental subsidy program for providing support for creation of his work.

E. Bonnie Lewis and Ken Gilbert (DramaDogs – a Theater Company) will present An excerpt of Shakespeare's Hamlet through movement and music.. E. Bonnie Lewis will direct Ken Gilbert's performance.

Barbara Mahler’s interest, her passion, “is the body – the limitless possibilities of the body as an expressive instrument, to carry a story, create an environment.” Her primary interest is in solo work and she will perform a new work entitled IT OcCurS to mE described by Mahler as "A profoundly physical exploration of a defining moment"

Trina Mannino (ArtBarker) presents Ghost Duet, premiered at Triskelion Arts in Brooklyn in May of 2016.  Ghost Duet investigates the challenges of maintaining details in a long distance dance collaboration and what pleasant surprises can emerge from physical separation. Artist/maker Ann Hamilton says: "In a time when successive generations of technology amplify human presence at distances for greater than the reach of the hand, what becomes the place and form of making at the scale and pace of the individual body?"

Valarie Mulberry will open the Santa Barbara creative offering with a selection of original songs welcoming the audience with her “powerhouse vocals” and humorous, witty, and playful song introductions.

Nancy Evans Dance Theater will present a work by Rebecca Levy, Artistic Director of Jacksonville Dance Theatre that will be danced by Jenn Logan

"Three tasks was created based on a prompt given by me to all members of my company requiring them to use a process that they had not used before. I came to this solo trying to find a way to create within a very tight schedule. I figured that I was able to dedicate exactly five minutes to creating new dance everyday.  I assigned myself three tasks, daily: choreographing, writing, and meditating; each done for five minutes. Regardless of what I did during the day, I had to do those three things at some point within the 24 hour period. Whatever was created in those five minutes I was "required" (based on my own rules) to keep. I recorded every day on my iPhone so I wouldn't forget. On day 23, I began to re-teach myself all of the small sessions of choreography I had during the month. Gradually I edited 20 minutes of material to an 8 minute piece."

Mindy Nelson will premiere a new modern dance solo carving through space with her bold, poetic, striking style of movement honed by a professional career in New York before returning to the area to start a family and settle down.


Misa Kelly is an award winning, multi-disciplinary artist whose choreography, visual, performance and installation art has been exhibited across the USA and Europe. Passionate about community building her innovative program designs and organizational efforts have helped over 1,000 artists over the past 20 years. Her choreography in ArtBark’s Alma.Alone was described as “perfect dance poetics with superior movement vocabulary” in the Slovenian publication Parada Plesa.  In addition to performing in her own community's choreography she is working on a distance project with New York based choreographer Marcos Duran. She publishes as an indie author under the pen name of Ginger Freedom and blogs regularly about dance on her Facebook page and on a sundry of topics on her wordpress site.  mdkellydances.com 

Stephen Kelly is a classically trained pianist who has performed solo concerts in France, Spain, and Costa Rica, as well as across the United States. As a choreographer, in addition to setting work on ArtBark, he has been privileged to work with some of the finest professional dancers from the Colorado Ballet, State Street Ballet, and Santa Barbara Dance Theater.  artbark.org

Ken Gilbert is a Theatre Artist and Somatic Educator. “I believe that we live in our body, first, beyond thought and calculation; and, that creativity comes from an integration of body and mind breathing and moving together. It is from this breath and my longing to connect with others as a human being that I create in the theater.” Ken and his wife, E. Bonnie Lewis, have been producing, directing and acting in the Santa Barbara Theater Community since 1993 and are currently the Co-Artistic Directors of DramaDogs, a Theater Company. Ken has directed exclusively for DramaDog’s productions of Queen Undaunted: Margaret of Anjou and Circle Mirror Transformation, co-directed and performing, with Bonnie, in Dance Me to the End of Love: An Ensemble of Short Plays by EM Lewis and Tales of Woo and Woe: A Journey of the Heart. Most currently, Ken directed The Boondawgle Estate by Peter McDonough, a “new farce with heart” integrating the DramaDog’s methodology and integrity of character and relationship in the context of the spoken word. drama dogs.org


Rebecca R. Levy is a choreographer, performer and educator who has lived and worked in Boston, Seattle, Los Angeles, and Jacksonville, FL. She is a founding member, and artistic director of Jacksonville Dance Theatre, a critically acclaimed modern dance repertory and performance art company based in Jacksonville, FL.  Rebecca's choreographic work has been featured in festivals and concerts internationally and throughout the country.  She toured nationally for six seasons as a soloist with Lineage Dance Company of Los Angeles. Rebecca was founder, and served as co-artistic director of the Los Angeles based B.E. Productions Dance Company for eight seasons. Rebecca is currently Professor of Dance & Director of the Dance Repertory Company at Florida State College at Jacksonville. She holds her MFA in Choreography from California Institute of the Arts, is registered Certified Yoga Instructor, and a certified Pilates instructor.  jacksonvilledancetheatre.org

E. Bonnie Lewis believes that “There is a creative spirit inherent in all of us, and part of our life’s journey is to find and express that spirit”. Being active in the theatre, educational and dance communities gives E. Bonnie the opportunity to guide people from many disciplines in their process of moving their bodies and discovering their art. Co-Artistic Director of DramaDogs, a Theater Company she is a consummate theatre artist. The past year expanded E. Bonnie’s theatrical work beyond the traditional realm as she used her art to make stronger statements: The Qualities of Mercy, a theater piece inspired by the book Just Mercy by Bryon Stevenson and Earth Duet presented in conjunction with Climate Change Earth Action, The Boondawgle Estate, a farce with heart in which she played the mother of twins, and Other Desert Cities at Santa Barbara City College where Silda lived in the dysfunction of a families secrets. The power of integrating the wisdom of the body and its expressiveness within the live performance arena continues to inspire and delight. drama dogs.org

Trina Mannino has performed with Anabella Lenzu’s Dance/Drama, ArtBark International, Barbara Mahler, Dance Elixir and Laura Peterson Choreography. She presently studies with Barbara Mahler and Janet Panetta. Her performance in ArtBark’s Alma.Alone was described as “subtle, intellectual and sophisticated” in the Slovenian publication Parada Plesa. In addition to performing, Trina works as a writer for Dance Europe Magazine and The Dance Enthusiast. trinamannino.com   

Valarie Mulberry has performed live regularly up and down the California Coast and honing her craft for the better part of a decade.  She has written and self-released an exceptional album worthy of wider praise and attention. This full-length album, titled "The Simple Things," showcases 10 songs that demonstrate her evocative voice and talent for combining memorable hooks with her often wise lyrics. Her “Sunshine Rhythm & Blues” style also delves into a diverse mix of pop, soul, Americana and blues, with several songs expressing her unique blend of Americana and soul. valariemulberry.com

Barbara Mahler has been an active member of the New York City dance community as a choreographer, performer, body-worker and movement educator for over 30 years. Her choreography draws upon the intricate possibilities, textures, time, space and the (her) body to create dances, which create architectural and emotional landscapes. Consistent with her teaching vision, her choreography seeks to explore the endless possibilities that the body can reveal. It is often spare and articulate. She has traveled extensively as a guest artist around the globe and has received support from the Gothenburg (Sweden) Cultural Council, a Sage Cowls Land Grant UWN; 92 Street Y and Hunter College, and others. Recent travels include Tel Aviv, Vienna, Ireland, Chile, and London. Her most recent space grant, August 2015, a LIFT OFF Artist for the creation of or re-visitation of movement material, funding to create new work at Wilson College, PA (March 2015) and resetting of "Etched Sketches" on the Company of Adrienne Clancy in Silver Springs MD, including Master Classes at Dance Place.  Barbara was also a chosen artist for EMERGE 2014. A Movement Research artist in Residence for two seasons, her ongoing and consistent teaching status (2004-present) supports her artistic products and process. barbaramahler.net

Mindy Nelson, after graduating from UC Santa Barbara with a degree in Dance and Business Economics, Mindy Nelson moved to NYC to pursue her dance career.  She returned to SB a few years ago with her husband where they live with their two boys. sprucedbymindy.com


Misa Kelly Dances is a project of ARTBARK

Acclaimed as “forward thinking artists” by the Santa Barbara Independent, ArtBark International, builds on the travel, visual art and performance experiences of award winning California-based founders Misa and Stephen Kelly and their collaborators around the globe. Their present activities embrace innovative ways of organizing that serve to shift the paradigm of how professional artists come together and grow as they work across the United States and the Atlantic through the Internet, performances and residencies. They are committed to staying abreast of how the field is evolving by inviting artists to participate in the organization's ADaPT Festival Series and Affinity Project in New York and California. ArtBark International’s work has been performed at AFL Kultur Merzkezi in Istanbul, ARC Pasadena in California, The Cankarjev Dom in Ljubljana, Center for Performance Research in New York, contraMASS Galerie and Palais Kabelwerk in Vienna, and studio Le Regard du Cygne in Paris, among others. Most recently, the collective premiered the evening length work Alma.Sama, described as “perfect poetry,” in Ljubljana, Slovenia and produced by the Cankarev Dom. artbark.org