AR+ Mindful Integrating Creativity for Activists (MICA)

Co-Stewards: Hilary Bradbury & Catherine Etmanski

A weekly online meditation space (MICA I) joins a monthly cohort program where we integrate creativity and mindfulness in our action research (MICA II). 
MICA I & MICA II may be taken together or separately. Open to all.

MICA I meets each Wednesday, 07.00 pacific.

MICA II meets 4th Wednesdays at 8.00-9.30 pacific.  

Action Research MICA - Colab

MICA welcomes change agents and activists to a space in which mindfulness and creativity finds community with agents of social transformation. MICA is a space for co-inquiry/practice on how we each bring creative, transformative practice to our social change efforts. In typical action research cycles of inquiry and action, we connect our dialogue with a rotating focus on projects, learning/transforming together as we go.

MICA I is a space for self care and self refreshment, where we can offer/receive the support of community, for community.

MICA I emphasizes mindfulness practice in the Zen style of practice with open awareness. Weekly on Wednesdays. Expect +/- 30 minutes guided and then silent meditation. Afterwards we have time for sharing practice in short Q&A focused on the practice of mindful meditation in the midst of our lives. MICA I is led by Hilary, guide-conductor of AR+. Hilary, who was part of the  teaching circle at Zen Center of Portland where she led the Next Gen Zen program until 2018, was invited to teach by her Zen teacher.

MICA II connects our mindfulness with the arts.  We bring our action research cases to peer feedback to step more courageously into the transformative promise that is promised by the integration of silence and creativity.

Catherine co-leads MICA II with Hilary.  Catherine leads the School of Leadership Studies at Royal Roads University and emphasizes the use of creative arts in transformative practice for community based action research. Together they had fun in offering the opening workshop for MICA at Royal was so lovely (great reviews too!). We now welcome you to join this online AR+ co-lab.

In this video Gayle Karen Young and Hilary Bradbury speak about how meditation enriches our sense of living in a set of relationships (“we space”)


The words Mindful Integrating Creative-catalysts and Activists that make up the name of the co-lab, suggest our focus: we’re creating a space for action researching change agents as we inquire/practice with integrating first person inquiry/practice as a complement to our usual second person focus. You may expect a "safe space" in which we use innovative arts based methods for our own inquiry to help ourselves. We will jog between small breakout groups and plenary, sometimes talking, sometimes painting together (yes, you can do this online!).  Generative silence is also welcome.  

Action Research Co-lab

While we are not theory driven, key theory and practice components in evidence may include some, or all, of the following: Adult developmental leadership; Organizational Learning; OD; Group Dynamics; Participative Action Learning/Research; Experiential-conversational learning, Embodied Cognition. Practices of soft systems thinking, Facilitated Dialogue and Arts based methods however are especially emphasized to help overcome the preponderance of analytical thought in action research.

As is the spirit of action research, we will share facilitation. Participants are encouraged to bring (or create) projects for peer learning/coaching. Our shared intention is to become more aware of how to serve all stakeholders in our action research. Having/starting a regular mindfulness practice is strongly encouraged.

Register and Donate

All AR+ efforts are offered by donation.
AR+ a non profit 501.c3 organization. Donations are tax deductible in the USA.
Scholarships are available upon request and mutual agreement.
No one will be turned away for want of funding.
Contact Hilary if you need to discuss.

Suggested donation for MICA I - $25 per quarter.

A suggested donation for participation in MICA II is $250 per cohort/program, and participation in MICA I is included.

In this video Catherine Etmanski and Hilary Bradbury speak about working with the arts (from popular theatre to mask making) to enrich our action oriented approach to inquiry and opening up a parallel way of perceiving the world along aide the rational frameworks we also use.

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