May 2023 Retreat Schedule


Sunday, May 14:

4-5 p.m. — Check in

6-6:45 p.m. — Welcome Dinner 

7-9 p.m. — Opening Session

Monday, May 15:

8 a.m. – Breakfast 

9-11:30 a.m. – Writing the River and the RoadThe river and the road are classic symbols for the unfolding of our lives and deeply embedded in many a poem, story, and even a song (such as Kelley and Caryn’s “The Road is Just a River/ It can’t help but bring you home”). In this workshop, we’ll explore the rivers and roads of our lives from where they started to where they may be leading us now. We’ll also write into river and road transformations that land us in new places and help us home in to who we are.

11:30 a.m. — Gentle Movement: A Little Dancing with Kelley

12 – Lunch

1-1:45 p.m. – Care and Feeding Of the Artist — Stories, strategies, and notions to tend your creative soul, plus time for your questions and ideas.

2-6 p.m. – Coming Home to Yourself: Take a walk, explore the camp, collaborate with a new friend, create, or relax.

6 p.m. – Dinner

7:30-8:15 – An Intimate Concert with Kelley Hunt

8:30-9:15 – Open Mic

Tuesday, May 16:

8 a.m. – Breakfast

9-11:30 a.m. – Soulful Songwriting & Singing, Part 1: Each workshop with Kelley will combine both songwriting and singing, giving us more opportunities to dive into both mediums the very first session and will include: reviewing the basic building blocks of writing a song, getting started on our own, safe & easy vocal warm-ups and group singing. Whether you’re already an accomplished songwriter & singer or just getting started, we’ll focus on easing our way to what our own soul has to say and sing. As songwriter Bono says, “A deep desire to communicate inspires songwriting.”

11:30 — Gentle yoga with Caryn

12 –Lunch

1 — Canoeing and kayaking (weather permitting, extra fee)

1-6 p.m. – Coming Home to Yourself: Take a walk, explore the camp, collaborate with a new friend, create, or relax.

6 p.m. – Dinner

7:30-8:15 p.m. — An Intimate Reading with Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg

8:30-9 p.m. – Singing and telling stories around the fire

Wednesday, May 17:

8 a.m. – Breakfast

9-11:30 a.m. – The New Story of Your Life: Writing from the heart is a powerful way to get into the control room of the myths you’re living, whether they’re imposed upon you, adopted along the way, or divined as your true calling. Unearthing, engaging with, and even revising the story you’re living is a path to greater freedom and also core to many healing traditions from storytelling and mythology, engaged spirituality, community empowerment, and narrative medicine (and a whole lot of therapeutic approaches). We’ll name and claim what facing, revising, or writing anew our stories (where we’ve been, where we are now, where we’re going) means for us.

11:30 — Aimless Movement with Erin

12 – Lunch 

1-1:45 p.m. – Care and Feeding Of the Artist — Stories, strategies, and notions to tend your creative soul, plus time for your questions and ideas.

2-6 p.m. – Coming Home to Yourself: Take a walk, explore the camp, collaborate with a new friend, create, or relax.

6 p.m. – Dinner

7:30 p.m. – Collaborative Performance with Kelley Hunt & Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg

Thursday, May 18:

8 a.m. – Breakfast

9-11:30 a.m. – Soulful Songwriting & Singing, Part 2: During this session we’ll explore new ways to take both our songs and singing up a notch, including even more advanced singing techniques, singing new songs, and fun ways to hone in on starting, editing, and finishing our song(s). We’ll find the tools we need to inspire us to keep creating, singing, and writing throughout the year to come. There will also be opportunities to collaborate with each other and, as always, we’ll sing together! As writer Clarissa Pinkola Estes says, “Talking is the voice of human, singing is the voice of soul.”

11:30 — Micro Walk with Susan

12 – Lunch 

1-6 p.m. – Coming Home to Yourself: Take a walk, explore the camp, collaborate with a new friend, create, or relax.

6 p.m. – Group Dinner & Surprises

7:30 p.m. – A Celebration of Ourselves — Readings and Performances Solo and Choral with all participants ready to share their work.

Friday, May 19:

8 a.m. — Breakfast 

9:30 – 10:30 a.m. — Closing Circle

Staff & Activities — Brave Voice May 14-19, 2023

Staff: Here are our staff (to be updated if there are any changes). Susan Hancock and Erin McGrane are on board to welcome participants and help them find balance and homecoming throughout the week.

Susan Hancock warms audiences with her fresh, vocal interpretations of American Songbook standards, blues, pop and Latin love songs. She is recently moved to Lawrence, KS where she holds a monthly First Thursday gig at Crystal’s Spot in the downtown. She studies voice with Kelley Hunt, and jazz improvisation with Dr. Wayne Goins, the Director of Jazz Studies at Kansas State University. Her many performances include such locales as The Manhattan Arts Center, The Junction City Opera House, The Wamego Columbian Theater, and the Kansas State University Library system. She is grateful to be part of the Brave Voice staff and looks forward to welcoming new and returning participants to this life-changing event.

Erin McGrane is an actress; musician; author; and professional development mentor. Notably, Erin appears in the Oscar-nominated film, UP IN THE AIR alongside George Clooney. She is known for her unforgettable cabaret stage performances and toured extensively for a decade with her early-jazz musical group, Victor & Penny. Committed to mentorship and community building for artists, she co-founded an annual immersive educational event focused on performance skills, creativity, and songwriting and serves as a director on the boards of two arts-based non-profits. Currently, Erin is authoring a spoken-word project set to original music exploring anxiety, isolation, and growing up in rural Iowa. Erin was honored in KC Magazine’s “The 100: People who make Life Better in KC” and is proud to say she misspent her youth singing in a rock band.

Afternoon Arts & Activities: Each afternoon features a stretch of open space and time for you to write, sing, create and more. 

Consultations: Kelley or Caryn are available for 20-minute consultations (late afternoon) throughout the week to discuss a song, poem, story, marketing or career or performing idea or opportunity, or anything else related to writing, singing, songwriting, performing, publishing, making a living through the arts, etc.

In-Depth Consultation: Kelley and Caryn offer a limited number of in-depth consultations (50 minutes long) at Brave Voice for an additional fee. See registration for details.

What Participants Say

Teresa Hernandez, Julia Flora, Nancy Hubble

“As a professional psychotherapist, the last thing I want to do is go to another workshop. This is not that! This is a retreat to rediscover creativity. The schedule pace is relaxing and invigorating. It’s personal and communal, fun and quiet. More than anything, I come here to listen to my own voice without having to shout above my regular din.” — Teresa Hernandez, psychotherapist and cellist, Salina, KS

“Where else can you plod in, carrying the baggage of your daily life and expectations, and after five days, joyously float away light as a blue jay feather on a gentle spring wind?” — Nancy Hubble, seller of rare books and art, poet and artist, Lawrence, KS

Allena Ross, Sherry Brooks, Reva Friedman

“Where the earth meets the sky and you wonder why you never walked here before. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll soar, you’ll fly, and you’ll want more, more, more!” — Sherry Brooks, musician, writer, sage, counselor, Lake Hamilton, FL

“One of the things we find at Brave Voice is a mirror. Whether it reflects creative process process, music, movement, or soul or even pain, looking into it enables us to remember who we truly are and then to go home and be that person.” — Olive L. Sullivan, writer, writing coach, editor, poet, and now songwriter! Pittsburg, KS

“Attending Brave Voice provides poets, creative writers, lyricists, and musicians experience in how to develop their crafts.” — Allena Ross, Singer, composer, and teacher, Topeka, KS