What happens at a Brave Voice retreat? Here is our schedule with workshops from 2019 (new workshops for 2020 coming later):

Sunday, Sept. 20

4-6 p.m. — Arrival, check-in

6 p.m. — Welcome Dinner

7:30 p.m. — Opening night writing, singing and arts

Monday, Sept. 21

8 a.m. – Breakfast

9-11:30 a.m. – Surrender, Dorothy!: Letting Go Of the Old Story – Caryn: Life is always showing us what we no longer need and how to place the weight of it down. Writing can help us articulate our stories, meanings, and messages we’re carrying on our shoulders, and whether we need to weed out, replant, or simply better nurture what grows there. 

11:30 a.m. – Mini Dance Party — Kelley

12 – Lunch

1-2 p.m. – Care and Feeding Of the Artist, Part 1: Artistic Sustenance: How do we sustain our creative mojo in a world swirling with distractions, bad news, and heartbreak? Join us for a lively discussion on making time, room, and joyful energy for writing, singing, and more.

2-6 p.m. – Free time (including massage appointments with Rachel Craeger, 2-6 p.m.) and art stations with staff.

6 p.m. – Dinner

7:30 – An Intimate Concert with Kelley Hunt

9 – Jam Session

Tuesday, Sept. 22

8 a.m. – Breakfast

9-11:30 a.m. –Songwriting and Singing from the Soul – Part 1, with Kelley: As poet Anne Sexton once said, “Put your ear down close to your soul and listen hard”. We all have our own unique way or expressing our own inner Soul through both our outer voices and our voices on the page When we allow ourselves to “listen hard”, the results can be wondrous and surprising! Each workshop will include both songwriting and singing –  using specific prompts, writing exercises, basic song form & structure and collaboration. We’ll do safe, easy warm-ups before we sing and then sing together as a group, learning songs both familiar and new. (As always, no one will be asked to sing alone in front of others unless they want to.)

11:40 a.m. – Curvy Yoga – Caryn

12 – Lunch

1-2 p.m. – Canoeing & Kayaking (small fee)

2-6 p.m. – Free time (including massage), and art stations with staff.

6 p.m. – Dinner

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

9 p.m. – Dance Party

Wednesday, Sept. 23

8 a.m. – Breakfast

9-11:30 a.m. – Hallelujah of the Here and Now: Using our writing as a flashlight to find what brings us joy, connection, and magic, we’ll explore where our lives are calling, and how to invite in what we need for the journey. We’ll also write celebration of where we have arrived at this moment. Come play in the fields of possibilities for your art, work, community, relationships, and life, and come praise your points of arrival.

11:40 a.m. – Curvy Stretching – Caryn

12 – Lunch

1-2 p.m. – Care and Feeding of the Artist, Part 2: Callings and Right Livelihood: Right Livelihood — doing the work we feel called to do in this life, whether it’s part or all of our job, our art, or our service — is an ongoing conversation with soul. We’ll share some of our experience with continually chatting up our callings, and discuss your questions and ideas.

2-6 p.m. – Free time (including massage), and art stations with staff.

6 p.m. – Dinner

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

Thursday, Sept. 24

8 a.m. – Breakfast

9-11:30 a.m. – Songwriting and Singing from the Soul – Part 2, with Kelley: Today’s workshop will be all about developing, expanding, and experimenting with the songwriting started during Part 1, with an emphasis on editing, collaboration & feedback from others, and having the option to “workshop” your song in the group setting with Kelley. We’ll take our group singing a step further by learning specific performance techniques, reviewing the songs we’ve learned and honing our part-singing skills, and, weather permitting, singing outside.

11:40 a.m. – Noon – Meditation Walk – Caryn

12 – Lunch

1-5:30 p.m. – Free time and preparation for the evening’s performance including rehearsal time and space.

5:30 p.m. – Special dinner

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

Friday, Sept. 25

8 a.m. — Breakfast

9-11 a.m. — Closing circle and farewells.

Staff & Activities

Staff: Susan Hancock and Jai Radhika are on board to welcome participants and help them find balance and homecoming throughout the week. Massage therapist Alison Dishinger will be on-site for the whole retreat too.

Jai Radhika took early retirement from corporate America to absorb herself in Bhakti Yoga. She assists her teacher in leading yoga teacher trainings and group pilgrimages to India. Immersing herself in the Vedas (ancient Indian texts) and Sanskrit (the ancient language in which they were written), she applies her insights to her creative projects. She is currently working on a book telling the ancient stories of different yoga poses. And, if you get up early in the morning, you might even hear her thumping her drum and singing. She looks forward to sharing the harmony and balance her yoga practice has brought to her life with all of you at Brave Voice.

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.

Alison Dishinger, our massage therapist for Brave Voice, is enjoying her 30th year of practicing bodywork. She offers intuitive and integrative massage sessions that draw from her diverse range of training, including Reiki, Chi Gong, yoga, and Zen Bodytherapy. Alison blogs often at and more about her bodywork practice can be found at  Alison will be at Brave Voice throughout the week, participating in between being available for bodywork (separate fee).

Afternoon Arts & Activities: Each afternoon features a stretch of open space and time for you to write, sing, create (art supplies will be available), walk, boat, do yoga, nap, or take field trips by foot or car (maps to interesting sites will be available).

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