“I believe that the expression of our authentic creativity is a positive force for healing and peace, in individuals and in our world. Looking deep within to discover our inner visions, and learning the skills to bring these into form can be a profound experience for both artist and viewer. As an artist, teacher, therapist, and facilitator, my commitment is to stay honest in my own creative expression, and to assist others to do the same. This is a journey that can move us through our resistances, fears, and wounded places; a discovery process that allows our unique creative wisdom to be unearthed, honored, and witnessed. When we share ourselves from our most authentic creative place, we offer to the world our unique sacred vision.”
Read Kathleen’s full bio here
“Expressive Arts is a way of life for me. Through the arts, I connect deeply with my inner knowing that guides me through life’s challenges and is with me in times of joy. Expressive arts is a personal practice for me, a way to contain my life, reflect on it, and bring to consciousness what is needed to make change both personally and in community. It is aligned with my soul’s purpose to be engaged in the arts and to share it with others.”
Read Tamara’s full bio here
Expressive Arts Florida (EAFI) was co-founded in 2007 in Sarasota, Florida as an expressive arts business by Kathleen Horne, Tamara Teeter Knapp, Victoria Domenichello-Anderson, and Elizabeth Bornstein. EAFI partnered with a variety of community organizations and businesses, presented at conferences, and held monthly art walks in Towles Court as part of the Towles Court Artist colony for several years before founding Expressive Arts Florida Institute in 2011. At that time, the Intermodal Expressive Arts Certificate Training Program began.
Dr. Heidi Heft LaPorte, an expressive arts facilitator, has completed rigorous training, completing 220 hours at the Expressive Arts Florida Institute in 2020. She further honed her skills in 2022 as a Community Service Wellness Initiative (CSWI) Guide through the International Expressive Arts Therapy Association (IEATA), where she also serves as Co-Chair of Membership.
An Associate Professor at Barry University, Dr. LaPorte has an extensive academic career that began at Yeshiva University’s Wurzweiler School of Social Work. She earned her MSW and DSW there. Over time, she transitioned from a Teaching Assistant to Associate Professor. She was a full-time associate professor at Lehman College in New York.
In her current role, Dr. LaPorte has enriched curricula across MSW and Ph.D. programs. Her notable contribution is a trauma-informed interventions course that employs expressive arts in the DSW program. In 2023, she received the Social Work Educator of the Year award from the National Association of Social Workers – Florida Chapter (NASW-FL), acknowledging her impact both in Broward County and the State of Florida.
Dr. LaPorte strives to build bridges between academics, healthcare professionals, and marginalized communities through her varied roles and initiatives.
Julie is a social worker, musician, and expressive arts therapist. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) in Oregon and Louisiana, and Registered Expressive Arts Therapist (REAT®). Julie holds a Master of Social Work from the Tulane University School of Social Work, a Master of Music from the University of South Florida, and a Certificate in Intermodal Expressive Arts from Expressive Arts Florida Institute. She completed Internal Family Systems (IFS) Level 1 training through the IFS Institute, and Level 1 movement-based expressive arts therapy training with the Tamalpa Institute. She is a classically trained clarinetist and a jazz vocalist.
Susan Paul Johnson is an expressive arts facilitator based in Atlanta, GA.
I am passionate about creating AHA! moments for individuals open to using creativity for personal insights. I love to encourage others to push boundaries and find hidden insights and to help them ask the questions they might not otherwise ask themselves. I see myself as a guide on the journey and am honored to travel along side others as they chart their own journey. As my work develops, I am focused on opportunities to travel with others in underserved populations – underhoused people, vulnerable individuals, and incarcerated persons – acknowledging the commonality we share. I believe we all gain from the opportunities to nurture and express our deepest longings in creative expression of any kind.
She works as a facilitator and mentor with Creating Mandalas. She completed the EAFI Certificate Training Program in 2019. This connects her work with mandalas and other visual art with modalities such as movement, rhythm, journaling and drama. She is also a Veriditas Labyrinth Facilitator. Susan is a member of and involved with IEATA. She served on the 2019 Conference Committee and currently serves on the Board of Directors as Treasurer.
Susan did her undergraduate work at Brown University and graduate work at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. She taught primarily at ground institutions, including UNC-Chapel Hill, Emory University, and Agnes Scott College. She also worked for Capella University, an on-line program, teaching and advising in the DBA program. She has also done strategic consulting in education and worked in non-profit leadership. She helped incorporate Kids4Peace Atlanta, a non-profit organization dedicated to interfaith (and apolitical) education for peace, and served as the first President of the Board of Directors. She is actively involved with her church, St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church.
Cat Thomas, MAT, is a 2016 graduate of EAFI and currently works at Moffitt Cancer Center as an Artist in Residence. She is excited about joining the EAFI team and looks forward to helping guide current and future students along their expressive arts journey. In addition to getting creative whenever possible, Cat enjoys walking her dog, Peanut, hanging out with friends, playing softball, hiking & yoga.
Rebecca Orndorff is a native born Oregonian but has lived in Idaho, Colorado, and now has found her forever home in Oklahoma. She comes to us with 20 years of business administration and management experience and a love for health and wellness. Rebecca is systematic and methodical by nature, but she also enjoys the benefits and challenges of growing in creativity and self-expression through playing the piano, painting, and dancing.
Diane Lampitt, M.Ed. is a trained SoulCollage® facilitator and brings over 30 years of experience in retreat facilitation, training, program development, and publishing. She holds a BA in Education, an M.Ed. in Religious Education from Boston College, post graduate studies at the Minnesota Consortium of Theological Schools, and a Certificate in Spiritual Direction and training as a Labyrinth facilitator. Diane is passionate about creating environments where people can experience transformation and growth. She lives in Ft. Myers, FL, with her husband, Scott.
Anne Hofland is returning to facilitate another expressive writing workshop series at Expressive Arts Florida Institute. She is a regular seasonal member of our open studio sessions, and discovered expressive writing as a tool on her own healing journey. She integrates extensive personal experience with the Amherst Writers and Artists workshop method, her skills as an educator, and her training as a facilitator with the Toronto Writers Collective to provide an opportunity for participants to embark on an inner journey of exploration through writing. Anne has published travel articles, memoir pieces in three anthologies, and was a winner in the City of Toronto’s “My City, My Six” story competition.