Carl Bridge (Ritual/Music Design and Coordination)
Carl is a multi-disciplined artist and educator. With early experience in a range of visual art forms, he was drawn to backstage theater and shaping environments where the realms of concept, form, light, color, sound, and language came together to create an immersive experience for the audience. Beyond his work in the Film and FX industry, he embraced opportunities to play with masks and costumes in interactive circumstances. The fire circle helped re-ignite Carl’s passion for rhythm and led to the study of Malinke percussion. Within the circle, a similar potential for immersive experience enticed him, with the spectating audience removed and all those who gathered becoming players within an unfolding story. Carl is happy to be deepening his role at Spitfire in supporting this crucible of experience and connection.
Martin Bridge (Visual Arts/Design)
Martin Clark Bridge was born into a lineage of artists and teachers. He is proudly carrying this family tradition forth as he lives, creates and teaches in the hills of Western Massachusetts. His work spans a wide range of media from Drawing, Painting, Sculpture, Theater Design and Site-Specific Installations to Performance. His Spiritual Path as an Animist first and foremost influences his art. His work celebrates the sacredness inherent in nature, the consciousness in all things and power of place and seeks to challenge the cultural paradigms that dictate the way we relate to both the natural world and our brothers and sisters. Through his work, he hopes to inspire and cultivate a greater sense of mystery and possibility in our experience of the world.
Brandy Linden (Logistics and Ritual Design)
Brandy (she/they) is excited to be stepping into this role so that they can offer service to the community which has supported them for so long. In their daily life, their work as an American Sign Language to English interpreter and death midwife stem from their passion for accessibility. They are a homesteader who focuses on growing native and naturalized species to feed and nurture themself and their community. Before stepping into this role at SpiritFire, Brandy’s work in spiritual communities has centered around creating programming for people of all ages, planning personal and group rituals, and using their managerial skills to serve the tangible, day-to-day needs of the people around them. Though mostly drawn to the pathway of Seva, they are also frequently seen around the fire engaging with their voice, rhythm, and movement. However, as a Certified Mud Goblin, it’s not a good idea to let her tend the fire.
Lyra Hilliard (Fire Circle Ritual Design and Altar Design)
Lyra Hilliard is a writer, teacher, and instigator with an extensive background in the performing and creative arts. She has been an active member of the fire circle community for over twenty years, and she has created and facilitated rituals at fire circles, women’s gatherings, and other festivals across the country. Lyra’s spiritual practice is rooted in the natural world and the interconnectedness of all beings, and this practice informs all of her professional, creative, and community work. Whether in the classroom, on the street, or around the fire, Lyra challenges others to interrogate the familiar and dwell in the discomfort of the unknown. She is most interested in creating the conditions for people to access, hone, and use their potential. Lyra brings it all to the fire circle: her voice, her hands, her feet, her heart, and a deep reverence for mystery and community. She can most frequently be spotted scribbling in a journal, tending the altars, or dancing logs into the fire.
Jeanette Ladores (Vending Coordinator, Medical Lead)
Jeanette A. Ladores, RN, WFR, NCTMB, CYT has studied rhythm as a vehicle for healing and transformation for 20 years. With foundations in Frame drumming for Shamanic States of Consciousness, she has studied African Drumming and Rhythm with teachers such as Babatunde Olatunji, Joe Barnes, Yaya Diallo, Madeline “Yayo” Nelson, Chuck Wood, and Michael Marcus. For the last 8 years, she has been deeply immersed in the Tribal, Musical, Spiritual, and Martial culture of the Philippine Islands of her heritage where she studies Pekiti Tirsia Kali with Grand Tuhon Leo Gaje Jr. She currently resides in northern New Jersey at Sycamore Grove Farms pursuing her passion for Nature, Spirit, Community, and Sustainability.
V. Josselyne Price (Gathering Coordinator)
V. Josselyne Price, M.A. is a percussionist and ethnomusicologist, specializing in ritual and rhythm of West Africa (Ghana) and North America. Additionally, she has worked as a studio percussionist and vocalist in many recording projects throughout the United States. She currently lives in the Hilltowns of Western Massachusetts. Josselyne serves in advisory/facilitator roles for many other national and local-level drum and dance based events; her work at the circle includes enhancing the connection between the pathways of music/motion/voice/service, and exploring the archetype of the guardian through sound/music. Currently she is coordinating SpiritFire events in both New England and Puerto Rico. At the fire circle, she enjoys playing “ups”, bell timelines, and doing the fire circle 2 step shuffle.
Steve Trombulak (Operations and Scholarship guy)
Steve is a conservation biologist who has for several years explored the connections between community and humanity’s relationship with the natural world. These explorations have drawn him to percussion (largely in the West African tradition), dance, voice, and service as a focus for community empowerment and expression. Having finally achieved his life-long goal of retirement, he now lives in the Hilltown region of western Massachusetts. He has presented and played numerous support roles at drum and dance festivals around the U.S. He’s also a poet, birder, gardener, woodworker, and teacher. He’s generally thought to be harmless, although his nicknames include “Steve the Mean” and “the Trombulator,” so don’t say you weren’t warned.
Lela Tutka (Scholarships, Crew Leader Point)
Lela is currently a stay at home and do-it-all type of woman. In her “past life” she received an associate degree in musical theater and Bachelor of Arts in drama and elementary education. After some time performing in NY, she realized her real calling was in teaching young children and loved it. When the universe said so she left teaching to work on her personal and spiritual health. One the forms of art that came out of that journey was stained glass which she is honored to share at SpiritFire Fesitval.
She also brings her wicked high level of organizational skills which she brings in bear in coordinating the community work shifts.
In 2021 her family moved from Southern Jersey to the Hilltowns of MA to be close to the amazing community of people there.
Yuri Tutka (Fire Tending Lead)
Yuri is an aspiring creative artist and builder of all things buildable. After spending several years removing himself from the corporate world, he and his family built their personal home/sanctuary in the woods of Southern New Jersey, which led to the construction field over 20 years ago. He now resides in Worthington, MA, among close friends and community. This is a wonderful opportunity to be more involved with and give back to the community that has become his family. Yuri is also leading our amazing fire affinity group – their work feeds our magic!
Janet Riley (Emeritus Invisible yet Tangible WebMeister)
Janet Riley joined the staff in 2006 as PR goddess. She helped to shape the online presence of SFF with her amazing code and web skills, helping to reorganize our website and registration process. Additionally, she served to shape our registration booth process on site. She has stepped down from active staff, but we want to recognize her valued support and assistance, and hope she knows how much we appreciate and love her!
Shannon Slate (Emeritus Director of Operations)
Shannon walks a shamanic-warrior path. His practices manifest themselves most through didgeridoo playing, service and guardianship. By the use of safe mock combat, team exercises, physical, social and mental challenges, he has created a sacred space for others to explore, engage, and grow from childhood to adulthood. He was raised on a self-sufficient farm and spent most of his time in and around nature. He currently lives in Belchertown Mass, where he has embarked on a new venture helping schools be more effective in meeting their educational responsibilities. Shannon was our awesome Ops man for years, stepping down after 2016, and we miss him greatly!