Carl Bridge (Ritual and Music Design and Logistics)
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.
Lyra Hilliard (Fire Circle/Ritual Structure)
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 Middlebury, VT, and is on the faculty at a private college teaching Ghanaian drumming and World Music courses. 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 and exploring the archetype of the guardian through sound/music.
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. He has lived in the Middlebury area of Vermont for the past 33 years and 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 an accomplished elementary education teacher and performing artist, who has spent the past decade exploring various forms of healing while healing herself. Now, she draws elements from her journey to share forms of art that have been brought to her, such as stained glass, which she is honored to share at SpiritFire. She also brings to SpiritFire her wicked high level of organizational skills, which she brings to bear in coordinating the community work shifts.
Yuri Tutka (Fire Tending Lead)
Yuri is an aspiring creative artist and builder of all things buildable. He has spent the past several years removing himself from the corporate world while he and his wife Lela built their personal home/sanctuary in the woods of Southern New Jersey. This has given him the time and energy to become more involved with and give back to the community that has become his family. Yuri is 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!