Kwadwo Adae is a visual artist, muralist, and founder of the Adae Fine Art Academy; an independent drawing and painting school for children and adults in the Ninth Square of Downtown New Haven. Adae orchestrates collaborative mural projects internationally that focus on art as public service combined with yoga, and meditation as a means of community healing. He is the guided meditation instructor at Breathing Room Yoga Center.
Mike is a passionate entrepreneur, father, veteran of the United States Marine Corp, movement instructor, and volunteer. He completed a 200 hour yoga teacher training at The Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health. He also holds a certificate in Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction. Mike teaches yoga at Yoga4Change, and is involved with Beat the Street Community Center. Mike is dedicated to fusing meditation and movement, especially for at-risk youth. Meditation is for everyone!
Katie is a poet, teacher, and community organizer. She is passionate about supporting and learning from youth, and has worked in neighborhoods, schools, after-school and summer programs. She developed a meditation practice while volunteering at the WorldBeat Center in San Diego in 2008. Katie is currently working to connect local communities to build an Earthship Cultural Center and tiny house Eco Village. She trusts that through building awareness and effective communication, we will continue to recognize self-imposed and systemic barriers and choice points. In doing so, we can and will co-create a more just and supportive environment for all.
Trey is a 23 year old composer born in New Haven, CT. Influenced by his bassist father and Gospel singing mother, he began learning jazz piano at the age of six. He was subsequently trained in the drums, bass guitar, rhythm guitar, and the trumpet. He completed an internship with Horizon Music Group in sound recording and audio engineering. He studied music at Southern Connecticut State University. Trey currently functions as a music producer and performing artist, composing and playing shows throughout the region.
After a long love-hate relationship with yoga spanning almost 20 years, Michelle began teaching in 2014. She holds certificates from Full of Joy Yoga and from 108 Monkeys in yoga for children, as well as a RYT 200 Hour Service Yoga training from 108 Monkeys with a focus on trauma-informed practices. Michelle is a member of the 108 Monkeys Street Bodhi Team. She teaches children's yoga for Full of Joy Yoga, and to a variety of after school programs through her own business, Yo! Kid Yoga. She also teaches yoga to the prison population in Bridgeport
Puma Simone is an award winning performing artist and composer based in New Haven. She incorporates her knacks for listening and asking important questions within her teaching style. An avid reader and active member in the local and global art community, Simone engages students through honest lyrical content and popular culture references.
David was born and raised in New Haven. He is an ex-offender with 11 years spent incarcerated. David began his relationship with Elm Village through mindfulness classes held in partnership with Emerge's prison re-entry program.
These days, he focuses on making rational decisions, spending time with family, and helping others. He believes that a vital part of helping others is giving back. He openly shares his experiences, especially with teenagers, in the hope that they will make mindful decisions and will not have to experience the prison system.