Singing Poet BeatMan; Meditator, Educator, shit talking Irreverent Reverend. Consult, curriculum write, program manage. Facilitate, collaborate, liberate. Free the creative!
Behind walls, whatever they be, be they prison, classroom, church; be they cultural, emotional, or psychic; we always find the free. We in outdoor classrooms in the redwoods, in the studio, on stage, in circle, in film, on the corner, and in yours.
JAMES (AMUTABI) CONNIE HAINES
I am a multimedia artist that works in the mediums of sound, the written word, paint, video, music, digital editing, and collage. I have 20 years experience as a facilitator: holding space for high school-age youth struggling with addiction, facilitating workshops on issues of oppression, facilitating mindfulness workshops in Juvenile Detention facilities and truancy programs around the Bay Area; and teaching Theatre of the Oppressed classes. These experiences have taught me that the intersections of social justice, art, community, and creativity is one of the pathways to our personal and collective liberation.
Empowering the creative spirit present in all of us allows for more beauty, decadence, complexity, and intimacy to flow into life. Art is our movements, our stories, our breath, our choices, sculpted into the masterpiece that is our life. The art that comes through me is a reflection of my inner and outer questing, the people I have held community with, and those who have impacted me through their stories.
I am currently working with CLN (the Creative Liberation Network), a collaborative arts project re-imagining the tarot, writing a book called – Magic Without Magicians, working with Youth to create an Oakland permaculture treasure hunt and creating a variety of interactive story-based experiences to support whomever wants to join the network in unlocking their creative potential. CLN has been facilitating a milieu of creative workshops meant to help cultivate creative capacity and dignity.
Whether talking about sex, race, birth, JustBodies or sustainability, facilitating workshops with incarcerated adults or teenagers in the woods, making art or bodymoving, my actions are likely guided by liberation, solidarity, and an underlying agenda for cultivating playful comfort-zone-stretching interconnection with self and others. A lover of the paradoxical and paranormal, ancestral wisdom and asymmetry, my suburban desert born-being strives to bring water to the deserts, metaphorical and literal. A midwife of transition, as well as a multitude of strange and creative projects, I am currently finding solace in the process of creative liberation through CLN.
My work in the world is dedicated to the future generations, that they may be born into bodies liberated from intergenerational trauma and raised without shame of their bodies, desires, or sexual expression.
I am a Somatic Sex Educator and Certified Sexological Bodyworker (CSB) as well as a past member of the CSB teaching team at the Institute for the Advanced Study of Human Sexuality in San Francisco. I am trained as a Doula (Birth Assistant) and draw wisdom and skills from my experience with experiential diversity education, anti-oppression work, non-violent communication, direct action, restorative justice, and expressive arts therapy.
I have a BFA with a Sociology minor from Arizona State University, and I equally value the education I have gained from world travel, direct action activism, co-parenting, permaculture design trainings, and my ongoing practice of decolonizing the body through dance, play, and irreverent mindfulness. As a gender fluid queer person of European descent raised in the concrete covered desert of Arizona — Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation, Gila River Indian Community, and Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community Territory — now living in Ohlone Territory (Oakland), I am rooted in an ongoing search for pre-Christian/preColonial ancestral wisdom.
I work with commitment to solidarity with LBGTQIIA and POC individuals and communities.