In 2012, I journeyed to South Africa in search of interconnectedness. While there, I met an artist from Johannesburg who lives in a glass house. An anomaly in a city where every home is protected by high spiked iron gates and barbed wire. This woman's art is not a reflection of the violence in her world, but a celebration of the beauty and humanity which exists alongside the fear. In her reach to vision beyond struggle, her life became her art. And this reach for serenity extended into her space of living.
On this same trip, I drove alone along the tip of what I thought was someone else's continent, irrevocably altered by the juxtaposition of human poverty and stunning natural beauty of places I never knew existed. I witnessed extraordinary kindness and aligned so deeply with the yellow sun that I lost my sense of belonging to anyone and to any place, as I focused on the things that connect us as a human race rather than those that separate.
This changed the stories I'd come to believe about my self, others, and the world we share.
I originally created this company because I wanted to be a part of a different higher learning space: intergenerational, with a focus on the humanities in every day living. Where the arts are not separated out from the rest of the humanities or the sciences, they're not a class you take or a once-in-awhile-project you engage in when you have time - but a seamless integration that affects your whole-body daily way of being in the world.
A space where deep curiosity can be tested against guided experience over a period of time, without the promise of any certificate beyond the joy of learning. A chance to lend a lifetime to a practice towards...
It's called A Hundred Ways North because life is not a direct route, and what is north for one person is south for another. It's all in the context with which you view the ever evolving circumstances.
There's one more crucial element of the story... Kai (at the time, Brian). And a dinner in Indiana on April Fool's Day in 2015... One evening triggered a decision to walk towards one another. Within 6 months, we published our manifesto, Creative Anarchy; took a 6949 mile road trip through 14 states in 72 days in the middle of winter; and began a collaboration. This makes it sound romantic... Walking away from perfectly fine lives wasn't easy. It was disruptive, and a catalyst for change not only for us, but also for those whose lives we touched. But. Once you know something, you cannot un-know it without a violence to your spirit that is eventually more corrosive than the fear that tempts you to forget it. Walking towards has made all the difference...
A Hundred Ways North uses our unique process of align/partner/create to craft workshops and individualized coaching sessions. Through guided practices, we offer opportunities for you to experience your original design (access your whole body and whole voice) & bring humanity into daily living.
Fia Skye - founder & teaching artist
Most people know me by Wendy Saver/Mortimer...
In 2016, to align with all the other big life choices I made, I legally changed my name to Fia Skye. It's not a mid-life crisis. It's clarity. A stepping in... (Having been through all the paperwork of a name change twice already, I can tell you this was not a light decision).
As 'Wendy,' I balanced a life in theatre & academia for almost 20 years. I am a member of Actor's Equity Association, VASTA, and P3/east. My MFA is in acting from the University of Washington's Professional Actor Training Program. I was a barista & baker at the Honeybear Bakery in Seattle & then a chef at a small catering company in NYC. I've been on theatre faculties of Marymount Manhattan, UConn, Wesleyan University & Ball State (where I was tenured); published articles on cross-culture storytelling, beginner's mind, and balancing analytical with with kinesthetic learning principles; traveled three times to teach & direct in the Gauteng Province in South Africa; worked in regional theatres across the country; been happily married & divorced.
Everything I was teaching young artists: to find their light, how to partner, how to take and give space, how to speak with clarity and conviction, how to believably compel an audience of strangers, and how to align so deeply with another's set of life circumstances that you willingly widen your own opinions and feelings in service of making space for someone else's story... is wildly useful in every day living... I left higher education in order to further pursue passionate inquiry about balancing physiological, physical and architectural spaces, partnering, and working with others to experience how access to your whole body and whole voice enriches healthy, positive, daily living.
I've come to believe that with each decision you make, you choose your life. So... I took a hard look at each aspect of my life, took full responsibility for my own joy, and remembered I only go around once in this body and form so if not now... when? So here I am... choosing a new path in life where nothing is at half.
I've been fortunate to work with extraordinary teachers along the way... influences of my process and way of working include: Patsy Rodenburg; Cathy Madden (with whom I am currently studying Alexander Technique); Robyn Hunt & Steve Pearson. Sources of deep inspiration include F. M. Alexander, Christopher Alexander, Yoshi Oida, Natalie Goldberg, Susan Griffin...
Kai Andreas Skye - teaching artist
A lot of people know me as Brian Andreas, the writer & artist behind StoryPeople.
Which has been quite a ride. With thousands of stories & prints created over the years (or maybe because of all that) it made it pretty easy to write the 13 books I published at StoryPeople Press. Two of them were even nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry which was kind of a fun side benefit.
There’ve also been other books along the way, like my collaboration with photographer Lorne Resnick, “Cuba: This moment, Exactly So”. (This one turned out to be the winner of three independent book awards. See what happens when you just keep writing & making art?)
& now, there’s this whole new adventure of A Hundred Ways North. To those of you who know me, it’s actually not much of a leap to see how I’m moving into the creativity & life workshops that I’m doing with Fia. Or to see how my writing is changing. All of it has a simplicity & clarity that’s informed by loving the world (which is something that seems to come with the territory of how I see things).
Born in Iowa, raised in Chicago, I went to Luther College for my BA in Theater and English. Later on, after I figured out what I really wanted to do (HA!) I got my MFA in Fiber and Mixed Media from John F. Kennedy University in the Bay Area of California. Fiber? you say. I thought you told stories. Well, if you must know, I’d answer, my degree is in Stories As The Fiber of Human Community. (Notice how that’s all in caps because Stories are a Very Important Thing in my world.)
That said, my real education came from being in the world: short order cooking at Denny’s, apprenticing with a French chef in Chicago, running operations at a high-fashion mannequin factory in L.A., doing contract archaeology in the summer heat, dabbling as a tennis pro after college, writing plays for a small theatre company in Minnesota. I speak six languages, with my favorites being the Romance languages (not surprisingly) & that gave me an excuse to travel all over the world, so I could…umm…practice. Yeah. That’s it.
A Belgian Tervuren with the alias of Mooseboy, the Windherder. In defiance of his breed, he is a healthy 80 lbs. and regularly enjoys stomping about in fresh water streams. He is our guide & reminder of what it is to be entirely yourself & perfectly present.