Compassion Arts Festival 2019

October 5–November 2, 2019

Programs, Workshops, Performances:
Massachusetts • New York • Los Angeles

“Casey Making a Nest at Farm Sanctuary” Photo: Jo-Anne McArthur / We Animals

“Casey Making a Nest at Farm Sanctuary” Photo: Jo-Anne McArthur / We Animals

Compassion Arts Festival welcomes its 5th year with events, programs, performances, and workshops in Massachusetts, New York, and Los Angeles, starting October 5th thru November 2nd. Our 2019 festival theme is Reconciliation, with a focus on the ways that the arts and education can be used as an instrument for reconnecting us with the life we share the planet with, as well as for cultivating creative community for inspiring deeper understanding, empathy, and respect for animals.


Narrative Healing Arts


Our festival month starts October 5th & 6th with Find Your Voice, Live Your Heart : Narrative Healing Arts Retreat in New York at Woodstock Sanctuary and Catskill Animal Sanctuary for a weekend of workshops in true storytelling and the healing arts, co-partnered with In Defense of Animals. The retreat days may be booked individually as a single workshop or together as a retreat weekend. The workshop programs are as follows:

Find Your Voice Narrative Arts Workshop at Woodstock Sanctuary

Saturday, October 5th 9am–5pm
An all-day true storytelling workshop sponsored by Compassion Arts and led by TMI Project. This is a workshop is focused on helping animal caregivers, advocates, educators and individuals who care about animals, to discover tools through the narrative arts for healing their experiences and inspiring empathy in others about animals. The workshop includes a sanctuary tour, vegan lunch and dinner, and music at the end of the day. For more information click here or email


Live Your Heart Activist Healing Retreat at Catskill Animal Sanctuary

Sunday, October 6th 10am–4pm
A presentation workshop led by psychotherapist , author and advocate April Lang on developing awareness about compassion fatigue and exploring essential techniques for dissolving  anxiety, managing stress, and building personal resilience for helping animals without becoming depleted, followed by a meditation support circle led by Lisa Levinson (Vegan Spirituality). This workshop day includes a sanctuary tour, vegan lunch, and music. 

For details and registration go to 



One Kindred Paw will be presenting two workshops by animal healer and communicator Dawn Casteel-Lorick at Unity Farm Sanctuary in Sherborn, MA.

Photograph courtesy of Unity Farm Sanctuary

Photograph courtesy of Unity Farm Sanctuary

Our Sacred Connection with Animals Journey at Unity Farm Sanctuary

Saturday, October 12th from 10am–3pm
A walking meditation and journaling exploration with Dawn Casteel-Lorick for deep listening and rediscovering our connection with nature and animals, this workshop is for cultivating awareness about wildlife and for reconciliation with the unseen animals of the wild as kindred family.  The workshop is 10am-2pm, followed by a sanctuary tour 2-3pm. This mindfulness program is for no more than 7 people, and takes place mostly outdoors with much walking in silence.


Animal Chakras Program with Vegan Brunch at Unity Farm Sanctuary

Sunday, October 13th from 11:30am–3:00pm
A presentation by Dawn Casteel-Lorick, this talk and discussion circle focuses on the ways we can deepen our intuitive understanding, communication, and relationships with the  companion animals in our lives. The Animal Chakras program will begin at 11:30am with a vegan brunch for participants, followed by the talk with Dawn at 12:30-1:15pm and group discussion circle 1:15-2:00pm. The program will close with a sanctuary tour 2:00-3:00pm. Attendance is limited to 12 people. (This program is for human animals—please do not bring pets—we aren’t able to allow pets at the sanctuary.)


Dawn Casteel-Lorick is an intuitive healer, an interspecies communicator, and the creator of One Kindred Paw programs for transforming our relationships with other animals.  The above programs can be signed up for as single events or as a workshop package.

For details and registration please check our events page after September 1st.

Painting “Yowl” by Jane O’Hara

Painting “Yowl” by Jane O’Hara


Compassion Arts is excited to announce that this year’s festival will launch four programs listed below. Information and details for these programs can be found on our events page after September 1st.


A songwriter circle in multiple cities on Saturday October 19th, Ahimsa Song will feature musicians and poets who use their artistry to create works about social change, awareness, and the power of love in action. Ahimsa-Song night will be performed as a house concert in each city where it is featured, presenting performances by 4 songwriters and  poets. For program details, locations, artists, and tickets, check our events page after September 1st.


Compassion Chorus

A community outreach program singing for all life, COMPASSION CHORUS launches October 20th with a concert at Amazing Things Arts Center in Central MA. The chorus will perform contemporary songs about “peace, love and understanding” and related topics , written by popular artists such Stevie Wonder, Nellie McKay, Elvis Costello and others, as well as some traditional songs and standards re-imagined in original arrangements. Songs performed will be interwoven with short readings of stories celebrating our connection with animals and the human-animal bond. For program details and tickets, please check our events page after September 1st.

Michael Harren

Michael Harren

Animal Story

A true storytelling multi-media staged reading program in NYC on November 1st and 2nd hosted by Compassion Arts NYC Co-Director Michael Harren, ANIMAL STORY features stories by animal rescuers, animal caregivers, advocates, vegan peace activists and others, about animals who changed the lives of the people caring for them. The true stories in this program will be contributed by participants of the Find Your Voice Narrative Arts Workshop led by TMI Project on 10/5 , and then developed for the staged reading program by writer and director Emerie Snyder For details and tickets, our events page after September 1st.


Compassion Speaks

A presentation and performance series, COMPASSION SPEAKS highlights inspirational projects for compassionate living created by ordinary individuals.

October 22nd in Los Angeles
Creative Community for Vegan Peace hosted by Compassion Arts Los Angeles Co-Director Donald Vincent (aka Mr. Hip) featuring a collective of diverse speakers and artists who have created projects and outreach initiatives for bringing communities together for cultivating awareness on the intersections of animal advocacy, social justice, wellness, and vegan peace

October 27th in Central Massachusetts
Seeds of Reconciliation featuring True Story Playback Theater, photographer Isa Leshko (of Allowed to Grow Old exhibit and book) speaker Jenny Brown (founder of Woodstock Sanctuary and author of The Lucky Ones), music performance by The Rattle & the Thunder ensemble, and Cheryl Miller (artist and creator of the 46 Million Turkeys Community Art Project.)

November 2nd in NYC
Women Artists for Animals featuring Jane O’Hara, Art Animal Affect, and others, reflecting on the female artists using their work for animal advocacy and the comparisons of the treatment of women and animals.



Interactive Online Workshop

October 21st, 7–10pm EST
Dr. A. Breeze Harper will present an interactive online workshop on the intersections of social justice, racism, vegan culture, and animal advocacy  in her powerful webinar, Lulu and the Lobster: How Systemic Racism and Anti-Blackness Affect Animal Advocacy Culture in the US, (details to be announced soon). Dr. Harper is an advocate for critical diversity, social justice, and food empowerment. She is the author of Sistah Vegan on Lantern Books. This event is SOLD OUT but if you would like to be on a waiting list in case of cancellations, or would like more information, please check our events page after September 1st or email 


A Prayer for Compassion Screening, Massachusetts

October 24th, 7-9:30pm
There will be a screening of the documentary A Prayer for Compassion on Thursday, October 24th at Unity of Central Mass in Northboro.  The film will be followed by a Skype talk with the film's producer, Victoria Moran, and will close with a group discussion led by Marlene Narrow of WCUW's Vegan Nation. 

A powerful and thought-provoking film, A Prayer for Compassion  explores different religious beliefs and traditions in relation to animals, and looks at the treatment of animals through the lens of true compassion and spirituality.  The film’s producer Victoria Moran, is a bestselling author and host of Main Street Vegan radio. The evenings Emcee,  Marlene Marrow, is the host of WCUW's Vegan Nation and a World Peace Diet facilitator . .   

This event is “pay what you can” or a love offering.  General admission. Seating is limited.



Jo-Anne McArthur

Compassion Arts Festival is proud to announce this year’s Artists for Ahimsa Award honoree is photographer Jo-Anne McArthur. McArthur’s beautiful photograph Casey Making A Nest at Farm Sanctuary is the image for our 2019 festival poster, selected from her groundbreaking book We Animals. Jo-Anne McArthur is a compelling and thought-provoking artist as well as a globally recognized photojournalist, speaker, and advocate for animals.  Based in Toronto, Canada, her work has taken her to almost sixty countries, documenting our complex relationship with animals around the world. McArthur is also the author of Captive (Lantern Books publisher 2017) and the subject of the critically acclaimed 2013 documentary by Liz Marshall The Ghosts in Our Machine. McArthur’s photography and writing can be found in publications such as National Geographic, The Washington Post, The Guardian, and LA Times among others, and have been used by over 100 organizations, publishers, exhibits, and academics to advocate for animals. Her current project, Unbound, is a photographic project celebrating female leaders in animal advocacy and women working to help animals worldwide.

Photograph by Jo-Anne McArthur / We Animals

Photograph by Jo-Anne McArthur / We Animals