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ACA Arts & Wellness Academy Retreat

December 4 - December 6

* This event has been rescheduled.  New information TBA. 

* This event has been rescheduled.  New information TBA.

Atlantic Center for the Arts main campus

A professional development retreat that shares key principles of connecting the arts to community health. In 2015, Atlantic Center for the Arts began to share its unique experiential method of arts and wellness for all ages. We invite community leaders, teaching artists, healthcare professionals, and arts administrators to learn these techniques and best practices in an innovative educational retreat held at the beautiful artist complex of the Atlantic Center for the Arts main campus.

The retreat will be facilitated by ACA Arts & Wellness ambassadors, a dedicated team of community artists, music therapists, art therapists, and volunteers. The programs they lead in the community advocate for accessibility and inclusion by supporting people of every generation to explore their “inner artists” and learn from one another. These programs are part of a continuum of healthcare and improve mental and physical health, offer creative solutions to overcome age and disability discrimination, prevent loneliness, and support healthy living from a holistic perspective.

$500 tuition includes access to all presentations, experiential workshops, accommodations and meals for 3 days/2 nights at the ACA main campus in New Smyrna Beach, Florida.

Contact us for more information: community@atlanticcenterforthearts.org / 386-423-1753.

Click her to register online

Sponsored by the Pabst Steinmetz Foundation

The 2020 Academy Retreat features the dynamic community work of ACA Artist Ambassadors, Rachel Chase, Cole Garlando, Bethany Bennett, and Lady Eve.


Rachel Chase has been a teaching artist since the age of 15. She began expressing through dance. First a classically trained ballerina, then a semi-professional modern dancer studying with the likes of Alvin Ailey dance company, and dancing professionally in the Orlando area; as well as trained in theater arts. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of South Florida with a bachelor of fine arts, integrating video art and performance, as well as painting and printmaking.  Rachel has continued teaching movement and art to children and adults in community settings for over 15 years. She is currently working toward her Master’s degree in mental health counseling at Rollins College. As a therapist, she continues using expressive and visual arts as therapeutic processes, assisting others on their journey to well-being and wholeness. It is the power of play and creative expression that have always propelled her life into new and uncharted territory. She is constantly creating, and has a passion for consciously creating community. Join her in this ever-evolving process of intuitive creation.


Bethany Bennett is an interdisciplinary artist who earned her Bachelors of Fine Arts from the University of Central Florida and her Masters of Fine Arts from Lesley University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The art work she produces question women’s equality and role in society. Her investment in the community is to boost others confidence and self-worth through artistic practices. Currently, she is an adjunct visual arts professor at Daytona State College, and works with ACA as a Community Artist sharing health through the arts with diverse groups from elders to youth.



In the words of multidisciplinary dancer, Cole Garlando, “I am a maker. I work in physical research, imagination, and intuition. Interested in cosmological theories, philosophies attending to self, phenomenology, noumenology, and change – I believe in creative process as inquiry and as a vehicle for internal and societal r/evolution.

A choreographer, poet, and inter/transdisciplinary artist, I am absorbed with both the concepts and (non)material of LIGHT and TIME. I believe we as human beings are like projectors aimed at one another: I see you, through me.

Æ autœthnography: another way to learn about self, perception, and reality in order to grow. I am interested in the research of my own creative/human process – compiling and vetting decades of my writing, choreographic sketchbooks, poetry, paintings, footage, and ontological inquiry. Alongside awareness of social events and histories, this serves as a creative feedback loop and allows me to see and honor change”


Eve Payor (aka Lady Eve) joined Atlantic Center for the Arts as a musician and electronic soundscape artist. Her arts advocacy focuses on the connection between music, environment, and wellness. In the Fall of 2016, she created an Arts &Wellness program of soundwalks, which gave the public opportunities to experience natural surroundings through listening techniques, meditative breathing, and mindfulness.  Eve also mentors youth to help them find their creative spark, develop professionalism, and real-world assets for careers in the arts. Eve holds a Bachelor’s degree in Music Management from Georgia State University, and a Master’s degree in Arts Administration from University of Kentucky.



December 4
December 6
* This event has been rescheduled.  New information TBA. 
Event Category:


Community Programs


Atlantic Center for the Arts, main campus
1414 Art Center Ave
New Smyrna Beach, FL 32168 United States
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(386) 427-6975