Transforming Communities

at BMAC September 17th 12pm
Krystal Puppeteers (Kenya/Ghana)
Susu CommUnity Farm (local farm)

This panel discusses how we shift resources, education, and power within communities and how art and food are doorways into important change and healing. As the world is impacted by pandemics, climate change, and economic inequities, how do arts and social initiatives work together to reach diverse populations and empower local voices?


Fedelis Kyalo is a playwright, Puppet film/theater Director, Producer Community from Kenya. He Co-founded Krystal Puppet Theatre company, which was based at the Little Theatre Club Mombasa, together with Chrispin Mwakideu. They have created a formidable group that has been on the frontline using puppets to educate the community by addressing issues like HIV/AIDS, Corruption, Girl child education, Gender-Based Violence, and many more. Fedelis has worked for Krystal Puppet Theatre, Family Programme Promotion Services, and Kenya Institute of Puppet Theatre for almost 25 years, where he has developed his skills and learned to work with puppets on stage and in front of a live audience. It was in Mombasa where he built his first puppet show, after learning different styles of traditional storytelling and masks.

Amber Arnold (she/her) is the Co-Founder and Collaborative Director of SUSU Community Farm, located in N’dakinna, the occupied ancestral homelands of the Elnu Abenaki people in so-called Southern Vermont. Amber’s background as a healing justice organizer, somatics practitioner, herbalist, sound healer, commUNITY farmer, and artist informs her passion towards co creating afrofuturistic portals of Black love, home, liberation, and a radical reclamation of our ability to dream, vision, and create beyond our current circumstances. Amber believes in our innate spiritual need to experience safety, belonging, connection, and dignity in all the work and living we do. Amber is committed to being engaged in commUNITY that centers a shared value for transformation, repair, imagination, care, and reclamation in Vermont. Amber is a Black multiracial mother of 3 and is committed to centering the wisdom, legacy, stories, and blood memories of 7 generations back and the 7 generations forward that continue to aspire her towards her own and collective destiny.

Naomi Moody (they/she) is a Co-Founder and Collaborative Director of SUSU Community Farm in occupied Abenaki land on so-called Southern Vermont. Naomi’s experience as a Black multiracial, Afroatlantic non-binary queer femme, descendant of Mississippi sharecroppers, informs why they consider themselves a legacy farmer whose work is to reconnect to the wisdom and knowledge present in their ancestral heritage as a way to not only heal themselves and their lineage but also to continue the reparative work needed to be in right relationship with the lands they occupy. They are a plant person, an herbalist, a gardener, a tender, a protector and are devoted to caring for their non-human kin. Naomi is a proud parent and partner hoping to co create a world where their children can thrive.