Cedar Ranney Shapiro
Cedar is an artist, educator and ritualist living in Huichin Village (Oakland, CA). They migrated from Minneapolis to the Bay Area after graduating college to build with Jewish community and train in feminist Jewish ritual leadership as a Kohenet. In 2015, Cedar founded Sacred Witness Media, a digital storytelling company amplifying creative responses to challenges like climate change and social inequity. After experiencing firsthand the power of self-expression to heal and sustain the spirit in hard times, they began studying movement-based expressive art therapy with the Tamalpa Institute. Cedar lives by their Tamalpa teaching that “as artists, we say yes to whatever arises and do our best to respond creatively.” They draw upon their trainings with Tamalpa and Kohenet to create transformational ritual spaces, curriculum, film, music and social practice art. Cedar serves as a Jewish wilderness rite of passage mentor with Wilderness Torah.
Cedar’s current project “Fragments” explores how we remember what’s been forgotten, following their journey of recovering the stories and strengths of their Romanian Jewish ancestors who migrated to Minneapolis at the turn of the 20th century. Their work is process-oriented and often participatory, frequently centering Jewish themes and experiences. They work in many media, with a focus in music, film, performance and social practice art. Cedar is excited to be piloting a Digital Storytelling social practice project with kids at Eden Village West this summer, where they serve as a Digital Storyteller and Ritual Specialist.
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