Karyn Gartner


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I was born to a young mother and raised by teenagers aged 15-18. Being raised by teenagers in the age of Elvis and a mother who loved country music and musicals, sowed the field for a life influenced and experienced through the lens of theater and music.In my teens and twenties, I lived in the world of rock and roll. I became involved in theater, studying at Steppenwolf with John Malkovich, Gary Sinise and Randall Arney. My favorite production was Sam Shepard’s Cowboy Mouth, playing a character based on one of my hero’s, Patti Smith. I’ve been a puppeteer, a touring manager, a living mannequin and between creative endeavors, a bookkeeper, office manager, waitress and other occupations.At a class with John Malkovich, I had an experience that brought an awareness of having to deal with being a survivor of sexual abuse. I joined a self-help group where I then trained to lead these groups. Soon after, I saw the book “Maps to Ecstasy” by Gabrielle Roth. I bought the book and called the Moving Center regarding workshops. She was coming to Chicago the next weekend on my birthday. I was hooked. I began producing 5Rhythms workshops in 1996, graduating from the 5Rhythms Training in 1998.In 2001, I founded Mandala, a non-for-profit organization which offered programs that inspire and give space for transformation and healing.In 2015, I was honored to be a trainee in the Open Floor Teachers Training. I was so inspired and impressed by the teachings and the organization that I became a working member of Open Floor International as the Operations Lead of the Library Circle.I’m devoted to my family, husband, friends and dogs, Rudi and Ellie and cats, Mya, Mollie and Mazzy.