karen is wrapped in hand knit scarves that pair well with her silver cascade of hair

karen Krolak [pronounced “Care wren Crow lock”]



Currently, I am

I am a free range collaborator based in the unceded lands of the Massachusett and Pawtucket nations near what is now called Boston, MA who lives with a rare chronic health condition. Since 2000, I have been the co-founder/Artistic Director of Monkeyhouse. From 2011-2016, I was also the resident choreographer for Dance’N Feet, a Boston based dance ensemble for women aged 60 – 80 who are not afraid to stand on their heads.

My ongoing project, the Dictionary of Negative Space (DoNS) holds space for the words that the English language lacks for lamenting. It was inspired by my experiences after a car crash killed my mother, father & brother. It has been featured in an I-ARE residency at the Dance Complex in Cambridge, MA; in exhibitions in New York, Arizona, Nevada, Minnesota, Tennessee, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Italy, and S.Korea; conferences in S. Korea, England, India, and the US; as well as in collaborations with Monkeyhouse, Nicole Harris, and Scott McPheeters. My residency at the Newton Cemetery was supported in part by a grant from the Newton Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Mass Cultural Council, a state agency. I have received a Public Art Learning Grant from NEFA, a Live Arts Boston grant from the Boston Foundation, a Sustaining Practice Grant from the Collective Futures Fund, and completed the Audio Description Institute from the American Council for the Blind.

One of my quirky knitting pattern/personal essay/instruction based art pieces, Slippers to Soothe Your Emergency Room Blues, won the First Annual Feels Blind Literary DIY Prize and has been presented in at the Institute for Conceptual Studies online and at the CICA Museum in Gimpo, S.Korea. My essay, Unexpected Artist in Residency in a Hospital, and my DIY hospital robe pattern were recently published in Piney Wood Atlas’s Midwest edition. I am currently directing and costume designing a new play by Eric John Meyer that has been supported through residencies in New York City.

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