karen Krolak [pronounced “Care wren Crow lock”]
Currently, I am
- co-founder/Artistic Director of Monkeyhouse
- creator of the Dictionary of Negative Space (DoNS)
- a co-producer of NACHMO Boston,
- dramaturg for Kimberleigh Holman’s Contradictions + Causal Self Loathing
- director/costume designer for Eric John Meyer’s Assemblages
- Minister of Pom Poms and Big Ideas at the Clary and Cimermanis Little Free Library,
- Humanities Advisor for the Black Arts Sanctuary,
- on the Circle of Advisors for the Dance Complex,
- a Board member for the Boston Dance Alliance,
- a member of the Dance/USA Deaf and Disability Affinity Group,
- a member of the Boston Dance Alliance’s Dance and Disabilities cohort
- and an adoptive mom to two talented canines and oodles of plants.
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 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 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. She is currently directing and costume designing a new play by Eric John Meyer that has been supported through residencies at the Lark and at Dutch Kills Theater in New York City.