Board of Directors
AJ Block is the director of Didge Project and is active as a didgeridoo teacher and performer. In addition to didgeridoo, AJ has spent years studying music traditions from all over the world including jazz (trombone and piano), western classical music, Indian Classical Music, guitar and world percussion. AJ has developed a number of programs for Didge Project including The ABCs of Didgeridoo, The Didgeridoo Skills Course, and Circular Breathing Mastery. As a performer AJ is the leader of the Didge Project Music Collective and a member of Dream Seed: A Shamanic Sound Journey. AJ is a founding member of Sacred Arts Research Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of sacred art traditions through education, ritual and study. As a student of spiritual teacher Maestro Manuel Rufino AJ is an active member of the Golden Drum community.
Shola is one of the pioneers of the Sacred Arts Research Foundation; an NPO that provides educational programs that support the exploration and disciplines of the sacred arts locally & globally. She is a student of Maestro Manuel Rufino and an active member of The Golden Drum, a cultural community center for consciousness in Brooklyn, and a member of the Universal Initiatic College, learning the traditional Native American healing ways and sacred wisdom traditions. Shola is also a member of Dream Seed: A Shamanic Sound Journey. Shola’s mission is to be in service to the preservation of the sacred traditions of the earth and enrich communities through education and service. She is a drummer, flutist, guitarist and song carrier; singing traditional songs from around the world and has been weaving music, art and native healing practices to empower the human heart towards a more gentle, peaceful and purposeful existence. Shola has been studying ceremonial artistry for the past 10 years. She is the Founder of Made in Prayer, a collective that empowers communities by hosting educational programs that guide you through prayerful art making. Made in Prayer is a ceremonial lifestyle brand.
Jerry Walsh is a musician, vocalist, and beatboxer mixing ancient instruments and techniques such as the didgeridoo, Peruvian pan flute, hang drum, and Tuvan throat singing with experimental hip-hop rhythms and lyrics revolving around mysticism and social activism. He has performed and taught at Sonic Bloom Festival, Gratitude Festival, Mysteryland Festival in Chile, Unifier Festival, and Alex Grey's Chapel of Sacred Mirrors. Jerry has worked alongside internationally acclaimed sculpture artist, Kate Raudenbush, for the past three years bringing large scale laser-cut steel allegorical and spiritually inspired installations to Baltimore, New York City, San Fransisco, Black Rock City, Amsterdam in the Netherlands, and Santiago in Chile.
Jerry has been a student of Maestro Manuel Rufino for over three years, studying the sacred traditions of humanity focusing primarily on the shamanic traditions of the Indigenous cultures of the Americas. He has travelled to over twenty five different countries on five continents and spent a full year studying Buddhism and Himalayan culture in India, Nepal, and Bhutan from 2010-2011. He is a founding member of the Sacred Arts Research Foundation and the Ark in Greenpoint, Brooklyn where he resides with the Golden Drum community.
Amanda Capobianco comes to the Sacred Arts Research Foundation with vision, dedication and drive to preserve and share the Sacred Arts Traditions with both local and global communities.
Having grown up in a small town with limited resources, she has experienced first hand the dire importance of accessible arts programing for the continued health of any community. She believes that her own experience with studying sacred arts traditions opened a doorway to a cultural understanding that she wouldn't have had access to otherwise. This has led her to develop talents that continue to help the world around her while evolving both spiritually and mentally in ways she never thought possible.
Amanda is a yoga teacher in the Hatha Vinyasa lineage and has taught Yoga Classes, Advanced Yoga Teacher Trainings and Mantra Immersions for over a decade in the heart of Brooklyn, New York. She has become an integral voice of the yoga community in Brooklyn and an even greater visionary for the global community via her international wellness blog Brooklyn Light. She has traveled with her work to India, Indonesia, The United Arab Emirates, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico and throughout the United States.
Amanda holds a BFA in Theatre from Cornish College of the Arts. She is an untrained and unapologetic musician and continues to hone her creative communication and media skills as a contributing writer for the SARF blog. She currently acts as Secretary on the Board of Directors for The Sacred Arts Research Foundation. Amanda is a dedicated student of Maestro Manuel Rufino and an active member of the Golden Drum community.
Laura Krassner, Treasurer of the Sacred Arts Research Foundation, brings over a decade’s worth of experience working in the finance and technology industries as well as the healing arts, as a yoga and meditation teacher in the Kundalini Yoga tradition.
Currently, she is the Director of Client Services at a technology software company and resident yoga teacher at Golden Drum, a cultural center created for the healing, transformation, and the expansion of consciousness of humanity. Under the guidance and wisdom of her teacher, Taino elder Maestro Manuel Rufino, Laura studies and practices sacred spiritual traditions from around the world. Her mission is to be in service and share transformational tools with the local and global community.