Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Art of Communication Festival SPRING 2021

May 1 - May 2

$30 – $95
A full weekend of NVC workshops! For beginners to the more experienced, we’re offering 10 different sessions on a variety of topics.

Register Here

Dear Ones,

This spring’s Art of Communication Festival will feature some recurring favorites (Couples, Parenting, NVC & Spirituality, The Music of Needs, and Conflict Improv) along with some brand-new offerings (Scarcity & Abundance, The Power of Do-Overs, Surfing the Dynamics of Parenting and Adult Children, and A New Kind of Self-Care) as well as our first-time flagship event, a moderated panel on NVC and Social Justice.

Whether you are new to NVC (there’s an Intro first thing Saturday morning!) or someone with more experience, I hope you’ll join us for part or all of these lovely offerings.

Scroll down for the titles, schedule, descriptions, and more info about session leaders.

Questions? Please feel free to reach out.

Caren Camblin

Event Coordinator, Trainer, and Board President


PS Follow us on our new Instagram feed! @wildgiraffesofsantacruz

Register Here



  • Welcome & Conflict Improv – Jean Morrison and Caren Camblin


  • Introduction to NVC – Caren Camblin

11:45 – 12:45

  • Without Coercion, Force, Bribery or Even Praise: An Introduction to NVC Parenting – Michelle Leah Gomez


  • Power and Purpose of “Do-Overs” – an essential relationship skill – Jean

2:30 – 3:30

  • Music of Needs – Armando Alcaraz

3:45 – 4:45

  • A New Kind of Self-Care – Caren Camblin

5 – 6

  • NVC and Spirit – Bar



  • Couples Without Defensiveness – Rick Longinotti

11:30 – 12:45

  • Scarcity and Abundance – Kristin Masters


  • Surfing the Dynamics of Parents & Adult Children – Jean

2:15 – 3:30

  • Flagship Event: Panel on NVC & Social Justice
  • moderated by Kristin Masters
  • Panelists include: Jessica Escobedo, Kadijah Means, Rick Longinotti, and Deanna Zachary (bios coming soon!)

3:45 – 4:30

  • Closing w/Caren Camblin



Without Coercion, Force, Bribery or Even Praise: An Introduction to NVC Parenting – Michelle Leah Gomez

Would you be willing to consider your child whole from birth – not needing to be fixed through force, coercion, bribery or even simple praise? A family where everyone’s needs matter? This participatory session is not about teeth brushing, bedtime and homework strategies. It is about building connection and trust – and the vast possibilities that flow forth.

The Power and Purpose of ‘Do-Overs’ – an essential relationship skill – Jean Morrison

It bears saying many times, many ways… “no one’s perfect.” Which leads us to acknowledge that we’re all going to continue to do and say things that impact others in uncomfortable ways… disappointment, hurt feelings, frustration, anxiety, withdrawal. Apologies for our actions or words that we regret can be made even more effective in re-connection and repair if we initiate and carry out an authentic ‘do-over.’ When my daughter was a teenager I accidentally (intuitively perhaps) did a do-over and was so surprised at the instant shift to connection in us both that I knew I wanted to be able to replicate it. It’s now part of my making amends ala NVC and my brain’s neuroplasticity likes it too. And… it’s easier than you think.

The Music of Needs – Armando Alcaraz

To better listen to ourselves and others we need to know ourselves deeply. Beyond an intellectual level, we need to tap into our sense of Being where our needs are already met. Delve deep into an exploration of the energy of needs through original music and songs in English and Spanish. This is an experiential workshop where we will be listening to ourselves in silence as well as through musical landscapes. We will also be sharing, and listening to each other. Make sure you have a comfortable, private, quiet space in your home. Looking forward to seeing you!

A New Kind of Self-Care – Caren Camblin

In a commercialistic culture, self-care is often commodified or reduced to “pampering.” No wonder we often take less care of ourselves than we’d like! This workshop shifts self-care within: to the language of needs and how we might meet them for ourselves in a given moment.

NVC as a Spiritual Practice – Bar Lowenberg

The Namaste of NVC – enhancing our skill and understanding of compassionate communication with spirituality at its base. Marshall Rosenberg said, “The spiritual basis for me is that I’m trying to connect with the Divine Energy in others and connect them with the Divine in me…”


Couples Without Defensiveness – Rick Longinotti

In the course of living together, things push my buttons. When it happens, I go back to NVC’s method to desensitize my buttons. It works. In this workshop we’ll explore this simple method that’s not easy to practice.

Scarcity and Abundance Kristin Masters

What happens when you don’t think you have enough resources (money, love, support)? We’ll play with our beliefs, find empathy for our inner and outer jackals, work to find responsive requests around what we actually have, and make even more powerful choices.

Surfing the Dynamics of Parents & Adult Children – Jean Morrison

Who’s the parent? Who’s the child? Or are they? When do habitual (and often unconscious) roles change? What can help us surf these dynamics so the relationship stays or grows to be intact and healthy? Come explore this topic through the lens and principles of NVC. We predict you will enjoy the support this international system can provide.

Panel on NVC and Social Justice – Kristin Masters and panelists

We’ve asked several of our board and core group to share their thoughts and passions in applying NVC to social justice. This panel will be moderated to balance voices and focus. Panelists include Jessica Escobedo, Kadijah Means, Rick Longinotti, and Deanna Zachary. (Bios of panelists are coming!)


Armando Alcaraz

Armando has been teaching NVC for the last 15 years. In the last 4 years he has created healing spaces with music and contemplation. Armando plays instrumental guitar music and original songs.

Caren Camblin

Caren has been studying and practicing NVC since 2005. She holds an MA in philosophy from Stanford University. She is a lecturer at UC Santa Cruz, as well as a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt and Registered Yoga Teacher. She teaches women/femme self-defense at her own dojo as well as NVC and Social Justice at UCSC.

Michelle Leah Gomez

Michelle has a JD from UC Davis and an MA in Jurisprudence and Social Policy from UC Berkeley. She taught in Law & Society at UC Santa Barbara and served as the Director of Research and Education at UCSB’s Center on Police Practices and Communication.

Parenting brought her to NVC — hosting NVC parenting circles since 2008 and teaching since 2020. She, her spouse and three children live in Watsonville, California, where she homeschools.

Rick Longinotti is a marriage and family therapist and co-founder of Art of Communication, NVC Santa Cruz.

Bar Lowenberg

Christine King introduced me to NVC in 2005. Since then, I’ve been studying, practicing, and sharing NVC as a way of life. I previously offered a “Free Empathy” table several hours each weekend on Pacific Avenue, until Covid-19 put the kibosh on that activity. I continue to offer “NVC as a Spiritual Practice” every Friday morning on Zoom from 10 to Noon.

Kristin Masters brings attunement, resonance, insight and compassion to her sessions toward personal and social change. She thinks of her work as a Venn diagram where the principles and applications of NVC, social justice/liberation work, neuroscience/trauma healing work, Joanna Macy’s Work that Reconnects meet. She became a certified CNVC trainer in 2010, and calls NVC Santa Cruz her home community. Please check https://nvcsantacruz.org/ for upcoming workshops and retreats. Kristin offers individual coaching, workshops, retreats, and organizational consulting.

Jean Morrison, MA (in education and psychology), has a passion for making play out of learning, whether it’s in the field of communication and conflict transformation, healthy relationships at home and work, or the Enneagram system of temperament types. She’s had a 30 year career as a certified trainer in Nonviolent (compassionate) Communication (NVC). Her work has spanned the US and abroad, and currently she’s providing online counseling and classes. GROKtheWORLD.com is the home of a variety of communication games, manuals, and books she and her biz partner co-created that are enjoyed around the world.


(bios coming!)

Jessica Escobedo

Kadijah Means

Deanna Zachary


NVC Santa Cruz