Artistic Director and Founder
Tracy founded SafeArt in 2000 after 20 years as an Artist and Educator in Fiber Arts and Dance. Her experience in an abusive relationship from the age of 14 to 29 gave her a distinctive perspective on how her students were responding to creative expression. Wanting to work across the spectrum of prevention to recovery from traumatic abuse gave rise to the concept of SafeArt.
Before founding SafeArt, Tracy taught Modern and Creative Dance at Montana State University, Colby Sawyer College and Dartmouth College, and worked as an Artist-in-Residence in schools in Montana, New Hampshire and Vermont. Over the past 25 years, Tracy has performed both solo and with various troupes and collaborators.
In 2008, Altus Healing Arts opened as SafeArt’s home in Chelsea, Vermont. Tracy offers individual therapeutic sessions that combine energy healing, movement and voice in a process she developed, called Tracing. Tracy also teaches yoga, dance, weaving and mindfulness. Tracy has an interest in equine therapy, through which abused and neglected horses and people can learn from and be healed by each other in profound ways. In 2016, Tracy published A Curriculum of Courage: Making SafeArt, and has taken the book on tour in the Northeast.
Tracy believes in the power of the arts to create personal and social change.
Caro Bick moved to Chelsea from North Carolina in 2006. She left North Carolina to remove herself from an abusive relationship and change her life patterns. After being here only a few months she met Tracy Penfield and was introduced to dance through Tracy’s Monday night Dance program. The freedom and opening she experienced created a balance she had never found before, and she was hooked!
Caro has spent many of her professional years as a Special Education teacher, working mostly with students who have behavioral troubles in the school setting. She began her career in this field in the mid 1970’s working with juvenile delinquents from the greater Boston area at an alternative school called Penikese Island School, located on a small Island off the coast of Cape Cod, where the boys learned basic skills such as farming and carpentry and cooking.
Caro spends those six months of the Vermont growing season working in perennial gardens around the Upper Valley, and in the winter she enjoys cross country skiing, riding her horse, and making home made cider.
Program Director and Healing Arts Practitioner
Healing Arts Practitioner
A Vermont-based artist, Ali began her involvement with SafeArt in high school when she joined the Performing Arts Ensemble. During her time in this ensemble she experienced the amazing ability of the performing arts to shed light on dark subject matter for middle and high school aged kids.
A few years later she found herself back at SafeArt, this time with a newly earned BFA from the Maine College of Art. With this education, in combination with her past experiences in the ensemble, she became a Youth Program Facilitator.
She is excited to provide an opportunity for young people to discover what she discovered herself at that age: the sense of empowerment that comes with understanding oneself through creative expression.
Art gathers itself in all corners of her life: from a walk in the woods to the desirable acoustics in the shower, from the revival of her vintage trailer to the way she styles her hair.
She encourages people of all ages to explore the creative power within themselves in an intuitive and inclusive way.