Our Staff

Tracy Penfield
Artistic Director and Founder

Tracy Penfield

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. 

For more information on Tracing, click here.

  • Contact Tracy: tpenfield@safeart.org; (802) 685-3138

Jessica Zeba-Snow

Executive Director

Jess has been an involved community member of the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont for over 10 years, and is excited to join the Upper Valley community, expanding her love and dedication for the people and land of Vermont.

She brings with her a comprehensive background in developmental, and organizational trauma. She is currently completing her doctorate in public health, where she has remained diligent to exposing, and reversing the systemic trauma behind the epidemic of mental health in our communities. Prior to that, she worked for multiple organizations to develop and implement trauma-informed practices, as well as humanitarian work for addressing sexual trauma in refugee camps in Rohingya.

Dedicated to ongoing focus studies with Harvard Medical School to further enhance her expertise to improving public health, she also holds a Master’s in Public Health, BS in Nutrition Science, with a dual focus in Business Administration; a Diploma in Holistic Health Practice with a focus in Iridology Analysis, Clinical Herbalism, and Holistic Nutrition; and a partial BA in Pre-Law from Notre Dame College. 

Outside of academic and professional life, Ms. Zeba-Snow is a long term homeschooling mother of 4 daughters, driven by homesteading, outdoor exploration, and community service.

  • Contact Jess: j-zeba-snow@safeart.org; (802) 685-3138

Cleopatra Redbird Griffin
Administrative Coordinator

Cleopatra Redbird was born and raised in Vermont but spent many years traveling the country between here, Florida, California and everywhere in-between. She received her BFA with a focus in Printmaking and Textile work. After running a small DIY gallery space, 512 Gallery, in Pensacola FL. she made the journey home to the Green Mountains where she can be found drawing in Montpelier.

Vegan Chef, curator, plant enthusiast, and organizing queen, Cleopatra enjoys quiet afternoons in her home studio, creating and listening to music. 

Cleopatra can be found in SafeArt’s main office Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday from 9am-3pm for information and booking inquiries. 

  • Contact Cleopatra for SafeArt info and booking: cgriffin@safeart.org; (802) 685 3138

Zoë Boucher
Healing Arts Intern

Zoë Boucher joins the SafeArt team as the Healing Arts Intern.

She facilitates after school youth groups, where youth can come create in a healthy environment and supplies are provided.

She works alongside Perry and Tracy with youth groups, residencies, restorative justice programming, as well as group and individual sessions with adults.

Zoë is a master’s candidate at Lesley University in Clinical Mental Health Counseling with a specialization in Art Therapy.

She relocated to Vermont in 2011 to serve as a staff Artist-in-Residence at the Vermont Studio Center in Johnson, Vermont. She has taught children’s art classes and summer camps at the Helen Day Art Center in Stowe, VT. 

Zoë is excited to join the team at SafeArt and engage with the community in healing art programs to support personal and social change.
  • Contact Zoë: zboucher@lesley.edu; (802) 685 3138

Perry Bellow-Handleman
Youth Program Coordinator

Perry moved to the Upper Valley in the spring of 2018 from Oakland, California. She was drawn to Vermont from a desire to be closer to her family in New York City and live a life more connected to the natural environment. She also has wonderful childhood memories of summers at a camp in Thetford Center where she discovered her love for the outdoors, the healing magic of singing and making art in community and was first introduced to meditation.

For nearly 20 years, Perry has worked with youth and been active in social justice movements. She became involved in anti-police brutality and racial justice movement work as a teenager and since then she has worked as an organizer in a broad range of social justice efforts from education justice to immigrant rights to international solidarity campaigns.

In 2008 Perry felt called to start working with young people in the place they spend most of their time – their schools. She completed her history teacher licensure at San Francisco State University and has 10 years of experience as a high school teacher in Oakland, California. She has taught and directed programs in U.S. History, Ethnic Studies, Civic Engagement, Work-Based Learning, Restorative Justice and Community Arts. She is also a certified Youth Yoga Teacher and Reiki I Practitioner and is passionate about bringing mindfulness practices and creative expression to into classroom.

In her free time, Perry loves to draw, dance, read, study astrology, practice yoga and qigong, make gluten-free treats and explore the outdoors!

  • Contact Perry: bellowhandelman@gmail.com; (802) 685 3138

Mitch Beck
Healing Arts Facilitator
Mitch Beck has been involved with SafeArt since 2004.  
Her original involvement was as a severely traumatized woman in need of everything SafeArt had to offer.  As the years went by, part of her healing process involved organizing fund raisers, community awareness events and many, many art shows displaying the art created by the SafeArt Women’s Groups.
Mitch now works to bring art to children through work on the Art Bus and in the Tunbridge One Planet Afterschool Program.
She is now a facilitator for the weekly HAICU women’s healing group.  Mitch truly believes in engaging the transformative power of the arts to prevent and heal abuse and other traumas.
  • Contact Mitch: oscarsturtleheart@gmail.com ; (802) 685-3138

Susan Hoffman
Healing Arts Facilitator & Practitioner
Medical Herbalist, Aromatherapist, Flower Essence practitioner, Plant Spirit healing, Intuitive Health and Nutritional counselor, Healing Touch/ Reiki and Focusing practitioner, palm reading, oracle card reading and animal communication.  
Sessions can include any one or a combination of the above modalities depending on the situation and the preference of the client.
Issues will be addressed at the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual levels as needed and can cover any area of concern.
For a more detailed explanation of any of the modalities listed feel free to phone or email Susan.
  • Contact Susan: wildhillherbals@gmail.com ; (802) 685-3138