We are cousins, photographers, travellers and foodies!
Laurie Nassif, Director and Culinary guide
Foodie, travel photographer, author-photographer of two books, fashion and editorial photo-shoot producer, and adventure traveler, Laurie’s photographs have appeared in numerous publications including, Conde Nast Traveler,Elle, Sierra, and The New York Times. Laurie’s books, A Year in Central Park, with an introduction by Pulitzer Prize winner, Paul Goldberger, (Rizzoli International, 1992) and A Year in Chautauqua, with an introduction by Emmy Award winner, Roger Rosenblatt (Park Bench Press, 2000) are stunning photographic essays on a year in the life of two of the Country’s most enduring expressions of community, both natural and social.
A foodie extraordinaire, she was co-owner of the highly successful and succulent eatery, Green Fine Salad in Denver, CO that saw years of success in the Denver restaurant scene. Her passion for travel, photography and food has taken Laurie around the globe, with extended stays in Africa, Guatemala, New Zealand, Thailand and Vietnam. Laurie lives with he husband, Jon, and their son, Sam, in Denver.
Nance Ackerman, Instructor, Photography
Celebrated documentary photographer, Nance Ackerman has been taking pictures around the world for over 30 years. Her work has been featured in Time, Newsweek, Canadian Geographic, New York Times, and Canada’s national newspaper, the Globe and Mail. Her photographs of First Nations women have been exhibited at the Aperture Foundation in New York. Her book, Womankind: Faces of Change Around the World – a collection of portraits and essays of women activists around the world, was released in 2003 and she has freelanced for the Smithsonian Institution, documenting Indigenous cultures.
In 2005 Ackerman turned her eye to directing film social documentary films with the National Film Board. She and has gone on to win numerous awards and nominations for Cottonland, an exploration of prescription drug addiction, Four Feet Up, an intimate look at child poverty in Canada, and Fid, a short doc on aging. She is wrapping on a feature Documentary film, Conviction, with the National Film Board on Women and prison, which is slated for release in 2019. Ackerman also teaches photojournalism at the University of King' College in Nova Scotia, while she and her partner, Jamie Alcorn, create music, film and web projects at their oceanside studio, Heartstring Productions.
Donna Nebenzahl, Instructor, Meditative writing and Yoga
Donna Nebenzahl has been writing feature stories for newspapers and magazines in Canada and the U.S for over thirty years. She founded the Woman News section of the Montreal Gazette in the late 90's and is a veteran editor. She co-authored a book on activist women, Womankind: Faces of Change Around the World, (Raincoast Books, 2003) with photographer, Nance Ackerman. The documentary film that she conceived, researched and wrote, Twice Upon a Garden, won the 2011 Audience Award at the International Festival of Films on Art and she is currently at work on several documentary film projects. She teaches yoga in Montreal as well as creative writing in the Journalism Department at Concordia University in Montreal, Canada.
She is a certified Yoga Instructor and has spent years practicing Yoga and writing at the Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat in the Bahamas.