Hi! My name is Ben Weber. I'm an artist, comedian, educator, arts administrator, and a really good listener. Please join me as I interview friends and loved ones in the cozy places where they find inspiration, safety, warmth, abundance, and delight.
FOUR: Old Friends in Housing Works Bookstore Cafe
My guest is Jeremy Bloom, a multi-disciplinary artist, director, and writer. I met him at Northwestern University’s summer theater camp and his sweet, gentle, artistic brightness has nourished my artist self throughout my years of living in New York. We meet at Housing Works Bookstore Café to have a cozy conversation about books as sacred, leaving your artist lane, and costumes!
We devise a project called “Lantern Song (LandTurn Song)” for the Olbrich Botanic Gardens in Madison, WI, commissioned by Agro-Business Mogul and Cozy Zone Foundation Trustee Mr. Greg Biteman for $1.3 million, the amount Amazon should have paid this year in federal income taxes.
THREE: Ana Cantorán Viramontes | In The Guest Room
Ana Cantorán Viramontes (Interdisciplinary Artist) invites me to her Flatbush, Brooklyn guest room where we chat about her first plays in Puebla, Mexico (starring her cousins), the tumult of landing in New York, and finding her artist self at Naropa University.
With a $65 billion grant (based on the 2018 subsidy from the United States Government to the Fossil Fuel Industry) from Cozy Zone Foundation Trustee Claude Walter Petosiris, we devise “Sufragio” for the Rochester Contemporary Art Center and The National Susan B. Anthony Museum & House’s, Temporary Public Art Installation on East Avenue
TWO: Drew Petersen | Beecher’s Handmade Cheese
Drew Petersen (Artistic Director, Trusty Sidekick Theater Company) takes me to the basement bar of Beecher’s Handmade Cheese where we chat about immersive theater, Drew’s punk rock beginnings, and the future cultivation of theater for young audiences.
With a $2.62 million grant (based on the daily income from NYC’s George Washington Bridge, Verrazano Bridge, and Hugh L. Carey Tunnel) from Cozy Zone Foundation Trustee Victoria Steinbeck, we devise “Cook Circle Mountain” for Thornton, Colorado’s Roundabout at 128th Avenue & Cook Circle.
ONE: Ben Weber | Cozy Zone Revival
It’s 2020. Cozy Zone with Ben Weber is back with double the heart, triple the cozy, and quadruple the shtick.
I chat with Cozy Zone Foundation Trustee Dr. Vincent Pougash and with a budget of $9.95 billion, (the 2017 U.S. Government budget for the NSA) I create a project for Sculpture At River Market .
Also, join my Patreon!
Kevin Townley at The Marlton Hotel
“O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!”
Why it’s Kevin Townley’s cozy zone, published today, October 16, 2018, in celebration of his birthday. On March 10, 2017, Kevin and I lounged in the resplendent lobby of The Marlton Hotel, where I was drenched with Kevin’s kindness and wisdom. Drawing from his artful life as a singer, actor, writer, and mediation teacher, Kevin illuminated his personal mindfulness and creative practices inspired by Susan Piver, Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, and Robert Olen Butler.
AND we devised a stellar project for The Cozy Zone Foundation: “Filmed Stories Studios,” a colossal, immersive soundstage that generates fantastical filmed stories (movies).
Here’s Kevin’s bio from MNDFL, the meditation studio that catalyzed our triumphant reunion:
Kevin Townley is a writer/performer, and has been studying Buddhism since 2010. He currently practices with the Sokuko-Ji Zen community under the guidance of Kyoun Sokuzan. Kevin completed the Interdependence Project’s teacher training program in 2012. He works alongside Susan Piver to support her online community, The Open Heart Project. He is passionate about exploring the interplay of meditation and art-making while encouraging others to bring their own innate humor and insight to their meditation practice.
ALSO You should probably visit Kevin’s IMDB page and this stylish article in Time Out New York…
Thanks for listening!
Penelope McCourty in Number Six
I had the honor of chatting with Penelope in her cozy Crown Heights apartment on September 16, 2017. Listening back to the audio, I was reminded of my own rawness and of Penelope’s generosity and creative curiosity.
Penelope and I met at The New Victory Theater where I was lucky enough to get some professional development dance training from her. As a mover, Penelope possesses an easeful power and effortless grace. As a human, she is kind, candid, and super fun! Here’s her bio:
Penelope McCourty has 20+ years’ experience as a facilitator of creative process and community sharing through the art forms of dance and performance. She has worked artistically and administratively with several locally and nationally known dance companies and community arts organizations. As a performer, she has worked with local and touring companies including Marlies Yearby’s Movin’ Spirits Dance Theater, Spoke the Hub Dancing, Liz Lerman Dance Exchange, the Shakespeare Theater Company, Stephen Koplowitz and Reggie Wilson/Fist and Heel Performance Group. Her choreographic work has been presented at St. Mark’s Church, Joyce Soho, Chicago’s Links Hall, BAX/Brooklyn Arts Exchange, DIA NYC, BRIC, DanceSpace, Towson University and San Francisco State University. Penelope received the 2014 NYU/Steinhardt School Exemplary Teaching Artist Award and the Elders Share the Arts Visionary Artist Award for her work as an arts educator. She currently lives in Brooklyn and is the middle and upper school dance teacher at The Berkeley Carroll School in Park Slope. She also teaches residencies and professional development workshops through New Victory Theater, Park Avenue Armory’s Artist Corps, Elders Share the Arts and Madison Square Park.
Please enjoy our conversation about ego, body image, being honest, and our project for The Cozy Zone Foundation: “Seer.”
The Coziest Podcast
Listening to conversation podcasts, I often wish they were a little more intimate. Everything feels slick and polished, and people are giving their public versions of themselves.
In Cozy Zone, Ben meets people in their own personal safe spaces, and leads the way with a tone of warmth and humor, so that conversations can get really real. Listening to Cozy Zone, you get the feeling of sitting around with your closest friends.