Karen Krolak | Choreographing Community (e5)

Episode 5 of Culture Matters

A conversation with Artistic Director of Monkeyhouse, the innovative Karen Krolak, about the power of inquiry and articulate movement to help communities find more cohesiveness and compassion. In collaboration with groups and fellow artists, Krolak masterminds caring innovations that employ movement, words, and curiosity as key ingredients. She describes her creative forays, stories, and thought process with great eloquence. One could easily hang on her every word for hours.

An Animated Edition of The Dictionary of Negative Space, performed at the Onstage Studio, Malden 2019

Malden is fortunate to be home to Karen Krolak, a creative spirit who has many ideas about how to increase trust and improve communication as a community.  Krolak believes that “we could be more articulate with our bodies and use them for a better benefit if we had more intelligence about the  way we were using them.” 

Krolak calls herself a “free range collaborator,” meaning she creates with a variety of people across sectors, artistic disciplines, region, space, and themes. Voraciously curious, Krolak follows her creative muse to unique projects in and around Boston and sometimes further: Korea, Morocco, England, or other parts of the globe. She is always up to something interesting; as she says, “you simply never know what will happen next around me.”

With a BA in linguistics and an MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts, Krolak draws from many tools, talents, and training to carry out interesting initiatives most often using dance and choreography. As Founder and Artistic Director of Monkeyhouse, she helps equip society to “move with meaning” and care through innovative applications of choreography.


Karen Krolak

Karen Krolak is Founder/Artistic Director of Monkeyhouse and free range collaborator and a curator of experiences

Dictionary of Negative Spaces

This Dictionary of Negative Space is focused on the nameless ideas one discovers tangled in the weeds in the aftermath of a tragedy. They have been culled from personal experience, conversations with friends*, memoirs, newspaper articles, documentary films, snippets overheard on public transportation, and literary panels.


Monkeyhouse is an award winning nonprofit that connects communities with choreography

Culture Matters in Malden Episode, a podcast that offers culture as a lens to explore themes relevant to the Malden community.

Hosts: Papi Xampeux and Ose Schwab
Producer: Ose Schwab
Recorded in the Podcast Suite at Urban Media Arts (UMA)
Date: May 6, 2020
Recorded: Winter 2019

Music excerpts:
“Toscano” | Quartet San Francisco
“Cinema Pathetic” | Blue Dot Sessions
“Humanity” | Scott Holmes

Featured image:
From I-Are Artist Spotlight interview with Karen Krolak at the Dance Complex as one of the 2018-2019 I-ARE Artists for The Dance Complex

The Culture Matters in Malden Podcast can be heard on Soundcloud, Spotify and most Podcast Apps


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