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Behind the Scenes at Seminar

Behind the Scenes at Seminar

Rick writes:

We thought you might enjoy a look behind the scenes at the setting from which we give our online Certified Zentangle Teacher seminars. We broadcast our seminars out of the Singh Auditorium of the Alternatives Whitin Mill facility. The auditorium is on the second floor of the building in the picture in the top of the page.

In the above image you can see the other side of that building on the right. The second floor with the balcony is where our staff manages the customer service and chat forums during seminar.

In this next image you can see the view from that balcony as you look out onto the town center of our small village of Whitinsville, Massachusetts.

And here's a side view looking back from the bridge:

For a bit of history, that building on the left is the site of one of the first large forges in North America which was a part of the American Industrial Revolution. Perhaps it is symbolic that our online seminars originate from this same location.

Maria and I also have some good personal history with this mill. My father, my aunt, and my uncle worked at this mill. My aunt worked there for over 40 years. This is the town in which I grew up and my house was just four houses away from the mill. I remember visiting my aunt in her office or meeting my dad as he punched out after work in the foundry.

Maria's dad was a truck driver and this mill was one of his regular customers. Later (about 40 years ago) Maria began volunteering for Alternatives and our family has been volunteering there ever since. Alternatives began as a project to care for under-served individuals with mental and physical challenges. They repurposed this mill and it is now a cultural center in our town.

Here are a couple views from inside showing our set and our audio visual support team that makes sure everything works smoothly.

That's Julie and Jen in the above images. 

We never thought that we would give seminars online because we didn't think we could have the energetic connection with participants that we enjoy in face-to-face events. However, when travel was restricted recently, we tried our first online seminar. Amazingly, we felt the same energetic connection and this was reinforced by the feedback we received.

We are so grateful to Alternatives and their parent company Open Sky for their support, the work they do, and for creating such a beautiful space.


AND . . . if anyone wants to support the work at the Alternatives Mill, we invite you to join us in the annual Valley Bag Toss (cornhole tournament and fundraiser), Saturday, October 15, 2022, on the beautiful brick plaza outside the mill overlooking the Blackstone River. Molly and her husband Nick Hollibaugh run this event every year and it's a lot of fun with great food, prizes and music. "Uncle Tom" (Maria's brother), who plays for us at in-person seminars will be there to serenade us, too. You can register to play in the tournament or just drop by and say, "Hi!" More information on that here.



Rick Roberts


  • What a beautiful place and serene environment to host the seminars. I could feel the good vibes from all of you and this place. I taught a Zentangle Method class yesterday in a special needs facility to some glowing adults. I’m so thankful for all of you and how being a CZT39 is opening a new path in my life.

    Donna Norton on

  • Thanks for posting these behind-the-scenes pictures and historical information. So nice to see more of the surroundings than we could on the zoom at CZT39. Big thanks to all of you: Rick, Maria, Molly, Martha, Julie and the rest of the supportive staff.

    sharon schenkel on

  • Tangle seminar is more precious because you introduced the place of the seminar.

    Thank you.

    Mi Kyeong Lee on

  • What a precious glimpse into life behind-the-scenes where the online seminars are held. My curious mind has always wondered. Thank you for bringing the Zentangle Method to our lives and adapting as things changed in our world. Your passion is apparent to us all!

    Brenda Shaver Shahin on

  • What a treat! Thank you for showing us the reality of how you bring these magical online experiences together. You made it work and with your fantastic team you have given so many people, especially here in Australia, the unimaginable opportunity to become CZT’s. We all sincerely thank you and want you to know how much we truly appreciate your efforts.

    Yvonne Rein on

  • Good Morning to the fabulous team at HQ all the way from SA!
    (yeah I know you are all still sleeping ….)
    Your "behind the scenes’ facility is just beautiful and has fantastic history, it also looks so calm and peaceful……
    Thank you for everything you taught us and did for us during CZT#39, I thoroughly enjoyed the 4 days with everyone.
    I am so excited to be a Certified Zentangle Teacher now and very soon I will be teaching 3 times a week!
    Love and Light JB xoxo

    Jacqueline Bennett on

  • You guys have come such a long way and exceeded your own expectations in such a wonderful way. It has been so lovely to watch the Zentangle community grow so much in the past 12 years since I attended HQ. Much love to you all.

    Jane Monk on

  • Seeing the setting inside and out makes us remote attendees feel even more involved in the event. We can close our eyes, visualize the setting and feel we are there if only for a few minutes. Thank you!

    Jo Diamantes on

  • Really appreciated reading & seeing photos of such a special place. I’ve done one ZenAgain online that was super & doing another. Continue on… it’s working!

    Heather Toswell on

  • Thank S

    Donna Perrrino on

  • great to see these pictures. it’s all about transformative change … Zentangle Inc.’s environment symbolizes it, and Zentangle embodies it. thank you all!

    Peyton on

  • Incredible! It was very interesting to look behind the scenes and see your faces again. I fondly remember those wonderful 4 days in my life, filled with inspiration and beauty. Thank you for the opportunity of online seminars. Otherwise, my dream was unlikely to come true, since I could not attend live. I love your team. You are great fellows! You give people the joy of creativity and love for beauty. It is very important!

    Елена CZT39 on

  • What a treat to see the space you were presenting from. You ace the online, live Webinar format. I loved the whole seminar. I was completely engaged and focused. The online option also allowed me to become a CZT, as travel to the in person site was not feasible. Please know how appreciative I am to each and everyone of you for guiding my Zentangle journey.

    Ronda Hall on

  • Oh! I love the history and the connections. The story makes that unique setting exciting!

    Clara A Brunk on

  • Thank you so much for these wonderful behind-the-scenes pictures. I thoroughly every minute of seminar 39! Thank you for presenting online for those of us unable to travel to join you in person.

    Kathleen McMurtry on

  • I am so pleased you shared these wonderful behind-the-scenes pictures. I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of seminar 39! Thank you so much for providing the seminar online for those of us unable to travel to join you in person.

    Kathleen McMurtry on

  • Thanks for this behind-the-scenes loot. You found that teaching online worked and still made an energetic connection. I also found that by teaching yoga online. Now people who can’t travel can still partake in Zentangle and yoga and more. I’m looking forward to being at the Zentomology event in November and also glad to be there live.

    Mary Lou Minard CZT32 on

  • Thank you! I’m looking forward to the time when I can be there in person. To smell the air, feel the vibe and, most importantly, meet everyone at Zentangle HQ In person!

    Ann Baum on

  • These behind-the-scenes views warm my heart! It brings me closer to the Zentangle people and purposes, and inspires me to keep up my practice. Thank you for this taste of your community and history! If ever you feel led, I would love to see more of the Zentangle artwork in and around your home as well. The little glimpses of beauty I’ve seen are a delight for the eyes!

    Jane Elaine on

  • Just celebrated my love of being a CZT for 10 years! Zentangle bring so much joy, peace, love, and creativity to my life. I am so grateful to each and everyone of you!

    Karen Izzi on

  • I attended seminar 37 and this post brought back the wonderful memories!! I am glad that you offered the seminar online during the difficult times and it was a wonderful opportunity for us to attend it! And yes, the energy and connection was amazing 😊

    Suchitra K on

  • Thanks for showing me the beautiful buildings, history and scenery. I am one of the people who emailed you to please do the certification process online. Thankful for the decision to do so and thrilled to get my Certification. Thanks to everyone who made this possible. Blessings.

    Brenda Jowers on

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