About Us

Olafur Eliasson
Olafur Eliasson - The Weather Project, 2003

The Arbor Institute’s mission is to create connection in a disconnected world, inspiring people to care for the planet.

The Institute provides a home for a growing community of artists, ecologists, scientists, and spiritual practitioners to produce and host creative, multidisciplinary events, artworks, installations, and programs that combine art and contemplative practice ecological experience.

Art connects us with each other. Our heart’s wisdom is directly activated through the emotional and sensory experiences of creative expression and a more embodied awareness of our shared humanity.

Contemplative practices provide the grounding, equanimity, and clarity to open our hearts to our experience, to acknowledge our grief, and to cultivate deep connection by piercing the illusion of separateness.

Ecological programs immerse us in the embodied experience of the interdependent web of life, while community events and dialogues bring us together to celebrate our love of the Earth, connect, learn, share solutions, and explore mindful action.​ 

The Institute supports people of all ages and walks of life in reconnecting with each other and with the interdependency of life. We come together to share in our love for the planet and to inspire and engage in mindful action during this time of profound ecological change. 

The Arbor Institute’s mission is to create connection in a disconnected world, inspiring people to care for the planet.

The Institute provides a home for a growing community of artists, ecologists, scientists, and spiritual practitioners to produce and host creative, multidisciplinary events, artworks, installations, and programs that combine art and contemplative practice ecological experience.

Art connects us with each other. Our heart’s wisdom is directly activated through the emotional and sensory experiences of creative expression and a more embodied awareness of our shared humanity.

Contemplative practices provide the grounding, equanimity, and clarity to open our hearts to our experience, to acknowledge our grief, and to cultivate deep connection by piercing the illusion of separateness.

Ecological experiences immerse us in the interdependent web of life, while community events and dialogues bring us together to connect and celebrate our love for the Earth and to learn and share regenerative ecological practices.​ 

The Institute supports people of all ages and walks of life in reconnecting with each other and with the interdependency of life. We come together to share in our care for the planet and to inspire and engage in mindful action during this time of profound ecological change. 

Our Community

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David Levitt

Founding Director and Board Member
David's work is a labor of love. After years of creating independent artworks and architecture focused on the embodied experiences of human relationships and placemaking, he felt called to join with others to protect and restore the planet out of his profound love for the earth. David also leads the architectural firm of Levitt Architects, based in Los Angeles, California and Boulder, Colorado and worked previously on large-scale civic, museum and cultural projects for the international firm of Mitchell/Giurgola Architects. Originally from Philadelphia, PA, David received his B.A. in Cultural Anthropology from Cornell University and his Master of Architecture degree from Yale University.

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Sam Randall 6.2016

Sam Sokyo Randall

Programs and Communications
Sam is passionate about helping people learn, heal, create and connect with each other. She brings over 30 years experience with creative programming, community organizing, design and installation art to the Arbor community. Prior to Arbor, Sam was the Creative Director for madelife in Boulder, CO, counter of circa|design, and faculty member at the University of Texas at Austin School of Architecture in Austin, TX. She has also served on the board of multiple non-profits locally and nationally and as the program manager at the CU Collegiate Recovery Center at the University of Colorado Boulder. Sam received her MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art and Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Kansas School of Architecture and Urban Design. Sam is a certified recovery coach and senior student with the Eon Zen Center in the White Plum Lineage.

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Jane Saltzman

Board Member
Jane serves as board member and also works with organizational development and fundraising for the Arbor Institute. Jane is co-founder of Luca Media Collective and the former Executive Director of OpenArts, a local nonprofit visual arts organization serving Boulder through Open Studios, Open Arts Fest, Clementine Studio and more. Jane is a fiber artist in her spare time. Her work has shown at the Library Gallery and the CU UMC Gallery. In a previous life Jane was a criminal defense attorney and political operative in Chicago, until she saw the light.

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Garret Moddel 1

Garret Moddel

Board Member
Garret Moddel is a professor of Electrical, Computer, and Energy Engineering at the University of Colorado. Along with developing new energy conversion technologies, his research group investigates psi phenomena. Currently he is serving as Vice President for the Society for Scientific Exploration, and was the organizations previous president, and prior to that, president & CEO of Phiar Corporation, a high-tech start-up company. Garret's research interests are in the area of quantum engineering of new devices for energy conversion. With his lab he is developing new ultra-high-speed metal-insulator diodes for solar rectennas, devices that collect and rectify sunlight and waste heat. He also is investigating a technology for extracting energy from the quantum vacuum. Garret earned a BSEE degree from Stanford and MS and PhD degrees in Applied Physics from Harvard.
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Blaine Alward

Volunteer Team
Blaine is an undergraduate in the Environmental Studies program at the University of Colorado Boulder. He intends to pursue further post-graduate education and complete a master’s program within the environmental field. Having spent much of his life on or near the water, Blaine hopes to focus his studies on maintaining clean waterways through engineered ecological processes. You can find him participating in the annual Boulder Creek Cleanup or aimlessly exploring Indian Peaks Wilderness. Blaine is also passionate about peer mentoring fellow students at the University of Colorado who are beginning to discover their path in recovery.
Julia Bridgforth

Julia Bridgforth

Volunteer Team
Julia is a strategy-obsessed creative looking to empower communities through story. Combining her love of art and passion for regenerative system solutions, she is on a mission to create space for herself and others to devise a Cultural Strategy in the fight for social and environmental justice. Julia is a world traveler, type-A creative, dedicated yogi, tree hugger, and off and on vegan.