Meet the Pride Well-being Fair Founders!

Written by Center Communications Team

To celebrate the new partnership between the SF LGBT Center, Mukunda Studio, and TendWell Collective for the forthcoming Pride Summer Well-being Fair on Saturday, June 22, 2024, we sat down with the Well-being Fair founders, Marc Morozumi (he/him), owner of Mukunda Studio and Andrea Stern (she/her), co-founder of TendWell Collective, to discuss the fair’s origins, why this offering is so valuable for attendees and practitioners, and what folks can expect at the event. 

On that note, please join the SF LGBT Center, Mukunda Studio, and TendWell Collective for the Pride Summer Well-being Fair on Saturday, June 22, from 1-4 pm at the Center! Enter your self-care area by connecting with over 18 LGBTQ+ practitioners – exploring and sharing yoga, meditation, herbal medicine, massage, intuitive readings, acupuncture, and so much more. RSVP today!

[Note: The interview is edited for clarity and brevity]

Image of Andrea (left) and Marc (right)


What inspired you to create the Well-being Fair, and how has it grown since its inception in 2022?

Marc: I’ll start by saying that my interest in building events and community around well-being sprang from the observation that not everyone has equal access to wellness, which has been commercialized rather than promoted as something everyone deserves. This led me to think of “well-being” as a universal and individual concept that can inspire each of us to explore our individual journey. I wanted to build a community around well-being rather than just focusing on teaching yoga at my studio. I attended events like the New Living Expo and the Green Festival in San Francisco, which inspired me to create a smaller version of these events at my studio. Around this time, I connected with Andrea and the TendWell Collective, and I realized that I wanted this vision to be bigger than just my studio, aiming to collaborate with the city and emphasize diversity in wellness spaces. Collaborating with all of you and expanding this dream is something I aspire to achieve.

Andrea: Our goal at TendWell Collective is to expand access to wellness and well-being for those who haven’t traditionally had it. We want to reach people who don’t fit the typical thin-and-white mold and make wellness accessible to everyone, not just those who can afford it. We aim to create programs and collaborate with individuals who offer diverse perspectives on well-being, incorporating ideas that resonate with everyone. We start our well-being fairs with inclusive classes that are easy for everyone to try. We believe that everyone’s path to well-being is unique, like their own “special sauce.” Bringing together healers, especially BIPOC and LGBTQ+ community members, is essential to achieving our goals.

Conversation circle

What can folks expect when they attend the Well-being Fair?

Marc: When people come here, they can expect to be greeted by the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence and guided to the second floor, where we’ll set the tone for the day and start with a warm greeting from our grand hostess, Honey Mahogany.  

The day will then break out into different stations. The Rainbow Room will hold our group classes, yoga, meditation, and music performances. The enclosed room will hold our conversation circles for community interaction and discussion. 

In the main hall area, about eight or nine different services will offer intuitive readings, massage, and end-of-life preparation specifically for the LGBTQ+ community. We will also have an art station with custom coloring pages, massage, and a neurosonic session which is a therapeutic sound modality that stimulates the brain to help certain bodily and mental functions. 

How do you identify practitioners for the Well-being Fair, and how do you decide what type of offerings will be available?

Andrea: An aspect of it is that LGBTQ and BIPOC healers often don’t have as many opportunities to participate in events like the Well-being Fair. Many of the practitioners offering services at such events tend to be white, cisgender-focused individuals. Additionally, there continues to be a lack of BIPOC LGBTQ therapists and practitioners in various fields, so it can be challenging to find a healer who shares your identity. By providing a platform for healers to serve people who look like them and share their identities, we hope to uplift and inspire others to pursue similar paths. Many people believe you can’t make a living as a caregiver or healer, but we don’t subscribe to that belief. The collective aspect of this work means that there are opportunities for collaboration and mutual support, such as participating in our Well-being Fairs, training with each other, and building connections within the community.

Marc: Since our first fair in 2022, we have worked with about 50 practitioners. Many of them have returned, which is very affirming and shows they benefit from the experience. Instead of asking practitioners to subscribe to a theme for the fair, we let them choose what they would like to offer based on their interests and expertise. We aim to curate a diverse group of practitioners and create a fair that excites participants and practitioners, making them feel part of something special.

Tijanna’s Offering

What has the community feedback been like for the Well-being Fair over the last few years?

Andrea: First of all, people really enjoy it. It’s a day where we all focus on our own well-being and the well-being of everyone else who participates. We all enter the space in different places in our lives, dealing with the grief, tragedy, and successes we want to share. It feels like a great relief for many people who are feeling lonely, as we know that loneliness is a significant issue right now. Coming together and spending a day learning how to feel better in our bodies and minds and be of service to each other has been truly unique. It’s just a glimpse of what’s possible on a larger scale. I hope people will take away from it the realization that feeling good in their bodies is a priority. Once people have the tools, they can take them home and stay grounded to continue doing fantastic work worldwide. We need people to have the energy to change the world, as the time for change is now.

Marc: One of our main focuses is to make our event less of a marketplace and more of an informational, educational, and resourceful space. Our goal is for people to leave with practical tools such as meditation and breathing techniques, knowledge of acupuncture, or the ability to practice Reiki on themselves. We want to stimulate the idea that these resources come from within rather than outside sources. We’ve received feedback that this approach creates a collective experience where individuals can focus on their sessions. Our setup allows people to choose between group activities and one-on-one sessions, giving them a conscious choice in how they want to spend their time.

What should attendees be most excited about, and what do you hope attendees will take away from the event?

Marc: I am excited about the idea that a team of LGBTQ+ practitioners will be leading the event this June. It’s important for me to highlight and celebrate this community. Hosting the event at the SF LGBT Center emphasizes the importance of pride and self-care, not just the festivities. I hope people will leave feeling empowered and equipped to navigate Pride month and everyday life as LGBTQ+ individuals.

Andrea: I want people to walk away from our conversation circles and realize that the path to well-being is diverse and individual. These circles are a platform for sharing a wide range of techniques for calming the nervous system, incorporating mindfulness, and easing anxiety. It’s wonderful that individuals leave with various perspectives on well-being and wellness, not just the idea of a spa day, which is not accessible to everyone. The focus is on making connections and finding support from others with similar experiences and identities so people can seek help when needed.

Andrea holding a conversation circle with event attendees

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