The Thinking Body Institute exists for the purpose of preserving, organizing, promoting and augmenting educational resources that pertain to the work of Mabel Elsworth Todd, her protégés and their students.
The Thinking Body Institute (TBI) is dedicated to expanding knowledgeable participation in the approach to somatic movement education that was created by Mabel Elsworth Todd in the early 20th century. TBI supports the development of a global network of teachers, scholars and students who share this aim by offering a web environment for historical research, education and exchange. Currently, the Thinking Body Institute offers resources and services in three related areas:
- Archive acquires, organizes and preserves collections of original material pertaining to the lives and teaching careers of Mabel Todd, Barbara Clark, Lulu Sweigard and André Bernard. Access to the collections is limited to registered subscribers.
- Education offers avenues for exploring Mabel Todd’s educational legacy, including: essays on her protégés and their students, a comprehensive bibliography of publications in the field, and four online courses devoted to the history, development and theory of Todd's work.
- Exchange provides current information on the sources of published materials in the field, announcements of TBI Archive updates and class registration schedules, and news of related developments submitted by Archive subscribers.
The Thinking Body Institute maintains an organizational culture that reflects the highest professional standards, including: constructive dialogue, acknowledgement of intellectual property, recognition of the diversity of perspectives, awareness of areas of common responsibility and commitment to the realization of the unique potential of all participants.
The Thinking Body Institute was formally established by Joseph and Pamela Matt in 2016 as an elaboration of the responsibilities they assumed in 1980 as trustees of the Barbara Clark Manuals Trust. The original trust agreement declared that all proceeds from the sale of Miss Clark’s educational “manuals” be used to, “publish and promote the works of BARBARA CLARK relating to body posture and movement.” Since 1980, two major projects were undertaken to advance Clark’s original plan. In 1993, A Kinesthetic Legacy: The Life and Works of Barbara Clark was published to provide historical background for Clark’s teaching and writing. In 2005, resources from the sale of the book were invested in the development of the educational website www.ideokinesis.com to disseminate introductory information on the field that Clark helped to develop. Since 2005, additional unpublished historic materials pertaining to Mabel Todd, Barbara Clark, Lulu Sweigard and André Bernard were acquired, further research on the history and theory of Todd’s original method occurred and the importance of supporting informed participation in the approach emerged as a priority. In response to those developments, the Thinking Body Institute was created to serve as an online resource for education, research and communication.
Currently, the management of the Thinking Body Institute is conducted by its Directors, Joseph and Pamela Matt. In 2016, the scope of the business activities of the Institute was defined in the Operating Agreement of the Thinking Body Institute Media LLC, which was filed with the Arizona Corporation Commission. The purpose of TBI Media LLC is to conduct all matters related to the creation, promotion and distribution of educational resources and publications related to Mabel Todd’s approach to somatic movement education. To serve these aims, TBI Media LLC pays for web design and administration, legal and accounting services, as well as computer equipment, web hosting services, learning management systems, publishing software and related supplies. The Directors are authorized to receive contributions, acquire and develop educational assets, conduct business affairs and administer resources in a manner that promotes the aims of the Institute. The Directors have operated as volunteers since assuming responsibility for the Barbara Clark Manuals Trust in 1980 and will continue to perform their functions on an unpaid basis.
The pursuits of the Thinking Body Institute are evolving. Global communication afforded by web technology holds the promise that current and future generations of scholars and teachers may become involved in the perpetuation and expansion of the goals and activities of TBI. If this does not occur, upon the termination of the Institute, all assets will be distributed to an educational or charitable institution as described in the Thinking Body Institute Media LLC Operating Agreement.
If you would like to assist the development of the Thinking Body Institute financially, we would welcome your contribution. The Institute has not acquired non-profit organization status as yet, and thus currently contributions are not tax deductible. Donors can be assured that all contributions will be used for the support of the mission and activities of the Thinking Body Institute, however.
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