Sarasota, Florida, USA
Beginning in December 2008, Cartha Alene Mahoney became an integral part of the narrative of CARTHA's development as a fledgling, entrepreneurial nonprofit organization.
Cartha Alene was born in North Carolina and grew up in Ohio. She worked in administrative office positions within the California State government in Sacramento for over 38 years. Cartha Alene joined the Theosophical Society (Adyar, Chennai, India) in 1980 and has attended numerous conferences and workshops at the Krotona Institute (Ojai, California).
Cartha Alene has always maintained a deep curiosity about the human aspects (softer, interpersonal skillsets) of fusing art forms with technology across a variety of disciplines and sectors. In particular, she believes in the power of the human spirit to heal through the exploration of new forms of cooperative behaviors, cross-cultural exchanges, and the creative expression of intentions to advance our human civilization.
Cartha Alene came upon CARTHA's website in December 2008, being naturally drawn to it because of the organization's name. In Cartha Alene's life, Cartha has always been a family name: besides being her first name, Cartha is also her late Mother's first name as well as her late Great Aunt's first name. Cartha Alene felt an immediate alignment with CARTHA's stated mission of Cultivating Collaborative Doers. To satisfy her wonder at such an apparently serendipitous connection, she phoned CARTHA founder Usha R. Balakrishnan, and then made several trips to Iowa City to learn more. After meeting several Carthans, she began to particularly cherish CARTHA's everyday sort of collaborative doings and social harmony. She now describes CARTHA's people as her extended family.
In a friendship that both she and Usha have found to be mutually empowering,
Cartha Alene continues to work with Usha in eclectic ways. She helped Usha with the design of a Singing Lecture in April 2009 at a University of Iowa course relating to "Krishna in the Indian Arts." Connecting thus with Usha's musical voice, Cartha Alene requested Usha in October 2009 to begin to sing to her each morning over the phone for five minutes. This personalized and delightful setting of vibration created in turn a new, daily, and meaningful venue for Usha to practice and share with Cartha Alene Sanskrit slokas and songs in Indian languages—and the mythology and culture relating to such singing. This also then transformed into an alternate platform over which Usha could comfortably share with Cartha Alene her aspirations for CARTHA through a musical voice made more malleable from decades of training in South Indian Carnatic vocal music, including devotional songs learned from listening to her mother, Kamala Moorti, sing constantly while growing up in India.
As a retiree now living in Sarasota, Florida, Cartha Alene hosted Usha in Sarasota in 2010 and 2011, and now looks forward to supporting and participating in various activities of CARTHA.