The Chameleon Club is group of individuals involved in the exploration of inner frontiers, be they Magickal, Scientific, or Spiritual. Founded May 5th, 1978, their motto is "Change!", their spirit is undaunted,
their energy is phenomenal, and their number is far from legion. They are magicians of many paths, teachers of many reality perspectives, and joyous entertainers. Their efforts include the creation and operation of the Association for Consciousness Exploration (A.C.E.), best known for the Starwood Festival (America's Greatest Magickal Event) and the WinterStar Symposium, and they staff these events along with their circle of volunteers.
The Chameleon Club also considers itself an extended family in the style of the Merry Pranksters; its members can be found from Cleveland to New Orleans, from California to New York. The club's founder, C.C.
Rosencomet, says that there are many other groups like the Chameleon Club, but they all reside in parallel universes.
Jeff Rosenbaum was a REALLY NICE GUY. Nice is rare these days, and he was unrelentingly kind, honest, understanding, forgiving, and unbelievably generous. Jeff was a complicated guy. He didn't fit any stereotypes very well, and he became his own unique self-created stereotype: big jolly Jewish guy who runs a festival of varied beliefs but doesn't himself believe in much of anything supernatural. He sure did enjoy those varied beliefs, though, and he did a fantastic job of mixing and matching them to see what might come of the crazy combos.
The true story of Starwood is every bit as spectacular and inspiring (and, frankly, INSANE) as that of the Merry Pranksters, and it very directly affected many more people's lives over three decades. Not everyone knows that Jeff's ass was on the line, financially, all those years. Sometimes Starwood made money. Sometimes it lost money. Guess who paid the bills and made up for the shortfalls out of his own pocket, especially following the festival identity theft? Some of us remember how the huge northeastern Ohio pagan scene developed, and we want to make sure that history isn't obliterated by commercial concerns.
We want future generations of crazy hippies, weirdos, intellectuals, disbelievers, and authentic shamans, to know which giants' shoulders they're standing on. It was not the company that rented out the party site. It was the people who threw the party.
Those guys were Jeff, Joe and the Chameleon Club.
Joseph Rothenberg A.C.E. Co-Director
Since the first Chameleon Event in 1974 Joe has been an active organizer and supporter of the psychedelic vision that became the Starwood Festival. As fraternity brothers in college Joe, Jeff, and their friends began organizing alternative culture events. They were most notably influenced by epic visionaries Dr. Timothy Leary and Robert Anton Wilson both of whom attended many of those events.
After college, in 1976, they bought a house together and used it as a meeting place for the circle of friends that became the Chameleon Club. What followed was 38 more years of friendship and exploration including 34 years of Starwood festivals and “whew we got through another one” hugs at the bonfire.
A skilled R.N. Joe divides his time between his home state of Washington and Ohio. He has been with his partner Bruno for over 42 years and they were allowed to become legally married in 2012. Joe has been a partner in the Association for Consciousness Exploration since it was founded in 1981. Upon Jeff’s passing, Joe and Lisa Lefkort found themselves inheriting the mantle of the Starwood Festival organization.
Lisa Lefkort A.C.E. Co-Director
Lisa has been a central A.C.E. organizer for 25+ years. She met her husband, SubGenius Reverend Ivan Stang through A.C.E. and is devoted to keeping the organization going strong. She feels fortunate to work with such a caring diligent crew of volunteers who were all her friends before they were fellow volunteers. “I’m very proud to help carry forward the amazing dream Jeff Rosenbaum manifested, our unique gathering: magical, transformational, consciousness expanding.”
Rev. Ivan Stang has been the hardest-working clerk in The Church of the SubGenius since 1978, helping to assemble and distribute books, videos, weekly radio shows, crazy performance events and a monstrous website. Just as The Church of the SubGenius saved many lonely weirdos over the decades, A.C.E. and Starwood helped save the Church of the SubGenius when, in 1990, Jeff Rosenbaum invited Stang to speak at Starwood. That led to so many opportunities in Northern Ohio that Stang relocated from Dallas to Cleveland in 1999 to work with A.C.E. and Chas Smith’s ESO radio show on WCSB, and to marry his True Yeti Mate: Lisa Lefkort. He eventually became a dedicated Starwood organizer. Personal circumstances and the chance to live on a fossil-rich wilderness preserve have since drawn him back to rural North Texas, but a big piece of his heart still resides in Ohio, specifically with the A.C.E. and Wisteria communities, as does the annual X-Day SubGenius festival.
Ian has been working, playing and teaching in the Neopagan movement since 1975. He is a founding member of the Chameleon Club and of the Starwood Festival, a Senior Priest and former Archdruid of A.D.F., and an initiate of a branch of traditional Witchcraft. Well-known as a teacher and performer at festivals and gatherings, he is the author of several books on Pagan occultism topics, including “Sacred Fire, Holy Well”, “The Book of Summoning” and “The Portal Book”. He is also known as a bard and singer, and the creator of popular bonfire-chants such as ‘Hoof and Horn’ and ‘We Will Kindle a Fire’. Together with Liafal they have created the Tredara Shrine at their home in NE Ohio. A Pagan stead that serves the local community, Tredara provides an outdoor temple and shrines, with worship and community space for local Pagans.
Sue Parker aka Liafal
Rev. Susan Parker-Wyndham (Liafal) received initiation in traditional Witchcraft in 1971. After a mom-break, became a public Pagan teacher and organizer in the 80s, coordinating local public rites, participating in Covenant of the Goddess, and becoming a Chameleon. She joined ADF in 1991, and was part of the founding membership of Stone Creed Grove ADF in Cleveland. She is an ordained Priest of ADF, has held the Senior Druid seat in her Grove, held the Vice-Archdruid chair of ADF, and has served on its Board. Together with Ian they have created the Tredara Shrine at their home in NE Ohio. A Pagan stead that serves the local community, Tredara provides an outdoor temple and shrines, with worship and community space for local Pagans.
Nancy Mitchell aka Princess Petal
Programing and Merchant Coordinator for Starwood
and The WinterStar Ball
Graphic and website development for A.C.E.
Registration coordination for The Starwood Festival.
sade has been a member of a blacklight performance art troupe, a gothpunk/experimental DJ on WCSB.org (and still is), a glasswalker & performer in a sideshow revival act, costumer & sound designer for independent theater, and a living statue. She has been part of the ACE family since 1991.
Tom & Terina Griffin
Safety Team Supervisors
Darius aka Keith Madden
Manages Kid Village
Jo Anna Lee Ball
Jo Anna lends help wherever it's needed. She is indispensable at registration during the festival. She's a source of sage legal advice when it is required.
Supervisor for information
Kim Fitch Tharp
Longtime Chameleon and guiding light of the Creation Station.
Jan is a retired Engineering & Visual Art teacher of 20 years. She enthusiastically participates in the planning of The Creation Station. She is the founding member of Tribe Ostara Tribal Belly Dance. Jan teaches and volunteers for Lakewood Recreation Department, Art House, Inc. and Ingenuity Cleveland.
She is a member of the Cleveland Zeppelin Steampunk Community.
On site coordinator, set up and teardown supervisor
Larry is known for his Calendars of Events, and is a founding member of The Association for Consciousness Exploration, the original ADF Mother Grove, The Church of All Worlds Triskelion Nest, The Earth Religions Legal Assistance Network, The Sacred Earth Alliance and
The VisionWeavers Coven. He is currently practicing Tibetan Buddhism with Jewel Heart Cleveland. He works as an environmental consultant on pollution control, toxic and radioactive waste management and environmental restoration.
Director of A.C.E. Sales and Art Instructor