Mil-Tree’s mission is to bring Veterans, Active Duty and Civilians together through arts and dialogue to help transform the wounds of war. Our vision is to provide safe space for veterans returning to civilian life so that they may gather, express, themselves and tell their stories in a non-judgmental environment. We do this through ongoing creative programs that engage veterans and their families, active military and the greater community.

Can’t make the show, but still want to help Mil-tree thrive?

The Performers

Act I

Miguel Rivera:  The Beauty of Silence

Barbara Gothard: I Am A Contradiction

Joshua Kjerstad: To Catch A Green Mojave

Chakra Kahn: Creosote Tea

Nell St. John: Van Life On Mars

Act II

Seth Zaharias: Joshua Tree: The Golden Years

Lisa Lynn Morgan: A Dry Oasis


Gabrial Hart: A Loss Of Containment

Renee Asher Pickup: Shifting Sands

Pat Kearns: Walking In The Desert By Moonlight

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Miguel Rivera

The Beauty of Silence

Miguel Rivera is a Musician, Mentor, Translator, Teacher.  He has lived his life  on the road as a touring musician, cab driver on the streets of LA, Supervising Sound Editor for Film and TV,  mentor and retreat leader for at risk youth, veterans, first responders and civilians, and poetry translator.

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Gabriel Hart

A Loss of Containment

Gabriel Hart lives in Morongo Valley in California’s High Desert. He's the author of the literary-pulp collection Fallout From Our Asphalt Hell, the Palm Springs noir novelette A Return To Spring, and his new poetry book Hymns From the Whipping Post, published by Close to the Bone (U.K.). His story "The Maid and the Maidens" was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2021. He's a regular contributor to Lit Reactor, Los Angeles Review of Books, and is a co-conspirator at arts/culture site The Last Estate.

Barbara Gothard, Ph.D.

I’m A Contradiction

From modest Illinois roots, Gothard aspires to utilize her creative potential in a contemporary art form that is associated with the unconscious mind. She lives, works and is influenced by her ever-changing desert environment, a soft malleable and metamorphic dwelling space surrounded by majestic mountains awash in brilliant colors.

Pat Kearns

Walking In The Desert By Moonlight

Pat Kearns is a singer songwriter, recording engineer, and radio personality from Portland, Oregon.  He relocated to Landers, California, in 2017, planning to open a destination recording studio. Kearns' 2019 album, Down In The Wash, was recorded and mixed in his tiny, off grid cabin which rests on five scenic acres where the future studio would be located.

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Chakra Khan

Creosote Tea

Chakra is a San Diego Native, married mother of 3 wildlings, and a happy high desert transplant of the past 4 years.  She's a real witch, and ghost wrangler and will offer to read your tarot cards as quickly as she'll offer you a glass of water on a hot dry desert day.  Believing most of life's tough questions can be found by looking within, and that plants are a tool to help us access those hard to reach areas.  She teaches Spirit Plant Yoga at Untamed Yoga. If you see her say, "Hi!", but be warned she's a hugger. 

Joshua Kjerstad

To Catch A Green Mojave

Josh is the singer/songwriter of the Clouds, a band he started less than a year after moving to Joshua Tree in March of 2006. He recently participated in the Open Studio Tours, showing several of his etched and carved art glass pieces. He was an "artist by day and an artist by night," for over a decade; a '9 to 5' artist while playing lead and rhythm guitar in several bands while coming in late to work for over ten years."I dropped out of high school, and went on to drop out of college.

Lisa Lynn Morgan

A Dry Oasis

Lisa Lynn Morgan is a local singer/songwriter who has been nominated in multiple categories for several years running in the Coachella Valley Music Awards. She has performed and hosted Open Mic often at Pappy and Harriet’s. She has sung with Paul Rogers, Mickey Thomas, Terry Reid, Great White New Christie Minstrels, and Travis Meadows, and performed in bands with residencies in Las Vegas.

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Renee Asher Pickup

Shifting Sands

Renee Asher Pickup is a Marine Corps vet and mellowed out punk living in Southern California. Renee writes fiction about bad things happening to flawed people, nonfiction that is critical of the status quo, and truly believes From Dusk Till Dawn changed her life. Her novel with Andrez Bergen: Black Sails, Disco Inferno is available now from Open Books.

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Nell St. John

Van Life On Mars

Nell St. John is an actress, filmmaker, singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist and internationally published author originally from Portland, Oregon who has lived in the desert Southwest for over two decades. 

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Seth Zaharias

Joshua Tree: The Golden Years

Seth was raised in California, Indiana, Montana, and Tennessee and has lived in Joshua Tree since 1999, founding the "Sethspool" in 2002. Joshua Tree is his home, his passion, his community, and his economic backbone. Seth's first job in JT was cleaning the showers at Coyote Corner and his second job was washing dishes at Crossroads Cafe and now for the last 11 years Seth and his wife Sabra are the proud proprietors of Cliffhanger Guides.

Cheryl Montelle

Co-Producer, Director and Host

Cheryl Montelle  is thrilled to host and curate Mil-Tree’s second online spoken word fundraiser. She is a writer whose stories have been published in anthologies and magazines, and performed in Los Angeles, Joshua Tree and New York City. She created and hosted Desert Stories at the HDCC for 12 years, 14 shows. She has also produced similar shows in New York City and Los Angeles. Cheryl loves bringing community together and in 2012 she founded the veteran/ community non-profit, Mil-Tree. For more information go to


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