3 Million Stories Speakers

Raymond Allen

Raymond Allen came into academe as a painter and teacher of color. Interested in the issues pressing upon contemporary professional practice and, in turn, art and design education, he migrated into higher education administration at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA). Through his involvement with the accreditation of art colleges in many parts of the United States and involvement in national and international consortia, Allen has also played an active role in international dialogue on art and design education. He has consulted on arts education in the United States, Europe, and the Middle East and served as an adviser and board member to a number of non-profit arts organizations. After successive elections to roles within the Commission on Accreditation for National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD), in 2009 NASAD elected him a fellow and life member, its highest award for distinguished service. Currently, he is Chair Extempore of the NASAD Commission on Accreditation and MICA's first Provost.

Neil Alper

Neil O. Alper is Associate Professor and Undergraduate Coordinator in the Department of Economics at Northeastern University. His teaching and research interests are in the area of applied microeconomics, crime, culture, and labor. Prior to joining the faculty at Northeastern in 1979, Professor Alper held a joint position in the Department of Economics and the Center for Business and Economics Research at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, and worked at the U.S. Department of Labor and the New England Foundation for the Arts. His interest in the relationship between economics and the arts has led him to conduct extensive research, culminating in the publishing of his books; Artists in the Work Force: Employment and Earnings, 1970-1990; Art Work: The Artist in the New England Labor Market; and Economics of Crime: Theory and Practice; with chapters in: The Arts and the Public Purpose (forthcoming); Cultural Economics; and The Economics of Cultural Industries. He is Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the Association for Cultural Economics International.

Lewis Black

Lewis Black is an American stand-up comedian, author, playwright, social critic and actor. He hosted the Comedy Central series Lewis Black's Root of All Evil, and makes clinical research and development. A pioneer of patient recruitment over the last 28 years, Bonnie helped to shape the discipline and continues to be a well-recognized and highly sought after thought leader in the field. Her insights into the workings of the clinical research community inform BBK's product development, campaign execution, and global expansion, and have helped earned the company a distinguished reputation for combining the science of marketing with the science of clinical research. Brescia has co-authored the book, Reinventing Patient Recruitment: Revolutionary Ideas for Clinical Trial Success, and was selected by PharmaVOICE as one of the 100 most inspiring people in the industry. Bonnie is a member of the Drug Information Association and is a past president of the New England Council of the American Association of Advertising Agencies.

Mary Schmidt Campbell

Dr. Campbell has been dean of New York University's Tisch School of the Arts since 1991. Dean Campbell began her career in New York as the executive director of the Studio Museum in Harlem. Under her leadership, the Studio Museum in Harlem emerged as a major national and international cultural institution and a lynchpin of the economic revival of Harlem. In 1987, Mayor Edward I. Koch invited Dr. Campbell to serve as Commissioner of Cultural Affairs of the City of New York. Dean Campbell holds a B.A. degree in English literature from Swarthmore College, an M.A. in art history from Syracuse University, and a Ph.D. in humanities, also from Syracuse.

She is co-author of Harlem Renaissance: Art of Black America (New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 1987) and Memory and Metaphor: The Art of Romare Bearden, 1940-1987 (New York: Oxford University Press & The Studio Museum in Harlem, 1991). She is the co-editor of Artistic Citizenship: A Public Voice for the Arts (New York: Routledge, 2006.) She is currently working on a book on Romare Bearden for Oxford University Press. She sits on the board of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and The Public Theater/New York Shakespeare Festival. In the fall of 2001 she was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She served in the voluntary position of Chair of the New York State Council on the Arts from 2007-2009. She also serves as the Chairman of the Board of Tisch Asia, the Tisch School of the Arts Singapore campus. In September of 2009 Dean Campbell was appointed by President Barack Obama as the Vice Chair of the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities, which is a non-partisan advisory committee to the President of the United States on cultural matters.

Rafael Chacon

Dr. Rafael Chacon is Professor of Art History and Criticism at the University of Montana's College of Visual and Performing Arts. Teaching courses on African, American, European, and Latin American Art as well as Art Theory, Art and War, and Art and Insanity, Chacon's current academic interests lie in American architectural history and historic preservation. He has recently completed a book on the life and work of Montana architect A.J. Gibson and is currently creating an exhibition on the Art of World War I.

Myla Churchill-Barrett

A teaching artist at Long Island University and New York University, Myla Churchill- Barrett is also a playwright, screen and scriptwriter, film festival curator, producer, and professor of dramatic writing. She has won Best Screenplay at the Urbanworld Film Festival and at the 48 Hour Film Project and her screenplay, The One, was a semi-finalist for the Academy Foundation's Nicholl Fellowship Award.

Jay Clayton

Jay Clayton is Director of the Curb Center for Art, Enterprise & Public Policy and William R Kenan, Jr. Professor of English at Vanderbilt University. He received his B.A. from Yale University and his Ph.D. from the University of Virginia. Before coming to Vanderbilt, he taught at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, where he received the Alumni Distinguished Teaching Award. At Vanderbilt, he teaches courses in contemporary American literature; genetics in literature, film, and media; Victorian fiction; hypermedia and online gaming; and literary theory. He is the former chair of the Department of English at Vanderbilt.

Jennifer Cole

Jennifer Gilligan Cole has served as the Executive Director of the Metro Nashville Arts Commission since 2010. She has over 18 years of experience in nonprofit leadership, strategic planning, fundraising and project management. She has held positions within the education, government, and nonprofit sectors. Most recently, she served as the Vice President, Strategy & Partnerships at Hands On Network based in Atlanta, GA. Prior to that she led a successful organizational development consulting practice, Cole Community Concepts, where she specialized in change management and leadership transition. From 2001-2007, she was Chief Executive Officer of Hands On Nashville, a local volunteer resource center. Her other positions have included posts with the Points of Light Foundation and Earth Force, where she led national service-learning and youth development programming and local training and agency expansion. She is a past Program Officer with the Delaware Commission on National & Community Service and a state Learn & Serve America grants officer. She is an active member of the Nashville community and works to improve civic engagement and social change through a variety of activities. She is a graduate of Leadership Nashville and serves as a board member of the Governor's Civic Education Commission, the Nashville Downtown Partnership, and the Metro Disaster Response Fund.

Jean Cook

Jean Cook is a musician, producer and Director of Programs for Future of Music Coalition (FMC), a national nonprofit that works to improve the lives of musicians through research, education and advocacy on policy issues that directly impact the ability of artists to make a living and reach audiences. She is a founder of Anti-Social Music, a New York-based new music collective and currently records and tours with Ida/Elizabeth Mitchell, Jon Langford, and Beauty Pill. Her background includes producing and hosting radio programs for 89.9 WKCR-FM, New York, and producing dozens of new music performance projects. She currently co-directs FMC's Artist Revenue Streams project, a groundbreaking initiative offering data-driven insight into US-based musician income and how it correlates with genre, career arc, roles played, tech savviness, radio airplay, and other critical factors. http://money.futureofmusic.org

Elizabeth Currid-Halkett

Elizabeth Currid-Halkett is Assistant Professor in the School of Policy, Planning and Development at the University of Southern California. Her research focuses on the role of the arts and cultural industries in economic development. Her first book, The Warhol Economy: How Fashion, Art and Music Drive New York City (Princeton University Press, 2007), has received attention in publications such as the Economist, TIME, Forbes, The New Yorker, the Village Voice, National Public Radio, and The New York Times. Her more recent work includes articles such as "The Emergence of Los Angeles Fashion Industry" (2011), "Cultural Capital and Metropolitan Distinction" (2011), "The Social Life of Art Worlds" (2011), and " ‘Bohemia' as Industry: Art, Culture, and Economic Development" (2009). Currid-Halkett is currently collaborating on a project tracking the location of Manhattan art galleries (1970-2004) and the impact on neighborhood economic development.

Douglas Dempster

Douglas Dempster has been Dean of the College of Fine Arts at the University of Texas at Austin since 2007 and has served on the faculty and administration of the college years later, he moved to Nashville where he spent four years writing and plugging songs and traveling the coffee house circuit. Tom has gone on to become one of the most widely respected and successful songwriters of our time. He co-wrote Martina McBride's #3 song "Love's the Only House," as well as Lady Antebellum's #1 hit "I Run to You." His song "The House That Built Me," co-written with Allen Shamblin, won the CMA and ACM Song of the Year Award in 2010. In addition he received an Oscar and Golden Globe nomination for the song "Coming Home" for the movie Country Strong starring Gwyneth Paltrow and Tim McGraw.

Timothy J. Dowd

Timothy J. Dowd is Associate Professor of Sociology at Emory University and was the Erasmus Chair for the Humanities as Erasmus University Rotterdam (2007-2008). He specializes in cultural sociology, with much of his research focusing on such issues as the careers of jazz musicians and composers, the evolving orchestral repertoire in the US (1800s to the present), and factors shaping diversity in the popular music industry. He and Susanne Janssen are currently editors in chief of Poetics: Journal of Empirical Research on Culture, Media, and the Arts. Recently, he taught an advanced seminar on the sociology of music with Robert Spano, conductor of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.

Pacey C. Foster

Pacey Foster is an assistant professor in the management department at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. His research focuses on brokerage processes in creative industries and the regional factors associated with the development of creative clusters. He has used social network analysis to understand how nightclub talent buyers at local headaches. This formative experience later sparked his interest in studying how people attempt to start and sustain careers on the business side of the music industry. He is currently completing an ethnographic study analyzing the uses and challenges of unpaid internship programs in the New York City music industry. He has written and lectured widely on the emergence and characteristics of the intern economy, the rise and routinization of the indie rock movement, and the ways cultural policy could further generate creative activity.

Sally Gaskill

Sally Gaskill is an arts administrator. In 2012 she was appointed Director of the Strategic National Arts Alumni Project (SNAAP), following four years as the project's Associate Director. Her career has encompassed community arts leadership, grantmaking and advocacy, and she has focused on creating better environments for artists. She served as executive director of two local arts councils, in Rochester, New York (1990s) and Bloomington, Indiana (2000s) and is credited with increasing staffing, funding, and programs and services for artists and arts organizations at both agencies. Previous posts include staff positions at the National Endowment for the Humanities, New Hampshire State Council for the Arts, and Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra. Through her consulting practice she has evaluated over 100 arts organizations for the National Endowment for the Arts, developed cultural plans and taught cultural policy at the Eastman School of Music and Indiana University. A past president of the Indiana Coalition for the Arts, she is an appointed member of the City of Bloomington Arts Commission and remains active in arts advocacy on the local, state and national levels. She serves on the board of Arts Schools Network, the national organization that serves arts school leaders. Sally is a musician and currently performs with Voces Novae, a chamber choir. She received a B.A. in History from Colorado College and an M.A. in Arts Management from American University.

Donn K. Harris

Donn Harris received his BA and MA in Theatre Arts from California State University at Los Angeles, and his teaching and administrative credentials from San Francisco State University. Mr. Harris was an English and Drama teacher prior to working with children who had learning and emotional disabilities. As a teacher, he worked in diverse environments that ranged from high achieving schools to incarcerated youth in juvenile hall. He became an administrator in 1994 when he was appointed Dean of Students at Galileo High School in San Francisco. Mr. Harris was appointed as the principal of the acclaimed San Francisco School of the Arts High School in 2001, where he served for seven years. During his tenure, the school grew from 400 to 650 students, and he also created a sister school during this time, The Academy of Arts and Sciences, to ensure that even more students had access to a great arts education and the exciting arts-based campus. In 2007, then Attorney General, now Governor Jerry Brown tapped Mr. Harris to lead the Oakland School for the Arts, an arts-based public charter school that now serves 620 students in grades 6-12. Mr. Harris serves on the governing boards of the Arts Schools Network and the Engineers Alliance for the Arts. In 2010, the Oakland School for the Arts was honored with the Arts Schools Network Innovation Award for its ground-breaking Circus Arts program, which trains students in clowning, aerial artistry, and contortion.

James Heartfield

James Heartfield has been researching and writing on the role of the creative industries since the Westminster government first tried to re-brand the country as "Creative Britain" in the 1990s. Heartfield's de-mystification of government statistics and analyses of the real state of the creative industries have been a reference point in the discussion. He has a doctorate from University of Westminster, and has written widely on the myths and delusions of public policy. His most recent book is The Unpatriotic History of the Second World War (Zer0 Books, 2012).

Samuel Hoi

Samuel Hoi is an advocate for arts education and creative professionals in social, economic, and cultural advancement. At Otis, he has shepherded new academic initiatives involving innovative partnerships and community engagement, as well as the annual Otis Report on the Creative Economy of the Los Angeles Region. Formerly as dean of the Corcoran College of Art + Design, Hoi created a visual arts outreach program that received a National Multicultural Institute Award and a Coming Up Taller Award from the President's Committee on Arts and Humanities. Hoi chaired the board of the Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design from 2004 to 2009. Currently, Hoi chairs the board of United States Artists, serves on the board of The James Irvine Foundation, and is a member of the Los Angeles Coalition for the Economy and Jobs. He holds an honorary doctorate degree from the Corcoran College of Art + Design and was decorated in 2006 by the French government as an Officer of the Palm Academy.

Bill Ivey

Bill Ivey is a writer, teacher, and experienced nonprofit executive, and is a principal in Global Cultural Strategies, an online policy consortium. He was founding director of the Curb Center for Art, Enterprise, and Public Policy at Vanderbilt University and now serves as director of the Vanderbilt US-China Center for Education and Culture. During his long tenure in public service, he served as Senate-confirmed chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts in the Clinton-Gore administration, and in that capacity is credited with both increasing the agency's budget and restoring good relations between the NEA and Capitol Hill. He is a trustee of the Center for American Progress, and was a Team Leader in the Barack Obama presidential transition. He is the author of Arts, Inc.: How Greed and Neglect Have Destroyed Our Cultural Rights, and Handmaking America: A Back-to-Basics Pathway to a Revitalized American Democracy and is co-editor ofEngaging Art: The Next Great Transformation of America's Cultural Life. He was twice elected chairman of the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences and is a four-time Grammy Award nominee. He holds a B.A. in American History from the University of Michigan and an M.A. in Folklore and Ethnomusicology from Indiana University.

Frida Kahlo

Frida Kahlo is a founding member of the Guerrilla Girls, feminist masked avengers in the tradition of anonymous do-gooders like Robin Hood, Batman and Wonder Woman. Using facts, humor, and outrageous visuals, they expose discrimination and corruption in politics, art, film, and pop culture. Guerrilla Girls undermine the idea of a mainstream narrative by revealing the understory, the subtext, the overlooked, and the downright unfair. They have won awards from the College Art Association, the Brooklyn Museum, the New York Librarians Association, the Teachers Association of New York City, NOW, and Yoko Ono. Frida Kahlo has been involved in almost every GG project since 1985 and is co-author of: Confessions of the Guerrilla Girls; The Guerrilla Girls Bedside Companion to the History of Western Art; Bitches, Bimbos and Ball Breakers, the Guerrilla Girls Illustrated Guide to Female Stereotypes; The Guerrilla Girls Art Museum Activity Book; and The Hysterical Herstory of Hysteria and How It Was Cured from Ancient Times Until Now. She was a Visiting Scholar at the Getty Research Institute in 2008.

George Kuh

George D. Kuh is Adjunct Professor of Education Policy at the University of Illinois and Chancellor's Professor Higher Education Emeritus at Indiana University Bloomington. He currently directs the National Institute of Learning Outcomes Assessment co-located at Indiana University and the University of Illinois and is senior advisor to the Strategic National Arts Alumni Project (SNAAP). Founding director of the widely-used National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE), George has written extensively about student engagement, assessment, institutional improvement, and college and university cultures, and consulted with more than 350 colleges and universities in the U.S. and abroad. In addition to High-Impact Practices (2008) produced as part of the AAC&U LEAP initiative, his two most recent books are Student Success in College: Creating Conditions That Matter (2005, 2010) and Piecing Together the Student Success Puzzle: Research, Propositions, and Recommendations (2007). In 2001, he received Indiana University's prestigious Tracy Sonneborn Award for distinguished career of teaching and research. George earned the B.A. at Luther College, M.S. at the St. Cloud State University, and Ph.D. at the University of Iowa.

Amber D. Lambert

Amber D. Lambert completed her Ph.D. in Higher Education (with a cognate in Sociology) at Pennsylvania State University in 2008. At Penn State, she worked for four years as a graduate research associate for the Center for the Study of Higher Education, where she contributed to the Engineering Change study that assessed the English and Sociology/Anthropology from Colgate University, and a Ph.D. from Columbia University (2003). Her academic research focuses on classification systems, specifically the conditions that facilitate the proliferation or contraction of categories into which art works are sorted. Her first book, Banding Together: How Communities Create Genres in Popular Music, was published by Princeton University Press in 2012, and she is currently working on her second for the Press. She is the co-commissioner of the Grammy award nominated Hilos, written by Gabriela Frank and recorded by Nashville's own ALIAS Chamber music group.

Danielle Lindemann

Danielle Lindemann is a Postdoctoral Research Scholar in the Department of Sociology and the Curb Center for Art, Enterprise and Public Policy at Vanderbilt University. She is analyzing the results of the SNAAP survey and is editing a national report as well as producing academic work based upon these data. Lindemann's research and teaching interests include gender and sexuality, the sociology of art and culture, identity and occupations, and marriage and the family. She has been published in a variety of peer-reviewed journals, including Sociological Forum, Sociological Perspectives, Sexualities, and The Columbia Journal of Gender and Law. She is the author of Dominatrix: Gender, Eroticism and Control in the Dungeon (University of Chicago Press, 2012). Lindemann received her MA, MPhil, and PhD in Sociology from Columbia University, an MA in Interdisciplinary Studies from New York University, and a BA in Creative Writing from Princeton University.

Elizabeth Lingo

Elizabeth Long Lingo is Director of Vanderbilt's Creative Campus Initiative and Director of Curb Programs in Creative Enterprise and Public Leadership at Vanderbilt's Curb Center for Art, Enterprise, and Public Policy. Elizabeth's research and teaching focus on how novel projects and ventures are imagined, negotiated, and brought to fruition. She is particularly interested in how leaders, entrepreneurs, and change agents harness and broker collective creativity—not only to generate ideas and harness expertise across disciplines and organizations, but also to manage the more difficult process of synthesizing ideas and interests in order to forge innovation and transformative outcomes. Elizabeth has studied creativity and innovation in the commercial music industry, the Nashville creative scene, the performing arts field, and most recently in higher education. In addition, Elizabeth consults with colleges and universities across the nation on transforming their campuses around creativity and innovation. She has also consulted to Fortune 500 companies on issues of trust, risk taking, speaking up and customer loyalty, and to the nonprofit and for-profit performing arts sectors on innovation and collective action.

Ann Markusen

Ann Markusen is Director of the Arts Economy Initiative and the Project on Regional and Industrial Economics at the University of Minnesota's Humphrey School of Public Affairs and Principal of Markusen Economic Research. Markusen's arts and cultural publications include California's Arts and Cultural Ecology (2011), Nurturing California's Next Generation Arts and Cultural Leaders (2011), Creative Placemaking (2010), Los Angeles: America's Artist Super City (2010), Native Artists: Careers, Resources, Space, Gifts(2009), San Jose Creative Entrepreneur Project (2008), Leveraging Investments in Creativity Artist Data User Guide (2008), Crossover: How Artists Build Careers across Commercial, Non-profit and Community Work (2006), Artists' Centers (2006), and The Artistic Dividend (2003). Markusen is a frequent public speaker and policy adviser on economics, arts, and culture in the US, Brazil, Japan, Korea, and Europe, and recently completed a year as UK Fulbright Distinguished Chair at the Glasgow School of Art (2010-11).

Angie L. Miller

Angie L. Miller received her Ph.D. in Educational Psychology (with cognates in Gifted Education and Research Methods & Statistics) from Ball State University in 2009. She also has an M.A. in Cognitive and Social Psychology from Ball State University and a B.A. in Psychology from Hanover College. She currently holds a research analyst position at the Center for Postsecondary Research at Indiana University. She does research and data analysis for the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) and the Strategic National Arts Alumni Project (SNAAP). Her research interests include creativity assessment and factors impacting gifted student engagement and achievement.

Bonnie Nichols

Bonnie Nichols is a research analyst with the Office of Research & Analysis of the National Endowment for the Arts. She produces reports on the economic contributions of cultural industries and artists, as well as special topics such as the demographics of arts attendance and the use of leisure time. Before joining the Arts Endowment, Ms. Nichols was a statistical forecaster with the Internal Revenue Service. She holds a master's degree in economics from Youngstown State University and has completed additional graduate training in demography at George Washington University and Georgetown University.

Jonah Rabinowitz

Jonah Rabinowitz is Executive Director of the W.O. Smith Music School in Nashville. Prior to holding this position, he served as Director of the Georgia Academy of Music from 1989 to 1995. Jonah was Board President of Tennesseans for the Arts from 2011 to 2012. He received a Bachelor of Music degree from the New England Conservatory of Music, and he plays the trumpet.

Willie Reale

Willie Reale is a distinguished playwright and lyricist. He has been nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song (with Henry Krieger) for "Patience" from Dreamgirls, a Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical and Best Original Score (2003) for A Year with Frog and Toad, and a Writers Guild of America Award (2004) (with Mark Palmer) for Out There. In addition to his professional career, Reale founded the 52nd Street Project in 1981, an organization that brings inner-city children together with professional theater artists to create works. He served as the artistic director for eighteen years and produced hundreds of plays with the Project, which has been replicated at twelve sites across the United States. In June 1994, he was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship in recognition of his ingenuity in creating theater and theater education programs for young people.

Jack Risley

Jack Risley is a renowned artist and recently became Chair and Ruth Head Centennial Professor of the Department of Art and Art History at The University of Texas at Austin. Prior to his position at UT-Austin, Risley held academic positions at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), the Yale School of Art, New York University, and the Cooper Union, and served as a visiting lecturer at the Cleveland Institute of Art, Harvard University, and Rhode Island School of Design. Earning a bachelor of arts degree from Oberlin College and a master of fine arts degree from Yale School of Art, Risley has been making and exhibiting artwork in prominent venues all over the world for the past 25 years, including exhibitions at Vienna Secession, the American Academy in Rome, the Brooklyn Museum, and the Yale University Art Museum, among others. He has served on the Innovations Task Force of the International Council of Fine Art Deans since 2009, is an active member of the College Art Association, the International Council of Art Administrators, and serves on the Think Tank advisory board for Foundations in Art Theory and Education.

Bob Root-Bernstein

Bob Root-Bernstein is a Professor of Physiology at Michigan State University. He has degrees in Biochemistry and History of Science from Princeton University and was a Post-doctoral Fellow in Theories in Biology at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies. A MacArthur Fellowship encouraged his multidisciplinary activities, especially research on creativity and art-science interactions. He has written more than 30 book chapters, 120 peer-reviewed papers, 60 popular essays, and 4 books: Discovering (1989); Rethinking AIDS (1993) ; Honey, Mud, Maggots, and Other Medical Marvels (1997); and Sparks of Genius (1999), the latter two with his wife, Michele Root-Bernstein. He is at work on two more books, one on artists and musicians as scientists and inventors and the other on eminent scientists as visual artists. He is on the editorial board of Leonardo, an art-science journal, and has exhibited his artwork in a number of group shows of scientist-artists.

Michele Root-Bernstein

Michele Root-Bernstein received a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1975 and a Ph.D. in History from Princeton University in 1981. Co-author of Sparks of Genius, The Thirteen Thinking Tools of the World's Most Creative People, she writes, blogs and lectures with Robert Root-Bernstein on creativity, polymathy, and the arts as the 4th ‘R'. As a Kennedy Center teaching artist, she co-presents a writing/dancing workshop that highlights imaginative thinking tools. Currently an adjunct faculty member at Michigan State University, she is part of a research team investigating the role of arts and crafts in nurturing innovators and entrepreneurs. Her solo work focuses on the invention of imaginary worlds, from childhood play to adult creativity; a book on worldplay is nearing completion. Michele is also a haiku poet publishing in journals across the U.S. and Canada, and has recently taken a post as assistant editor of Frogpond, the journal of the Haiku Society of America.

Ellen B. Rudolph

On national, regional, and local levels, Ellen has provided organizational, programmatic and philanthropic leadership in education, the arts and design. For 18 years, beginning in 1994, Ellen worked for the Surdna Foundation, a national family foundation based in NYC - first as a consultant, and then as its founding Arts Program Director. From 2008 until fall 2011, she directed the Arts Program's transformation into the Thriving Cultures Program, broadening the portfolio to embrace new cultural work in community driven design, social action, and economic development. Subsequently, for one year, Ellen directed the evolution of specific Surdna projects. Ellen now works independently.

Leslie Satcher

Leslie Satcher is a fifth generation Texan. Born in 1962 where the Chisolm Trail and the Red River cross, Leslie grew up singing in the churches and schools of Paris, Texas alongside her baby sister Jeannie Winn. Over the past two decades her songs have been recorded by dozens of singers representing nearly every style within the country genre including honky-tonk, bluegrass and Americana. Just a sampling of the singers who have recorded her songs include George Jones ("What Would Waylon Do?"), Patty Loveless ("Everything but the Words"), George Strait ("High-Tone Woman"), Jim Lauderdale ("What's on My Mind"), Merle Haggard ("Politically Uncorrect") and Bonnie Raitt ("You Remain"). Leslie performs all over the United States and is often found doing benefits with friends Vince Gill, Amy Grant, Paul Overstreet and others. In 2003 Leslie met the love of her life, David Allen of Longview, Texas, while appearing at the annual benefit for the East Texas Angel Network founded by Neal McCoy. With David pursuing an acting career, the two artists stay busy between family and friends in Texas and Australia, going to church, and enjoying time together at home and the beach.

R. Keith Sawyer

Dr. R. Keith Sawyer, a professor of psychology, education, and business at Washington University in St. Louis, is one of the country's leading scientific experts on creativity. He has published 12 books, including Group Genius and Explaining Creativity, and over 80 scientific articles, and these works have been translated into many languages. His research has been featured on CNN, Fox News, TIME Magazine, NPR, and other media. A popular speaker, he lectures to corporations, associations, and universities around the world on creativity and innovation.

Allen Shamblin

Allen Shamblin was born in Tennessee and grew up in Huffman, Texas, about 30 miles outside of Houston. After graduating with a Marketing degree from Sam Houston State University, Allen moved to Austin, where he worked as a real-estate appraiser by day and honed his songwriting skills by night. In August of 1987, Allen moved to Nashville, with 14 completed songs. His "story songs" with vivid detail and honest, earthy lyrics quickly caught the ear of the Nashville music establishment. In 1989, it was Randy Travis' #1 version of "He Walked On Water" that brought Allen to the forefront of the songwriting community seemingly "overnight." "I Can't Make You Love Me," a song co-written with Mike Reid and recorded by Bonnie Raitt was nominated for a Grammy Award and voted the #8 song of "The 100 Greatest Songs Of All Time" in the August 2000 issue of Mojo Magazine. Allen has had more than 100 songs recorded by artists in several genres of music. He currently resides in Franklin, Tennessee, with his wife Lori and their three children on a small farm with 3 horses, 2 burros, 1 Texas Longhorn steer, 5 goats, 1 rooster and too many dogs and cats (that he loves).

Robert Singer

Dr. Singer received his bachelor's degree from the University of Iowa. In 1992, he received his medical degree from the University of Nebraska. He completed his residency in Neurosurgery at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Dr. Singer also completed an Interventional Neuroradiology Fellowship at Stanford University Medical Center in Palo Alto, California, and a Neurovascular Surgery Fellowship at the Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts. He is board certified by the American Board of Neurological Surgery. In 2002, he founded Waterstone Musical Instruments, which specializes in electric guitars and basses with a vintage aesthetic.

Martin Sweidel

Martin Sweidel is Associate Dean for Administrative Affairs in the Meadows School of the Arts at Southern Methodist University. He holds a D.M.A. in Composition (1983) from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. In 1986 he joined the Music faculty at Southern Methodist University and served as Chair of the Division of Music from 1995-2000. Dr. Sweidel teaches courses in Electro-acoustic Music, Fundamentals of Audio and Sound, Music Composition and Music Theory. His music has been heard in performances, installations, and broadcasts throughout the country. These have included the Dallas Video Festival, Society of Composers, Inc., Society for Electro-Acoustic Music, Bowling Green New Music and Art Festivals, International Electronic Music-Plus, The Dallas Museum of Art, and TEDxSMU. Grants have included several from Meet the Composer, two Individual Artists Fellowships from the Ohio Arts Council, and a Composers Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. Six of his video art collaborations with Donald Pasquella are included in the TV series Frame of Mind. Commercial music by Dr. Sweidel includes electronic scores for the film The Last Witness and the documentary Adventures on the Planet Earth.

Steven Tepper

Steven J. Tepper is Associate Director of the Curb Center for Art, Enterprise, and Public Policy and Associate Professor in the department of sociology at Vanderbilt. Prior to Vanderbilt, Tepper served as deputy director of the Princeton University Center for Arts and Cultural Policy Studies. Tepper's research and teaching focus on creativity in education and work; conflict over art and culture; and cultural participation. He is author of Not Here, Not Now, Not That! Protest Over Art and Media in America (University of Chicago, 2011) and co-editor and contributing author of the book Engaging Art: The Next Great Transformation of America's Cultural Life (Routledge 2007). Tepper is a leading writer and speaker on U.S. cultural policy and his work has fostered national discussions around topics of cultural engagement, everyday creativity, and the transformative possibilities of a 21st century creative campus.

Gregory Wassall

Gregory H. Wassall is an economics professor at Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts. Professor Wassall teaches and conducts research primarily in the economics of art and culture. He is the author or co-author of over a dozen books and monographs on topics such as non-profit organizations, art, culture, and regional economic development, and the earnings, employment and careers of artists. He has published in the Atlantic Economic Journal, the Journal of Cultural Economics, the Journal of Arts, Management and Law, Economic Development Quarterly, Policy Studies Review, and the New England Journal of Business and Economics.

In recent research, Professor Wassall, in collaboration with Neil Alper, is examining the effects of specific training in the arts on labor market outcomes. Also, he has collaborated with Douglas DeNatale on developing a working definition of the New England Creative Economy, and continues to assess its role in the region's economic development. With another colleague, Richard Maloney, Professor Wassall is studying the effects of government grants to local arts coalitions designed to stimulate cultural economic development.

Kyle Wedberg

Kyle Wedberg is President and CEO of New Orleans Creative Center for the Arts (NOCCA) and has a professional career that has focused on education and public service. He began his career as a City Year AmeriCorps volunteer in Boston, MA. After graduate school, he was a Senior Budget Analyst for the Office of Budget and Management for the City of Chicago. He was then recruited to the School District of Philadelphia where he served as Deputy Chief Financial Officer. Kyle then returned to City Year to help lead new site development and the start of City Year Louisiana (where he fell in love with New Orleans), City Year Johannesburg, and City Year Los Angeles. Kyle embraced the opportunity to move to New Orleans and took a leadership role at the Recovery School District where he served as Chief Administrative Officer. While working at the RSD, Kyle visited and was inspired by NOCCA-the performing and visual arts high school for the State of Louisiana- where he now has the privilege to serve as President and Chief Executive Officer. In his spare time he enjoys being with his wife Michelle and son Waylon above all else; traveling the state; and experiencing the arts, sights, sounds, food, culture, and sports (especially the Saints) of New Orleans and Louisiana.

Akilah Williams

Akilah Williams earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Industrial Design at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a Master of Design in Design Planning from the Illinois Institute of Technology's Institute of Design. Utilizing her strategic planning and design skills she launched her own business venture, Saedi Inc, to provide identity design and business planning services to new start-ups. Later employed by Urban Gateways as the Marketing and Communications Manager, she unified design, built visibility, and increased support for the organization. Currently Akilah is the Communications Officer for Crown Family Philanthropies and works as a freelance design strategist.

Erika Wollam-Nichols

Erika Wollam Nichols is Chief Operating Officer and General Manager of The Bluebird Cafe overseeing all aspects of the venue's on-site and off-site operations along with marketing, sponsorship and brand development of The Bluebird Cafe name. Erika is also co-director of the Tin Pan South Songwriters festival and handles the performance program for the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. Prior to The Bluebird, she was Director of Development for the Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI) where she oversaw the organization's fundraising and marketing efforts for three years (2005-2008) and handled community relations for the organization. Past experience includes Vice-President of Marketing & Community Outreach at The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, Associate Producer of the weekly Nashville Public Radio series "The Songwriter Sessions," and former Program Director for the Summer Lights Festival. An alumnus of Leadership Music, she served on the Board of Directors for the organization from 2007-2010 and currently serves on the Board of the ACLU of Tennessee and The Folk Alliance. Erika received her undergraduate degree in philosophy from Belmont University and recently graduated with an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts. She is also an adjunct instructor at Watkins College of Art, Design & Film in Nashville.