Engage the power of creative community to ignite and transform your work at our annual summit!
Photo courtesy of STITCH Design Shop
The Creative Catalyst Artivate summit is an arts-infused experience that connects you with a vibrant and diverse community of creative leaders, innovators and entrepreneurs!
Artivate 2019 will be a powerful and transformative experience, creating cross-sector connections between the arts and community through interactive workshops; immersive arts experiences; and energizing networking, mentoring and community events.
Creatives have unique skills and training that make them naturally strong leaders. How can they transfer these qualities across sectors to intentionally develop leadership abilities? How can they translate their creative ideas into visionary leadership?
Artists often say their training does not teach them how to make a living. How do artists create a sustainable creative practice? How can artists build their capacity to lead, generate & sustain their work?
Creativity is at the core of Innovation. How do creatives bring new perspectives to longstanding, complex challenges in their communities? How can artists inspire grassroots action and community-building?
Choreographer & Associate Provost of the Arts, Wake Forest University
Curator & Consultant
Assistant Dean, School of Drama
Founder, Artistry Center Network
Writer & Director
Kenan Institute for the Arts
Vijay Gupta is taking music out of the concert hall and into to the streets. An acclaimed violinist and seasoned international performing artist since the age of eight, Vijay has performed with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra and has appeared as a guest concert master with the Los Angeles Opera and the Philharmonia Orchestra of London. He concluded his academic work with a BS in biology from Marist College and an MM in violin performance from the Yale School of Music, but Vijay could not separate his interests in music, science and social justice.
When a musician of his acquaintance suffered health issues and became homeless, Vijay was inspired to use his talents to promote healing, provoke change, and foster social connection. He founded Street Symphony, a nonprofit organization providing musical engagement, dialogue and teaching artistry for homeless and incarcerated communities in Los Angeles. Among other programs, the organization holds an annual performance of Handel’s “Messiah” featuring musicians from skid row. He also serves on the faculty of The Colburn School and Longy School of Music, is the Senior Program and Artistic Advisor of Young Musician’s Foundation and serves on the board of directors of Americans for the Arts and Los Angeles’s 24th Street Theatre.
For his work, Vijay has received many awards including a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Fellowship (i.e. the “Genius Grant”) in 2018. Gupta performs on a 2015 violin made by Los Angeles maker Eric Benning.
"At the core, none of us were meant to be common. We were born to be comets, darting across space and time…” Delivered at his 2016 Harvard Graduation convocation address, Donovan Livingston’s poem “Lift Off” went viral with 13 million views. Since his pivotal speech, Livingston has been featured on CNN, NPR, BBC, "Good Morning America," and in news outlets across Europe, Australia, India, and South Africa. His convocation address was published as a book by Spiegel & Grau in 2017.
A believer in the enormous opportunities that education provides, Donovan inspires students, educators, and communities with his conviction that every child has the right to “lift off” and achieve their dreams. Drawing on personal experiences as well as scholarship, Donovan examines the role of hip-hop and spoken-word poetry in student experiences in higher and postsecondary education. An impassioned and dynamic speaker, he incorporates creative elements—such as spoken-word poetry and audience collaboration—into his lectures.
Both of Donovan’s parents were educators but he didn’t discover his passion for it, too, until he was in college. Now, following in their footsteps, he has earned master’s degrees from Columbia University and Harvard University, and is now a doctoral candidate at the University of North Carolina in Greensboro.
Creativity gives Jacinta V. White life. She tries to do something creative every day even if it’s just deciding what to wear. At the age of 12, growing up in Charlotte, NC, she was transformed by seeing a performance of the Dance Theatre of Harlem and thought she wanted to be a dancer. Years later, she realized poetry was her gift.
Jacinta hit her stride professionally and artistically when she founded The Word Project – an organization dedicated to using poetry and creative expression as a catalyst for personal and community healing. Known throughout the community as one who brings people and diverse thinking to the "art table," Jacinta is sought out to work with others on better understanding the role and value of arts in our lives for healing and building community. As a NC Arts Council Teaching Artist and corporate trainer through her company Deeper Dive Consulting (DDC), she works in an artist’s approach to leadership and soft skills training at every opportunity. Through DDC, she works with the City of Winston-Salem, EMC Arts, and Kramer Leadership, among other organizations.
Jacinta's creative work includes being the owner, publisher and editor-in-chief of the international online quarterly “Snapdragon: A Journal of Art & Healing.” Her poetry has been published in “THIS Magazine,” “Blackberry: a magazine,” “New Verse News,” “Press 53 Open Awards Anthology,” and many more. Her second collection of poems will be published this fall by Press 53 -- "Resurrecting the Bones" -- inspired by her research of African American churches and cemeteries in the rural South.
Christina Tsoules Soriano is an associate professor of dance at Wake Forest University and the Associate Provost for the Arts and Interdisciplinary Initiatives. At Wake, she regularly teaches Improvisation, Dance Composition, Modern Dance technique and a course she co-teaches with chemistry colleague Rebecca Alexander entitled Movement and the Molecular.
Christina received her MFA in dance from Smith College and has danced for many inspiring choreographers, including Alexandra Beller and Heidi Henderson. In addition to the new works she creates for the Wake Forest Dance Company each year, Christina has premiered a new work at the Music Carolina Festival in Winston-Salem since 2013, often involving casts of 25 dancers, ages 4-87 years old. Since 2012, Christina has regularly taught a community dance class in Winston-Salem, NC to people living with Parkinson’s Disease, and has been involved in three scientific studies that look at the ways improvisational dance can help the mobility and balance of people living with neurodegenerative disease. She has received funding from the National Parkinson Foundation, Blue Cross Blue Shield of NC, and most recently the NIH to conduct a randomized clinical trial, testing her improvisational dance method in a community of adults living with Mild Cognitive Impairment and their carepartners. More information about this work can be found at www.improvment.us. Her published work has appeared in the Journal of Dance Education, Research in Dance Education, Dance Magazine, Theatre Journal, the Journal of Mathematics and the Arts, The Journal of Physical and Occupational Therapy in Geriatrics and Frontiers in Neurology. Christina is also very involved in an annual, interdisciplinary symposium: Wake Forest’s Aging Re-Imagined, which brings together the work of artists, community members, and scientists around the topic of Healthy Aging.
Dan Kwong is an award-winning solo multimedia performance artist, writer, director and visual artist who has been presenting his work nationally and internationally for the last 30 years.
Touring extensively, Kwong has performed at venues all across the U.S. and North America, and many countries in East/Southeast Asia. He has received major fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, Rockefeller Foundation, Asian Cultural Council and many more. His first book, "From Inner Worlds to Outer Space: The Multimedia Performances of Dan Kwong," was published by University of Michigan Press in 2004, and the significance of his body of work is acknowledged in “A History of Asian American Theatre” (Cambridge Univ. Press, 2006).
Kwong founded Treasure in the House, LA’s first Asian Pacific American performance & visual art festival at Highways Performance Space, where he served on the Board of Directors for over 17 years. His play, "Be Like Water", the story of a teenage Asian American girl who is visited by the ghost of Bruce Lee, premiered at East West Players in 2008 and is now being adapted for the screen. He is currently writing a new play with Ruben Guevara, "Masao and the Bronze Nightingale," tentatively scheduled for production in Spring of 2020.
Kwong is Associate Artistic Director of Great Leap, Inc., the LA-based multicultural performing arts organization founded by Nobuko Miyamoto. He is a graduate of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and Resident Mentor Artist at 18th Street Arts Center in Santa Monica.
There are few things Ginger loves more than fostering a love of reading and writing in the community. Her favorite part, though, is bringing authors into the schools and seeing the students’ expressions as they engage with the authors and experience the magic of books. Before joining Bookmarks, Ginger held positions as the Director of the Center for Women Writers, Coordinator of Cultural Events at Salem College and Assistant to the Dean of Cultural and Special Programs at Elon University. She enjoys reading, cooking, and swimming with her family—just not all at once. Her favorite books to recommend are “The Editor” by Steven Rowley, “Possession” by A.S. Byatt, and “Bear and Wolf” by Daniel Salmieri.
Alan Shelton doesn’t mind getting his hands dirty – in fact, it’s a big part of his work as a designer/builder, inventor, and tinkerer. He most enjoys working with friends on projects and whether it was a motorcycle, an art project, or architectural structure, he always felt limited by the tools and space that he had access to. Then he had a realization: by working with the local maker community, they could crowd-source the resources they need to benefit everyone.
With Alan as the founding executive director, the nonprofit Winston-Salem MIXXER was born. With a mission to provide a safe, inclusive, and well-equipped space, MIXXER provides people and communities with the tools to invent, tinker, design, prototype, innovate, and create, limited only by imagination; and the vision of a world where anyone can make anything.
Alan is a leader in the creative entrepreneurial community dedicating his efforts to creating opportunities for future community development and economic advancement. He is carefully building relationships and assembling a database of information that will be used to create a vision of an Arts Creation District in Winston-Salem that develops in a thoughtful and equitable way.
Alan also owns a design + build firm where he creates bespoke sculptural/architectural works such as a bookcase in the shape of a steam locomotive, a tiny storage building built from re-purposed door, and a 25 sq. ft. meditation house. He was awarded Forsyth Tech’s Gov. Robert Scott Leadership Award in 2015 and has volunteered for organizations including the New Winston Museum, StoryLine, Meals on Wheels and Habitat for Humanity. He also enjoys petting kittens in his spare time.
As a member of the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina, or the people of the dark water, Charlene Hunt’s passion lies within celebrating and connecting resources related to her Lumbee roots. Since the age of five, when a neighbor called her a racial epithet, Charlene knew she was different. But as an adult, she knows that her childhood experiences have made her resilient and being able to “walk in two different places” is a gift. While working towards a BA in Education at Salem College, she wrote a children’s book, “You Don’t Look Indian to Me,” with a message that you don’t have to let anyone put you in a box.
Early in her career, Charlene was a preschool teacher but now serves as Program Manager for the North Carolina American Indian Health Board which is housed within the Maya Angelou Center for Health Equity at Wake Forest School of Medicine. She also works with multidisciplinary research teams to design and implement community-engaged health promotion programs and serves as a liaison to community partners. She was part of the inaugural cohort for the 2013 North Carolina Native Leadership Institute. She serves on the American Indian Heritage and Guilford Native American Associate planning committees and has worked on various projects including the Healthy Native North Carolinians Garden video. Charlene was recently accepted into the University of North Dakota’s Indigenous MPH program starting in the Fall of 2019.
Lawren Desai proves you can go home again and you can always get what you want. She spread her wings on both coasts but returned to Winston-Salem, NC, after spending her formative years there. Not content enough to be Super Mom and Wife to Jake (and dog Rufus) and Jigar respectively, she used her MBA to develop a SWOT analysis that saw the opportunity to bridge art and film year-round in Winston-Salem.
a/perture cinema was born from her love of family, film, and community in 2010 and has been open daily since. Lawren has helped a/perture to become one of the leading art house cinemas in North Carolina. She successfully led a campaign to expand a/perture from two screens to four in 2013, and most recently facilitated the year-long transition from for-profit to nonprofit 501(c)3 status for a/perture cinema in 2016. a/perture is one of only 23 theaters in North America designated as a Sundance Institute Art House Project Theater – receiving this designation in 2015.
The only thing that would make her give up a/perture is being able to travel non-stop, while drinking rosé and eating tapas along the way.
In 1997, the iconic cigarette vending machine was banned in North Carolina. A few years later, artist Clark Whittington was preparing for a solo show and was inspired to package up some of his small black and white photos and sell them in one of the now un-used machines for $1 each. When the show was scheduled to come down, the owner of the venue asked him to leave the machine in the space permanently. Thinking of the potential benefit for the local artist community, Clark formed Artists in Cellophane (AIC) to keep the machine, known as the Art-O-mat, stocked with original art. It was an instant hit. The mission of AIC is to encourage art consumption by expanding access to artists’ original work by combining the worlds of art and commerce in an innovative form. AIC believes that art should be progressive, yet personal and approachable. What better way to do this, than with a heavy cold steel machine? More than 20 years later, Artists in Cellophane has acquired and restored vending machines and distributed more than 170 Art-O Mats at locations all over the world filled with works by over 400 contributing artists.
A classically-trained flutist, Iris Cole is on a personal quest to apply her skills as a performer, teacher, and entrepreneur to demonstrate how the arts can make our world a better place. Having launched several socially conscious companies in sustainable development and corporate social responsibility, her latest venture, Do Good Artist, teams up artists with industry to create innovative products and initiatives that connect people and enable social change.
For more than 20 years, Iris and her ventures have served as a model to others on how to use their skills to do good in North Carolina, in the Caribbean and abroad. She builds strategic connections between universities, governments, and business and serving as a translator between the creative and the technical. She has a special interest in young artists and works to help broaden their thinking and ability to apply their skills in multi-disciplinary environments. She takes joy in planting seeds of social entrepreneurship with up-and-coming artists and partners and seeing the innovative solutions that result.
Iris began her career after earning degrees in performance, conducting and creative entrepreneurship from Louisiana State University and Berklee College of Music and is currently a Fellow of the Kenan Institute for the Arts at UNCSA. Outside of her work, Iris devotes significant time to community through board service for the Hispanic League, Reynolda House, and the Women’s Network of Winston-Salem.
As an independent curator and museum administrator and consultant, David J. Brown has a lot of experience as a radical arts instigator, organizing hundreds of exhibitions and large-scale community projects. In his earlier career, he was the director of exhibitions at the Maryland Institute, College of Art; curator at the Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati; chief curator and HOME House Project director at the Southeaster Center for Contemporary Art; and deputy director of art at the Taubman Museum. More recently, he was the guest curator of special projects for the No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man exhibition at the Cincinnati Art Museum.
One of his initiatives, the HOME House Project: the Future of Affordable Housing challenged over 800 individuals and teams around the globe to address creative affordable housing. This multi-year initiative traveled to 10 cities and resulted in a book that he edited, distributed by MIT Press. The publication won the First Place Prize for Book Design from The Southeastern Museum Conference. David has served on several boards including the Washington Project for the Arts, the Roanoke Public Arts Commission, and the Piedmont Environmental Alliance. He was a founding member of Botswana, an alternative space for emerging artists in Washington, DC, and recently completed an appointment on the Services to Artists committee for the annual national conferences of the College Art Association in Chicago, New York, and Washington, DC.
Currently, David is the director and co-founder of DENT: A Creative ReUse Center and looking for opportunities to kiteboard on the Outer Banks.
Krisha Marcano is a dynamo that can’t be stopped. She started out in concert dance and musical theater, spending her early career dancing in companies like The Martha Graham Dance Company and The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, then transitioning to Broadway where she starred in first principal Broadway role as 'Squeak' in “The Color Purple” original production. While on Broadway, she volunteered as the co-chair of the Business Group at Career Transition for Dancers and realized that she could continue to be of service teaching entrepreneurial and artistic wellness by creating The Artistry Center Network, LLC.
Currently serving as Assistant Professor of Theater Dance & Assistant Dean for Student Services and Entrepreneurial Studies at the UNCSA School of Drama, Krisha is passionate about Art in Education, Innovation and “The Businesses of Tomorrow.” One of her hobbies is researching other industries for the latest developments in technology, commerce, and innovation. She uses this knowledge and her experiences to elevate the creative industries by training smarter, more informed and prosperous artists in running creative businesses.
Born in New York City and raised in Trinidad, Krisha trained at the Caribbean School of Dance and then went on to earn a BFA from SUNY Purchase and an MBA from Kenney College. Her interests are also expressed through her other hobbies which include singing (country, folk, jazz, R&B, pop, musical theater, calypso), horseback riding (side saddle and western), cricket, rollerblading, and skeet shooting.
Christine (Chris) Chopyak is a true alchemist who co-creates creative, engaging and meaningful approaches to her strategy work with organizations and businesses. A learner (and teacher at her core), Chris finds way to make new things feel familiar and build on what you and your teams already know. With a passion for the arts, Chris combines pictures, color, metaphor, storytelling, and facilitation (a process she calls strategic illustration), to transforms the humdrum of day-to-day business into exciting and useful plans that result in real impact.
With over 20 years of business planning, strategy consulting, public participation, stakeholder engagement and systems analysis, Chris has served in various leadership roles in the private and nonprofit sectors. She is also an avid and determined entrepreneur, launching several businesses including Alchemy: the Art of Transforming Business, a Swedish joint-venture called Conversation Cloud and her current company, Arlosoul: Visualize Innovation. She is also the author of “Picture Your Business Strategy: Transform Decisions with the Power of Visuals” (McGraw-Hill Professional), a go-to-resource for why and how to envision, plan and execute great business ideas.
Chris has an M.B.A from the Executive and Professional Education program at the Daniels College of Business, University of Denver, with a B.A .in English from Lewis and Clark College, Portland, OR and is a graduate of the 50 for Colorado executive education program at the LEEDS Business School at the University of Colorado at Boulder.
Chris interacts with and speaks regularly at business schools across the U.S and Europe, loves working with start-up companies and leaders who are growing market share, their teams and resources.
Jasmine and Jeremy Grace founded Wildlight Wellness Collective in Winston-Salem as a sanctuary for the community to come as they are and awaken the body, mind, and spirit both personally and professionally.
Jasmine Astra-elle (Jyoti) is a yogini, yoga and meditation teacher, 200 and 300-hr yoga teacher trainer, Clinical Ayurvedic Health Practitioner, health and life coach, Ayurvedic instructor, international retreat leader, wife, mother, and lover of travel and nature. Her certifications are many, including AHP, CAS, E-RYT 500, YCEP, IAYT - yet she believes that nothing compares more than daily practice and the experiences of life itself!
With a background in recruiting and love for fitness and yoga, Jeremy Grace began to explore his wellness journey as a high school and college athlete which led to finding yoga in 2005. He dove deeper into his yoga practice in 2012 rooted in Ashtanga and Vinyasa. Infused with this knowledge, desire, and inspiration around the healing powers of mindful movement, Jeremy pursued multiple certifications in yoga, fitness, Ayurveda, and Meditation. He is a Certified Yoga Teacher RYT200, Mediation teacher, ACE Group Fitness Instructor, and Ayurveda Health Educator and has trained and taught in the US, Costa Rica, and Bali.
In 1998, Rob founded Kramer Leadership LLC, which provides executive coaching and consulting, specializing in developing leaders and teams who work for the greater good. Additionally, he works in faculty leadership development at UNC-Chapel Hill’s Institute for the Arts and Humanities and is an executive coach for the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL). Rob was also the founder and executive director of two professional theater companies. He received an MFA in Dramatic Art from the University of North Carolina, a BA in Psychology from the University of Delaware, and completed his studies in Organizational Development at UNC-Charlotte.
He is an International Coach Federation (ICF) and CCL certified coach and is an active member of the Institute of Coaching (Harvard), ICF, the Association of Leadership Educators, and the Organizational Development Network. His clients have included over 75 arts and education institutions, including the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, the Guthrie Theater, Yale University, Massachusetts College of Art and Design, and the UNC School of the Arts.
Rob is the author of Stealth Coaching: Everyday Conversations for Extraordinary Results (2013), and Management and Leadership Skills for Medical Faculty – A Practical Handbook (2016). He has contributed a columns for Advance healthcare magazine and the Chronicle of Higher Education, and is delighted to have lectured at a TEDx conference, where he spoke on The Opposite Stress.
As Executive Director of the Kenan Institute for the Arts, Corey Madden has made an art of leading positive change at UNCSA and across the Southeast. As an artist, teacher and leader, she empowers others to use their creative skills to achieve a dynamic and sustainable impact in their careers and communities. For 28 years Corey lived in Los Angeles where she created and produced more than 300 site-specific, interdisciplinary and new works and founded a production company L’Atelier Arts. While in California, she was also Director of Artist Programs of the Pasadena Arts Council, Producing Director of Performing for Los Angeles Youth and Associate Artistic Director of the Mark Taper Forum. Corey has directed at regional theaters across the country and has taught at UCSD, California Institute of the Arts, UCLA and UNCSA. Corey studied Drama at UNCSA, received her BA in Drama from UNC Chapel Hill and her MA with Highest Honors in Creative Writing from USC.
Weaving together healing practice, art making, entrepreneurship and community action, Suzy McCalley is a holistic leader and artivator. She is a certified yoga instructor, reiki master and EFT, Access Bars and tantra practitioner with extensive experience leading workshops on creativity, stress management, entrepreneurship, empowerment and wellness for organizations in North Carolina, Texas and Brazil. She is a proud graduate of the 2017 Kenan Institute Arts Enterprise Lab.
As an ethnically mixed Brazilian American, Suzi uses her multi-cultural identity to inform her equity-based approach as a community leader. In 2013, she founded The Breathing Room, a yoga and healing arts center that also serves as a business incubator. One year later, she expanded to establish a nonprofit organization, Breathing Access, which makes yoga accessible to underserved schools and communities in Winston Salem, NC. Through determination, she raised over $200,000 in start-up funds for her creative enterprises and, in turn, has mentored hundreds of entrepreneurs, artists, and visionaries to help them launch their own ventures.
All of her life, Suzy has been involved in making music, theater and film. Between 2015 and 2018, she produced “A Goddess Tale” original play with music, produced and starred in a one woman show “Little Bird in The Night,” released an album “into the Flame” (available on Spotify), and had the starring role in Nathan Ross Freeman’s indie feature film “Gem.” Suzy is currently writing her first screenplay while pursuing her MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts with a Performance Concentration at Goddard College.
In the community, Suzy has taken leadership roles at The Shalom Project and Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center Arts & Health Department and has served on the boards of the Hispanic Arts Initiative, Sawtooth School for Visual Art and the Wiley Middle School Family Organization.As an independent curator and museum administrator and consultant, David J. Brown has a lot of experience as a radical arts instigator to inform his work organizing hundreds of exhibitions and large-scale community projects. In his earlier career, he was the director and chief curator at the Fine Art Museum, Western Carolina University; deputy director of art at the Taubman Museum of Art; chief curator and the HOME house project director at the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art; curator at the Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati; and the director of exhibitions at the Maryland Institute, College of Art.
Ron Hunter is the world’s happiest Bluesman. Born and raised in a log cabin in Winston-Salem, he grew up singing and playing guitar thanks to the tutelage of his father. As a child, he did entertain some dreams of being a cowboy and singing Country-Western songs. But he grew up, got married, had a family and supported them working as a maintenance man. But even then, following the advices of blues philosopher Guitar Gabriel, he still found time in his closet-sized office during breaks to practice his craft. His diligence paid off and in 2007, Ron joined the Music Maker Relief Foundation and currently tours worldwide with the Music Maker Blues Review. “First, I tried to be Eric Clapton, B.B. King, Jim Hendrix, Muddy Waters,” he says. “But I found that if I was just me, well, no one could be me.” His music has been described as raw and uplifting and he plays both electric and acoustic guitars in dramatically different but unique styles. His second album, “The Great Unknown,” released in 2018, received praise from Living Blues magazine.
Lisa Mount refuses to specialize. As the Director of Artistic Logistics, she works as a consultant with nonprofit arts organizations, and facilitates dynamic meetings for groups large and small. As an independent artist she produces, directs, and appears in contemporary performance work, including the acclaimed community story plays, “Headwaters: Stories From A Goodly Portion Of Beautiful Northeast Georgia,” “Headwaters: Birth, Death and Places In-Between,” and “Headwaters: Didja Hear?” at the Sautee Nacoochee Center from 2007 – 2013. She toured with the DeLuxe Vaudeville Orchestra as rhythm banjo player from 1994 to 2006. Before embarking on her consulting career in 1997, Lisa served as the Managing Director of 7 Stages theater in Atlanta.
She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theatre, with honors, from Lewis and Clark College. She has served as the Board Chair for Alternate ROOTS, the Atlanta Theatre Coalition, and Georgia Shares, a workplace giving campaign. Lisa received the 1996 “Abby” Award from the Atlanta Arts and Business Council for Outstanding Arts Professional and was named one of the 100 Most Influential Georgians by Georgia Trend Magazine in 2008. In 2009, she was given the first Paula Vaughn Community Arts Lifetime Achievement Award by the Georgia Assembly of Community Arts Agencies. She currently serves on the boards of Alternate ROOTS and the Network of Ensemble Theaters.
John R. Beck, Professor of Percussion at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, also teaches at Wake Forest University. He is the principal percussionist of the Winston-Salem Symphony and is a member of the Greensboro Symphony, Brass Band of Battle Creek, and the Philidor Percussion Group. A former member of the United States Marine Band, for 10 years he performed regularly with the National and Baltimore Symphonies, Washington and Baltimore Operas, and the Theater Chamber Players of the Kennedy Center. Beck has toured the United States as a xylophone soloist with the Jack Daniel's Silver Cornet Band, Brass Band of Battle Creek, and the New Sousa Band. John is a Past President of the Percussive Arts Society and presents clinics endorsing Yamaha percussion instruments, Zildjian cymbals, Innovative mallets, and is a Remo Endorsed Drum Circle Facilitator in the Health and Wellness community.
The Dan River Girls are three sisters from Winston-Salem, North Carolina: Fiona Burdette (20) plays mandolin and cello, Ellie Burdette (18) plays bass, and Jessie Burdette (16) plays fiddle and banjo. They play a wide variety of music from traditional North Carolina folk and fiddle tunes to their own arrangements of pop and Celtic music. They also specialize in singing three-part sister harmonies. They were recently named one of "The Next Wave of Contenders" by Ogi Overman of O. Henry Magazine, who said "The Burdette sisters . . .will one day be huge. . . Wait and see--huge." Their first CD, Dan River Girls, was one of six featured by ParentMap magazine, which described it as "a terrific new compilation that will help your family members hum their way through the start to a busy fall." Their second CD, Sounds of Skye, was released in 2017.
Choreographer & Associate Provost of the Arts, Wake Forest University
Curator & Consultant
Assistant Dean, School of Drama
Founder, Artistry Center Network
Writer & Director
Kenan Institute for the Arts
Winston-Salem, North Carolina, is a mid-sized city located just a few hours from the mountains to the west and ocean to the east, with easy access to three international airports and an Amtrak line. The Summit will be held at the Milton Rhodes Center for the Arts with optional expeditions through the creative core of the city. A block of rooms is available at the Marriot in downtown Winston-Salem, with discounted rates available through July 9, 2019.
2018 MacArthur Fellow VIJAY GUPTA is a violinist and educator whose efforts to merge music with mental health are changing the world, note by note. He is the founder of Street Symphony—a musical advocacy program that empowers citizen-musicians to engage with communities experiencing extreme poverty, incarceration and homelessness, with extraordinary results.
Called “a riveting speaker” by The New Yorker, “at once jovial and intense,” Vijay Gupta is a violinist and passionate advocate for artistic voices at the center of social justice. Gupta joined the Los Angeles Philharmonic in 2007 at age 19, after having completed an undergraduate degree in biology from Marist College and a Master’s degree in violin performance from the Yale School of Music.
Donovan Livingston is an award-winning educator, spoken word poet, and public speaker. In 2016, his Harvard Graduate School of Education convocation address “Lift Off” went viral, reaching over thirteen million views and prompting Hillary Clinton to praise, “It’s young graduates like [Livingston] who make it clear that America’s best days are still ahead.” Since his pivotal speech, Livingston has been featured on CNN, NPR, BBC, Good Morning America, and in news outlets across Europe, Australia, India, and South Africa. His convocation address was published as a book by Spiegel & Grau in 2017.