This fall, the Thomas S. Kenan Institute for the Arts at University of North Carolina
School of the Arts (UNCSA) invites artists and creative leaders across the country
to register for Artivate 360, a peer-to-peer interview and webinar series that highlights
UNCSA alumni who have built successful businesses with a wide-ranging impact through
educational and advocacy campaigns on issues including food and wellness, body positivity,
environmental conservation, and climate change. Artivate 360 is free to attend but
registration for each session is required.
This two-part series will feature four programs organized around two themes, Practicing
Self-Care (October 18 and 19) and Artists + Activism (November 15 and 16). Each theme
will feature a peer-to-peer interview between UNCSA alumni that reflects on the evolution
of their careers, followed by a webinar that will illustrate how artists can implement
lessons they learned the previous day. Attendance at both sessions is not required.
“The Artivate 360 panelists are examples of artists who have not only excelled in
their artistry but who have also built extraordinary ventures, beyond their conservatory
training, in service of others,” said Kenan Institute Executive Director Kevin Bitterman.
“The career path of each of our guests illustrates the ways in which artists can integrate
their creative skills and training over the course of their careers to inspire change.”
Artivate 360 panelists, clockwise from top left: Jenny Best, Jessamyn Stanley, Rebekah
Rotstein, Tim Guinee and Thomas Rowell.
Arts training and expectations of excellence can take a toll on the physical and mental
health of many artists. “Practicing Self-Care” highlights the journeys of three artists
and social entrepreneurs who have built successful businesses dedicated to promoting
the health and well-being of their communities.
On October 18 at 1 p.m., UNCSA High School Dance alumnae Jenny Best and Rebekah Rostein
will discuss how their wellness journeys took them from artists to thriving entrepreneurs.
On October 19, internationally acclaimed yoga instructor Jessamyn Stanley will lead
a guided meditation and chair stretching session.
October 18, 2021 | 1-2:15 p.m.
Jenny Best and Rebekah Rostein will discuss how their wellness journeys took them from artists to thriving entrepreneurs.
October 19, 2021 | 1-2:15 p.m.
Internationally acclaimed yoga instructor Jessamyn Stanley will lead a guided meditation and chair stretching session.
ARTISTS + ACTIVISM
“Artists + Activism” brings together two UNCSA alumni who have built award-winning
careers in film to discuss how their artistry has intersected with environmental activism.
Attendees will learn how these creatives use their craft to amplify the causes in
which they believe.
On November 15 at 1 p.m., Tim Guinee and Thomas Rowell will reflect on how their careers
have intersected with environmental activism, and how to use your craft to amplify
causes in which you believe. On November 16 at 1 p.m., Tim Guinee will continue the
conversation, teaching artists how they can speak with authority about the climate
crisis and advocate for change.
November 15, 2021 | 1-2:15 p.m.
Tim Guinee and Thomas Rowell will reflect on how their careers have intersected with environmental activism, and
how to use your craft to amplify causes you believe in.
November 16, 2021 | 1-2:15 p.m.
Tim Guinee will continue the conversation, teaching artists how they can speak with
authority about the climate crisis and advocate for change.
- Jenny Best (High School Dance ’94), 2021 UNCSA Artpreneur of the Year, former dancer with New York City Ballet and the founder and CEO of Solid Starts, an online resource and mobile app that aims to revolutionize how parents introduce
food to infants and teach body positivity to their children. In less than two years,
the Solid Starts Instagram account has gained more than 900,000 followers from 175
countries. She was inspired to establish Solid Starts after her own experiences with
disordered eating and subsequent career-ending injury, as well as her son’s struggle
with extreme picky eating.
- Rebekah Rotstein (High School Dance ’94) is a movement educator, and founder of Buff Bones®, a medically-endorsed exercise system for bone and joint health with trained instructors
in more than 30 countries. A former ballet dancer, Rebekah also worked in the Sports
Medicine department of Smith College as a student athletic trainer. A diagnosis of
osteoporosis at age 28 motivated her to advocate for others with low bone mass and
to provide innovative education and programming for them. She has presented at numerous
conferences in the Pilates industry and at the International Osteoporosis Foundation
Worldwide Conference. Rebekah is an ambassador for American Bone Health and worked as a partner of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office
of Women’s Health.
- Jessamyn Stanley (Design & Production) is a Durham-based, internationally acclaimed wellness leader
who is highly sought after for her insights on 21st-century yoga and intersectional
identity. Through her books, social media presence and wellness app, The Underbelly, she has inspired global audiences to discover the power of yoga and set forth on
a path for personal development. Jessamyn also uses her platform to educate her audience
on a number of other social issues, including the modern Black experience, LGBTAQ+
representation, cannabis justice and equity in the health industry. She is the author
of two books, “Every Body Yoga: Let Go of Fear, Get On the Mat. Love Your Body” and most recently, “YOKE: My Yoga of Self Acceptance.”
- Tim Guinee (Drama ’85, ’18) is a successful working actor and the founder of Climate Actors, an organization that empowers actors by providing them with facts and tools to speak
with authority on the climate crisis. Tim is a leader with former Vice President Al
Gore’s Climate Reality Project and has given climate presentations in the United States, Canada and North Africa.
He enjoys giving talks to oppositional audiences including conservative fire departments,
oil industry executives, and maximum-security inmates. Professionally, he is an actor
and director appearing in over 250 movies (including “Sweet Land,” the first carbon
neutral independent feature film), television and plays. In 2020, he was awarded the
prestigious Alfredo Sirkis Memorial Green Ring Award for his work on the climate crisis.
Tim is a member of the American Academy of Arts & Science commission for acceleration
of climate solutions.
- Thomas Rowell (Drama ’08, ’12), a photographer, filmmaker and National Geographic
Explorer, is the founder of Brother Mountain, a visual storytelling company. Thomas studied theatre directing at UNCSA and has
had residencies at the Waaw Centre in Sénégal and the Kennedy Center for the Performing
Arts, where he was a 2014 Kenan Fellow. His first film project followed dedicated
conservationists working to conserve the critically endangered Álala (Hawaiian crow),
and he has since worked with leopards, bears, Asian elephants and the last remaining
Northern White Rhino. His work explores people’s relationship to the natural world
through conservation initiatives around the globe.