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CREATIVITY NETWORKING 2008-2009 - Archives
Willimantic, Connecticut

This monthly Creativity Networking Series provides a forum for exploring the many facets of creativity and for discovering other people interested in creativity. Creativity Networking is hosted by WindhamARTS and curated by Steven Dahlberg, Director, International Centre for Creativity and Imagination.

The 2008-2009 Creativity Networking sessions were held at WindhamARTS in Willimantic, Connecticut, on the first Wednesday of each month from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m.

Community Partners for the Willimantic Creativity Networking Series include: WindhamARTS, Arts at the Capitol Theater Magnet School, Burton Leavitt Theatre, and Main Street Cafe / Willimantic Brewing Company.

JUNE 3, 2009:
The Creative Process in Life and Art... with artist and teacher Bill Dougal
Bill Dougal's presentation is from a visual art perspective, and provides analogies to other art-forms, vocations and life activities. Discover the steps involved in creation, learn options for construction of visuals, and explore the universality of shape. Some hands-on projects will spark the imagination. Bill will show visuals, talk, draw and sing a few songs he's written about creativity.

Bill Dougal does illustrations for advertising and publications, and caricatures for gifts and events. He teaches art at Arts at the Capitol Theater (ACT), and cartooning at various venues. Songs for kids are written and performed by Bill. After his BFA at Hartford Art School, he worked as art director at ad agencies. He also had a pun-rock band Billy & the Buttons, and produced music videos. Find out more about Bill here and here.

MAY 6, 2009:
Lessons from Prison for Creative Education ... with community activist LaResse Harvey 

Come and explore the role of arts, writing, creativity and imagination in prison programs and their implication for integrating more of these topics into education. You will hear the perspective of a formerly incarcerated mother who credits her creative writing and arts experience in prison with helping transform her life. Join us to hear LaResse Harvey's story and what it means for creative education. LaResse is African American Policy Director for A Better Way Foundation in Hartford. See more on this topic.

LaResse Harvey, African American Policy Director for A Better Way Foundation, is a formerly incarcerated single mother with more than 10 years experience in community activism on issues of a women's right to choose, housing, reentry, drug treatment, and custodial parental rights. Ms. Harvey holds associate degrees in human services, liberal arts and science, and general studies. In spring 2009, Ms. Harvey will receive her bachelors in social work from Saint Joseph's College. Ms. Harvey currently is organizing residents, business owners, advocates, and social agency staff to address issues of reintegration, housing, homelessness, hunger, and child support. She also works with young women ages 10-14 years old on racial justice, advocacy, life skills, and public speaking.

APRIL 1, 2009:
Exploring the Creative Process Through Poetry ... with poet/teacher/performer Elizabeth Thomas
Come and kick off National Poetry Month by exploring the links between poetry, spoken word and creativity. Whether you enjoy poetry on the page or on the stage ... or maybe would like to try pen to poem yourself to enhance your creativity - this session has it all. Join poet and teacher Elizabeth Thomas and guests for an inspiring exploration of the creative process through poetry and spoken word.

Elizabeth Thomas is a widely published poet, performer, teacher and advocate of the arts. The author of two poetry collections and one book on writing for youth and teachers, she has read her work throughout the United States. She's been a member of three Connecticut National Poetry Slam teams and in 1998 was a member of the U.S. team that traveled to Sweden. Much of her energy and time is devoted to designing and teaching writing programs for schools and organizations around the country. These programs promote literacy and the power of written and spoken word. As an outstanding advocate of youth in the arts, Elizabeth Thomas is a coach and organizer with Brave New Voices: International Youth Poetry Slam and Festival. She is also the founder of UpWords Poetry, a company dedicated to promoting programs for young writers and educators, based on the belief that poetry is meant to be heard out loud and in person. Find more about Elizabeth's work here.

MARCH 4, 2009:
Creating the Song Within Your Soul ... with Jolie Rocke Brown
How does a singer, performer or artist take something created by another and make it their own unique creation? Come and learn how to think differently about music and how to listen in new ways for an artist's unique take on a song. Discover what artists draw upon to produce their authentic creation, and what that means for how each of us creates our authentic, creative lives. Join soprano opera singer and educator Jolie Rocke Brown for an entertaining and educational evening of creativity, song and life. Video clips from Jolie's presentation.

Jolie Rocke Brown, soprano opera singer and arts educator, recently completed a European tour of "Porgy and Bess" with the New York Harlem Theater and covering the role of Clara from the same opera with the prestigious Theatre national de l'opera-comique in Paris, France. In April 2008, she released her first compact disc recording entitled "Jolie Rocke Brown in Concert" with special guest Willie Anthony Waters. She has graced the stage of the Bushnell Center for Performing Arts "with her bright-airy soprano voice" (Hartford Courant) in December 2005 with the Hartford Symphony Orchestra and Hartford Chorale as the soprano soloist in Handel's Messiah. During the Fall of 2005, she returned to Connecticut Concert Opera to perform the role of Lisa in Bellini's La Sonnambula, Margaret in Menotti's Telephone at the University of Connecticut, Queen of the Night in a children's production of Mozart's Die Zauberflote presented by Connecticut Lyric Opera and sang as a featured artist in the Hartford Symphony Orchestra's community-based Musical Dialogues Program. Find more about Jolie here.

FEBRUARY 4, 2009:
The Creative Wisdom of the Body ... with Lisa Laing and Hilary Martin Himan
InterPlay puts back into education, health care, spirituality and business something they leave out ... the wisdom of the body. InterPlay is an active, creative, incremental approach to unlocking the wisdom of the body using improvisational movement, voice, stories and stillness. This world-wide practice is changing lives and communities around the globe. All are welcome; no special skills required; wear loose clothing.

Program will be led by Lisa Laing and Hilary Martin Himan, certified InterPlay Leaders, who are dedicated to sharing this profound and simple practice with others.

JANUARY 7, 2009:
Threads of Creativity in Art and Science ... with Daniel Bernard Roumain and Guests
Join us from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, January 7, 2009, for a special Creativity Networking in Willimantic, Connecticut. Daniel Bernard Roumain will be joined by scientists Hedley Freake and Christian Brueckner, artists,  creativity educator Steven Dahlberg, and the public to explore the intersection of creativity, art and science. ... Plus, mark your calendar for Daniel Bernard Roumain's return to Storrs, Connecticut, for a Special Bicentennial presentation of "Darwin's Meditation for The People of Lincoln" on February 12, 2009, celebrating that auspicious day of February 12, 1809, when Darwin and Lincoln were born within hours of one another. Video clip from DBR's presentation.

Known for fusing his classical music roots with a myriad of soundscapes, Haitian-American artist Daniel Bernard Roumain (DBR) has carved a reputation for himself as a passionately innovative composer, performer, violinist and band leader. His exploration of musical rhythms and classically-driven sounds is peppered by his own cultural references and vibrant musical imagination. As a composer, his dramatic soul-inspiring pieces range from orchestral scores and energetic chamber works to rock songs and electronica. According to the New York Times, his "eclecticism was wide-ranging as ever" in One Loss Plus, DBR's evening-length, multimedia work for electric/acoustic violin, prepared/amplified piano, electronics, and video which debuted at BAM's 2007 Next Wave Festival. The second commission, which premiered at BAM's 2008 Next Wave Festival is "Darwin's Meditation for the People of Lincoln," a musical setting of a new pocket play by Daniel Beaty exploring an imagined conversation between Darwin and Lincoln featuring the chamber orchestra SymphoNYC, and internationally renowned Haitian recording artist Emeline Michel. More about DBR.

Hedley Freake is a Professor at the University of Connecticut in the Department of Nutritional Sciences, with a joint appointment in Molecular and Cell Biology. He holds a Ph.D. in Physiology from the Royal Postgraduate Medical School in London. His research has been funded by NIH and USDA. His laboratory uses molecular approaches to address questions of nutritional significance. More about Hedley.

Christian Brueckner is a professor of bioinorganic and inorganic chemistry at the University of Connecticut, where he runs a lab that specializes in the synthesis of molecules with designed properties -- or, creating molecules. More about Christian's research and work.

DECEMBER 3, 2008:
Creativity, Aging and Purposeful Engagement ... with Martin Bloom
Artist and professor Martin Bloom will use his own story of later-life creativity, with examples of his collage art pieces, to help participants explore and better understand the relationship between creativity, art and aging.

Martin Bloom, an emeritus professor from the University of Connecticut, started auditing basic art classes at UCONN and Eastern about five years before he retired and several years thereafter. During his career, he did research, taught and wrote in the areas of gerontology, primary prevention, human development and evaluation methods. In retirement, he continues his research and writing, but now devotes much time and energy to work in collage, an art method of "attaching something to something else" with aesthetic intent. He currently has a solo exhibition at the Mansfield Community Center through December -- which you are cordially invited to visit. See more of Martin's art here.

Read a recent New Yorker article by Malcolm Gladwell about later-life creativity: "LATE BLOOMERS: Why do we equate genius with precocity?"

NOVEMBER 5, 2008:
Creativity, Movement and the Body ... with Elizabeth Huebner
We are made to move. Come and explore the intelligence of the body. We'll explore movement as a means of self expression, a way of experiencing pleasure and as a way to feel connected to others. Led by Elizabeth Huebner, founder and director of the Connecticut Center for the Alexander Technique.

Elizabeth Huebner is the founder and director of the Connecticut Center for the Alexander Technique, LLC. She has taught the Alexander Technique in England, France, Holland and the United States for the past 25 years. Her excellence as a teacher is rooted in solid technique, respect for others and her inquisitive mind. She loves exploring new challenges including singing, horse riding, parachute jumping and stone-wall building. She taught workshops and performed dance in London, Den Hagg, Paris and Minneapolis before moving to Connecticut in 1988. She conducts talks and workshops nationally and locally, maintains a thriving private practice, and teaches actors at the University of Connecticut and the University of Hartford. Find about more about her work and hear a radio interview at her Web site. Read the Spring 2008 UCONN Magazine article featuring her work with actors.

OCTOBER 1, 2008:
Learning and Creativity ... with Maureen Crowley
From America's earliest philosophical societies and Benjamin Franklin's Junto to Oprah's book club, we remain a culture of learning enthusiasts. Join in a conversation about your own learning -- how, when, why and where you learn -- and the power of dialogue as a creative resource. This session is all about you: your learning and your creativity. Led by Maureen K. Crowley, director of planning and development at EASTCONN.

Maureen K. Crowley, director of planning and development at EASTCONN, is an adult learner herself. She develops programs and services that address the needs of learners of all ages in the Northeast Quiet Corner of Connecticut. Previously, she directed the Adult Collaborative of Cape Cod for Education and Support Services/ACCESS, an innovative, community-based model for adult learners that earned a Governor’s Award for Excellence. Maureen has more than 25 years of educational experience in developing and managing creative, alternative learning environments, as well as traditional learning programs. 

SEPTEMBER 3, 2008:
Creativity, Entrepreneurship and Sustainable Communities ... with Sarah Winter and Mark Svetz
Join these local creators of hemp clothing and unique bags to explore what it means to create and to sell fairly made classic designs that are environmentally sound; how such entrepreneurial work contributes to creative, sustainable communities; and how to make a living by doing work that allows you to express your creativity. Led by Sarah Winter and Mark Svetz of Willimantic-based Sarah Winter Clothworks.

Sarah and Mark live, love and work together in Willimantic, Connecticut. Their goal is to run an ecologically friendly business that promotes a sustainable economy. They use their skills as pattern makers, dressmakers, dyers and stitchers in the context of community life. They design clothing and bags based on comfort, ease of care and their own sense of fun. Their goods are not designed for models, nor are they mass produced. Their goal is to make it possible for you to purchase unique, well-made items. Read more about Sarah and Mark here.

AUGUST 6, 2008:
The Creative Life: Living With Meaning and Purpose ... with John Cusano and Reggie Marra
Come and explore how we can live meaningful lives amid worldview breakdowns and rampant crises. How can we disengage from the old stories that are running our lives so that a new story can begin to emerge? Join John Cusano and Reggie Marra for a dialogue about the practices and perspectives of living the creative life, from the big picture to personal evolution.

John Cusano has held leadership positions in cultural, educational, and social service institutions as an employee and an entrepreneur. Since 1981, he has designed and implemented programs and organizational systems; mentored and coached artists, business owners and nonprofit directors; and currently manages two state-wide partnership programs. He holds a degree in industrial design and loves to write and draw.

An educator for 33 years, Reggie Marra founded Integral Journeys in 1997 after 21 years as a teacher, basketball coach and administrator in secondary and higher education. Author of four books, he is a poet, teaching artist and workshop facilitator who guides interested folks in integral explorations of identity, perspective, voice and purpose. Read more about Reggie here.

JULY 2, 2008:
The Creativity of Molecular Gastronomy ... with Chef Noel Jones and Chemist Robert Moore
This session will feature the creative integration of culinary art and molecular science -- exploring what happens when everyday foods are deconstructed to their basic elements and then re-created as something profoundly new and delicious, while still vaguely familiar. Demonstrations and tastes to be included! This journey will be led by the executive chef and the chef-intern from the Hartford restaurant ON20 -- which was recently featured in the New York Times. Executive Chef Noel Jones will be joined by his biochemist-turned-chef-intern Robert Moore (who is also the retired director of the Hartford Hospital Pathology Lab) to explore how "making the strange familiar and the familiar strange" is turning a meal in a restaurant into a performance experience that helps us reimagine and understand food in totally new ways.

Noel Jones started working in the kitchen of a fine French restaurant at the age of 14 and realized early that he had a love for the craft. Having graduated at the top of his class in culinary school in Ireland, Noel has worked on both sides of the Atlantic, including serving as executive chef of the Limetree in Kenmare, which earned a Michelin rating during his tenure. Prior to joining the restaurant ON20, Noel was corporate executive chef at the United Technologies Companies. In keeping with ON20's credo of excellence, Chef Noel provides the Hartford area with stellar cuisine, the likes of which is generally found in New York City and other cosmopolitan areas. His passion for culinary creativity is neatly summed up in his philosophy: "Take classic cuisine and use it as a springboard for the imagination to create new dishes." More about Noel: ON20 and New York Times profile.

JUNE 4, 2008:
Creativity, Intuition and Spirituality … with Doris Shallcross

One of the major means by which human beings liberate themselves from conditioned responses and usual choices is through creativity. For many, creativity and spirituality are intertwined. The spiritual is not morality, not ethics, not organized religion (although it can be for some), not psychic. Spirit is an essential need of human nature. There is something in all of us that seeks the spiritual. It is a yearning that varies in strength from person to person. Come and explore the connections between creativity and spirituality.

Doris J. Shallcross, Ed.D., is professor emeritus of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, where she directed the graduate program in creativity. Her major work there was with doctoral candidates specializing in creative behavior. She is a consulting editor for the Journal of Creative Behavior. She is president of the board of trustees of a performing arts charter high school and past president of an arts-in-education nonprofit that trained teachers to integrate the arts into their curricula. She is the author and co-author of several books. 

MAY 7, 2008:
To Be Young and Creative in Eastern Connecticut: Emerging Artists Speak
Join a dialogue with current and recent arts students from the University of Connecticut and Eastern Connecticut State University to explore their ideas about creativity, what has helped and hindered them in being more creative in this community, and what implications their views have for developing "creative community" in general.

The confirmed artists include Rebecca Parker (UConn MFA grad and Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism Visual Arts Fellow), Matt Jensen (UConn MFA student), Jenn Dierdorf (UConn MFA student), Ted Efremoff (UConn MFA grad), and others.

APRIL 2, 2008:
Engaging Creative Communities Through Community Learning and Change ... with August Jaccaci
Come and learn how communiversities - an ongoing, citizen-led process of learning and creating change within a community - can inspire creative community building. 

Partners in Whole Community Learning
By August Jaccaci

A Communiversity
Is a learning conversation
Within a whole family of life
In a place they hold in common
Dear to them all.
This conversation
Is a sharing of mutual needs
In a place of mutual dwelling
In a process of mutual learning
In a vessel of mutual hope.
This continuous conversation
Is the voice of the soul of life
Expressing the sanctity of all life
For the future of all life
In the home of all life.

August Jaccaci works with leaders throughout the world who want to envision and architect an ideal future for themselves and their enterprises. Gus is co-author of "CEO: Chief Evolutionary Officer: Leaders Mapping the Future" and author of "General Periodicity: Nature’s Creative Dynamics." He has 30 years of experience and research in the realm of General Systems Science, with a focus on cosmology and evolution. Gus is president of Unity Scholars (a nonprofit organization founded in 1983) and founder of the Creating Communiversities: Partners in Whole Community Learning project. He has been authorized by Commissioner John Richardson, Maine Department of Economic and Community Development, to develop five communiversities in Maine in 2008. Gus holds degrees in English and education from Harvard University and in painting from the Rhode Island School of Design.

MARCH 5, 2008:
Creativity: What Is It?
Creativity matters in all aspects of society. If you want to reconnect with your inherent creativity and explore new ways of expressing it, don't miss this series. It will cover topics about creativity in all forms (including, but not limited to, arts), creative thinking, creative communities, creativity and education, creativity in organizations, creative persons, the creative process, creative aging and more. Come and explore what creativity is, who has it, and how one can tap into more of it.

Steven Dahlberg heads the International Centre for Creativity and Imagination, which is dedicated to applying creativity to improve the well-being of individuals, organizations and communities. He manages creative community projects for various institutions, serves as an adviser to the Guggenheim Museum’s “The Art of Problem Solving” research project, and serves as a juror to select public art for a new science education building. He collaborates with artists, scientists, business people, educators and others to help people develop their creativity. He has worked with UNESCO, Americans for the Arts, Heinz, the Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism, General Mills, and Yahoo! Research Berkeley, among other organizations. He’s led workshops and keynotes on creative engagement and participation at the international Creativity & Cognition Conference, the University of Connecticut's Confratute (summer institute on enrichment learning and teaching) and the State of Connecticut's Higher Order Thinking (HOT) Schools Summer Institute. Steven has more than 16 years of experience promoting and teaching creative thinking in the United States, South Africa, Europe and Asia. He was head an international creativity foundation, director of an annual creativity conference, program director of the Institute for Creative Studies in Minneapolis, and helped two long-time toy inventors launch a creativity consulting business. He has designed and taught three graduate-level creativity courses at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota, as well as guest lectured at several universities. Dahlberg authored the foreword to the book, "Education is Everybody’s Business: A Wake-Up Call to Advocates of Educational Change," and edits the "Applied Imagination" blog. More about Steven and the International Centre for Creativity and Imagination is available online.


Copyright ©2016 Steven T. Dahlberg and 
International Centre for Creativity and Imagination. All rights reserved.