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Wake Forest to host national symposium on creativity

February 6, 2009

Leading visionaries and practitioners in the arts, humanities, sciences and business will gather March 18-20 at Wake Forest University for “Creativity: Worlds in the Making.”

The symposium flows from the premise that 21st century society must more fully embrace creativity and innovation to find solutions to the challenges facing our globalized world.  Just as innovation increasingly requires cutting across disciplinary boundaries, the conference itself will highlight emerging creative research, public outcomes and practice across disciplines and collaboration between institutions of higher education and the broader communities they serve.

“We created this event to advance the national discussion on creativity as a core competency for 21st century citizens,” said symposium organizer Lynn Book, director of the Program for Creativity and Innovation at Wake Forest.  “We need to generate not only new ideas, but also new models for creative principles and practices that reach across disciplinary, cultural and economic divides with a long view toward sustainable practice and just outcomes.”

This cutting-edge event, part symposium, part festival of the imagination, unites traditional individual and panel presentations with innovative performances, a gallery exhibition and participatory working sessions.  The schedule is filled with more than 50 presenters from more than 30 institutions of higher education, organizations and businesses across North America.

Featured speakers include:

  • David Bornstein, author of The New York Times best-selling book “How to Change the World:  Social Entrepreneurs and the Power of New Ideas,” will deliver the opening keynote address.
  • Meredith Monk, interdisciplinary performance pioneer and recipient of a MacArthur Foundation “Genius Award,” will present a performance of original compositions for voice and piano in conjunction with the university’s Secrest Artists Series, and will deliver the closing keynote address.
  • David Edwards, acclaimed Harvard biochemist, entrepreneur and author of “Artscience:  Creativity in the Post-Google Generation,” will deliver the morning keynote address on the second day of the conference.
  • Emil Kang, executive director of the arts at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, will present a luncheon keynote address on the campus creative movement.  
  • Abigail Child, award-winning filmmaker, poet and author of “This is Called Moving:  A Critical Poetics of Film,” will have a film screening and exhibition of her work on campus and will deliver the Friday morning keynote with Josh Frieman.
  • Josh Frieman, renowned astrophysicist at Fermilab and professor at the University of Chicago, will join Child in a keynote dialogue, “Translations: an Astrophysicist and a Filmmaker Talk,” to launch the final day of the conference.

The Program for Creativity and Innovation is an initiative of the Office of Entrepreneurship and Liberal Arts, which, along with the Secrest Series and several academic departments and programs, is sponsoring the symposium.  Details and a schedule are available at

Symposium activities are open to the public. Visit the Web site for information about registering for the entire three-day event, or for one-day, half-day or individual event admission.

Press Contacts:

Eric Frazier
(336) 758-5237

Kevin Cox
(336) 758-5237

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