This day-long event brings over 15 nationally recognized arts professionals (many of whom are St. Olaf alumni) to discuss pertinent topics and issues surrounding innovation in the arts. The panels and speakers will focus on innovation, creativity and business in the art world.
The day will begin with registration and coffee time in the Sun Ballroom where Professor Dan Dressen, associate dean of fine arts and professor of music, will welcome the conference participants and introduce the keynote speaker, Ward Sutton '89.
Sutton works as a freelance artist in New York City. He has created cartoons and illustrations for many publications, including The New York Times, The Village Voice, Rolling Stone, Spin, The Nation and Entertainment Weekly. His book "Sutton Impact: The Political Cartoons of Ward Sutton" was published in 2005. He is currently the semi-secret creator (under the name "Kelly") of the parody political cartoons in The Onion. He has created concert posters for musicians such as Beck, Pearl Jam and Phish as well as posters for John Leguizamo's Broadway show "Freak" and the 2000 Sundance Film Festival. He has created animation for HBO, VH-1, and the cult hit Comedy Central show, "Strangers With Candy."
Following the keynote address, the conference participants will choose among several break out sessions to attend.
Art and Art History Professor Irve Dell will moderate the panel, "Be Creative with your Arts Degree," which aims to explore unconventional arts careers. Panelists include Brad Kaspari, owner of Kaspari Design Services; Kira Obolensky, author and playwright; David Rose '89, CEO of Ambient Devices; and Kristin Solid '94, animator at Industrial Light and Magic (ILM).
Another panel, "Innovation in Arts Management," moderated by Anthony Roberts, Artist in Residence in Dance, will examine the business of arts. Panelists include: Todd Boss '91, director of external affairs at the Playwrights' Center; Beth Burns '91, executive director, Lutheran Music Program, Inc.; Cynthia Grzanowski '88, director of marketing, Minnesota Orchestra and Katherine Yehling '04, managing director, Zenon Dance Company and School, Inc.
At "Funding Your Work: A Workshop for Artists From Springboard for the Arts," student artists can get advice on how to fund their creative endeavors. Experts from Springboard for the Arts, a professional organization dedicated to nurturing and supporting artists, will talk about the artist's need to generate income to support the production of creative work. They will discuss grants, fellowships, scholarships and residency programs available to individual artists, as well as the value of multiple income streams and community partnerships. Springboard's own Artist Loan Fund will be presented as a potential funding source.
Springboard for the Arts will offer a second follow-up workshop, "Marketing for Artists," for students in February 2008. Additionally, Springboard's services are available to individual artists and are outlined on their website: www.springboardforthearts.org.
All participants will gather together for a networking lunch in the Sun Ballroom. Susan Haas of Open Eye Figure Theater will speak about how to "follow your passion."
Haas has worked within and outside of the arts community in the Twin Cities for 30 years. Educated in theatre at the University of Milwaukee in acting and directing, she has found her strengths lie in organizing and creating events inclusive of many communities. She was a founding member of Theatre de la Jeune Lune, a milliner at the Children's Theatre Company, owner of Three Seed Inc., a gardening company where she was in charge of the Walker Art Center' Arbor garden, and most recently General Contractor for the development of the recently opened Open Eye Theatre in South Minneapolis.
In the afternoon there are two choices of sessions to attend: "St. Olaf Writers Keeping it in the Family" and "Recent Grads Working their Art."
Diana Postlethwaite, professor of English and Boldt chair, will moderate the "St. Olaf Writers" session with P.J. Tracy, the mother/daughter writing duo. P.J. Tracy is the pseudonym forTraci Lambrcht '89 and Patricia Lambrecht '68, winners of the Anthony, Barry, Gumshoe, and Minnesota Book Awards. Their first three novels, "Monkeewrench," "Live Bait" and "Dead Run," have become international bestsellers.
Kent McWilliams, associate professor of music, will moderate the panel of recent grads. The panelists include: Stephanie Laager '02, pharmacist at Snyders Drug Stores, Inc. & professional dancer with Black Label Movement and ARENADances; T. Scott Major '00, interactive creative director, MonoAdvertising Agency; Carl H. Schroeder '05, freelance writer and composer; Erik Wallin '03, international programming, The John FKennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
The registration date has past to participate in the conference, but if you are interested in a specific panel, you are welcome to stop by the registration table on Saturday to check on last-minute availability.