Caron Atlas is a Brooklyn-based consultant working to support and stimulate arts and culture as an integral part of social change. She is currently directing three programs to further this goal: the Arts & Community Change Initiative, the Arts & Democracy Project, and Place + Displaced, a project of Fractured Atlas. She also teaches at Pratt Institute's Graduate Center for Planning and the Environment and New York University's Art and Public Policy program. Caron worked many years at Appalshop, the Appalachian media center and home of Roadside Theater, and was the founding director of the American Festival Project, a national coalition of activist artists. She has also worked with National Voice; Animating Democracy; Association of Performing Arts Presenters, Network of Ensemble Theaters; and the Ford, Leeway, Nathan Cummings, and Surdna foundations, among others. She was one of the organizers of a 2009 White House briefing on art and social justice, and in 2010, produced the inauguration of Council Member Brad Lander. A frequent writer about arts activism and cultural policy, Caron is co-editor of Critical Perspectives: Writings on Art and Civic Dialogue. Caron was a Warren Weaver Fellow at the Rockefeller Foundation and holds a masters degree in the social sciences from the University of Chicago. She is an active member of the Freelancers Union.
Carol Coletta is president and CEO of CEOs for Cities, and host and producer of the nationally syndicated public radio show Smart City (www.smartcityradio.com). Previously, she served as president of Coletta & Company in Memphis. In addition, she served as executive director of the Mayors’ Institute on City Design, a partnership of the National Endowment for the Arts, U.S. Conference of Mayors and American Architectural Foundation. Carol was a Knight Fellow in Community Building for 2003 at the University of Miami School of Architecture. She is a highly sought after speaker on the success formula for cities and creative communities and is frequently interviewed as an expert on urban issues by national media. In 2008 she was named one of the world’s 50 most important urban experts by a leading European think tank. Most recently, she was named the recipient of the Lamda Alpha International 2009 International Journalism Award for her work with CEOs for Cities and Smart City, and as one of the top 50 urban thinkers of all time by readers of PLANetizen.com.
Adrian Danzig is the producing artistic director for 500 Clown and has appeared in shows at The Goodman, The Second City, Chicago Children’s Theatre, Steppenwolf Studio, Berkeley Rep, Brooklyn Academy of Music and The Public Theater, and with Shakespeare & Company and Lookingglass. He has worked with Mary Zimmerman, Les Waters, Joanne Akalaitis, Tina Landau and Anne Bogart. He has performed his solo works at The Kitchen, P.S. 122, The Ontological Hysteric Theater and Soho Rep. He was an early Neo-futurist and a founding member of Redmoon Theater, Hubinspoke Theater and 500 Clown. He graduated from NYC’s High School of Performing Arts, received his BA from Oberlin College and his MFA from the School of The Art Institute of Chicago. He has studied clown with Ctibor Turba, Philippe Gaulier, Ronlin Foreman, Dominique Jando, Els Comediants, David Shiner and Avner the Eccentric. Adrian worked with The Big Apple Circus at its inception and also for seven years as a clown in Clown Care. In 2009, he clowned and taught circus arts in Jakarta, Indonesia with Hidung Merah Circus, a social youth circus, his trip supported in part by Clowns without Borders. Adrian is currently writing a book on teaching physical theatre in high schools, a project commissioned by the Raven Foundation.
Tony-Award winning Artistic Director, Ricardo Khan, is the Co-founder and Creative Advisor to the Crossroads Theatre Company of New Brunswick, NJ. Under his direction, Crossroads won the 1999 Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theater, making it one of the nation’s most acclaimed African-American theatre companies in history. Beyond the Crossroads stage, Mr. Khan’s creative reach extends globally to South Africa and London, where he has based his most recent endeavor, an international writers' collective called The World Theatre Lab. Khan is also a resident director at Lincoln Center Institute at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York, a visiting professor in the graduate theatre program for the University of Missouri in Kansas City, and an often active member of the Market Theatre in Johannesburg. Most recent directing credits include the 20th anniversary production of Sheila’s Day at the Market Theatre in Johannesburg, Crossroads and Hartford Stage, Quindaro and the South African based Train To 2010, both for UMKC in Kansas City, and Fly at Lincoln Center, Crossroads and the Vineyard Playhouse on Martha’s Vineyard for which he was also co-writer. He also directed Melba Moore in her autobiographical Sweet Songs of the Soul. On Broadway, Mr. Khan served on the producing team of the Tony Award nominated It Ain’t Nothin’ But the Blues in 2000 and was Associate Director of the Earth, Wind and Fire musical Hot Feet! in 2006. Khan was the co-chair of the National Endowment for the Arts’ theatre grants panel in 1989, and from 1995 to 1999, he served as President of Theatre Communications Group, the national organization of American professional theatres. Recipient of an Honorary Doctorate from Rutgers University in 1997 and a member of the Rutgers’ Hall of Distinguished Alumni, Mr. Khan has been a guest lecturer for numerous universities, theatres and professional arts associations throughout the world.
Jonah Lehrer, hailed as "an important new thinker" by The Los Angeles Times, is the author of Proust Was a Neuroscientist and the instant bestseller, How We Decide. Captivating, accessible, and never dull, he talks about how we make decisions -- and how we can make better decisions. "Lehrer ingeniously weaves neuroscience, sports, war, psychology, and politics into a fascinating tale of human decision making," says Dan Ariely (Predictably Irrational). "He makes us much wiser." Lehrer, 27, has been called "something of a popular science prodigy," by The New York Times, a man of "considerable talents." He graduated from Columbia University and studied at Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar. His book, Proust Was a Neuroscientist, about how great artists anticipated brain science, is already a modern classic. Currently, he is a Contributing Editor at Wired. He has also written for The New Yorker, SEED, and The Washington Post, and is a Contributing Editor at Scientific American Mind and NPR's Radio Lab. You can follow Jonah on twitter -
@jonahlehrer - and on his blog, The Frontal Cortex.
Rick Lester, Chief Executive Officer of TRG Arts, built TRG Arts on a 30-year career in entertainment marketing. Since founding the firm in 1995 as Lester & Associates, Rick and his partners have developed TRG into America’s largest consulting company dedicated to arts and culture, as well as the largest provider of cooperative programs like Chicago’s Community Cultural Database. Rick leads TRG’s counsel on patron behavior trends and their impact on patronage and revenue generation for organizations and communities. His pioneering work in demand management, pricing, and cost-of-sale focus in marketing have become industry best practices. Hundreds of organizations in North America have generated successful revenue and audience results by following the data-driven strategies and counsel that Rick and his TRG colleagues recommend. He is a frequent guest lecturer and panelist nationwide and lead contributor to Analysis by TRG Arts, the firm’s blog on arts and cultural consumer behavior.
Visionary and world-leading innovator Bruce Mau is the Chief Creative Officer of Bruce Mau Design. Clients of his Chicago and Toronto studios include Coca-Cola, McDonald's, MTV, Arizona State University, Miami's AmericanAirlines Arena, New Meadowlands Stadium, Frank Gehry, Herman Miller, Santa Monica's Big Blue Bus, and the feature length documentary The 11th Hour. Since founding his studio in 1985, Mau has used design and optimism to originate, innovate, and renovate businesses, brands, products, and experiences. Mau is recognized as an author and publisher of award-winning books, including the celebrated Zone Books series and S,M,L,XL in collaboration with Rem Koolhaas. Now viral, Mau’s Incomplete Manifesto for Growth guides thousands with his articulation of design strategies and motivations for unleashing creativity. His newest book, The Third Teacher (Abrams Books, April 2010), which he and his studio co-authored with OWP/P Architects and VS Furniture, features a collection of 79 ways that design can transform teaching and learning for children to thrive in tomorrow’s world. Inspired by the conviction that the future demands a new breed of designer, Mau founded the Institute without Boundaries -- a groundbreaking studio-based postgraduate program. This became the engine for Massive Change, an ambitious travelling exhibition, publication, and educational program series on the power and possibility of design. In recent years, Mau led ¡GuateAmala!, a project in collaboration with business and cultural leaders of Guatemala, to galvanize action and realize a positive future for their country. Award highlights in Mau’s distinguished career include the Louise Blouin Foundation’s Creative Leadership Award, the AIGA Gold Medal for Communication Design, and being named the Bill and Stephanie Sick Distinguished Professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Mau is also the feature of the recently released book GLIMMER: How Design Can Transform Your Life and Maybe Even the World (Penguin Press) by Warren Berger. Through his work, Mau seeks to prove that the power of design is boundless, and has the capacity to bring positive change on a global scale. Working with his team of designers, clients and collaborators throughout the world, Mau continues to pursue life’s big question, “Now that we can do anything, what will we do?”
Carey Perloff is celebrating her 17th season as artistic director of the Tony Award-winning American Conservatory Theater (A.C.T.) in San Francisco, where she is known for directing innovative productions of classics, championing new writing for the theater, and creating international collaborations with such artists as Robert Wilson and Tom Stoppard. Before joining A.C.T., Perloff was artistic director of the Classic Stage Company in New York. She is a recipient of France’s Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres and the National Corporate Theatre Fund’s 2007 Artistic Achievement Award. She received a B.A. Phi Beta Kappa in classics and comparative literature from Stanford University and was a Fulbright Fellow at Oxford. She has taught at The Tisch School of the Arts at New York University and in the Master of Fine Arts Program at A.C.T., and is the author of numerous plays.
Will Power is an award-winning playwright and performer. As one of entertainment’s new shining stars, Newsday calls Will Power “electrifying” and Variety hails him as a “dynamic performer.” He received the prestigious 2008 USA Prudential Fellowship, the first annual TCG Peter Zeisler Memorial Award, a 2005 Joyce Award, a 2005 NYFA Fellowship, a 2004 Jury Award for Best Theatre Performance at the HBO US Comedy Arts Festival, and a 2004 Drama Desk nomination for Best Solo Performance. Will Power’s talent is regularly captured on television and film. He was a featured guest on The Colbert Report (Comedy Central), Bill Moyers on Faith and Reason (PBS), Last Call with Carson Daly (NBC) and Russell Simmon’s Def Poetry Jam (HBO). He was the lead male in the film, Drylongso, a hit at the 1999 Sundance Film Festival and was also featured in the documentary All Fathers Are Sons (PBS). From glowing reviews in The New York Times to interviews in VIBE and The Source, Will Power deftly walks the line between serious, studied actor and urban hip hop MC. Viewed as a pioneer in hip-hop theatre, Power has created his own style of theatrical communication, fusing original music, rhymed language, and dynamic choreography to produce compelling evenings of work. His adaptation of the Greek tragedy Seven Against Thebes, re-titled The Seven, completed a successful Off-Broadway run at the New York Theater Workshop, and made its west coast premiere at the La Jolla Playhouse. The Seven was hailed as both an audience favorite and a critical success, and called everything from “brilliant” (The Village Voice), to “exhilarating” (USA Today), to “a spectacular offering to the theatre Gods” (Time Out New York). Will Power’s nationally and internationally acclaimed solo show FLOW has been described as “astounding” (Curtain Up) and “theatre with the refreshing aroma of originality” (New York Times). In addition to writing and performing, Power composes the music for his staged works as well. He’s also composed songs featured on MTV, Moesha on UPN, and Kingpin on NBC. As lead vocalist for the Omar Sosa Sextet, Will Power was featured on four critically acclaimed albums: Free Roots, Spirit of the Roots, Bembon, and Prietos.
Rivera has received two OBIE Awards for Playwriting (for Marisol and References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot, both produced by the Public Theatre, New York), a Whiting Foundation Award, a McKnight Fellowship, a Rockefeller Foundation Grant, and a Kennedy Center Grant. On a Fulbright Arts Fellowship he was writer-in-residence at the Royal Court Theatre, London. In 1989 he studied with Gabriel Garcia Marquez at Sundance. His plays have premiered off-Broadway and have been seen at virtually every major theatre in the country as well as theatres in France, England, Romania, Peru, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Singapore, Australia, Norway, Sweden, Germany, Scotland, and Canada. They include The House of Ramon Iglesia, The Promise, Each Day Dies with Sleep, Cloud Tectonics, Sueño, The Street of the Sun, Giants Have Us In Their Books, Sonnets For An Old Century, Brainpeople, Adoration of the Old Woman, School of the Americas, Massacre (Sing to your Children, Boleros for the Disenchanted, Andrew and Pablo at the Altar of Words, and Human Emotional Process. In 2005 Rivera was nominated for an Academy Award, a BAFTA Award, and a Writers Guild of America Award for his first produced screenplay The Motorcycle Diaries (Walter Salles, director) and for which he won Spain’s Goya Award and Argentina’s top screenwriting prize. His film Trade was the first film to premiere at the United Nations. He worked on and was fired from Letters to Juliet. Rivera has written screen adaptations of On the Road (Walter Salles, director), The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (Walter Salles, director), Three Apples Fell From Heaven (Cherien Dabis, director), Yesterday (Sir Alan Parker, director), Face Value (with Rachel Weisz), Patriotic Treason (with Josh Brolin), Diego Rising (Selma Hayak, producer), and American Rust (Walter Salles, director). Celestina (based on Cloud Tectonics, with Sona Tatoyan) will mark Rivera’s feature film directing debut. Rivera has served as a creative advisor for the Sundance Screenwriting Lab and has been on the boards of directors of the Sundance Institute, Film Independent, PEN Center West, and Theatre Communications Group. For more than twelve years he has led the Los Angeles based First Tuesday Writing Group. He is a member of The Ensemble Studio Theatre and the LAByrinth Theatre Company. He is at work on his first novel, Love Makes The City Crumble and lives in New York with his wife, actress Sona Tatoyan.
Tanya Saracho was born in Sinaloa, México and moved to Texas in the late 80's . She is a resident playwright at Chicago Dramatists and Teatro Vista, a Goodman Theater Fellow at the Ellen Stone Belic Institute for the Study of Women and Gender in the Media, an Artistic Associate with AboutFace Theater and the Co-Founder and former Artistic Director of Teatro Luna. Tanya has developed and her writing has been featured in most of Teatro Luna's ensemble-built works including Generic Latina, Dejame Contarte, The Maria Chronicles, SOLO Latinas, SOLO Tú, S-E-X-Oh! and Lunatic(a)s. Her plays include: Adaptation of The House on Mango Street for Steppenwolf SYA (2009), Our Lady of The Underpass with Teatro Vista (2009), Surface Day with Chicago Children's Humanity Festival (2008 ), Jarred (A Hoodoo Comedy) with Teatro Luna (2008), Kita y Fernanda at 16th Street Theatre (2008), and Quita Mitos with Teatro Luna (2006). Saracho is a recipient of the Ofner Prize given by the Goodman Theatre as well as a 3Arts Artists Award. Coming up: El Nogalar (Spring 2011), a commission for Teatro Vista loosely based on Chekov's The Cherry Orchard; a fictional drama titled The Good Private for About Face Theater about a transgendered civil war soldier and a Mellon Foundation commission for Steppenwolf Theatre The Well Meaning. Directing/co-directing credits include: Jarred (A Hoodoo Comedy), SOLO Tú, S-E-X-Oh! and both productions of Lunatic(a)s, the remount of Generic Latina, The Maria Chronicles, and SÓLO Latinas. Tanya's performing credits include: Neil Labutte's Fat Pig with Renaissance Theatreworks in Milwaukee, Migdalia Cruz' Another Part of the House with Teatro Vista, Living Out with American Theatre Co./Teatro Vista, Electricidad at Goodman Theatre and Quita Mitos, and Jarred (A Hoodoo Comedy) with Teatro Luna. Tanya's voice can be heard around the country in radio and television commercials.