Creativity Matters: A Community Conversation

Aug 12, 2014

Join Generation Listen and Humanities Nebraska for a community conversation about creativity.

The discussion will feature moderator Kristin Girten, along with panelists Peggy Jones, Matt Mason, Susann Suprenant, and Watie White.  They'll discuss where creativity is most needed in our society, as well as exploring their own creative experiences, and the process of being inspired by the creativity of others.  We'll also invite you to be part of the conversation.

The event takes place Wednesday, August 27th at the Pizza Shoppe Collective (6065 Maple St).  Doors open at 5:30 p.m., with the talk beginning at 6:00.  This is a free event.  It's not required, but if you'd like, you can RSVP on Facebook.

More about the speakers:

Kristin Girten is an Associate Professor of English and Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Her teaching and scholarship focus on British poetry and poetic prose. As a teacher, she encourages students to expand their definitions of creativity and to appreciate the profound impact creative expression has on our daily lives. As a scholar, she is interested in how creative expression not only reflects but also transforms the world in which we live. She is currently working on a book entitled Touching Nature that unearths surprising foundations of ecological thought in eighteenth-century British literature.

Peggy Jones is an Associate Professor and past Interim Chairperson of the Black Studies Department, and a member of the Graduate and Women's and Gender Studies faculty, and Humanities Nebraska Speakers Bureau.  She received an M.F.A. University of Nebraska-Lincoln.  Her research interests include intersections between language and identity, White privilege, and media (mis)representations of race and gender. She received an Individual Artist Fellowship from the Nebraska Arts Council for the play, “The Journey,” about Aaron Douglas, the first black graduate from the art department at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 1922.

Matt Mason has been Executive Director of the Nebraska Writers Collective since 2009.  He has greatly expanded the reach of its Poets On Loan program while adding an Omaha affiliate of Chicago’s Louder Than a Bomb youth poetry festival to the lineup. He excels at coordinating large projects and at recruiting professionals and volunteers to the causes the Nebraska Writers Collective.  Matt received an MA in English from the University of California at Davis, was a member of five teams at the National Poetry Slam, and won a Pushcart Prize and two Nebraska Book Awards for his work. He was also tapped by the US Department of State to implement poetry programs in Kathmandu, Nepal, and Minsk, Belarus.

Susann Suprenant, Ph.D. is a creativity facilitator, theatre artist, and somatic educator leading workshops, training, and coaching sessions on the creative process, somatic awareness, techniques for collaboration, and community-building through the arts. She is a member of The Center: Creative Arts Therapy • Mindful Living • Psychotherapy.  Co-founder and Artistic Director of ætherplough: a tool for cultivating performance, Susann has been creating collaboratively with Omaha area artists for nearly 15 years on contemporary performance projects, including scripted plays, devised theatre, interdisciplinary performance, and community-building live arts events.

Watie White was born in 1971 of itinerant cultural anthropologists in Palo Alto, CA. Eventually settling in rural Southern Illinois, he worked at Ancient Lifeways Institute until attending Carleton College (BA, 1993). He has received degrees from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (BFA, 1999) and American University (MFA, 2003).  Watie relocated to Omaha in 2006, where he currently works as a painter, printmaker.  Watie has been melding his studio-based practice with socially-engaged public works that bring together communities and organizations at the intersection of art and social change.