2016 Emerging Creatives Student Summit
Building on the success of the 2014 a2ru Student Conference at Stanford, and the 2015 Summit at Virginia Commonwealth University, a2ru organized our third annual Emerging Creatives Student Summit titled RISE: Forging Resilient Communities hosted by the University of Michigan, March 9-11, 2016.
There is increasing recognition of the power of creative work to aid local economic development and quality of life in communities across the country and the world. Michigan and the Detroit area in particular have been innovators and leaders in finding creative, sustainable solutions to grand challenges through cross-sector partnerships that leverage the creative energy of its citizens. RISE: Forging Resilient Communities, brought students from all disciplines to the University of Michigan campus and Detroit to explore not only how creative partnerships can transform and revitalize communities in sustainable ways, but also learn tools to bring back to their own campuses.
Aaron P. Dworkin is the Dean of the School of Music, Theatre & Dance at the University of Michigan. Named a 2005 MacArthur Fellow, a former member of the Obama National Arts Policy Committee and President Obama’s first appointment to the National Council on the Arts, Dworkin is the Founder and former President of The Sphinx Organization, the leading national arts organization that transforms lives through the power of diversity and the arts. An author, social entrepreneur, artist-citizen and an avid youth education advocate, he continually receives extensive national recognition for his leadership and service to communities. Dworkin recorded and produced two records entitled Ebony Rhythm and Bar-Talk, in addition to writing, producing and directing the independent film entitled Deliberation. An accomplished electric and acoustic violinist, Dr. Dworkin earned his Bachelors of Music and Masters of Music in Violin Performance from the University of Michigan School of Music, graduating with high honors.
Dan Lijana is a veteran communications consultant with a dozen years working in the trenches of politics and non-profits. Starting as a federal lobbyist in Washington D.C., he learned the value of outstanding storytelling. As a staffer on the campaign of former Detroit Mayor Dave Bing and later as an advisor to his administration, Dan shaped news coverage, telling great stories and cultivating relationships with local, state and national media, businesses and philanthropic organizations. Later, he served in top communications roles in statewide campaigns and in higher education with a strategic focus on storytelling that helped his organizations achieve their goals. Most recently, he has taken his passion for telling great stories into private practice, working with political and higher education clients, along with M-1 RAIL. Dan holds a Master of Arts in Political Management from The George Washington University and a Bachelor of Arts from Miami University.
George C. Jacobsen is a senior program officer at The Kresge Foundation. He joined Kresge in 2008 and has managed the foundation’s Detroit Program arts and culture portfolio since 2011, including its work to support individual artists and provide general operating support to a variety of arts and cultural organizations working in metropolitan Detroit. He further pursues grantmaking opportunities in the arts that advance Kresge’s Detroit program to reposition the city as a model for revitalization. He also supports Kresge’s focus on Green, Healthy, Active Neighborhoods in Detroit, including the development of Kresge Innovative Projects: Detroit, a three-year, $5 million grant initiative to support neighborhood-based projects that launched in 2014, and other activities that advance the cultural, economic and physical conditions of Detroit. He also serves on a committee focused on the foundation’s membership and infrastructure grantmaking. George has a master’s degree in urban planning from Wayne State University in Detroit and a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies in social science from Michigan State University, where he focused on international studies and political science.
Jenenne Whitfield serves as the Executive Director of the critically acclaimed Heidelberg Project, an open-air art environment in the heart of an urban community on Detroit’s East Side. Tyree Guyton, founder and artistic director, uses everyday, discarded objects to create a two-block area full of color, symbolism, and intrigue. Now in its 30th year, the Heidelberg Project is recognized around the world as a demonstration of the power of creativity to transform lives. Under Whitfield’s direction, The Heidelberg Project has expanded its goals to include acquisition and restoration of property in the Heidelberg area, and implementation of community art and education programs. Her leadership and commitment have enabled the project to extend its reach by participating in joint projects with museums, universities and other educational organizations.
Kate Bordine is a graduate of Savannah College of Art and Design where she received her Masters in Design Management, and she has a BFA from Miami University. She’s a co-founder of Ponyride in Detroit, MI and held the position of Executive Director where she developed a platform for creative and social entrepreneurs by providing affordable studio space. She now is the Creative Director of Ponyride and focuses on building organizational frameworks that foster creative thinking and facilitates collaboration. She’s also a local partner in Our/Detroit vodka and works on marketing, business and design. She works on a line of jewelryBordine Designs, that retails at Nora in Midtown. She is currently serving on board of Techtown and Detroit SOUP
Dr. Hunter’s specialty, ecological design, is premised in the integration of art and science. She aims to create a built environment that is ecologically functional, contextually meaningful and personally engaging. As an ecological designer she place aesthetics—the visceral and psychological appeal of designed spaces, on equal footing with ecosystem considerations because she believes there is no better way to engage personal stewardship than to elicit a protection response. She is a licensed professional landscape architect and has worked as a research ecologist. Presently, she does translational research that allows her to bring scientific discovery into design applications. Teaching areas include ecological planting design studio, sustainable site design, urban agriculture, and civil engineering for designers. Her research focuses on how to design urban areas to promote well-being and health of humans and the natural systems in which we are embedded.
As Partner at A(n) Office and Principal of McEwen Studio, V. Mitch McEwen works in architectural and urban design, focused particularly on the intersection of urban culture and global forces. Led by McEwen with design partner Marcelo Lopez-Dinardi, A(n) Office is one of 12 U.S. firms selected for the U.S. pavilion exhibition at the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale. This coming spring, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Detroit will present Algorithmic Recitative, a public engagement project based on A(n) Office’s Detroit-based House Opera | Opera House project. Before co-founding A(n) Office, McEwen worked as an urban designer in the office of Bernard Tschumi Architects and New York City’s Department of City Planning. Her work has been published in Architectural Record magazine, the New York Times, and the New Museum, as well as exhibited at P! gallery, Storefront for Art & Architecture, and internationally. ArtNews named her a designer to watch in 2011. Since 2014 she has been Assistant Professor of Architecture at Taubman College of Architecture & Urban Planning at University of Michigan, after teaching previously at Taubman as Charles Moore Visiting Professor of Urban Design, as well as Adjunct Assistant Professor at Columbia GSAPP. McEwen holds an MArch from Columbia GSAPP and BA from Harvard in Social Studies.
Tom Frank is an entrepreneur and educator with more than 25 years of leadership experience building top tier companies in advanced technology, software applications, and media-related industries. In his current role, Tom leads the University of Michigan’s Center for Entrepreneurship (CFE) in the College of Engineering. The CFE is responsible for training faculty and researchers involved with translational research commercialization, including the National Science Foundation’s I-Corps program for which Tom is a national instructor. He also leads all curricular program development and implementation for the CFE at both a graduate and undergraduate level with nationally ranked classes and activities supporting several thousand students. Tom shares management responsibilities for U-M student start-up incubator TechArb as well as the Ann Arbor community-based U-M start-up accelerator, The Desai Family Accelerator. He oversees several internal seed funds designed to advance new ventures in conjunction with the incubator entities. He works closely with Michigan’s Economic Development Corporation, teaches several courses in entrepreneurship, acts as faculty advisor to MPowered, the largest student entrepreneurial organization at the University of Michigan and also mentors many unaffiliated students and new businesses. Prior to joining CFE, Tom’s career was focused on building successful businesses for emerging SAAS platforms and new technologies. He currently advises a number of Silicon Valley startups on all aspects of IP development and commercialization, licensing, business strategy and team building.