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Panelist Matt Kirkland

Matt Kirkland is a web designer, product designer, and artist.   After working for corporations in the US and a German design firm’s Hong Kong branch, he moved to San Diego to join a small web consultancy.   He’s designed for Apple, Bacardi, BMW, Everlast, MINI, Omega, Saab, Volvo, WMF, and World Youth ...

IAM Working Artists Initiative

The most significant challenge for an emerging artist today is making the art itself: finding the time, support, and discipline to create a meaningful body of work, despite the demands of daily life.  IAM’s Working Artists Initiative is designed to foster the discipline that will establish participants as ...

Panelist Michael Albanese

Originally an actor from Marietta, Georgia, Michael landed a handful of roles in film, television and stage, including the critically acclaimed independent feature film, Sleepover, which features an original score by the late Jeff Buckley.  Michael finally admitted he was a terrible actor, a confession which led him ...

Presenter Laurie Midgette

Laurie Midgette graduated from Freeport High School on Long Island.  She served as the Principal of Prospect Heights High School and was responsible for leading the transition of Prospect Heights into a campus of small New Vision High Schools, winning the Council of Supervisors and Administrators Performance ...

Performer Jason Harrod

Jason Harrod draws from the best traditions of American music to create a sound all his own. His songs about lost love, found joys, and spiritual longing have garnered him a loyal following across the country. Harrod’s latest release, Bright As You, finds him backed by a crack group of musicians featuring Phil ...

Presenter Carey Wallace

Carey Wallace grew up in small towns in Michigan. She is the great-granddaughter of both a Methodist circuit rider and the star of a Ladies Orchestra that traveled the South and the Midwest at the turn of the last ...

Reflections of Generosity

Reflections of Generosity, a new book by Ron V. Kelsey, an artist and soldier. This collection of wartime epistles, many written during Sgt. Kelsey’s tour in Iraq, is filled with color images of original artwork from a traveling exhibition dedicated to the military community. Sgt. Kelsey joined the U.S. Army ...

Performer Christa Wells

Few things are more satisfying to Christa than sifting words into phrases and pairing them with music so that ideas and emotions become common places among listeners. After years of playing piano and singing in church and school music programs, she finally attempted to write her own original music and was thrilled to ...

Presenter Sgt. Ron Kelsey

Sgt. Kelsey joined the U.S. Army Reserve in 1999 and continued to study art and religion at Wabash College. After transferring to active duty in 2006, he began studying at Liberty University to become a military chaplain. His artwork has been shown in Canada and throughout the United States. Ron Kelsey received a ...

Panelist and Encounter Illustrator John Hendrix

John Hendrix lives in St. Louis, Missouri, with his wife and two children, and teaches illustration at Washington University. He has won numerous awards for his drawings, and his illustrations have been featured in the New Yorker, Rolling Stone, and the New York Times. He is author and illustrator of John Brown: His ...