Derrick N. Ashong
Al Jazeera English TV Host, Musician, & Social Entrepreneur
Derrick N. Ashong—or DNA as he is sometimes known—is literally the voice of a new generation.
An experienced broadcaster, musician, and digital media maven, the Harvard-educated talent has carved out a unique niche as an expert broadcaster in bridging the gap between old and new media, and has leveraged this skill set to creating cutting-edge programming in digital and broadcast media.
Described by VanityFair.com as “a spirit of promise and hope and harmony,” DNA’s band, Soulfège, is a critically acclaimed, refreshingly original, and exciting group of musicians who produce an eclectic blend of hip-hop, reggae, funk, world beat, and West African Highlife music that has been featured in such major media outlets as MTV Africa, NPR, The Boston Globe, The Boston Herald, MNet Africa, ABC Chronicle, and BBC Worldservice, reaching 146 million listeners worldwide.
An established media personality, DNA is the television host of The Stream on Al Jazeera English. The Stream premiered in May 2011 and is a program that integrates new and traditional media, tapping into the extraordinary potential of social media to disseminate news. This show aggregates online sources and discussion while seeking out unheard voices for new perspectives from people on the ground. Derrick also served as host of “The Derrick Ashong Experience” on SIRIUS XM’s Oprah Radio.
A true Renaissance man, Ashong has lived in such locations as Brooklyn, New York; Voorhees, New Jersey; and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; he currently resides in Washington, DC. As a college student he was cast in Stephen Speilberg’s 1997 film Amistad. He returned to Cambridge to finish his degree requirements before pursuing a Ph.D. in African American studies and ethnomusicology, later leaving the doctoral program to pursue his artistry and advocacy full time.
Derrick N. Ashong has appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show and The Mo’Nique Show, and has lectured on five continents on the use of media as a tool for human development, including recent talks for the UN Foundation; the London School of Economics; King’s College (Cambridge, England); the Reconciliation Forum in Washington, DC; the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations; and before UK Parliament on the subject of “The Obama Generation.” He is a member of the internationally recognized Americas Business Council Fellowship and has been a TED Global Fellow and a participant in the arts and entertainment task force of the US-Islamic World Forum, and is currently the CITI Performing Arts Center’s first Spectrum Boston Fellow. He is also the founder of Take Back the Mic, a youth-centered cultural movement that leverages the power of artistry and technology to empower young people. DNA is on the board of advisors for Children Mending Hearts, an organization dedicated to the global arts exchange between at-risk children in the United States and children living in conflict zones around the world.
Professer at Yale
In his endnote “Unleashing Creative Development” Yale Professor Jonathan Feinstein takes us through the framework of creative development and its implications for teaching and education. While we often think of creativity as happening in the moment, in fact creative development is a long-term, organic, open-ended process – one of unfolding development. Jonathan outlines a model describing how individuals form & explore creative interests, learn, generate creativity and engage in creative projects. He provides examples of how the process works – in the arts, science, and business. This opens up into a broader discussion of how we can foster students’ engagement in creative development, helping them experience it and learn what the process is like.
Cynthia Walker has thirty plus years of experience in K-12 Art Education, as both an art teacher and an art coordinator. She holds a BS in Art Education from the University of Missouri/Columbia and an MA in Art Education from Maryville University. Cindy has been the recipient of many awards, including the Emerson Excellence in Education Award and the Rockwood Valley/Rockwood School District Teacher of the Year Award. She is the Founder, Program Director and an instructor for the St. Louis Art Academy in St. Louis County, Missouri. She served as a contributing educator and reviewer for Davis Publications: Explorations in Art K-8, presents for Crayola dream-Makers and travels extensively as a National Art Consultant for Davis Publications. Cynthia is an accomplished painter, photographer and advocate for quality arts education programs for all.
Inventor of 3D Pavement Art Illusion
Kurt Wenner has spent a lifetime creating art forms, works of art and architecture, as well educational programs in a vast array of venues and media. Central to his own creative process is the knowledge of both classicism and artist’s geometry -- two subjects that have been removed from general education in our century. Using his own experience as an example, Wenner will illustrate how a new approach to the idea of creativity can lead to an infinite number of discoveries and inventions. A healthy and fresh vision of the creative process is essential for the empowerment of the next