February 9, 2015
SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Feb. 9, 2015 — Aspiring artists, musicians, writers and actors cannot afford to miss the 8th Annual Self Employment in the Arts (SEA) Conference Saturday, Feb. 21, at Drury University. The conference will be held in the Trustee Science Center on the university campus, from 8:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., with breakfast and lunch provided.
The SEA Conference helps students and emerging artists gain insightful information drawn from the experience of other artists that have been successful in their field. This year’s conference will feature speakers from nearly every field in the art world, offering students a unique opportunity to connect with professional artists.
The two keynote speakers are Doug Johnston and Jeremy Rabe.
After graduating from Drury with undergraduate degrees in Architecture and Studio Art, Johnston later earned a Master of Architecture Degree from Cranbrook Academy of Art. His work includes art, design, architecture and music, using a variety of mediums and methods such as installation, fiber art, sculpture, photography and collaborative performance. He currently works with his wife, Tomoe Matsuoka, in their Brooklyn studio. Rabe is a design and craft expert who can be seen on his own television show, “FYI Guy Live,” on The Ozarks CW and has a nationally syndicated instructional craft/design feature series. His passion for the arts has led him to a multifaceted career as a singer, dancer, television host and designer.
Additional speakers include:
Gayle Harper – A travel photographer and writer with more than two decades of experience, Harper is perhaps best known for a project called “Roadtrip with a Raindrop: 90 Days Along the Mississippi River.”
Brannon Wiles – Broadway and Off-Broadway producer and general manager whose credits include “On A Clear Day You Can See Forever,” “That Championship Season,” “Ring of Fire: The Songs of Johnny Cash” and “Elaine Stritch at Liberty.” Wiles is an assistant professor at Drexel University in Philadelphia.
Ron Tanski – A 1989 Drury graduate currently living in LA, pianist Tanski is a blues singer, songwriter, sideman and music teacher. Tanski got his start on stage at Lindberg’s in Springfield and has gone on to work with Grammy winners and release two critically acclaimed solo albums.
Cole Closser – Cartoonist and a graduate of the BFA program at Missouri State University as well as the MFA program at the Center for Cartoon Studies in Vermont. His graphic novel “Little Tommy Lost” was named one of the 10 best graphic novels of 2013 by The A.V. Club. He currently teaches drawing at Drury and MSU.
Jennifer Murvin – Writer and teacher whose essays and stories have appeared in The Sun, Mid-American Review, Midwestern Gothic, Bellingham Review, Cincinnati Review, Baltimore Review, and other literary journals. Murvin is a faculty member in the Department of English at MSU.
Ingrid Gerdes – Boston-based recording artist whose gospel-meets-R&B vocal styale has earned her more than a few comparisons to greats such as Irma Thomas and Mavis Staples. She also works as a sought-after voice-over talent.
Nathan Shelton – A Springfield native who lives in Chicago, Shelton is an award winning actor, writer, director/producer and special effects makeup designer for multiple stage, film and TV projects including the Academy Award nominated film, “Winter’s Bone.”
Robert Westenberg – Artistic Director of the Drury Theatre department, the Tony-nominated actor and director has enjoyed a lengthy commercial career that includes work on Broadway and Off-Broadway, in regional theaters, national tours, television and film.
Kelley Still – Director of the Edward Jones Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation at Drury and an associate professor of accounting since 1994.
The cost to attend the SEA conference is $15 per person in advance or $25 the day of the conference. Admission is free for all students with a valid student I.D., thanks to support from Drury Student Advocates for the Arts and the Drury Student Government Association.
The SEA Conference is also supported in part by the Coleman Foundation, Springfield Regional Arts Council and the Community Foundation of the Ozarks.
For more information about the SEA conference and to register for the event, visit: www.drury.edu/ejc/sea, send an email to EJC@drury.edu, or call (417) 873-6357.
Media Contacts: Leah Hamilton, Director, Arts Administration Program; office: (417) 873-6359, email: email@example.com; and Dr. Kelley Still, Executive Director, Edward Jones Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation; office: (417) 873-7458, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.