Emory Report
November 2, 2009
Volume 62, Number 8

Rosemary Magee discusses Creativity Conversations

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For more information and to view an archive of recorded or transcribed Creativity Conversations, visit www.creativity.emory.edu.


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November 2, 2009
Creativity Conversations
Series has Carter as first political guest

By Hal Jacobs

With 21 books and counting, what’s the secret behind former President Jimmy Carter’s creativity and productivity? How does he experience the creative process? How have his creative endeavors enhanced his life as a public servant?

On Tuesday, Nov. 10, Carter will share his thoughts with Rosemary Magee, vice president and secretary of the University, in a public “Creativity Conversation” at 2:30 p.m. in Emerson Concert Hall.

He joins other notable artists and thinkers who have participated in this series of Creativity Conversations at Emory.

“I’ve heard people at Emory say they’ve been able to connect with the artists and their work much more readily as a result of the Conversations—as well as connect with their own internal experience of creativity,” says Magee. She adds that Creativity Conversations have revealed “how engaged these artists and scientists are in the nitty-gritty details of life.”

Leslie Taylor, an associate professor in Theater Studies who also directs the Center for Creativity & Arts, believes Creativity Conversations go to the heart of scholarly activity at a major research university. “The Conversations have contributed to the understanding of the scholarly nature of creativity, of the research and synthesis involved in creating a new idea, whether it is a composition, a painting, a dance or a scientific theory,” she says.

Creativity Conversations have found a large audience at Emory and beyond. The events usually attract standing-room audiences, and the digital versions, available on iTunesU and YouTube, are among some of the University’s most popular content. In September, Creativity Conversations were featured on the national iTunesU homepage as “Noteworthy,” highlighting it from among all content provided by U.S. universities. During one week alone, they received more than 9,000 hits.

The Creativity Conversation with Jimmy Carter is one among many programmed for the 2009-2010 season. Others will feature the host of public radio’s “From the Top” and pianist Christopher O’Riley (Nov. 3), Emory primatologist Frans de Waal and Out of Hand Theater’s Ariel deMan (Nov. 15), and Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Musical Director and recently named Emory Distinguished Artist in Residence Robert Spano (April 14, 2010).

The series, directed by Magee, is sponsored by Emory’s Creativity: Arts & Innovation initiative.