Arts Dean to launch new ‘Creativity and Innovation’ lecture series

Philip Brookman, Curator, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.
Annie Morhauser, artist/entrepreneur of fine art glass company AnnieGlass
Scott Summit, product designer

On March 31, the UC Santa Cruz Arts Division will debut a new series of free public lectures on the subject of  “Creativity and Innovation.” 

Arts Dean David Yager has selected nine speakers—all noted for their unique ability to bridge innovation and creativity within their professional career paths—to launch the new series.

The lectures are designed to challenge conventional ways of thinking and working in the world, and are presented in affiliation with the Art Department’s Issues and Artists course, taught by associate professor Lewis Watts.

“It’s always been a passion of mine to motivate students to think about creativity and innovation," explained Yager, "and to provide them with opportunities to think in new ways—ways they might never have imagined.”

The list of speakers includes Philip Brookman, curator of the Corcoran Gallery of Art; Darrin Caddes, VP of Corporate Design for Plantronics; Dan Roam, author/founder of Digital Roam; Sheldon Epps, Artistic Director of Pasadena Playhouse; Annie Morhauser, artist/entrepreneur of AnnieGlass; Scott Summit, designer/founder of Summit ID and cofounder of Bespoke prosthetics; Stephen Huyler, cultural anthropologist; Darrell Brown, Senior Vice President, US Bank; and Nicholas de Monchaux, assistant professor of architecture and urban design at UC Berkeley, and author of Spacesuit: Fashioning Apollo, an architectural history of the Apollo 11 spacesuit.

“If you look at the range of speakers we’re bringing in—from authors and designers, to curators and artistic entrepreneurs—all have approached what they do in extraordinarily innovative and creative ways,” Yager noted.

“I believe that exposure to a variety of creative people—and a variety of ways of thinking—can be exciting to students in the process of building their careers," Yager added.

Professor Watts agreed that the lecture series, paired with his class, "will let students from all over the campus interact with practitioners in a full range of creative endeavors, including art, design, business, theater, film and music.”

Dean Yager hopes to make the new public lecture series an annual event. His goal is to broaden students and community members’ understanding of how creativity and innovation inspire real-world application.

“The series provides a chance to see innovators like Philip Brookman, currently curating a major photographic exhibition at SF MOMA, and Dan Roam, an expert in using visual images to describe and solve complex problems,” Yager observed.

“Speakers range from the artistic director at Pasadena Playhouse—who is opening a Broadway show next month—to an industrial designer who is rethinking the way we build artificial limbs, as well as a cultural anthropologist profiling changing women's roles in India.”

For the complete lineup of the “Creativity and Innovation” lecture series, plus information on dates, times, and venues, go to the Arts Division web site.