Connect the Dots @ Berger Performing Arts Center, Tucson [13 January]

Connect the Dots

09:00 - 16:30

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Berger Performing Arts Center
1200 W. Speedway Blvd., Tucson, Arizona 85745
Join us for a day long conference of ideas, performances, talks, and food!

Your ticket includes: 10 speakers, bands, dancers, artist exhibits, a catered lunch, snacks at breaks and drinks all day. One more thing, it includes parking.

Desiderio Abeyta “Food Fight”

By trade, I’m a dietitian. I love being able to cure others of a feeding relationship that has evolved into organ failure, obesity, their eating disorder, or maybe even the “holiday weight” gain. I help expose their hurtful behaviors and replace them with behaviors with food centered around imperfection. I have always felt really good at this, until about a year ago. I’m also a dietitian that couldn’t even feed his own daughter. The feeding relationship is established at birth. By month three, three days of food refusal, and tantrums; I broke down. Now, as a new father, registered dietitian, and diet anarchist; I have sought to examine the parallels of the feeding relationship between children and adults and how we have taught ourselves to no longer trust our instincts, but to trust what others say we should be. Food is more than a diet.

Andrea Casteel Smith, “Scarred Beautiful”

Andrea worked 14 years in ministry before becoming the Chief Operations Officer of seven charter schools, three in the state of Arizona. She is the Founder of the movement and nonprofit organization, Scarred Beautiful. Her book, Scarred Beautiful, is a memoir published in 2014, hit publishers top 10 list in its first two weeks. Andrea continues to share her message with an ever growing audience, while helping thousands of people through her blogs every day. She lives in Tucson with her husband and two children. |

Kasey Ernst, “Mosquito Hunter”

Dr. Kacey Ernst is an associate professor of infectious disease epidemiology at the University of Arizona College of Public Health. Her work focuses on understanding the dynamics of disease emergence, particularly mosquito-borne diseases in the face of climate change. She seeks to develop an understanding of how people approach this risk and create tools to improve detection, prevention, and control of diseases like Zika, dengue, and malaria.

Star Hansen, “Listen to the Monster in your Closet”

Star is a Certified Professional Organizer® and Lifestyle Coach who helps people get their life in order by deconstructing yesterday to make space for tomorrow.

For over 13 years, Star has worked with passionate people who are experiencing problems of abundance…abundance of responsibility, stuff, ideas, community, and commitments. She guides her clients in creating systems and strategies that eliminate chaos in all areas, enabling them to focus on what is truly important, while filling valuable space with life, not stuff. Her unique approach has been featured on OWN, TLC, A&E, Style, HGTV, and the Tyra Banks Show.

Kimber Lanning, “Buy Local to Build an Economy that Works for ALL of us”

Kimber is Founder and Executive Director of Local First Arizona, a statewide organization implementing innovative strategies for new models of economic development that create vibrant local economies. Lanning is an entrepreneur, business leader and community development specialist who works to cultivate strong self-reliant communities and inspire a higher quality of life for people across Arizona.

Kimber’s passions, which are seen throughout her work, include fostering cultural diversity and inclusion, economic resilience and responsible growth for Arizona. With over 3,000 business members and four statewide offices, Lanning leads a team of 23 who work on a diverse array of programs ranging from healthy local food access, entrepreneurial development in underserved communities, and rural community development, each of which plays a part in building sustainable and resilient local economies. |

Ashwin Naidu, “ License to SAVE”

Ashwin received his Ph.D. and M.S. in Wildlife Conservation and Management from the University of Arizona. His work focuses on applying interdisciplinary approaches for the conservation and management of endangered species and their habitats. Ashwin is a Carson Earth Fellow of the University of Arizona, an invited member of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)/Species Survival Commission (SSC) Cat Specialist Group, and a current representative of the University of Arizona Wild Cat Research and Conservation Center. Inspired by the potential of community-based conservation, he started the Fishing Cat Conservancy (FCC) in 2014 to help survey and protect the endangered fishing cat and its globally important mangrove habitat.

Andres Portela, “Checking Boxes”

Andres was born and raised in Sierra Vista, Arizona and attended Buena High School. Andres attended Paradise Valley Community College in which he played collegiate soccer and transferred to Cochise College to complete his associates in Political Science. Andres received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Arizona in political science-pre law with minors in Africana studies, East Asian studies, Adolescent and Community Education, and Marketing. During his time in college, he was a writer for the school newspaper, campus radio DJ, certified as a nursing assistant, completed a medical mission to Africa, and was an intern for Congressman Ron Barber. Since graduating, Andres has worked for Apple Inc. and McFadden Gavender Advertising and has worked with local and national brands. He is currently the Marketing and Community Outreach Manager at Tucson Hebrew Academy.

Theresa Sanders, “DIY Church”

Theresa moved from the moist and mossy lands of Washington State to the fierce and fiery desert to attend the University of Arizona over fifteen years ago. She studied philosophy, nutrition, and chemistry in her undergraduate work, and is currently completing a Master of Public Health. Theresa’s belief in a multifaceted approach to health and wellness has been influenced by her time as a yoga instructor, health educator organic farmer, public health researcher, and science writer. In personal pursuits, Theresa commits time to meditation, storytelling, and experiencing the outdoors. She is also a dedicated feminist parent and partner. Theresa believes deeply in the health promoting power of nature, spirituality, and story and works to spread this message to others.

Nick Maskill, Musical Performance

Nick is a singer and songwriter based in Tucson, Arizona. He fronts an alternative rock band, M. Crane, which has been recording and performing since July 2015. His music draws from influences such as Bob Dylan, Nina Simone, Elliott Smith, Van Morrison, The Smiths, and Jeff Buckley.

The Rifles, Musical Performance

Nelene is originally from Redding, California. She studied biochemistry at University of San Francisco. Now she works in the analytical department at Tucson based biotech startup NuvOx Pharma and plays music in the indie dream rock three piece The Rifle.

Kevin comes from San Diego, and grew up playing every fretted instrument he could find. After frolicking up the California coast, he moved to Tucson to join his love, Nelene. He learned bass to join The Rifle, his main squeeze, and now can be found playing around Tucson with the rest of the cool cats.

Hailing from the Pacific Northwest, Randy grew up with a reptilian sense of apathy towards anything but music and drumming. With this driving passion, Randy ignored any logical career advice and life paths and dedicated himself to the percussive arts. |

Bobby Jo Valentine, Musical Performance

Bobby Jo’s music exists outside the lines of any genre, but the music’s thoughtful, spirit-focused lyrics and catchy melodies reach listeners across all walks of life. The poetic nature and spiritual focus of his stories and songs has resulted in notable awards and a growing, loyal following around the country. His music has won Song of the Year twice at West Coast Songwriter’s Association, and appeared on radio, TV, and feature films.

Bobby currently hails from Northern California, and is ecstatic any time he can discuss the big questions, challenge the easy answers, and inspire people to move closer to love.

Artifact Dance Company, Dance Performance

Ashley Bowman- Ashley is a founding member of Artifact Dance Project. Ashley holds a BFA and MFA from the University of Arizona School of Dance where she was the recipient of the Maria Mandel Scholarship, The Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant Award, and the Creative Achievement Award. As a choreographer, she specializes in narrative works, fusing contemporary movement with intense acting. As a teacher, she specializes in professional training for adults with a strong emphasis in contemporary dance and a passion for teaching adult beginning ballet.

Claire Hancock- Steeped in the arts from the time she was a child, Claire Hancock performs extensively both nationally and internationally. Claire holds a Master of Arts degree in European Dance Theatre from the Laban Centre in London, England, and earned both a Bachelor and Master of Fine Arts degree in dance from the University of Arizona, where she began collaborating with colleague Ashley Bowman. In 2009, Hancock and Bowman formed Artifact Dance Project, a Tucson based performance company dedicated to presenting original dance works with live music.

Hancock and Bowman are impassioned to give back to the community and have donated full concerts and individual dance works to organizations such as the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona, the Southern Arizona Center Against Sexual Assault (SACASA), and notably the Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation.

David Shack- David’s first experience working in professional theater was in 1981 when he was a high school intern at Arizona Theatre Company. From 1984 to 1988 David studied stage management at CalArts, graduating with a BFA. David returned to Tucson in January 2007 to be close to his family. He dedicated his time to volunteer work with performing arts companies and social service organizations. After serving as a volunteer for ADP for three years, David was invited to join the staff.
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