Friday, July 12, 2024



Legendary choreographer Twyla Tharp, NASA astronaut Mae C. Jemison and others are coming to Cambridge starting Monday for a free, public weeklong Creativity Forum at Lesley University that looks at the role creativity plays across all disciplines and in most facets of life.

The forum includes a “Channeling Creativity” panel discussion moderated by WGBH host Kara Miller and a Voices From the University segment presenting the creative work of faculty, students and alumni through lectures, exhibitions, performances and readings, starting with a noon to 1 p.m. Monday poetry reading by Boston’s new poet laureate, Danielle Legros Georges.

Visitors during the week will be treated to free exhibitions, installations, performances and readings in the new Lunder Arts Center in Porter Square and can explore other parts of the university’s campuses off Brattle Street and Massachusetts Avenue, said Amanda McGregor, communications manager for Lesley.

The university has chosen an epigraph of sorts for the week from Tharp’s book, “The Creative Habit: Learn it and Use it for Life”:

To be creative you have to know how to prepare to be creative. It takes skill to bring something you’ve imagined into the world: to use words to create believable lives, to select colors and textures of paint to represent a haystack at sunset, to combine ingredients to make a flavorful dish.

The panel discussion on “Channeling Creativity” features award-winning international artist Mags Harries; Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor and genomic researcher Eric Lander; composer and innovator of musical technology Tod Machover; and Harvard professor and developmental neuropsychologist David H. Rose. It will be moderated by Kara Miller, host and executive editor of “The Innovation Hub” on WGBH and Public Radio International, at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Lesley’s Washburn Auditorium, 10 Phillips Place, near Harvard Square.

The university Creativity Forum keynote speakers include:

032715-Pedro-NogueraAmerican educator Pedro Noguera, a professor at New York University and award-winning author, activist and expert on school reform, diversity and overcoming the achievement gap. He speaks 7 p.m. Monday at Lesley’s Marran Theater, 34 Mellen St., in the Agassiz neighborhood near Harvard Square.


032715-Mae-C.-JemisonAstronaut and physician Mae C. Jemison, the first woman of color to travel in space and an advocate for diversification of STEM fields and fostering collaboration between sciences and the arts. She speaks at 7 p.m. Tuesday, at Lesley’s Washburn Auditorium, 10 Phillips Place, near Harvard Square.


032715-psychologist-Daniel-GolemanPsychologist Daniel Goleman, Lesley University’s 2015 Sonnabend Fellow and author of the best-selling “Emotional Intelligence” – translated into 40 languages, with its “EQ” concept referred to as “a revolutionary, paradigm-shattering idea” by the Harvard Business Review. He speaks at 4 p.m. Thursday at Lesley’s Washburn Auditorium, 10 Phillips Place, near Harvard Square.


032715-Twyla-TharpChoreographer Twyla Tharp, recipient of the National Medal of Arts, Kennedy Center Honors, a MacArthur Fellowship, two Emmy Awards, a Tony Award and 19 honorary doctoral degrees, whose influential work has expanded the boundaries of contemporary dance. She speaks at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Cambridge Rindge and Latin School’s Fitzgerald Auditorium, 459 Broadway.


For information about speakers, times and registration, click here or contact Stan Trecker at [email protected].

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Image at top: “Rain Cloud,” 2013, by Cambridge artist and Creativity Forum presenter Mags Harries, photographed by Andy Pickering