Blair is a Portsmouth based award-winning union actor/director/educator with credits reaching across the U.S. and abroad. Locally, he is a company member of NH Theatre Project; during the summer he is a company member of America’s oldest professional summer theater, The Barnstormers Theater located in Tamworth, NH. He is also the lead Emcee and Game Announcer for the FIRST Robotics Competition, where he helps get students excited about their future via robots. He has toured for the last seventeen competition seasons at events around the globe from Honolulu to Haifa, from Montreal to Mexico City becoming known as the “Voice of FIRST”. Blair also has an extensive resume of commercial acting and voiceover credits for television, radio, corporate and web clients, and has worked onstage alongside numerous entertainment, political and corporate celebrities including Morgan Freeman, Will.i.am, Steve Wozniak, Kareem Abdul Jabaar, Grant Imahara (MythBusters), The Blue Man Group, and too many astronauts to remember…
David Campbell has been a technology executive, board member, investment banker, and humanitarian field volunteer. He went to Thailand in 2005 immediately following the tsunami, and became one of the founders of HandsOnThailand.org, which brought over 200 volunteers and several hundred thousand dollars to assist the rebuilding of five Phuket fishing villages. David incorporated All Hands Volunteers (previously known as Hands on USA and Hands On Disaster Response, respectively) on Sept 6, 2005, and brought 1,500 volunteers to Biloxi, MS. Under David’s leadership over the next seven years, the organization managed over 30 projects, including major efforts in Haiti and Japan, as well as many domestic responses. David’s 50-year business background includes positions as President of BBN Technologies of Cambridge, and CEO at public companies Computer Task Group of Buffalo and Xpedior of Chicago. David has also served as a member of the Board of Directors of public companies Tektronix, M&T Bank, MRO Software, and Gibraltar Industries; as Trustee at both Niagara University and SUNY-Buffalo; as Chairman for civic organizations including Roswell Park Cancer Institute Council, the Buffalo United Way campaign, the Erie County IDA, and the Buffalo Chamber of Commerce; as well as serving on the board of directors for numerous other corporate and non-profit entities. Recognitions include an honorary doctorate from Niagara University, Citizen of the Year from The Buffalo News, inclusion as a Fellow in the first year awards of thePurpose Prize, and a 2013 Social Entrepreneur Award winner, from the Manhattan Institute, after being the nominee of the Robin Hood Foundation.
M. Christine Dwyer
Senior VP, RMC Research; Community Arts Activist; Policymaker
M. Christine Dwyer (Chris) is senior vice president of RMC Research, a national firm headquartered in Portsmouth that is engaged in research and consultation in areas related to the well-being of families, children, and communities, specifically education, the arts, literacy, media, and health care and prevention. Dwyer’s experience includes program and policy research and evaluation, and translation of research into practical products for use in training and technical assistance. In the arts, she has worked for a number of national and regional foundations, including studying the use of cultural data by economic and planning professionals for the Rockefeller Foundation, developing strategies for evaluating arts-based civic engagement projects, writing about state-level innovations in cultural policy for the Pew Charitable Trusts, conducting feasibility studies for program planning, synthesizing the research about arts education for the President’s Committee on Arts and Humanities, and evaluating projects as diverse as ensemble-based theater networks and dance residencies. Dwyer is serving in her fifth term as an elected Portsmouth NH City Councilor; her achievements on the Council include bringing to fruition the renovation of the historic middle school and raising the funds for the African Burying Ground memorial park. Over the past 30 years, she has provided extensive pro bono service in the arts, including chairing the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts (NHSCA), serving as an arts commissioner in Portsmouth, chairing The Music Hall board, and currently serving as President of the Currier Museum of Art Board of Trustees.
Mechanical Engineering Professor, MIT; Scientific Advisor
Woodie Flowers is the Pappalardo Professor Emeritus of Mechanical Engineering at MIT. He received a BS from Louisiana Tech University and an S.M., M.E., and Ph.D. degrees from MIT. Prof. Flowers is a Distinguished Partner and member of The President’s Council at Olin College. He helped create MIT’s renowned course “Introduction to Design.” Dr. Flowers also received national recognition in his role as host for the PBS television series Scientific American Frontiers from 1990 to 1993 and received a New England EMMY Award for a special PBS program on design. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and of the American Society of Mechanical Engineering. He has received three honorary doctorates. He received the Tower Medallion and Outstanding Alumnus of the Mechanical Engineering Department at Louisiana Tech. He is a MacVicar Faculty Fellow at MIT for extraordinary contributions to undergraduate education where he is a member of the Faculty Advisory Committee for MITx. He was also the Inaugural Recipient of The Woodie Flowers Award by FIRST (For Inspiration ad Recognition of Science and Technology). He recently received the Edward F. Church Medal and the Spira Outstanding Design Educator Award from ASME. Currently, Dr. Flowers is a director or scientific advisor for four companies. He is National Advisor and Chairman of the Executive Advisor Board for FIRST. He and his wife Margaret live in Weston, Massachusetts.
Roger Goldenberg & Matt Langley
Visual Jazz Painting Duo
Parallel genres of improvisation will fuse as Roger Goldenberg and Matt Langley of the In Ears ‘N’ Eyes (IENE) performing ensemble treat your ears and eyes to new conversations in jazz idioms, both visual and auditory. Goldenberg’s painted shapes, colors, gestures and rhythms speak the same language as Langley’s. These two artist-friends theories agree: All colors go together, all sounds go together, all that is required is the expert weave of right placement, correct amounts and of course, the fun had in making great art happen. This common ground and their friendship was the basis upon which the In Ears ‘N’ Eyes concept was built. The In Ears ‘N’ Eyes collaboration was the invention of Matt and Roger. The painter is know for his vivacious colorful visual jazz paintings and the musician for his multidimensional, world class saxophonism. Painting by Roger Goldenberg to Rob Gerry’s score Broad Strokes.
Cookbook Author; Chef; Educator
Kathy Gunst is the author of 14 cookbooks. Her most recent book is Notes from a Maine Kitchen. She is the Resident Chef for the award-winning NPR show, Here and Now, heard on over 375 public radio stations nationwide. She writes for many publications including the Washington Post, Eating Well, Newsweek, Yankee, New York Times, Modern Farmer, O, the Oprah magazine, Bon Appetit, Down East, the Jewish Daily Forward, and more. She helps run a cooking and gardening program at the Central School Elementary in South Berwick, Maine, as part of Michelle Obama's "Lets Move" initiative.
Kathy recieved a 2014 James Beard Award nomination for best audio for her work as the Resident Chef for NPR'S Here and Now.
Abbey Hallberg Siegfried
Described by Gramophone Magazine as playing with “bountiful refinement, virtuosity and gusto,” Dr. Abbey Hallberg Siegfried is a dynamic solo concert artist, chamber musician, teacher and church musician. Siegfried serves on the Music Faculty and as School Organist at Phillips Academy (Andover, MA). She also served as the Director of Music at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Portsmouth, NH from June 2003-December 2013. As a solo organist, Siegfried has won prizes in numerous organ performance competitions. She has performed throughout Europe, Eastern Europe, and the United States and gives frequent master classes for young aspiring organists, as well as lecture concerts on contemporary organ music. As a chamber musician, she has performed contemporary repertoire with groups such as the Huntington Brass Quintet and the New England Conservatory Metropolitan Flute Orchestra, as well as early music with Convivium Musicum and the Boston Shawm and Sackbut Society. Siegfried is a committed and gifted teacher and has served on the faculty of Phillips Exeter Academy, The Young Organist Collaborative, York Community College, and the University of Washington. As a member of the faculty at Phillips Academy, she teaches organ and harpsichord, co-directs the Academy Chorus, directs the Handbell Choir and coordinates all music for the Chapel. She also teaches in the classroom and has directed the school’s musicals. In addition to her academic duties, Siegfried is also deeply committed to the school’s residential life, working as a House Counselor to 34 girls. Siegfried received the Doctor of Musical Arts and Masters of Music in organ performance from the University of Washington in Seattle. She also holds bachelor degrees in Organ and German from the University of Iowa and has done advanced studies as the Conservatory of Music in Freiburg, Germany.
Former Olympic Cyclist; Speaker & Author
Tyler Hamilton was once one of the world’s top-ranked cyclists—a fierce competitor renowned among his peers for his uncanny endurance and epic tolerance for pain. He was Lance Armstrong’s most trusted lieutenant, and won the gold medal at the 2004 Olympics, before he was found guilty of doping and exiled from the sport. His 2012 memoir, The Secret Race: Inside the Hidden World of the Tour de France: Doping, Cover-ups, and Winning at All Costs, became an instant New York Times bestseller and was the recipient of the prestigious William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award. Freed from the burden of hiding the truth and being able to tell a story that only a few short years ago would have seemed unimaginable, his story is the example of how culture can drive behavior – not just in sports, but in business and in life – and how values can be easily compromised as a consequence. He is also a testament to the transformational power of the truth.
Battle Rapper; Professor, Northeastern University
Professor Lyrical is an artist and educator known for using the positive aspects of Hip Hop culture to empower citizens to self-advocate for socioeconomic change. As a wordsmith, Lyrical has been contracted to write songs for corporations, colleges, artists, and various other organizations over his career. He is an award winning battle rapper who has competed in some of the most elite invitational rap battles in the world. In 2013, he completed what he calls the world’s first albook: Put Em All To Shame (The Curriculum). This 200-page book accompanies an album, in which each chapter is the extrapolation of the corresponding song. Since 2006, Professor Lyrical has taught an astounding 85 classes at a total of 8 different colleges and universities in the Greater Boston area, including 25 classes at Northeastern University where he has been employed full-time since 2010. A native of Lowell, Professor Lyrical earned both his Bachelor and Masters of Science from the University of Massachusetts at Lowell, concentrating in Business as an undergraduate, and Mathematics as a graduate student. In 2014, he completed the course work for his Doctorate in Higher Education at Northeastern University and now looks to continue researching more effective ways of engaging traditionally under-represented students in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines. Professor Lyrical’s future plans include opening a free-standing college focused on reaching traditionally under-served populations by utilizing creative and critical Hip Hop pedagogy and curricula designed to enhance cultural capital and increase STEM degree attainment.
Mekeel McBride is a Professor in the MFA writing program at the University of New Hampshire where she also teaches undergraduate writing courses. She began writing poetry at the age of fifteen when her good looking and eccentric English teacher told her that she had talent. He also gave her the poems of Wallace Stevens to read. She fell in love with Stevens and the teacher and has been writing ever since, still believing that, at heart, every good poem is a love poem. She is the author of seven books of poetry, all from Carnegie-Mellon University Press. Her latest book is Dog Star Delicatessen: New and Selected Poems. She has been the recipient of two National Endowment to the Arts Grants and was a Bunting Institute Fellow. Her poems have appeared in The New Yorker, The Nation, Poetry magazine, The Chicago Review, Ploughshares, The Boston Review, and more. Also, she has worked for many years in wildlife rehabilitation. She lives in Kittery, Maine and spends as much time as she can rowing on the Piscataqua River.
Multimedia Projections Designer; Director & Educator
Jared Mezzocchi is a multimedia projections designer for theater and live performance. In 2012 he was awarded the Princess Grace Theater Fellowship and is the first projections designer to receive the honor. Other awards include Best Original Playwright (2011) for LOST WORLD, and DCMetroDance Best Multimedia Design for WORDDANCE’s ONCE WILD. As a freelance artist, he has created work in New York City with 3-Legged Dog, HEREarts Center, New Georges and The Builders Association. Recent regional theater includes Milwaukee Rep, Cleveland Playhouse, Woolly Mammoth (DC), CenterStage (Baltimore), UNC Chapel Hill, Georgetown University, and Theater J (DC). Mezzocchi has also designed with Caden Manson’s Big Art Group (SOS, The People and The Sleep) at the Vienna Festival, also touring much of Europe, Canada and nationally. External to theater, Jared also designs commercially having just created projections for Connect4Climate and Alcantara at Design Week in Milan, Italy, as well as in the atrium of the World Bank in Washington DC. As a New Hampshire native, he has spent the last 6 years directing original multimedia work at Andy’s Summer Playhouse, a children’s theater in Wilton, NH. Jared currently teaches Projections Design at The University of Maryland (College Park) in their Theater, Dance and Performance Studies program.
Carol Peppe Hewitt
Author, Founder: Slow Money NC
Carol Peppe Hewitt is an author, business owner, rabble-rouser, and pioneer in the local food movement. Since founding Slow Money NC in 2010, she has catalyzed 115 peer-to-peer, low-interest loans to 56 sustainable farmers and local food enterprises in North Carolina, building resilience in local foodsheds from the coast to the mountains. Recently she found 27 local investors to finance the purchase of the 73-acre Shakori Hills world music festival site. They carry the “mortgage” so that the two non-profits that run the festival, and a year round Shakori Hills Cultural Arts Center, can flourish and grow, without the threat of their site being bought up by real estate developers. A friend remarked recently, “When Carol has an idea and decides she wants to do something - she just does it!”
Bruce Pingree & Chris Klaxton
Jazz Poetry Collaborators
Bruce Pingree is a performance poet and blues DJ for stations such as WUNH and Radio Free Amsterdam. Bruce is the General Manager of The Press Room in downtown Portsmouth, which has live music 7 nights a week. Chris Klaxton is a freelance trumpet player, pianist, and educator spanning from jazz to bluegrass / country, hip hop, reggae, indie rock, and classical music. As pianist and trumpeter for New England hip hop group, The Press Project, Klaxton has opened for Soulive, Boyz II Men, George Clinton, and was invited to perform at the 2008 Bonnaroo Music Festival. Chris Klaxton has recorded with the Henry Mancini Institute Orchestra (for Pharrell Williams), Randy Bernsen (featured alongside John Medeski), Moe Pope and Rain, Tan Vampires, Jazzputin and the Jug Skunks, Mary Dellea, Elsa Cross, The Politix, Chris Klaxton Group, and The Arcitype.
Portsmouth Music and Arts Center (PMAC)
The Portsmouth Music and Arts Center (PMAC) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit community music and arts school serving the seacoast. Their Mission is to build community through the arts by providing all people with the opportunity to achieve their full creative potential, regardless of their age, ability, or economic status. PMAC accomplishes this Mission through high quality music and visual arts education programs and by creating ensemble, performance, and exhibition opportunities for students, professionals, and audiences. There is a place for everyone at PMAC — they welcome your involvement as a student, parent, volunteer or member. Through music and art, PMAC helps their students meet and accomplish important life goals. PMAC is committed to excellence in arts education and work daily to build community through the arts.
Jazz combo the Jazz Adventurers will play during morning registration. Two young musicians, Andrew Rodgers and Nico Karatzas will be playing during breaks, and Hunter McKay will lead a teen jazz quintet for the afternoon reception.
Photojournalist, Creator of "People of Portsmouth" photo project
Raya is a photojournalist living in Dover, NH. She graduated from the University of New Hampshire with a B.A in English/Journalism in 2013. While studying at UNH Raya unearthed her niche in journalism toward multimedia, and more specifically, photography. She strives to capture her surroundings in the realest form, capturing all angles and leaving out nothing, because what isn't shown is just as important as what is shown. Shortly after reaching the age of 8, Raya had lived in Europe, the Middle East, and North America, she trusts that we are all connected, and figuring out how and showing other people how is a powerful link in understanding humanity. Raya believes that if there is a reason why we are the way we are, it comes from where we have been. At UNH Raya had the opportunity to work with various publications in a wide array of positions; such as staff photographer for UNH's The New Hampshire and photo editor at Main Street Magazine. Since graduating UNH she interned at Channel Company in Portsmouth, NH and does freelance photography with Seacoast Media Group. Raya is the founder of People of Portsmouth, a photojournalism project that captures Portsmouth’s inhabitants. Follow Raya at @rayasultan and RSAphotography.com
Director, The Center for Cartoon Studies
James Sturm is the co-founder and Director of The Center for Cartoon Studies, a two-year cartooning school located in White River Junction, Vermont. As a cartoonist, James has created numerous comics including The Golem's Mighty Swing, Market Day, and is the co-creator of the popular Adventures in Cartooning book series. Sturm's work has appeared inThe New York Times, The Onion, The Chronicle of Education, and on the cover of The New Yorker. Sturm is also a regular contributor to Slate. In 1991, Sturm co-founded the alternative weekly The Stranger.
Research Associate Professor, Institute of Earth, Oceans & Space; Director, Climate Solutions New England
Cameron Wake is a research associate professor at the Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans and Space at the University of New Hampshire and is the Josephine A. Lamprey Fellow in Climate and Sustainability at the UNH Sustainability Institute. Cameron leads a research program investigating regional climate change through the analysis of ice cores records and historical and instrumental data. Cameron also directs Climate Solutions New England, a collaborative effort to secure healthy, prosperous, and sustainable communities through building energy self-reliance and weather resilience. His collaborative research on several regional climate assessments in the northeast United States has been shared with municipal, state, and federal agencies and representatives, has been covered widely in the media, and has been cited by several as motivation for policy action. He is an author on over 70 papers published in the peer-reviewed scientific literature and dozens of reports, and has provided hundreds of interviews for state, regional and national media. More on Cameron’s research is available online at: http://www.eos.sr.unh.edu/Faculty/Wake. Dr. Wake received a B.Sc. in Geology (1984) from the University of Ottawa, an M.A. in Geography (1987) from Wilfrid Laurier University, and a Ph.D. in Earth Sciences (1993) from the University of New Hampshire.