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Create Lynchburg

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Joy & Lynch Christian Warehouse Theatre
February 24, 2018 @ 8:00 am
$25 – $55
End Date:
Create Lynchburg is an arts + business conference for creative entrepreneurs, businesses and organizations to learn from one another and local and national experts about how to build and grow sustainable arts-based ventures.
This year’s conference will be held on Saturday, February 24, 2018 at the Academy Center of the Arts, and will feature panel discussions and sessions that will tackle the skills you need to market and operate your creative business. More information on sessions and topics will be released in the coming weeks.
Tickets are on sale now, and range from $25 for students to $45 for early bird, and $55 for regular tickets after January 31st. Organizations may also purchase a pack of three tickets for $99, but must call our box office at (434) 846-8499 to redeem.
This conference is a partnership of the Lynchburg Office of Economic Development, the Small Business Development Center at Central Virginia Community College, and the Academy Center of the Arts.


Alicia Hester
Facebook 101 – Tips & Tricks for Marketing with Facebook and Instagram
Account Manager, Global Marketing Solutions Team

Alicia Hester is an Account Manager on the Global Marketing Solutions team at Facebook, where she helps advertisers optimize their digital marketing strategy on the Facebook family of apps and services. In this role, Alicia works to build relationships and consult with her clients on optimal solution implementation – through service, education, and support. Before her time with Facebook, Alicia was Managing Director at Meltwater, a media intelligence SaaS company, where she led the client services division in Los Angeles, CA. Alicia holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Florida.


Ann Meier Baker
Lunch Plenary Session Speaker
Director of Music & Opera
National Endowment For the Arts

Ann Meier Baker was appointed the director of Music & Opera at the National Endowment for the Arts in January 2015. She oversees the NEA’s grant making in music and opera, and leads the NEA Jazz Masters Fellowships. In addition, she directs the NEA’s Creativity Connects grant program, which is an initiative that shows how the arts contribute to the nation’s creative ecosystem, explores how the arts can connect with other sectors that want and utilize creativity, and invests in innovative projects to spark new, mutually-beneficial partnerships between the arts and non-arts sectors. Previously, Baker served as president and CEO of Chorus America, where she led the national membership association of more than 2,000 professional, volunteer, symphonic and children/youth choruses. She was founding director of the National School Boards Association Foundation, an incubator for new ideas about the challenges facing urban school board leaders and other issues in public education. Baker also held leadership positions for the League of American Orchestras, the National Association for Music Education, and she began her career as a professional singer with the United States Air Force Singing Sergeants.


Barbara Bernstein
Grantwriting for Individual Artists
Barbara Bernstein has been awarded residencies in this country and overseas including The American Academy in Rome, Kunstlerhaus (Salzburg,) and the MacDowell Colony. She has received grants from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation, the Pennsylvania Arts Council, The Pennsylvania Partners in the Arts, The HK Mellon/Pittsburgh Foundation among others. She has had numerous solo exhibitions in the US and abroad and was selected for special exhibitions at the UN Conference for Women in Beijing, the Knesset in Jerusalem and Carnegie Museum in Pittsburgh. Bernstein was awarded a commission by the Virginia Transit System for design enhancements of seven stations in the Crystal City/Potomac Yard areas; her project for the Lynchburg Neighborhood Development Foundation was featured in the Public Art Dialogue Journal, an international review published by Routledge. Bernstein and her husband, David Garratt, have been the Resident Artists at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts since 2007.


Chelsey Tomlin
Healthcare for Artists
Associate Director of Patient Engagement and Outreach
Johnson Health Center

Chelsey Tomlin was born and raised in Amherst County but now lives in scenic Nelson County. She has worked for private and nonprofit health care organizations for over five years and currently serves as the Associate Director of Patient Engagement and Outreach for Johnson Health Center located in Central Virginia. She is a Certified Health Education Specialist, Worksite Wellness Coach, certified Bridges Out of Poverty trainer and has a Masters in Nonprofit Leadership. Her passion is to create an understanding of patient population needs through a socioeconomic lens resulting in more positive health outcomes.


Hilary Sutton
Time Management and Personal Organization for Artists

Hilary Sutton is principal at HSL Creative Enterprises where she works as a writer, consultant, and speaker. She blogs at hilarysutton.com about careers, personal development, and creativity. She is the author of three courses and two eBooks including More in Less: 21 Productivity Hacks for Creatives, Going Freelance: How to Launch, Market, and Build Your Creative Career, and Get Your Dream Off the Ground. She is a contributor to USA Today where she writes about careers. She and her husband live in the Washington DC Metro Area.


Jeff Gray
Etsy and Beyond: Keywords, Pricing, and Virtual Markets
Scene3 Boardshop jgray

Jeff Gray is the owner of Scene 3 boardshop, an independent skateboard and bicycle shop located in downtown Lynchburg. After living in Colorado for a year, he opened Scene3 in 2001. In 2012 he began designing and creating products made from recycled skateboards that he collects from his retail store. His designs are now sold all over the world.


Jawansa Hall
Etsy and Beyond: Keywords, Pricing, and Virtual Markets
Creative Director/Owner
Blackwater Brandingjawansa-hall

Jawansa is the creative director and owner of Blackwater Branding, a graphic design & branding studio located in Lynchburg Virginia. For over a decade he has been apart of some of Lynchburg’s best ad agencies and most respected businesses. He has helped clients like Bowen Jewelry, James T. Davis and Riverviews Artspace rebrand their image and online presence. In addition to Blackwater Branding, Jawansa is the Co-Owner of Twenty23 and serves as the Creative Director for their packaging, promotional campaigns and online marketing. When he is not busy creating and rebranding, Jawansa can be found making memories with his daughter Keziah and wife Michelline Hall.


Kim Soerensen
Identify Your Resources
Executive Director
Riverviews Artspace

As a native of Germany, Kim Soerensen earned a degree in Design, and moved to the USA in 1986. Stateside, she built a career in business management and design. Kim put these aside for a time to raise her daughter. During this period, Kim became an entrepreneur, creating several successful businesses, including two of which she is locally best known for: DK Spaces renovates and leases residential properties and Omniterrum which locates and obtains rare world globes and related planetary artifacts for museums and private collectors. This company received global media attention, including features in Oprah magazine, the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, Discovery Channel and Russia1TV. As the Executive Director of Riverviews Artspace, Kim is the dedicated steward ensuring its sustainability as a thriving, inclusive creative center for all – today and into the future through innovative partnerships with governmental and non governmental organizations, the non-profit and for profit community, the arts and the building itself with a dedicated staff and passionate volunteers. Kim has also taken stewardship of the Bower Center for the Arts in Bedford in December of 2017 in order to build a regional Arts collaborative and community within Central Virginia. She implemented “Cultivate Amherst” in 2016 and provides consulting for Danville’s new Arts Center currently in development. Kim is considered an innovative and entrepreneurial change-agent building viable and equitable platforms for artists & organizations to thrive. Kim serves on several boards, including James River Council for the Arts and Humanities and the James River Arts & Cultural District Program. In her free time, Kim enjoys “globetrotting” with her daughter and spouse, exploring cultures, regions and cities in all corners of the world.


Kristin Reiber Harris
Grantwriting for Individual Artists
Artist, Animator, Media Producer, and Educator

Kristin Reiber Harris, KristinHarrisDesign.com, is an artist, animator, media producer and educator. She has been producing educational media for children for over 25 years, working with such clients as HBO Family and the National Institutes of Health. She is an active member of Women in Film & VideoDC and facilitates their Animators Roundtable. Her current project, Anim8Nature.com promotes environmental stewardship by exploring science with art with careful observation of the natural world. She has received a grant for this project and is actively researching and applying for others. Kristin is looking forward to sharing grant funding information at CreateLynchburg. After spending most of her life in the DC area, Kristin is very happy to be an 11 year resident of Lynchburg and live in beautiful Central Va.


Leah Wiebe
Time Management and Personal Organization for Artists
Director of Administration & Community Engagement
Miriam’s House

Leah Wiebe is the Director of Administration & Community Engagement at Miriam’s House, a non-profit that serves homeless women and families. Previously, as the Executive Director and founder of Vintage Lynchburg, she organized 9 large-scale vendor events. Leah also has experience starting and running a small home décor company. Currently, Leah works with and volunteers for the Downtown Lynchburg Association providing marketing support for events, the Academy Center of the Arts on the events committee for MIX, as well as serving as co-chair of the Board of First Presbyterian Weekday School. Originally from Wisconsin, Leah has resided in Lynchburg for nearly 15 years and has fallen in love with this city—its residents, history, beauty, and potential. Along with her husband and four kids, she is thrilled to call Lynchburg home and is eager to help others feel the same way.


Roger Schmidt

Morning Plenary Session Speaker
Executive Director of the Sitka Fine Arts Camp
Sitka Fine Arts Camp


Roger Schmidt has been the Executive Director of Sitka Fine Arts Camp (Alaska Arts Southeast, Inc.) since 2000. During this time, the summer program has grown from a two week camp serving 40 adolescent students to a ten week program serving 1,000 students ages five to adult. In 2010, Roger negotiated the donation of the historic Sheldon Jackson School which had closed its doors in 2007. Subsequently, he has overseen the restoration of the campus by harnessing the support of thousands of volunteers and donors. Under Roger’s leadership, the Camp has grown to include a year long arts advocacy program that offers a performing arts series, a statewide teacher training institute, after school arts classes for all ages, and a vibrant young performer’s theater program. In addition, the Campus has become an important part of the economic future of Sitka as a home for many conferences and conventions.

Roger grew up in Sitka and attended the Sitka Fine Arts Camp as a student from 1980-1984. The arts have been a central part of Roger’s life. He graduated from Oberlin College and Conservatory with degrees in philosophy and trombone performance with additional music studies at the Aspen Music Festival, Pierre Monteux School and internationally in London and at the Bruckner Conservatory in Austria. As a musician he has worked in the San Francisco Bay area as well as toured throughout Alaska and other parts of the United States.

Roger is also an avid traveler and adventurer. His trips have included a 3-month solo kayak trip from Vancouver B.C. to Sitka, Alaska, a kayak crossing of the Bering Strait, a Patagonia Ice-Cap ski crossing, and a year-long sailing trip from Siberia to Uruguay. He is the 2004 recipient of the Governor’s Award for Arts Education and in 2007, under his direction, the Camp received the Coming Up Taller Award at the White House. In 2012, he was inducted into the Alaska Hall of Fame and received the Sitka Arts Advocate of the Year award. Roger is also a fellow of the National Arts Strategies’ Chief Executive Program and a graduate of the Aspen Executive Seminar.


Ryan Ripperton
Identify Your Resources
Chief Inspiration Officer

Ryan has been executive director of SPARC since March 2010, and in that time participation in SPARC’s enrollment-based classes has risen by over 100%. A trained educator, Ryan matches knowledge of educational programs with business expertise in leading SPARC to diversify its program offerings and expand its student base. Ryan previously served as executive director of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity and the Sinfonia Educational Foundation, headquartered in Evansville, Indiana.

Ryan is Chair of the Resident Company Association of the Dominion Arts Center (formerly CenterStage), a member of the Board of Directors for Virginians for the Arts, and a recent recipient of the Stettinius Award for Non-Profit Leadership from The Community Foundation Serving Richmond and Central Virginia. He holds a Bachelor of Music Education from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Southern Indiana.

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All ticket sales are final. There will be NO REFUNDS or exchanges for purchased tickets.

Tickets may be purchased in advance or at the door. Our delivery methods are as follows:

Print at home: This option allows you print your tickets at home or access them on a mobile device via email.

Regular Mail: For an additional fee, your tickets will be mailed to you ahead of the event.

Box Office: You may stop by our Box Office, Monday-Friday from 9am-5pm, and have us print your tickets for you.

All tickets for this show will be sold through academycenter.org and our ticketing system. Please do not use third-party resellers, as we do not contract with them. Should you use a reseller, the Academy Center of the Arts will not be liable for any issues with your purchase.

All ticket sales are subject to a ticketing fee and credit/debit card processing fees when applicable.

Joy & Lynch Christian Warehouse Theatre
February 24, 2018 @ 8:00 am
$25 – $55