Torrance Festival of Ideas 2021

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The 2021 Torrance Festival of Ideas is a cultural event organized by The Torrance Center at UGA's Mary Frances Early College of Education.

About this Event

The Torrance Festival of Ideas is a three-day cultural event where a wide range of creative and imaginative experts present their innovative ideas to the general public.

The 2021 Torrance Festival of Ideas showcases 21 speakers who will present their unique perspectives on themes relevant to creativity, imagination, visual art, digital art, music, humor, empathy, consciousness, well-being, mindfulness, childhood, aging, education, equality, identity, healing, health, crisis, curiosity, innovation, entrepreneurship, authenticity, political resistance, and sociocultural change.

The spirit of Athens will also be showcased, with features on local non-profit organizations that serve the community in creative and crucial ways.

The Torrance Festival of Ideas is free to attend and is open to anyone and everyone. Registration is limited to the first 1,000 attendees!


The full Festival page can be accessed HERE. The detailed schedule of events (including talk summaries and speaker bios) are available for each day - April 23, April 24, April 25.

- APRIL 23, 2021 -

DIVINE CHARURA (10am-11am)

Love, loss, trauma: Interconnectedness and being human


We Are More Than Numbers

KIZMET ADAMS (noon-1pm)

Mindfulness 101

Athens Chautauqua Society (1pm-1:30pm)

[Local Non-Profit Spotlight]

Books for Keeps (1:30pm-2pm)

[Local Non-Profit Spotlight]


Aging and Dying with A Sense of Humor: An Improvisation in Diaspora


Racial Identity: A Promising Protective Factor for Minoritized Populations

ADAM ZEMAN (4pm-5pm)

Blind Mind’s Eye: The Science of Extremes in Visual Imagery


Crisis, Curiosity and the Creative Process: Awakening Scientific Discovery Through Art

- APRIL 24, 2021 -

JOAN KOENIG (10am-11am)

The Musical Child: Are we missing the developmental window?

JERRY GALE (11am-noon)

Surviving and thriving post retirement and stroke

SUSAN COHEN (Noon-1pm)

From Creative Seeds To Commercial Success

Athens Area Arts Council (1pm-1:30pm)

[Local Non-Profit Spotlight]

ESP: Extra Special People (1:30pm-2pm)

[Local Non-Profit Spotlight]

MARK JOHNSON (2pm-3pm)

Is Pain Real? A journey into a peculiar, perplexing and paradoxical world

FRED QUINN (3pm-4pm)

Where we are with COVID-19 and how vaccines are helping


The True Selfie: Beauty, Authenticity, and Instagram

CHRIS DENSON (5pm-6pm)

Empathy + Innovation: The Unexplored Intersection of Creativity

- APRIL 25, 2021 -

SIMON JAMES (10am-11am)

The Durham Commission on Creativity and Education

PIP THORNTON (11am-noon)

Zoom Obscura, and other digital mischief

SIDETH UNG (noon-1pm)

Survival, Escape, Rescue, and Renewal

Love.Craft Athens (1pm-1:30pm)

[Local Non-Profit Spotlight]

Torrance Center (1:30pm-2pm)

[Local Non-Profit Spotlight]


The Domino Effect in Photography


Breath Art: The Past, Present and Future of Creative Breathing

HARRY BALLAN (4pm-5pm)

Gustav Mahler (1860-1911): Music as Religion, Then and Now

PETER O’CONNOR (5pm-6pm)

The Arts as Political Resistance


We are encouraging people of all ages and backgrounds to participate in a creative challenge exploring the theme: Reflections on 2020 (see flyer below).

For more details and to submit work, please visit the CREATIVE SUBMISSION PAGE. Please contact us with any questions or concerns here:

		Torrance Festival of Ideas 2021 image

Organizer & Festival Chair:

Anna Abraham, Ph.D.

E. Paul Torrance Professor | Director, Torrance Center

UGA Mary Frances Early College of Education

Event Coordinators:

Ansley Chea

UGA Senior: Management Information Systems

Samantha Bonnet

UGA Senior: Public Relations

		Torrance Festival of Ideas 2021 image
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