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Source of inspiration

Inaugural Revolve CC Creative Collaboration Conference to be held Saturday in Marquette

MARQUETTE — Looking for some inspiration to get you through the long Upper Peninsula winter?

The inaugural Revolve CC: Creative Collaboration Conference — which is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Saturday at the Masonic Center along West Washington Street in Marquette — might be just the thing.

The conference aims to bring creatives from an array of disciplines — including visual arts, music, literature, technology, performance, and business — together for collaboration, education and inspiration, said Gretchen McKenzie-Trost, the director of outreach for the Revolve Creative Collaboration Conference.

“No matter what path you’re going down, there’s a little something for everyone,” she said.

It aims to help creatives of any discipline, whether they’re looking to make new connections or learn additional skills to help them in their creative endeavors, such as grant-writing or social outreach.

“There are so many different facets to being creative,” McKenzie-Trost said. “It’s good to evolve and turn around and put on these different hats.”

The conference will feature four keynote speakers, along with a variety of opportunities to network, get hands-on experience and learn from others.

The four keynote speakers come from across the nation and carry a diverse array of creative backgrounds and skill sets, ranging from writing and journalism, to behavioral psychology and graphic design, to sound engineering and production.

Susan Weinschenk, who holds a Ph.D. in psychology and serves as chief behavioral scientist and CEO at The Team W, will deliver a talk on the science of creativity, focusing on “how and why your brain works the way it does when you’re being creative and how to harness that power,” Mckenzie-Trost said.

Weinschenk is the author of several major graphic design books, including “100 Things Every Designer Needs To Know About People. “

Austin Choi-Fitzpatrick, a California-based author, educator and speaker who focuses on social change, politics, culture technology, will focus on his upcoming book, entitled “The Good Drone: How Social Movements Democratize Surveillance,” which is about “disruptive tools for public good,” Mckenzie-Trost said.

Gabino Iglesias, who is a Texas-based editor and journalist that has written several “barrio noir” books such as Coyote Songs and Zero Saints that view the immigrant experience through a “fantasy and horror lens” will be joining Northern Michigan University Assistant Professor of Philosophy Anthony Aumann for a conversation about collaboration, she said.

Steve Albini, owner of Electric Audio in Chicago and a “legendary engineer and producer” who has worked with bands such as The Pixies, Nirvana, Low, The Breeders, while not accepting royalties and remaining “accessible to beginner artists,” will be the evening’s final keynote speaker, Mckenzie-Trost said.

“He’s been such an advocate for the independent artist — rather than working through a label — and having control of your art,” Mckenzie-Trost said.

McKenzie-Trost and her fellow organizers — Keith Ellis, executive director; Shaun Pitz, director of programming and Chat McKinney, director of development — have been developing the conference and an accompanying nonprofit since the winter.

They were inspired to host a creative conference in Marquette, as they felt it could fulfill a need in the area and wanted to “foster growth in the community,” McKenzie-Trost said.

“I hope there’s some cool collaborations that come out of this,” she said. “Hopefully, it creates a ripple that rolls through Marquette.”

Overall, organizers are excited for the inaugural conference on Saturday – and are already looking to the future, as they plan to hold the conference again next year.

“Hopefully it will only grow,” she said. “We’re already talking about who we want to get as a keynote speaker next year.”

Registration is available online through Saturday. Doors open at 8 a.m. Saturday. Those who have already registered, or would like to register in person can do so from noon to 4 p.m. today at the Masonic Center to pick up their name tag and Swag bag.

Visit revovlecc.net, or find the Revolve Creative Collaboration Conference on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram for more information.

Cecilia Brown can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 248.