Nashville-based violinist Alicia Enstrom emerges as a vocalist and songwriter in her newest album of chamber, indie-pop produced by Jon Estes and titled The Monster Speaks. She recently returned to Nashville after touring the world for nearly ten years. She spent time as the solo violinist/electric violinist for Cirque du Soleil’s show Quidam, was the featured violinist for Cirque’s holiday show Wintuk, was invited to Tanglewood as a concertmaster, and also was the lead violinist/fiddler, vocalist, pianist and dancer with the International Violin Show, Barrage.
In a 5 – 7 minute Spoken Word Poem, I illustrate the abstract concept of self, as we perceive ourselves to be, through the metaphor of being a blank canvas that the colors of diversity paint upon us as we develop from infancy into adulthood.
“I am a Canvas.
It was the world’s job to paint me before I ever made memories.
I once was a soft, little baby who viewed this world as a masterpiece, and each one of you were the masterful brushstrokes which waved at me — waving your own unique colors of life’s experience so gracefully over me, and I am your canvas.
I evolve as your vibrant, resilient painting, and I am one of the fortunate, because you — as my artists and co-creators — embrace me.”
This piece plays with the concept that we are all born “carte blanche”, and are taught shades of acceptance and ignorance, love and hate, activism and apathy; therefore, we are never truly living in a “me versus the world” mindset — no matter how often we’re taught the notion that we should look out for ourselves. We create divisions when we forget that those who love us “paint” us accordingly; without those brushstrokes, we would be slightly less complete as a masterpiece. We are all intertwined, and we are responsible to be self-aware that our beauty is a direct result of all the shades that complement each other to make us beautiful to look at: a portrait that equally gives every color equal spotlight on the eye.
“A world painted in the shade of only one color would truly be a boring world indeed, so don’t let the shade of all the past tell you what shade of all the pastels you should be.
If no one else tells you today, I love you, because you helped make me.
I did nothing except stand here, blank, and allow myself to be your Canvas.”
Taxation is something that everyone has an opinion about, but very few people actually understand. This talk is aimed at exploring the underpinnings of the income tax, and how society needs it to be a fundamentally fair tax. Tax law is, arguably, one of the most reflective of social values, since tax legislation is used not just to raise revenue, but also as a tool to further social and economic policy. One of the most watched “experiments” in taxation has unfolded in Kansas over the last couple of years, and Kansas state taxation policy is an excellent tool for exploring ideas like fairness in building a fiscal system.
An alternative viewpoint on selfies and how they can be used to bolster self-confidence.
Stephanie Mott shares her journey through isolation and self-hatred to the realization that being transgender is not an issue of morality or character, and the life-changing discovery that all people are worthy by the virtue of their existence. Transgender people are among the most oppressed people in America as well as the least understood. Yet, the vast majority of transgender education taking place today fails to correctly describe the journey of being transgender, even adds to the misunderstandings. This is a presentation on words that work.
In the age of Selfie, large egos, pride and a concern about who gets the credit stifles collaboration and effective leadership. In this discussion, Dr. David W. Carter, the Farley Visiting Professor of Ethics and Leadership at Washburn University, introduces a new concept into 21st century leadership titled The Lesser Seat, a critical analysis of how the best leaders throughout history were not only humble and unpretentious, but also collaborative—selfless instead of self-seeking. Dr. Carter explains the science behind why effective leadership requires both humility and collaboration, rare traits becoming all the more rare in businesses, boardrooms, and, to be sure, across college campuses. This insightful TEDx Topeka talk will inspire the audience—and future leaders—to evoke the words of Helen Keller as they consider their leadership styles: “Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.”
It’s a commonly known fact that women tend to apologize more than men. Being taught from a young age that they should aim to please, often times women find themselves using the “s word” for anything that is displeasing- even when it has nothing to do with them. Girls are rewarded for good behavior and boys are expected to be…boys. Do we make it harder for females to be leaders as adults because we’re too focused on teaching them to color in the lines as children? Beth Lenherr and Macy Tanking will use humor, stories, and research to show how we’re all doing young girls a huge disservice by applauding their perfection. They’ll dive into how Neuro-Linguistic Programming, self-communication that shifts subjectivities in the brain to alter behavior or performance, can help empower girls to take more risks, be more bold and take leadership positions as adults. They will also show how they’ve taken the concept of imperfection and turned it into celebrating individual uniqueness through a program they’ve rolled out intentionally called GRIT: Girls Realizing Impact Together.
Agriculture is coming to a crossroads with demands outweighing the production. How will the world learn to produce more with the same resources? One way we’ve found is through technology. Planting smarter and conserving resources will help out. Technology can’t do it alone though—what can do you?