Saturday, August 30, 2014

Conversations On Creativity With Susan Block


Susan Block, LaPorte County Poet Laureate Emeritus, playwright, writing workshop leader, art exhibition curator and cultural arts advocate will interview high profile regional artists, writers, musicians and other creatives on “Conversations On Creativity.” The programs will be broadcast live on ArtSees Diner Radio, a production of Mary E. and Steve Champagne which has attained featured status through BlogTalkRadio network, the world's number one talk radio and podcast hosting platform.

The radio series, conceived by Block, begins September 2 at 8pm(CT) and will air on successive Tuesday evenings. The broadcast can be accessed Programs will remain in podcast for future listening.

“The nature of creativity has always intrigued people,” said Block. Are these impulses innate? Can they be fostered way past inborn talent? Why do some people seem to be more creative than other and often in several areas? What exactly is the creative process? These are some
of the topics that will be discussed providing a rare opportunity to get inside the mind and imagination of highly creative people to more deeply understand creativity at its source.”
The first “Conversations on Creativity” program will be an interview with Paul Smith, clinical psychologist, who will explore the creative personality and process. Future guests include George Kalamaras,Indiana State Poet Laureate; Michelle Qureshi, composer, musician;Richard Kiebdaj, sculptor;Donna Blue Lachman, playwright, actor, director and Connie and George Kassal, fine artist and photographer, respectively, who also teach at a college level in their fields.
Series co-producer is Mary E. LaLuna, executive head of ArtSees Productions and host of “ArtSees Diner,” that has had an audience of more than 334,000 listeners in the last year and frequently named “top broadcast” by the network.
More information about the series may be found on the Conversations On Creativity blog at

Line up of Artists

BIO: Paul Smith is a cognitive educational psychologist focused mainly on how people learn, especially language, and how we develop and change our beliefs.
He is past president of the Alliance Francaise of Milwaukee and serves on the Board of the Badgerland Bluegrass Music Association.He is active in local music as a guitar and mandolin player and singer.
BIO: George Kalamaras is Professor of English at Indiana University – Purdue University Fort Wayne where he has taught since 1990. He is the author of ten books of poetry, including five chapbooks. He is the recipient of Creative Writing Fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts (1993) and the Indiana Arts Commission (2001) and took first prize in the l998 Abiko Quarterly International Poetry Prize (Japan). A long time practitioner of yogic meditation, he spent several months in India in 1994 on a fellowship from the Fulbright Foundation.
BIO: Michelle Qureshi is a classically trained guitarist who writes,performs and publishes music in a number of styles and genre. In 2010 she created Music As Metaphor, an artistic identity that encompasses all her work. She has performed her music at festivals,concerts, art galleries and other venues. Her music has been broadcast throughout the world and licensed on a global platform for use in commercials, films, apps and other media. She lives in Indianapolis with her husband and daughter.
September 23: RICHARD KEIBDAJ, SCULPTOR. Broadwing Studio, Michigan City
BIO:Keibdaj is an exceptionally versatile sculptor. He carves stone and wood and fabricates with cast metals, bronze, steel and other alloys. His varied mediums have been appreciated by an equally diverse audience. Kiebdaj’s clients include Roger Ebert, Hugh Hefner and former Chicago Bear Willie Gault. Keibdaj has been a working artist for 30 years. His public sculptures have been on exhibit in Chicago neighborhoods and  in Northwest Indiana including Southern Shore Art Association gallery in Michigan City and the campus of
Purdue North Central.
BIO: Donna Blue Lachman is a lover of all things theater. She has worked as a playwright,actor, director and teacher  for more than 25 years. She was the founder and Artistic Director of the Blue Rider Theater Company in Chicago for 14 years where
she wrote and performed 9 one-woman plays, leading to two Joseph Jefferson awards for best performance, several Playwright Fellowships and awards from the Chicago Artist’s International Program which allowed her to research and tour her production to Venice, Italy, Berlin and Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Her numerous awards include an Emmy for a television show for the City of Chicago. Her teaching credits include the  School of the Art Institute, master degree programs at Chicago’s Columbia College and has served as Dramatist-in-Residence for the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs. She has
taught acting and improv at the Lubeznik Center for the Arts in Michigan City and at LaLumier School in LaPorte, IN. Donna lives in southwest Michigan and has been a blockbuster ticket for her performances at the Acorn Theater in 3 Oaks,MI., recently producing and directing her original show woven from real life stories of people in the region. Appropriately, the show was called “Mixed Nuts.”
George and Connie Kassal met at the University of Wisconsin, married and have been longtime residents of Michigan City each accomplished in their own artistic fields. Connie, a painter,  holds a BA and Masters in painting. She has exhibited widely in the Midwest including Chicago, South Bend and the Governor’s Mansion in Indianapolis. She is an art professor at Purdue North Central , on the faculty of Prairie State College in Illinois and teaches at the LCA In Michigan City.She has been active in numerous art organizations   and headed the MC Mayor’s C ouncil for the Arts. George has a Masters Degree in photography and digital imaging. His work has been exhibited across  the Midwest. He  teaches at Westwood College in Chicago and PCN in the disciplines of photography, art appreciation ,image editing and computer technology  and often lectures at various colleges in the region. He has said that there is a long history of using images to illustrate text. In his career, he took the opposite approach by looking for text that would add to the meaning of the image. He states that his photographs are an exploration of the world around me. The Kassals have exhibited their work in tandem at various venues and operate under Kassal Studios, all attesting to there’s room for more than one artist in any household.

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