Next Philadelphia speaker

Alexandra Jones

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December 21, 8:30am • Center / Architecture + Design • part of a series on Tradition

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“The mystery is that the past is often just as clouded as the future,” says Justin Duerr. This visual artist, musician, and writer has explored the mysteries of the Toynbee tiles and obscure cartoonist Herbert Crowley, and in January 2017, he helped the CreativeMornings Philadelphia community learn more about mystery. Photos taken by Steve Weinik.

In December 2016, CreativeMornings Philadelphia explored sound with Tony Award-winning sound designer Robert Kaplowitz. His talk gave us all a new perspective on the vibrations that give our lives meaning and context. Photos taken by Steve Weinik.

CreativeMornings Philadelphia explored and celebrated fantasy in November with Heather Ujiie. As an artist, designer, and educator at Moore College of Art and Design, Heather has channeled elements of fantasy into her creative and innovative work, while also maintaining a connection with reality. Photos taken by Steve Weinik.

In October, CreativeMornings Philadelphia explored transparency with Conrad Benner, founder and editor of, a Philly-based photo-blog that documents and celebrates street art, graffiti, and urban exploration. In his talk, he discussed the challenges of documenting and celebrating an illegal art form, how keeping an honest dialog with his readers helped him to grow his blog and social media platforms to become one of the most followed individuals in Philadelphia, and how working openly with advertisers allowed him to turn his labor of love into a career.

Photo credit: Steve Weinik

In September, we channeled the magical. Magic is about adding layers of wonder and surprise in our lives. In Philadelphia, Mike Smith – the Smith half of Smith & Diction – gave an inspiring talk about how doing something uncomfortable can lead to something incredible.

More than 150 CreativeMornings chapters worldwide took a walk on the “weird” side in August! Weirdness widens the edges of the status quo, and if we allow it, it adds beauty to our lives because it introduces us to a multitude of complexities that we may be ignoring. To celebrate that “weirdness,” we heard from Philadelphia’s premier couture taxidermist, Beth Beverly. “Taxidermy seems pretty weird,” she said. “…but aren’t we all weird?”

In July, we tackled the theme of “love.” Love is simple, but naturally as human beings, we make it complex. Dr. Timaree Schmit, a sexologist and host of the “Sex With Timaree” podcast, aims to promote rational, sex-positive, empirically-based knowledge about sexuality. In her talk at the Center / Architecture + Design in Center City Philadelphia, Timaree shared love lessons with our incredible creative community. Whether we’re looking to better connect with family, friends, or coworkers, we can take tips from both couples counseling sessions and from the polyamory community to build and sustain healthy relationships. In this talk, Timaree explored the value of nurturing relationships, the interconnected and interdependent nature of human networks, and the use of self reflection to understand the origins of negative interactions with others. Attendees learned how to use conflict to deepen relationships through a team-based approach to resolution, as well as how to integrate the practices of sex therapists and the polyamory community into any relationship.

CreativeMornings Philadelphia took the global theme – “broken” – literally when it came to our location. Our talk from Dr. Peter Lloyd Jones, who spoke about the brokenness of healthcare and using creative thinking to repair it, took place in the Penn Museum’s Lower Egypt Gallery alongside a Sphinx.

May’s global CreativeMornings theme was “reality,” so we turned to Chris Chrisman, a nationally known commercial photographer whose work spans from Mary Kay to Cirque du Soleil. “Reality is malleable,” he told us, “but if you want to shape it, you have to use your own hands.”

In April, CreativeMornings Philadelphia explored our global theme of “risk” with the CEO of La Colombe Coffee and host of Travel Channel’s “Dangerous Grounds,” Todd Carmichael.