The Fifth Annual Creative Age Symposium

The Creative Age: Creativity from the Chaos

Creative Age Conference: Creativity from the Chaos

Join a multi-generational, multi-cultural group of individuals for the Fifth Annual Creative Age Conference on the campus of Dixie State University in the Eccles Fine Arts Center in St. George. This year’s theme is "Creativity from the Chaos" to reflect on the experiences of growth over the last two years to bring a positive message to participants, and to acknowledge that chaos is part of the creative process. The event will be held on April 30.

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Dr. Craig Jessop is Professor of Music and Coordinator of the Masters of Conducting Program with a Choral Emphasis at Utah State University. He served as the first Dean of the Caine College of the Arts at USU. This appointment followed Craig's distinguished tenure as music director of the world-famous Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square in Salt Lake City, and as head of the Department of Music at Utah State University. He is the founder and music director of the American Festival Chorus and Orchestra which in is now in its 14th season. He received a Grammy nomination for his work with the Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square.


Christina is from High Point, North Carolina. Her passion is working with older adults, and she desires to educate people about the world of gerontology. Currently, Christina is a long-term care ombudsman at the Piedmont Triad Regional Council Area Agency on Aging. Christina enjoys advocating for the rights of residents in long-term care. She holds a Master of Science degree in gerontology with a concentration in aging and business, which was obtained from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. However, her introduction into this field began at the Historically Black College/University, Winston-Salem State University.


Originally from the Chicago area, Chewi grew up with his younger sister and a mother who loved them both unconditionally. Working in Dixie State University’s production department, Chewi finds enjoyment in being on stage as an improvisational actor. He studied at the world-famous Second City in Chicago, the birthplace of improv comedy. Currently, Chewi is the managing director of So. Utah Comedy Theater. Nothing makes him feel better than making people laugh and having a good time.


Claytee D. White is the inaugural director of the Oral History Research Center at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas libraries. In this position, she collects the history of Las Vegas and the surrounding area by gathering memories of events and experiences from long-time residents. Current projects include Latinx Voices, Asian American Pacific Islanders, and the ongoing project of the African American Experience in Las Vegas. All projects function to broaden the diverse history housed in UNLV libraries


Julie Davies authored “Tears on the Inside” after managing assisted living communities, a chain of dementia care facilities and chairing End of Life Coalitions. She realized grief is not just associated with major losses, and it is not a simple five-step process. Unresolved emotions from seemingly small losses can spiral into unhealthy behaviors, relationships, and habits. Julie has worked with the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America and Caregiver Focus Groups.


John came to St. George to teach piano in 1995. He has taught piano, conducted choirs and helped bring happiness to people by playing the piano for them. John has a Bachelor of Arts in Piano Performance from Utah State University. Music has been a big part of his life. He currently is the manager of the St. George Piano Gallery. He is married to Kristie and has 8 children and 16 grandchildren.


Dr. Rochelle Hooks has been an educator and storyteller for over 40 years. Her love for storytelling and the performing arts has been an integral part of both her personal and professional life. She enjoys teaching the craft of storytelling to children, teachers, families and other professionals. Rochelle loves sharing the power of storytelling and uses it as a vehicle to teach, entertain and heal.


Extreme Body Percussion and educational outreach, Molodi is more than a performance troupe. It is a community of energetic leaders, educators, and seasoned entertainers. Molodi pushes the boundaries of stepping through its unique blend of body percussion, gumboots, beatbox, poetry, hip hop dance, immersive storytelling and robust personalities that bring to life a high-energy percussive experience. In addition to performing on the world stage, Molodi holds home, Las Vegas, close to its heart, performing locally and teaching through its arts education program, Molodi Unplugged. 


Colleen Gianatiempo is a mixed media artist, educator, and designer living and working in her new location in St. George. She approaches life by embracing the mystery, staying open to change, finding courage, honoring her intuition and trusting the journey. Colleen earned a Master of Fine Arts in non-figurative abstract painting from the Academy of Art in San Francisco. She is known as “The Artist with a Heart.”


Dr. Drew Williams began his career in education 18 years ago, working as a middle school woodshop and technology teacher. It was during his time in the classroom that he began to understand the significant impact a positive and dynamic leader can create. Drew moved with his family to Nashville where he began work as a school administrator. He earned his master’s in educational leadership as well as a doctorate in organizational theory and strategic change from Lipscomb University. Drew serves as the executive director of Utah ARTS Academy in St. George.


Born and raised in Washington, D.C., G. Eric Miles learned about politics, democracy and diplomacy from an early age. Being raised in a household dedicated to education, G. Eric became enamored with language and vocabulary, which ultimately led to a love of poetry. His education, travel and experiences during America's turbulent decades of radical social change have also provided a unique perspective.


Drew & Lacey spent a decade immersed in the Nashville music scene, and individually performing more than 30 years each. The couple spent time on music row recording, writing and collaborating with top musicians. Drew & Lacey truly shine when they are on stage. Their stage presence is dynamic and magnetic. It is this magnetism that allowed them to sell out the Rutledge live music venue in downtown Nashville for six years in a row. In a town where live music is notoriously saturated, the buzz created from the duo’s live show was unique.


Elizabeth Gunter, known as EL, believes art can transform the world by forging new connections within a single mind, a small group, or an entire community. This led her to open ART Provides, her studio, event space, and gallery in the heart of St. George’s historic district. Raised in New York, educated in Chicago, and drawn to the red rocks of Utah, she says art has been a part of her life from the beginning and shapes her present. She enjoys art, of course, but also traveling, the outdoors, meditating, spending time with two adorable children, and meeting real people with flaws, dreams, and talents all their own.


Asher laid his hands on a camera for the first time at four years old to frame the extraordinary world he saw but for which he did not yet have descriptors. His passion for capturing a finite moment and making it infinite led Asher to Southern Utah University, where he graduated with a B.I.S. in Photography with an emphasis in Studio Fine Arts He also completed a psychology degree with an emphasis in behavior and neurology.  He is currently the staff photographer for St. George City Lifestyle Magazine.


Jason Nious is a performer, speaker and director whose background competing in NCAA gymnastics and leading step teams from high school to college launched his career in the arts. Coming from a military household, he traveled the world, and myriad cultures heavily influenced his perspectives on storytelling and his ability to connect with audiences. Jason has performed with Cirque du Soleil, Stomp, and the International Body Music Festival.

Creative Age Symposium Morning Sessions

8 – 9 a.m.

Breakfast and Registration

9 - 10:15 a.m.

Entertainment by Molodi

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Craig Jessop

10:15 – 11:15 a.m. Breakout sessions

Dr. Craig Jessop – Vocal Workshop

Chewi Lockhart – IMPROV: Yoga for the Brain

Claytee White – Oral History

11:15 a.m.– 12:15 p.m.

Julie Davies – Creating Peace after Loss

John Sato – Learning or Relearning a Musical Instrument

Rochelle Hooks – Secrets to Sensational Storytelling


Creative Age Symposium Afternoon Sessions

12:15 – 1:15 p.m.

Picnic lunch on Eccles Fine Arts Center lawn

1:15 – 2:30 p.m.

Keynote Presentation – Drew and Lacey Williams

Keynote Speaker – Christine Peoples – The Importance of Being Age-Inclusive

2:30 – 3:30 p.m. Breakout Sessions

Colleen Giantempo – Drawing and Brain Exercises: Building New Neural Pathways

Dr. Drew Williams – The Value of Art in Education

G. Eric Miles – Our Journey – The Life and Times of You and Me

3:30 – 4:30 p.m. Breakout Sessions

Asher Swan – Photo-Psychology – The Deeper Meaning

El Gunter – Creative ART SPA – Creative Kinesthetic Mindfulness

Jason Nious and Molodi – Your Body is a Drum

4:30 p.m.

Hugs and Brownies – Network with the new friends you have made!

Optional Saturday evening and Sunday activities will be announced

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