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2017 Key Events


Harmony Project and David Brown. Photo by Shellee Fisher Photography.

Wednesday, August 30, 9:05–10:10 a.m., Hyatt Regency Ballroom

Harmony Project and David Brown

Sponsored by Ohio Arts Council

Harmony Project connects people across social divides through the arts, education, and volunteer community service. Working together, they are building a stronger, more inclusive Columbus with a focus on developing a social infrastructure through the power of music that unites the community for the common good. Under the leadership of David Brown, Harmony Project is about more than just singing and provides opportunities for individuals of different cultures, religions, ages, affiliations, and orientations to join forces to be the change in the community they wish to see. At Harmony Project, it isn’t about the sound of your voice, it is about how you use it.

This keynote presentation will showcase several of Harmony Project’s programs and include remarks from David Brown, who has been creating original programming, concerts, and events that unite participants and audiences to give back to their communities for 26 years.

Dessa. Photo by Bill Phelps.

Thursday, August 31, 10:15–11:45 a.m. (Brunch), Hyatt Regency Ballroom


Sponsored by Mid-America Arts Alliance, Exhibit 102B

Dessa has built her career bucking traditional genre designations—she’s rapped at hip-hop festivals, sung with a 100-voice choir, and co-written classical works for orchestra. Genre-busting isn’t enough for this artistic risk-taker: whether performing in a bombed-out hospital in Warsaw, a velvet-lined theater in New York, or atop a folding chair in Johannesburg, Dessa’s work is ambitious, inventive, and designed to defy audience expectations. On stage she’s funny and ferocious, but also tender—her live show includes rapid-fire rap songs, heartbreak ballads, catchy choruses, and charismatic banter. A proud member of the Minneapolis-based Doomtree collective, this “hyper-intellectual, whiskey-drinking poet with a hopeless romantic streak and a curiosity about neuroscience” is making a multi-generational, interdisciplinary impact.

Sponsored Performances

Ethan Bortnick. Photo by Kent Osborne.

Tuesday, August 29, 12:30–2:00 p.m. (Luncheon), Hyatt Regency Ballroom

Ethan Bortnick

Sponsored by Ethan Bortnick, represented by Brad Simon Organization, Inc. and David Belenzon Management, Inc., Exhibit 502 and Exhibit 503

Appealing to multi-generational audiences, this 16-year old pianist/prodigy/phenom presents a repertoire from Broadway, pop, classical, and rock. His tour, supported by his third PBS special, continues to be one of the most successful, selling out many markets with pledges only. A Guinness World Records title holder, Ethan has raised more than $40 million for charity. Ethan’s Music Room was nominated for an Emmy for promoting music appreciation to young people. His outreach programs have proven highly motivating in supporting the arts.

Doo Wop Project. Photo by Anthony Causi.

Thursday, August 31, 10:15–11:45 a.m. (Brunch), Hyatt Regency Ballroom

The Doo Wop Project: From Bop to Pop…the Evolution of a Sound!

Sponsored by The Doo Wop Project, represented by BiCoastal Productions, Exhibit 602

They’re three parts Jersey Boys, two parts Motown: The Musical, and “not your grandma’s doo wop!” These charismatic, triple-threat Broadway stars—with their hot five-piece band—tear it up with musicality, dancing, and showmanship not found with any other group in the world! They “re-doo” classic Doo Wop songs from the 50s and 60s and make ‘em sound fresh and new, and they take contemporary pop hits and “doo-wopify” them!

Todd Mosby New Horizons Ensemble.

Wednesday, August 30, 5:45–6:15 (Meet and Greet) and 6:35 p.m. (Showcase), Davidson Theatre, Vern Riffe Center

Todd Mosby New Horizons Ensemble

Sponsored by Todd Mosby New Horizons Ensemble, represented by Mosby Music Group, LLC, Exhibit 919

A six-member ensemble, including Grammy Award-nominated performers, delivers an acoustic instrumental mix of world, folk, jazz, and new age with virtuosic flair. Featuring Mosby’s compositions and arrangements, the instrumentation includes vocals, woodwinds, acoustic guitars, piano, bass, and percussion. The showcase set will include “Joni’s Song,” “Island Song,” “Down by the River,” and “Western Sky,” featuring folk, Latin, and contemporary sounds and highlighting the saxophone, vocals, and full ensemble. Fun to watch, transformational listening, audience inclusive, New Horizons Ensemble delivers performances that change lives.

Please join us for an exclusive meet and greet with Todd Mosby New Horizons Ensemble immediately before their sponsored showcase presentation. Artists present include Michael Manring (Michael Hedges, Windham Hill, Grammy nominated), Jeff Haynes (Pat Metheny, Casandra Wilson, Al Jarreau), Premik Tubbs (Santana, John McLaughlin, Sting).


The New Wing at Columbus Museum of Art. Photo by Columbus Museum of Art (CC BY-SA 4.0).

Monday, August 28, 6:30–8:30 p.m., Columbus Museum of Art

Opening Party

Sponsored by Délégation du Québec à Chicago and Greater Columbus Arts Council with in-kind support from Columbus Museum of Art

Kick off our time together at Columbus’ flagship visual arts organization, the newly-expanded and widely-acclaimed Columbus Museum of Art. Enjoy a summer evening in the outdoor sculpture park and start your networking while enjoying live performances from local artists. Explore the museum’s galleries, including the featured (and very timely) exhibition Red Horizon: Contemporary Art and Photography in the USSR and Russia, 1960-2010. Cash bar and light hors d’oeuvres provided.

Huntington Park. Photo by Randall L. Schieber

Thursday, August 31, 3:30–5:30 p.m., Huntington Park

Closing Party

Sponsored by IMG Artists, Exhibit 300

Cap off the Conference at the ballpark. We’re commandeering the VIP party deck overlooking the field at Huntington Park, home of the Columbus Clippers. Watch the teams’ pre-game warm-ups and enjoy some classic ballpark fare. The party is on rain or shine!

Thursday, August 31, 6:35 p.m., Huntington Park

Columbus Clippers v. Toledo Mud Hens

Everyone is invited to the Closing Party at Huntington Park, and we reserved a block of $10 tickets for those who want to keep the party going at that evening’s ballgame. Limited number of tickets will be available for purchase at the registration desk beginning August 28.