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A Publication of WTVP

The Discovery Forum has become a signature event for many in our community. In fact, the uniqueness of this day-long event has drawn individuals from all over the Midwest and beyond. This year’s event broadens the appeal further with a lineup of presentations that will resonate not just with scientists, artists, and entrepreneurs, but with anyone who has interest in the power of collaboration and its ability to facilitate and enhance our lives.

“Creating through Collaboration” is the theme for the 2006 event, hosted by Peoria NEXT and ArtsPartners and scheduled for April 28 at the Peoria Civic Center. The day will feature three main acts, each geared to highlight the power of collaboration.

Act I: Collaborations in Public Policy—how do leading communities collaborate to create innovative policy and drive growth? We’ll explore how working together can help build healthier communities and smarter policies. Our keynote speaker is John Norquist, former mayor of Milwaukee and president of the Congress for the New Urbanism. The presentation will be followed by a dialogue moderated by WCBU’s Jonathon Ahl and featuring Norquist, Congressman Ray LaHood, and Peoria Mayor Jim Ardis.

Act II: Collaborations in Art & Education—how can we harness creative collaborations to enlighten our children and enrich our lives? An all-star lineup will guide us as we discover how resourceful educators have taken teaching techniques “outside the box.” Our keynote speaker is Rafe Esquith, an educator and author whose uncommon resourcefulness has opened worlds of opportunity for the disadvantaged inner-city students he’s turned into Shakespearean performers. Following is a dialogue moderated by WEEK’s Garry Moore and featuring Esquith, “First Class Teacher of the Year” Brad Cohen, and Peoria Public Schools Superintendent Ken Hinton.

Act III: Collaborations in Technology—how do collaborations in science and technology converge to impact society, culture, and our quality of life? This thought-provoking, three-part act will take a look at the intersections of technology with the world around us. Alan Lightman is an artist, scientist, and author of Einstein’s Dreams whose work boldly explores the intellectual and emotional landscapes of the great discoveries of the last century. Martina Newell-McGloughlin is an international expert who’ll explore the innovative and controversial realm of biotechnology’s impact on society. And Natalie Jeremijenko is a leader in innovative engineering design who explores human interactions with technology, searching for new ways to seize innovation for social and cultural good.

The Discovery Forum also will feature the presentation of the $10,000 annual Peoria Prize for Creativity, an international competition rewarding innovative and creative collaborations between the arts and sciences.

Following on the heels of last year’s successful “Creativity Showcase,” this year’s expo promises to be even bigger and better. The interactive exhibit area, open during the Forum’s breaks, luncheon, and during a closing reception, will feature engaging displays of creativity, technology, and collaboration from around the region. Attendees are invited to join our sponsors and exhibitors during a special celebration reception in the Showcase area from 4:30 to 6 p.m.

Registration is $35 prior to April 21 ($15 for students). For more information or to register, visit www.peorianext.org or call 677-2377. IBI

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