World Muse Founder, Amanda Stuermer shares a preview of the 2016 Muse Conference in Bend, March 4 – 6th.
Read on for a chance to win a ticket to the Muse Salon of your choice.
4 years ago, when I sat in the audience at MUSE Conference for the very first time, I wondered what my life would have been like if, as a young woman, I had seen so many amazing women and girls being supported and celebrated for all the awesome ways they were creating positive change in their lives and in the world. Would I have realized my potential a little earlier? I like to think so.
Each year, I ask myself how my community and the world might be different if more men and boys were in the audience with me hearing the incredible stories of change the women and girls share on stage. Would they more fully realize and respect the enormous potential of women and girls to be powerful leaders and change-makers? I like to think so.
This year, MUSE Conference will be featuring over 75 artists, activists, entrepreneurs, visionaries, and trailblazers from Sudan, Kenya, Iran, and across the United States. We will begin on Friday, March 4th, with a full day of MUSE Salons. These interactive panel discussions will feature local and regional leaders musing over Creativity, Motherhood, Media, Start-ups, and the Status of Women and Girls in Oregon. Each Salon is $10. I highly recommend registering early as space is limited. You can register on our website.
MUSE Art Show
Our MUSE Art Show will be opening on Friday, March 4th, as well. We have 24 artists from Oregon, Washington, and California who were chosen to participate by our local art jury. Each artist will be depicting her “Muse.” I am excited to see whom they choose and, more importantly, to hear why they chose them. I believe that we are all muses for each other. Each day we have the opportunity to inspire those around us in positive and negative ways. This art exhibit will reflect the incredible power of the muse in each of us. Along with our MUSE Art Show, we will also be unveiling our TEEN MUSE Project, a photography exhibit featuring over 40 local youth musing about what matters most to them – their fears, hopes, struggles, and dreams. I encourage our entire community to come out and see and hear the faces and voices of our future. It is quite powerful. Both the MUSE Art Show and TEEN MUSE Project will be on display from March 4th-25th at The Liberty Theatre in Downtown Bend.
Saturday at the Tower Theatre
On Saturday, we will be musing all day at The Tower Theatre. Over 40 presenters will take the stage for what is sure to be an all out inspiration-fest. We will hear from a local kale chip entrepreneur, a custom hatmaker, a brewmaster, a firefighter, and teen filmmaker Ily Longeais who captured other creative teens through her camera lens. We will be treated to conversations with NYTimes best-selling authors, professional athletes, CEO’s, yoga-activists, a comedic activist, an ex-marine helicopter pilot, Maasai tribal members from Kenya, and Nobel Laureate Dr. Shirin Ebadi who continues to fight for women’s equality and human rights even though she has been forced to flee her country and live in exile. At the end of day, you can enjoy libations and continued conversations at our celebratory MUSE Reception held at The Liberty Theatre. We still have a some conference day passes available, but we have sold out in the past so you should be sure to register on our website soon.
Muse 5K Run & Community Yoga
The final day of MUSE Conference weekend will begin with a lovely Community Yoga Class at The Liberty Theatre led by Amber Hayes of Groove Yoga. We look forward to bringing our community back together to integrate all of the inspiration shared the prior two days. Following yoga, we will be launching our Inaugural MUSE 5K Run in the Crow’s Feet Commons Courtyard. This will be the perfect way to put the inspiration into motion. The yoga class and the run are open to all ages and abilities. I would love to see men and women of all ages participating in both. Grab your spouse, friend, child, parent, neighbor and join us for these special events. You can register for both on our website.
Our grand finale will be our MUSE Workshops held Sunday afternoon at COCC Campus. These workshops give conference attendees the opportunity to work in-depth with some of our visiting presenters. This year, we are offering a teen workshop led by Susanna Spies, a self-proclaimed comedic-activist who uses comedy to give voice to at-risk youth in LA. We will also be offering a women’s workshop called “How to be a Game-Changer” led by leaders from Off The Mat Into The World, a conscious action organization that offers trainings worldwide. Both of these are not to be missed. I may even pretend to be a teen so I can find my comedic voice!
I am often asked which part of MUSE Conference weekend I am most excited about. The truth is, I am excited about all of it. I like to think each piece is vital – the beauty of seeing social change through artistic expression, the invitation to engage in meaningful conversations, the opportunity to witness powerful stories of leadership and change, and the ability to put all of the inspiration generated into action.
Are you ready to muse? Will you be there with your sons and daughters, spouses and partners, friends and colleagues? I like to think so.