Rick Thames is the editor of the Charlotte Observer and its website, CharlotteObserver.com. Thames has worked in newspapers for 32 years. He began as a reporter at the Fayetteville Observer, and later worked as a reporter and local news editor at The Miami News before joining the Charlotte Observer in 1989. In 1997, he became editor of the Wichita Eagle. In 2004, Thames returned to the Observer as editor. Rick is moderating the “How To Be A Successful Freelancer: What Editors Expect” panel discussion, and co-leads “How To Avoid Ethical Conflicts” with Marc Gustafson.
Meg Freeman Whalen is currently the Director of Communications and External Relations for the College of Arts + Architecture at UNC Charlotte. Formerly the Director of Public Relations and Community Engagment for the Charlotte Symphony, Meg was a freelance arts writer for the Charlotte Observer and the arts editor for Charlotte Magazine. She has also taught in the music department at Queens University of Charlotte since 1994. Meg is moderating the “Trends In The Arts” panel discussion.
Glenn H. Burkins is editor and publisher of Qcitymetro.com. He was previously deputy managing editor at the Charlotte Observer. He also worked as a reporter at the Wall Street Journal, Philadelphia Inquirer and the St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times. Glenn is participating in the “How To Be A Successful Freelancer: What Editors Expect” panel discussion.
Marc Gustafson is president of Charlotte Viewpoint and a partner at Essex Richards. He earned his B.A. in secondary education and political science at UNC Chapel Hill and his J.D. at Indiana University. Marc is also a regular contributor to Lawyer Weekly and Nfocus magazine. Marc co-leads “How To Avoid Ethical Conflicts” with Rick Thames.
Greg Collard has been news director at WFAE since 2008. Before coming to North Carolina, Greg was news director at West Virginia Pubic Broadcasting. He’s also been a newspaper reporter, editor and talk show host. Greg leads the session on “How To Write An Arts Feature For Radio.”
Jeremy Markovich is Special Projects Producer at WCNC-TV and serves as the primary liaison between the Charlotte Observer and the station. Jeremy has also worked as a news producer/reporter/photographer at WSAZ-TV and WOUB-TV. Mark leads the session on “Making Great Videos For TV And The Web.”
Michael J. Solender has written hundreds of feature articles for regional and national publications. He is a regular contributor to The Charlotte Observer where he writes about art, faith, business, community, and pop culture. His work has appeared in Southern Living, The Faster Times, The Jewish Daily Forward, Charlotte magazine, Creative Loafing, Carolina Mountain Life, Lake Norman Magazine, Richmond Style Weekly, The Raleigh News & Observer, SouthPark Magazine, South Charlotte News, NFocus, The Viewspaper, and many others. An avid blogger, his commentary has been showcased at CLT Blog, and Like The Dew, Journal of Southern Culture and Politics. Solender serves as the City Life Editor for the online civic and arts publication, Charlotte Viewpoint. Michael is participating in the “How To Be A Successful Freelancer: What Editors Expect” panel discussion.
Augie Grant is one of the most prominent academics working in the field of convergent journalism. He is co editor of Understanding Media Convergence: The State of the Field and co-author of Principles of Convergent Journalism, both published by Oxford University Press. His work in media convergence includes founding and serving for five years as Executive Editor of The Convergence Newsletter, chairing nine national conferences on convergent journalism since 2002, and directing the Newsplex Summer Seminar program to train academics in convergent journalism. Augie leads the session “Writing Across All Forms Of Media.”
To read more about August Grant and his publications on Convergent Jouralism go to http://jour.sc.edu/people/adfacstaff/grant.html.
Mary Curtis is an award-winning multimedia journalist based in Charlotte. She appears weekly on TV’s Fox News Rising Charlotte and contributes to The Washington Post’s “She the People” blog, TheRoot.com, NPR and Creative Loafing, where she wrote a column on the 2012 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte. She was national correspondent for AOL’s PoliticsDaily.com, covering politics, race and culture. She has worked at The New York Times, Charlotte Observer, Baltimore Sun, Arizona Daily Star and Associated Press. Mary is participating in the “How To Be A Successful Freelancer: What Editors Expect” panel discussion.
Mark Kemp is the editor in chief of the Charlotte alternative weekly Creative Loafing. The author of Dixie Lullaby: A Story of Music, Race and New Beginnings in a New South (Simon & Schuster, 2004), he has been writing about music, culture, news and politics since 1983. Kemp has served as editor of the ’90s alternative music and culture magazine Option, senior editor at Rolling Stone, vice president of music editorial at MTV Networks and entertainment editor at The Charlotte Observer. In 1997 he received a Grammy nomination for his liner notes to the CD box set Farewells & Fantasies, a retrospective of music by the ’60s protest singer Phil Ochs. Mark is participating in the “How To Be A Successful Freelancer: What Editors Expect” panel discussion.
Lawrence Toppman has written about the arts for 33 years in Charlotte, has sung with Opera Carolina for three decades and can’t think of an art form he doesn’t embrace. He has a B.A. in English and history from Duke University, an M.A. in journalism from UNC-Chapel Hill, and three years’ experience as a sports writer. He enjoyed that job, until he realized every football and basketball game would be fundamentally the same for the rest of his career, while artistic performances would not. Lawrence leads the lunch session “Reviewing The Performing and Visual Arts.”
Jeff Jackson is Arts & Culture Editor of Charlotte Viewpoint. He is also a freelance writer covering the arts whose work has appeared in The Village Voice, Blender and Jazziz magazines. He is the founding director of the NoDa Film Festival and co-proprietor of destination-out.com, an acclaimed website dedicated to avant garde jazz. As a member of the Obie-winning Collapsable Giraffe theatre company, five of his plays have been produced in New York City. His first novel Mira Corpora is forthcoming from Two Dollar Radio in Fall 2013. Jeff is participating in the “How To Be A Successful Freelancer: What Editors Expect” panel discussion.
Rick Thurmond Richard Thurmond started his career as a sportswriter before going to work at Charlotte magazine in 1995. He is editor and associate publisher of Charlotte magazine and its sister titles. The suite of magazines has won more than sixty awards for editorial excellence over the past six years. Richard was born and raised in Tallahassee and majored in English at Davidson College. Rick is participating in the “How To Be A Successful Freelancer: What Editors Expect” panel discussion.
Michael Weinstein is features editor of the Charlotte Observer, supervising lifestyles and arts and entertainment coverage. He has been arts editor since 2008 and directed coverage of Levine Center for the Arts construction and openings and arts groups’ contraction during The Great Recession. He is faculty advisor to the Queens University of Charlotte Chronicle student newspaper and has conducted numerous writing and editing seminars around the Southeast. His best writing advice: Wash your hands, use active verbs, tell stories. Michael leads the session “Writing Arts Features.”
Anne Lambert is a Charlotte actor, director and producer. Previously, with Chickspeare and BareBones Theatre Group, and currently, under the banner of Charlotte’s Off-Broadway, she has produced more than 20 plays, theatrical events and fringe theatre festivals. Anne is also an experienced fundraising professional, grant writer and consultant through her company The Development Director’s Office. Anne is a volunteer adjudicator for the annual MTA theatre awards process, an advocate for increased opportunities for female directors, actors, writers and arts and culture leaders, and a champion of greater diversity within the Charlotte theater community. Anne is participating in the “Trends In The Arts” panel discussion.
Crista Cammaroto is the Director of Galleries for the College of Arts + Architecture at UNC Charlotte. In her recent past she served as artistic director and curator of The Light Factory Contemporary Museum of Photography & Film. Her experience in academia has spanned 14 years, most recently at Queens University. Crista is also a prolific interdisciplinary artist with an active role in a vivacious collaborative exhibition group called CORE Visual Art, an organization comprised of former affiliate residents of McColl Center for Visual Art. Crista is participating in the “Trends In The Arts” panel discussion.
Ken Lambla, AIA, is Dean of the College of Arts + Architecture, UNC Charlotte, where he has been on the faculty since 1983. His career in both education and practice is focused on architecture and the arts as forms of community development and advocates social responsibility, craft, and innovation. Lambla has taught in Illinois, California, the United Kingdom (London), Italy, The Netherlands, France, Canada, and North Carolina. His teaching has focused on architectural design, design process/creative leadership, and social histories connecting art, design, and visual and performing arts as critical to cultural representation. Ken is participating in the “Trends In The Arts” panel discussion.
Jacomo Rafael Bairos is a regular guest conductor with the Charlotte Symphony, where he leads a wide variety of concerts including the orchestra’s innovative KnightSounds series and the Lollipops concert series for children. He has worked with orchestras across the United States and in Portugal, Iceland, Singapore and Malaysia. Jacomo is participating in the “Trends in the Arts” panel discussion. For more information see jacomo-bairos.com.
April Berry is Director of Education and Outreach at the North Carolina Dance Theatre. A graduate of the Professional Children’s School in New York City, she is a former principal dancer with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and worked directly with the company’s founding artistic director, Mr. Ailey, as well as with numerous internationally-recognized choreographers and dancers from around the world. Before coming to Charlotte, Ms. Berry served as the director of education and community programs at Ballet Met Columbus, a professional ballet organization in Columbus, Ohio. There she was also founding director and choreographer for YouthMet!, the student performance ensemble at the BalletMet Dance Academy, founding director of the Community Outreach Jazz Scholarship Dance Program and a dance instructor in the Dance Academy. Ms. Berry’s professional training began at the National Academy of Ballet and Theatre Arts in New York City and she was a scholarship student and dancer at the Dance Theatre of Harlem, on scholarship at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Center, and studied modern dance forms at the Escuelas Nacionales de Arte (Cuba’s National Art School) in Havana, Cuba. April is participating in the “Trends In The Arts” panel discussion.