Solo Speakers

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Ed Bilous

Edward Bilous, composer, artistic director, and educator, is the Founding Director of the Center for Innovation in the Arts at the Juilliard School and Artistic Director for Virtua Creative.

Innovation in the Arts and Education

Bilous began his career in arts education in 1978 as one of the first teaching-artists at the newly created Lincoln Center Institute. Together, with colleagues in theater and dance, he helped to create the basic cannon of aesthetic education practices that continue to inspire students and teachers around the world.

Bilous joined the faculty of the Juilliard School in 1984 and developed many of the institution’s most innovative programs including the Arts and Education Program, the Center for Innovation in the Arts and Beyond the Machine– A Festival of Interdisciplinary and Multimedia Art. In 2012, he was awarded the William Schuman Scholars Chair by the Juilliard School in recognition of his life-long contributions to arts education.

Additionally, Bilous served on the National Endowment for the Arts panel for Learning In the Arts and was the Senior Education Advisor in the creation of The Academy – A Program of the Juilliard School, Carnegie Hall and the Weil Institute.

He is a leading advocate for the arts in education and has led discussions and workshops with business leaders, lawmakers, teachers and administrators around the nation, in Europe, and Asia. His recent TEDx talk was titled “Nurturing Creative Intelligence Through the Arts”.


rita blit

Rita Blitt is an award-winning painter, sculptor and filmmaker, whose words “Kindness is contagious. Catch it!” have inspired people all over the world.

Her works are included in many museums and private collections, including: The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, John F. Kennedy Library, National Museum of Singapore, Spencer Museum of Art, Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Nevada Museum of Art, Spertus Institute, Skirball Curltural Center, Albrecht-Kemper Museum of Art, Kennedy Museum of American Art and the Mulvane Art Museum. Her monumental sculpture can be found in Australia, Israel, Japan, Singapore and the United States.

The Rita Blitt Gallery and Sculpture Garden, Mulvane Museum, Washburn University, Topeka, Kansas is the home of the Rita Blitt Legacy Collection.

Blitt’s work celebrates love of life, nature, music and dance. In 1977, she wrote “I feel like I’m dancing on paper”.


david parsons

When David Parsons and Tony Award winning lighting designer Howell Binkley founded Parsons Dance in 1985, they knew exactly what they wanted to do:  train dancers to develop the athletic prowess and technical skill that would engage audiences with the joy of it all. “What’s wrong with having fun?” asked Parsons, a rhetorical question that he has repeated for nearly 35 years.

Throughout his career, Parsons has created more than 75 works for Parsons Dance.  He has received commissions from American Ballet Theatre, New York City Ballet, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, the American Dance Festival, Jacob’s Pillow, the Spoleto Festival, and Het Muziektheater in Amsterdam, among many others. In 2018, he received the Capezio Award, one of the most prestigious awards in dance.

After leaving the Taylor company, Parsons was a guest artist with New York City Ballet for four years before his artistic prowess led him to undertake such diverse work as choreographing Aida at Arena di Verona and producing and co-choreographing María de Buenos Aires at the Skirball Center, as well as creating the choreography for Fool’s Fire, a 1992 film directed by Julie Taymor.  Perhaps one of his most thrilling assignments was choreographing and directing the dance elements for Times Square 2000, the 24-hour festivities in Times Square celebrating the turn of the Millennium. Since then, Parsons has participated in many projects, such as choreographing A Knight’s Tale, a new musical theater work directed by John Caird, who previously directed the Broadway and West End productions of Les Misérables and  theLondon’s National Theatre’s production of Candide.  Staged at Tokyo’s iconic Imperial Theatre in summer 2018, the work featured Japanese pop stars in leading roles.  

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david kong

David Sun Kong, Ph.D. is a Synthetic Biologist, community organizer, musician, and photographer based in Lexington, MA.  He is the Director of the MIT Media Lab's new Community Biotechnology Initiative. Our mission: empowering communities through biotechnology.

David conducted his graduate studies at MIT’s Media Lab, receiving a Master's degree for developing technology for printing nanostructures with energetic beams and a Ph.D. for demonstrating the first gene synthesis in a microfluidic (“lab-on-a-chip”) system. He was recognized as an emerging leader in synthetic biology as a "LEAP" fellow, served as a guest faculty member at the Marine Biology Lab in Woods Hole, MA, and is co-founder and managing faculty of "How To Grow (Almost) Anything," an international course on synthetic biology. He founded and chaired new Microfluidic and Hardware Tracks for the International Genetically Engineered Machines Competition (iGEM) and is the official iGEM DJ. He was Technical Staff in the Bioengineering Systems & Technologies group at MIT’s Lincoln Laboratory and a founding member of the synthetic biology team.



tech talk: google cloud


Workshop: Velodyne Lidar


Workshop: Sydney skybetter

Sydney is a choreographer whose work has been performed around the country from The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts to Jacob’s Pillow.



ICTUS Audio specializes in music and sound for immersive environments. Learn about the proper usage and capture of ambisonics and binaural audio, followed by case studies and critic session.