The Link Between Happiness and Creativity

Margaret Renkl

Moderator: Silas House

Our ancestors didn’t think of creativity as a side gig. A quilt was meant to keep a family warm. It was meant to give a new practical use to the unworn bits of worn-out clothes. But our family quilts were never simply warm and never simply practical. They were beautiful, and making them brought their makers happiness. Renkl, an author and contributing opinion writer for the New York Times, believes that expressing our own creativity—whether through painting or gardening or singing or dancing or writing or, yes, needlework—is one of the ways we bring meaning to our lives.

Photo credit: © Heidi Ross

Prof. Edward Ayers

Southern Journey: The Migrations of the American South, 1790-2020

University of Richmond historian and former president, Dr. Ayers, will discuss how the South has been a place of constant movement, from the arrival of the first white settlers and the influx of scores of people of color through massive slave trading, to the Great Migrations of the early-to-mid 20th century and recent immigration. Appalachia has played an important, and unusual, role in that drama, and Ayers will explore the history of migratory movement across the generations up to the present.

Dr. Frances Jensen

The Unique Strengths and Vulnerabilities of the Teenage and Young Adult Brain

Dr. Jensen, M.D., University of Pennsylvania Professor and author of The Teenage Brain uses recent research findings to highlight the period of adolescence and young adulthood as a unique brain stage. As a neurologist, neuroscientist and recent parent of teenagers, Dr. Jensen will discuss how neuroscience can explain many of the challenges teens and young adults face, as well as opportunities present during this developmental window.