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Finding Home

@ VOL 13 ON JUN 28, 2018

Tess Carragher is a Midwestern native, with family roots in the Indiana cornfields. Youth-led her to a spur the moment cross-country move to the coast of Maine, where she met non-profit work and fell instantly in love. The impact was direct and tangible, and even with other pieces of her life collapsing, the need kept her going, until her family couldn’t anymore. Her Michigan roots were calling, and in November of 2015, Tess, her husband Ryan, and then 2-year old Clementine packed up for St. Joseph, MI. Tess found a part-time job with St. Joseph Today, and found much, much more than she had bargained for. Shifting from a role with direct impact on underserved populations to working with small businesses, her new responsibilities and life in Michigan hit her harder than she thought. It’s both a return and an introduction to her roots, and a realization of the importance of community and the choice to call Southwest Michigan home.


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It Comes Out Series

@ VOL 13 ON JUN 28, 2018

Gabe Thompson is a self taught artist. He's from South Bend, but currently calls Benton Harbor home. He is a tattoo artist working at The Body Gallery in Benton Harbor.

This PK I will tell the story of me going from a life of crime; to a good productive life. How I used my faith, and art to maintain my focus on my primary mission.


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Dave the Rocket Guy and the Notre Dame Rocket Team

@ VOL 13 ON JUN 28, 2018

David Brunsting is a husband of 25 years and father to two.  His daughter is in her 3rd year at Michigan Tech and His son is a senior at Saint Joseph High School. David works for MDOT as a construction inspector which means he tells contractors when they are doing their job wrong.  

This presentation will be all about model rocketry, the people I've met, the projects I've worked on and most importantly about the Notre Dame Rocket Team.


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Random Slides

@ VOL 13 ON JUN 28, 2018

Joel Smiedendorf is a St. Joe native who enjoys Photoshopping his face onto movie characters when asked to submit a headshot for an art show bio.  Joel has over 30 years of experience in substituting desserts for vegetables, and he plans to continue bucking the health food system. He has previously lived in LA where there are many fine desserts, but unfortunately a health food craze as well. He hopes you enjoy the presentation and might be so moved to buy him a hot fudge sundae.

Meagan Francis is a writer, podcast host, and one half of the "Jonny and Meagan Mornings" show on 98.3 The Coast.

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Skate or Die: Skateboarding And The Meaning Of Life

@ VOL 13 ON JUN 28, 2018

Jesse Tennison is the owner of Tennison House of Carpentry.  He is an artisan who specializes in cabinetry and custom carpentry.

Jesse believes that his work expresses his values and reflects his care about relationships.

Before getting covered in sawdust Jesse enjoys journaling and reading, but afterward, it's all about skateboarding.

Jesse began carpentering 12 years ago when he left Arizona, leaving behind his welding career. In 2011 he completed a degree in Architecture from Andrews University.

Skateboarding is a hobby that can serve as a vehicle for emotional development, social interaction, physical preservation, and spiritual interpretation. This is a story following the existential journey of a lifelong obsession.


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Running On Empty

@ VOL 13 ON JUN 28, 2018

The gas station of today is notably different than the filling station of 100 years ago. Through the 20th century, the American gas station has evolved to meet the needs of the consumer and the changing marketplace. In this century there has been a steady decline in the number of gas stations. 80,000 gas stations have shut down.

What does the future hold? Cars and personal transportation are undergoing dramatic change. What will the fueling station look like in 25 years? Or will gas stations go the way of the soda fountain?

In her talk, Susan Johnston will highlight the history of the gas station from its humble origins in 1920 and rapidly move forward to predictions of the fueling station of the future.


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An Accordion Mystery

@ VOL 13 ON JUN 28, 2018

Ali Hansen is formally retired and enjoys her time writing, printmaking with the Southwest Michigan Printmakers, and living happily with her spouse, Marilee Panna, golden retriever, Wyeth Blue, and Keillor, the tiger cat. You can catch her a couple lunches a week at Zoup! in downtown St. Joe where she claims to get paid to exercise and offer friendly “hellos”. This November, all the books for “An Accordion Mystery” will be on display, along withother recent prints, at the Kalamazoo Book Arts Center in the Park Trades Building in Kalamazoo.


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Random Slides Improv

@ VOL 12 ON APR 19, 2018

Andy Sawyer is a set designer, inventor, maker, fine art photographer, innkeeper, outdoorsman, teacher, artist, tree-hugging dirt worshiper, and an improvisational comedian. He began his improv comedy career over 30 years ago, using humor as a tool for teaching environmental science at Stone Environmental School in Portland, Maine. After moving back to the Twin Cities to woo and eventually marry the one true love of his life, Nita Nicholie, the two collaborated to help establish the “Calling all Colors” program. Andy again applied improv comedy to this program, using it as a tool for children to begin dialogue on issues of race, stereotyping, and skin color. He next began working with Mike Nadolski at Bridges Theater in Benton Harbor as an ensemble member of the production of “No Waiting in the Loitering Room”, and a community literature-based show based on The Giver by Lois Lowry. Smarty Pants improv was his next stop, where along with his wife Nita, Joey and Jason Greene and Mike Nadolski he performed a weekly family friendly improv show at The Livery in Benton Harbor for close to 2 years. He is a founding member of TORP, and has performed in numerous local murder mysteries and corporate video productions. In an emergency, he can honestly say, “I am not a doctor, but I played one on TV.” He and his wife have raised 23 children over the past 24 years and they have found that the fundamental principle of improv, “Yes, And”, can also be a way of life.

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Spitting with the Stars

@ VOL 12 ON APR 19, 2018

In this talk, Michael Moyer, the Director of Wine and Viticulture at Lake Michigan College, will give a humorous but realistic portrayal of the world of wine ratings and competitions.  While these competitions may be comical behind the scenes, the implications of wine ratings have serious implications for the wine industry.

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Environmentality: The Complex Relationship Between Human Beings, Their Natural Environment, and Art

@ VOL 12 ON APR 19, 2018

Tyler DeJong is a bilingual copywriter and manger at Wanderlust Outfitters in St. Joseph, MI. As a recovering journalist and consummate adventurer, Tyler writes poetry, fiction and narrative non-fiction based on his experiences. He guides beginner backpacking trips in Northern Michigan, and is fascinated by the effect environment has on creativity and human experience. When he's not writing, surfing, mountain biking, climbing, or backpacking, Tyler teaches English as a second language and yoga.

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@ VOL 12 ON APR 19, 2018

Loretta Holmes is a certified ADHD & Life Coach who specializes in helping clients affected by ADHD or Anxiety overcome their self doubt and fears, so that they can once again live purposeful, joy-filled lives. Having overcome life-altering experiences of her own, being certified as a Life Coach have given her the tools to help others do the same. Today Loretta offers coaching services, group programs and workshops at Bella ADHD & Life Coaching, a business she launched in April of 2017.

Loretta resides in Southwest Michigan and enjoys exploring the vast open space along the shoreline of Lake Michigan. She is a big fan of outdoor sports; and absolutely loves bike racing and stand up paddle boarding.

On the home front, Loretta is married to Mike and they have two amazing children. Loretta’s Wellness Director at Bella is her golden doodle, Riley who brings her nonstop love and warmth.


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The Power of Mentors

@ VOL 12 ON APR 19, 2018

Alex Kerr has spent the last 41 years doing live theater as an actor, director, technical director, and educator, as well as wilderness explorer. He plans to spend the next 41 years doing the same.