Welcome to BRAIN sPARK!


This Park School tradition, formerly known as Brain Thrust, returned for the first time since the Centennial. It is a uniquely Park event that gathers its strength from the support of the entire community. From 4-8 p.m. on March 5, 2017, 80 presenters in 50 sessions = a program of stimulating discussions, fascinating conversation, and engaging entertainment — plus a delicious supper.

This was an electrifying evening of presentations, conversations, and hands-on experiences designed to engage you in mind, body, and spirit. All presenters were members of the Park Community — alumni, faculty, staff, parents, students, and grandparents.


Sunday, March 5, 2017
4 – 8 p.m
At the Park School

1-A #Baltimore Rising

Andrew Foster Connors, Parent: Pastor, Brown Memorial Park Avenue Presbyterian Church; Co-Chair, BUILD / Bill Henry, Parent: Baltimore City Councilman / David Jaros, Parent: Associate Professor, University of Baltimore School of Law 

The intersection of race, criminal justice policy, and economic disenfranchisement created Freddie Gray’s Baltimore. Now, how can we dismantle it together? Join three Baltimore leaders — Reverend Andrew Foster Connors, Attorney David Jaros, and Councilman Bill Henry — for a discussion on the legal, political, and economic challenges that have exacerbated Baltimore’s divisions, and the possible pathways for overcoming them.

1-B Small Tales, Proustian Bites, and Fantasy Flights

Harriet Dopkin, Parent: Co-Owner, The Classic Catering People 

What makes food taste good? Stories, philosophical riffs, and, of course, culinary nibbles. Imagination, craft, and inspiration lie at the center of The Classic Catering People’s vision. Their spirit is rooted in a commitment to the environment and to the Baltimore Community. Presenter Harriet Dopkin has been cooking since she was eight years old and will lead you on this culinary adventure. Studio fee: $10. 



1-C All News is Good News: How a Negative Election Cycle and One Snarky Facebook Post Created a Social Media Cinderella Moment

Eric Thomas, Alumnus (1999): Columnist, ELLE.com; Award-Winning Playwright; Storyteller; TEDx Presenter, Coach

Eric Thomas writes a daily humor column for ELLE.com in which he “reads” the news, providing sassy commentary to daily events. In this humorous talk, Eric will tell the story of how one Facebook post led to thousands of social media followers, and a worldwide audience for intersectional comedy.



1-D American Justice for Non-Citizens: What’s the Verdict?

Emily Datnoff, J.D., Alumna (1999): Maryland Office of the Public Defender / Fabian Lima, J.D., Alumnus (1995): American Immigration Lawyers Association

These front-line experts in immigration and criminal defense will provide a realistic and vivid picture of the criminal justice system for non-citizens today in the U.S. Fabian and Emily will also share unjust and often chilling stories of offenses that end in severe sentences, or even deportation, largely due to the 1996 punitive changes in immigration law. To bring the problems home, literally, they will provide an overview of the immigrant populations in Baltimore: where they live, what they endure, and what needs to be done to reform the system. 

1-E Sony Pictures: Talk About Hollywood Suspense…!

Tom Rothman, Alumnus (1972): Chairman, Motion Picture Group, Sony Pictures Entertainment

In the crazy world of Hollywood, the fate of a film can change in a minute, as can the fate of stars and studio heads. So, for this session, Tom Rothman, the man behind the films, would like to be at Park to give you an inside view of how it all works, but he might not be here because he’s in the midst of making some major movies. Suspense guaranteed!



1-F Election 2016 and the First 100 Days of the Trump Presidency

The Honorable Ben Cardin, Parent of Alumni, Former Trustee: United States Senator / Shelly Hettleman, Parent of Alumni: Maryland State Delegate, District 11; Former Campaign Director, Ben Cardin for Senate 

Election 2016 was an extraordinary time in our nation’s history. Two political veterans, who thought they’d seen it all, share why this time it was different. They will talk with us about the transition, how we got here, and what’s next for the country. 


1-G In the Cross Hairs: Aiming for Gun Safety

John Feinblatt, Alumnus (1969): President, Everytown for Gun Safety; Former Mayoral Advisor to Michael Bloomberg 

This session will recap the success of gun safety initiatives in 2016, and examine where the movement goes from here.



1-H Bulls, Bears, and Bruins: A Park School Guide to Wall Street and High Finance

Joseph Kronsberg, Alumnus (2001): Analyst, Cyrus Capital Partners / Jeffrey Mazur, Alumnus (1997): Portfolio Manager, Citadel Investment Group / Liz Webber Wurster, Alumna (2004): Banker, J.P. Morgan Private Bank (Jeffrey Mazur not pictured)

Our investment panel will help demystify today’s financial services industry. The presenters will talk about how they got to where they are today, what they brought with them, what they are learning in their work, and what everyone should know before investing a dollar. 


1-I Yes Way Rosé

Erica Blumenthal, Alumna (1999): Co-Founder, Yes Way Rosé; Contributing Columnist, The New York Times / Nikki Huganir, Alumna (2000): Co-Founder, Yes Way Rosé; Freelance Designer, Art Director 

Learn how two Park alumnae developed their passion for rosé wine into a full-fledged wine and lifestyle brand. The presentation will be followed by a tasting featuring their own Summer Water rosé. Age 21+ to participate. Studio fee: $10.



1-J The Interface Between Art and Engineering

Michael Guarraia, Parent, Faculty: Upper School Engineering / Rhys Joseph, Faculty: Upper School Visual Arts  

A weld can be attractive, but mechanically inferior. Conversely, it can be robust, yet unsightly. A perfect weld is neat, consistent, and structurally sound. In this session, participants will explore the interdependence between art and engineering by “making” a piece of functional art. Studio fee: $10.


1-K The Sky-Rocketing Cost of Higher Ed: Can We Make College Tuition Free?

Ben Miller, Alumnus (2003): Senior Director, Postsecondary Education, Center for American Progress  

A college education is likely the second largest purchase families make today — only a home costs more — and for good reason: a postsecondary degree provides the best and most stable path to economic success and a fulfilling career. It can provide a life-changing pathway from disadvantage to opportunity. But, with student loans and tuition prices at an all-time high, how can we make higher education affordable? This session will discuss why college is so expensive, what the government and others are trying to do about it, and the realistic likelihood of tuition free college.  

1-L Identify and Communicate Through Rap

Jamaal Collier, Parent: Artist, Poet, Performer; Mic-ology Spoken Word Slam Champion

 The Young Audiences Artist of the Year, Jamaal “Mr. Root” Collier, will explore character traits and community awareness through self-expression and rhyming couplets, a.k.a. rapping. He is a dedicated and versatile Hip-Hop artist with over a decade of experience facilitating workshops and live performances. By incorporating rapping, vocal percussion, and a dynamic stage presence, he articulates his passionate appreciation for his artistry every time he teaches and performs. 


1-M Stories From Home: How Our Sense of Home Determines Our Lives

Ileana Imhoff, Parent of Alumni, Faculty: Upper School Spanish; Malick Mbengue, Faculty: Upper School French 

Where is home? What is home? How does one make a home? Do we all need to
have a home? Does the question, “Where are you from?” make you feel like an insider or outsider? Do we feel “at home” at work? Furthering the holistic understanding of diversity and identity, “Stories From Home” is a faculty initiative that examines “home”: personal backgrounds, life experiences, socio-economic statuses, and cultural values. The project has tackled immigration and what it means to adapt to a new life, religion and the challenges of practicing in a non-secular school community, family values and
relationships, childhood and growing up, and race. In this session, you will explore home – literally and figuratively. 

1-N One Very Special Student Directed Play

Peter King, Parent of Alumni, Faculty: Upper School Theater, Drama Chair / Park Upper School Students 

At Park, student directors pick plays they are passionate about — plays with social issues, plays with outrageous comedy, plays that explore deep personal relationships, plays poised on the cutting edge, plays that excite, plays that inform, plays that change us. We know that whatever play we choose for you to see, SOMETHING will happen to you, and we’ll have a great “talkback” with the Park actors and student directors after the show.

1-O Secrets of the Pulitzer Prize

Robert Blau, Parent: Member of the Pulitzer Prize Board Since 2011; Executive Editor, Projects and Investigations, Bloomberg News; Former Managing Editor, The Baltimore Sun 

A look at the most prestigious awards given for journalism, arts and letters, and the enduring quality of the work honored each year.



1-P Our Place in Space

Mark Clampin, Ph.D., Parent: Deputy Director, Sciences and Exploration Directorate, Code 600 at NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center / John Debes, Ph.D., Parent: STIS Team Lead, Space Telescope Science Institute / Antonella Nota, Ph.D., Parent: ESA HST Project Scientist & Mission Manager; STScI Associate Director, ESA / Harold (Hal) Weaver, Ph.D., Parent of Alumni: Project Scientist, NASA’s New Horizon Mission, The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory 

The objective of this session is to ponder the theme of “our place in space.” Where does humanity fit in the grand scheme of our Universe? In a panel format, four astronomers will share their perspectives on the adventures of men and women in outer space. Starting from our own solar system, how have we expanded our travel horizons to break out from the boundaries of our planet’s atmosphere and explore our space neighborhood? We will ask key questions that excite professional astronomers and public alike, including: Are we alone in the Universe? Is there life elsewhere outside our own planet Earth? We will discuss how technology is helping to provide answers, and how beautiful space telescope images keep us dreaming and inspired to explore the Universe.

1-Q Don’t Judge a Book by Its Movie

Larry Doyle, Parent: Unemployed

The Speaker will describe how he turned an unsellable screenplay called “I Love You, Beth Zawicky” into an award-winning novel called I Love You, Beth Cooper, that he then adapted into a somewhat better screenplay for a movie that got a 14 percent Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, more or less ending his Hollywood career. The Speaker also will likely digress into other possibly interesting showbiz stories, and no doubt will say something unkind about Danny DeVito. And people will probably ask about when he wrote for The Simpsons, a long time ago. He will give out unsigned copies of the movie tie-in edition of the novel, which he can’t bear to look at.

2-A So You Think You Can Start a School? Then Start with “The Best School You Can Imagine”

Bobbi Macdonald, Parent of Alumna: Executive Director, City Neighbors Foundation / Greg White, Alumnus (1981): Founder, LEARN Charter School Network

What does it take to start a school? You begin with your vision of how you see kids, and every decision will be connected to that vision. We will share the stories of City Neighbors Charter School in Baltimore, operating three progressive public charter schools serving 850 students, and Learn Charter School Network in Chicago, a thriving Network of 10 charter schools serving 4,200 students. With the guidance of these education leaders, session participants will have a chance to design their ideal school.

2-B Mark Rothko From the Inside Out

Christopher Rothko, Alumnus (1981): Writer, Psychologist, Art Historian

Christopher Rothko, son of the artist Mark Rothko, offers a fresh perspective on his father’s artwork. Author of a recent book on Rothko’s art, Christopher examines how the paintings function, how they affect us, and how they may help us learn more about ourselves. Combining critique with personal anecdotes, Christopher will present a moving picture about the artist’s mission and his role as the artist’s son. As the person closest to the prolific painter’s body of work, he will reflect on his father’s colorful legacy and our ongoing journey to understand it.

2-C Beyond “The Lottery”: Writing the (Rather Haunted) Life of Shirley Jackson

Ruth Franklin, Alumna (1991): Book Critic, Biographer

A genius of literary suspense and psychological horror, Shirley Jackson (1916-1965), author of such classics as “The Lottery,” plumbed the cultural anxiety of postwar America more deeply than anyone. Yet she has been curiously absent from the mainstream American literary canon. Franklin’s new biography, Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life, reclaims Jackson as a major figure in an American Gothic tradition that extends back to Hawthorne and Poe, with one important difference: her focus on women’s lives.

2-D How Can Cities Work for Women, Too?!

Susan M. Blaustein, D.M.A., Alumna (1970): Executive Director, WomenStrong International

Ever wonder why women might feel less safe at night, out in the city? Or how poor women using public transport navigate their work schedules while getting their children to school, an elderly parent to the clinic or doing food-shopping, when the bus routes and schedule are inconvenient and unworkable for strollers and walkers? Or whether women and girls in urban settings worldwide might have practical solutions they’re willing to help implement? Come hear what women and girls are saying and doing, in India, Kenya, Ghana, Haiti, and Washington, DC, to help make their cities safer, more productive and more humane.

2-E Out of the Blocks: A Documentary Leap of Faith

Aaron Henkin, Parent: WYPR Producer

The premise of the documentary series, Out of the Blocks, is simple: One city block. One hour of radio. Everybody’s story. Aaron will share stories from his encounters on city blocks around Baltimore, and he’ll talk about how and why Out of the Blocks came to be.

2-F Rising Waters: How Can Baltimore and Other Coastal Communities Adapt to the Coming Floods?

Sam Brody, Ph.D., Alumnus (1988): Professor of Marine Sciences and Urban Planning, George P. Mitchell ’40 Chair in Sustainable Coasts; Director, Center for Texas Beaches and Shores; Director, Institute for Sustainable Coastal Communities at Galveston Texas A&M University 

This session will present the linkages between climate change, flooding, and the places we live and work. We will focus on the underlying reasons behind our increasing vulnerability to rising waters in the U. S., and the actions that communities, like Baltimore, can take to prevent catastrophic losses in the future. 


2-G A Life in Music

Julian Fleisher, Alumnus (1984): Singer; Songwriter; Bandleader; Producer; Actor / Leon Fleisher, Parent of Alumnus: Pianist, Conductor

Park and Yale graduate Julian Fleisher is a singer, songwriter, producer, and radio host living in New York City. His father, Leon Fleisher, legendary pianist, conductor, and pedagogue, still resides in Baltimore. Father and son take to the stage to explore the tiny sliver of the oedipal Venn diagram where their musical lives overlap. Please join them for some serious musical and familial fun.


2-H How Humor and Creativity Will Ruin Your Life — err — Make You Lots and Lots of Money!

Ben Rosen
, Alumnus (2004): Senior Creative Strategist at Twitter; Writer, Baltimore Ravens; Former Senior Creative, BuzzFeed
You will walk away from this session feeling 300 percent more creative, and 500 percent more likely to find happiness.


Barry C. Curtis, Parent of Alumna: President/Owner BEST Fence, LLC; Cooke Bros Funeral Chapel, Inc.; Partner, Vicour Holdings / David Demsky, Parent: CIO and VP of Product Development BridgeEdU, Inc. / Dorie Fain, Parent: Founder and CEO, {& Wealth} / Greg Cangialosi, Parent: Chairman and Co-Founder, Betamore; Chairman, Baltimore Angels / Adrienne Peres, M.B.A., Parent: Director of Development, Maryland Film Festival / Michael Tucker, Alumnus (2010): Operations Director, Baltimore Angels / Special sPARK TANK Consultant: Ryan Frankel, M.B.A., Alumnus (2002): CEO, VerbalizeIt (Sold 2016); Shark Tank Alumnus, received offers from two Sharks (Mark Cuban and Kevin O’Leary).

sPARK TANK is Park’s version of the popular television show Shark Tank. During this fast-paced, high-energy session, three yet-to-be determined, entrepreneurs will present their business concepts to five “Park Shark” judges, who have all built businesses of their own. What’s the cost of acquiring a customer? What’s the “go to market” strategy? Are there any competitors? The contestants will need to think on their feet and know their numbers. The winner of the sPARK TANK competition will receive a valuable prize: consulting time and priceless business guidance, donated by the judges. All contestants, judges, and consultants are members of the Park community. 

2-J Drone Strikes in the War on Terror: Separating Fact from Fiction

Jesse Colvin, Alumnus (2002): Former Army Ranger; Associate, Toffler Associates

The Bush and Obama administrations both embraced drones as a means of lethal strikes against terrorist leaders. For the American public, the drone program remains a contentious, yet often poorly understood issue. In this session, you will learn from a former Army Ranger how terrorists are identified and tracked, as well as the decision-making process in a commander’s determination to authorize a strike. Jesse’s firsthand view will help lead a conversation whose purpose is to inform. Arrive with an open mind and form your own opinions at the discussion’s end. 

2-K The Dream Deferred: A Short History of Segregation in Baltimore City

Ryan Downer, Alumnus (2000): Attorney, Relman, Dane & Colfax PLLC 

This session will explore the roots and effects of housing segregation in Baltimore from the post-Civil War period through today. The frame will be the decades-long Thompson v. HUD litigation, and will conclude with an assessment of the 2015 protests.          

2-L Remember Me: A Memoir Writing Workshop

Angela Balcita, Parent, Faculty: Upper School English; Author, Moonface: A True Romance 

You know you have memories to share, but you don’t know how to shape them into stories that are compelling and entertaining for others. Author Angela Balcita leads a workshop in which participants will discuss the craft of nonfiction, consider the blurry line between memory and imagination, and begin to mold those memories into stories for the page. Join her for writing exercises designed to generate story ideas, and to relive those wonderful (and sometimes not-so-wonderful) life experiences that make us into the people we are today.

2-M Flight to Freedom: Refugees and What the U.S. is Doing, and Not Doing, to Resettle Them

Michael R. Defensor, Parent: Management and Program Analyst, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ Refugee, Asylum and International Operations Directorate, Department of Homeland Security  

Imagine being forced to flee your country in order to escape conflict, persecution, or genocide. If you’re lucky, you have time to pack a bag. If not, you simply drop everything and run. You may be alone, or with your family. You may have relatives here, or no one at all. This session will discuss what a refugee is, what they endure, and the often daunting process some go through to resettle in the U.S. 

2-N Foster Care in Baltimore City: The Problem or the Solution?

Molly Tierney, M.Ed., Parent: Director, Baltimore City Department of Social Services

Based on her 2014 TEDx Talk, “Rethinking Foster Care,” Molly poses some framing questions about social services: Is it really designed to help people who are struggling? If so, why isn’t it working? Are there other choices we could make that would improve the lives of our most vulnerable citizens? Join in this thoughtful discussion about the consequences of our “helping” industry, and alternative approaches that could improve the overall well-being of our most troubled communities.

2-O Women Pilots: At the Controls…Finally!

Tami C. McBride-U’Ren, Parent: Pilot/First Officer, American Airlines

Commercial aviation began in 1940, but it wasn’t until 1976 that a woman earned her captain’s wings. Even today, female pilots are still in the distinct minority. In this session, learn about becoming a woman aviator from one of the few professionals. Tami will talk about the rigorous process of earning her license, the toll on work-life balance, managing a demanding overnight career, and the challenges of juggling a multitude of tasks while overseeing personnel and crews. She’ll share how things have changed for all pilots since 9/11-just some of the secrets from behind the flight deck door!

 2-P How Magicians Think

Jeffrey Eline, Parent: Magician/Entrepreneur; Performer (35+ years); Member of the Society of American Magicians and the Magic Circle in London / Jacob Greenwald, Park Student (2019): Magician/Assistant (4+ years); Attendee, 1st Place Prize Winner in Close-Up Magic Competition, Tannen’s Magic Camp

Since the beginning of time, magicians have been exploiting the hard coded limits of human perception. Through performance and demonstration, Jeff and Jacob explore why magic works.

2-Q The State of the News

Josh Tyrangiel, Alumnus (1990): Executive Vice President, Vice Media/HBO; Former Editor, Bloomberg Businessweek

A conversation about why the news is the way it is.

3-A The Wonder of the Stradivarius: A Park Family’s Love Story

Victoria Chiang, Parent: Violist, Artist/Faculty, Peabody Institute at Johns Hopkins University; Artist/Faculty, Aspen Music Festival and School; Member, Aspen String Trio / Cameron Baird, Parent / Bridget Baird, Aunt of Park Students

Have you ever seen or heard a Strad? Victoria Chiang will perform a mini-recital and entertain discussion about the magic of a Stradivarius, including the provenance of this viola, and the romantic tale of how it came to be connected to The Park School. The Tuscan-Medici Stradivarius viola (1690) is on loan from the Library of Congress by the Tuscan Corporation.

3-B From Ebola to Zika: Outbreaks of Emerging and Novel Viruses and the Challenges to Providing Care

Lewis Rubinson, M.D., Ph.D., Parent: Assistant Chief Medical Officer for Critical Care, University of Maryland Medical Center; Associate Professor of Medicine, University of Maryland School of Medicine 

In the battle against Ebola, a critical care physician found himself a patient of the very disease he was working to eradicate. Hear a firsthand account of Dr. Rubinson’s experience while working in Sierra Leone, and later as he was quarantined in the U.S. upon his return. He will discuss the life cycle of outbreaks as well as the intricacies of caring for patients with severe and contagious diseases that can make healthcare workers and others ill. Learn about the impact that these infections have on the economy, delivery of healthcare, and the overarching political processes. 

3-C Moneyball: Turning Your Passion for Sports into a Career

Rachel Kohn, Alumna (2012): Video Producer, Sports Illustrated/SI Wire; Video Producer/Editor, NFL.com / Kyle Ottenheimer, Alumnus (2009): Assistant Editor, PressBox; Executive Producer/Co-Host, Glenn Clark Radio / Emily Ries, Alumna (2001): Director of Marketing & Client Relations, Clarity Football / Daniel Stern, Alumnus (2012): Coaching Analytics Assistant, Baltimore Ravens; Assistant to Varsity Football Team, Yale University 

From university sports programs to the NFL, Pressbox, Sports Illustrated, and The Ravens, these young Bruin alumni are fully entrenched in the world of sports. In this session, alumni will share their experiences working within professional teams, sports media, and athlete representation, answering the question: How do you make a career out of a love of sports? They are excited to detail their journeys from playing in, managing for, and reporting on all levels of athletics, from Maryland interscholastic athletics to the nation’s highest levels of competition.

3-D Where the Truth Lies: The Blending of Documentary and Fiction Filmmaking

Ramona Diaz, Parent of Alumna: Producer, Writer, Director; Filmmaker, Spirits Rising, Imelda, Don’t Stop Believin’: Every Man’s Journey / Matt Porterfield, Alumnus (1995): Writer, Director, Producer; Filmmaker, I Used to Be Darker, Putty Hill, Hamilton / Jed Dietz, Parent of Alumni: Director/CEO, Maryland Film Festival

In the cinematic world, there is an increasing lack of distinction between documentary and fiction films. How “real” is a documentary? As real as reality television or the nightly news? We all accept that films “based on a true story” will take certain liberties, but where does the crossover occur? Join in this intriguing conversation between filmmakers Ramona Diaz and Matt Porterfield, moderated by Jed Dietz. They will talk about the evolving nature of films that blur the lines between doc and reality, and also the larger issues and options facing filmmakers today. We’ll be treated to some teasers from Ramona’s and Matt’s new films.

3-E From Writers’ Room to Cutting Room: How a First Draft Becomes a Locked Cut

Adam Penn, Alumnus (1995): Writer/Co-Producer, USA’s Mr. Robot; Picture Editor, FX’s American Crime Story: The People V. OJ Simpson; American Horror Story (Seasons 1-5); HBO’s The Normal Heart

When people think of television production, the first thing that usually comes to mind is the excitement and chaos of the set. While the actual filming is obviously an integral part of the process, there are two other crucial phases that get less recognition: the writers’ room and post-production. In this session, Adam Penn talks about his unique experience as a writer and editor, and what it takes to usher a show from the blank page to the small screen.                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

3-G From Idea to Reality: The Evolution of a Start-Up

David Narrow, Alumnus (2008): CEO, Sonavex; MonoMano Cycling; Forbes “30 Under 30” in Healthcare 

This Q&A session is a chance for you to ask David what it’s really like to take an idea and turn it into a company. David has founded two start-ups in the medical space: one offers adaptive cycling equipment to stroke survivors, and the other develops ultrasound technologies for surgeons. Join in this exciting conversation with a young entrepreneur as he shares his story of designing products for the greater good while creating several successful businesses.

 3-H Tonight We Have to Sleep in the Van…

Anand Wilder, Alumnus (2000): Musician, Yeasayer

Day jobs and pipe dreams, or why I make widgets when widgets are free. Join this session for musings and reflections of life on the road with an experimental indie band from Brooklyn.

3-I 8Ball Meatball: Or Learn How Anything Can Be Made into a Meatball!

Paul Weitz, Alum (2005): Owner/Creator, 8Ball Meatball

Will it be Classic, Veggie, or the Chef’s Special? Experience the relaxed Fells Point vibe of this family-run restaurant. You’ll enjoy a how-to and a tasting of some of their delicious creations. After this culinary session, you’ll be thinking “outside the box” about meatballs. Studio fee: $10.

 3-J What Moves You?

Lola Manekin, Parent: Founder, The Movement Lab; “Naturologa”; Acupuncturist; Nia Black Belt Teacher; AntiGravity® Fitness Instructor Specialty 

What if we approached fitness not as a goal, but as a consequence of being alive in our bodies, or of having too much fun playing? In this session, we will talk about the importance of finding a variety of movements, and experience a small taste of Nia technique, which combines dance arts, martial arts, and healing arts. No experience necessary, comfortable clothes and bare feet a must.

3-K Reflections from Civil Rights Trip Alumni

Traci Wright, Faculty: Upper School Dean of Students / Park School Civil Rights Trip Alumni: Nile Fossett (2016), Daniel Friedman (2004), Rachel Hettleman (2013), Kyle Tildon (2015), Jordan Williams (2012)

Since 2004, students and faculty from Park, Baltimore City College High School, City Neighbors High School, and, now, Cristo Rey, fundraise, study, and prepare for a trip through the South visiting sites and meeting people who were — and are — important to the Civil Rights Movement. What they experience is used as a springboard for discussion about activism and ways we can tackle current civil rights issues in Baltimore, and beyond. In this session, these Park CRT Alumni will share their ideas, thoughts, and reflections from their trips, and how it has affected the course of their lives.

3-L How to Get Your Cartoon Published in The New Yorker

Charlie Hankin, Alumnus (2006): Cartoonist, The New Yorker

The New Yorker receives up to 1000 cartoon submissions per week, from which it selects just 16 for publication. What do the winners have that the rejects don’t? New Yorker cartoonist Charlie Hankin presents a slide talk that reveals a typical week in the life of a gag cartoonist, the key elements of visual joke telling, and the writing practices that go into selling cartoons to one of the most famously exclusive magazines in the world.          

 3-M Baltimore to Ecuador: How to Get Local Governments to Do What’s Good for Them

David Flores, J.D., Alumnus (2003): Policy Analyst, Climate Adaptation, Center for Progressive Reform; Former Baltimore Harbor Waterkeeper / Alex Harding, M.D., M.B.A., Alumnus (2004): Founder and Director, Water Ecuador; Resident, Massachusetts General Hospital 

Advancing environmental and public health causes is a must for communities globally. Yet, from urban Baltimore City to rural Ecuador, relationships with local governments are both the path and the obstacle to progress. From keeping sewage out of the streams in Baltimore City to making sure rural Ecuadoreans have clean drinking water, getting government to make and enforce environmental protections is an enormous challenge, especially when economic development, public health, and environmental conservation interests collide. Learn how these experienced activists anticipated political motives, took advantage of ones that worked in their favor, and built defenses against ones that could be destructive to the ultimate good.

3-N Learn to Draw in Less Than an Hour!

Christine Tillman, Parent, Faculty: Upper School Visual Arts; Artist

In this open studio session, you will learn the basics of figure drawing and how to observe the human form, translating what you see to paper by expressing pose, light, shadow, and emotion. You’ll also have a chance to see how other students interpreted the subject. Prior experience not necessary. Drawing supplies and nude model provided, just bring your artistic vision! Studio fee: $10.

3-O Thinking Big: Light City and Baltimore as the Social Change Capital of the World

Jamie McDonald, Parent: CEO, Generosity Inc.; Chair, Light City Baltimore

Big is a word that can describe Baltimore’s challenges and its opportunities. Join Jamie McDonald to talk about how big thinking can drive genuine change and reposition Baltimore in the eyes of the world. Light City is the nation’s only large-scale international Light and Innovation Festival. In 2016, its inaugural year, more than 400,000 people attended from Baltimore and around the world  

3-P Stoop Stories @ Park: Everyone Has a Story

Jessica Henkin, Parent: Co-Creator, Stoop Storytelling; Special Education Lead, Baltimore City Public School Early Learning Programs

The Stoop Storytelling Series is a Baltimore-based live show and podcast that features real people telling the extraordinary, true tales of their lives. Stoop Stories are not memorized, performed, or read. They’re shared. And now it comes to Park School, featuring members of our own community. Sit in on this intimate and surprising, wonderful and weird, and hilarious and heartbreaking session. You may even get a chance to tell your own Park story!

Photos: Brain Thrust