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Pandemic-Proof Artist Series

The College of Creative Arts, in collaboration with WVU Career Services and the Reed College of Media, presents the Pandemic-Proof Artist Series, a slate of webinars and workshops by four guest artists, performers and creative minds who have stayed creatively active during this pandemic. 

Our guests will share their experiences with students and the public, providing tips about how those in creative professions can set themselves up to be "pandemic-proof" and have resilient business practices during a shut-down of normal activities. 

Each guest will present a public webinar and host a Q&A session with current WVU students in related areas of study. Pre-registration is required for each event.  


Jad Abumrad with radio Jad Abumrad, 
Creator and Host of Radiolab
Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2020

Public Webinar:  7:30 - 9:00 p.m., EST 

Jad Abumrad will present "Gut Churn,” A multi-media presentation that probes the role of uncertainty, fear and other negative emotions in the creative process. 

Zoom Q&A Workshop for WVU students: 5:00 - 6:00 p.m. 

This workshop is open to music composition and media students through invitation. College of Creative Arts and Reed College of Media students and faculty may contact Mikylah Myers at for more information. Students are encouraged to attend the workshop prepared with questions for Mr. Abumrad informed by listening to and reading about his recent work. 

Jad Abumrad is the host and creator of Radiolab, a public radio program broadcast on 524 stations across the nation and downloaded more than 9 million times a month as a podcast. Most days, Radiolab is the 2nd most popular podcast, just behind This American Life. 

Jad Abumrad did most of his growing up in Tennessee, before studying creative writing and music composition at Oberlin College in Ohio. Following graduation, Abumrad wrote music for films, and repor ted and produced documentaries for a variety of local and national public radio programs. 

In 2002, Abumrad began tinkering with an idea for a new kind of radio program, an open-ended radio “laboratory.” Radiolab has since evolved into one of public radio’s most popular programs. Abumrad hosts the program and also serves as its lead producer. 

Adam Degraff, Rock Violin Neat Adam DeGraff, Rock Violinist  
Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020

Public Webinar:  7:30 - 9:00 p.m., EST 
"Keep Rocking!" A discussion about touring, technology, and the music business during COVID-19.

Zoom Q&A Workshop for WVU students: 3:00 - 4:00 p.m., EST
A discussion of touring, technology, and the music business.  

Adam DeGraff is an American violinist, composer, producer, educator, and farmer. He spent the first part of his career as a first-chair, professional orchestral musician. Since then, Adam has been experimenting with rock violin, live looping, alternative music education, and traditional permaculture farming practices.

Today, millions of YouTube and Facebook views, powered by millions of people lazing around on their computers, has catapulted Adam and his projects into the realm of Fortune-500 corporate entertainment, NFL halftime shows, concerts for U.S. Presidents, senators, and governors, and live shows at many of the coolest concert venues on the planet. Currently, Adam is touring his solo project, "Rock Violin Neat" worldwide. He also presents educational  workshops, owns and operates The Lee Street Listening Roomprovides premium corporate entertainment through his company Heavyweight Music, LLCteaches in person and via Skype, and lives and farms with his family in what is officially "America's Coolest Small Town," Lewisburg, WV

Jen Allen Jennifer Allen, Potter 
Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2020 
Public Webinar:  7:30 - 9:00 p.m., EST 
Jen Allen will discuss marketing and adapting business practices during the pandemic. 

Zoom Q&A Workshop for WVU students: 2:00 - 3:00 p.m., EST
Jen Allen will demonstrate creating hand-built ceramic cups and making cloth masks.  

Jen Allen received a BFA (2002) from the University of Alaska, Anchorage, and a MFA (2006) from Indiana University, Bloomington.  From 1998-2002, she worked as a production assistant to Kris Bliss at Bliss Pottery in Anchorage, AK. In March 2008, the National Council for the Education of Ceramic Arts (NCECA) recognized Jennifer as an “Emerging Artist.” Among other awards, she was the recipient of the 2006-2007 Taunt Fellowship at the Archie Bray Foundation in Helena, MT.  In addition to keeping a home studio, Jennifer currently teaches ceramic classes at West Virginia University.  She lives in Morgantown, WV with her husband Shoji Satake, their two kids, Annelise and Finn and their two dogs, Billie and Ella.

Angela Harris Angela Harris, 
Dancer and Choreographer 
Wednesday Oct. 14, 2020 
Public Webinar:  7:30 - 9:00 p.m., EST
"When the Curtain goes down..." - An Executive Artistic Director's guide to producing a season during a pandemic...and not going crazy while doing it! 

Zoom Q&A Workshop for WVU students: 4:30 - 5:30 p.m., EST
"Dancers know how to pivot...we do it every day!" - A focused discussion about personal mission, motivation, and viewing your art as a business during uncertain times  

Angela Harris is a choreographer and founding Executive Artistic Director of Dance Canvas, Inc., a career development organization for emerging professional choreographers and youth. Angela received her dance training at Dance Theater of Harlem, School of the Hartford Ballet, and The Eglevsky Ballet. Originally from Baltimore, Maryland, she graduated from The Baltimore School for the Arts and attended Mercyhurst College and City College of New York, earning a BA in journalism, while on full ballet scholarship at Steps on Broadway.

Angela has choreographed for professional ballet companies and schools across the country. Her work has been performed by The Georgia Ballet, Ballet Lubbock, Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute and she has premiered multiple ballets at the Rialto Center for the Arts and the Ferst Center for the Arts through her company, Dance Canvas. Angela has choreographed for professional theater productions, including: The First Noel (Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theater Company), 110 in the Shade (Theatrical Outfit), Little Shop of Horrors (Actor’s Express), Bridges of Madison County (Aurora Theatre), Frankenstein’s Funeral (Found Stages) and University productions: Ragtime (Kennesaw State University), Drowsy Chaperone (Georgia Tech).

In addition to teaching at Emory, Angela is a ballet instructor at Dekalb School for the Arts and Academy of Ballet. She has served on the faculty of the Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute and has been a master class/guest instructor at colleges and universities across the country.

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