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Creativity, Empathy and AI: A National Summit on The Human-AI Creative Partnership

April 11-12, 2024

About "Creativity, Empathy, and AI"

This April in Washington, DC, Virginia Tech, Penn State, Carnegie Mellon, RISD, and a2ru will gather those at the forefront of leveraging technology for creative generation.

The a2ru network has addressed  this topic in depth since 2023, with a special issue on Generative AI and the arts, panels, webinars, and a  working  group devoted to exploring this topic and knowledge exchange.

The influence of AI has been widely felt across a wide range of artistic, expressive and creative domains. Across theater and performance, music, design and architecture, the fine arts, creative writing and the humanities, experts and practitioners have been crafting a point of view and policies at their universities, in their classrooms, in research, and in practice on how to explore the nuances, capture the promise, and confront the challenges of new AI technologies rather than avoiding them or regulating student use.  With practitioners and educators at the nexus of creativity and AI, this will be the first time the network will convene nationally to focus singularly on advancing human-computer creative partnerships to transform participatory teaching, learning and creative practice.

This summit will focus on the use of AI as a collaborator in the creative process and how forms of computational co-creation will transform what is possible.  It will bring together:

  1. Arts educators from creative writing and the visual, sonic, performing, and applied arts
  2. Technologists and innovators in creativity and AI
  3. Pedagogical experts in the arts focused human-AI and/or human-computer creative partnerships
  4. Funders, industry experts, and policy makers invested in the conversation of human-AI and/or human-computer creative partnerships

Registration for this event is now full. Please contact a2ru Executive Director Maryrose Flanigan with any questions. 


Day 1

Thursday, April 11 (Alexandria, Virginia: The Torpedo Factory Art Center)

Time: 8:30 - 9:00am
Location: Overlook

  • Coffee/Tea Light Breakfast

Time: 9:00 - 9:30am
Location: Overlook

  • Welcome
    With discussion of agenda and goals/objectives/hopes for the two days

Time: 9:30 - 10:30am
Location: Overlook

  • Opening Presentations

Time: 10:30-11:00am
Location: Overlook

  • Coffee

Time: 11:00 - 12:30pm
Location: Breakout rooms + Overlook

  • Lightning talks followed by working discussion and organization of output
  • 3 parallel sessions on visual arts and design, performing arts and music, and creative writing

Time: 12:30pm-1:30pm
Location: Overlook

  • Networking Lunch

Time: 1:30pm - 3:00pm
LocationBreakout rooms + Overlook

3 parallel sessions on visual arts and design, performing arts and music, and creative writing. 

  • Intra- and Inter-Institutional and Organizational Practices
  • Lightning talks followed by working discussion and organization of output

Time: 3:00 - 3:30pm
Location: Overlook

  • Coffee

Time: 3:30 - 5:00pm
Location: Overlook

  • Share out

Time: 5:00 - 5:30pm
Location: Overlook

  • Closing summary conversation by the moderators
  • Note on logistics (different venue for Day 2)

Time: 5:30 - 6:45pm
Location: Grand Hall

  • Reception and Concert

Day 2

Friday, April 12 (Washington, D.C.: National Academy of Sciences )

Time: 8:30 - 9:00am
Location: Gallery

  • Coffee/Tea Light Breakfast

Time: 9:00 - 9:45am
Location: Meeting room

  • Welcome

Time: 9:45 - 10:30am
Location: Meeting room

  • Landscape/setting tone from Washington Post (the “public” context/perspective”)

Time: 10:30 - 11:00am
Location: Gallery

  • Coffee/Tea Break

Time: 11:00 - 12:00pm
Location: Meeting Room

  • Practice and Leadership
  • Perspectives from working groups and experiments in Arts and AI from a2ru network.

Time: 12:00 - 1:00PM
Location: Gallery    

  • Lunch

Time: 1:00 - 2:00pm
Location: Meeting Room    

  • Industry Perspective

Time: 2:00 - 3:00pm
Location: Meeting Room    

  • Funders Perspective

Time: 3:00 - 3:30pm
Location: Gallery    

  • Coffee/Tea Break

Time: 3:30 - 4:30PM
Location: Meeting Room    

  • Policy / Discussion of Next Steps across the nation
  • Building towards inter-institutional connections and field making synthesis from each of the panels

Time: 4:30 - 5:00pm
Location: Meeting Room    

  • Summary

Logistics, Travel and Lodging  

Logistics & Travel

The convening will take place in Washington, DC, April 11 and 12, 2024.

Day 1, April 11: Practice

  • Torpedo Factory Arts Center
  • 105 N Union St, Alexandria, VA 22314

Day 2, April 12:  Policy

  • National Academy of Sciences
  • 2101 Constitution Ave., NW

Torpedo Factory Arts Center
105 N Union St, Alexandria, VA 22314

National Academy of Sciences
2101 Constitution Ave., NW

Travel and Lodging

Reagan National (DCA) is the closest airport but summit attendees may choose Baltimore-Washington (BWI) or Dulles airport (IAD).

Hotel options

Driving distance in Alexandria

Hotels located near the Blue Metro line (Foggy Bottom/GWU) that is a direct connection with the King St in Alexandria:

  • Changwoo Ahn, Professor of Environmental Science & Policy, George Mason University
  • Christine Alexander, Lecturer, Science, Technology and Society, University of Maryland
  • Barry Anderson, Professor, Department of Media, Art, and Design, University of Missouri-Kansas City
  • Jillian Arnold, IATSE AI Negotiations Subcommittee Chair; President of Local 695; Sound, Video, Projection / Recording and Workflow Engineer
  • Diana Ayton-Shenker, CEO, Leonardo/ISAST
  • Nic Bennett, Postdoctoral Fellow, The University of Texas at Austin
  • Lillian-Yvonne Bertram, Associate Professor of English and Director, MFA in Creative Writing, University of Maryland
  • Heidi Boisvert, Assistant Professor of AI & the Arts + AI & the Arts Coordinator, University of Florida
  • Mallika Bose, Associate Dean for Research, Creative Activity and Graduate Studies, College of Arts and Architecture, Penn State
  • Daragh Byrne, Associate Teaching Professor, Architecture, Carnegie Mellon University
  • Mark Clague, Interim Executive Director of the Arts Initiative and Professor of Music, University of Michigan
  • Osubi Craig, Director of the  Center for Arts, Migration, and Entrepreneurship (CAME), College of The Arts, The University of Florida
  • Christopher d’Ambois, Director, LIVE Center, George Mason University
  • Jax Deluca, Media Arts Director, Visual Arts Division, National Endowment for the Arts
  • Roger Eastman, Director of Immersive Media Design (IMD) and Professor of the Practice in Computer Science, University of Maryland-College Park
  • Lakita Edwards, Arts Education Program Specialist, National Endowment for the Arts
  • TyRuben Ellingson, Senior Director, Narrative Media Group, Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Maryrose Flanigan, Executive Director, a2ru
  • Alexzandra Fogle, Program Analyst, National Endowment for the Arts
  • David Franusich, Multimedia Designer, Institute for Creativity, Arts and Technology, Virginia Tech
  • Sergei Gleyzer, Associate Professor and Director, Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Alabama
  • Bill Hart-Davidson, Associate Dean for Research & Graduate Education, College of Arts & Letters, Michigan State University
  • Domhnaill Hernon, Global Metaverse Labs Lead, EY
  • Jacob Holster, Lecturer of Music Education, Penn State
  • Ayanna Hudson, Chief Strategy, Programs & Engagement Officer, National Endowment for the Arts
  • Yvonne Houy, Learning Technology Innovation Manager, University of Nevada Las Vegas
  • Annie Hui-Hsin Hsieh, Assistant Teaching Professor, School of Music, Carnegie Mellon University
  • Carlos Jackson, Dean, Stamps School of Art, University of Michigan
  • Frank Jacobus, Department Head and Professor of Architecture, Penn State
  • Uma Jayaram, Global Head of PAIR, Electronic Arts
  • Jennifer Ji, Senior Director of Corporate Strategy, Electronic Arts
  • Brett Johnson, Curator of Artistic Advancement, City of Alexandria, VA
  • Jessica (Jess) Johnson, Professor of Piano and Piano Pedagogy, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Allyson Kennedy, Program Director, Computer and Network Systems, National Science Foundation
  • Craig Kier, Director, Arts for All, University of Maryland
  • Andrew Kim, Design Research Director North America, WorkSpace Futures, Steelcase
  • Benjamin Knapp, Founding Executive Director, Institute for Creativity, Arts and Technology, Virginia Tech
  • Aaron Knochel, Associate Professor of Art Education, Penn State
  • Peter Lane, Associate Professor of Music, Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Yeaji Lee, Mind Music Machine Lab, Virginia Tech
  • Todd Leen, Information & Intelligent Systems, National Science Foundation
  • Mark Leibert, Professor of the Practice, Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Golan Levin, Professor, School of Art, Carnegie Mellon University
  • Laura Levin, Director, Sensorium: Centre for Digital Arts & Technology, School of the Arts, Media, Performance and Design, York University
  • Alexander Lerch, Associate Dean for Research and Creative Practice, University of Georgia
  • Kimberly Lyle, Assistant Professor of Sculpture & Technologies, University of Georgia
  • Eric Lyon, Professor of Practice in Music, School of the Performing Arts, Virginia Tech
  • Kristen Marcinek, Staff Assistant Intern for the Serious Games Initiative, Wilson Center
  • Thomas L Martin, Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology (ICAT), Virginia Tech
  • Shannon Fitzsimons Moen, Associate Director, a2ru
  • Jeff Morris, Director, Music Technology Program, Texas A&M University
  • Patricia Mullaney-Loss, Social Science Analyst, Office of Research & Analysis, National Endowment for the Arts
  • Elizabeth Newbury, Director, Serious Games Initiative, Wilson Center
  • Vernelle Noel, Assistant Professor, School of Architecture, Carnegie Mellon University
  • Sonja O’Brien, Program Coordinator for the Serious Games Initiative, Wilson Center
  • Adam Paul, Assistant Professor in Screen Acting, University of Nevada Las Vegas
  • Michael Palmieri, Founder, PMG
  • Sarah Parsons, Associate Dean for Research, School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design, York University
  • Alana Quinn, Senior Program Associate, Cultural Programs, National Academy of Sciences
  • Termeh Rassi, Chief Strategy Officer, Leonardo/ISAST
  • Elaine Reeder, Director of Curriculum Development, VCU Online and Continuing and Professional Education, Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Benjamin Rosenthal, Associate Professor of Expanded Media, University of Kansas
  • Marc N. Ruppel, Senior Program Officer, Public Programs, National Endowment for the Humanities
  • Margaret Salazar-Porzio, Deputy Director, President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities
  • Jinsil Hwaryoung Seo, Associate Professor and Director of the Institute for Applied Creativity, Texas A&M University
  • Mark Sullivan, Creative Director, CoLab Studio, MSU Museum, Michigan State University
  • J.D. Talasek, Director, Cultural Programs of the National Academy of Sciences
  • Jeanette Taylor, Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, University of Georgia
  • Matthew Vollmer, Professor and Director of the M.F.A. in Creative Writing Program and the Undergraduate Creative Writing Program, Virginia Tech
  • Doug Ward, Associate Director, Center for Teaching Excellence, University of Kansas
  • Yan Wu, News Developer, Washington Post
  • Jenn Joy Wilson, Associate Dean for Research, College of Fine Arts, Carnegie Mellon University