IdeaFestival

Friday, September 27th, 2013

There was something in the air at the Kentucky Center for the Arts in Louisville when KET visited there earlier this week. It was a sense of discovery, excitement, and curiosity. You might expect to experience those things at an event called the IdeaFestival, and, believe me, it was there.

The IdeaFestival is an annual conference that brings some of the world’s leading artists, scientists, and writers to Kentucky to explore innovation and creative thinking. The genius behind it all is Kris Kimel, president of the Kentucky Science and Technology Corporation. Since founding the festival in 2000, he’s rubbed elbows and gray matter with a host of really smart people.

Alex Stone was among this year’s featured speakers. He’s a magician and writer who explains what magic teaches us about human nature and perception. Other speakers included Mother Falcon, a dynamic indie band from Austin, Texas; and folks from the Innocence Project, which uses DNA technology to exonerate people who have been wrongfully imprisoned. So you can see, the presentations cover a tremendous range of thought-provoking territory.

It’s hard to explain exactly what happens at an IdeaFestival if you’ve never attended one. Maybe this video recap of last year’s festival will give you a good sense of the creative chemistry the event inspires.

Renee Shaw and I attended this year’s gathering to interview several of the guest speakers. Renee talked with Stephen Saloom and Calvin Johnson of the Innocence Project for an future edition of her show, Connections. I spoke with Kevin Smokler for an upcoming One to One. He’s the author of “Practical Classics: 50 Reasons to Reread 50 Books You Haven’t Touched Since High School.” I think you’ll enjoy our conversation.

Until then, here a few behind-the-scenes photos of our crew hard at work to record these interviews.

Renee Shaw talks with Calvin Johnson of the Innocence Project at the IdeaFestival

Renee Shaw talks with Calvin Johnson, an Innocence Project exoneree.

Director Justin Allen monitors a recording at IdeaFestival

Director Justin Allen monitors the recording of Renee’s interview.

IdeaFestival photo of Bill Goodman, Kevin Smokler, and Roger Tremaine

Bill Goodman watches as audio engineer Roger Tremaine
places a microphone on guest Kevin Smoker.

David Dampier, Bill Goodman, Kevin Smokler.

Videographer David Dampier records Bill’s conversation with Kevin Smokler.

Prentice Walker monitors IdeaFestival recording.

Floor director Prentice Walker keeps an eye on things as Bill talks
with marine ecologist Rafe Sagarin.
(Photos by John Gregory for KET.)

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