Announcing Emory University's Creativity Conversations Podcast

Creativity Conversations podcast image art

October 29, 2019

For over ten years, the Rosemary Magee Creativity Conversation Series has brought renowned artists and thinkers together in conversation on Emory’s campus. This fall, the Emory College Center for Creativity and Arts opens up the series’ extensive archive with the premiere of the Creativity Conversations podcast

The endowed series is named for Rosemary Magee, Emory graduate school alumna and former vice president and secretary of the university, in recognition of her efforts to promote the arts on campus through the Creativity and Arts Initiative, including establishing the series that now bears her name.

Years ago, a one-off, public conversation with Salman Rushdie at an Emory Libraries event inspired Magee to ask another luminary, Seamus Heaney, to also join her in a discussion about creativity.

 “When I came back from the Heaney experience, I felt good about these creativity conversations,” explains Magee. “I wondered if it could be one of the signature aspects of the then Creativity and Arts Initiative.”

Magee began inviting speakers, artists, and scholars visiting campus to have a one-hour, public conversation with Emory professors, Atlanta creatives, and community leaders.

“My idea as we started developing the criteria for these conversations was to show that creativity conversations happen every day,” explains Magee. “I wanted to push back on the idea that creativity is something that happens when you’re in solitude. Even in my positions as an administrator, we found a lot of interesting ideas that came out of conversation.”

Notable creativity conversation participants throughout the years include Edward Albee, President Jimmy Carter, and Philip Glass. Now administered by the Emory College Center for Creativity & Arts (CCA), the Rosemary Magee Creativity Conversations are recorded and uploaded to a playlist on YouTube.

“The CCA wanted to make these incredible conversations more accessible,” says communications manager, Emma Yarbrough. “It’s not easy to play an hour-long YouTube video while you’re driving. Plus, the content isn’t exactly visual. So, we thought, ‘What if we take the audio from the conversations and turn them into podcasts?’”

Each episode features short introductions by accomplished Emory arts students explaining what drew them to the episode’s conversation, what creative projects they are currently working on, and how the conversation might inform the student’s creative process.

“We wanted current students to introduce the podcasts to follow with Rosemary’s vision that creativity is for everyone. These discussions pertain to all our lives. Whether you’re Margaret Atwood or a first-year undergraduate student,” says Yarbrough.

The Creativity Conversations podcast released its first episode on October 28, 2019 with audio from “Ultimately Human: Ross Rossin and Ambassador Andrew Young.” The introduction was recorded last spring with senior creative writing student Jard Lerebours. The original Rosemary Magee Creativity Conversation was recorded live in March 2018.

The Creativity Conversations podcast releases new episodes biweekly and is currently available on iTunes and Spotify with all major listening platforms to follow. Visit creativity.emory.edu for more information about this and other arts initiatives on Emory’s campus.