Artie the Culture Vulture Pop CultureFebruary 06, 2012

Occasionally, we here in the Discover Jersey Arts and ArtPride offices look for inspiration, both inside and outside the box. And one of our favorite places to go is TED.

TED (Technology Entertainment and Design) is a global series of conferences owned by the Sapling Foundation, formed to share, encourage, and discuss “ideas worth spreading”. It’s like a think tank of some of the world’s greatest minds, but with an all-access pass for anyone with a computer and internet connection.

Founded in 1984, TED’s early emphasis was technology and design, but things have expanded a bit. Speakers from all fields are given a maximum of 18 minutes to present their ideas in the most innovative and engaging ways they can. Past presenters include Bill Clinton, Jane Goodall, Malcolm Gladwell, Al Gore, Gordon Brown, Richard Dawkins, Bill Gates, educator Salman Khan, Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, and over three dozen Nobel prize winners.

The talks are offered for free viewing online, under a Creative Commons license, through Over 1,100 talks are available, with over 60 million total views. And yes, many of these involve–directly or indirectly–the arts. Here’s three of our favorites.

First, New Jersey native and bestselling author Elizabeth Gilbert gives a wonderful and moving talk about the link between artistry and pressure, and the power of creativity against the dangers of the word “genius.” When I’m in a bad mood, I head back to this one, and I’m ready to create and dive back in again:

Next, arts advocate Ben Cameron, who spoke at Arts Day here in NJ in 2011, talks about how the arts and arts audiences are transforming, and how we can better prepare for the future landscape of arts and entertainment in America:

Finally, astronaut/dancer/scientist/art collector Mae Jemison muses on new ways the arts and sciences can combine to nurture young minds in the classroom:

There you have it; three of our favorite TEDtalks. We invite you to browse around and find your favorites. We’ve been taking to watching one a day, over our morning coffee, right after we get up. It’s a great way to start your day thinking in new directions.

Happy viewings, friends! Talk soon.

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About Author

Gary Wien
Gary Wien

Gary Wien is a music journalist from Belmar, NJ. A three-time winner of Asbury Music’s Music Journalist of The Year, his writing and photographs have been seen in publications like Upstage Magazine, Backstreets Magazine, Gannett Newspapers, and Princeton Magazine. He is the also the author of two books: "Beyond The Palace" (about the history of rock music in Asbury Park) and "Are You Listening?" (his picks for the Top 100 Albums of 2001-2010 by New Jersey Artists) and is the publisher of New Jersey Stage magazine.

  • Lisa

    Love the photo!