Revisioning Ability, Equity and Community

February 16, 2024 
Temple University Performing Arts Center (TPAC) 

We are pleased to invite you to the Center for Performing and Cinematic Arts (CPCA) Arts and Quality of Life Conference 2024, exploring the transformative power of the arts in our lives and communities. In celebration of the 20th year of the Arts and Quality of Life Research Center, this one-day conference is a platform for new conversations, innovation, collaboration, and the unlimited potential of all arts disciplines within our communities. 

The arts create positive change, foster equity, and strengthen our sense of community. This conference will acknowledge and celebrate the innovations that are already shaping our world and explore new frontiers in this journey. 

Conference attendees will: 

  • Engage in thought-provoking discussions led by renowned experts in the field. 
  • Connect with like-minded individuals who share a passion for the arts, community, health, and well-being. 
  • Explore cutting-edge ideas and interdisciplinary projects that are making a difference in the world. 
  • Share ideas with an interdisciplinary network of innovators and change-makers dedicated to improving the quality of life through the arts. 

We look forward to your presence at this inspirational event. Together, we can redefine the role of the arts in our lives and create a more inclusive and vibrant future for our communities.

Photo of woman laughing against a brick wall background
Shavon Norris, Adjunct Faculty, School of Theater, Film and Media Arts

Featured Speaker presentation 

Shavon Norris
The Magnificent and the Mundane: Extraordinary and everyday ways art can invite us to experience joy, connection and healing 

This presentation is an exploration of the tools and practices that can be used to expand our perspective, language and actions to invite, welcome and celebrate the creativity and art living within and around us. This presentation is also an invitation to deepen our individual and collective engagement to the creativity and art living within and around us so that we might experience more joy, connection and healing.  


Shavon Norris is an artist, educator and facilitator. She uses movement along with text and sound and imagery to reveal and highlight the stories living in our bodies. Her work explores our relationship to our identities, our experiences and to each other, an examination and celebration of what we feel, think and believe. She received a BA in biology from Manhattanville College and an MFA in dance and choreography from Temple University. Presently she teaches at Temple University and Thomas Jefferson University. As an artist, her work has been presented at venues in New York City and Philadelphia. As a performer, she has participated in performances for Silvana Cardell, Leah Stein, Merian Soto, Makini (Jumatatu) Poe, David Brick and has toured with Pig Iron Theatre Company. As a facilitator, she works in educational, artistic and corporate spaces offering short and long-term learning on topics of intentional inclusivity, creativity and healing-centered/trauma-informed practices. Norris’ artistic and educational philosophies are rooted in the desire to offer herself, learners, performers and audiences, opportunities to deepen the understanding of self and the collective. To explore ways to light us up, lift us up and shift what needs transforming. She loves all of the living and working she gets to do in the world. 

Invited Speakers


8:30am – Registration and Coffee 
9:00am – Opening Remarks: Robert T. Stroker, Dean and Vice Provost for the Arts 
9:15am – Featured Speaker: Shavon Norris
10:15am – Concurrent Presentations 
10:45am – Comfort break 
11:00am – Concurrent Presentations 
11:30am – Explanatory Performance: Adam Vidiksis, Sam Wells and the Boyer Electroacoustic Ensemble Project (BEEP) 
12:15pm – Lunch (on your own)
1:45pm – Explanatory Performance: Arreon Harley-Emerson and Elevate Vocal Arts (EVA)
2:30pm – Explanatory Performance: Ella-Gabriel Mason
3:15pm – Comfort break 
3:45pm – Concurrent Presentations 
4:15pm – Explanatory Performance: Mark Wong, Tiffany Holmes, Jerry Valme and Moosaa Khan with Dr. Sherril Dodds
5:00pm – Reception and Poster Session (cash bar with live music)

Organizing Committee 

Mike Zanders (chair), faculty, Music Therapy 
Wendy Magee, faculty, Music Therapy 
Lillian Eyre, faculty, Music Therapy 
Garamh Kim, PhD student, Dance   
Banks Sapnar, Master’s student, Jazz Performance 
McKenna Brunson, Master’s student, Vocal Performance 
Tom Biglin, PhD student, Music Therapy  
Helen Shoemark, faculty, Music Therapy 
Darlene Brooks, faculty, Music Therapy 

Program Planning Committee 

Wendy Magee (chair), faculty, Music Therapy
McKenna Brunson, Master's student, Vocal Performance
Kristy Westover, PhD student, Music Education
Karen Bond, faculty, Dance
Zhada Myrick, PhD student, Dance
Adam Vidiksis, faculty, Music Technology
Lindsay Goss, faculty, Theater Studies
Shannon Murphy, faculty, Theater Studies