Mural painted on the side of a building featuring artists who have contributed to society as activists.

Artists as Activists: Creatively Driving Change Symposium

On September 20 and 21, Grinnell College will host a symposium highlighting artist alumni who use their talents to create meaningful change in their communities and the world. Through workshops, presentations, and networking opportunities, we hope students, alumni, and the greater campus community will leave empowered and inspired to make a difference.

All sessions are open to students, staff, faculty, and Grinnell community except for the Alumni Dinner on Friday.

Event schedule

Thursday, September 20

4:15 p.m.: Change Makers and Path Breakers
Bucksbaum Center for the Arts 170, Roberts Theatre

A panel discussion between artists spanning disciplines, including Juan Castano ’00, Katie In ’13, Valerie Levett ’73, Na Chainkua Reindorf ’14, and Anton Jones ’02, moderated by Rachel Edwards Harvith ’00.

7:00 p.m.: Complex Conversations in Film
Bucksbaum 152, Lawson Lecture Hall

Filmmaker Lauren Knapp ’06 shows two of her short documentaries, Lockdown (2015) and The Sandman (2016), and discusses using film to wrestle with controversial issues.

8:30 p.m.: Grinnellians in Concert
Stew Art Studios, 927 Broad Street

Live music brewed in Grinnell! Featuring Pink Neighbor (Erik Jarvis ‘12 and Katie In ’13), which specializes in lounge-folk music, and Rachel Eber '21.

Friday, September 21

11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.: Alumni/Student Lunch
Joe Rosenfield ’25 Center, JRC 209

An opportunity for students and alumni to connect. RSVP for a meal pass.

4:15 p.m.: Craft vs. Consciousness
Bucksbaum 154, Wall Theatre Lab

Anton Jones ’02 leads a hands-on workshop incorporating his experience as a leading theatre artist, educator, and arts advocate.

4:15 p.m.: If You Want to Write Songs, Write Songs!
Bucksbaum 152, Lawson Lecture Hall

Katie In ’13 guides a no-experience-needed participatory workshop for anyone interested in songwriting.

5:30 p.m.: Alumni Dinner

Reconnect and form new bonds with fellow Grinnellian artists! RSVP to attend.

7:00 p.m.: Keynote Speaker: Dave Loewenstein ’88
Bucksbaum 104, Sebring-Lewis Hall

Dave Loewenstein ’88 shares his experience as a muralist, printmaker, and arts organizer. 

8:00 p.m.: Closing Reception & Gallery of Grinnellians
Bucksbaum Rotunda

Have snacks and mingle while perusing work samples of Grinnellians past and present.*

*Are you a current student or alum artist, and do you want your work represented? E-mail a one-page, 8.5 x 11” pdf with your name, class year, and images and/or words showcasing what you do.

If you have any questions, please contact Brooke Vonderheide, assistant director of donor and alumni relations for career programs, at

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Thursday September 20
4:15 PM - 9:00 PM
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Online registrations for this event are now closed. Please call to register at 866-850-1846.