Meet the Team That Will Revolutionize STEM Mentoring in the Triangle

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From left to right: Kelsie Martinez, Brett Brenton, Hannah Strom, Christine Abernathy.

From left to right: Kelsie Martinez, Brett Brenton, Hannah Strom, Christine Abernathy.

Remember that moment in The Avengers when the team assembles and finally starts working together? US2020 RTP is kind of like that, but without the initial conflict between Iron Man and Captain America. The Project Manager, Brett Brenton, and three AmeriCorps VISTAs have started working at “The Frontier,” a fitting name for a building that sometimes feels like the Wild West (we joke about needing to wear cowboy hats to work). Benefits: the Fidelity Food Truck Rodeo happens right outside our office every Friday.

Our fearless leader Brett Brenton comes to us after two years of being the Assistant Principal at Baileywick Road Elementary School. When Brett’s not making connections with every stakeholder in The Triangle, he plays awesome Spotify playlists for the office and surprises us with his knowledge of what the word “chirped” means.

Kelsie Martinez is the Knowledge Management and Technology Systems AmeriCorps VISTA. This means that at meetings, she’s taking notes like a fiend. When any of us has a question, we yell “Kelsie!!” and she almost always knows the answer.

Kelsie has an MA in Anthropology from Binghamton University, SUNY, and recently relocated to the Triangle. Subsequently, the rest of us spend a lot of time telling her all of the places she needs to eat and buy good beer.

Christine Abernathy is the Events Planning Team AmeriCorps VISTA. When you go to an event and there’s awesome food there, you can give her a hug.

Christine graduated from UNC Chapel Hill in 2012 with a BA in Political Science. Christine started a week after the rest of the VISTAs, so she will forever be the baby and have youngest child syndrome.

Hannah Strom is the Communications and Storytelling AmeriCorps VISTA. This is a fancy way of saying that Hannah gets to spend a lot of time on Twitter and call it work.

Hannah’s pet project at the office is maintaining a giant list of “Brett’s Buzzwords” to track how many times he uses corporate jargon. The word “onboarding” currently has the most hash marks, followed closely by “one-off.”

Stay tuned for the Adventures of US2020 RTP as we bring high quality STEM mentorship to underrepresented students in The Triangle.

Meet Your Speakers – RTP:180 Big Data

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Each month at RTP 180 we do our best to keep the lineup fresh and interesting. All of us here at RTP HQ like to think of ourselves as a fairly bright bunch, but the topic of Big Data made all of us scratch our heads a little bit.

“So they just analyze numbers? Isn’t that a business analyst?”

“What are they doing with all those email address anyway?”

“I think there’s something about V’s…”

We know big data is only going to keep playing a larger role in society, and while it wasn’t our strong suit, all of us on the team were determined to put together a RTP: 180 that showcased the diversity within the field. I think we achieved that judging by the different sounding speakers we have lined up. With that, let’s get to know them before the show:

RebeccaTippettRebecca Tippett is Director of Carolina Demography at the Carolina Population Center at UNC-Chapel Hill. She works with US Census and other data in an effort to understand and explain the impact of demographic and social trends to community organizations, policy makers, business leaders throughout the state.

VivekRanjanToday, Vivek Ranjan works for Metlife as a software development engineer specializing in big data analytics. Previously, he was a computational physicist with several years of experience in working with high performance simulations.

Hye-ChungKumHye-Chung Kum is a data scientist cross trained in computer science and the social sciences. She founded and currently leads the Population Informatics Research Group jointly housed at TAMHSC and UNC-CH. The organization brings together computer scientists, social scientists, and health service researchers to answer critical questions in social, behavioral, economic, and health sciences using preexisting data points.

BryceGartnerBryce Gartner is all about data (and movie quotes). He gets organizations beyond the big data buzzword and puts their data to work in his role as the CEO of icimo.

TimGabelWorking as the executive vice president of Social, Statistical, and Environmental Sciences (SSES) for RTI International, Tim J. Gabel is helping to guide RTI’s Big Data strategy. As head of SSES, the largest of RTI’s business units, Gabel manages an annual revenue of approximately $400M and more than 1,500 professional staff.

BlairSullivanBlair D. Sullivan is an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at North Carolina State University. In her role she works to bring bringing structural graph theory and algorithms to the masses. (Ed. Visualization!) She has previously toiled under the auspices of Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Princeton University, and Georgia Tech.

If you can’t make it out Thursday evening, or weren’t able to snag tickets, tune into our livestream! It will be going strong starting at 6pm over at rtp.org/rtp180!

Our next RTP: 180 will be September 18th and the topic is Health.20. After our first health RTP 180 got such a great reception, we decided to have another one. We hope you’ll join us!

What’s Big, Yellow and Filled With School Supplies?

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the Crayons2Calculators bus at this week’s RTP Food Truck Rodeo at 800 Park Offices Drive!

By now, you’re probably familiar with the weekly RTP Friday Food Truck Rodeos sponsored by Fidelity Investments. Each week, employees of the Research Triangle Park gather for foodie goodness paired with friends, shaded seating and even the occasional game of corn hole. It has become a relaxing, delicious and fun activity for employees to take a well-deserved Friday break with coworkers. And, to relish in the fact that is almost the weekend.

So the question is…what could possibly make a Friday food truck rodeo better? We’ll we’ve got one way!

How about taking your Only Burger with a side of warm and fuzzy feelings ensued by donating to a worthy cause? Round up some notebooks and come out to the food truck rodeo this Friday, August 22nd from 11:30 – 1:30 where we’re partnering with a local nonprofit, Crayons2Calculators, to support Durham county teachers and students by donating school supplies!

In addition to some usual food truck suspects, a big yellow school bus will be in attendance this Friday, accepting all the school supplies you’re willing to part with. Just bring any supplies to hand off to the volunteers on the bus while you wait for your Chirba Chirba dumpling to be cooked to steamy perfection. It’s that easy!

You can find a list of the 10 most needed supplies here. If you have any questions, please contact Abby Gingrich at gingrich@rtp.org.

August eNews From The RTP

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August @theRTP

RTP 180: Big Data
August 21, RTP HQ
It seems like Big Data is on the tip of everyone’s tongue these days. From folks in the tech industry to those in health care, it’s left some people scratching their heads (here’s to you, RTP HQ staffers) and others yearning for more info. Our goal is to help explain everything from the 4 V’s for the novice, to how area folks are leveraging the power of all this data to move society forward.
Sign up: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/rtp-180-big-data-tickets-12489637843?aff=eorg

The Color Run RTP
Oct. 4th, RTP

Have you heard? The Color Run is coming to the Research Triangle Park! Proceeds from the race will benefit Camp Kesem, which provides support to kids affected by a parent’s cancer. Over 2,500 people have already registered!
More info here: http://thecolorrun.com/research-triangle-park/

Back2School Drive
Now– August 15th, Across RTP
Even though students were just released for summer break, now’s the time when employees throughout RTP can start making a difference! Each summer companies across the Park gather school supplies to donate to Communities in Schools. This year there will be a drop off point at Park Center. Interested in more info, or want to find out how your company can become involved? Email Abby Gingrich at Gingrich@rtp.org
Find out what to donate here: http://www.rtp.org/park-life/rtp-programs/rtp-back-school-drive

Hopscotch Design and Music Festivals
Sept. 2nd-6th, Downtown Raleigh

Don’t miss out the festival that Pitchfork and Noisey have all applauded as they celebrate their 5th anniversary. This year the Hopscotch Design Festival will take place two days before the music begins. Both will be a guaranteed good time. See what it’s all about from Hopscotch founder Greg Lowenhagen: http://youtu.be/sIxcPa-8TUA?list=UUJipw66jCxNMsZJMXaBZOmg
Visit their website: http://hopscotchmusicfest.com/ or http://www.hopscotchdesignfest.com/

RTP Food Truck Rodeo sponsored by Fidelity Investments
Each Friday, RTP (800 Park Offices Drive)

Did you hear? Our Fidelity Food Truck Rodeos are now weekly at 800 Park Offices Drive. Each Friday from 11:30am – 1:30pm there will be tastiness in the middle of RTP. The trucks will change weekly so show up hungry and bring your friends!
See the weekly lineup here: http://www.rtp.org/foodtruckrodeo

SPARKCon
Sept. 11th – 14th, Downtown Raleigh

This year marks the 9th year that this open source festival will take place in downtown Raleigh. Produced by the Visual Art Exchange, SPARKcon is a series of multiple events over four days. Whether you’re into poetry, robots or comedy, there’s probably something going on you’ll dig. More
Info: http://www.sparkcon.com/

1 Million Cups
Aug. 13th & 27th
Let’s share some coffee together! Come out and join your fellow entrepreneurs, mentors and startups-at-large for Kauffman Labs’ 1 Million Cups. The Research Triangle Park will be hosting Kauffman Foundation’s 1MC bi-weekly on Wednesdays, in partnership with LAUNCH Chapel Hill. IE: one week 1MC is at RTP HQ the next it’s at LAUNCH Chapel Hill. To attend, or sign up your startup to present, click here.

All Things Open
October 23rd- 24th, Raleigh

All Things Open, a conference exploring open source, open tech, and the open web in the enterprise, will once again feature some of the top technologists and decision makers in the world. With 10 tracks and more than 80 speakers over two days, the event specifically targets developers/programmers/designers, engineers/scientists/database and system administrators, and decision makers that work in, or want to learn more about open technology and related issues. Sign up: www.allthingsopen.org

Buy A T-Shirt, Support A Student
Your Computer

The industrious students at the Research Triangle High School here in RTP have started a t-shirt campaign to raise money for their Startup Club. Being the smart students they are, the design features a raptor surrounded by code and the shirt is made of sustainable cotton grown right here in North Carolina. To support them and order your shirt, click here: http://www.rtpstartup.org/the-rtp-t-shirt.html

RTP Kickball
Fields of RTP – Registration is Ongoing

This fall, RTP will be expanding its sports offerings with a new Kickball League, and registration is now open! The host of the league is GO Kickball a national co-ed adult sports and social networking kickball organization. The league is open to all members of the RTP community who are 21 and older. To find out more about GO Kickball in RTP, visit http://www.gokickball.com/raleigh-durham and click on Fall Season League Info. The season starts on Wed. Sept. 10th from 6:30 – 8:30 at the RTP Softball Fields. Get your friends and colleagues together and sign up!

Fill that Bus!
August 22nd, RTP Food Truck Rodeo

Bring school supplies when you head out to the Food Truck Rodeo on August 22nd and you’ll be helping out students and teachers in Durham County! Crayons2Calculators will be on site with a big ol’bus taking donations for the upcoming school year. If your company has anything leftover from its drive, bring those too!
More info here: http://www.rtp.org/park-life/rtp-programs/rtp-back-school-drive

CEDTech Venture Conference
Sept. 16th – 17th, Raleigh Convention Center

This year’s CED Tech Venture Conference in Raleigh, NC, celebrates the “Rise of the Rest”— and you are invited. Join 600 of the nation’s most promising early-stage and high-growth companies, leading investors, and tech enthusiasts in Raleigh as they explore the rise of the economies and the how the ubiquitous “Internet of Things” is changing the game for all of us.
Find out more: http://www.cednc.org/?page=techventure

All Hiring Companies: Register for the North Carolina Master’s & PhD Career Fair
Nov. 20th, The Friday Center

Is your company, NPO or government organization looking to hire recent grads of top notch universities? Then now’s the time to register for this annual career fair hosted by Duke, UNC-Chapel Hill, Wake Forest University, NC State University, UNC-Charlotte, and UNC-Greensboro. The event attracts talent from across the state and region from various academic disciplines including Biochemistry, Biology, History, Economics, Engineering, Mathematics, Immunology, Environmental Policy, Philosophy, Psychology, Statistics and many more! It’s a great opportunity to share internships, postdoctoral and full-time positions with Master’s, PhD candidates, and post docs.
For more info: https://sites.google.com/site/ncmastersphdfair/

WorkShift 2014: Coworking Conference
Aug. 9th, PSI Theater
Be a part of the first conference centered solely around co-working in the Southeast! Billed as an unconference for anyone that owns, operates or works out of a coworking space, Bull City Coworking has organized another unique event for the Triangle community!
Register: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/workshift-2014-the-first-conference-for-coworking-in-the-southeast-tickets-11980039621

Triangle Startup Weekend: Health
Aug. 8th, American Underground @Main

Triangle Health Startup Weekend 2014 is the first Startup Weekend completely focused on health and related verticals. TSW: Education is a 54-hour experience where participants pitch ideas, collaborate with others who have complementary skill sets, get coaching and produce startups that help solve problems in education.
Get in on the action: http://trianglehealth.startupweekend.org/

LinkedIn Live Raleigh
Aug. 12th, Triangle Rock Club

Have a ton of LinkedIn connections you’ve never met in person? Here’s your chance! This bi-monthly event offers users the ability to connect offline in a different setting each time. The event is free of change, and is open to all those looking to make connections.
Check it out: http://www.linkedinliveraleigh.com/2014-linkedin-live-raleigh-at-triangle-rock-club/

@rt in the P@rk Throughout RTP! You like art? We like art, too! So much so that we’ve partnered with the Contemporary Art Museum and have acquired pieces for our bright lobby. If you find yourself by 12 Davis Drive, pop into our HQ and see the art (during regular business hours 8:30am – 5:00pm)! http://rtp.org/art Our current installation is by Mishka Henner. Henner uses Google Earth Pro to show American oil fields as images akin to circuit boards or abstract painting. His process beings with traditional cartography used to locate specific geographies which he then supplements with Google Earth’s technologies and data.

Tweet @TheRTP. Are you following @TheRTP on Twitter? You should be – we love sharing the awesomeness that is our community with you. Got something to share? Include us in the Tweet and we’ll give you a shout out on our 10k+ network! We also give away cool things, like back stage one-on-ones with George Takei, Hopscotch wristbands and free tickets to the hottest shows.

RTP Welcomes New Tenant – CraZBrain – to Park Center

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CraZBrain Science Track Out and Summer Camp Opens in RTP’s Park Center

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. — CraZBrain, a new science and discovery-based track out and summer camp, announces its opening at Park Center, RTP’s first planned area of mixed-use growth. With camps starting in August, CraZBrain aims to engage elementary and middle school kids tracking out throughout the year with engaging camp themes such as “Crazy Contraptions” and “007 Spy” that will continue educational engagement while outside of the classroom. CraZBrain was founded by husband and wife team Aaron Rothrock, a 9-year education veteran from Cary Academy and Ginger Rothrock, experienced entrepreneur and co-founder of Liquidia Technologies, both Chemistry Ph.D.s from UNC.

“We are excited to bring the CraZBrain camp concept to working families in the Triangle.” said Dr. Rothrock, “We founded CraZBrain as an opportunity for kids to learn that science and engineering can be fun and highly entertaining in a unique alternative to the traditional classroom experience. CraZBrain offers a hands-on, discovery-based environment that emphasizes learning through brainstorming, experimentation, and collaboration. But as far as the kids are concerned, they are just having a ton of fun.

”CraZBrain is the first community-focused tenant in the RTP’s Park Center project since the Research Triangle Foundation took ownership of the 100 acre property in January. CraZBrain joins other existing Park Center tenants such as RTI International, the Research Triangle High School, and the recently announced US2020 STEM Mentoring Program.

“CraZBrain is taking an essential educational service and putting an innovative twist on it,” said Bob Geolas, President and CEO of the Research Triangle Foundation of North Carolina. “CraZBrain’s focus on STEM education is very exciting, and we welcome them into our open innovation community.”

Through its summer programs at Cary Academy, start-up CraZBrain has served over 1,000 campers since its inception. Now, CraZBrain is poised to leverage its new location to support the strong base of tech-savvy RTP workers and their families.

ABOUT CRAZBRAIN
CraZBrain Science Track Out and Summer Camps let kids explore and experience when tracking out of year round schools in Wake County, NC. Our RTP-based camps provide a unique environment where science concepts are explored through hands-on experiences designing, building, problem solving, and re-creating. Engaging camp themes including 007 Spy Camp, Crazy Contraptions, Outdoor Survival Skills, and Cooking-Carnivals-Chemistry keep the campers motivated and energized all week long. Founded by Chemistry Ph.D. and former Cary Academy teacher Aaron Rothrock, CraZBrain’s professional staff ensure all campers have a great time while they learn!

ABOUT THE RESEARCH TRIANGLE FOUNDATION
Research Triangle Foundation is the private, not-for-profit that has managed Research Triangle Park since its founding in the late 1950s. The 7,000-acre park is home to more than 190 companies, with more than 39,000 employees. The Park was built upon a public-private partnership model with some of the nation’s largest research companies, along with its three founding research universities, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, N.C. State and Duke.

RTP Staff Brings It Back From the Big Apple

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anna jacob nycI just started here at the Foundation two months ago and it has rushed by. The RTP is doing truly great work, and I get to be a part of it all. Part of that work is sharing that story with the Triangle, North Carolina and the world. My colleague, Anna Rhyne, and I recently traveled to New York City to better understand what makes it such a destination in order to stimulate our creativity, while also generating ideas of things we could implement in RTP as components of our forthcoming Park Center Master Plan! The entry below shares our experiences in New York and our main take-aways from the trip. Enjoy!


New York: The Real Windy City

Our trip to New York was most stimulating – Anna and I kept saying “What a whirlwind!” to one another. We explored the many third spaces (not home, not work, but somewhere else) that took us on through many of destinations, designs, and stories in not even three full days of being there.

Anna and I were surprised at how late everyone stayed out in New York. It was around 8:00 at night as we were photoreached Bryant Park, our first destination, and many people were still catching up with friends at café tables in the promenade, some were charging their iPhones at the charging station as they had their nightly espresso, and others were spreading out their blankets as they were getting ready for a concert to come on in the main lawn. Everyone looked like they had just left work. Why haven’t these people gone home? But the reason is Bryant Park is a destination. The planners of Bryant Park made this a destination where people would rather scratch the after-work routine to come out and play. It would take some time for me to adjust to working a long day and then whisking away to a café as the night approached.

We slept in the smallest rooms (that they called pods), but it was perfect because we never stayed in our rooms – it was just a landing spot as we sped between our different destinations. The experience of New York was the destination, not the hotel where we laid our heads. We had a rooftop bar and restaurant at our hotel that had a view of the Empire State Building, and on a Tuesday night there was a forty-five minute wait to get to just the bar – not even the restaurant! The cement columns and twinkle lights made this place feel so secure and cozy even on top of a twenty story building. Event this was a destination that drew people out of their homes on a Tuesday night. It was a great example of what we want to create at Park Center as a whole: a destination that will be so attractive that it would compel people to break their routines and leave their homes to come check out what is going on in RTP’s third space.

photo 1There is so much collaboration and competition on that little island that it drives design to new heights – literally. We toured Google’s New York offices across from Chelsea Market and their layout was constantly changing. Our tour guide was a friend of a friend from UNC and she had been working in San Francisco for the past month, so she had been out of the office for a while. The three of us saw many new spaces that inundated the senses with possibility. A lego bar? A new multi-level section of the building that was themed after the four seasons? Scooters for when you’re running late to a meeting? New amenities – like cafes – were constantly being constructed and then collapsed to make way for the next idea. It was so stimulating to be in the eye of Hurricane Google. This tour was good inspiration to be adaptable in the new space that we are about to fully occupy and open to the public.

Later in Madison Square Park we not only got to witness some public art but got to witness people witnessing public art. These were normal blokes – not the stereotypical artsy types – examining the piece and pointing out various aspects of it to one another. It was evidence that innovative design can stop people in their tracks and start a conversation. Again, a good reminder to have as we move forward with our plans to facilitate meaningful interaction and collaboration.

photo 2Each of these third spaces had to compete to get their story out because there were so many. They had to develop a succinct way to tell the story without saying too much. One place that did that was Eataly – they created an open air Italian market in the heart of the Flat Iron district. A bit out of place, so they had to connect the dots here. As you walked through the market buzzing with energy, each item’s display had a sign that told a little about the family in Italy who produced it. Another way to transform a simple transaction into a meaningful interaction through the art of telling the narrative.

New Work was my favorite coworking space because it was so hospitable and open. Sarah, coworking space management goddess, was not afraid to show us how the sausage was made in their space. The space was so compelling because of the amount of transparency and trust that they created in the place. We asked about issues between tenants and management. She told us that before anything develops into a full-on category 5 storm, she is able to approach involved parties and eliminate the problem before it is a problem due to the community-based narrative that they have implemented from the beginning. The founder of New Work has created a primer for opening a coworking space and has published it online.

photo 3The most compelling story to me was that of the High Line because, like we are doing, they took an outdated structure that was slated for demolition and reimagined all that it could be. The Friends of the High Line have not only created a stimulating third space that provides recreation and rejuvenation in a jostling city, but they have been shouting their story from the rooftops along the way. They literally made a park on top of an old rail road track! Who does that? They compel people to get swept up in their mission by inviting them into a story that is much larger than themselves.

 

photo 4To cap it all off, Hurricane Arthur grounded us on our way back and we would not have been able to leave for 28 hours later, so Anna and I picked up our bags went over to Avis and drove through the night back to the land of the pine. As I said earlier on, definitely was a whirlwind of seeing how destination, design, and story can lift you off the ground and make an experience soar to new heights!

NC Biotech Center Raises Loan Cap to $500k

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NCBC-logo-K+187Despite a 27% reduction in funding from the state, the North Carolina Biotechnology Center, located in the Research Triangle Park, has expanded one of it’s popular loan programs. The Strategic Growth Loan (SGL) has been used for years to help life science companies throughout the state take their companies to the next level. With the changes, companies will now be able to receive a loan up to $500,000.

According to the Center’s Vice President, Peter Ginsberg, there were 21 loans awarded in the 2014 fiscal year. With the changes, he hopes to strengthen a program that already sees successes where it matters the most: return on investment.

Currently, there are 74 companies in the NC Biotech Center loan portfolio generating a $71 million a year in state and local taxes. That’s a number anyone would be proud of.

For more information on the program check out the following resources:

SGL Program Page: http://www.ncbiotech.org/business-commercialization/business-loans-support/business-financing/strategic-growth-sgl

Press Release from the NCBiotech Center: http://www.ncbiotech.org/article/ncbiotech-sgl-loan-cap-raised-500k/20051

Q&A With VP Peter Ginsberg on WRAL Techwire (paywall): http://wraltechwire.com/exclusive-biotech-center-doubles-size-of-startup-loans-due-to-lack-of-private-investment-funding-/13835031/

RTP’s Back2School Drive: Putting Perspective on First-World Problems

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We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.” – Winston Churchill

IMG_1065It’s easy to get caught up in life’s first-world problems such as sitting in afternoon traffic, having to replace the cracked screen on your iPhone, or the difficult decision of whether to get dinner at The Pit or Tyler’s Taproom; I am fully guilty of this. When the little things are the only problems on your plate, it’s easy to only focus on them. Sometimes, however, we are encouraged to look up, glance around and take in some of the other problems facing our beloved Triangle community.

logo-cisHere in Research Triangle Park, we are given many unique chances to give back. Starting today, there is an opportunity to actively participate in benefitting the community around us by donating school supplies to this year’s Back2School school campaign. Companies around the RTP are coming together to donate various school supplies, along with fully-stuffed backpacks, to students of Durham County Schools though a partnership with a wonderful charity: Communities In Schools NC. This drive will run from July 21st – August 22nd.

IMG_1042On the final Friday of the drive (August 22nd), come out to the Food Truck Rodeo for one last shebang! We’ll be having a celebration for all companies that participated in the Back2School Campaign, but there will also be one last chance to contribute! Crayons2Calculators will have a big, yellow school bus in attendance with volunteers accepting last minute school supplies to donate to teachers and students in Durham County Public Schools.

To  get involved with the Back2School Campaign, please contact Abby Gingrich at gingrich@rtp.org or (919) 654-6998.

We have a lot of students to provide for, so let’s get the word out in a big way!

Catch the Vision of RTP 180: Art in the Triangle (and meet the speakers)

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08 8-14 RTF BESusans 2Not long after I started working here at the Foundation did I starting dreaming about the possibilities of having a few bands out in the grassy area behind our gorgeous office. I’ve seen a few bands play sets in fields and it’s one of the best ways to see a show. Our CEO is all about building community, and nothing brings people together better than music, so the idea has always been bopping around in my brain.

When we started planning this month’s art themed RTP: 180, the team knew we wanted to focus on more than just visual art. The Triangle is a place rich with a variety of creativity, and we wanted to throw an event that really celebrated that in a fun, yet geeky way.

Unfortunately, one of the Research Triangle Park’s best kept secrets is that one of the earliest organizations to locate within the Park was the National Humanities Center. Our commitment to celebrating the intersection of art and science goes back to before I was born (in 1987, in case you were wondering).

So, this month we really blew it out of the water to bring you a show that’s filled with science, bugs, art and music. We’re lucky to have partners that get just as excited about these things as we do, and are willing to spend the time to plan and come on the third Thursday of the month to hang out.

If you weren’t able to snag a ticket before they sold out in 10 days, have no fear! The livestream will be set up over at http://www.rtp.org/rtp180 and you’ll have the opportunity to hear these seven fine people speak tomorrow:

AaronWallAaron Shackelford of UNC-Chapel Hill is the Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow for Carolina Performing Arts. He works with factuality, artists and students to create opportunities for people to connect the performing arts into their ideas and daily lives. He’ll be speaking on Arts@TheCore: The Value of the Arts across Campus.

Hopscotch Music Festival, Saturday, Sept. 10, 2011.If you haven’t heard Greg Lowenhagen’s name, you definitely know the festival he founded. Hopscotch is celebrating its 5th anniversary this year in downtown Raleigh, and is also expanding to include the two-day Hopscotch Design Festival. Greg will have five minutes to speak on The Positive Financial and Cultural Impact of Music in the Triangle.

WilliamBrownThe NCMA Contemporaries group has great events, and recently I was fortunate enough to attend one that William Brown helped to lead. He is the Chief Conservator at the museum and uses a whole bevy of instruments (everything from lasers to sponges) to restore and care for the collection.

BethYerxaBeth Yerxa is a force. I believe I first met Beth at a RTP: 180 event, and I’ve been impressed by the work she does as an arts advocate in the Triangle. From an environmental lawyer to the executive director of Triangle Artworks, Beth is going to tell us about her two crazy ideas about supporting Triangle artists.

Sculptures that serve as a love motels for bugs…yup. That’s how Dr. Brandon Ballengee described his art. They’re intended to help insects native to North Carolina come together and mate. His work will be on display. Outside, of course.

CarrieDonleyEach year, the Chapel Hill Analytical and Nanofabrication Laboratory (CHANL) at UNC-CH organizes a Scientific Art Competition. Carrie Donley leads this charge, and is going to take the stage for five minutes to tell us why art is important to scientist. Prepare for beautiful imagery on this one!

MartinFischerAt every RTP 180, there’s usually one brilliant scientist that does amazing work that goes right over my head. For this edition, it’s Duke scientist Martin Fischer. In plain terms, Martin is going to talk about using lasers to peer under the surface of artwork. I can’t wait to learn what “nonlinear optical contrast mechanisms for high-resolution 3d imaging in biological tissue and artwork” means!

While our speakers will be indoors like always, outside there will be some real fun. Once the lightening talks are over Randy’s pizza will be served and the LondeRider beer will flow once more. Then, I get to see a miniature version of my music-in-the-field dreams come true:

Jack the Radio is playing under this tent!

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We’re also going to have exhibitors from Research Triangle High School selling t-shirts made of cotton grown right here in North Carolina, NCMA will be on hand doing live screen print demos, and we’ll have Vitreous Humor Art Glass.

It’s not quite a full blow music and arts festival, but in the spirit of all things RTP, it’s our beta version of something we might like to try on a larger scale one day.

Get Hungry – Our Food Truck Rodeo is Back!

Food Truck Rodeo
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IMG_3964After taking a vacation last week to celebrate America’s birthday, our weekly Food Truck Rodeos are back this Friday at 800 Park Offices Drive! Sponsored by Fidelity Investments, the rodeos are our way of bringing delicious eats right to you and your friends, right in the heart of the Research Triangle Park.

This week we’ve got some local favorites on the lineup from 11:30am – 1:30pm:

Chirba Chirba
Only Burger (they just opened another location at American Tobacco!)
the Humble Pig
Phillys
LoYo
Fahsyrah’s Lemonade

We hope you’ll join us from 11:30pm – 1:30pm this Friday at the picnic tables under the oak trees. We’ll have the corn hole set up, all you have to do is show up with your dollars and a full tummy. See you then!