Vail Symposium lines up summer 2014 season | VailDaily.com

Vail Symposium lines up summer 2014 season

Daily staff report
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VAIL — Clear up space on your refrigerator — the Vail Symposium's summer program schedule is set to hit mailboxes in early June.

On the schedule are programs to fit the Symposium's series of Unlimited Adventure, Hot Topics, Living at Your Peak and Speaking Locally.

"We wanted to leave some of the heavier topics we cover to the winter months, when it feels more appropriate to learn about things like international private equity," said Tracey Flower, the Symposium's executive director.

"The summer programs dive into the sort of things that fit with the relaxed theme of a beautiful Vail summer," Flower said. "Health and wellness, cycling, education, music and the arts — the programs will be a great compliment to the list of awesome summer activities in the valley."

Hot topics

The Symposium's programming subject will bring world and industry leaders to the valley this summer to explore their area of expertise. The programs in the Hot Topics series continue a longstanding tradition of opening up an avenue of continued education to the community.

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Among the speakers will be John White, the current superintendent of Louisiana Public Schools. White went to Louisiana after working extensively to rebuild education systems in New York City.

"John (White) is one name amongst the top education reformers in America," Flower said.

Featured in the Speaking Locally series will be renowned nature photographer John Fielder. The program will be presented in partnership with the Walking Mountains Science Center, U.S. Forrest Service and the Eagle Valley Library District.

This summer marks the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act in the United States, and Fielder will discuss what protecting wilderness in the United States has meant to Colorado.

The Symposium's annual fundraising golf tournament in September will be taken up a notch with a summer keynote speech from Ken Schanzer, the former president of NBC Sports. Schanzer will give a lecture over cocktails and hors d'oeuvres about how television has changed sports following the tournament.

Arts and culture

Fitting with the fantastic arts and culture programs scheduled by Bravo! Vail, the Vail International Dance Festival and the Vail Jazz Festival, the Symposium announces a unique take on performing arts and culture.

In late June, the Symposium will host a musician and athlete panel that includes Demarre McGill, of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, and Reggie Rivers, formerly of the Denver Broncos, in partnership with Bravo! Vail. They will talk about their mental preparation before a concert or a game.

"Both of these speakers have performed under immense pressure," Flower said. "Reggie Rivers led the Denver Broncos for years at running back. Demarre Mcgill is the principal flautist for one of the greatest orchestra's in the world and perhaps the greatest flautist of our generation. This program is spectacular."

The Symposium, in different programs, will show two documentaries that offer a behind-the-curtain look at a blind jazz pianist's rise to superstardom and a zany comedy that follows the intense world of competitive ballroom dance. Both events will not only show the films but welcome their stars and producers to discuss the work and the stories they tell. The Symposium will be partnered with the Vail International Dance Festival and the Vail Jazz Festival for these programs.

Consciousness series returns

The Symposium finished the winter season with three sold out programs in their Living At Your Peak Consciousness Series.

This summer, the Symposium announces they will continue the Consciousness Series with three programs in September covering dreams, digital detox and Native American healing.

Brian Luke Seaward will lead the discussion on digital detox, or how staying mindful (and sane) in the age of constant contact and communication can lead to a healthier life.

Rosemary Ellen Guiley will lecture on dream interpretation and how your sleeping, wandering mind reflects occurrences in your life.

Kenneth Cohen will conclude the Consciousness Series with an explanation and exercise of native American healing practices, discussing how the medicine we think we need is often already inside of us.

"Our Consciousness Series was incredibly popular over the winter," Flower said. "There is a thirst for this knowledge in the community and we are happy to continue to the series while expanding the topics at the same time."

Raising the Symposium

The Vail Symposium has celebrated more than 40 seasons in the Vail Valley. Under new leadership by chairman Rohn Robbins and Flower, the Symposium called its winter season one of its most successful program lineups in years.

"The feedback we received from this winter was phenomenal," Flower said. "The community is very excited about the Vail Symposium again. Walking through the grocery store, our staff and volunteers have people thanking them for great programs. Rest assured this summer we will build on that and continue to provide programs the community loves."