“All My Weight” - ”Back to Me” - ”The FOMO Song”

Singer-songwriter and activist Hollis Wong-Wear brazenly confronts contemporary issues, but she does it through surprisingly soothing vocals. Her three original songs that take aim at the political climate, screen time, overwhelm, and even FOMO – fear of missing out. Hollis is accompanied by guitar and keyboards with a little help from the audience.

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TED Talks video and live speakers combine to spark in-depth discussion and connection in a community setting. These events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.

Hollis is a songwriter, musician, speaker, creative generator, and community advocate who lives between Los Angeles and Seattle. She was Grammy-nominated in 2014 for her work with Seattle’s own Macklemore and Ryan Lewis.

She is a Google Next Gen Policy Leader, an alumna of the Hedgebrook Residency, and is a Humanity in Action Senior Fellow. Hollis has been appointed to several boards and commissions, including the Board of Directors for 4Culture and the Seattle Center Advisory Commission, and is currently an ad-hoc commissioner on the Seattle Music Commission.

With her roots in spoken word and slam poetry through the nationally recognized Youth Speaks program, Hollis is passionate about how creativity and the arts fuel and shape civic discourse. She has been a featured speaker at conferences, conventions, and speaker series, sharing her spoken word poetry and her candid insights on her experience as an independent artist and engaged activist. She has performed and spoken for an array of organizations and schools, including KEXP, WrapWomen, Planned Parenthood, University of Washington, YWCA, and the Eileen Fisher Leadership Institute. Hollis has spoken at TEDxUofW, and has presented alongside such luminaries as Gloria Steinem, Kimberle Crenshaw, and Eve Ensler. She was named the recipient of Seattle University’s 2016 Outstanding Recent Alumna Award.

This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at https://www.ted.com/tedx

Hollis Wong – Wear is a songwriter, musician, speaker, creative generator and community advocate who lives between Los Angeles and Seattle. She was Grammy nominated in 2014 for her work with Seattle’s own Macklemore and Ryan Lewis.
She is a Google Next Gen Policy Leader, an alumna of the Hedgebrook Residency, and is a Humanity in Action Senior Fellow. Hollis has been appointed to several boards and commissions, including the Board of Directors for 4Culture and the Seattle Center Advisory Commission, and is currently an ad-hoc commissioner on the Seattle Music Commission. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at https://www.ted.com/tedx


What I learned from playing the cello

Playing the cello taught Gretchen Yanover how to deal with anxiety. She believes that years of leaning the instrument against her heart created an opening to give big emotions a path out. Now, she hopes her music brings that sense of opening to others. Gretchen’s first piece is the evocative solo Heart and Sky. Then dancer Noelle Price helps weave a lyrical story in Willow Waltzes On.

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TED Talks video and live speakers combine to spark in-depth discussion and connection in a community setting. These events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.

Gretchen began playing cello in Seattle Public Schools and later earned a BA in Music Performance and a teaching certificate at the University of Washington. She earned a position in NW Sinfonietta Orchestra on the same day she taught her first string orchestra class. Embracing an interwoven path of teaching and performing, Gretchen enthusiastically guided students on stringed instruments in public and private school classrooms.

In addition to acoustic work, she performs solo with her electric cello. Gretchen’s music has been featured in films, dance performances, and podcasts. It’s also often used in meditative and healing settings. She continues to play classical music as a member of Northwest Sinfonietta, the region’s premier chamber orchestra. Gretchen also does studio recording work with her acoustic cello. She has released three solo CDs to date.

Gretchen is joined on stage by dancer Noelle Price. Noelle has performed with Karin Stevens Dance Company and in the 2018 premiere of Beautiful Carcass. She self-produced an evening-length work titled “An Ode to Marlin” and wrote and performed her first one-woman play Death and Other Rude things. Her work Remember Me Young received a Seattle Dance Crush Award for its commitment to advocacy.

Locally grown cellist Gretchen Yanover began playing cello in Seattle Public Schools. She earned a BA in Music Performance and her Washington Teaching Certificate from UW. Gretchen won a position in NW Sinfonietta Orchestra on the same day she taught her first string orchestra classes. Embracing an interwoven path of teaching and performing, Ms Yanover enthusiastically guided students on string instruments in public and private school classrooms
Gretchen performs solo with her electric cello, in addition to her acoustic work. Her music has been featured in contexts ranging from film to dance to podcast soundtracks. Her music is also enjoyed in meditative and healing settings. She continues to play classical music as a member of Northwest Sinfonietta, the region’s premier chamber orchestra. Gretchen also does studio recording work with her acoustic cello, in addition to her own continued solo composing and performing. She has released three solo CDs to date. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at https://www.ted.com/tedx


Why education needs hip hop

For educator James Miles, hip hop is more than a style of music – it’s a global youth culture. He believes we need to meet students where they are by inviting that culture into the classroom. When we do, James reveals this fun and infectious approach to teaching helps kids reconnect with the joy of learning, become more engaged, and even perform better on standardized tests.

James is the executive director of the Seattle-based Arts Corps. He works to revolutionize arts education by igniting the creative power of young people through culturally engaging learning experiences. Each year, more than 2,500 K-12 students in the Seattle area experience the transformative power of creativity and gain a deepened belief in their capacity to learn, take risks, persist, and achieve.

James started his career in the arts as a TV and Theater actor, but soon found himself turning down acting roles to take on teaching opportunities with young people. He has become passionate about portraying culture through art and education. He feels that it’s only through challenging students to be the best they can be that one can truly ignite the creative power of young people.

He’s also the former Director of Education at Urban Arts Partnership in New York City. He’s led workshops for multiple celebrated theater programs and taught theater and education as an adjunct professor at NYU. He serves on the board of directors for the Association of Teaching Artists and the Teaching Artist Journal. A graduate of Morehouse College with an MFA from Brandeis University, Miles has spoken on arts, technology and education, and provided professional educational development around the world.

James Miles is the executive director of Seattle-based Arts Corps. He works to revolutionize arts education by igniting the creative power of young people through culturally engaging learning experiences. Each year, more than 2,500 K-12 students in South Seattle and South King County experience the transformative power of creativity and gain a deepened belief in their own capacity to learn, take risks, persist and achieve. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community.


Connecting to climate change through music

To fight climate change fatigue, researcher Judy Twedt hacked her data and used it to compose music. Her score lets us hear decades of Arctic sea ice loss in just minutes. In the beautiful and sometimes discordant piano piece, played by Kristina Lee, numerical scientific data becomes an emotional experience intended to reconnect us to the rhythm of the planet. Judy Twedt is a fifth-generation Washingtonian who pursued a PhD in atmospheric sciences at the UW to better understand the physics of global climate change. Three years into her research after the reversal of US participation in the Paris Climate Accord, she designed a new PhD program to develop novel ways to increase comprehension of our changing climate — by listening to the vital signs of the planet. She uses climate data to create climate soundtracks with three-dimensional, spatialized sound fields. These soundtracks explore tensions between the time-scales of human experience and that of climate change. She mixes art and science to promote public reckoning with our changing climate and its associated risks. She has received an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship; the University of Washington's Husky 100 and Husky Green Awards for her work in sustainability and science communication. She enjoys swimming in the Puget Sound, making pies and addressing big multi-disciplinary problems


Multi-layered tales told with violin and vocals

A gifted violinist and vocalist, Korean-American Joe Kye uses digital looping -- the live recording and play-back of chords and melodies - to create powerful layers of music. A witty storyteller, Joe’s performances weave his immigrant narrative through his show. "We are all artists, every single one of you," says Joe. "If you breathe, if you smile, if you speak or if you frown. These are all inputs to build a world around you. The more we can choose to tell our stories and to listen to stories and act with humanity, then we can build and create a world that is more inclusive to all of us." Born in Korea and raised in Seattle, violinist-looper & vocalist Joe Kye has drawn rave reviews and “discharging world[s] of emotion” and delivering ‘divine messages’ with his lush string loops, sweet vocals, and eclectic style.” Drawing upon his immigrant upbringing, he blends indie-rock, jazz, classical, pop, and Korean folk to create a unique sound. With his innovative use of digital effects and looping, Kye's songs weave together diverse textures, catchy melodies, and rich, sweet vocals to groove and uplift listeners. He studied at Yale and left his high school educator careerto pursue music full-time. He has performed across the US, opening for Yo-Yo Ma, comedian Hari Kondabalu, rapper Warren G, and Senator Bernie Sanders. Kye is currently touring his new album, Migrants. Featured on NPR, BBC World News, PRI’s The World, and LA’s Music Friday Live, the new record has been praised as “lovely and nimble” and “delightfully unique.”


Latin music with a message

Stella Rossi leads the Seattle-based band that integrates hand-clapping, percussive footwork, and intricate Flamenco dance moves into their performances. Their "Spanish music with an edge" weaves in themes of social issues and women’s rights. Deseo Carmin plays a sultry fusion of Latin, Jazz-Funk with the spice of flamenco. Stella Rossi leads the Seattle-based band whose members pull influences from their native countries of Paraguay, Russia, Chile and the United States in their interpretations of Latin American favorites, and original compositions. Their music has already transcended borders as far as Latin America, where they currently enjoy radio and television play in Paraguay and Chile. Stella was a nominated artist for "Composer of the Year" at this year’s Univision Latin Music Awards. They had also been nominated for an award in the 2011 New Music Seminar, Artists on the Verge (AOV) project. It’s a great achievement for DESEO CARMIN to have been nominated to this exclusive list from millions of artists throughout the U.S.


Playing a Violin Outside the Box

Geoffrey Castle aims to shatter people’s preconceived notions of what is possible on a violin.

With a strong interest in community outreach, Castle is thrilled to give back through performances at schools from kindergarten to college. When playing for schools, Castle loves inspiring kids— first to pick up a stringed instrument, and then to learn to “play outside the box”.


Everyone has a song - welcoming refugees through music

What started as a place to sing became a refuge.

Founded by Erin Guinup, just as the U.S. was closing its borders to citizens from select countries, the Tacoma Refugee Choir was determined to turn its musical practice into a celebration of human connection by welcoming voices from around the world. The Choir has created an original song to showcase the idea that it takes diversity to create true harmony. Featuring vocals by Wanz, QDot and Stephanie Anne Johnson.


Northwest Tap Connection on the TEDxSeattle 2017 stage

Dance as protest; say their names see their names feel their names

Using a combination of live performance and their viral-sensation video of the protest dance “Hell You Talmbout”, these Northwest Tap Connection students work to heighten awareness about black individuals killed by police.  Movement is power and these young people have the power to move us all.


Music that breaks down walls

Publish the Quest is a band from Washington State that brought down the house at TEDxSeattle 2016 with infectious energy and a message about the power of music. Flanked by a great horn section, lead singer Jacob Bain took a moment  to share the  band’s mission to use music and collaboration to break down cultural barriers in their travels to Zimbabwe and other African countries. They hope to restore trust and hope in a world that often seems short on both, with music as their calling card.