Home / Speakers


Meet Experts in the Field.

Dr. Stephen Dobson

Keynote Speaker

Associate Professor of Creativity and Enterprise at the School of Performance and Cultural Industries, University of Leeds

Title: “Exploring New Horizons in Performance and Cultural Industries”

Dr Stephen Dobson is Associate Professor of Creativity and Enterprise at the School of Performance and Cultural Industries, University of Leeds. Research interests span several areas relating to cultural and creative industries and entrepreneurship including; entrepreneurial identity and creative enterprise, the creative workplace and leadership for fostering innovation and creativity, critical management, cross-disciplinary creativity, cultural and creative industries policy, and digital enterprise. Stephen regularly delivers entrepreneurship policy and creative leadership executive programmes for global partners and is a Board Member of the Institute for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (ISBE). In 2018, he has co-edited a Special Issue of the International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation (IJEI) called ‘The Playway to the Entrepreneurial City', which explores themes such as the work/play dichotomy as well as urban space for informal events and performance and the reuse of public space for fostering creativity and business incubation.
His PhD in Urban Planning is from the Department of Landscape, School of Architecture at the University of Sheffield and he is interested in the linkages between urban space and the performativity of the city through cultural practices and that of urban policy/planning practices, to support entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystems.

Associate Professor. Donna Hewitt

Keynote Speaker

The University of New England

Title: “Creative Futures in the Mirror of Artificial Intelligence”

Donna Hewitt is a composer, performer, instrument designer and academic. Her creative practice explores mediatized performance environments and new ways of interfacing the human body and voice with electronic media.

Donna is currently a collaborator on a 5-year project funded by Canada’s Social Sciences and Humanities research council (SSHRC) Reflective Iterative Scenario Enactments (RISE) is a Le PARC based 5-year (2020-2025) research-creation project designed to enact and investigate futuristic challenges through a series on mini operas. She is also collaborating with all female identifying Australian choir, The House that Dan built, on the development of an AI Opera with the support of the Australia Council for the Arts and a recent Bundanon residency. In Feb 2023 she undertook a residency at ARUP Sydney’s 16 channel immersive studio which was supported by CreateNSW and ARUP. She is currently the Head of Department of Creative Arts and Communication at the University of New England. Donna’s work has been featured in prominent festivals including VIVID Festival. (2018), The Bondi Feast Festival (2018), Halifx, Nova Scotia MINT (Music in New Technologies Festival) (2018). In 2019 she performed her #MeToo works in Tokyo and at the Convergence Festival of Music, Technology and Ideas, UK. These works explored the perspectives of women in response to the #Me Too movement.

Julie Decker, PhD

Plenary Speaker

Director/CEO of the Anchorage Museum,

Title: “Community and Creative Collaboration in a Changing Arctic”

Julie Decker, PhD, is the Director/CEO of the Anchorage Museum in Alaska, a leading center for scholarship, engagement, and investigation of Alaska and the North. Her work has focused on the people and environment of Northern places and building projects, relationships and initiatives that are in service to local and global communities. Before becoming CEO, Decker served as the Museum’s chief curator. She has a doctorate in art history, a master’s degree in arts administration, and bachelor degrees in visual design and journalism. She has curated numerous exhibitions and authored and edited publications on contemporary art, architecture and the environment.

Ms. Danielle K. Garrison

Plenary Speaker

Concordia University

Title: “Ethered & Tethered: Co-Sensing heartbeats via Aerial Arts, Biometrics, Digital Composition and Opera.”

Danielle entangles aerial arts, dance and technology within performance research to re-ignite embodied interaction in a post-touch era. While pursuing her MFA in Dance (somatics/aerial arts) from the University of Colorado-Boulder, Danielle was granted a Fulbright to France to create an interdisciplinary project spanning dance, circus, visual arts and film. Recent aerial residencies include Milieux (Montréal), Nils Obstrat (Paris), SBCAST (Santa Barbara Center for Arts, Science and Technology), La Grainerie (Toulouse), and the Circus Dialogues Project’s 4th encounter (Avallon). Danielle has performed and/or taught for Aerial Dance Chicago, Frequent Flyers Productions, Les Rencontres de Danse Aérienne, the Berlin Circus Festival, Frequent Flyers Aerial Dance Festival, Santa Barbara Floor to Air Festival, Aerial Greece, and the San Francisco Aerial Dance Festival. In 2020, she co-created Aerial Reflexionando (virtual aerial arts colloque) with Ana Prada to support critical exchange on contemporary aerial arts in the Americas. Currently, Danielle is an interdisciplinary humanities PhD student in research-creation at Concordia University (Montréal) and the University of Montpellier 3 (France), as well as a 4-year Fulbright Specialist.


Dr. Sheena Bernett,

Dr. Sheena Bernett,

Plenary Speaker

Concordia University

Title: “Relationality: the Emergent Co-composing of Multiplicity”

Dr. Sheena Bernett is a practitioner, educator, and researcher of neurodiverse performing and creative arts practices. Recently, she completed her research-creation PhD at Concordia University. Both her thesis and defence were ranked “outstanding” by all committee members (with no corrections) and her research has just been selected for the June 2023 Governor General Gold Medal Award. Sheena also holds an MA in Musical Theatre Performance from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and a BFA in Music Composition and Classical Voice from Concordia University. Her education also includes training from the American Musical & Dramatic Academy in New York and The National Ballet School.

Ms. Kalpana Madavie

+94 77 274 1265
+94 11 799 2022

Ms. Chanika Gunathilake

+94 70 330 9862

Mr. Dinusha Randimal

+94 77 059 5907
+94 11 799 2022

Ms. Sathini Jayathma

+94 70 155 1165
+94 11 784 4554

Copyright © ICOAH 2024. All Right Reserved By TIIKM.