extends the legacy of L. Neil Williams Jr., an Atlanta-based leader in the fields of law, education and the arts. We seek to honor his example of asking important questions, listening to disparate views, and inspiring others to ask the questions that would guide us toward greater understanding, innovation, service, and hope.

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​Saturday, April 28 2018 at 1:00 pm until 3:30 pm
HIGH MUSEUM OF ART, ATLANTA | 1280 Peachtree Street, NE I Atlanta, GA 30309

Neil Asks, "What does participatory creativity look like in Atlanta and where can it be found?” 


Participatory Creativity: Introducing Access and Equity to the Creative Learning Experience
Edward P. Clapp, Principal Investigator, Harvard Graduate School of Education’s Project Zero 

Throughout various formal and informal educational settings, there is a sustained interest in providing young people with access to creative learning experiences. Though good intentioned, many of these initiatives retain traditional, individual-based approaches to creativity that actually privilege the cognitive abilities and cultural perspectives of some students, while alienating others. During this lecture and panel discussion, Edward Clapp, Principal Investigator at the Harvard Graduate School of Education’s Project Zero, will present a counter-narrative to the traditional creativity in education story by introducing the concept of participatory creativity—a systems-based approach to supporting creativity in education that aims to make participating in invention and innovation accessible to all students. Following Clapp’s presentation, a panel of esteemed Atlanta-based creative catalysts will both draw connections to the concept of participatory creativity through their work—and challenge the theory in practice. The ultimate goal for this dialogue for between theory and practice is to better understand how we may design creative learning experiences that draw on the skills, experiences, and cultural perspectives of all students.

Creative catalysts:
Jessica Booth is the Fine Arts Specialist for the Georgia Department of Education. Since 2015, Ms. Booth has overseen the disciplines of music, dance, theatre and visual arts and provided assistance for fine arts staff throughout Georgia’s school districts.

Ryan Gravel is best known for his master’s thesis and early work that launched the Atlanta Beltline. Gravel is an urban planner, designer, and author working on infrastructure, concept development, and policy as the founder of Sixpitch.

Fahamu Pecou is an interdisciplinary artist and scholar whose works combine observations on hip-hop, fine art and popular culture. Pecou’s paintings, performance art, and academic work addresses concerns around contemporary representations of Black masculinity and how these images impact both the reading and performance of Black masculinity.

Steven Satterfield is a James Beard award-winning chef and executive chef and co-owner of Miller Union, a celebrated, seasonally-driven restaurant located in Atlanta’s Westside neighborhood. 

Virginia Shearer is the Eleanor McDonald Storza Director of Education at the High Museum of Art.  

This Neil Asks program is in partnership with Atlanta’s Center for the Advancement and Study of International Education (CASIE).




"Each symposium so searching and rewarding, each panel so distinctly peopled with a balance of life experiences and perspectives. It's truly a forge at which sparks of inquiry and reflection bend the mind to reshape and reconsider."

–Charlotte Lee, Former SVP, New York Stock Exchange

The Shepherd Spinal Center (404-350-7325) has an excellent service for a driver evaluation if one is needed.

– from Nancy Purdon

For help with having a difficult conversation with older relatives, you can check out The Conversation Project begun by Ellen Goodman. (
– from Lyle Ross

“He did change the world for the better in so many arenas and served as a role model and mentor for many of us.”
– William Barnet II 
Trustee, The Duke Endowment 
Former Mayor, Spartanburg, S. C. 

“Daddy loved moments that couldn’t be better and he challenged us all to think about how to improve those that could. We know we are better because of him. And so, because of his example, we reaffirm our commitment to making ourselves and the relationships and institutions around us the very best we can.”
– Daughter Susan S. Williams

Professor and Dean 

​Ohio State University

“Throughout his career Neil Williams enthusiastically demonstrated the curiosity and intellect necessary to address important issues and solve important problems. NeilAsks pays continuing tribute to that same enthusiasm by asking important questions in forums where such curiosity and intellect can join. The result is not only intellectually nourishing, it is great fun of the highest caliber.”
– Michael T. Petrik
Chair, Vasser Woolley Foundation

“NeilAsks allows me to think creatively about important civic/artistic conversations with the best minds across many disciplines in Atlanta and the SouthEast. It is an honor to be a part of the planning committee. “
– Celise Kalke
Director of New Projects, Alliance Theatre

“This was a remarkable presentation.” “I learned so much.” “Jeremy Begbie is amazing.” “He captures and holds the attention of the audience.” “I couldn’t believe how unifying it felt when everyone sang the same note.”
– Attendees at the program at Trinity Presbyterian Church

“The Duke Endowment deserves great credit for organizing and staging a great discussion.”
– Richard Riddell
Vice President and University Secretary, Duke University

“I thoroughly enjoyed the session, meeting all of the amazing “friends” of the Duke Endowment, and learning about your father’s passions and philosophies. Your family has established an amazing legacy for Mr. Williams that we’ll enjoy remembering and supporting for years to come.”
– LaTonya King
Director of Diversity and Inclusion, Duke Energy



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