hallmark creative leadership symposium

With its mission to inspire and empower the creative community of Hallmark, the Creative Leadership Symposium invites you to explore what’s truly possible when you ask yourself “What Else?”


Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts

Coffee and registration

Speakers throughout the day
Lunch provided

Cocktails, hors d'oeuvres
and entertainment



kwame alexander

Newbery Award-Winning Author & Educator

Kwame believes that poetry can change the world. It’s why he’s spent his career traveling the globe teaching children the joy of the written word—empowering them to use their creative abilities to inspire others. And somehow, he’s still found the time to publish a number of his own works of poetry and children’s literature, including “The Crossover,” which won the 2015 John Newbery Medal for the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children.

Kwame Alexander.com



Online Influencer, New York Times Best-Selling Author

Every day, more than 2 million people flock to Grace’s blog, Design*Sponge, where she shares stories about creativity, inspiration and reinventing the everyday. Continuously exploring the outer limits of the creative world, Grace is on a mission to find new ideas that inspire us all. Along the way, she has also found time to pour her thoughts into the pages of two books, including her latest, the New York Times best seller “In the Company of Women.”



Allison Schroeder

Academy Award-Nominated Screenwriter of "Hidden Figures"

Growing up near the Kennedy Space Center had a profound impact on Allison. It was there she witnessed her grandparents using their creative minds to explore the possibilities of mathematics—developing the very ideas that helped put astronauts on the moon. Her initial studies in economics and writing led her to intern at a missile launch company the summer after her freshman year. But she quickly changed her trajectory to focus on words. In her time writing television shows and screenplays, she’s earned a reputation for creating stories that celebrate the human spirit and give strong women a well-deserved voice, including the Oscar- and BAFTA-nominated script for “Hidden Figures.”



Award-Winning Filmmaker & Illustrator

Jeremy’s adventures as an award-winning filmmaker, author, illustrator, exploratory rock climber and activist have proven that he is always exploring the possibilities of what he can be. Pouring his soul into sketchbooks as he travels the world and traverses mountainsides, Jeremy is continually searching for ways that art can make the world better. It’s where he found the inspiration for his brand, Meridian Line. And it’s many of these discoveries that he’s brought to life in his award-winning film and companion book, “Drawn.”



Creative Director of Global Promotions & Brand

Dena believes that great creative should make you feel something, believe something or just inspire you to think differently. And it’s this idea that’s at the heart of every assignment she and her team of writers, designers and illustrators at Starbucks take on. Season after season, she works to create new ways to connect with their loyal customers and create stories that will influence their tastes and perceptions.


Acclaimed Singer, Songwriter & Instrumentalist

For Eems, a ukulele isn’t just a ukulele. It’s a jumping off point that leads to an uncharted and often unpredictable world of sound and inspiration. Blending it with loops and effects to achieve a captivating blend of R&B and pop music, Eems has used his unique sounds, voice and sense of humor to reach crowds across the country.




Director of Graphics & Illustration

Chris began his career path designing snowboarding apparel for people who race to the bottom of the mountain and wound up at the pinnacle of the design world for adventure apparel. With a firm belief that good design can solve complex problems, Chris has woven his passion for conservation, art and storytelling into a career that has carried him from snowboarding apparel to the halls of Nike to making the decisions that are redefining the Patagonia brand.


World-Renowned Artist & Illustrator

Lisa didn’t start painting and illustrating until she was 32 years old. But she certainly made up for lost time. With clients ranging from MoMA and Harvard University to Martha Stewart, Random House and Chronicle Books, Lisa’s artistic abilities earned her a spot on 2015’s “40 Women Over Forty to Watch” list for women who are reinventing, disrupting and making an impact. Not one to confine herself to a single discipline, Lisa creates colorful graphic paintings and intricate line drawings and has written numerous books on her continued creative exploration.



Globally Influential Lettering Artist

She turned the typography industry on its head in her early ’20s and hasn’t stopped. Gemma’s passion for the letterform has carried her from body art to the pages of magazines to art galleries across the world. From digital type to large-scale handpainted murals, her vision is to find ways for lettering and typography to escape their boundaries. And her ever-growing client list is a testament to that vision.


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1601 Broadway Blvd, Kansas City, MO 64108

Free parking is available in the Arts District Garage,
directly below the Kauffman Center.

Parking is limited. Please consider carpooling, and be sure to arrive early.


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