I really love living in this town (OK, city). A few years ago I stumbled on Newton Inspires and it made me like my new home (OK, not so new any more) even more.
It happens once a year. They round up all sorts of interesting Newton residents doing interesting things. For one night at Newton South High School they put together a program of Newton speakers on a wide variety of topics. The whole event is FREE to Newton residents and cost $15 if you want to bring your non-Newton friends.
The program is broken into three pieces. It starts with 3 speakers (choose one) in larger spaces. This year that kickoff session features Tom Ashcroft ( A Life in the News) from WBUR and I’m a big fan. The 2nd choice is Tyler Jacks (Bringing Cancer Science to Cancer Patients). The last choice was someone named Dick Simon (Living My Dream: Challenging FEAR by Cycling Across America).
As many of you know I run the Newton Nomadic Theater. Last spring we did a wonderful show called “A Picasso”. When we were organizing the run we thought it would be great to open in an artist’s studio. I started sending around emails looking for someone who might know a Newton artist with a suitable studio. A friend of a friend of a friend put us in touch with an artist named Patty Simon. We did “A Picasso” in Patty’s studio and we and Patty hit it off wonderfully. Just last week we opened our newest production back in Patty’s studio. When I was signing up tonight for Newton Inspires and saw that the 2nd speaker in the opening session was Dick Simon I though “could it be?” A quick Google search confirmed that Dick Simon is in fact Patty Simon’s husband and it sounds like he has a wonderful story to tell – so I’m signed up.
Next you sign up for one of 13 possible speakers for session #2. They are all over the map. The last time I went to Newton Inspires I listened to the former US ambassador to Norway. He told tales of how shortly after he landed in Norway, president Obama was nominated for the Nobel prize and suddenly he was hosting a worldwide gathering of dignitaries from around the world.
Finally you sign up for Session #3, one of three speakers:
- Joe Amorosino – Sports Director, 7NEWS, New England’s Golden Era of Sports
- Kathleen McGinn – Cahners-Rabb Professor, Harvard Business School, Women’s Choices: A World of Possibilities
- David Punch & Andrea Pyenson – Chef/Restaurateur, Sycamore & Little Big Diner, & Food Writer, We Say Please & Thank You – A Little Respect Goes a Long Way
It’s a great night. It’s free. You learn about all sorts of extremely interesting things that your neighbors are doing. I can’t wait to hear all about my new friend Patty’s husband and his adventures.
My hat’s off to whoever first came up with this event. It’s an inspired idea and a wonderful night.
If you’ve never been, sign up today. You’ll love it and learn a bit about some of the amazing people who live in this town (OK, city).