10.05.21
Jessica Helfand + Ellen McGirt | Audio

S9E11: Avery Willis Hoffman


Avery Willis Hoffman is a writer, director, producer and curator. Hoffman recently joined Brown University as the inaugural artistic director of the Brown Arts Institute

She talked about how the arts can give a divided society a structure for working through difficult topics:
If you're just at the school board meeting where people are yelling and screaming about this and that and they want to ban this book, that is a heated, intense environment. Now you take that same topic and you put it into an artistic space and people behave differently.

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If you enjoyed this conversation with Avery, you might want to check out Ellen’s and Jessica’s earlier conversation with Rosanne Somerson, president of the Rhode Island School of Design.

This season’s theme music is from Solar Echoes, by Nigel Stanford.

And a big thanks to this season’s sponsor, Mailchimp.


Posted in: Design of Business | Business of Design, Education




Jessica Helfand + Ellen McGirt Jessica Helfand, a founding editor of Design Observer, is an award-winning graphic designer and writer. A former contributing editor and columnist for Print, Eye and Communications Arts magazine, she is a member of Alliance Graphique Internationale and a recent laureate of the Art Director’s Hall of Fame. Jessica received both her BA and MFA from Yale University where she has taught since 1994. In 2013, she won the AIGA medal.

Jessica Helfand + Ellen McGirt Ellen McGirt is an author, podcaster, speaker, community builder, and award-winning business journalist. She is the editor-in-chief of Design Observer, a media company that has maintained the same clear vision for more than two decades: to expand the definition of design in service of a better world. Ellen established the inclusive leadership beat at Fortune in 2016 with raceAhead, an award-winning newsletter on race, culture, and business. The Fortune, Time, Money, and Fast Company alumna has published over twenty magazine cover stories throughout her twenty-year career, exploring the people and ideas changing business for good. Ask her about fly fishing if you get the chance.

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