“[Mayor Kip Holden] is going into the four-man race with more than $400,000 in his war chest and near-record approval ratings of more than 80%...[and] the experienced campaign team of Marmillion/Gray advising him and producing his media.”

- Baton Rouge Business Report, 8/25/08

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"Mastering the Imagination" Presentations
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By Valsin Marmillion and Richard Deasy

"Mastering the Imagination" presentations stimulate audiences and address a profound issue: America's role as a world innovation leader is in jeopardy.  It is losing its competitive edge to other nations as an education that builds capacities of the imagination is disappearing from schools.  Mastering the cognitive skills and habits of mind that engender creativity and lead to innovation is an essential part of what students should be learning and is key to our nation’s world competitive positioning. 

“Mastering the Imagination” presenters, Valsin Marmillion, president and founder of the public relations firm, Marmillion + Company, and Richard Deasy, former director, Arts Education Partnership, and author of “Third Space: When Learning Matters,” recast a new America, built and powered by skills of the imagination.  Through original research, they demonstrate solid public support for developing children’s imaginations as a link to future innovation and the 21st century skills that are needed for the workplace. The continuum of imagination, creativity and innovation offers promise for a more well-rounded society, as change takes hold of a nation challenged by a more global, world view and threatened economy.

New messaging aligned with the values of the American public will help schools, arts and cultural organizations, and others communicate the importance of building skills of the imagination through the arts to all types of audiences and help influence support. Tactics will be shared to position the arts as the engine that will drive innovation and a creative, global economy.

Beyond polling, examples from promising arts education initiatives across the country will demonstrate how a focus on developing the skills of the imagination in and through the arts is mobilizing schools, cities, and entire states in supporting the arts.
“Mastering the Imagination” presentations include communication tools and strategies that make it possible for anyone to harness the power and support of the “imagine nation.”

About the “Mastering the Imagination” Presenters:

Valsin Marmillion is an award-winning creator of some of America's most imaginative campaigns, including the Mars Millennium Project, where students imagine life on Mars in 2030. His accomplishments with creative brand development, media strategies, social networking and work to define new consumer democracy trends, place Marmillion in a unique position tell the story of the "imagine nation."

As the former director of the Arts Education Partnership (AEP), Richard Deasy commissioned the original “imagine nation” research conducted by Marmillion + Company and published seminal research studies and reports that are credited with major advances in arts education in the United States.  He commissioned and edited AEP’s widely acclaimed compendium of research, Critical Links: Learning in the Arts and Student Academic and Social Development, and most recently commissioned the research and co-authored the resulting book Third Space: When Learning Matters, a study of the transformative effects of the arts in high poverty schools. 

Deasy has been a senior state education official in Maryland and Pennsylvania, president and CEO of the National Council for International Visitors, and a prize-winning reporter on politics and government in Philadelphia and the surrounding metropolitan area. He was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for reporting on slum housing conditions in suburban Philadelphia.

Marmillion in EdWeek: STEM Education Leveraged by the Arts