Conversations about new art media in Clearwater's Coachman Park

Speaking of technology and design, on Tuesday the City of Clearwater's Cultural Affairs Division hosts a discussion devoted to the effects of new media on the way artists and designers engage with their audience — and each other. Bright House Networks' multicultural community relations officer Christian Leon and I will each speak about projects we're initiating. Leon will discuss Internet-enabled collaboration and his upcoming multimedia-and-music event, the Connext Project (more about it below), and I'll talk about my experience as a blogger and the potential for social networking and user-generated content to build a stronger arts community online with real-world results.

The event is part of the Americans for the Arts' annual Creative Conversations series and is organized by Christopher Hubbard, Clearwater's public art specialist and a 2008 Americans for the Arts Emerging Arts Leader. Join us at the Clearwater Regional Chamber of Commerce (1130 Cleveland St., Clearwater) on Tues., Oct. 28, 7-9 p.m., following a meeting of Emerge Tampa Bay. For more information or to RSVP for the free event, contact Hubbard at [email protected].

On Sat., Nov. 1, the Connext Project aims to transform downtown Clearwater's Coachman Park into an outdoor video lounge featuring animation, motion graphics and experimental films by local as well as nationally and internationally known designers and artists. Headliners include MK12 (the production studio responsible for the innovative opening sequence of Stranger Than Fiction), Rhythm & Hues and Pixar; students from the University of South Florida, University of Tampa, Ringling College of Art and Design and The Art Institute of Tampa will also take part. Beforehand, a panel of industry leaders discusses the convergence of design, entertainment and business. Beer, wine and international food round out the offerings. For more information, go to connextproject.com.