Sarah Lewis to be ALA President’s Program Speaker at 2015 Annual Conference

For Immediate Release
Thu, 03/26/2015


Amy McGuigan

Conference Manager

Conference Services

American Library Association

CHICAGO -- Art historian, critic, writer and “cultural powerhouse” Sarah Lewis is the featured speaker for ALA President Courtney Young’s President’s Program 3:30-4:30 p.m. on Sunday, June 28 at the 2015 ALA Annual Conference in San Francisco. Lewis celebrates creativity, focusing on how it can lead us through fear and failure to ultimate success. In our pursuit of success and mastery, is it actually our near wins that push us forward and our failures that become the process?

“Embrace the Near Win” was selected as one of TED Talks’ 2014 Collection of the Most Powerful Talks. In it, as in her acclaimed debut book “The Rise: Creativity, the Gift of Failure and the Search for Mastery,” she urges her audience to consider the role of the almost-failure in our own lives. “Coming close to what you thought you wanted can help you attain what you never dreamed you could,” she says. “Completion is a goal, but we hope it is never the end.” She came to understand that what really motivates us is “the unfinished” and that mastery is in the reaching rather than the arriving when, at her first museum job, she noticed that not every work by an artist she was studying was a total masterpiece. “The Rise” was described by the New York Times as “strikingly original.”  

Lewis has served on President Obama’s Arts Policy Committee, been selected for Oprah’s “Power List” and is a Du Bois Fellow at Harvard University. She is also an active curator, having held positions at both the Tate Modern and The Museum of Modern Art. Her writing on contemporary art has been published extensively, and her fresh perspectives on the dialogue between culture, history and identity have made her central to these conversations. “Sarah Lewis is applying her turbocharged intellect to bridging the gap between art and social policy,” says Vogue magazine.

Lewis’s appearance is sponsored by Simon & Schuster. The ALA President’s Program will be preceded by the ALA Awards Presentation, 3 - 3:30 p.m. (Note the new time for this program in 2015.)

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