Mission Creek’s innovation conference returns with a new name — and free for all

The Art + Life + Tech conference will be held Apr.  8-9
The Art + Life + Tech conference will be held Apr. 8-9

For the third year in a row, Mission Creek will host an innovation conference during its festival in April — but this time with some major updates.

Mission Creek launched its Innovation Conference in 2014, supplementing its traditional parade of literary, musical, visual arts and film events. This year, that conference takes on a new name — the Art + Life + Tech (ALT) conference — and thanks to sponsorship from Iowa City’s MetaCommunications, it will for the first time be free of charge to attend. Previously, tickets ranged from $30-$50.

This year’s two-day conference, which consists of both panels and keynote talks, will take place at the Iowa City Public Library. According to a press release, the events will explore “intersections between technology, art and our lives.” Education, transportation, design and entrepreneurship will all get space for discussion, and speakers will include both local experts and visitors from elsewhere.

The kickoff panel on Fri., Apr. 8 at 5 p.m., Digitized: The Evolution of Music in the Age of Connection, will be moderated by music historian and producer Andy Zax and include SoundCloud’s Megan West, Downtown Records’ Jessica Johnson and Daytrotter’s Sean Moeller. The talk is aimed at artists, bloggers, label managers and other interested parties.

On Sat. Apr. 9, there’s a new event every hour for innovators of all tastes, starting at 1 p.m. when Monica Correia, professor and UI 3D Design Program head, will speak on Digital Technology in the Process of Making Design to Connect.

At 2 p.m. a panel called Distributed Learning: Reshaping Curriculum with Technology will address educational technology with experts from IowaBIG, Higher Learning Technologies, ACT, PearDeck and Compass.

Next up, at 3 p.m., the executive director of NewBoCo will speak on High Growth: Technology Fueled Entrepreneurship.

Rounding out the conference, at 4 p.m., learn about automated vehicles — and see a demonstration — from Daniel V. McGehee of the Transportation and Vehicle Safety Research Division at UI’s Public Policy Center.

More detailed information is available at the ALT website.