About the Weinstein-Rosenthal Forum Artists

About Parker J. Palmer | Author • Educator • Activist

Parker Palmer headshotParker J. Palmer is the founder and senior partner of the Center for Courage & Renewal. He is a world-renowned writer, speaker and activist who focuses on issues in education, community, leadership, spirituality and social change. Palmer is the author of nine books, including several best-selling and award-winning titles: Healing the Heart of Democracy, The Heart of Higher Education (with Arthur Zajonc), The Courage to Teach, A Hidden Wholeness, Let Your Life Speak, The Active Life, To Know As We Are Known, The Company of Strangers, and The Promise of Paradox. His book, Healing the Heart of Democracy: The Courage to Create a Politics Worthy of the Human Spirit, was chosen by Spirituality & Practice as one of the best books of 2011 on contemplation and social activism. His most recent book is On the Brink of Everything: Grace, Gravity and Getting Old.

Palmer holds a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of California at Berkeley, as well as 13 honorary doctorates, two Distinguished Achievement Awards from the National Educational Press Association, an Award of Excellence from the Associated Church Press, and major grants from the Danforth, Lilly, and Fetzer foundations. In 1998, the Leadership Project, a national survey of 10,000 educators, named Dr. Palmer one of the thirty “most influential senior leaders” in higher education and one of the ten key “agenda-setters” of the past decade. In 2005, Living the Questions: Essays Inspired by the Work and Life of Parker J. Palmer, was published (Jossey-Bass) by Sam M. Intrator (Editor). In 2010, Palmer was given the William Rainey Harper Award whose previous recipients include Margaret Mead, Elie Wiesel, and Paolo Freire. In 2011, he was named an Utne Reader Visionary, one of “25 people who are changing your world.” A member of the Religious Society of Friends (Quaker), Dr. Palmer and his wife, Sharon Palmer, live in Madison, Wisconsin.

About Carrie Newcomer | Songwriter • Performer• Educator

Carrie Newcomer headshotCarrie Newcomer is a Grammy-winning songwriter, recording artist, performer, and educator. She has been described as a “prairie mystic”> by the Boston Globe and, one who “asks all the right questions,” by Rolling Stone. Recent appearances on PBS’s Religion and Ethics and the National Award Winning Krista Tippett’s On Being have focused on her use of creative art-form as a spiritual/mindfulness practice, her work in social/environmental justice, interfaith dialogue, progressive spirituality and as a champion for a new political conversation.

In the fall of 2009 and 2011, Newcomer was a cultural ambassador to India, invited by the American Embassy of India. In October 2011, she released her interfaith collaborative benefit album, Everything is Everywhere, with world master of the Indian Sarod, Amjad Ali Khan. In June 2012, Carrie Newcomer traveled to Kenya, Africa, performing in schools, hospitals, spiritual communities and AIDS hospitals. In 2013, Carrie visited organizations dedicated to nonviolent conflict resolution through the arts and the empowerment of women in the Middle East. Huffington Post Religion Community listed her song, “Holy as the Day is Spent,” as one of the best spiritual songs of 2012. Carrie has 16 nationally-released albums on Available Light and Concord/Rounder Records including; The Beautiful Not Yet, A Permeable Life, and Everything is Everywhere. In 2014, Newcomer also released two companion books of poetry and essays, A Permeable Life: Poems and Essays and The Beautiful Not Yet: Poems, Essays, and Lyrics.

Newcomer’s first theatrical production, Betty’s Diner: The Musical was produced as part of the Purdue University 2015/2016 theatrical season and is now available to interested theaters, universities and spiritual communities. In 2016 Carrie presented the Commencement address and was awarded an honorary degree in Music for Social Change from Goshen College. Her 2017 PBS special, An Evening with Carrie Newcomer is currently playing in 200 markets across the USA, featuring songs from The Beautiful Not Yet and special commentary and conversation with Parker J. Palmer. Other collaborations with Parker J. Palmer include Healing the Heart of Democracy: A Gathering of Spirits for the Common Good and What We Need is Here: Hope Hard Times and Human Possibility. Other special collaborations include productions with neuroscientist Jill Bolte Taylor, author, Rabbi Sandy Sasso, environmental author Scott Russell Sander. Carrie tours internationally performing and presenting workshops and retreats. In June of 2018, Carrie will join again with Parker J. Palmer for a new project, The Growing Edge, with a new website, podcast and retreat.

About Gary Walters | Musician • Composer • Educator

Gary Walters headshot

Gary Walters is a performing and recording musician, composer, arranger and educator. He has been touring and recording with Carrie Newcomer for over five years. He has performed and recorded with many of Central Indiana’s finest musicians, including the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. His compositions range from jazz pieces, works for chamber groups and small orchestras incorporating elements of post-Modernism and improvisation. He is a member of the faculty at Butler University, teaching applied Jazz Piano as well as directing several jazz combos. Gary has released two solo recordings, Moments in Time and The Way Through, reflecting his varied musical influences and original compositions, and band project Icarus Ensemble. Gary has appeared on many nationally released recordings including seven with Carrie Newcomer. Gary was also arranger and music director for the 2016 production of Betty’s Diner: The Musical. Beginning in 2013, Gary has joined with author Parker J. Palmer and musician Carrie Newcomer to create two nationally touring stage shows, Healing the Heart of Democracy, and What We Need is Here: Hope Hard Times and the Human Possibility.