Claudia Stevens

To be an artist is one thing. To be a successful artist is quite another. What separates the two? Often it is simply entrepreneurship-the drive and know-how to turn your artistry into an art career.

Claudia Stevens, pianist, singer, musicologist, and composer, whose work has been performed on national stages, lectures on the topic of entrepreneurship and reveals key strategies for artists to undertake. Her presentations address topics such as self-management, marketing, and crossover careers.

As a scholar and performer she encourages listeners to consider both thoughtfully and creatively the importance of developing entrepreneurial skills. Stevens’ interdisciplinary presentation will benefit students and community members interested in pursuing the arts or a business career. She has created some 15 solo plays for her own performance as a musician and monologue artist, many of which were published or presented by leading universities and arts centers. Among her honors as a creative artist are a dozen touring grants from the Virginia Commission for the Arts and numerous residencies at cultural institutions.

Recent projects include a solo play cycle about animal rights and the librettos for a short chamber opera, A Very Large Mole, and for a new chamber opera, Riddle Me, created in collaboration with Allen Shearer.

Stevens holds degrees in music from Vassar College and University of California, Berkeley, as well as a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in piano from Boston University, under Leonard Shure. She has held academic, conducting and performance positions at Brandeis University, Williams College, the College of William and Mary.


  • Lecture: “Breaking Some Eggs: Strategies in Career Advancement for the Entrepreneurial Artist”.
  • Lecture: “Revelation: an artist talks about her discovery of Jewish identity and Holocaust past.”

“An Evening with Madame F” was created by Claudia Stevens for her solo performance as a musician and actor, with additional original music by Fred Cohen. The work has been presented at the national and international levels for two decades. It is widely praised by critics, audiences, and the Holocaust survivor community as a uniquely authentic and profound artistic expression of the Holocaust. Drawing on first-hand accounts – those of her own family members and of several concentration camp musicians, Stevens depicts and mirrors the struggle of women who survived Auschwitz as entertainers. In an enthralling virtuoso performance, she incorporates music that was played and sung by concentration camp inmates. And, as the daughter of victims of the Holocaust, she also meditates on the complex ethical and artistic dilemma of expressing unspeakable horror through art. An Evening with Madame F was produced for television by PBS affiliates WCVE and WHTJ.

“An Evening with Madame F” has been programmed in New York, Toronto, Houston, Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, Washington, DC, Milwaukee, Atlanta, Cincinnati, New Orleans, Palm Beach, Kansas City, Indianapolis, Omaha, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, San Antonio, Salt Lake City, St. Paul, Louisville, Baltimore, Boston, and many other cities. Presenters have included Holocaust centers, Jewish Federations and Foundations, JCC cultural arts series and lectureships in Jewish Studies. Additionally, the piece is being presented by many leading educational institutions. Recently these include: Dartmouth, Stanford, Brandeis, UCLA, Lehigh, Southern Methodist, the Univ. of Calif. at Santa Barbara, Cornell, Swarthmore and many others. A major article about Claudia Stevens, her unique personal story and artistic contributions, appeared in a recent issue of Reform Judaism magazine.

Full Biography

Claudia Stevens creates and performs her unique and complex solo plays throughout the United States. A number of her solo plays and musical compositions for piano are published in leading music and poetry journals. She also has become a recognized thinker and sought-after speaker about the Holocaust, great women of science, and entrepreneurship in the arts.

Classically trained as a pianist, singer, conductor and composer, Claudia studied piano with the master teachers Leon Fleisher, Leonard Shure and Arie Vardi. She holds degrees in music from Vassar College (summa cum laude), the University of California at Berkeley and the DMA from Boston University. Her academic positions have included Williams College and the College of William and Mary as an Assoc. Professor of Piano, where she now is a Visiting Scholar. As a pianist she was the featured artist on a number of “Performance Today” on National Public Radio and PBS television broadcasts.

When Claudia Stevens developed a new career as an innovative performance artist and playwright, her creative work came to national attention. She is the recipient of grants from the International Theater Institute, the National Endowment for the Arts, and twelve consecutive grants from the Virginia Commission for the Arts, and has been an artist in residence at the MacDowell Colony, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, the Baltimore Theater Project, and RS9 Studio Theater in Budapest. She also was in residence at the Gitameit Art Center in Rangoon, Burma at the invitation of the American diplomatic and arts community to address the suppression of artists in Burma. Most recently, Claudia has become a librettist, collaborating with San Francisco composer Allen Shearer in several works of chamber opera: “The Dawn Makers,” which premiered at Herbst Theater, San Francisco in 2009 to national and international acclaim, and a new opera, “Middlemarch, a Love Story,” currently in progress. Claudia lives in the Bay Area in California.

David Rivkin

Attorney David B. Rivkin, Jr. has studied the U.S. Constitution and related historical documents with scholarly rigor, and has authored incisive commentary on the critical constitutional issues of our day. Now in private practice, Rivkin’s lengthy career has been distinguished by service in the White House during two presidential terms, in both the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of Energy. He is a well-known writer and media commentator on matters of constitutional and international law, as well as on foreign and defense policy.

A trusted representative of conservative viewpoints, Rivkin is frequently called upon to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee and other congressional committees. He testified as a minority party witness in the confirmation hearings of Supreme Court Justice nominee Sonia Sotomayor, and in 2009, before the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on the Constitution regarding “The Legal, Moral, and National Security Consequences of ‘Prolonged Detention.’” Rivkin boasts an extensive body of work; his legal opinion pieces and commentary include more than 350 articles and numerous guest appearances on radio, and network and cable televisions programs, such as CNN, NPR, BBC, Fox News, NBC, ABC, CBS and Al Jazeera.

Rivkin develops his positions on critical public and legal matters not from political ideology, but from a reasoned interpretation of the U.S. Constitution, legislation, judicial rulings, and legal opinions. David Rivkin currently represents foreign governments and corporate entities on legal, political, economic, defense, and public relations matters. He is a Visiting Fellow at the Nixon Center, Contributing Editor at The National Review, and a member of the Advisory Council at The National Interest magazine, and currently serves as Co-Chairman of the Center for Law and Counterterrorism at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.




  • Constitutional Law
  • Constitutionality of Federal Mandates to the States
  • EPA and Climate Control Law
  • Supreme Court Justice Selection and History
  • International Law
  • Foreign and Defense Policy
  • Health Care Legislation

Full Biography

David B. Rivkin Jr., a partner at Baker Hostetler LLP, is a member of the firm’s litigation, international and environmental groups and he co-chairs the firm’s appellate and major motions team. He has extensive experience in constitutional, administrative and international law litigation.

Mr. Rivkin has been involved in numerous high-profile cases. He has represented the 26 States that have challenged the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and was the lead outside counsel in the District Court and Court of Appeals. He also represented the Republic of Croatia before the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia and the International Court of Justice for a number of years on a wide range of issues involving international humanitarian law and the laws of war. Mr. Rivkin also has considerable experience with litigation involving national security-related matters, including defending Bivensactions brought against former Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld. From 2004 through 2007, he served as an expert member of the United Nations Subcommission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights.

Mr. Rivkin has represented corporations in alien tort statute and civil RICO litigation, as well as in challenges to federal agency actions and constitutional challenges to state statutes. He has provided compliance advice to companies, as well as handled enforcement proceedings before government agencies on issues arising out of various multilateral and unilateral sanctions (ITAR, EAR and questions relating to dealings with proscribed countries), Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), anti-boycott issues and environmental and energy matters.

He is a recipient of numerous academic and professional awards, including Phi Alpha Theta (1981), U.S. Naval Proceedings Annual Alfred Thayer Mahan Award for the best maritime affairs article (1984) and the Burton Award for legal achievement (2011). He is a prolific writer and commentator and, over the years, has published hundreds of articles, op eds, book reviews and book chapters on a variety of international, legal, constitutional, defense, arms control, foreign policy, environmental and energy issues for various newspapers and magazines, including the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, New York Times, Washington Times, Los Angeles Times, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, National Interest, National Review, Policy Review, Harvard Journal of Law & Policy, American University Law Review, Administrative Law Journal, University of Pennsylvania Law Review and University of Chicago Journal of International Law. Mr. Rivkin also has been a frequent commentator and guest on TV and radio shows, including CNN, NBC and MSNBC, CBS, ABC, Fox News, NPR, PBS, BBC, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and numerous Australian, French, German and Swiss TV stations.

From 1993 to December 1999, Mr. Rivkin was a member of the Hunton & Williams law firm. Prior to returning to private practice, Mr. Rivkin served from 1987-1993 in various capacities in the federal government. During 1992-1993, he was Associate Executive Director and General Counsel of the President’s Council on Competitiveness at the White House. While there, he was responsible for the review and analysis of legal issues related to the regulatory review conducted by the Council.

He handled the development and implementation of President George H.W. Bush’s deregulatory initiatives, which entailed review of all existing federal regulatory strictures and the application of a more rigorous cost-effective standard to new regulations. His substantive areas of responsibility included international sanctions, energy, environment and tax issues. He played a leading role in the development of Order 636, which introduced major changes to the regulation of the interstate natural gas pipelines, and simultaneously served as the Special Assistant for Domestic Policy to then Vice President Dan Quayle.

Mr. Rivkin also served as the Associate General Counsel, U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), from 1990-91. At DOE he was responsible for international, constitutional, environmental and energy matters, including global climate change problems, natural gas, hydro and electricity issues, development and implementation of the Natural Energy Strategy, implementation of the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990, wetlands policy and related issues, development of RCRA and Clean Water Act legislative proposals and deregulation of energy markets. Mr. Rivkin played a significant role in developing the Reagan and Bush Administrations’ regulatory and legislative proposals affecting natural gas and electric utility industries.

In addition to his positions with the Council on Competitiveness and the Department of Energy, he served in the office of then Vice President George H.W. Bush as Legal Advisor to the Counsel to the Vice President, in the White House Counsel’s Office and as Deputy Director of the Office of Policy Development (OPD), U.S. Department of Justice. While at OPD, he worked on a wide variety of constitutional, domestic and international issues, including judicial selection, legal policy, immigration and asylum matters and intelligence oversight.

Prior to embarking on a legal career, Mr. Rivkin worked as a defense and foreign policy analyst, focusing on Soviet affairs, arms control, naval strategy and NATO-related issues, and served as a defense consultant to numerous government agencies and Washington think tanks.


Immaculée Ilibagiza

Immaculee Illibagiza

An eyewitness survivor of one of recent history’s most horrific genocidal regimes, Immaculée Ilibagiza shares Read more

Holly Atkinson

Holy Atkinson

One of the most recognizable and popular healthcare journalists in the country, Dr. Holly Atkinson helps audiences make sense of the latest medical news. Always candid and prepared to “tell it like it is,” she offers guidance through the maze of challenges that consumers face today including healthcare reform, women’s health issues and the overload of medical information reported in the media. Atkinson leaves her audiences with the ability to exercise their healthcare options more intelligently, and more informed about the medical issues making the headlines. Read more

Barry Asmus

An unapologetic advocate of free enterprise and privatization, Barry Asmus is recognized as a revolutionary thinker who delivers his ideas in an energy-filled entertaining presentation. Asmus doesn’t just talk policy – he makes it happen. A senior economist for the National Center for Policy Analysis, Asmus has directly influenced how world leaders approach social security, health care, monetary and fiscal policy and other equally complex issues. With presentations customized to reflect your particular economic policy needs, Asmus helps audiences understand major policy issues – without all the jargon.

Offering an invigorating examination of a changing world, Asmus explores the limitless opportunities emerging from a borderless and knowledge-driven society, sharing the international economic and political trends shaping business and investment strategy in today’s global economy. A sought after economist who USA Today recognized as one of the nation’s top 5 most requested speakers, he is the author of many books including his most recent Bulls Don’t Blush, Bears Don’t Die.



America’s Economic Future
The United States is fighting to come back from the deepest recession since the Great Depression. What economic policies would be most helpful to create jobs and economic growth? Can America compete globally with our current tax system, two trillion dollars of annual government regulation and costly new health care policy? What are the inflationary implications of our current spending levels, monetary easing and national indebtedness? Dr. Asmus will give his views on America’s three unstoppable trends and outlook for the future.

Globalization: International Prosperity and Its Impact on America
As the current world economy speeds from $65 trillion of world GDP in 2011 to $130 trillion in 2030, will America hold on to its number one position? Will the world’s emerging countries rush to urbanization provide an opportunity for American expertise and trade? Dr. Asmus’ twenty-five years experience of tracking over a hundred of the world’s economies in an economic freedom index helps clients identify both growth and opportunity prospects.

Healing Health Care in America
As the national health care countries of the world move away from a single payer system, why is the U.S. moving towards it? When does NHC work for a country and when does it not? What five steps must America take to empower medical consumers and force health care providers to compete? Competition works in every other sector of the economy, why not health care? The National Center for Policy Analysis is widely recognized for its health care expertise on affordable, portable and transparent patient controlled alternatives.

Powering America’s Energy Future
North America could become the largest energy producer and exporter in the world. The four largest gas fields in the world recently discovered in the U.S. along with its vast coal reserves are literal game changers. This is the time to increase domestic energy of all forms? Energy production will be a focal point of the next election and could be an exciting bright spot in America’s immediate future.

Full Biography

Dr. Barry Asmus speaks, writes, and consults on political and business issues facing America. Recognized for his views on making the U.S. a world-class competitor, he was twice voted the Outstanding Professor of the Year, as well as honored with the Freedom Foundation at Valley Forge Award for Private Enterprise Education.

Dr. Asmus is a Senior Economist with the National Center for Policy Analysis. Dr. Asmus has been named by USA Today as one of the five most requested speakers in the United States. Over the last twenty-five years, Dr. Asmus has spoken to thousands of companies and associations throughout the United States. He has testified before the House Ways and Means Committee regarding our income tax system and was a featured speaker in a privatizing Social Security conference for Western European leaders.

On recent trips to Romania, Albania, China and Peru, Dr. Asmus has encouraged government leaders to pass free-market, low tax, protected property rights and free trade policies.

Dr. Asmus is the author of nine books. His book, Crossroads: The Great American Experiment was nominated for a H.L. Mencken Award. As a Professor of Economics, he was twice voted University Professor of the Year and was honored with the Freedom Foundation Award at Valley Forge for Private Enterprise Education.

Asmus also co-anchored a syndicated radio called “Perspectives on the Economy.” Dr. Asmus is an effective advocate of free market economics. He is a recognized thinker who delivers his ideas in an enthusiastic and energy filled presentation.

Jason Puracal

Jason Puracel

Jason Puracal is now a free man after being wrongfully imprisoned in Nicaragua for two years. Jason attributes his freedom to a global effort of people who demanded that justice be upheld. He has now returned home to the Pacific Northwest with his wife and son to begin rebuilding their lives.  Jason will continue his contributions to sustainable development, which began during his Peace Corps service in Nicaragua. He is currently studying for his Sustainable MBA degree at Bainbridge Graduate Institute, volunteering at the Innocence Project Northwest, and writing a book with his sister  Janis.

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