American Festival for the Arts features two extraordinary friends, Anthony Brandt and Amanda Swain, at its spring luncheon. Brandt, who's a composer, Rice University professor and artistic director of Musiqa, will present his acclaimed lecture, "Why Minds Need Art," in which he argues that minds need art because creativity is an essential feature of human cognition. Drawing on examples both within and beyond the arts, he will explore a new cognitive framework whose goal is to describe the essential mechanisms underlying all innovative thinking.
Bassoonist Amanda Swain will also be featured in a solo performance. While in high school, she attended the AFA Summer Music Conservatory in 2001 and 2002. A graduate of The University of Texas at Austin and Northwestern University, Swain is the principal bassoonist of the Houston Grand Opera and the second bassoonist of the Houston Ballet.
Proceeds from the luncheon support the AFA Scholarship Enrichment Fund, which gives any qualified student the opportunity to attend AFA programs regardless of their ability to pay.