Keynote Speakers

 
 
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Nwaka Onwusa

Curator and Director of Curatorial Affairs at the Rock Roll Hall of Fame

Nwaka Onwusa, Curator and Director of Curatorial Affairs at The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, is a lover of music and a contemporary bohemian with an old soul. Her knowledge and appreciation of music and art span a vast globe of cultures and histories. Guided by the belief that “the past speaks to us through music and song," Nwaka develops exhibits that are informative, immersive and celebrate the diversity of musical expression.

Hailing from Southern California, Nwaka began her curatorial career at The GRAMMY Museum at L.A. LIVE. There she specialized in exhibition development researching, developing and curating more than 20 unique and memorial exhibits. As curator at the GRAMMY Museum, some of Nwaka’s exhibits and programs included: Jim Marshall’s 1967; Legends of Motown; All Eyez on Me: The Writings of Tupac Shakur; John Lee Hooker: King of The Boogie; Monterey Pop International Music Festival: Music, Love and Flowers, 1967; Marty Stuart’s Way Out West: A Country Music Odyssey; Respect! Otis Redding and the Revolution of Soul to name a few. In addition to exhibits presented at the museum’s campus, Nwaka has also curated satellite and traveling exhibits and programs experienced by audiences across the U.S. and in the UK.

 

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Molly Langenstein

President, Apparel Group, at Chico’s FAS

Molly Langenstein, President, Apparel Group, at Chico’s FAS, is responsible for leading both the Chico’s and White House Black Market brands. A 30-year retail fashion industry veteran, Molly has a successful track record of reimagining business, establishing continuous operational improvement and employing disruptive thinking across men’s, women’s and children’s apparel, accessories and home goods to stay ahead of rapid industry change.

She has unprecedented expertise in creating an omni-channel experience that leverages digital and physical presence to revitalize sales and improve profitability. Prior to joining Chico’s FAS, Molly strategically positioned Macy’s to capture #1 market share in the ready-to-wear business and in just two years, turned around and grew the company’s online performance by 49% and expanded women’s apparel market share among millennials from #8 to #3.

Molly holds a Bachelor of Science, Fashion Merchandising from Kent State University. She has served as an Advisory Board Member at Kent State, where she was inducted into the Fashion School Hall of Fame. For eight years, she served as American Heart Association New York City Co-Chair. 

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Carole Frances Lung/ Frau Fiber

Artist/Academic/Activist

Carole’s bio 

Carole Frances Lung (San Francisco CA, B. 1966) is an artist, soft power activist, and Associate Professor of Fashion Fiber and Materials, at California State University Los Angeles. As the biographer and archivist for her alter ego Frau Fiber, Carole activates a vocabulary of fashion and textile production and consumption, crafting of one of a kind garments, installations, performances, and social sculpture, paying homage to labor, textile and apparel manufacturing histories and contemporary production systems.  Her performances have been exhibited at PUNKT Ø Moss Norway, Textile Museum Washington DC, Human Resources LA CA, San Jose Quilt and Textile Museum SJ CA, The Elisabeth Foundation NY NY, LA Municipal Art Gallery LA CA, Wingdall Museum at Chaffee College, Elsewhere Collaborative Greensboro NC, Michener Art Museum Doyelstown PA,Craft in America Study Center LA CA, Jane Addams Hull House Museum Chicago IL, Craft and Folk Art Museum LA CA, Center for Craft Creativity and Design Asheville NC, Museum of Contemporary Craft Portland OR, and the Ghetto Biennale Port Au Prince Haiti. Publications include: KCET Artbound, Surface Design Journal, Art in America, and Art Papers. She has been awarded: United States Artists fellowship, Kohler Arts and Industry Residency, Craft Creativity and Design Center Grant, At the Edge Gallery 400 award and Fred A. Hillbruner Artist Book Fellowship, and Faculty Fellow for the Public Good. Frau Fiber’s Bio

Frau Fiber (Apolda Germany, B. 1966) is a textile super hero crafting spirited durational performances, using pedagogical, material and playful approaches to teach communities about the human cost of mass production and consumption. Frau Fiber’s operates out of Institute 4 Labor Generosity Workers & Uniforms (North of the 710) her production embedded into the Fashion, Fiber and Materials program at Cal State LA and ILGWU (South of the 710) the working archive and research library in downtown Long Beach, CA. Her legacy project is the Sewing Rebellion, a national campaign to “STOP SHOPPING AND START SEWING!” The Rebellion empowers through skill-sharing, facilitates community building, and advocates for social change. The Rebellion connects participants to the history of “thrift and reuse circles” and “quilting bees”, organizing people to come together to share resources, talk politics, and promote change in the fashion and textile industry. Sewing Rebellions have been hosted in Chicago, New York City, New Orleans, Denver, Sheboygan WI, Ames Iowa, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Long Beach CA, Asheville NC, Portland ME, Portland OR, London UK, and Weimar Germany.