“Candy Chang’s story – about losing a loved one and living your life to the fullest – is certain to resonate with WLC attendees,” said conference organizer Dawn Christensen, Executive Director of National Diversity Relations for MGM Resorts International. “It’s so easy to lose focus on the important things in life, the things we all want to accomplish before we die. Candy’s artwork and its inspirational message will serve as a reminder to others to set goals and work toward accomplishing them.”
Chang was inspired to create her best-known art exhibit “Before I Die” after losing a loved one in 2012. The grief she felt made her realize that the day-to-day activities of life can made her lose focus on the things she wanted to accomplish. Wondering if others felt the same, Chang transformed the external walls of an abandoned house in New Orleans into a blank canvas. Passersby were encouraged to write in chalk to finish the sentence “Before I die I want to…”
The response was overwhelming. Hundreds of people wrote out their greatest desires, such as “eat all the candy and sushi in the world, tell my mother I love her,” and other messages.
“My work is about well-being and kinship, which is what the Women’s Leadership Conference is all about. I’m excited to share what I’ve learned from creating communal spaces for emotional intimacy, and I’m excited to offer many concrete exercises that attendees can use to cultivate their creativity and take care of their own emotional health,” Chang said.
The participatory project has since grown into a global phenomenon and today there are over 4,000 Before I Die walls in over 70 countries, including Iraq, China, Brazil, Kazakhstan, and South Africa. The Before I Die project and subsequent book, which features walls around the world and insights into our aspirations, have been featured on CNN, NBC, TED, AP News, and Wired. Her most recent project includes the participatory public installation A Monument for the Anxious and Hopeful at the Rubin Museum of Art in New York City.
The Atlantic called the exhibit “one of the most creative community projects ever.” In Chang’s captivating and intimate talks, she demystifies the creative process, inspires personal reflection, and provokes new ideas for community and well-being.
Chang is a TED Senior Fellow, Urban Innovation Fellow, and World Economic Forum Young Global Leader. She has also created installations for people to share their hopes for vacant storefronts, a confessional sanctuary in a Las Vegas casino, designated sites for crying in Hong Kong, and a civic tool called Neighborland.com for people to collaborate on the future of their communities. Her work has been exhibited in the Venice Architecture Biennale, New Museum, and Tate Modern. She was also named one of the Top 100 Leaders in Public Interest Design by Impact Design Hub and a “Live Your Best Life” Local Hero by Oprah Magazine.
The 2018 Women’s Leadership Conference theme is “Women Inspiring Women.” Registration is $499 which includes the two-day conference and all workshops and lectures, a networking reception, and continental breakfasts and lunches catered by MGM Grand Conference Center. Time is also allotted for attendees to build key professional relationships with others.
The mission of WLC is to provide women, and men who attend, the developmental tools they need to continuously advance their lives and careers. Through WLC, women from all walks of life are offered a variety of ways to impact their personal and professional lives, including networking opportunities, educational workshops and exposure to other women who can serve as role models, heroes or mentors.
The conference will offer a wide range of learning opportunities, career guidance and personal growth tools, including:
- Exposure to diverse and nationally recognized speakers and accomplished women role models
- Two days of career-oriented workshops that will give women hands-on opportunities to develop skills based on their career needs
- Three distinct learning tracks: Emerging Leaders, Emerging Executives and Executives
- Workshops for entrepreneurs who are well-established or just thinking of starting their own businesses
WLC is open to women of all ethnicities, professions and social backgrounds, locally and nationally, and men who support them. The MGM Resorts Foundation is the conference’s Presenting Sponsor. Each year, proceeds from the conference, after costs, are donated to one or more local nonprofit agencies devoted to the welfare and development of women and children.
Participating sponsorships are available to organizations or companies who share the vision and goals of this conference. Sponsors include: Cox Communications, Everi Payments, R&R Partners Foundation, Cirque du Soleil, Kre-8 Media Outdoor Advertising, International Game Technology, Vegas PBS, Greenspun Media Group, Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce, Bank of America, The Coca-Cola Company, Branch Benefits Consultants, TYLT, Coola, Cashman Photo, Phyllis A. James, Women’s Chamber of Commerce of Nevada, Waggl, Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority (LVCVA) and Large Vision Business Network Mixer.
For more information about WLC, please visit mgmresortsfoundation.org/WLC.
About the MGM Resorts Foundation
The purpose of The MGM Resorts Foundation is to collect and distribute monies and assets donated by employees of MGM Resorts (NYSE: MGM) for the aid and support of qualified community nonprofit programs, agencies or organizations designated exclusively by MGM Resorts’ employees. In addition, the Foundation collects and distributes donations to the Foundation by third-party non-employees to support charitable, scientific, literary, and educational activities approved by the Foundation’s Board of Directors and organized by MGM Resorts employees to benefit qualified non-profit charitable organizations designated by the Foundation’s Board.
SOURCE MGM Resorts Foundation
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