Ignite Laramie

Peter Parolin speaks during a previous edition of Ignite Laramie, an event that features speakers from the community. Speakers during this year’s program are planning to talk about personal and professional passions.

Locals are planning to gather tonight to talk about passions, careers and community during Ignite: Cross-Pollination.

The third annual installment of the Ignite Laramie program, presented by the Wyoming Humanities Council, is set for 7 p.m. today at the Gryphon Theatre, 710 Garfield St. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., and admission is free.

During Ignite: Cross-Pollination, nine speakers from the Laramie community will each give a five-minute presentation accompanied by a slideshow. They’ll talk about how they approach their life’s work from professional and personal perspectives.

“It shows their path to making good things in Laramie happen,” said Jason Burge, with Wyoming Humanities Council.

Speakers hail from a variety of industries including music, theater, journalism, education, construction, science and business.

Additionally, the top finishers in the Laramie Singer-Songwriter Competition — Hillary Lynn, Bob Lefevre and Laura Jean Mills — are set to perform throughout the evening.

At 6:45 p.m., just prior to the start of the program, a video promoting local music and Albany County culture will be screened. The video is part of a series called “Small Town Lights” produced through a partnership between Albany County Tourism and Laramie Main Street Alliance.

Peter Parolin, University of Wyoming associate professor in the Department of English, will host the event.

“Peter might be the most ebullient and energy-filled man in all of Laramie,” Burge said. “He’s got a wonderful charm, and what he brings to the event is a positive vibe you don’t get from just anybody.”

Burge said speakers were chosen for Ignite either because they expressed interest in speaking or they have timely projects they’re working on. In each case, he said, the goal is to share ideas and inspire audience members to ask questions about what we value as individuals and as a community.

“Whether it’s a presentation about spiritualism, or mediation, or art, or how to conserve energy in your home, these are value systems,” he said. “What we’re providing with Ignite are people reminding us of our values and getting us to question that.”

The scheduled speakers are:

— Miguel Chen, Teenage Bottlerocket bass player: “I Wanna Be Well: Mindfulness and Punk Rock”

— Ellen Currano, UW assistant professor and founder of the Bearded Lady Project: “Fieldwork, Fossils and Facial Hair”

— Jon Gardzelewski, architect: “This House Can Save the Planet: Zero-Energy Homes”

— Danee Hunzie, Wyoming Arts Council independent music specialist: “Building Communities Through Music”

— Tom Johnson, Wyoming Business Council chief performance officer: “I Have a Secret”

— Jeff Lockwood, University of Wyoming professor: “Science and Art: The Modern Chimera”

— Anne Mason, Relative Theatrics founder: “The Art of Relating: Using Theater to Enrich Life”

— Greg Nickerson, Wyoming Migration Initiative writer and filmmaker: “Warhouse Wapiti: 20 Years Chasing a Yellowstone Elk Migration”

— Micah Schweizer, Wyoming Public Radio host: “My Fatherland is Not My Motherland”

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