BISMARCK, ND — TEDx and the University of Mary have partnered to present the second TEDxUMary event on campus April 6. The theme of this event is “ARTiculate,” which will focus on the importance of art in building strong communities, elevating ideas and enriching education.

TEDx_logo_sydney_022309The event begins at 5 p.m. April 6 in Butler Hall in the University of Mary’s Gary Tharaldson School of Business. The event is open to the public, but seating is limited to the first 100 people. The theme is a celebration of the power of ideas and the encouragement of each person’s passion. Speakers include Dagny Knutson, Dayna Del Val, Shannon Wiedman, Shane Balkowitcsh, and Cindy Neff.

Knutson, a Minot native, holds the American record in the 400-yard individual medley event. She has represented Team USA on the junior national and senior national level. In 2009, she Knutson earned silver medal in the 4×200 freestyle relay, and became a world champion gold medalist in the same event in Shanghai.

Del Val of Fargo has been the executive director of The Arts Partnership since 2010. She writes a monthly column on the arts for the Fargo Forum and is active in social media. Del Val is currently board chair of Arts North Dakota, on the Women’s Fund Committee and the Art and Culture Commission for the City of Fargo. She can be seen and heard on local, regional and national ads as a professional stage and commercial actor.

Wiedman, a Fargo web designer and developer, believes strongly in user functionality. She knows that creativity needs to go beyond pretty pictures, great design also lies within the code. Wiedman is on a mission to get more women involved in web development and programming. She is the co-leader of the Fargo chapter of the Girl Develop It.

Neff, a native of Mandan, has nearly a quarter century’s worth of experience in the speech-language pathology with a special interest in serving the pediatric population. She has served children with communication disorders for 23 years including the Bismarck and Mandan public schools and Manchester House and is under contract at the Scottish Rite Speech Therapy Center for Children.

Balkowitsch, a Bismarck native, is the state’s only wet plate photographer. This historical ambrotype technique of wet plate photography using glass and a silver nitrate solution to create a positive image began in the 1850s. Balkowitsch has shot over 700 portrait plates of family, friends and complete strangers. Wet plate photography became such an important medium for expression in the past that Balkowitsch wants to keep the tradition alive.

More than 10,500 licensed TEDx events have been held around the world. TEDxUMary is organized completely by Mary students. Students have shared their mission for these events on —“to engage individuals to share stories and collaborate on a multitude of ideas.”

Tickets are now on sale at Ticket prices are $20 for students (Promo STUDENT2016 with student ID) and $40 for general admission.