"Be Awesome" mini-conference will draw community advocates to Covington

On Thursday, October 3, the Awesome Collective of Covington will host “Be Awesome! A Mini-Conference for Community Change-Makers” in downtown Covington at 9 a.m.
The free event will include presentations by three Awesome keynote speakers as well as several breakout sessions throughout the day at venues throughout the city including The Madison Theater, Covington Artisans Enterprise Center (AEC), and Gateway Community & Technical College.
Centered around three actions—Inspire, Share and Strengthen—the mini-conference will provide a focused opportunity to network with like-minded individuals, entrepreneurs and community leaders. Although hosted in Covington, the event organizers are looking to attract individuals and groups from cities around the region like Dayton, Lexington, Columbus, Indianapolis and Louisville.
“We wanted to focus on the culmination of our core values,” says Jerod Theobald of the Awesome Collective of Covington, a group dedicated to celebrating the “awesomeness” of the city by engaging residents, schools, businesses and organizations in Covington-based events. “We thought that by asking people to share ideas around these topics, we could inspire people to create new ideas in their communities, create an opportunity for new partnerships and promote Covington, as well.”
Keynote speakers include Griffin Van Meter from NoLi CDC (Lexington, KY), Seth Beattie and Brian Friedman from Collinwood (Cleveland), and artists Kurt Gohde and Kremena Todorova (Transylvania University).
“The keynote speakers and the breakout speakers were all chosen around the three tracks: Fun and positivity, risk-taking and failure, and design and innovation,” Theobald says.
The Awesome Collective was founded by Tess Burns in 2011 and partners with the Center for Great Neighborhoods of Covington. The Awesome Collective is an organization comprised of people who live, work and/or play in Covington.
“The mission of the group is to celebrate and promote Covington's excellence, uniqueness, authenticity, and share a sense of excitement about our awesome city,” Theobald says. 
Past events have included the Index of Awesome, which started in 2012 as both a paper and digital zine that provides a compiled list of everything “awesome” in Covington, as submitted by Covington supporters. This year, the Awesome Collective will produce the publication as a film in collaboration with production group Matic Media. Filming for this project has already begun and will continue through the fall. The premiere of the "2013 Index of Awesome" will be held on Dec. 20, 2013, at The Carnegie in an event that will be free and open to the public.
By Michael Sarason
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