The Joy of Making

Join us for The Joy of Making: Artistry, Handicrafts, and Creativity in a Digital Age from July 25-27, 2024, in Wilmore, Kentucky! *OR Virtually!*

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Artistry, handicrafts and creativity in a digital age

The joy of making

Join us at our 2024 annual gathering from July 25-27, 2024, in Wilmore, Kentucky! This conference will be a time of exploration and growth as we unpack Charlotte Mason’s ideas on handwork, life skills, and the joy of making. We’ll study the impact of creative work and discuss how artistry connects to many areas of the feast, sometimes in surprising ways. Our sessions will honor the old and embrace the new, and of course, we’ll live out what we teach as makers of beautiful and useful things! We hope to see you there!

From Thursday afternoon to Saturday afternoon, we will gather to listen, discuss, and explore Mason’s thoughts on the joy of making in a number of diverse sessions, including keynote talks, practical immersions, workshops, and fireside chats.

The entire conference will be surrounded by the beauty of the Kentucky bluegrass, the local history and handwork, and the warmth of food, conversation, and community. (And, if you can't make it in person, snag a virtual ticket and consider hosting a watch party!)

Participants--including teens ages 13 and older! --will experience lively discussion and community throughout the conference and leave not only knowing and experiencing Charlotte Mason better themselves but also knowing better how to offer a Charlotte Mason education (including some fascinating handicrafts) to others.

"Again we know that the human hand is a wonderful and exquisite instrument to be used in a hundred movements exacting delicacy, direction and force; every such movement is a cause of joy as it leads to the pleasure of execution and the triumph of success. We begin to understand this and make some efforts to train the young in the deft handling of tools and the practice of handicrafts. Some day perhaps, we shall see apprenticeship to trades revived and good and beautiful work enforced. In so far, we are laying ourselves out to secure that each shall "live his life"; and that, not at his neighbor's expense; because, so wonderful is the economy of the world that when a man really lives his life he benefits his neighbor as well as himself; we all thrive in the well being of each."
~Charlotte Mason, Philosophy of Education p. 328

Speakers

Come join conversations on Charlotte Mason, handicrafts, creativity, artistry, and more in the beautiful Kentucky bluegrass.

Min Jung Hwang
Min Jung Hwang
Conference Host, CMI Board Member, Artist
Timothy Willard
Timothy Willard
Writer, Theologian, Artist, Consultant, Scholar
Elizabeth Millar
Elizabeth Millar
CM Educator, Spiritual Director, Storyteller
Sandra Zuidema
Sandra Zuidema
Artist, CM Educator
Melanie Falick
Melanie Falick
Author, Creative Director
Marie T. Cochran
Marie T. Cochran
Visual Artist, Curator, Educator
Amber O'Neal Johnston
Amber O'Neal Johnston
Conference Host, CMI Board Member, Author
Emily & Brynn Bowyer
Emily & Brynn Bowyer
Authors, CM Classroom Educators, CM Graduates
Jo Perez-Ray
Jo Perez-Ray
CM Educator, Charlotte Mason Español
Nicole Cottrell
Nicole Cottrell
Founder of Stories of Color, CM Educator
Erika Alicea
Erika Alicea
CM Educator, Charlotte Mason City Living, The Art of Color Study
Heather Johnson
Heather Johnson
CM Veteran & Mentor, Maker, Co-op Leader
Heidi & Luke Illian
Heidi & Luke Illian
CM Educators, Makers
Kerri Forney
Kerri Forney
CM Veteran, Alveary Curriculum Developer, CMI Board Member
Jack Beckman
Jack Beckman
Professor, Author, CM Educator, CMI Board Member
Shannon Whiteside
Shannon Whiteside
Alveary Program Director
Carroll Smith
Carroll Smith
CMI Founder
Lisa Ector
Lisa Ector
Director of Education at Blue Willow Tutorial, CMI Board Member
Deani Van Pelt
Deani Van Pelt
CMI Board Member, Edvance Christian Schools
Brittany Couper
Brittany Couper
CM Educator, A Tailor Made Feast
Alexa Mason
Alexa Mason
CM Educator, Philo
Ana Vargas
Ana Vargas
CM Educator, Life-Giving Motherhood
Angela Reed
Angela Reed
CM Educator, Living Latin Lessons
Ann Kumpf
Ann Kumpf
Outdoor Education Coordinator, Occupational Therapist
Anna Migeon
Anna Migeon
Author, Cook
Bethanyanne Howard
Bethanyanne Howard
CM Educator
Connie Morgan
Connie Morgan
CM Educator, Co-founder of Free Black Thought
Digna Toledo
Digna Toledo
Photographer, CM Educator
Emily Fabrycky
Emily Fabrycky
CM Educator, Researcher
Jenny Elias
Jenny Elias
CM Educator, Alveary Curriculum Developer
Jenny Erb
Jenny Erb
CM Educator, The Learning Erb
Julie Cerdas
Julie Cerdas
French Teacher, CM Educator
Laurel Aldridge
Laurel Aldridge
Life Coach, CM Veteran
LeAnn Burkholder
LeAnn Burkholder
CMI Board Member, CM Educator, Entrepreneur
MaryKate Newcomb
MaryKate Newcomb
Artist, Classroom Educator
Minda Ciardi
Minda Ciardi
Founder of Cimarron School of Living Education
Nadia Cerdas
Nadia Cerdas
CM Teen
Parke Stalcup
Parke Stalcup
CM Classroom Educator
Priscilla Bell
Priscilla Bell
Founder of Blue Willow Tutorial, CM Educator
Stephanie Russell
Stephanie Russell
CM Educator
Danielle Merrit-Sunseri
Danielle Merrit-Sunseri
Co-founder of Blue Orchard Bee, Alveary Curriculum Developer, CM Educator
Amanda Escue
Amanda Escue
Founder of The Lighthouse, Speech Pathologist, CM Educator

sessions

Pre-Conference Events

Immerse yourself in the beauty of the Bluegrass and dive deep into some of Charlotte ideas and practices in these intimate pre-conference events.

The Joy of Teaching: A Morning of Relational Lessons

PRE-CONFERENCE | Thursday 25 July | 8:30am - 12:30pm
Shannon Whiteside
Kerri Forney
Lisa Ector
With
Shannon Whiteside
Read more
Read less

Wooden Knife Making

PRE-CONFERENCE | Thursday 25 July | 8:30am - 12:30pm
Heidi & Luke Illian
With
Heidi & Luke Illian
Read more
Read less

Shaker Village Experience: History, Handicrafts, Nature, and Poetry

PRE-CONFERENCE | Wednesday 24 July | 1:00 - 5:00pm
Amber O'Neal Johnston
With
Amber O'Neal Johnston
Read more
Read less

Session Descriptions

Browse the wide variety of sessions below to explore during the conference. Virtual attendees will receive access to all five keynote sessions and eight breakout sessions (see FAQs for details).

Charlotte Mason & Handicrafts: How Making Contributes to Compassion & Community

WELCOME & KEYNOTE 1 | Thursday 25 July | 2:30 - 4:00pm
Elizabeth Millar
Elizabeth Millar
Read more
Read less

Use Your Tools

KEYNOTE 2 | Thursday 25 July | 6:15 - 7:30pm
Timothy Willard
Timothy Willard
Read more
Read less

Q & A With Timothy Willard

FIRESIDE | Thursday 25 July | 8:00 - 9:00pm
Read more
Read less

Starting a Mason School

FIRESIDE | Thursday 25 July | 8:00 - 9:00pm
Lisa Ector
Lisa Ector
Read more
Read less

Creativity Required: The Case of a Hispanic CM Educator

FIRESIDE | Thursday 25 July | 8:00 - 9:00pm
Jo Perez-Ray
Jo Perez-Ray
Read more
Read less

Fledging: Mason’s Wisdom for Parents with Children Learning Outside the Home

FIRESIDE | Thursday 25 July | 8:00 - 9:00pm
Emily Fabrycky
Emily Fabrycky
Read more
Read less

Hospitality + Home Design as a Creative Endeavor

FIRESIDE | Thursday 25 July | 8:00 - 9:00pm
Alexa Mason
Alexa Mason
Read more
Read less

Let's discuss a Monograph: A Feast of Living Ideas in a World of Bytes

FIRESIDE | Thursday 25 July | 8:00 - 9:00pm
Emily & Brynn Bowyer
Emily & Brynn Bowyer
Read more
Read less

Blue Orchard Bee Meetup

FIRESIDE | Thursday 25 July | 8:00 - 9:00pm
Danielle Merrit-Sunseri
Danielle Merrit-Sunseri
Read more
Read less

Who is Mason and What is a Relational Education?

FIRESIDE | Thursday 25 July | 8:00 - 9:00pm
Kerri Forney
Kerri Forney
Read more
Read less

Making a Life: Working by Hand and Discovering the Life You Are Meant to Live

KEYNOTE 3 | Friday 26 July | 9:00 - 10:00am
Melanie Falick
Melanie Falick
Read more
Read less

Book-making for Teens

BREAKOUT | Friday 26 July | 10:30 - 11:45am
Laurel Aldridge
Laurel Aldridge
Read more
Read less

Charlotte Mason’s Great Recognition of 1893: A Scheme of Magnificent Unity

BREAKOUT | Friday 26 July | 10:30 - 11:45am
Deani Van Pelt
Deani Van Pelt
Read more
Read less

Method of a Lesson: Bridging CM Philosophy to Practice

BREAKOUT | Friday 26 July | 10:30 - 11:45am
Lisa Ector
Lisa Ector
Priscilla Bell
Read more
Read less

Charlotte Had a Wireless: Incorporating Digital Tools in Creative Ways

BREAKOUT | Friday 26 July | 10:30 - 11:45am
Emily & Brynn Bowyer
Emily & Brynn Bowyer
Read more
Read less

Connecting to Cultures through Handicrafts

BREAKOUT | Friday 26 July | 10:30 - 11:45am
Bethanyanne Howard
Bethanyanne Howard
Read more
Read less

Picture Study: A Delightful Gateway

BREAKOUT | Friday 26 July | 10:30 - 11:45am
Jenny Elias
Jenny Elias
Read more
Read less

Living Latin Primer: Incipiamus!

BREAKOUT | Friday 26 July | 10:30 - 11:45am
Angela Reed
Angela Reed
Read more
Read less

Nature Journaling from From Zero to Adult

BREAKOUT | Friday 26 July | 10:30 - 11:45am
Heather Johnson
Heather Johnson
Read more
Read less

When the “Method” isn’t Working

BREAKOUT | Friday 26 July | 10:30 - 11:45am
Danielle Merrit-Sunseri
Danielle Merrit-Sunseri
Read more
Read less

Nurturing Hospitality in our Homes through Handicrafts

BREAKOUT | Friday 26 July | 10:30 - 11:45am
Ana Vargas
Ana Vargas
Read more
Read less

Beauty Amidst Concrete: Delighting in Urban Nature

BREAKOUT | Friday 26 July | 1:30 - 2:30pm
Erika Alicea
Erika Alicea
Read more
Read less

Charlotte Mason and St. Thérèse of Lisieux: Joy in the Little Things

BREAKOUT | Friday 26 July | 1:30 - 2:30pm
Elizabeth Millar
Elizabeth Millar
Read more
Read less

Broad & Varied Feast of Literal FOOD: Feeding Children as Persons Who Learn to Love What’s Good for Them

BREAKOUT | Friday 26 July | 1:30 - 2:30pm
Anna Migeon
Anna Migeon
Read more
Read less

From Cultivation to Construction: Gourds As An Educational Springboard

BREAKOUT | Friday 26 July | 1:30 - 2:30pm
Ann Kumpf
Ann Kumpf
MaryKate Newcomb
Read more
Read less

From Concept to Reality: Wooden Replica Knives

BREAKOUT | Friday 26 July | 1:30 - 2:30pm
Heidi & Luke Illian
Heidi & Luke Illian
Read more
Read less

Considered Masterly Inactivity: Peace for the Parent, Growth for the Child

BREAKOUT | Friday 26 July | 1:30 - 2:30pm
Emily Fabrycky
Emily Fabrycky
Read more
Read less

Glimpse into a 5th/6th Grade Class

BREAKOUT | Friday 26 July | 1:30 - 2:30pm
Parke Stalcup
Parke Stalcup
Read more
Read less

Starting a Bilingual or Bicultural CM Education

BREAKOUT | Friday 26 July | 1:30 - 2:30pm
Jo Perez-Ray
Jo Perez-Ray
Read more
Read less

Sol-fa - Not So Scary

BREAKOUT | Friday 26 July | 1:30 - 2:30pm
Heather Johnson
Heather Johnson
Read more
Read less

Growing in the Knowledge of God

BREAKOUT | Friday 26 July | 1:30 - 2:30pm
Shannon Whiteside
Shannon Whiteside
Read more
Read less

Eve Anderson Tea & Activities

KEYNOTE | Friday 26 July | 2:30 - 4:30pm
Min Jung Hwang
Min Jung Hwang
Read more
Read less

Crafting Affrilachia: How Identity, Culture and Place Come Together

KEYNOTE 4 | Friday 26 July | 6:30 - 7:30pm
Marie T. Cochran
Marie T. Cochran
Read more
Read less

Student Work Displays

FIRESIDE | Friday 26 July | 7:30 - 9:30pm
Read more
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Making a Life Q & A with Melanie Falick

FIRESIDE | Friday 26 July | 8:00 - 9:00pm
Melanie Falick
Melanie Falick
Read more
Read less

Becoming a Family Story-Keeper

FIRESIDE | Friday 26 July | 8:00 - 9:00pm
Heidi & Luke Illian
Heidi & Luke Illian
Read more
Read less

Crafting Beauty: Elevating Your Home Atmosphere with Digital Arts

FIRESIDE | Friday 26 July | 8:00 - 9:00pm
Jenny Erb
Jenny Erb
Read more
Read less

CMI Teacher Training & Accreditation

FIRESIDE | Friday 26 July | 8:00 - 9:00pm
Carroll Smith
Carroll Smith
Deani Van Pelt
Read more
Read less

What is a Living Book, What is a Modern Living Book, and How Does Knowledge Work?

FIRESIDE | Friday 26 July | 8:00 - 9:00pm
Danielle Merrit-Sunseri
Danielle Merrit-Sunseri
Kerri Forney
Amber O'Neal Johnston
Read more
Read less

Natural History Clubs

FIRESIDE | Friday 26 July | 8:00 pm to 9:00 pm
Anna Ritter
Anna Ritter
Read more
Read less

Smartphone Photography

BREAKOUT | Saturday 27 July | 9:00 - 10:00am
Digna Toledo
Digna Toledo
Read more
Read less

Freedom through Education and the Charlotte Mason Method

BREAKOUT | Saturday 27 July | 9:00 - 10:00am
Connie Morgan
Connie Morgan
Read more
Read less

The Joy of Making History: Teaching our Children to Think and Create like a Historian

BREAKOUT | Saturday 27 July | 9:00 - 10:00am
Brittany Couper
Brittany Couper
Read more
Read less

The Promises of Poetry

BREAKOUT | Saturday 27 July | 9:00 - 10:00am
Amber O'Neal Johnston
Amber O'Neal Johnston
Read more
Read less

All Children Welcome to the Feast: Inclusion in the Mason Classroom

BREAKOUT | Saturday 27 July | 9:00 - 10:00am
Minda Ciardi
Minda Ciardi
Amanda Escue
Read more
Read less

"A Living Speech": Principles for Teaching a Second Language

BREAKOUT | Saturday 27 July | 9:00 - 10:00am
Julie Cerdas
Julie Cerdas
Read more
Read less

Resilience Built Through Making

BREAKOUT | Saturday 27 July | 9:00 - 10:00am
LeAnn Burkholder
LeAnn Burkholder
Read more
Read less

Handwork Lessons Inspired by Our Own Backyards and Neighborhoods

BREAKOUT | Saturday 27 July | 9:00 - 10:00am
Melanie Falick
Melanie Falick
Read more
Read less

Science in a Mason Education: Relationship with Things

BREAKOUT | Saturday 27 July | 9:00 - 10:00am
Danielle Merrit-Sunseri
Danielle Merrit-Sunseri
Read more
Read less

Exams: Looking for Growth

BREAKOUT | Saturday 27 July | 9:00 - 10:00am
Kerri Forney
Kerri Forney
Read more
Read less

Diverse by Design: Leveraging Digital Tools to Create Beauty and Cultivate Belonging in your Family and Community

BREAKOUT | Saturday 27 July | 10:30 - 11:45am
Nicole Cottrell
Nicole Cottrell
Read more
Read less

The Door In the Wall: How Narration, Handicrafts, and Living Ideas Help Teen Entrepreneurs

BREAKOUT | Saturday 27 July | 10:30 - 11:45am
Nadia Cerdas
Nadia Cerdas
Read more
Read less

Resting Body & Mind: Ourselves

BREAKOUT | Saturday 27 July | 10:30 - 11:45am
Laurel Aldridge
Laurel Aldridge
Read more
Read less

Practical and Beautiful Crafting

BREAKOUT | Saturday 27 July | 10:30 am to 11:45 am
Parke Stalcup
Parke Stalcup
Read more
Read less

Recycled Creations

BREAKOUT | Saturday 27 July | 10:30 - 11:45am
Heather Johnson
Heather Johnson
Read more
Read less

From Observation to Creation: Bridging Picture Study and Art

BREAKOUT | Saturday 27 July | 10:30 - 11:45am
Sandra Zuidema
Sandra Zuidema
Read more
Read less

Education As a Life: A Portrait of PNEU Member Mary L. G. Petrie Carus-Wilson

BREAKOUT | Saturday 27 July | 10:30 - 11:45am
Stephanie Russell
Stephanie Russell
Read more
Read less

From Notebooks to Masterpieces

KEYNOTE 5 | Saturday 27 July | 1:30 -3:00pm
Sandra Zuidema
Sandra Zuidema
Read more
Read less

Schedule


We'll release the detailed schedule to attendees as the event gets closer. Until then, here is a general schedule for the conference:

Wednesday -Thursday, July 24-25

Pre-Conference Events

Thursday, July 25

2:30pm - Welcome & Keynote 1
5:00pm - Dinner
6:15pm - Keynote 2
8:00pm - Fireside Chat
‍‍

Friday, July 26

7:00 - 9:00am - Breakfast
8:30am
- Matins
9:00am
- Keynote 3
10:30am
- Breakout Round 1
12:00pm
- Lunch
1:30pm
- Breakout Round 2
3:00pm
- Eve Anderson Tea & Lecture
5:00pm
- Dinner
6:30pm
- Keynote 4
8:00pm
- Evening Activities

Saturday, July 27

7:00 - 9:00am - Breakfast
8:30am
- Matins
9:00am
- Breakout Round 3
‍10:30am
- Breakout Round
12:00pm
- Lunch
1:30pm -
Closing Panel
3:00pm -
Conference Ends

Artistry, Handicrafts, and Creativity in a digital Age

Conference Location

Travel & Accomodation

Plan your visit to the visit to the Kentucky Bluegrass! Conference activities will take place at Asbury Theological Seminary, which is less than a day's drive from much of the eastern and midwestern US and southeastern Canada. Travel, lodging, and local attractions are suggested here. Why not add a few days to your trip to explore the area?

Getting to Asbury
  • Main Conference Location: Asbury Theological Seminary
  • Closest Airport. Bluegrass Airport in Lexington, KY (LEX), closest airport, a 25 min drive to campus.
  • Other Options. Louisville International AirportCincinnati/Northern Kentucky Airport

Local attractions

Nearby Lexington is the perfect host city for a conference focusing on artistry and creativity, with many museums and local arts centers.  Here are just a few of the places you won’t want to miss.

FOOD
  • We're looking forward to sharing meals together! Conference meal options available here.
Lodging
  • On-Campus Lodging. Due to summer renovations, we have a limited number of apartments and dorm rooms available on campus. Book here.
  • Comfort Inn, Nicholasville, KY - Double Queen and King rooms available.  Free hot breakfast included.  10-15 minute drive to campus.  Call to reserve your room, and mention the CMI Conference at Asbury Seminary for a special rate of $69/night.
  • Holiday Inn Express. Nicholasville, KY -Double Queen and King rooms available. Full buffet breakfast included. 15-20 minute drive to campus.  Call to reserve your room, and mention the CMI Conference for a special rate of $141/night.  
  • Shaker Village Inn, Harrodsburg, KY - We have blocked the East Family Dwelling for our guests in this beautiful historic village ~15 minutes from Asbury - please call to reserve your room, rates of $147/night.
Other places to stay

more information

FAQ

Any conference-related book recommendations?

Yes! Check out this list of conference reads to enrich your conference experience!

What is the Refund & Transfer Policy?

Refund requests received by June 1, 2024 will receive a refund minus a $30 cancellation fee. After June 1, we are unable to provide refunds. However, tickets are transferable as long as the transfer request is received by June 15. Virtual Tickets are nonrefundable.

Can I watch the virtual conference with a group?

Yes! We ask that you do not share your conference login, and ask that all individuals purchase their own access if they want to watch by themselves. But watching with others is encouraged! Gather with friends and have a watch party (we’ll provide some ideas and inspiration for events like this), sneak in one recording at a time when you have the chance, watch with a spouse, grandparent, neighbor, or colleague, it’s up to you!

What is included in the Virtual Ticket?

We’d love it if you could join us at Asbury, but if you can’t, we still have something special for you. Virtual Tickets are now available! For $49.99, you'll get access to all five of the keynote sessions, a selection of breakout sessions, a virtual swag bag, a special giveaway for virtual attendees, and more. Virtual ticket holders will receive access to all content from September 14th - December 31, 2024. 

Your Virtual Conference Ticket will Include Access to 12+ Sessions, including:

All 5 keynotes:

  • Charlotte Mason & Handicrafts : How Making Contributes to Compassion & Community with Elizabeth Millar
  • Making A Life:Working by Hand and Discovering the Life You Were Meant to Live with Melanie Falick 
  • Use Your Tools with Timothy Willard 
  • Crafting Affrilachia: How Identity, Culture and Place Come Together with Marie Cochran
  • Lifelong Learning = A Life of Creativity with Sandra Zuidema

Plus 8 breakout sessions:

  • Growing in the Knowledge of God with Shannon Whiteside
  • Exams: Looking for Growth with Kerri Forney
  • The Promises of Poetry with Amber O'Neal Johnston
  • Charlotte Had a Wireless: Incorporating Digital Tools in Creative Ways with Emily & Brynn Bowyer
  • Beauty Amidst Concrete: Delighting in Urban Nature with Erika Alicia
  • Handwork Lessons Inspired by Our Own Backyards and Neighborhoods with Melanie Falick
  • Diverse by Design: Leveraging Digital Tools to Create Beauty and Cultivate Belonging in Your Family and Community with Nicole Cottrell
  • TBD!
Will In-Person Attendees Receive Virtual Access?

Yes! The price of your in-person ticket includes access to the virtual conference content which will be available from September 14 - December 31, 2024.

I have a question about accommodation options. 

Great! You can find information about accommodation options above on the conference page. If you are coming with a group, we recommend booking a local airbnb or reserving several hotel rooms near each other. If you are flying into town for the conference, we have limited apartment lodging available on Asbury's campus which you can apply for here. Reach out to conference@cminst.org with additional questions.

Are there opportunities to volunteer?

Yes! We'd love to have you as part of our team of volunteers! Whether greeting attendees at the door or helping with tech or photography, your presence and support would mean the world to us. You can fill out the volunteer application here!

Can I register with the student/teen rate?

If you are a teen or enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program, you are welcome to attend at the discounted student rate! There are a limited number of teen registration available for the teen track at the conference.

I have a question about presenting at the conference. 

We’re excited to hear of your interest. Please read through the Call for Proposals document and email conference@cminst.org with any further questions. 

I have a question about meals.

Meal options will be posted closer to the conference date. Many lodging options include a free breakfast, but we plan to share lunches and dinners together as these times for conversation are a critical part of the conference! 

our sponsors

Interested in sponsoring? We love to highlight relevant organizations and individuals for attendees and the entire international community influenced by this conference. Reach out to conference@cminst.org for more information.

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