Morris Arts Great Conversations

Join Morris Arts for its 16th annual Great Conversations on Wednesday, May 1 from 6 – 9:30 PM at the Birchwood Manor in Whippany, NJ. Hosted by Morris Arts’ Board Trustee, Merle Johnson, this unique event gives guests the opportunity to dine and talk with a prominent individual while supporting the arts.

Our conversationalists are honored guests who contribute to the diverse character of our community including artists, top business executives, healthcare innovators, social impact leaders, entrepreneurs, scientists, and many more. Attendees select their top five conversationalists in advance and are assigned to sit with one of their choices.

Don’t miss this unique opportunity to exchange ideas with these fascinating individuals and connect with other community members. Register today to enjoy drinks and dinner with conversationalists including Emmy-nominated documentary producer, Chief Technology Officer for IBM AI Research, an award-winning artist who has had installations at Newark Penn Station, Chair of Gagnon Cardiovascular Institute at Morristown Medical Center, a certified sommelier who is Beverage Director for Harvest Restaurant Group, NJ 2023 Architect of the Year, and many more fascinating individuals.

L-R from the top: Ronnie Agnew, NJ Advance Media; Dakshi Agrawal, IBM; Nate Barnes, PwC; Lee Baskerville, Fine Artist; Serena Bocchino, Contemporary Abstract Artist; Chris Casiello, Arethusa Farm Dairy; Fred Castrovinci, Valley Bank; Derby Chukwudi, Miss New Jersey USA 2023;  Joe Pat Clayton, Penta Tequila; Meredith DeSalazar, Documentary Producer;  Geoff Doloff, Harvest Restaurant Group; Jason Ellinger, Beard & Bowler Productions; Nancy Dougherty, Studio 1200; Graham Ferrier, PhD, Pfizer; Linda Gillam, MD, Morristown Medical Center.

L-R from the top: Seth Ruggles Hiler, Artist; Stefanie Kuhner, Bristol Myers Squibb; Allison Ladd, Newark Deputy Mayor; Elizabeth McCarthy, Community FoodBank of NJ; Jean Molino, Convergence Center for Policy Resolution; Andre Romero, Mondelēz International; Tracey Saia, LPAT, Art Therapist; Drew Thompson, Consult Drew; AJ Washington, Phlote Music; John Zweig, Neuro-Insight.

Click here to view our conversationalists’ bios and to purchase tickets. Early pricing per ticket is $250, which increases to $275 on April 18, 2024. A young professional rate of $150 is available this year for individuals who are 35 and under.

Great Conversations helps to support Morris Arts’ programs, including our new Arts in Health Initiative which aims to bring the healing power of the arts to the communities we serve. The latest research in the field of Neuroaesthetics confirms something we’ve long believed – that engagement in the arts can have positive, lasting impacts on both physical and mental health. We’re eager to expand our outreach and offerings to provide programs that contribute to the quality of life for everyone in Morris County.

Morris Arts gratefully acknowledges the generosity of our sponsors: GOLD: Nancy and Nelson Schaenen, Jr.; CONVERSATIONALISTS’ RECEPTION: Finn Partners; ENCORE: Beard & Bowler, Finn Partners, NJ Advance Media representing +, and ROI-NJ; OVATION: Mondelēz International, Valley Bank; APPLAUSE: En Masse Coworking, Gensler, Morristown Medical Center, Pfizer, Melanie and Alan Levitan; STAR: AMHigley, Community Builders, Eaglesite Management, HITT Contracting, Morris County Economic Development Alliance & Tourism Bureau, NK Architects, PBF Energy, ShopRite of Greater Morristown, Sills Cummis & Gross, WB Wood, Anne E. Aronovitch and Dick Eger, and Becky Button Espiritu; SUPPORTING ROLE: Kraus Marketing, Shanghai Jazz, Vollers, Will Draper, Marcia and Peter Hunter, Joanne and Tom McMillian, Virginia Molino, and Clare and Martin Prentice.

Handicap parking spots are available by the main entrance of the venue and are marked accordingly. The main program portions of the event will be Open Captioned by TotalCaption. If you should need any other essentials to attend the event, please contact Jenna Castano, ADA Coordinator at

Morris Arts, located in Morristown, NJ, is a not-for-profit organization founded in 1973 dedicated to building community through the arts. Morris Arts serves as a resource for Morris County with a special focus on arts programming in schools and the community, arts advocacy, and support of local artists and arts organizations.


Article Courtesy of Morris Arts