The Mazza Fall Weekend Conference had something for everyone! The weekend kicked off with the awarding of the Mazza Medallion of Excellence to David A. Carter. The award is given bi-annually to an illustrator who shows diversity of style in their work. David was a perfect choice for this award due to his attention to age and development with his work. We enjoyed hearing his talk about his career and muses as well.

Saturday was full of excitement beginning with author Phil Bildner whose energy was infectious! His presentation told about his work as a teacher in the Bronx and was nothing short of amazing. Lauren Castillo spoke of her work and how family played a big part in her journey. We loved seeing the secrets to her unique process. Ethan Long was all about improv, in both his comedy and his artwork, with impromptu sketches and hilarious antics. The afternoon began with Scott Magoon telling us a heartwarming story about Jessica, a Boston Marathon bombing survivor, and her dog Rescue. Scott, a survivor himself, felt humbled to tell the story of how Jessica made the most of her circumstances thanks to her faithful companion. Finally, the one and only, Jane Yolen finished the afternoon with a deep and insightful message of collegiality and persistence. The keynote presenters left us feeling inspired and invigorated.

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