Arlington Heights native, Julie Drost Lokun, brings a brand new concept to the Metropolis Performing Arts Center, with the two-day conference, Cre8tive Con. The event takes place Feb. 17 and 18 and is intended to give creatives the tools to host podcasts, write a book, learn about videography and more about influencer marketing, to name a few.

Julie Lokun, right, holding her book, The Audiocasters: The Ultimate Guide to Podcasting, with fellow author, Julie Riga

The weekend conference is a first for the Metropolis, but Artistic Director Brendan Ragan says its outreach to creatives fits with the theatre’s mission.

“This one event combines education, professional development, networking and entertainment into one weekend-long conference,” Ragan says. “It also appeals to a different demographic than a usual theater or musical offering. Julie and her team have a bold and exciting vision, and it’ll be a joy to see so many creators coming together, growing their skills in this unique way.”

WGN’S Karen Conti is one of the presenters. She is the author of:
Killing Time with John Wayne Gacy: Defending America’s Most Evil Serial Killer on Death Row

The creatives that Lokun hopes to reach might relate to her story. She grew up in Arlington Heights, where she first discovered her love of writing while working on the student newspaper at Prospect High School, the Prospector. Lokun went on to major in journalism at Indiana University and ultimately become a lawyer like her father, Arlington Heights attorney, George Drost.

“At some point I made a pivot,” Lokun said during a recent interview on WGN radio. “If you’re meant to do something different, then you have to channel your creativity.”

It was in 2021, during the pandemic, that Lokun founded The Mediacasters, looking to create a community of entrepreneurs, creatives, authors, podcasters, and people looking to grow their brands and visibility. Cre8tive Con is a natural extension of that community.

Another presenter is Tom Langan, Emmy Nominated Producer and Director/ Author of Legendeering

“It was the great resignation,” Lokun said, “when over 4.4 million people quit their jobs and rethought how they were going to live their professional lives. COVID was the game changer.”

In her own case, Lokun has gone on to host two podcasts, The Mediacasters and OBSESSED, written four books on guiding entrepreneurs to success and contributed several magazine pieces. But she remains committed to empowering creatives to take their voices to the next level.

“If you want to write a book, start a podcast, host a radio show, it’s going to be inspiring as well as informative,” she says of Cre8tive Con. “You’re going to leave with all the tools you need.”

Detective Chris Anderson (of the show Reasonable Doubt) and Kevin P. Donaldson of The Suffering Podcast/ Co- Authors of the book, MAN YOU ARE CRAZY

Consider the panel of speakers:

Rear Admiral Garry E Hall: Former National Security Advisor to The President and Best-Selling Author/ Podcaster
• Kim D (DePaola): Podcaster, Author, and cast member of The Real Housewives of New Jersey
• Detective Christopher Anderson: Star of the show Reasonable Doubt and the First 48, Acclaimed Author and Podcaster
• Kevin Donaldson: Host of The Top Ranked ShowThe Suffering Podcast and Author
• Rhonda Penders: Founder of The Publishing House Wild Rose Press
• Janae Thompson: YouTube Royalty and Author
• Harry Spaight: Author and Podcaster
• Tom Langan: Emmy Nominated Producer and Director
• George Drost and Nicki Pascarella: Authors and curators of unique storytelling formats

Learn more and purchase tickets, here.





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