Jill Bolte Taylor is a neuroanatomist known for her talks and writings about the brain. Carrie Newcomer is a singer-songwriter who explores the nexus of the sacred and the ordinary.
The two women don't appear to have much in common, at least on the surface.
But they share the same message -- one of connectedness, resilience and hope. And they'll bring it to the Tri-Cities on Thursday with their presentation, "Transformative Stories."
"I communicate something my way -- a more left-brain, traditional way of communication. And then Carrie communicates the same message, but through her music," Taylor told the Herald in a phone interview last week.
She described the joint presentation as being "about the brain, understanding the power of our minds and understanding the two halves (of the brain) as a whole."
Karen Hayes, executive director, described it as a "once in a lifetime experience" to see Taylor and Newcomer present together. "I think we're pretty fortunate to have them here," she added.
Taylor has been to the Tri-Cities before. She gave a presentation in Kennewick in 2009, also coordinated by Kadlec's neurological resource center, that drew more than 700 people.
During her popular talks, Taylor does more than speak about the science of the brain.
She also relays her experience of suffering and recovering from a stroke. A hemorrhage hit the left side of her brain when she was in her late 30s, and she had to relearn to walk and talk.
The self-described "left-brain dominant person" also learned to tap more into the right side of her brain, and "everything shifted for me in my value structure and what I cared about," she told the Herald. "I was no longer judging success and my purpose in life based on a left-brain value structure. I was focused on, how do I bring myself in the world and help humanity?"
Taylor is the author of the best-selling memoir My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist's Personal Journey. She also gave a TED Conference talk that went viral and in 2008 was named one of Time magazine's 100 most influential people.
Newcomer is an acclaimed musician, who -- like Taylor -- hails from Indiana. The two women became friends, and "we thought, wouldn't it be interesting to be on stage at the same time?" Taylor said. She said the response has been "beyond our wildest dreams."
Transformative Stories will leave people empowered and hopeful, Taylor added.
"People are going to walk away having struck that balance (between the two sides of the brain) within themselves. When we get in touch with what it feels like to be in that space of greatest empowerment within ourselves-- it's a feeling. And when we know what it feels like, we can go back to that feeling anytime," she said. "It's a tool we can use as we navigate our lives."
Kadlec Neurological Resource Center is coordinating the event, which starts at 7 p.m. Sept. 5 at Three Rivers Convention Center, 7016 W. Grandridge Blvd., Kennewick.
The presentation is open to the public.
Tickets are still available. Cost is $25 for general admission. VIP tickets, including a wine and hors d’oeuvre reception with speakers and reserved seating for the presentation, are $100.
To register for the event, go to www.kadlec.org/knrc or call 943-8455.