PechaKucha Night Sept. 28 to feature artists, advocatesWritten by Brigitta Burks | News Editor | BBurks@toledofreepress.com
The third Toledo PechaKucha Night will feature slide shows galore — at least 10 different presentations, each with 20 slides allotted 20 seconds each.
Doors open 7 p.m. Sept. 28 at the Toledo Museum of Art (TMA) Glass Pavilion. The free event features a cash bar and light snacks.
“[PechaKucha is] used for artists, designers, people that are advocating for anything and everything,” said event organizer Kimberly Adams.
PechaKucha began in Tokyo in 2003 as a way for young designers to share their ideas.
“They started it for architects, because the architects tended to be a little long-winded when they were presenting their designs so they kind of shortened that format for them,” Adams said. Now the nights occur in more than 500 cities all over the world and Tokyo itself has had about 100 PechaKucha Nights.
Adams, founder of Tart Projects, an artists’ platform, also organized Toledo’s first PechaKucha Night, which took place March 31 at Manhattan’s and the second, which was June 12 at the Toledo-Lucas County Main Library. She recently moved back to Ohio after living in Tampa, Fla., where she first observed PechaKucha.
“I’d been to a couple in Tampa and they were really well put-together so I just thought it’d be great to happen here,” Adams said.
More than 100 people attended the last event. “It was really well-received. A lot of people were like, ‘Let us know when the next one is. We’ll be there,’” Adams said.
“This time, we focused on arts and nonprofits so what’s going on in the area, just to inform the public what’s going on,” she added.
A representative from TMA’s Circle 2445 group, which tries to engage young adults with the museum, reached out to help with the event and offer space, Adams said, adding she is excited about the “really cool venue.”
Organizing PechaKucha is getting easier, she said.
“The more [people] see it, they’re like, ‘I can totally do this. I’ll present at the next one,’” Adams said. “A lot of people have hesitation about public speaking. … You just don’t have time to worry about it. You just get up there and do your thing and before you know it, it’s over.”
Rachel Richardson, Art Corner Toledo founder, was one of the hesitant.
“I went to the first two and I realized what a positive event it was,” she said. “I got over myself.”
The rapid-fire format excites Richardson.
“I personally have a short attention span, so the fact that I know the person is going to touch on the most interesting stuff makes me sit still and listen,” she said.
Richardson said she plans to present on the birth and evolution of Art Corner Toledo, a group that nurtures artists and activists.
Ken Leslie, founder of 1Matters, an advocacy group for the homeless, will also present. The format doesn’t intimidate Leslie.
“I’m not afraid at all. I relish the opportunity to share the bigger picture of the work that we’re doing,” he said. He said he will focus on collaborative efforts of the community and misconceptions about the homeless.
He expects his presentation to be humorous but also touching.
Leslie also said he is looking forward to Richardson’s presentation.
“She is one of those unsung heroes that’s doing a lot to change the face, the physical face of our community,” he said.
Adams will present in addition to Dustin Hostetler of Circle 2445, Amber LeFever of LeSo Gallery, Bradley Scherzer of Toledo on the Map, Sadi Starmack and Jamie Baird of UGIVE.ORG, Nicole Tarver of The One Story Project, glass artist Brien Strancar and architect Paul Sullivan.
After September’s event, the next PechaKucha night is set for January. Another sponsor is needed for September. For more information, visit pecha-kucha.org/night/toledo.