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Local author Sue Stauffacher presented at Stella's a few months ago and I was fortunate enough to be in attendance. It was rewarding on many levels to see people sit up and listen, even in a bar setting with all the distractions. With her tough, but true, facts, the message finds it's way to the top and forces a reaction.
PechaKucha Night was devised in Tokyo in February 2003 as an event for young designers to meet, network, and show their work in public.
It has turned into a massive celebration, with events happening in hundreds of cities around the world, inspiring creatives worldwide. Drawing its name from the Japanese term for the sound of "chit chat", it rests on a presentation format that is based on a simple idea: 20 images x 20 seconds. It's a format that makes presentations concise, and keeps things moving at a rapid pace.
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PechaKucha (PK) takes its name from the Japanese phrase meaning “chit chat," such as the din of background noise. Originally devised in Tokyo in 2003 as an opportunity for networking and sharing, PK has now taken off worldwide. In October 2011, Grand Rapids became the 428th city to host PechaKucha Night, after event producer Rob Terpstra “signed the handshake agreement in August 2011 that committed” he and his group to at least four events per year.
Events consist of meeting up in a public spot, preferably with food and drink available. After all, PK is designed to be a social event, but in the end it is about connecting and sharing. Pre-registered presenters supply 20 images that are projected onto a large screen and then have 20 seconds per slide to speak. The grand total on stage is six minutes and 40 seconds and the slides advance automatically. Topics are essentially endless and open, and the gatherings are designed for creative people to get together and share their ideas, works, thoughts or even vacation photos.
A few years ago as Terpstra and a few of his Herman Miller contemporaries researched ways to energize showrooms while also creating a dialog with customers, the suggestion of PechaKucha was offered. He did some research and connected with one of the founders, a man named Mark Dytham, with whom he would eventually meet in late 2010 in West Michigan. After the meeting with Dytham and enjoying the inspiration he received from it, Terpstra traveled to Milwaukee to see a PechKucha Night in person and decided he would make the commitment to bringing PechaKucha to Grand Rapids.
“Our inaugural event was at Stella's Lounge with eight local presenters on October 18, 2011 with two more events occurring at Stella's in January and April of 2012. This past summer we did a special lakeshore edition in Holland at New Holland Brewery in which we pulled another great variety of storytellers including a great presentation by Charlie Wollborg of TedX Detroit. For our next event we are back at Stella's Lounge in Grand Rapids on Devil’s Night with a diverse lineup of presenters and lots of energy and buzz," says Terpstra.
With the levels of awareness and consciousness in our fair city constantly evolving, there is an interesting energy in the air. This flow results in many unique ideas and events being fostered and realized. ArtPrize is a beast on many levels, but thanks to Rick Devos, there really was some beautiful crazy crap all over Grand Rapids. GR also recently hosted TedX and Wealthy Theatre offers many community events that are quite often free of charge and most definitely open to the public.
As PechaKucha becomes a household name, it will continue to assist in strengthening Grand Rapids’ creative community while allowing paths to cross that may not have otherwise. Three cheers to diversity, non-censorship and connections!
Disclosure: Author is a presenter at event.
Let's collectively figure some stuff out. We can help each other and further our dreams together. Life is not a race nor a fight; we are all it in together, as one. What drives you? What keeps you alive? Are there things you know that others must hear about? Tell me how you stay alive and why you continue on from day to day. What gets you out of bed? What keeps you in bed sometimes? Are you happy? Sad? In love? We all have stories. Some of us just need a voice.
Reports on: Life. Sharing. Hope. Fulfilling dreams.
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