Wednesday, October 24, 2012

PechaKucha Night at Stella's Lounge in Grand Rapids

PechaKucha to visit Stella's on Devil's Night

    On Tuesday, October 30, Stella's Lounge hosts PechaKucha. The Japanese networking event has made its way to Grand Rapids!

    Sue Stauffacher Presents about Wireman at Stella's
    Sue Stauffacher Presents about Wireman at Stella's /Ryan McCarthy
    Event Poster - Devil's Night!
    Event Poster - Devil's Night! /PKFB
    April's event at Stella's
    April's event at Stella's /Ryan McCarthy
    Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported
    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 Loungein Grand Rapids on Devil’s Night with a diverse lineup of presenters and lots of energy and buzz," says Terpstra.
    The Stella's Lounge event starts at 7:30 pm and admission is $3. There will be at least eight presenters, including Hugo ClaudinJohn Serba and myself.
    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!

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