Creativity takes the stage at Pecha Kucha Night
Posted on 6 Oct 2008 by Ben Ullman
All photographs taken and provided graciously by Mitchell Kearney.
A little over a week ago, on September 25th, Petra’s Cabaret and Piano Bar hosted Charlotte’s first Pecha Kucha Night. Guests packed the main room, as fourteen presenters (or, in some cases, teams) did show and tell on the topic of their choosing. The presentations were diverse, intriguing, and inspiring, and so was the audience, who encouraged the presenters with their cheers, laughter, and comments, as they looked on attentively at the images presented on the big video screen, accompanied by narration from their creators.
Pecha Kucha (Japanese for the sound of conversations or “chit chat”) got its start in Tokyo in 2003, when the partners at Klein Dytham architecture were looking for an event to host in their club, Superdeluxe. What they came up with is a cross between show and tell, open mic night, and happy hour. They decided to implement a strict presentation format: 20 slides, for 20 seconds each, that would ensure presentations didn’t drag on, allowed time for many presenters to be lined up in a night, and most importantly, provided a challenging set of constraints for each presenter to interpret. Now, dozens of cities around the globe host Pecha Kucha nights, and the 20×20 format has been adopted by artists and corporate workers alike, seeking an antidote to the bullet-point blues.
To make the event a reality for Charlotte, members of the Point 8 Forum, Winthrop University, AIA Charlotte, and other interested volunteers tackled the task of getting the word out, locating a venue, and rounding up presenters and participants interested in seeing the event. The result was a stimulating and entertaining evening. About 140 people checked in at the door. Ideas were shared, beautiful images shown, prejudices challenged, talents spotlighted, drinks consumed, and new personal connections made — as Charlotte stepped in to the conversation of Pecha Kucha.
There are plans for at least 3 more Pecha Kucha Nights in Charlotte over the next 12 months, with the next one planned for sometime in December or January. Sign up for updates at point8.org, if you want to get the word on future events. One is also being held in Salisbury in October.