Charleston Music Hall to host PechaKucha 42 Wednesday
May 29, 2023
PechaKucha is returning to Charleston Music Hall May 3 for its 42nd rendition in Charleston. The international presentation sees eight speakers take the stage with 20 slides which transition every 20 seconds, making for a total presentation of 400 seconds, or 6 minutes and 40 seconds.
The presentations can be riveting. PechaKucha, which is Japanese for “chit chat,” started in Charleston in 2008 with several local organizers, unpaid volunteers and community leaders. It has since grown to produce dozens of events featuring hundreds of presenters. The reins were passed to Charleston Music Hall in 2017.
This year’s event, with help from the Music Hall’s collaborators, Charleston Arts Festival and artist liaison Terry Fox, offers a strong, diverse lineup from an array of different artistic, creative and entrepreneurial disciplines and encourages collaboration, communication and support in the local creative community.
Doors open at 7:30 p.m., and the show is set to start at 8 p.m. Tickets are $12 and can be ordered online
Presenters for the Wednesday iteration of the event range from environmental activists, local business owners, LGBTQ rights activists, tattoo artists and more.
Mary Edna Fraser, an artist and environmental activist whose work has been collected and exhibited worldwide, uses her art to push environmental awareness. Her work has supported the efforts of Charleston Waterkeeper, Coastal Conservation League, South Carolina Environmental Law Project and more. Fraser’s blog, Delete Apathy, is a venue for local and global activism. She’s lectured in Indonesia, Taiwan and Australia. Venues like the National Academy of Sciences, Duke University Museum of Art and the National Science Foundation have exhibited her artwork. Fraser was presented with the Verner Award, South Carolina’s highest honor for an artist, in 2016.
Robin Phoenixsays after serving 26 years in the U.S. Army, including five tours to Afghanistan and Iraq, her mission is healing people, organizations and communities with humor. Voted Best Charleston Comic in Best of Charleston 2022, Phoenix has performed at venues like Carolines on Broadway, Atlanta Comedy Theater and more, and she is currently on tour with national comedian Andrew Conn. She is a member of the Association For Applied And Therapeutic Humor and combines her advocacy for comedy as a mental health wellness strategy with helping veteran and military spouse comedians get performance opportunities.
Patrick Bryant, co-founder of Code/+/Trust software development, has been pushing a steady stream of new companies in media, rolling papers and software. As a serial entrepreneur, he continues to start and invest in new startups in Charleston and across the state. He’s recognized as a Liberty Fellow by Wofford College, a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network, and as a Riley Fellow through Furman University. Bryant serves as a trustee of Trident Tech and on the S.C. Department of Workforce and Employment Workforce Review Committee, chairs the Harbor Entrepreneur Center and was previously chairman of Palmetto Goodwill and the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce.
Alyssa Maute Smithaims to celebrate the food and culture of the Lowcountry as the executive director of Charleston Wine + Food. Born and raised on James Island, Smith is an alumna of both Clemson University and the College of Charleston, where she earned her masters in communication. She is an adjunct professor there now. Smith served as her organization’s communications chief for years before taking the helm in January.
Shaniequa Washington, a Charleston-based content creator, wearable art designer, mental wellness advocate and cultural awareness speaker, says her ultimate passion and purpose is to share love and shed light on issues that create division and exclusion in communities and families abroad. Washington uses fashion as a vehicle to open doors to share parts of herself with others with a goal of coming together to understand how to make local communities better places to live and work. She is the author of Leading From The Front, and is the founder and CEO of Zuriel Kingdom Collections and Blue Penguin Logistics.
Polly Buxton, owner of downtown’s Buxton Books, says she realized her lifelong dream when she and husband Julian Buxton opened the bookstore in 2016. She is a native Charlestonian with deep Lowcountry roots, and she says her passion for her hometown is what drove her to start Buxton Books and offer the reading and writing community a place that stimulates creativity and conversation. The store specializes in ticketed, book-included events as well as multi-day author weekends with offerings ranging from bespoke walking tours to culinary events.
Ashley McMullen was voted Best Tattoo Artist in the City Paper’s Best of Charleston 2022. Shealso was featured on season four of Paramount’s Ink Master and Ink Master Redemption. McMullen says she was drawn to tattoo culture from a young age, beginning a two-year apprenticeship at age 20. She credits the popularity of tattoo magazines as one of the things that first piqued her interest in the culture. She was always drawing and interested in art, she said, but never felt that she found her medium until she started hanging out in tattoo shops.
Chase Glennhas more than 15 years of experience advocating for LGBTQ youth and adults. He served as the executive director for the Alliance for Full Acceptance, a Charleston-based LGBTQ advocacy group, from 2017 to 2021. He was then named the first-ever director of LGBTQ+ Health Services and Enterprise Resources at the Medical University of South Carolina. Glenn draws from professional training, as well as his personal experiences as a transgender man, to provide education around the lived experiences of LGBTQ-identifying people. Glenn moved to South Carolina from native Illinois in 2006. He is a Furman University Diversity Leaders Initiative Riley Fellow, class of 2018; and a Liberty Fellow, class of 2023.
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