I know it's only October, but here at PKN Cov HQ our thoughts are already turning to 2017...and to what themes we can choose to inspire you good people into taking the 20x20 challenge.

We like to pick an open theme as the title for each event as a way of giving some kind of distinctively different character to each evening. The idea is that the themes are enticing for our audience, but crucially, they are also open enough for potential speakers to interpret in lots and lots of different ways.

2016's themes have been pretty good. We set them all in December 2015 when we booked the dates in, starting our rough pattern of 'every first Tuesday of every second month' for our Pecha Kucha Nights.

In case you can't remember, this year we've had 'Lost in Music' (just last Tuesday!), which we think was a particularly successful theme because it allowed for a really wide range of interpretations from speakers such as artist Spencer Graham who told us about collecting CDs which have 'Coventry' in the title, to Sam telling us about how he tried to explore and portray the process of his brain surgery through his music, to an ingenious 20 x 20  actual musical gig (no words at all!) from the Doc Brown Trio.

Also this year we have had 'My Favourite Things', 'My City of Culture' and, coming up in December, 'All I want for Christmas is...' which we hope will spark serious and frivolous presentations in equal measure (if you fancy presenting, please get in touch!).

So, this brings me to you - we need to start thinking of some good themes to use as the titles for the next yearsworth of PKs and we thought it might be worth crowdsourcing some of these - we know our audience is super smart and friendly and supportive so we figure you probably have some good ideas, no?

So far the list of possibilities (below) is short and not altogether inspiring - PLEASE HELP!

- A touch of class

- This is Coventry

- Simple Pleasures

You can email or tweet your title suggestions to @PKN_Coventry. We'll arrange a prize for any we use, thanks!!


Before Christmas the PechaKucha Coventry team got together for our AGM… we’re calling it that… though mainly it consisted of us eating at Habibi’s, drinking herbal tea’s and having a good natter. But, in amongst all that, we’ve also managed to set up plans for the next year of PKN Events. And we are really spoiling you with six thought provoking events lined up to get you talking, thinking and drinking! [our aims for all of the PKN Nights].

The first event is drawing ever closer; in celebration of that extra day we’ve earnt this leap year, on Sat 20th February, we present What I Would Do With an Extra Day. An opportunity to think about/imagine what we could achieve with a whole extra 24 hours in our year. I could think of a million things I could do (sure would love an extra day for this damn Tax Return). As always PKN takes place at The Tin Music and Arts Venue which is at Coventry’s Canal Basin, and PKN Nights are just £5 entrance. 

[The event on 20th is also a part of the Global PKN, meaning that there will be hundreds of PKNs happening at the same time all over the world. Be a part of it!]

And if you love that one, you’ll be happy to know that you wont have much longer to wait till the next one. On Tues 1st March Talking Birds, as part of their Twin Story project are hoping to connect artists in Coventry with artists in our twin city of Volgograd (Former Stalingrad) for a cross country PKN My City : My Art. This event will particularly appeal to those with an interest in the arts and the nature of town twinning.

And as if that weren’t enough, the rest of the year leaves just as much to look forward to:

Tues 3rd May - My Favourite Things

Tues 5th July - My City of Culture

Tues 4th July - Lost in Music

Tues 6th Dec - What would you like for Christmas? 

And, if you wish to talk at any of these PKN Coventry events then please send us a message through the CONTACT PAGE. Scroll down to find Coventry in the city box and then your message will come straight through to us.

We hope to see you at as many of them as you can make.

The PKN Coventry Team


Yes, it's Pecha Kucha night at the Tin Music & Arts centre from 7pm this Friday, here's 5 reasons why this night of merry amusement just might be for you...

1) If you like TED talks, stand up comedy or open mic nights - Pecha Kucha is sort of like all three rolled into one. At each night there's a massive mix of zany, opinionated, inspirational and downright oddball people talking (or perhaps shouting, dancing, miming or singing) through a series of 20 images. You don't have to worry about stifling any yawns, each person is only allowed 20 seconds per image... before you know it you've had six and a half minutes of eclectic entertainment... and after 3 or 4 you realise the £3 entry is definitely giving your two bob's worth.

2) TFI Friday and alcohol is served. The Tin offer loads of continental drinks and local brews including Coventry's very own Byatt's beer.

3) Fighting winter flu? You can watch Pecha Kucha from your sickbed - All the Pecha Kucha presentations are put online at Seriously laugh-out-loud recommendations from the Pecha Kucha Coventry 'Christmas' edition are: How to Annoy Your Friends on Facebook at Christmas by Simon Fairbanks and Placing Children on Your Lap: the Art of Ventriloquism by Michael Mayhew.  You can also follow antics via Twitter live on the night @PKN_coventry.

4) Try it and like it? You can go to a Pecha Kucha night ANYWHERE in the world. Originally starting in Tokyo (the tongue twisting "Pecha Kucha" title means "chit chat"), nights now take place in over 700 cities worldwide. So next time you're surfing the Air B&B waves to Dubai, Budapest, San Francisco or Paris you can also take in a Pecha Kucha night*.

5) If you get the itch after seeing (and possibly secretly mocking) others, you can have a go too. Anyone is welcome to sign up to 'do' a Pecha Kucha night on any subject, in any style, with any images and props you might care to use. Once you've completed this curious right-of-passage, you realise there's no return; it's addictive, it's fun and it's a serious preference to sitting in and worrying about your post-January diet. See you on Friday!

*disclaimer - not all nights may be as good as Pecha Kucha Coventry. Please also note that you could be educated or inspired and that there's a serious risk of meeting people...

Friday 20th February
'Design your City' - a theme for Global Pecha Kucha Night
@ The Tin Music & Arts (formerly Taylor John's House), Leicester Row, Coventry, West Midlands, CV14BN
Presenters, event details, maps here.

Where do you play in your city?

Simon Bedford discusses the excitement that can be found at Coventry’s Warwick Arts Centre. In “Playful Interventions” from PKN Coventry Vol. 19, he begins by showing off the impact that interactive light sculptures, piano stairs, augmented reality advertisements, and speed limit lotteries can have on a community.

There's been a lot of sad tweets recently about horrific things happening in our world, and Pecha Kucha has been one of the little ways I've used to remind myself the world is still goodish. So, when Janet tweeted that the most recent PK might have to be the last in Coventry I DM'd straight to action. I barely have anything to do in my spare time (apart from help run Big Comfy Sessions and host/promote gigs across the city ;o) so a DM to Janet asking if any additional help would keep PK alive. Luckily I wasn't the only one to offer help so it didn't take long for a new PK Coventry organising committee to be formed.

Janet is and always will be our Queen but she now has several court jesters in the form of myself (@mr_spoon), Dom Breadmore (@predacomDom) and Ross Fisher. Our job is to help Janet book presenters, and basically anything else she needs. But it's the presenter line-up that I expect takes the longest time, without presenters we'd either have no PK in Cov or we'd have to sit through yet another Mark Hancock presentation and no-one wants that.

I know how hard it is to persuade people to expose themselves for 6 minutes and 40 seconds as I hold the award for second longest to take up the challenge. Despite my fetish for organising gigs and gatherings I don't like being the centre of attention, and PK is a special kind of attention. I never felt I had a right to be on stage alongside creatives, artists, eloquent presenters and inspirational geeks. However after a few PKs I started to see more 'normals' drift onto the stage. Some of the best presentations I've seen have been about the mundanity of shopping, favourite books and a Wi-Fi rabbit. Hang on a second, I thought...I STILL don't want to do this...but I can bully others into volunteering.

I'm glad I finally popped my PK cherry during the most attended one ever (d'oh) hosted by Ludic is very much like giving birth (I know, I've suffered through two of them ;o), in that I didn't enjoy the experience but I have a happy heart and badge of honour after doing it.

PK in Coventry is a wonderful pot pourri of an evening, with squishy settees, that unmistakable Tin fragrance, laughter and friends...and let's not deny, a cheap night of entertainment and inspiration. You can't argue with that.

I hope that by helping keep Pecha Kucha going in Coventry that more people get the chance to experience that awkwardness of a confusing, badly timed, strange, fumbled presentation and maybe even get drunk enough to volunteer for the next one. I've already used my 'power' to sign up two frolleagues and a handful of new audience members that think it sounds fun. So right they are! 

See you in December!!


Despite slightly suffering with the remnants of a horrible lurgy, I'm pressing on with assembling the slides for tonight's Pecha Kucha Coventry Volume 15. Running order has been a bit trickier than usual to sort - normally the order just kind of suggests itself and the order always works because of the random connections it unwittingly throws up. Let's hope I haven't thought about it too much this time...

So here it is:

Julia O'Connell - A Kiss from France

Jon Plumley - The Charterhouse

Steve Compton - What Far Gosford Street means to me

Laura Elliott - Laura and Popple: celebrating 30 years

<sake & chat break>

Atma Singh - post-tsunami

Nikki Pugh - 29 not-quite-random walks around Tokyo

Matthew Macaulay - form/function

Richard Tomlins - What Far Gosford Street means to me

<sake & chat break>

Then there's karaoke!

All part of the Japanese Cultural Festival at The Tin Music & Arts. More here:

Another great Pecha Kucha event in Coventry last night. Thanks to everyone who played a part in making it so ace - and, for those who missed it, here it is in tweets as a storify.

At our March 2013 event, PKN Coventry Vol 12, we tried a new twist on the improvised Pecha Kucha presentation. To fit with our theme of "The 10 things I would do to make Coventry a better place", I prepared 20 slides - images of aspects of Coventry. In the interval, cards showing one of these images were randomly handed out to people in the audience, with the request that they come up with one (20 second) 'thing' inspired by that image to add into the presentation. Here is an short version of the list of the things the audience came up with:

1. (image of the Herbert Art Gallery & Museum) Open for longer and later. Still free entry and expand the programme of groups using the space.

2. (image of the Cathedrals) Open up the recently discovered 14th Century crypts and let people see the bodies!

3. (image of the Ellen Terry Building) Bring back the cinema for the public!

4. (image of alleyway by Druckers off Hertford Street) Make sure the lights always work and it's safe to use.

5. (image of ring road flyovers by sports centre) Get the chicken knitters (as mentioned in Richard Tomlinson's PK earlier) to knit some socks for the ring road legs...(yarnbombing!)

6. (image of the river at the back of Palmer Lane) Open up the river.

7. (image of back of sports centre) I'm amazed that these used to be steps up to a restaurant!

8. (image of the side of St Mary's Guild Hall) Keep the heritage weekend.

9. (image of County Hall) More independent, and less w*nk bars!

10. (image of timbered former tourist info building next to Holy Trinity) Should be Tourist Info and a tourist destination.

11. (gate near Bishop St) This is near the Refugee Centre. The Refugee Centre has been welcoming refugees for more than 10 years, but it had to remain hidden for a long time. The refugees that have settled here over the last 10 years are now making a huge impact in the city. Reinvention, positivity and social value.

12. (image of the precinct) We should all be 'Poogilantes' to prevent people from stepping in undesirable poo on pavements, always carry a chalk to circle, label and help others avoid!

13. (image of stairs near Coventry Market) Step into Coventry Market - Coventry is full of interesting buildings, spaces, nooks and crannies. Go and explore - and champion - them.

14. (image of the circular cafe in the Lower Precinct) Create a public painting - or guerilla weaving workshop here. Cover it in colour.

15. (image of Cullen ceramic mural in the Lower Precinct) Give more jobs to glass blowers, artists and other people who put the colour in.

16. (image of public artwork in Shelton Square) Make a hidden art trail - so people can find these.

17. (image of former Evening Telegraph building) Offer this building to artists and craftsmen...

18. (image of Whitefriars Monastery from the subway) Crowdsource some citizen photos of Coventry - what its people see as beautiful - and use these as the images on official council and other establishments websites. An ever-changing selection which showcases current events and developments and maybe even engenders civic pride!

19. (image of graffitti) A paint amnesty.

20 (image of the cross on the ground of the Priory Place visitor centre garden) Coventry obviously needs more pirates - there's buried treasure here that needs digging up....!

I can't quite believe we're at Pecha Kucha Coventry Vol #12. It's been an amazing couple of years with presentations ranging from "20 films that made me want to leave planet earth" to "15 lessons from sailing that should be applied to life" to "400 seconds with Wernher and the Wagtail" to our ground-breaking Pecha Kucha plays (and pretty much everything in between).

I've just got the tickets on sale for our next event, which is on March 26th at our friendly regular venue Taylor John's House [you can get your sticky mitts on one here] but I'm still a few speakers short - do you fancy having a go? We could do with some women, all the volunteers are blokes at the moment....

It's a themed one, for a change - I'm looking for people to tell us about the 10 things they would do to make Coventry a better place. If you live here, you must have some ideas and we'd love to hear them (and chat about them afterwards).

Please get in touch if you'd like to take the 20 x 20 challenge - otherwise, buy a ticket and I'll see you there!


Coventry's 11th Pecha Kucha Night - and the last event of 2012 starts in a little over 6 hours - woo!

Here's the list of presenters:

Janice Connolly/Barbara Nice - Podium (a Pecha Kucha Play with images by Richard Battye)

Steph Ridings - One Day Music Will Play (a Pecha Kucha Play with images by Richard Harrison)

Jack Shuttleworth - Designing Spaces for Early Years and Family Learning

Dom Breadmore - Fail (working title)

Ashley James Brown - Generative.PK

Si Whitehouse - Telling stories with 1's and 0's

Pete Dunkley - The Power of Irrationality (How to get reasonable people to do stupid things)

Rebecca Fisher - Party like it's 899!

I've also prepared a selection of 'unseen' images of Coventry at Night - if anyone fancies improvising a Pecha Kucha story tonight. (Sneak peak of images here if you want to cheat.)

And for our next event, there's a theme - I shall be looking for speakers to give their presentation entitled "10 things I would do to make Coventry a better place" (money no object, obviously). Think you've a few ideas on that you'd like to share?Let me know!