NOVEMBER 18, 2014
Why I couldn't let PKN_COV die
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 Rooms...it 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!!
OCTOBER 04, 2013
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: http://thetinmusicandarts.org.uk/events/japanese-cultural-festival/
JUNE 12, 2013
MAY 13, 2013
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....!
MARCH 01, 2013
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!
DECEMBER 11, 2012
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!
MARCH 09, 2012
Coventry's PechaKucha Night Vol. 8 was part of the Global Cities Week, and here's a little photographic peek at what the venue looked like, which organizer Janet Vaughn likes to describe as a "lovely dark venue." You can also get a feel for how the event went by searching for the following hashtag on Twitter: #pkncov