JULY 14, 2009
PKN Providence Vol. 4
PechaKucha Night was back in Providence last month for a fourth edition, and organizer Stephanie Gerson files this report:
June 10th, 2009 witnessed the 4th PechaKucha night in Providence. Considering that PechaKucha is now alive and kicking in 216 cities worldwide, and that there are at most 31 days to the month, it’s almost inevitable that PK will be happening in at least two cities on any given night. So I’ve taken it upon myself to start telling the crowd which city/ies are hosting PK on the same night as us in Providence, and as it turns out, June 10th, 2009 also witnessed the 2nd PechaKucha Night in Dunedin! I also told the crowd that when we host PechaKucha on the same night as a city in our time zone, we should orchestrate some kind of tele-PechaKucha presentation, where two presenters in different cities give a presentation together via videochat. And it just so happens that our next PechaKucha on July 22nd coincides with the one in Boston…
To give a taste of the presentations at Vol. 4, I’m gonna focus on the women -- both because their presentations were fantastic, and because we need more women up on stage. The first of three was Amy McDermott, a recruiter for Bridge Technical Solutions, a full-service IT staffing firm in East Greenwich. She presented “An Ongoing Study on IT Professionals, Rhode Island, and The Economy” -- a title that seemingly bears potential for a dry presentation, but resulted in anything but. By communicating statistics in the form of a rhyming story about ‘Little Rhody’ (local term of endearment for Rhode Island), Amy had folks laughing and engaged. We learned that the favorite thing about Rhode Island for a combined 26% of the local population was its networking and growth opportunities, along with community and culture. This made the Little Rhody cartoon in her images blush, as he certainly would have at seeing the turnout for PechaKucha in Providence!
The second woman presenter of the evening was Alida Sun, an artist who works with nonprofits and advocacy groups. Alida was orphaned at a young age and spent most of adolescence in foster care, and her work largely focuses on the power of the human psyche to overcome atrocity. Her presentation elaborated the power of her own psyche to overcome atrocities endured in foster care, and her ability to channel trauma into creativity. Alida impressively took a heavy and personal topic, and articulated it with eloquence, passion, and even humor. She also wins the award for the most compelling title of the evening: “Cultivating the Heroic Imagination.”
The third and final woman of the night was Arley-Rose Torsone, who works at AS220 as their in-house graphic designer and visualizer of Design Providence. Arley-Rose gave the first ever…..[drumroll please].…..interactive PechaKucha presentation in Providence! (And actually, the first interactive PK presentation I’ve ever seen.) It was called “I Need 20 Volunteers, Please,” and the title was literal. She first asked for 20 volunteers, and then for each slide -- which was an image of an outrageous haircut -- had a volunteer sit in a chair in front of her, and descended upon him/her with scissors, an electric razor, hairspray, gel, barrettes....the works. Essentially: 20 20-second haircuts. 'Twas absolutely amazing and I’m infinitely grateful to her for expanding the possibility space for what PechaKucha can be. Oh, and thanks to a kind audience member named Michelle Cournoyer Girasole, we got the whole thing on video.
PKN Providence Vol. 5 takes place next week (July 22).