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Next Event

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Not yet scheduled!

We haven’t scheduled our next PechaKucha Night yet, but in the meantime you can watch some presentations, look at our map to see if there are any scheduled PKNs in nearby cities, or have a look at the long list of upcoming events, to see if there’s one you can attend!

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Finding Home

@ VOL 13 ON JUN 28, 2018

Tess Carragher is a Midwestern native, with family roots in the Indiana cornfields. Youth-led her to a spur the moment cross-country move to the coast of Maine, where she met non-profit work and fell instantly in love. The impact was direct and tangible, and even with other pieces of her life collapsing, the need kept her going, until her family couldn’t anymore. Her Michigan roots were calling, and in November of 2015, Tess, her husband Ryan, and then 2-year old Clementine packed up for St. Joseph, MI. Tess found a part-time job with St. Joseph Today, and found much, much more than she had bargained for. Shifting from a role with direct impact on underserved populations to working with small businesses, her new responsibilities and life in Michigan hit her harder than she thought. It’s both a return and an introduction to her roots, and a realization of the importance of community and the choice to call Southwest Michigan home.


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It Comes Out Series

@ VOL 13 ON JUN 28, 2018

Gabe Thompson is a self taught artist. He's from South Bend, but currently calls Benton Harbor home. He is a tattoo artist working at The Body Gallery in Benton Harbor.

This PK I will tell the story of me going from a life of crime; to a good productive life. How I used my faith, and art to maintain my focus on my primary mission.


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Dave the Rocket Guy and the Notre Dame Rocket Team

@ VOL 13 ON JUN 28, 2018

David Brunsting is a husband of 25 years and father to two.  His daughter is in her 3rd year at Michigan Tech and His son is a senior at Saint Joseph High School. David works for MDOT as a construction inspector which means he tells contractors when they are doing their job wrong.  

This presentation will be all about model rocketry, the people I've met, the projects I've worked on and most importantly about the Notre Dame Rocket Team.


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Random Slides

@ VOL 13 ON JUN 28, 2018

Joel Smiedendorf is a St. Joe native who enjoys Photoshopping his face onto movie characters when asked to submit a headshot for an art show bio.  Joel has over 30 years of experience in substituting desserts for vegetables, and he plans to continue bucking the health food system. He has previously lived in LA where there are many fine desserts, but unfortunately a health food craze as well. He hopes you enjoy the presentation and might be so moved to buy him a hot fudge sundae.

Meagan Francis is a writer, podcast host, and one half of the "Jonny and Meagan Mornings" show on 98.3 The Coast.

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Skate or Die: Skateboarding And The Meaning Of Life

@ VOL 13 ON JUN 28, 2018

Jesse Tennison is the owner of Tennison House of Carpentry.  He is an artisan who specializes in cabinetry and custom carpentry.

Jesse believes that his work expresses his values and reflects his care about relationships.

Before getting covered in sawdust Jesse enjoys journaling and reading, but afterward, it's all about skateboarding.

Jesse began carpentering 12 years ago when he left Arizona, leaving behind his welding career. In 2011 he completed a degree in Architecture from Andrews University.

Skateboarding is a hobby that can serve as a vehicle for emotional development, social interaction, physical preservation, and spiritual interpretation. This is a story following the existential journey of a lifelong obsession.


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Running On Empty

@ VOL 13 ON JUN 28, 2018

The gas station of today is notably different than the filling station of 100 years ago. Through the 20th century, the American gas station has evolved to meet the needs of the consumer and the changing marketplace. In this century there has been a steady decline in the number of gas stations. 80,000 gas stations have shut down.

What does the future hold? Cars and personal transportation are undergoing dramatic change. What will the fueling station look like in 25 years? Or will gas stations go the way of the soda fountain?

In her talk, Susan Johnston will highlight the history of the gas station from its humble origins in 1920 and rapidly move forward to predictions of the fueling station of the future.


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An Accordion Mystery

@ VOL 13 ON JUN 28, 2018

Ali Hansen is formally retired and enjoys her time writing, printmaking with the Southwest Michigan Printmakers, and living happily with her spouse, Marilee Panna, golden retriever, Wyeth Blue, and Keillor, the tiger cat. You can catch her a couple lunches a week at Zoup! in downtown St. Joe where she claims to get paid to exercise and offer friendly “hellos”. This November, all the books for “An Accordion Mystery” will be on display, along withother recent prints, at the Kalamazoo Book Arts Center in the Park Trades Building in Kalamazoo.


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Random Slides Improv

@ VOL 12 ON APR 19, 2018

Andy Sawyer is a set designer, inventor, maker, fine art photographer, innkeeper, outdoorsman, teacher, artist, tree-hugging dirt worshiper, and an improvisational comedian. He began his improv comedy career over 30 years ago, using humor as a tool for teaching environmental science at Stone Environmental School in Portland, Maine. After moving back to the Twin Cities to woo and eventually marry the one true love of his life, Nita Nicholie, the two collaborated to help establish the “Calling all Colors” program. Andy again applied improv comedy to this program, using it as a tool for children to begin dialogue on issues of race, stereotyping, and skin color. He next began working with Mike Nadolski at Bridges Theater in Benton Harbor as an ensemble member of the production of “No Waiting in the Loitering Room”, and a community literature-based show based on The Giver by Lois Lowry. Smarty Pants improv was his next stop, where along with his wife Nita, Joey and Jason Greene and Mike Nadolski he performed a weekly family friendly improv show at The Livery in Benton Harbor for close to 2 years. He is a founding member of TORP, and has performed in numerous local murder mysteries and corporate video productions. In an emergency, he can honestly say, “I am not a doctor, but I played one on TV.” He and his wife have raised 23 children over the past 24 years and they have found that the fundamental principle of improv, “Yes, And”, can also be a way of life.



Ibrahim Parlak's Story with a Twist


“He called the restaurant Gulistan which means ‘the land of roses’. To the restaurant came the people. First one, then two, then a bunch.”

In Ibrahim Parlak's Story with a Twist from PechaKucha Night Saint Joseph’s 4th volume, Presenter Ashley Reichert tells the story of a man from Kurdistan, Ibrahim Paralak, and his journey to a small town in Michigan. He is in search of freedom - a place where people are free to speak their minds, free from oppression, and free persecution. All he wants is to make a peaceful place for his family, his restaurant, and a place to grow his roses.
All is going well, until one day he is just gone. Soon, many people ask where he has gone, and learn he has been jailed with the fear of being deported. Ashley goes on to tell us how he is released from jail and goes back to family, his restaurant, and his roses. All seems well again, but there's a twist.

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About the City's Organizers

  • Christopher Gregory

    The most fascinating part of PechaKucha for me is the chance to hear amazing stories that are otherwise internalized, overlooked, or unheard. If you are reading this I believe you have a story to share.

  • Lana DeFrancesco

    I'm a BIG PechaKucha fan! I don't meet new people, I meet potential PechaKucha presenters. I don't listen to my friend's conversations, I draft their PechaKucha titles in my head. I believe everyone should tell their stories.. over.. and over.. again.

  • Nathan Margoni

    Nathan Margoni is an artist/illustrator/educator living and working in Benton Harbor, MI. He has worked as the Manager of Education and Interpretation at the Krasl Art Center since 2014.

  • Meg Clayton

    At Whirlpool, I create user-centered interface designs by day, and PechaKucha graphics by night. I love all things that bring people together in our community, and I believe that everyone has a story to tell!

  • Mark Strauss

    Mark Strauss is a national Communications Training and Branding professional who has worked with brands like Disney, Motorola, and the NFL. He is also a screenwriter with a passion for storytelling that informs every creative and professional endeavor.

  • Jorden Parker

    Life long SJ/BH Resident, I love this community and continue to find ways to engage my workplace with the activities I enjoy and the places they happen. By day I am architect at Wightman & Associates, by all the time I am a father to three daughters and a husband to someone else's.

  • Jaakko Kasko

    World traveler, athlete, brewer, guitarist, computer geek...yeah, that's pretty descriptive.