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Featured Presentation

Tom Hurst has been a woodworking and natural resources teacher for a good long while. He has built and guided the creation of many items of furniture, art pieces, toys, buildings and of course boats. He has built sailboats, canoes and sea kayaks with audiences from children to seniors both locally and around the US. Over 100 canoes and kayaks grace our local waters that were built in his shops. Family boatbuilding is still his favorite. It is a project to draw together people and get them on the water. A natural teacher with a love of sharing the outdoors and practical skills, He has a passion for hands-on experiential education.

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I Am The Box!

@ VOL 11 ON DEC 07, 2017

Jim Benoit spent decades tending to all the left-brain details of the production of TV commercials. Is it any surprise he struggled mightily to access his brain’s right side in his quest to develop a creative outlet of his own?

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The Art Of Good Relationships

@ VOL 11 ON DEC 07, 2017

Sekenah Tennison stumbled into the world of personal development after reading the “Power of Positive Thinking” at the age of 12. Her worldview continued to evolve as she read other personal development books throughout her teen years. Later, through her work in government serving vulnerable populations, Sekenah developed a deep interest in understanding diversity from a historical context as a means of providing more effective service. Her presentation is an excerpt of a book she is writing, “The Closest 5: The Art of Good Relationships.


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Exploring the Unseen with Art

@ VOL 11 ON DEC 07, 2017

Lea Bult is an artist and art teacher. When she's not working on her own creative projects, she's helping others make their own. She uses a variety of media including painting, drawing and photography and likes to depict a range of subject matter with her art. Lea received her Bachelor of Fine Arts  from Kendall College of Art and Design and a Master's of Fine Arts from the University of Michigan. She has worked with numerous arts organizations including Gallery Project - Detroit, the Ann Arbor Art Center, and the Greatmore Studios in Cape Town, South Africa. She has exhibited nationally and internationally, and has been the recipient of several awards including a MacDowell Fellowship.  She currently teaches drawing and painting at Southwestern Michigan College and the Krasl Art Center.

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Car Crash: A Photo Book

@ VOL 11 ON DEC 07, 2017

Matt Werner escaped corporate America and taught college management for 8 years before returning to his family farm in Indiana. His passion is great story telling--reading, writing, listening. He has published 3 works of nonfiction and 1 photo book of old car crash scenes. When he's not farming, obsessing over old photo negatives, or imbibing local beer, he's plotting his next adventure.

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Creating Faces: the Design of Emoji and Language

@ VOL 11 ON DEC 07, 2017

Brian Edlefson is an art director, designer, and educator, helping organizations create better brand experiences for clients and customers. He has taught graphic design at the University of Notre Dame and Western Michigan University—while also managing his own design practice (named Thesis) since 2008. For the last 20+ years he has honed an understanding of typography and the design of letterforms, icons, and emoji. 

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The Art of the Race: An Artist’s Journey and the Race to Mackinac

@ VOL 11 ON DEC 07, 2017

Kristin Hosbein is an award-winning painter with a studio at the Box Factory for the Arts in St. Joseph, MI. This presentation is a behind the scenes look at the Race to Mackinac and how an artist's participation on the team of the Chicago Yacht Club Race Committee has influenced Kristin’s art. The race is 333 miles long from Chicago IL to Mackinac Island, MI and with over 300 yachts that participate each year it is one of the largest and longest freshwater yacht races in the world.

Kristin enjoys being on the water and painting plein air. She has traveled extensively, is an avid photographer, and a US Coast Guard artist. She has worked supporting the Chicago Yacht Club Race Committee for the Race to Mackinac for the past 11 years on the radio announcing the start of the race to the fleet in Chicago and acknowledging the bridge and the finish up on the island.


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More than meets the Eye

@ VOL 11 ON DEC 07, 2017

In the summer of 2013 Laura Gumpper had a once-in-a-lifetime experience living in Turkey for 2 months through the study abroad program at MSU. Since most people have a negative perception of the country as a result of what has been portrayed in the media, this speech will be a chance for all attendees to see the beauty of a country that is rich in culture and world history. 

Laura is currently an employee of Whirlpool Corporation and a proud member of the local Toastmaster International club. This event is her biggest step in her journey toward improving her public speaking, so she is very excited to be a part of Volume 11 of PechaKucha Night.

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Assembling the Past

@ VOL 11 ON DEC 07, 2017

Tom Freier's work could be described as 'Antique Assembled Sculptures'. Tom is known for his ability to upcycle discarded treasures. This ability to turn trash into (sometimes functional) treasures has gained him popularity in the art world. Tom has always had a passion for the “old school” way of doing things. He has spent most of this adult life in film photography, woodworking, and any medium that requires use of antique tools and machinery.




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 Rappette

    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. I'm an assistant at Whirlpool Corporation, the Communications Lead for the Whirlpool Creatives Association and a volunteer for local art events.

  • 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.