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Idea Week: Free Your Mind; TEDxSMU, Pecha Kucha, Spark Club Will Follow

by Anne Bothwell 14 Sep 2010 7:48 AM

Start thinking. Big ideas are on their way. And if you’ve been sparked, share yours.


My favorite brand new places to find ideas and talk to other people who love them  in the last year have been three groups: Pecha Kucha, Spark Club and a conference organized by some of the folks behind Spark Club called Big Bang.

I was out of town for the last  TEDxSMU, and  didn’t apply this year – I cop to a serious case of application burnout. But there’s no denying the  energy around the ideas generated by it, and their parent/affiliate. In fact, we were just talking about it yesterday

So two things – Pecha Kucha coming soon to the  Wyly Theater. Great news because it means more folks can attend – the last several have had waiting lists.  UPDATE: The lineup is listed in the press release below.

And  it’s part of Idea Week, parented by TEDxSMU and starting the week of Oct 11. Here are the folks behind it.

If you aren’t attending the big TEDxSMU conference this year, or if you missed Big Bang, or more important,  if you have an idea or project to share or enjoy mingling with others who do – there’s gonna be a week full of opportunity for you. “Ideas a la carte” as the organizers say.

Things are still developing. While they do,  consider the power of shaking things up, gathering with a group of folks whose work may seem different from yours, but could still inspire you or  make you think about collaboration in new ways. Mark your calendars.

If you’ve been sparked by what you’ve seen at the TED salons, Pecha Kucha, etc., we would love to hear about it. In that spirit, here’s how a great presentation by Brad Goldberg at the last Pecha Kucha night at the Dallas Center for Architecture played out in what I do.

The release from Pecha Kucha:

Pecha Kucha Dallas presents PKN vol. 4 at The Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre!

In cooperation with Dallas Idea Week

DALLAS, Texas (September 14, 2010) – Pecha Kucha Night, an international phenomenon in over 340 cities world-wide presents PKN Dallas vol. 4 on October 13, 2010 at 6pm at The Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre in the Dallas Arts District. The event is $7.50 per person and advance tickets are available: http://pkndallas4.eventbrite.com/ The Wyly Theatre is located at 2400 Flora Street in Downtown Dallas.  More information: www.PKNDallas.org and www.DallasIdeas.org.

Pecha Kucha Night was devised in Tokyo in February 2003 as an event for young designers to meet, network, and show their work in public. It has turned into a massive celebration, with events happening in hundreds of cities around the world, inspiring creatives worldwide. Drawing its name from the Japanese term for the sound of “chit chat”, it rests on a presentation format that is based on a simple idea: 20 images x 20 seconds. It’s a format that makes presentations concise, and keeps things moving at a rapid pace.

Confirmed presenters include:  Bill Holston, Mark Gunderson, Jessie Zarazaga, Richmond Punch, Buck and Camp, Bruce Webb, Elizabeth Wattley, Cathey Miller, Janice Provost, Nick Ley and Rawlins Gilliland. Other presenters are still in the works.


Elizabeth Wattley, the Director of Service Learning, manages the Service Learning Program and the newly established Food for Good Farm at Paul Quinn College. Elizabeth has been with Paul Quinn College since August 2008 and is a graduate of a historically black college, Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia.  Ms. Wattley left her position as a Senior Convention Accounting Manager with Wyndham Jade to join the College because of her personal commitment to the higher education of the African American community.  Since coming to the College, Ms. Wattley has focused her talents and energies on the development of service learning projects that are incorporated into course curriculums. Additionally, she has served on a variety of college committees and plays an active role in developing student activities and programs to enhance campus life for current students at Paul Quinn College.

High Impact, dynamic violinist Richmond Punch is owner of Richmond Punch Productions, a business specializing in corporate and special events entertainment. He has performed around the country playing anything from classical music, jazz, hip hop, to gospel. He’s let his violin do the talking before crowds of more than 16,000 from Anchorage, Charleston, to Houston, DC, Los Angeles and New York during corporate, concert and special events. He is a sought after speaker for Youth Groups, Colleges and Universities such as Paul Quinn College in Dallas, the Piney Woods School in Mississippi, Dallas County Community Colleges, Southern Methodist University, and teaches at a summer camp in Alaska. He has performed at The Potter’s House Church,  Main Street Arts Festival, Denton Jazz Festival, Mcdonalds Corporation, JC Penney Corporation, Boy Scouts of America, Big Brother’s and Big Sister’s, Congressional Black Caucus, AT&T Performing Arts Center, U.S. Military, and United Way to name a few. He has worked with many artists including Donnie McClurkin, Marvin Hamlisch, and was in concert with Ledisi and Yolanda Adams. Giving back to the community, the multi-talented Punch also serves as the Artistic Director of the Dallas Uptown Youth Orchestra, a program of the Punch Family Foundation that reaches more than 3500 children and adults annually. Please sign up for fan club through e-mail at www.richmondpunch.com. Punch is currently working on his 2010 releases “When it is your season” and “Voyage: Vol. 1” which will be available in October.  He is a graduate of the prestigious Juilliard School as well as the renown Yale University.

Bill is a business lawyer with the firm of Sullivan and Holston . Bill and his wife Jill, live in Dallas and have two sons, Will and Fred.. Bill is a member of the Board of Directors of Art Conspiracy, a local non profit, that raises money for charity. Bill enjoys writing and speaking and is a frequent commentator on 90.1 FM, KERA in Dallas.  . Since 1987, Bill has provided pro-bono legal representation for political and religious asylum applicants and has represented applicants from El Salvador, Guatemala, Zaire (Now the Congo), Bangladesh, Somalia, China, Nigeria, Burma (Myanmar), Liberia, Egypt, Turkey, Pakistan, Cameroon, Zimbabwe, Togo, Ethiopia Eritrea, Rwanda and Russia. He is a member of the Pro-Bono College of the State Bar of Texas and has tried  cases in Immigration Court and filed briefs in the Bureau of Immigration Appeals. In 2005, Bill was humbled and honored to receive the Angel of Freedom Award from Human Rights Initiative. http://www.hrionline.org. In his spare time, Bill is an avid hiker.

Cathey Miller graduated from Art Center College of Design in 1985, and worked in New York City  as an illustrator for two years. She moved to Dallas in 1987 and established her own art studio creating custom paintings, backdrops, and murals for residential and commercial clients.   Her personal work, which emphasizes portraiture and the female form in various imaginary settings, has been shown in galleries throughout Texas including solo shows at The MAC, Kettle Art Gallery, and The Jung Center, Houston.  http://cathedonia.com/

As a sole practitioner for 25 years in Fort Worth, architect Mark Gunderson searches for insight into the poetic and technical aspects of things. He writes, teaches, lectures and gives tours frequently of art and architecture in the region. A past president of both AIA Fort Worth and the Dallas Architectural Foundation, he is currently a vice-president of the Dallas Architecture Forum, in charge of Panels and Symposia and is a Distinguished Alumnus of Texas Tech University School of Architecture. http://www.wmgarchitect.com/

Buck Johnston is co-owner of bbGun Interactive – some say the oldest surviving and thriving new media company in Dallas.  Campbell Bosworth gets up every single day and creates something with his hands. He has a piece of paper from the University of North Texas stating he’s an artist. Buck and Camp live and work in the oldest church and parsonage (adobes) in Marfa, TX. Their new store, WRONG, just opened in Marfa.  http://www.sawdustpoet.com/

Born 1966 in Waxahachie, Texas, Webb is an only child of an only child.  His grand parents were missionaries and his mom was born in the mountains of Kerala, South India.  Webb’s grandparents collected a lot of things in India and he grew up around lots of wood carvings and lots of old books and art and attributes this upbringing to his being a collector of everything.  Webb grew up as a skateboarder and punk rocker in suburban Richardson, Texas and met his lovely wife Julie in 1983.  The two of them moved to Waxahachie in 1987 and opened a vintage clothes/antique shop.  The Webbs began to attend flea markets around the country and THE ROAD TRIPS as they called them, became survival where Bruce gleaned what he calls a “FLEA MARKET EDUCATION”.  On the trips Webb began visiting artists and selling art to fund the next trip to meet artists.  Julie and Bruce opened Webb Gallery in 1992 in Waxahachie.  With the love of artists, art, food, music and words and the love of UNBRIDLED PASSION as a rule guide, Bruce loves to collect and share.  He says this about Webb Gallery artists, “Each artist I have met has carved indelible marks on me as a person and I have traveled the Americas and India and Europe visiting artist and their environments.”  CREATIVITY IS LIFE has become Webb’s mantra. http://www.webbartgallery.com/

After working and teaching internationally in landscape, urbanism and architecture;-from Britain, Botswana, Luxembourg, Tanzania, Finland, Hong Kong, to Portugal – Jessie Marshall Zarazaga discovered that teaching Urban Design in Dallas’s wide open suburban settings caused her to question all assumptions.  She returned to London to work on a PhD at the AA , focusing on the operation of the devices of landscape, and their insertion into urban territories, and was subsequently awarded a Fulbright to study these issues at the experimental ‘Open City’ of Ritoque, in Chile. That research is her focus for this presentation. http://www.rybadesign.com/gpage.html

Janice Provost entered the restaurant world because of a love for cooking, creating, and pleasing her guests.  While enrolled in the culinary program at El Centro College, she was invited into the kitchen at Parigi.  What started out as a once a week shift, turned into a full-time position; and the love affair with professional cooking began.  Prior to entering the restaurant business, Janice had a successful business career.  After graduating from Stephen F. Austin State University, Janice excelled in outside sales for over 12 years.  She also owned a successful catering company and was at one time Director of Catering at Marty’s Bistro.  Through these experiences Janice learned how to work with people, to listen to what her guests want, and to create a happy and energetic work environment for the family of employees that work at Parigi. http://www.parigidallas.com/

Nicholas (Nick) and his wife Emily own two prominent Dallas area tattoo studios called Saints & Sinners Studios. One is located in Carrollton, Texas and has been thriving for eight years. The second and much younger studio is in the Bishop Arts District area of Oak Cliff. Nick has been tattooing professionally for nineteen years, working in various parts of the U.S.. His paintings and tattoos have been featured in many magazines and galleries and Nick has been asked to participate in several books involving tattoo artists from around the world.  Nick and Emily have three children.

Rawlins Gilliland grew up in Dallas, raised by ‘activist artists’; his Dad a well-known Big Band era musician and his mother a Dallas News newspaper columnist.  After college, he spent the ‘Nixon years’ tramping around Planet Earth becoming, in the ‘Carter years’, a National Endowment for the Arts Master Poet residency grant recipient.  In the ‘Reagan years’ he joined specialty retailer Neiman Marcus in sales (wardrobing the ‘Dallas’ TV series on location along the way) before the ‘Clinton years’ promotion to NM Director of Sales & Product.  Taking early retirement to consult and ‘rediscover my nature’, the ‘Bush years’ found Rawlins’ voice on National Public Radio, a commentator initially exclusive to All Things Considered nationally & later through North Texas affiliate KERA. Of the ‘Obama years’, he will only say they’re ‘an act of love’ and work in progress.