By Liz Segrist
Published Sept. 19, 2013
Charleston needs its own music festival.
This was one idea floated at Pecha Kucha’s 19th event, held Tuesday at Memminger Auditorium in downtown Charleston. Creative types, entrepreneurs, residents and businesspeople gathered to hear seven presentations of stories, ideas, passions and inspirations.
Speaker Charles Carmody said the Spoleto Festival serves the city’s art and music scene well, but that local musicians and artists should work together to bring a festival dedicated solely to music to Charleston.
Carmody, the manager of the Charleston Music Hall, noted that many other artistic cities, such as Savannah and Knoxville, Tenn., have their own music festivals — and some cities have multiple.
“There’s no reason why we shouldn’t have one here,” Carmody said. “We need to be working together. We don’t need to be competing. We can feed off of each other.”
At Pecha Kucha events, speakers have six minutes and 40 seconds to share their story. To the left of the stage, a clock ticks down the seconds on a large projector. To the right, another projector showcases tweets from audience members that used “#pkchs” in their messages.
In the middle of the stage, the various speakers talk quickly, engaging the audience and showing images on a projector above them — each presenter has 20 images, at 20 seconds each. More than 150 people crowded into the auditorium to enjoy happy hour, food trucks, networking and ideas.
Logan Lee, CEO and co-founder of Charleston’s Wine Awesomeness, shared his story about growing his company and breaking down pretentious norms and gender barriers that often accompany the wine industry, with slogans like: “Real men drink rose.”
Allison and Daniel Nadeau shared their love of “snail mail,” which launched their letterpress company, Ink Meets Paper, in Charleston.
“It’s not digital. It’s wonderfully human. ... There’s beauty and value in slowing it down,” Daniel Nadeau said.
Cator Sparks, editor-in-chief of TheManual.com, talked about his passion for writing and how it has pushed him to travel the world, connect with people and get out of his comfort zone.
Tiffany Silverman knows about pushing people outside their boundaries as the fine arts director at The Citadel, where she teaches cadets to express themselves through art.
Ashley Jennings of aj architects walks the fine line between respecting buildings’ historical significance while finding innovative ways to contribute to those buildings for future generations.
Scott Watson, the city’s executive director of the Office of Cultural Affairs, spoke about ways to make a city more cultural and inspiring.
“Don’t know what to do? Exhaust your muse. Find a new way and reinvent. ... If no one wants you, do it for yourself,” Watson said.
Pecha Kucha 20 will be Nov. 20 in Charleston.
Reach Liz Segrist at 843-849-3119.