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Thursday, November 13, 2008

Pecha Kucha

Like everyone else, I've been thinking a lot about the economy lately. I try my hardest to look at challenging times as an opportunity to try something new, offer help to someone who needs it, get out of my own head and take a long look around. Some days are better than others. Last night was a great one.

Last night at Memminger Auditorium, 9 fantastically creative people from an array of disciplines inspired, encouraged, enlightened and entertained a group of more than 200 people, in six minute and forty second increments. The evening was called Pecha Kucha, and it goes down as one of the best nights I've ever had.

Our own Nico Romo was one of the presenters and whipped up a six minute bouillabaise while still-life photos of the ingredients flashed behind him. What was more interesting than the food he produced was the story he told, of his multi-cultural upbringing (Italian, Spanish and French influences) and the inspiration for the French-Asian concept at Fish and his passion for fresh, local ingredients. Even I forget sometimes that a Chef is an artist, a creative spirit constantly on the search for inspiration, always willing to try something new.

At the other end of the creative spectrum were Upper King Street neighbors Brady Waggoner from Hook, (whose talk about reggae and hip hop was magical), Blue Bicycle Books' Jonathan Sanchez (his dry humor slays me), Tim Hussey (unbelievable photographs with the story to match) and Marcus Amaker (lyrical spoken word and design). Equally as wonderful were urban designer Jacob Lindsey, LEED certified architect Whitney Powers, artist Colin Quashie and filmmaker Justin Nathanson.

The planners and sponsors deserve applause, high-fives and kisses. From start to finish, Pecha Kucha was perfect, in its imperfections, its vibe and earnestness. Most of all, it served as a reminder to the Charleston creative community that there are so many of us here, and really, we need to get together more. Because when we do, people laugh and get inspired and share and challenge and hope. And we can all always use more of that.

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