BATON ROUGE, LA - Information provided by the Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge.
Baton Rouge was first introduced to PechaKucha Night in May 2016 and it left those who attended asking "When is the next PechaKucha Night?" and those who didn't wondering, "What on earth is PechaKucha Night?"
"What makes it interesting is that sometimes the audience will hear from a politician, an artist, a senior citizen, and a teenager all in one evening. No topic is off limits—art, culture, science, even personal stories, or a business plan. But regardless of the topic, the presentation can last no more than 400 seconds and is accompanied by 20 visually stimulating images, so it's impossible to become bored. The audience is constantly engaged," says PechaKucha Baton Rouge coordinator, Anna Schwab.
PechaKucha Night is a format that was created in Toyko in 2003. It is now in over 900 cities worldwide.
PechaKucha is translated from Japanese to mean "chit-chat." The concept was created originally by two architects, Mark Dytham and Astrid Klein, who wanted a laid back environment to share their ideas, but dreaded the long-winded presentations made by architects in a typical professional or academic setting. The desire to keep the presentations to a bearable length produced the rule that each presentation would consist of 20 slides, each displayed on the screen for 20 seconds only. This means that each PechaKucha presentation is limited to 400 seconds, or between 6 and 7 minutes in length. Some slides are images, some contain text, and many presentations are set to a soundtrack.
PechaKucha talks can be given on literally anything - from a personal anecdote or memory to a business plan - and the mixed media aspects lend the form beautifully to discussions of any topic. Cities like Austin, TX and San Francisco, CA have PechaKucha nights as often as once monthly and choose different locations around town to host.
The creators of the event have said that one of the most important elements of a successful PechaKucha Night is the relaxed atmosphere- across the globe PechaKucha presentations have been hosted in warehouses, bars, galleries, a quarry, even a swimming pool.
PechaKucha Night Baton Rouge is held in the Historic Firehouse Museum at the Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge, so our city can boast that it has added a fire station to the list of interesting venues to host a PechaKucha event worldwide.
Each PechaKucha Night typically hosts between 5 and 10 presenters so that each event lasts approximately an hour, and the audience gets to hear from representatives on a variety of topics concerning different populations in the community.
The Volume I event in May 2016 included presentations on race, food, opera, puppets, Tina Fey, poetry, and more.
PechaKucha Night Volume II promises an equally diverse line-up including state archaeologist, Chip McGimsey, of the Office of Cultural Development who will discuss the 10,000 year human history of our state, as well as Madeline Ellis, a Baton Rouge-based jewelry designer and owner of the fast-growing Mimosa Handcrafted Jewelry, and John Gray, jazz musician and entrepreneur with popular local band, The Michael Foster Project, among others.
PechaKucha Night Baton Rouge returns for Volume II on Sunday, November 20, 2016 at 6:00 p.m., at the Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge located in the Old Bogan Fire Station at 427 Laurel Street in Downtown Baton Rouge.