PechaKucha Portland’s 45th show seeks stories of empowerment
By Kelly Merrill
What is PechaKucha? How do I pronounce PechaKucha? How do I PechaKucha?
As far as what it is and how you “PechaKucha,” I can tell you. What I still can’t tell you is how to pronounce it. The consensus among the board members is to refer to it as “PK.”
6 MINUTES, 40 SECONDS
“PechaKucha” means “chit-chat” in Japanese. It was created by two multinational architects in Tokyo in 2003 and has since spread to over 1000 cities around the globe. The deceptively simple “20 x 20” format directed by PechaKucha Global requires 20 images that advance automatically every 20 seconds along with a personal narrative for a total of 6 minutes and 40 seconds for presenters to tell their story.
Mark Dytham, one of the show’s original founders, opened PechaKucha Portland’s first show in 2007. Since its inception as an event for young designers, the idea has evolved into the dynamic storytelling platform we know today. PK Portland has been creating compelling presentations for the past 12 years and is gearing up to produce its 45th show.
PK Portland has expanded its call for presenters to include all kinds of artists and storytellers as a means of connecting one another in community. Their outreach letter for this show specifically expresses their intention to cultivate a culture of inclusion and elevate stories from the often marginalized, misunderstood, and the fiercely empowered.
To the board, PechaKucha is clearly a passion project.
Kym Dakin, a member of the board, one of this show’s six co-creators, and a veteran performer for Portland Playback Theatre, says “PechaKucha is one of Portland’s best experiences and best kept secrets.”
“It has the potential to raise the consciousness and connect people of an entire community, and to challenge our baked-in ideas of what is worthy, ‘artful,’ and inspiring. There’s a reason PK has been in the world for 12 years,” said Dakin. “I continue to be elevated by PK – every single time.”
CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS
PechaKucha Portland is currently looking for presenters for its 45th show on October 3rd, themed, “I Am Other.” The theme is one of the journey from disempowerment to empowerment. It’s about how we meet suffering and what we learn along the way. PK Portland seeks those who have transformed the feeling of not belonging into embracing otherness as a means of empowerment.
PK Portland seeks stories of s, stories from a vast array of communities; including women, LGBTQIA+, homeless, incarcerated, ill, differently-abled, and indigenous communities; persons who have identified with any number of challenges; anyone whose stories should be heard in greater community.
Those who would like to present should send a description of their proposed presentation (200 words or less), a short biography (90 words or less), and 5 images to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Each show produces eight to ten presentations. Presenters are chosen by jury.
For those who are interested in becoming presenters but want to find out more, PechaKucha Portland is holding a free “#How2PK” workshop in partnership with Indigo Arts Alliance, whose mission is cultivating creative visionaries. Indigo Arts is located in the Cove Street arts corridor at 60 Cove Street.
The workshop is for people who want some practice presenting a personal story, have questions about sharing their story, or are worried about speaking in front of a large audience. #How2PK will be run by run by frequent presenter, photographer, and board member, Arthur Fink, on Monday, August 12th from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
THE PK PROCESS
PechaKucha Portland provides a powerful mentorship with which to support and elevate presenters. Presenters commit to participating in one to three sessions of mentorship, with opportunity to craft their story, work with a seasoned mentor, and have a sounding board throughout the process.
Those who would like to present must respond to the Call for Submissions by Friday, August 23rd, and the board’s selections will be announced on Wednesday, August 28th. In addition to the mentorship, presenters must participate in the “Jelly” on Tuesday, September 12th, and show night, Thursday, October 3rd, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. The event will be held at Port City Music Hall, located at 504 Congress Street in Portland.
Kelly Merrill is an activist and artist, who serves on the PechaKucha Portland committee. Reach her at email@example.com.