Creative Coast TEDx talks focus on Savannah thinkers

Article in the DoSavannah by Kristopher Monroe. Now in its fifth year, Creative Coast’s TEDx talks have gained an incredible amount of momentum — so much so that tickets for this year’s event at the Jepson Center were sold out a month in advance of the talks. If you weren’t lucky enough to procure a ticket, fear not, because they’ll be livestreaming the event online, and various businesses like ThincSavannah will be hosting viewing parties that are open to the public, so you can still get your fix of TED’s mission to present “ideas worth spreading.” For anyone unfamiliar with TED talks, the annual conferences were established in 1990 as a way for thinkers from different segments of the creative sector to discuss ideas based around technology, entertainment and design. It has since blossomed into a global phenomenon, with talks held around the world and speakers that have included everyone from Bill Clinton to Bill Gates. The TEDx talks are an offshoot of the core conferences and are organized independently of the main TED events, though with the agreement that the TEDx talks will follow certain fundamental rules and principles of the organization. Creative Coast’s program director, Charisse Bennett, says the TEDx events here in Savannah have really been taking off as more and more people “get” what they’re trying to do. This year’s theme is Exploring R/Evolution, and as Bennett explains, they’re very much trying to raise the bar with this year’s talks. “We’re different than a lot of other TEDx events because we strictly focus on getting presenters from our community, whereas the others are sort of pulling in some sort of important person from elsewhere in order to hype up what they’re doing,” Bennett says. “This is our major community event that we do throughout the year that really brings all the people who love us for one reason or another together and it’s not just about being a business or trying to get investors. “It’s about community and focusing on trying to pull our own community up,” she says. This year’s speakers include Telfair’s senior curator of education, Harry DeLorme, who will be talking about art and technology, which very much fits in with the this year’s theme. “The R/Evolution theme seemed a good fit for my topic, which is really about the evolution of the museum experience in an era of ubiquitous technology,” DeLorme says. “The revolution part, in my view, stems not so much from the use of technology in museum interpretation. “Rather, I see technology as a means of connection with our audience and empowerment of our audience — particularly youth — and as a means of facilitating a transformation from consumer to creator,” he says. Kolby Harrell, who works as fellowship community organizer at the Deep Center, an after-school creative writing program, will take a much different approach to the idea of R/Evolution in his talk. Growing up in an interracial home, Harrell originally had the idea to discuss the evolution of marriage, from the “interracial marriage movement of the late ’60s to the gay marriage movement happening today.” But then his idea broadened into discussing the idea of love in general. Though he admits that may sound like a bunch of “hippie-dippie, feel-good stuff,” he hopes it will connect with people on many levels. “I’m in an interracial relationship in the South and I’ve come to realize that how we feel about people who are different from us is learned,” Harrell says. “So I’m suggesting a new way of thinking — using color theory as a lens to help us consciously develop and evolve how we feel about people who are different from us, and ultimately, love them more fully.” This is just the tip of the iceberg, though. The entire day will be chock-full of speakers who will hopefully inspire a thoughtful exchange of ideas long after the last speaker leaves the stage. As Bennett explains, “This is our chance to try and capture a little bit of that energy around sharing ideas and having discussions and open dialogue around a chosen topic. And getting people to discuss actual ideas again.” This has been a News Recap by The Creative Coast! Here we provide our news mentions and bi-weekly columns… just in case you missed them. Source: DoSavannah]]>

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