Oh What a Night
A recap of nine creativity filled Winter Arts Networking Nights powered by PechaKucha 20×20. In Winter 2014 Arts OutWest challenged people of the Central West to get outside, get together and do a bit of networking – and we used the powered by PechaKucha 20×20 format as a basis for it all.
We set up events in Cowra, Lithgow, Bathurst, Orange, Wellington, Forbes, Grenfell, Oberon and Canowindra. Over 300 people came along across those nine nights, where 40 presenters gave 43 presentations (we had a few repeat offenders).
Our presenters included visual artists, adventurers, photographers, musicians, a history buff (in costume), an organ expert, an author (who read a bit from her new book), community volunteers who make art happen in their town, a health worker sharing the story of an arts and health project, theatre makers, a wooden instrument craftsman and a milliner. There was funny through to teary, local to international. The two things they all shared were their regional setting and a thriving sense of creativity.
Each presenter had just 20 slides, flashed up on screen for 20 seconds each, to tell their story. Six minutes 40 can sure go quickly. The images. The dreams. The surprising details. The unearthed local talent. The love letters to regional life. The new perspectives on people in the local community we thought we knew so well. How could you not be inspired?
And there was plenty of networking done too. Business cards and details swapped. Nerdia Cuddy drummed up new audiences from Grenfell and Forbes for the monthly Folk@Canowindra event. Performers for the 2015 Kalari Lachlan River Arts Festival in Forbes were pencilled in. New volunteers were signed up / arm twisted for local projects. People got chatting. Ideas were sparked. Will we do it again? We hope so. Each night had hardly ended before people were asking when the next one was. Keep an eye out for more in 2015.
And if you missed it, it’s not the same as being there, but you can watch videos of most of the 45 presentations online:
The PechaKucha 20×20 format was started in Japan in 2003 by Astrid Klein and Mark Dytham of Tokyo’s Klein-Dytham Architecture (KDA). There are now PechaKucha nights in more than 700 cities around the world. Arts OutWest used the Powered by PechaKucha 20×20 format under arrangement with PechaKucha.
Thank you to, firstly, all our fantastic, brave presenters. Thank you to our host venues, especially those that went above and beyond in showing great local hospitality and making delicious food. Thanks to all those locally on the ground (you know who you are) who dragged their friends along, spread the word, put up posters and championed the cause. Thanks Fairfax media and local radio stations for some great coverage across the region. And thank you to everyone who came out on a cold winters night – we had a really lovely time chatting, meeting and catching up with you all.
This project was produced out of our core Arts OutWest budget (ie, no special funding, all done on a shoestring) so thanks also to all those who put a few dollars in the donation box on the night.
Arts OutWest is supported by the NSW Government via Arts NSW, by the 12 contributing councils of the NSW Central West and by Charles Sturt University.