PechaKucha, which is Japanese for “chit chat,” is a quarterly event where people from all walks of life give a 20-slide presentation that lasts a little more than five minutes. Each speaker gets 20 seconds to talk about each one of their 20 slides. The fast-paced format means speakers are on to the next slide before boredom can set in. It’s fun and it’s fast.
Presenters include professionals from a variety of fields including architects, artists, musicians, chefs, authors, journalists and more – but the presentations often have nothing to do with the speaker’s day job.
The event usually brings out hundreds of people who go home with a little more knowledge about a range of topics – some funny, some nerdy, some epic. The local chapter, led entirely by volunteers, held its first PechaKucha in February of 2011. The original event was held in Tokyo in 2003.
WOAI-TV anchor Randy Beamer will emcee the event. Happy hour is at 6:30 p.m. and the presentation starts at 7:30 p.m., all for a $5 donation.
See below for information about this round’s eight speakers, provided by PechaKucha San Antonio organizers.
Mary Heathcott, Executive Director
Mary Heathcott is the executive director of Blue Star Contemporary Art Museum, which is San Antonio’s longest-running nonprofit for contemporary art. Blue Star offers innovative exhibitions, a residency program for San Antonio artists in Berlin, art education programs, and the MOSAIC after-school program for high school students interested in art. Previously, she was deputy director at Artpace, an international residency program encouraging artists to explore new directions in their work.
Joe Reyes, Guitarist and Producer
A Grammy Award-winning producer and Latin Grammy Award nominated artist, Joe Reyes has recorded sessions for artists ranging from Freddy Fender to Sara Hickman. His solo work has led him to perform in The Netherlands, Denmark, Belgium, Germany and Italy, and he performs with regional acts like Buttercup, Demitasse, Mitch Webb & The Swindles, Salim Nourallah, and Billy Harvey. Reyes has also produced albums for local artists including Marcus Rubio, Cartographers, Wolverton, Rachel Laven, Nicolette Good and more.
Susan Snow, World Heritage Coordinator
Susan Snow has coordinated the San Antonio Missions’ quest for UNESCO World Heritage status since 2006. She is the archeologist for San Antonio Missions National Historical Park and has more than 30 years of experience on both historic and prehistoric archaeological sites in the United States and Latin America. Snow has served in several regional and national groups on cultural resource issues and has authored numerous contract reports, professional papers and articles.
Diego Galicia, Chef
Born in Toluca, Mexico, Diego Galicia moved to San Antonio in 2002 and graduated from The Culinary Institute of America (CIA). Now co-chef and owner of Restaurant Mixtli, he has worked at Restaurant Lüke, in his native Mexico at Azul Condesa, and at Michelin-starred restaurants in San Francisco and Chicago. He was featured on Andrew Zimmern’s Bizzare Foods, and his mezcal bar Mezcalería Mixtli was part of Cafe Commerce’s Break Fast & Launch program.
Yvette Benavides, English Professor
Yvette Benavides is a professor of English at Our Lady of the Lake University. She is the director of the MA/MFA graduate program in literature, creative writing, and social justice and the assistant director of the Center for Mexican American Studies and Research. She’s a long-time book critic for the San Antonio Express-News and commentator on Texas Public Radio. Her creative writing has been published in Latina, Mothering, Texas Observer, Huizache, Bellevue Literary Review, The Pedagogy of Pop, and other publications.
Brian Chasnoff, Opinion Columnist
In his Express-News opinion column, Brian Chasnoff digs past spin to find the real stories of what’s going on and who benefits from developments in local government and the criminal justice system. A San Antonio native and Tulane graduate, Chasnoff originally wanted to be a therapist but realized he was better at reporting on insanity than curing it. He draws on his network of sources and his skills in observing and storytelling to inform and entertain.
Paula Owen, President of the Southwest School of Art
Prior to becoming president of the Southwest School of Art in 1996, Paula Owen was the director of the Visual Art Center of Richmond, Virginia and held positions in business and education. She holds an MFA degree, is a published arts writer, has organized scores of exhibitions and symposia, and has served on national boards and panels. Owen is also a practicing artist with work in public and private collections.
Lloyd Walsh, Art Professor at Palo Alto College
Lloyd Walsh earned his degree in photography from the University of Texas and in painting and drawing from the California College of Arts and Craft. His signature neo-baroque painting style, which uses unusual imagery and juxtaposition, has been shown in exhibitions and collections around the world. An associate professor of art at Palo Alto College, Walsh is also a musician in the post punk instrumental surf band King Pelican. He is a far better painter than a musician but this doesn’t stop him from performing.
Full Disclosure: The Rivard Report is a media sponsor of PechaKucha.
*Featured/top image: A line forms outside of the Charline McCombs Empire Theatre before the 50th Anniversary of Cornyation. (Expect similar lines for PechaKucha.) Photo by Scott Ball.