It’s a new year and a new venue for PechaKucha San Antonio: For the first time in its eight-year run, the traveling speaker series will head to the Magik Theatre at Hemisfair on Tuesday, Feb. 20.

The event’s 29th installment will feature eight speakers, all of whom have 20 seconds per 20 PowerPoint slides to make a case, tell a story, describe a passion, or advocate for a cause.

Among them are the arts director tasked with leading the San Antonio Symphony after months of organizational turmoil; a photographer recently acquitted of charges stemming from his arrest during protests on the day of President Donald Trump’s inauguration; and the artistic director who calls the event venue home.

Originally conceived by Japanese architects, PechaKucha’s format pushes its speakers to deliver a message concisely and creatively. Since the inaugural event in Tokyo in 2003, more than 900 cities worldwide have joined. The local branch has been going strong since 2011, visiting 18 venues and building its audience.

Happy Hour, which includes a cash bar and bites from a variety of local food vendors, begins at 6:30 p.m. Randy Beamer, News 4 San Antonio’s weeknight anchor, and Rick Frederick, director of community engagement at the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts, will emcee presentations beginning at 7:30 p.m. The suggested minimum donation is $5, and pre-sale tickets are available here. 

Attendees can park for free on downtown streets and in all City-owned parking lots as part of the Downtown Tuesday initiative. For more parking information, click here. 

Here are PechaKucha San Antonio Vol. 29’s presenters (biographies provided by PechaKucha):

Karina Bharne, interim executive director

Karina Bharne Credit: Josh Huskin for PechaKucha

Karina Bharne is the interim executive director of the San Antonio Symphony, having previously served as its vice president and general manager from 2014-2017 and as director of orchestra personnel from 2011-2014. Bharne has also served as manager of orchestral operations for the Aspen Music Festival and School. Prior to returning to San Antonio in mid-January, she worked for the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and as the managing director of operations for Vancouver’s Goh Ballet Academy. Bharne holds a bachelor of fine arts degree in trombone performance and a master of arts management degree from Carnegie Mellon University and is an active volunteer with S.N.I.P.S.A., an animal rescue organization, and the San Antonio Feral Cat Coalition.

Alexei Wood, undesignated

Alexei Wood Credit: Josh Huskin for PechaKucha

Alexei Wood loves challenge and to challenge. They wish to raise awareness about oppressive behaviors, environmental and social struggles, hierarchies, privilege, and abuse. Alexei is not afraid to broach difficult or taboo conversations, always advocating for critical thinking. Approaches often include media studies, postmodernism, philosophy, linguistics, psychology, sociology, and critical theory contextualized with anarchist, anti-oppression, and anti-civilization lenses. Critical of all control methods, Alexei envisions interdependent worlds of voluntary association, free from coercion, judgment, and fear.

Carlos Maestas, chief storysmith

Carlos Maestas Credit: Josh Huskin for PechaKucha

Carlos Maestas founded his cinematic storytelling firm, Key Ideas, 16 years ago. It was through personal pain and spiritual growth that he discovered a passion for storytelling, especially for organizations that have a significant social impact. He has been featured on the BBC, the Rivard Report, and, and has garnered multiple industry awards, including three Lone Star Emmy nominations. Maestas moonlights occasionally as a stand-up comedian. He once opened for Saturday Night Live alumnus Dennis Miller.

Garrett T. Capps, musical artist/songwriter

Garrett T. Capps Credit: Josh Huskin for PechaKucha

Garrett T. Capps is a country-rock ‘n’ roll musician and songwriter. In addition to fronting two different bands, The Three Timers and NASA Country, he works full time as an audio-visual project manager for World Audio & Lights, and also assists in live music programming at Paper Tiger and other San Antonio venues via “Nowhere Road Presents.” His next full length album, titled In the Shadows (Again), will be independently released on vinyl in May. His local anthem “Born in San Antone” is set to kick off the season premiere of Showtime’s hit series Billions on March 25. He was born in San Antonio.

Lisa Hurst, applied improv facilitator

Lisa Hurst Credit: Josh Huskin for PechaKucha

Lisa Hurst is an experiential educator and an improv facilitator. For more than a decade, she has been an active member of the improv communities in San Antonio and Austin. Hurst has performed with ComedySportz along with other local troupes and is a founding member of the musical improv troupes LazerWolf, WhenCanDo, and Well Versed. As a facilitator she uses applied improv for team-building programs designed for a variety of corporate, community, and student groups.

Catherine Cisneros, artistic director

Catherine Cisneros Credit: Josh Huskin for PechaKucha

As Urban-15’s co-founder and artistic director, Catherine Cisneros has taken her company to several international festivals in Mexico and Peru, and participated in the inauguration parades of presidents Clinton (1997), Bush (2001), and Obama (2009). She studied in the art department of the University of Texas at Austin in the 1970s and later in the University of Houston sculpture department under James Surls and dance department under Jennifer Mitchel. She is an established dancer, drummer, and visual artist who has exhibited throughout Texas and Mexico. She was awarded the Artist Foundation of San Antonio’s 2013 costume design award.

Bethany Bohall, arts administrator

Bethany Bohall Credit: Josh Huskin for PechaKucha

Bethany Bohall has been serving as the director of fine arts at Saint Mary’s Hall since 2008. A former equity actor and public-school drama teacher, Bohall has worked in arts administration for more than 20 years. Previous employers include the Segerstrom Center for the Arts and Davidson College, where she oversaw the Royal Shakespeare Company residency. She holds a bachelor of fine arts degree in drama, a certificate in arts management, and is currently pursuing a master of arts degree in leadership and cultural management.

Frances Limoncelli, managing artistic director

Frances Limoncelli Credit: Josh Huskin for PechaKucha

Frances Limoncelli is the managing artistic director for the Magik Theatre. She has a bachelor’s degree in theater from the Boston Conservatory, and prior to arriving in San Antonio, she served as playwright/adaptor and director, education director, marketing director, actor, and artistic ensemble member at Chicago’s Lifeline Theatre. She also acted and directed plays at many Chicago theaters and was a guest instructor at DePaul University and Chicago Dramatists, as well as a director with New World Stages in New York and the Weston Playhouse in Vermont. Limoncelli’s plays have been performed in regional theaters such as the Cleveland Playhouse in Ohio, the PTC Performance Space in New York, Taproot Theatre in Seattle, and the Manitoba Theatre Center in Winnipeg.

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Hanna Oberhofer

Before moving to San Antonio in 2004, Hanna was a competitive rhythmic gymnast in her native Austria. She earned degrees from St. Mary’s University and the Texas State Graduate College before joining...