Pecha Kucha XXXI

Kasey Baltz

Pecha Kucha, an amazing show that is found all over the world, resides here in Charleston. The floor is set for eight local leaders to inspire and engage the audience. The speaker has to accomplish this in only 6 minutes and 40 seconds. Ready, set, GO!



Tom Bradford was the first to make an appearance. The local TV reporter and entrepreneur shared his idea of the "low line." This includes his plan to recreate the old Charleston railroad into a beautiful walking path to add more to the city. 

Trace Bonner, the creator of Holy Cow yoga studio, took a more holistic approach to her speech. She highlighted how important it is to serve and help others in order to find true happiness in your soul. Her speech was very heartening and she encouraged the audience to think about the value of life. 

Mark Sloan, representing Halsey art institute, discussed their newest photo project, "Southbound." This amazing collection features gritty, stereotypical and non-stereotypical photos of the south. The photographer's goals are to show the "new south" rising from the ashes.

Mike Quinn or the so-called "sax man" broke all expectations and left the audience laughing. After kicking a saxophone off the stage and declaring he was more than merely the "sax man." he talked about his life realizations. He contemplated what self-worth is and the very fundamentals of public speaking. Quinn noted that he feels comfortable saying anything to an audience because the audience always wants the speaker to succeed. 

Wolfgang Zimmerman, a local drummer and studio producer at "Rialto Row," put a personal spin to his speech. He described himself growing up as a kid and breaking the mold of kids around him to follow his dreams and form his individual self. He was once a kid dreaming about "Band of Horses," and now he produces with them in his own studio. 

Ever heard of Voodo & Tattooed Moose? Just one of the best bar and restaurant in Charleston! Owners Jen and Mike Kulick make the coolest of couples. They began their speech by taking out a bottle of alcohol, preparing to tell their rollercoaster journey to success. They explained that while trying to open a restaurant, they tried 3 different types of themed places until they finally succeeded. Their famous duck fries set off the booming progression. After making the whole audience cry from laughter, they took a shot and walked barefoot off the stage. 

The Cocktail Bandits were on fire, as usual! These two wonderful women, Teneka Reaves, and Johnny Caldwell, broke all boundaries when they created cocktail bars specifically for people to open up and talk about tough social issues. Here, you can find all types of cocktails that are decorated and created to represent historical and social issues.

Photography is such an amazing art and Johnathan Boncek has made it into a profession. How did he do it? Well, he needed a lot of confidence and the ability to block out all of the people doubting him. Starting off, he was a professional photographer for the World Poker Championships. Here, he found that his creativity could not blossom. With this determination, he fought for more and got 'comfortable in the discomfort' until he made it. "There are 7 billion people in the world and no two people are alike," Boncek said. Therefore out of those people, "He who says he can and he who says he can't are both usually right".

Featured: Kelly Rae Smith- (MC), Teneka Reaves, and Johnny Caldwell- (Cocktail Bandits), Kasey Baltz- (CompassTravelers Blog)