ArtExchange to Host Innovative Bimonthly Speaker Series During Third Thursdays Programming

artxpkWhat comes to mind when you hear the phrase “PowerPoint presentation?”

Perhaps a heavy sigh escapes your mouth, paired with an eye roll, as you imagine all the professors in your past who tried to use said technology to unsuccessfully liven up an already boring lecture. Maybe you get a little anxious at the thought of having to give your own presentation, when the words you want to say don’t necessarily coordinate with the images or words projected behind you.

PechaKucha 20x20 is exactly the opposite.

It’s a fun, concise and quick run-through of the presenter’s ideas so that before you know it, it’s over and you’re simply left with an urge to find out more. It’s a simplified way to present 20 images or slides, each for 20 seconds. As the images advance automatically, the typically creative speaker gives their presentation.

Designed by Astrid Klein and Mark Dytham of Klein Dytham architecture to shorten the lengthy tangents often associated with creatives presenting their work, PechaKucha Night was first held in Tokyo in the company’s “creative kitchen,” also known as SuperDeluxe, in 2003.

Starting next Thursday, the ArtExchange (ArtX) will launch a bimonthly speaker series, PechaKucha Nights Long Beach #1 (PKNLB), as a capstone to the organization’s existing Third Thursday programming. These informal gatherings are meant to create a space where creatives, professionals and residents can share their works or thoughts easily and quickly with an attentive audience.

“Giving creatives of all levels of experience, and even people who don't think of themselves as creatives [...] the space and resources to investigate art practice is important,” said Victoria Bryan, executive director of Arts Council for Long Beach in a statement. “Long Beach needs evenings like this to connect people through creative experiences and conversations.”

This month, on May 21, presenters will explore topics that include urban planning, local agriculture, community resources and grassroots creativity.

“PKNLB is not exclusive to conversations on strengthening our city's art community," said Nicolassa Galvez, CEO of ArtX, in a statement. "Rather it aims to foster and inspire dialogue between the diverse groups of Long Beach. A community art center, like ArtExchange, is the ideal place for these conversations to be nurtured.”

Starting at 6PM on each Third Thursday, the community is invited to participate in art activities with the 14 in-house studio artists in their gallery spaces. At 8PM, PKNLB #1 will begin an hour of presentations in the main gallery, featuring local designers, educators and artists.

John Thatcher Montgomery, Jr., PKNLB coordinator and a studio artist at ArtX, will be speaking on his successes and failures of developing a studio art practice.

“The cross-section of speakers represents voices from within our city that aren’t always heard together,” he said. “It is our expectation that each attendee will leave the evening with a new perspective of life in our city, either being inspired by something shared or developing a new understanding of someone's hard work."

The speakers slated to speak on May 21 include: Jose Cordon, co-owner of 1897LB, Sean Duren, Director of the Uptown Business District, David Hedden, maker and founder of Leaf & Fin (an advanced agriculture system organization) and local artist Angela Willcocks. Advanced food production, zine-making, place-making and running a successful small business will be included in the cross-section of topics discussed.

The community is encouraged to nominate speakers for the next PKNLB on July 16. Nominations can be submitted to  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and will be accepted on an ongoing basis.

For more information about the PKNLB #1, visit the Facebook event page here.

Photo courtesy of ArtExchange



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