Pecha Kucha offer variety of performance opportunities

Andrew Henderson

The Kentucky Museum is hosting an event that Christy Spurlock, education curator for the Kentucky Museum, said is a mix of open mic and happy hour, but without the booze.

On Oct. 27, students, faculty and members of the community will be able to attend Pecha Kucha, an event that has roots that stretch all the way back to Tokyo, Japan. At the event, people can do a presentation or performance on any topic they choose. 

Pecha Kucha was created by Astrid Klein and Mark Dytham of Klein Dytham Architecture in 2003, and the first Pecha Kucha was held by them in Tokyo. 

Pecha Kucha derives from a Japanese term for the sound of conversation, or “chit chat.” And Spurlock said that’s exactly what performers do. 

“The presentational format of this is to have 20 slides and have each slide shown for 20 seconds,” she said. “Once the slides start, the presenter has to go along with the flow of it.” 

Spurlock said she first came across Pecha Kucha online back in 2012. When she found it, there were Pecha Kucha events in more than 500 cities worldwide. This number has now increased to more than 700.

Spurlock hosted the first Pecha Kucha in Bowling Green on Sept. 25, 2012 and she has continued to do so since. 

“Pecha Kucha is about getting creative people together and spreading their ideas to others. It’s also about teaching people that if you’re passionate about something, then you can convey it,” she said.

Spurlock said the event is also an educational experience. She described how the Pecha Kucha experience gives the performers the opportunity to learn how to convey points to people, not just read at them.

“The performers learn how to educate and to entertain their audience,” she said.

There are nine people signed up to speak at Pecha Kucha this coming Monday. They include students, professors and other faculty members.

One person who will be performing is Salvisa junior Kirsten Kellersberger. She will also help Spurlock host the event. 

Kellersberger will speak about Halloween and the origins that surround the holiday. She said more work goes into preparing a Pecha Kucha than people might think. 

“There’s a lot of research into your topic that’s involved. You are basically doing a speech, but you really have to practice so what you’re saying lines up with the correct pictures,” she said.

Kellersberger also said she might use the Pecha Kucha presentation format in future classes. 

This will be Kellersberger’s first time attending a Pecha Kucha, but she said that from what she’s experienced solely from the preparation, it’s a great opportunity.

“You can literally pick any topic you want and I had a hard time narrowing down topics,” she said.

Pecha Kucha is free to the public. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. with presentations starting at 7 p.m.