St. Augustine’s PechaKucha: An event to spread creativity

By Matt Keene |
Photo by Tom Tibbitts


On October 10, St Augustine will be saturated with a lightning storm of inspirational ideas and projects as residents gather to attend an event with a name that few can even pronounce.

The event is PechaKucha Night and will be held at DOS Cafe & Bar. The intent is to bring people together to share their passions, projects or whatever else it is that creatively drives their lives.

Amy Robb, owner of Slidetray Media, along with Angie Fay Ullmann, a 2003 Flagler Alumni, and Ari Sufalko, have brought PechaKucha to St Augustine, mirroring a format that has blossomed in more than 600 cities around the world.

The idea was developed in Tokyo and roughly translates to “chit chat.” While it is the Japanese term for the sound of conversation, a more apt translation might be “economy of expression.”

PechaKucha—if still trying to figure out how to pronounce it? Check out this video— presentations involve showing 20 pictures for 20 seconds apiece. This delivers a short, concise format where presenters must display their ideas into a concentrated story, forcing the speaker to get to the heart of what they’re passionate about. For the audience, this can be a relief, shaving away long-winded slideshows into something that, according to Ullmann, “flows.”

“We don’t want people getting bored,” said Ullman.

The October 10th event will be the second PechaKucha Night in St Augustine. The events are loosely based around a single theme. The upcoming event’s theme is “Projection,” and the presenter gets to create their own definition of the theme.

“You don’t have to be an expert to talk,” said Robb. “You don’t have to be published. You don’t have to be accomplished about whatever you want to talk about, you just have to be an enthusiast.”

This freedom leads to presentations that the organizers hope will have a real impact.

“We would like to reach out to everyone,” said Robb. “We are looking for voices from all parts of the city.”

Ullmann hopes that the presentations will encourage people to devote time to help the community.

“What I would like to see is more people coming and wanting to show their ideas and wanting to plant the seeds to take part in things, like riding bicycles more and taking care of [Florida’s freshwater springs]. All the kind of stuff [that’s shown in the presentations],” said Ullman.

Still deciding on whether or not to attend? PechaKucha Nights are free events that will only be held four times a year, at different locations throughout the city. Thursday’s event — at DOS Cafe & Bar — will most likely draw more than 70 people, according to the organizers.

“PechaKucha,” Robb says, “is a place for the community to come and think and drink and talk about ideas.”

Ullmann then added, “It’s just inspiring. It really is. You just have to go to one.”

DOS Cafe & Bar is located at 300 San Marco Avenue.

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