PechaKucha Night at the Akron Civic Theatre

Blog Date

PechaKucha Night Akron Volume 2
Enlarge Image

Akron creatives from diverse disciplines present their work in a unique format -- 20 slides of 20 seconds each.

We were excited to spend the evening in Akron at Akron Civic Theatre (@AkronCivic), since we had not been to this great theatre in years. (See more details about the theatre below.) Also, while Julie has been to Akron to perform in their musical venues (which Stuart also attends) at the University of Akron (@uakron), she had never seen the Akron Lock 3 Winterfest area (@Lock3Akron). Stuart was glad to finally show Julie the Akron Lock 3 this winter.

We were surprised to learn that they have "Ohio's largest seasonal ice skating rink" and a 150-foot, all-season polymer coated Reindeer Run Slide. We did not get much time to explore before the show, so we must make a point of coming back!

Enlarge Images
Akron Lock 3 Winterfest - "Ohio's largest seasonal ice skating rink"
Akron Lock 3 Winterfest - Reindeer Run Slide
Akron Civic Theatre

We attended the second (#PKAkronVolume2) PechaKucha Night Akron (@PKAkron - on February 5, 2016, at the Akron Civic Theatre.

It’s time for PechaKucha Volume II!

Join us on stage at the Akron Civic Theatre on Friday, February 5th for our second installment of this incredibly popular event. Call a friend, grab a beer, and head to #PKAkron!

About PechaKucha:
PechaKucha started in Tokyo in 2003 and is now in 800 cities worldwide, and is a program for local creatives to showcase their work to the general public. Each speakers presents 20 slides that last for 20 seconds — meaning each presentation is under seven minutes. PechaKucha speakers are from diverse backgrounds, including but not limited to art, music, law, architecture, fashion, photography, and science.

If you have never attended a PechaKucha (@PechaKucha) event at any of the over 800 cities around the world, we strongly suggest you do so.

We were very impressed with the second PechaKucha Night Akron. We had already written blog posts about two of the presenters, so it was great to get updated on their current work, and learn about exciting developments from the other presenters.

Yoly Miller (@Yolyinbetween) took a great Facebook video of the intro to PechaKucha Night Akron which we want to share with you. The video features Annal Vyas (@annal_vyas) and Nicole Mullet (@Nicole_Mullet).


Congratulations to all the organizers and sponsors for such a strong start as a new PechaKucha city! Please learn more about the organizers from the links on the "About the City's Organizers" section of their website. Also, see my photos below which include a list of the names of the organizers and sponsors.

PechaKucha Night Akron Presenters

Here is each presenter's name, followed by the title of their talk and information we learned about them. Please see our photos and tweets below to learn more about the PechaKucha Night Akron Presenters.

  1. Jasen Sokol (@JasenSokol) - Why Akron? 
    Jasen Sokol (@JasenSokol) - Why Akron?
    Jasen Sokol is the host of "The Jasen Sokol Show" on the Rubber City Radio Group's 1590 WAKR (@1590WAKRNews) radio in Akron.
    In his "Why Akron?" PechaKucha talk, Jasen spoke of Akron's many assets, such as the Summit Metro Parks (@Metro_Parks) and the Akron Symphony (@AkronSymphony), and about their potential for future growth. He provided a strong start to all the speakers who shared the many Akron sucess stories at PechaKucha Night Akron!
  2. Emily Kennedy - Biomimicry 
    Emily Kennedy - Biomimicry
    Emily Kennedy is a doctoral student and Biomimicry Fellow at the University of Akron (@uakron), which has one of the very few Biomimicry programs in the country. Emily started in the program in August 2012, and is a member of the first cohort of Biomimicry Fellows at the university.
    She is also part of GLBio - Great Lakes Biomimicry (@GLBiomimicry), and blogs at GLBio is "...a collaboration of Northeast Ohio organizations and individuals focused on developing a place-based, living learning ecosystem based on biomimicry."
    Emily spoke of using nature for inspiration in the development of products and packaging. We highly recommend you learn more about GLBio by hearing Emily or others in the Biomimicry Fellow program speak. It is amazing work!
    We first met Emily when she did a presentation at a DXY Tangent event (@dxydoes) on August 11, 2015. Read more in our blog post: DXY Tangent: Biomimicry!  
  3. Donora Hillard (@Donora_Ann) - How Can We Be Weird While Continuing to Make This City Great?
    At PechaKucha Night Akron, we saw in Donora Hillard's bio that she is the author of the play, The Plagiarist, and that she is a senior lecturer at the University of Akron (@uakron). Her presentation did not cover her personal work in these areas, but instead looked at something different -- Weird Akron.
    We had not heard of the Keep Akron Weird movement, so it was interesting to learn about it. Donora shared some similarly named efforts in other cities, and presented how they related to Akron. She talked about how creativity can be developed out of having an unique perspective. She also shared some interesting quotes about the current status of Akron.  
  4. Geeg Wiles of Ahab's Adventures (@AhabsAdventures) - The Story of Ahab 
    Geeg Wiles of Ahab's Adventures (@AhabsAdventures) - The Story of Ahab
    Geeg Wiles shared the story of Captain Ahab, a three-foot tall, 40-pound, bright yellow lawn gnome who has accompanied Geeg on his many travels. Their website says that Captain Ahab is a "wooden fisherman/wannabe pirate captain," and the website has a "Captain's Log" with many photos from the adventures that Geeg has had with Ahab.
    See Geeg's February 8, 2016, post of Ohio Road Trip / Akron Speaking Event, which includes photos of PechaKucha Night Akron at the Akron Civic Theatre.
    From skydiving, whitewater rafting, zip lines, to travels to famous tourist destinations, Ahab does it all! (Be sure to see "Ahab’s List" of never ending, always evolving, activities to accomplish.) See some of the activities in my photos (below) from PechaKucha Night Akron.  
  5. Rick Stockburger (@RickStockburger) - Risk 
    Rick Stockburger (@RickStockburger) - Risk
    Rick Stockburger is the executive director of "Akron's Scalable Startup Community," called Launch League (@LaunchLeague). Launch League is organizing multiple "micro-communities" focused on different startup skill sets. If you are interested, take action and join one or more of their communities, and attend events like their Techtini Tuesdays and Free Coworking Thursday.
    Rick talked about risk, and challenged the audience to take action. Risk is part of life -- don't let it stop your progress.
    Rick also welcomed the attendees to join him in taking the Akron Declaration of Innovation pledge. It starts as follows:

    Akron Declaration of Innovation

    We believe in Akron.

    This city is built upon a foundation of invention, ingenuity, and risk taking. Our ancestors took the risk to dig a canal from Lake Erie to the Ohio River, giving birth to our city. We grew quickly and embraced innovation and new ideas that led to massive growth from the rubber industry that ushered in the modern age.

    Go to to take the Akron Declaration of Innovation pledge. 
    Go to to read the full Akron Declaration of Innovation and take the pledge.
    Learn more by reading the Launch League SpaceWalk section of our earlier blog post about Launch League from October 2015.  
  6. Christine Amer Mayer (@ChristineMayer4) - Try This Operating System 
    Christine Amer Mayer (@ChristineMayer4) - Try This Operating System
    Since 2012, Christine Amer Mayer has been president of the GAR Foundation (@GARFoundation), whose offices are in located in Akron. The GAR Foundation's mission is:
    GAR invests in Greater Akron to promote quality of life, education, and economic opportunities for its people, in a culturally vibrant community.
    See the GAR community initiatives web page to learn more about the GAR Foundation.
    Christine shared in her PechaKucha Night Akron talk her experiences with autism in her family. Her talk attempted to have the audience understand how her daughter might view the world, and how people can better learn how to interact with her. We appreciated Christine's sharing of personal stories from within her family, so that we may try and understand as well.
    Here is a description of Christine's talk from the GAR Foundation announcement of her presentation:

    Christine Mayer to present at PechaKucha Akron

    Christine’s talk, inspired by her daughter Elizabeth, is entitled “Try this operating system” and is her attempt to capture what the sensory world might feel like to a person on the autism spectrum.

  7. Kurtiss Hare (@Kurtiss) - Cinephilia and the Role That Moving Images Play in Shaping Our Collective Future 
    Kurtiss Hare (@Kurtiss) - Cinephilia and the Role That Moving Images Play in Shaping Our Collective Future
    Kurtiss Hare is the executive director of Akron's Nightlight Cinema (@NightlightAkron). Stuart remembers hearing about its opening in 2014. It generated great excitement -- bringing an independent theater showing indie and art films to Akron..
    The Nightlight Cinema is an independent, 501(c)(3) nonprofit movie theater dedicated to the work of advancing cinema and community in tandem.
    See upcoming film listings and order tickets online for Akron's Nightlight Cinema at:
    Kurtiss' PechaKucha Night Akron talk utilized movie images to express different feelings and ideas about life. A collage of pictures representing different ideas was presented.  
  8. Beth Vild (@VildBeth) - Sustainable Akron 
    Beth Vild (@VildBeth) - Sustainable Akron
    Beth explained how neighborhood design impacts communities. She used examples of a more family-centric design for communities vs. the typical design of cities in the United States today in industrial settings.
    Beth also mentioned the Big Love Akron (@BigLoveAkron) event:

    Big Love 2016

    Big Love is an annual celebration of our Akron community. Enjoy local music and art, interact with local community organizations, and eat delicious local food all within a zero waste and family friendly atmosphere!

    Sat March 12th.
    11:00am – 10:00pm
    Summit Art Space (
    Akron, OH
    Afterparty at Musica (

    Akron's Big Love
    Enlarge Image
    For Event Details
  9. Ace Epps (@BMeAkron) - Born Creators  
    Ace Epps - Born Creators
    Ace Epps is the Acting Community Manager of BMe (@BMeCommunity) in Akron. Ace has over 10 years of experience in working with at-risk youth and ex-offenders. His work in the city of Akron is in the areas of community building, entrepreneurship, and black male achievement.
    The focus of Ace's PechaKucha Night Akron talk was creativity. He gave an example of people who have ideas, but are discouraged from acting on their ideas by others. Ace challenged the audience to not listen to the naysayers, but to act on their creative ideas and make them happen. Listen to your inner creativity.


Please view our slideshow of photos and videos of our evening in Akron.

If your device does not support photos/videos,
please view them here.

Tweets & Retweets

Here are our @sos_jr tweets and retweets sharing our experience at PechaKucha Night Akron. Please share any photos and videos that you find interesting by retweeting. Clicking on Twitter photos will enlarge them!

106 Tweets & Retweets

Additional @PKAkron event tweets

Here are some additional tweets we saw after the Akron PechaKucha night -- some of which were actually created before the event. We decided to add them here, since they help in telling the story of the excitement surrounding the Akron PechaKucha night.

More Tweets


Akron Civic Theatre

We had not been to Akron Civic Theatre (@AkronCivic) in a long time, but love this jewel that sparkles in the heart of Akron.

It was built in 1929, and is one of only five remaining atmospheric theatres in the country. It is an amazing experience to sit in the auditorium and watch the stars and moving clouds above you. We learned that the stars on the ceiling are in the actual configuration of the constellations as they appeared in April 1929!

The theatre also features incredible Mediterranean decor, medieval carvings, and European antiques and sculptures. In 2001-2002, the Civic went through a major restoration and expansion. It is now better than ever for both performers and audiences.

Enlarge Images
Akron Civic Theatre lobby
Akron Civic Theatre

We have wonderful memories of attending TubaChristmas Akron performances at the Civic. (TubaChristmas Akron was held at Akron Civic Theatre from 1985 through 2006.) Julie's memories are from her perspective as a participant, and Stuart's are from sitting in the audience with our sons when they were youngsters.

PechKucha Future & Past


"To Akron" -- At the end of PechaKucha Night Akron, the date of their next event was announced: Friday, May 6th.

We recommend you follow PechaKucha Night Akron on Twitter at @PKAkron, and like and sign up for event notices on Their events are also announced on the official PechaKucha website at:

In addtion to Akron's PechaKucha, we also want to share that the next PechaKucha Night Cleveland (@PKNCLE ) will be at the Music Box Supper Club (@MusicBoxCLE) on the West Bank of the Flats on February 18, 2016.

If you are interested in learning more about some of the past PechaKucha Nights we have attended, please read our blog posts:

We have attended MANY more PechaKucha Night Cleveland events than those listed, and greatly appreciate the leaders who make them happen.