PowerPoints Galore for PechaKucha Night at San Antonio Museum of Art

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Bonnie Arbittier / Rivard Report

The next PechaKucha Night will take place on April 2 at the San Antonio Museum of Art.

The old PowerPoint presentation might have suffered a bit in terms of popularity these last few years. It’s very name can quickly evoke images of stuffy office conference rooms and bored audiences.

But four times a year, the format is dusted off and celebrated in all of its slideshow glory at PechaKucha Night. This time the popular speaking event’s 33rd San Antonio edition will be hosted on April 2 at the San Antonio Museum of Art.

A group of seven local creatives will take the stage starting at 8:15 p.m. and present their ideas and stories with meticulously timed presentations of six minutes and 40 seconds each. Emcees Randy Beamer, anchor for News 4 San Antonio, and artist Justin Parr will entertain audiences between speakers.

Before the presentations begin, guests will be treated to live music and small bites, catered by local chefs and restaurants, during a welcome reception at 7 p.m.

The concept behind PechaKucha is relatively easy. Each presentation consists of 20 slides, each shown for only 20 seconds before automatically turning to the next.

The idea originated in a Japanese architecture firm, in order to make employees’ presentations more creative and to-the-point. Since then, the idea has caught on throughout the world, with events in more than 900 cities. San Antonians have been hosting and presenting their own PechaKucha since 2011.

Tickets to attend the 33rd edition of PechaKucha night are $5 per person and can be purchased online.

These people will present their ideas and stories at PechaKucha San Antonio Vol. 33 (biographies provided by PechaKucha):

Michaele Thurgood Haynes, Cultural Anthropologist

Courtesy / Josh Huskin

Michaele Thurgood Haynes

Michaele Thurgood Haynes is a cultural anthropologist who studies community festivals involving pageantry and young women in over-the-top dresses. Texas provides an amazing number of such events. She was a curator at the Witte Museum for 15 years and has taught at area colleges and universities as adjunct faculty. Michaele currently is teaching at the University of the Incarnate Word.

Annie Montgomery Labatt, Gallery Director/Professor

Courtesy / Josh Huskin

Annie Labatt

Annie Montgomery Labatt is the Director of Galleries and Museums and an Associate Professor of Visual Arts at Sweet Briar College, Virginia. She taught at UTSA in the Department of Art & Art History from 2013-2018. She received her PhD from Yale University, her undergraduate degree from Barnard College, and went to high school at St. Mary’s Hall. Labatt was the recipient of a two-year Rome Prize, a Junior Fellow at Dumbarton Oaks Research Library, and a Chester Dale Fellow at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. She is working on three books including the forthcoming Art History 101 … Without the Exams with Trinity University Press.

Jesse Mata + Elaine Wolff, Fiesta’s Fifth Column

Courtesy / Josh Huskin

Jesse Mata and Elaine Wolff

Jesse Mata’s relationship with Cornyation began in 2002 when, within earshot of a board member, he made the mistake of asking aloud how one became a part of the cast and crew. Seventeen years on, he’s served as prop and set builder, skit designer, scriptwriter, board member, co-hard ass, and this year, emcee alongside the effortlessly cruel Elaine Wolff. Jesse enjoys laughter, applause, and broad acclaim.

Elaine Wolff’s reign in Cornyation fauxalty began with an inauspicious turn as a dancing coffee cup for the Duchess of Her Ever-Widening Ass, reached its apotheosis as King Anchovy XLII, and is slipping into its dotage with a run of board service. She continues to elbow-elbow, wrist-wrist from the stage as a co-host and script assistant, not just for the love of cheap laughs, but for the joy of collaborating with Jesse Mata and his fellow scurrilous bards of the Corn.

Franco Mondini-Ruiz, Compulsive Artsessive

Courtesy / Josh Huskin

Franco Mondini

Franco Mondini-Ruiz is an American artist of Italian and Texas Mexican heritage who lives and works in San Antonio. He abandoned a successful career as an attorney in order to pursue his passion for art. Franco’s art has been included in prestigious museums across the country, including the Whitney Biennial, Museum of American Art, the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, and the Smithsonian Institute. In 2004, Franco won the American Academy’s Rome Prize. Franco’s studio and gallery is located in Southtown and open Tuesday through Sunday or by appointment.

Michael Quintanilla, Disco Confessionist/Glue Gun Expert

Courtesy / Josh Huskin

Michael Quintanilla

Award-winning reporter Michael Quintanilla is a nationally renowned fashion journalist who has covered international fashion weeks in New York, Milan, and Paris for the Los Angeles Times and the San Antonio Express-News. But come Fiesta, our “Fashion Guru” becomes “Mr. Fiesta,” wearing his handmade outrageous fantasy hats, shoes, and garments. He is the recipient of the city’s first fashion icon Award of Excellence from the Fashion Group International and the San Antonio Fashion Awards.

Carmen Tafolla, State Poet Laureate

Courtesy / Josh Huskin

Carmen Tafolla

Author of more than 30 books, State Poet Laureate of Texas and currently President of the Texas Institute of Letters, Carmen Tafolla has been called by Roots author Alex Haley “a world-class writer” and recognized by the National Association of Chicana and Chicano Studies for work which “gives voice to the peoples and cultures of this land.” Tafolla is the recipient of the Americas Award, presented to her at the Library of Congress in 2010, five International Latino Book Awards, two Tomas Rivera Book Awards, three ALA Notable Books, a Charlotte Zolotow Award, the Art of Peace Award, Top Ten Books for Babies, among others. She was presented the key to the City of Dallas, and when she stopped at a gas station on her way out of town, it did cross her mind to see if it would work to turn on the gas pump, but it didn’t.

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