To Akron! PechaKucha Night at The Well

Blog Date

To Akron!!


We always have a good time at PechaKucha Night Akron (@PKAkron)! We want to congratulate the PechaKucha Night Akron leadership team for their success, and thank the presenters and sponsors who made the night possible.

For some background on the event, please see the Akronist's (@Akronist) July 26, 2017, article: Storytelling, Kung Fu, LGBT protections among speaker topics for Aug. 4 PechaKucha Akron

We also recommend seeing the PechaKucha Volume VIII Facebook photo album.

Here is the information we gathered from the Friday, August 4, 2017, PK Akron Volume VIII at The Well Akron Community Development Corporation (@Compass_Akron).


Volume VIII Presenters

Friday, August 4, 2017, PechaKucha Night Akron at The Well

There were over 400 attendees at The Well to see these presenters. It was a magical, pro-Akron event. More than simply cheerleaders for the city, there were true leaders there who are really making a difference in the community.

  1. Amani Abraham (@AmaniAbraham)
    Amani's website and the promotional tweets from @PKAkron indicated that Amani Abraham is a journalist and storyteller currently working with WKYC-TV (@WKYC). Instead of just talking about how to tell a story, which is what we expected, she shared a personal story about the relationship between her cultural background and her professional work. Adding this very personal touch made the presentation more powerful.

  2. Kevin Smith (@KSmithLeaders)
    Kevin is the director of the Institute for Leadership Advancement at The University of Akron (@CBAakron -@UAkron). The title of his talk was "Your Brand is Bullsh!t." He talked about how you must "Own who you are...but first you must know who you are."
    Stuart found Kevin's comment interesting that if you are spending all your time tweeting about how you are hustling, you probably are not hustling.

  3. Rev. Jill A Smith
    Jill shared her personal story of dealing with her brother's suicide. Jill is the pastor of Faith Fellowship Baptist Church. She also talked about her work as a stand-up comic.

  4. Katie Beck
    Katie is the artistic director of Gum-Dip Theatre (@GumDipTheatre). After showing the first few slides about the theatre, she had three actors originally from Nepal join her in sharing a story that reflected elements of their culture. We had a chance to speak with Katie and the actors after the PechaKucha Night Akron talks to learn more. They told us how Gum-Dip Theatre goes to culturally different communities and creates performances that reflect the local community's heritage.


  5. Travis Lee
    This was the first PechaKucha Night that we have attended where a presenter had everyone in the audience get out of their seats and move together following instructions. Travis had us trying some of the controlled moves that he teaches at the House of Kung Fu.

  6. James Hardy (@JimmyJoeHardy)
     This is the second time we saw James, who is the Chief of Staff for the Mayor of Akron (@AkronOhioMayor) at a PechaKucha Night Akron. (See our November 13, 2016, blog post: PechaKucha Night Akron Volume 5 at The Bit Factory)
    James' Friday, August 4, 2017, talk was entitled "The New Laboratories of Democracy." In his talk, James presented the idea that cities, as compared to larger government entities, can be the focal point for true democracy.

  7. Justin Leonti (@JustinLeonti)
    We had never heard of the non-discrimination ordinance that has been passed in Akron, and were very interested to learn from Justin a bit of how it was established through the support of the Akron United Steering Committee. We learned how there is no Ohio or federal law regarding discrimination against LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) citizens. We wonder if this would work in other communities, and think it is great to learn that it did work in Akron. It makes Akron special.
    While preparing this blog post, we found this video which expresses what the non-discrimination ordinance accomplishes. The video mirrors what Justin shared in his talk -- that the Akron non-discrimination ordinance goes beyond just protection for the LGBT community, but protects all people! This video is from Justin's presentation to the Akron City Council (@AkronCouncil).


  8. Denny Wilson (@elder_denny - @dynamicdenny)
    Years ago, Stuart was the director of development for a chemical dependency agency. Therefore it was especially interesting to learn how Denny founded F I Community Housing, "Ohio's largest and oldest Peer Oriented/Peer Operated Recovery Community Organization."  He shared his personal story of recovery, and talked about how F I Community Housing serves the community.
    Side note- Akron connection: Alcoholics Anonymous "had its beginnings in 1935 at Akron, Ohio, as the outcome of a meeting between Bill W., a New York stockbroker, and Dr. Bob S., an Akron surgeon."

  9. The Dreemers
    This PechaKucha Night Akron ended on a musical note when Akron's garage soul and rock 'n' roll trio, The Dreemers, shared their music. Hear two samples of their music in our @sos_jr tweets below.


Tweets & Retweets

Here are our 106 @sos_jr tweets and retweets sharing our experience and that of others who attended PechaKucha Night Akron Volume VIII. Please share any photos and videos that you find interesting by retweeting them.



Starting with the first time we attended a PechaKucha Night Akron, we have been very impressed with the level of support that the PechaKucha leadership team in receives from the Akron community. Here is the list of sponsors (with links to their Facebook pages) that were listed in the PK Akron Volume VIII Facebook page for the August 4, 2017, event. We added their Twitter names to the list.

Financial Sponsors:



Related Blog Posts

We have now written ten blog posts about the great PechaKucha events (click here to view) in Akron (@PKAkron) and Cleveland (@PKNCLE). If you are interested in learning more about PechaKucha Night Akron, please see:


Last year, the PechaKucha Night Cleveland leadership team (@PKNCLE) asked Stuart to do a special PechaKucha Talk at the first-time-ever PechaKucha Night Cleveland Past Presenters Happy Hour. See Stuart's PechaKucha slides, video of Stuart's talk, and read more in our blog post: A PechaKucha Talk by Stuart O. Smith, Jr., about PechaKucha Night Cleveland

Again, we want to say how much we appreciate the PechaKucha Night Akron leadership team, presenters, and sponsors. We highly recommend PechaKucha Night Akron to anyone interested in learning about the cool things happening in Akron.