Ellensburg was represented at an international Pecha Kucha Pow Wow in Tokyo last month.
Pecha Kucha is a format where presenters talk during a slideshow of images. The presentations are short — each presenter shows 20 slides for 20 seconds each.
Sara Jones, Ellensburg’s Pecha Kucha co-coordinator, went to Tokyo with support of local community members. She is a school psychologist at the Yakima School District and vice president of the Gallery One board.
Pecha kucha means “chit chat” in Japanese and the first Pecha Kucha night took place in Tokyo in February 2003. It was conceived by architects Astrid Klein and Mark Dytham as a way for architects to share their ideas and their work in a concise format, but has grown to cover all sorts of creative fields and ideas.
Pecha Kucha nights have spread globally with more than 800 city organizers around the world.
Ellensburg was one of 25 cities represented at the Pow Wow in Japan from March 17-20. Attendees came from Brisbane, Australia; Izhevsk, Russia; Tainan, Taiwan; Bonn, Germany; and Sana’a, Yemen; along with the American cities of Miami, El Paso, Texas, San Diego and Chicago, Jones said.
Jones said the first day in Tokyo was a marathon of presentations in the Pecha Kucha format.
“I had many positive things to highlight about Ellensburg in my presentation such as the extensiveness of festivals throughout the year, the availability of eateries, taprooms and shops within the small downtown area and the examples of art and art appreciation,” she wrote in an email summarizing the experience. “I obviously also mentioned Japan’s import of Ellensburg’s timothy hay.”
The second day of the gathering was devoted to examining the potential of Pecha Kucha and a vision for its future. Jones said the gathering also included traditional Japanese food, tours of architecture, and karaoke.
“Not only do I now have friends from around the world, Ellensburg now has friends from around the world,” she wrote.
Jones and Gallery One Director Monica Miller organized Ellensburg’s first Pecha Kucha on Nov. 21, 2014. Topics in Ellensburg have focused on the creative process, the power of song, education, comedy, the art of tattooing and more.
About 140 people attended the Ellensburg gathering on Feb. 19.
The next Ellensburg event is scheduled June 4 during Gallery One’s Confab.