RSVP for Spark Club + PKN = Gamechangers!

Spark Club and Pecha Kucha Dallas present 20×20 Game Changers
Quick, fun presentations showcasing people shaking things up in Dallas

DALLAS, Texas (April 26, 2010) – Spark Club, a network of social entrepreneurs and artists collaborates with Pecha Kucha Dallas, an international phenomenon brought to Dallas for  the second time on May 13, 2010 at 7pm at Sons of Hermann Hall.  The event is free, although a $5 contribution is suggested. Sons of Hermann Hall is located at 3414 Elm Street in Dallas.  RSVP and bookmark on the dedicated PKN event site.  Visit the official PKN Dallas site.

Confirmed presenters include Stacy Caldwell, President of Dallas Social Venture Partners, Jason Roberts with Oak Cliff Transit Authority and Better Block Project, Marianna Griggs of the Community Gardens of Oak Cliff, Chris Zielke and Chris Jeffers of 48 Nights, Tori Trad of Perkins + Will, Brooke Bowen of Well Coffee Roasters, Benje Feehan of BC Workshop, Omar Jahwar of Vision Regeneration and Greg Metz of University of Texas Dallas.   Other presenters are still in the works.

ABOUT PECHA KUCHA DALLAS
PechaKucha Night was devised in Tokyo in February 2003 as an event for young designers to meet, network, and show their work in public. It has turned into a massive celebration, with events happening in hundreds of cities around the world, inspiring creatives worldwide. Drawing its name from the Japanese term for the sound of “chit chat”, it rests on a presentation format that is based on a simple idea: 20 images x 20 seconds. It’s a format that makes presentations concise, and keeps things moving at a rapid pace.  PKN Dallas was held for the first time in January 2010 and featured speakers included Allison V Smith, photographer; Brian Gibb, The Public Trust; Cherie Boettcher, a midwife; David Goltl of DWR; Bang Dang, architect; Catherine Horsey, preservationist and banjo player.  For more information, please visit http://www.pecha-kucha.org

ABOUT SPARK CLUB
Spark Club is an emerging network with the goal of sparking and nurturing good ideas for a deeper investment in our community. Spark Club is not your ordinary foundation, institute or not-for-profit. It is a completely voluntary network of brilliant people interested in affecting change where they live.   We recognize that social impact is achieved by working well with others and for a good cause.  Our gatherings, both virtual and actual are designed to identify and create new ways of looking at community challenges and social issues. We hope to inspire a robust network representing all sectors and issues areas to connect and leverage social entrepreneurship throughout the North Texas community.
Working in inclusive and interactive ways, we organize virtually and through a variety of actual gatherings that will take a variety of formats to meet, tease out, define, discover and develop innovative solutions to issues in our communities.  For more information, please visit SparkforGood.Wordpress.com

ABOUT THE CONFIRMED SPEAKERS

STACY CALDWELL – DALLAS SOCIAL VENTURE PARTNERS
Stacy Caldwell has dedicated her professional life to social change through engagement with nonprofit groups and the philanthropy sector. Stacy demonstrates this passion through her active participation with social networking applications, critical public policy initiatives, cutting-edge media and marketing tools, and progressive program development.  Stacy currently serves as President for Dallas Social Venture Partners where she advances the mission through engaging highly skilled volunteer philanthropists cultivating co-investments for its valuable portfolio of nonprofit organizations.  Prior to DSVP, she was the Co-Founder and Director for Strategic Communications for National Rural Funders Collaborative. Stacy has also served as Executive Director of the Stemmons Corridor Business Association.

As an active member of the community, Stacy has been a Texas delegate to the National Council of Nonprofits, a member of the Policy Working Group for the Texas Association for Nonprofit Organizations, and served as president of the Dallas Farmers Market Friends. She has been honored as an Outstanding Alumnus from The University of North Texas School of Community Services in Anthropology. She has published an article about collaborating for community change and participates in a number of professional groups.

Caldwell earned her Bachelors degree from the University of North Texas in Anthropology and Women’s Studies. Passions include her three boys, sustainable regional food systems, and catalyzing social innovation.

JASON ROBERTS – BETTER BLOCK PROJECT AND OAK CLIFF TRANSIT AUTHORITY
Jason Roberts is a community organizer, IT consultant, and musician living in the Oak Cliff region of South Dallas with his wife and two small children. Jason formed the non-profit Oak Cliff Transit Authority in 2006 to revive the Dallas streetcar system, and in 2010 won a $23 Million dollar TIGER stimulus grant from the FTA to help reintroduce a modern rail system to the city. In 2008, Jason co-founded Bike Friendly Oak Cliff, a bicycle advocacy organization, whose model has been replicated throughout North Texas, and organized the ten day Cyclesomatic festival earning a City of Dallas proclamation. Jason is co-founder of Art Conspiracy, past president of the Historic Texas Theatre Renovation, and member of the Congress for New Urbanism. He is passionate about community building, placemaking, and taking time out to perform in the indie pop band, the Happy Bullets.

GREG METZ – UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT DALLAS
Greg Metz has exhibited artworks nationally and internationally in a variety of venues including: Grand Palace, Amsterdam, Koln Cathedral, Koln Germany, General Post Office, Dublin, Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, Washington National Mall, Dallas Museum of Art, San Antonio Art Museum, Arlington Art Museum, Dallas Center for Contemporary Art and numerous public and private collections. His work is primarily issue oriented and political in nature focusing on art as propaganda and editorial, earning him reviews in San Francisco’s Art Week, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Mother Jones, San Diego Chronicle, Boston Herald, Washington Times, NPR radio, Art Papers, ArtLies,,  New York Times as well as numerous regional publications.

Recipient of DMA’s  ‘Otis Dozier Travel Grant’, NEA Warhol Rockefeller New Forms Initiative Grant, 3 times awarded Dallas Observer ‘s ‘Best of Dallas’ honors and winner of the Houston Art Car Parade for 3 consecutive years.  Greg helped initiate ‘Project Teamwork’ Educational Initiative for the DMA and served as Lead Artist for DMA’s first ‘Visual Aids  Day’ Installation and served as the lead artist for the Dallas Master Plan’s first Public Arts Project.  He is Co-founder and past president of D.A.R.E. , ‘Dallas Artist Research and Exhibitions,  Co-founder of  the McKinney Ave Contemporary and past co-chair of the Texas Sculpture Symposium.

Greg holds an MFA from Indiana University and currently teaches sculpture, printmaking, social intervention and gallery management at UTD where he is Gallery Coordinator of their ‘Main Gallery’. He has curated numerous exhibitions, designed sets for theater and movies and most recently organized and implemented one of Dallas’ first Flash Mob Art Actions ‘Making the Invisible Visible’, developing and assembling a network of Artists in performing a dialogical intervention in the Dallas Arts District advocating for more healthcare options for artists.

BROOKE BOWEN – WELL ROASTERS COFFEE
Brooke Bowen is a Dallas native that describes herself as “an incurable entrepreneur with a knack for coffee”. Having been in the coffee industry off and on for the past 7 years, Brooke’s eyes were slowly opened to the enormous disparities that exist along the coffee commodity chain between producers (farmers) overseas and consumers in the West.  This catapulted her into establishing Well Coffee Roasters, a local coffee roaster that aims to deal directly with farmers and position itself to know each of their farmers by name.  “Relationship Coffee” is the term that has emerged in the specialty coffee industry, which describes Well Coffee’s business model.

MARIANNA GRIGGS – COMMUNITY GARDENS OF OAK CLIFF
Mariana Griggs is a founding partner of Granja Urbana, LLC, an urban micro-farm dedicated to educating people about self sustaining farming practices in an urban setting. Mariana is an 8 year resident of Stevens Park Estates where she resides with her husband, Scott, and multiple animals including chickens, cats and a dog. Mariana’s dedication to education in the field of Science began upon graduating from Texas A&M University with a MS in Forensic Entomology. Currently Mariana serves as the President of Community Gardens of Oak Cliff and provides training courses and consulting to police departments across the state in the field of Forensic Entomology.

CHRIS JEFFERS AND CHRIS ZIELKE – 48 NIGHTS
Dallas area restaurateurs Chris Jeffers, Chris Zielke and Tim Byres, together with the Mass Care Task Force (American Red Cross Dallas Area Chapter, North Texas Food Bank, The Salvation Army DFW Metroplex Area Command, and Volunteer Center of North Texas), present 48 nights @ SYLVAN | THIRTY; proceeds from which will benefit the efforts of the Mass Care Task Force to increase North Texas’ level of disaster preparedness. The restaurant will be open for six months only, on Mondays and Tuesdays of each week and will be located in a small building on SYLVAN | THIRTY. With seating for approximately 30 people, it is hoped that the prix-fixe menus will afford $1,000 per night for the cause.

There will be a weekly rotating schedule of featured area chefs – 24 in total – who would contribute their time to the effort. The team from SMOKE and SYLVAN | THIRTY, in partnership with the Mass Care Task Force leadership, wants you to experience an intimate setting with these wonderfully renowned chefs while giving back to a purpose vitally important in these times.

TORI TRAD – PERKINS + WILL
Tori Trad, LEED AP, received a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Texas at Austin in 2005. While enrolled in the UT Professional Residency Program, Tori spent 8 months in London at Kohn Pederson Fox and Associates working on large scale mixed-use developments. During this time, Tori travelled throughout Europe, visiting, Belgium, Holland, France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, and Spain. While in the UT School of Architecture, Tori participated in the design for the Solar Decathalon. Also while attending UT, Tori was a member of the Texas Wrangler Sweethearts, a service organization through which she volunteered at Easter Seals of Central Texas, Austin area food banks, Safe Place for Battered Women, along with many other charitable organizations. The group, affiliated with the University’s Men’s and Women’s Basketball Teams allowed Tori the opportunity to aid in recruiting efforts.

Upon graduation, Tori was employed with Perkins+Will where she is currently a project coordinator in the Corporate+Civic+Commercial studio. Her first project was Construction Documentation and Construction Administration on the Azure Residential Tower in Dallas. During this time, Tori gained valuable experience working on-site full time. While at Perkins+Will, Tori has participated in the ACE mentorship program, mentoring high school students in the fields of architecture, construction, and engineering. She is a member of the P+W Design Advocates group and the P+W Social Responsibility Initiative, donating services as a designer and project coordinator for the Diabetes Health and Wellness Institute at the Juanita J. Craft Recreation Center in Dallas.

She has received numerous Perkins+Will Leadership and Performance awards, as well as, an AIA Dallas Design Award (Unbuilt category) as a member of the project team for a large mixed-use development, Gateway Park of Mississippi. In her spare time, Tori is completing her final 3 ARE exams. When not studying, Tori can be found at live music shows, painting, watching Longhorn football, and traveling.

OMAR JAHWAR (NEW!) – VISION REGENERATION

Vision Regeneration is a nonprofit organization that has served Dallas County in the area of violence prevention, gang intervention , and youth rehabilitation since 1998. Responding to the escalating violence and negative youth culture in central Dallas, Vision Regeneration’s mission is to change the cultural environment of at-risk youth, and to eliminate violent and destructive behavior.

Vision Regeneration employs a number of methodologies to affect change in the hearts and minds of the youth that are a part of it’s various programs. Through spiritual ministry, community-based mentoring, positive entertainment and hands-on intervention, Vision’s founder and executive director, Omar Jahwar, has committed his life to creating an alternative youth culture. His accomplishments are recognized internationally for producting systemmatic changes in the thinking and actions of today’s youth.

BENJE FEEHAN (NEW!) – BUILDING COMMUNITY WORKSHOP

Benje Feehan is currently working for the building community WORKSHOP as Project Director of the Congo St Green Initiative. A New Zealand born native he has lived worked and studied in Australia, Boston and Texas respectfully. In 2001 Benje was invited to join the Cambridge Arts Association and has received numerous commissions for his two dimensional work. A Graduate of UT Arlington School of Architecture he believes that the responsibilities of Designers, Artists and Architects reaches far beyond that of every day practice. Benje has dedicated his current work to reassessing why we choose to create. Over the past two years at the building community WORKSHOP Benje has worked in South Dallas where he has co designed and managed the construction of five socially and environmentally responsible homes, one of which received two AIA Dallas Design Awards.

The buildingcommunityWORKSHOP’s (bcWORKSHOP) mission is to enrich the lives of Dallas citizens by revitalizing neighborhoods through sustainable design and building practices. It functions as a community design center that seeks to improve the livability and viability of under-served communities. To do so, bcWORKSHOP recognizes that it must first understand the financial, social, technical, and design strategies, required to build sustainable and affordable neighborhoods of choice.

bcWORKSHOP is an independent 501(c)(3) organization founded in 2005 as a donor advised fund at the Dallas Foundation. bcWORKSHOP’s projects not only directly benefit under-served neighborhoods but also serve as models for sustainable projects nation-wide, demonstrating that “green” design can be affordable for all communities. This type of community engagement is a replicable model for other cities across the country.  Through the simple concept of the Holding House bcWORKSHOP managed to introduce a new methodology for revitalizing neglected neighborhoods and communities. One that respects the people and offers choice and respect where historically there has been none.

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5 thoughts on “RSVP for Spark Club + PKN = Gamechangers!

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