Berkshire Museum debuts PechaKucha Night in Pittsfield – 20 slides x 20 seconds each

It’s the community participation event that is sweeping the world, and for the first time in Western Massachusetts, the Berkshire Museum will present a PechaKucha Night on March 8, 2012 at 7 pm. It is the sort of welcome creative event that keeps the city of Pittsfield’s midwinter activities bubbling with new things to do, new places to go. By now, who hasn’t heard about and made plans to attend this month’s exciting 10×10 on North (link) Winter Festival beginning Thursday, February 16 and running until the 26th. For that there are ten days of ten different events.

Pecha Kucha, on the other hand, is (to start) a one night event that features a series of presentations, each consisting of 20 slides shown for 20 seconds each, totaling a talking time of 6 minutes, 40 seconds. The goal is to bring prominent and up-and-coming creative minds together for a night of inspiration, networking, and fun.

Because of the 20 slides for 20 seconds each format, some are calling the Museum’s PechaKucha night 20×20 on South, because of their location. Can 30×30 on East be squeezed in before Spring arrives?

PechaKucha Night Pittsfield will be held four times a year at Berkshire Museum.

Following this thirty second video which tells you how to pronounce Pecha Kucha, there are a variety of earlier presentations you can sample. No two are alike. I enjoyed the one on beards.

PechaKucha, literally translated as “chit chat” or “blah blah” in Japanese, was created by Klein Dytham architecture in Tokyo in 2003 as an opportunity for young designers to meet, network, and show their work in public. It has since gone viral, and turned into a massive celebration, with events happening in more than 250 cities around the world, inspiring creatives worldwide.

In the PechaKucha format, each presenter is only allotted 20 slides, advanced automatically every 20 seconds. Presentations over the years at other PechaKucha Nights have included everything from design collaboratives, photography projects, family vacations, favorite foods, music, sports, and fashion; with the youngest presenter at five years old (about her artwork), and the oldest at sixty-nine (about her cake creations).

“PechaKucha nights have been successful in galvanizing people in other communities to share perspectives, concepts, and knowledge, often laced with humor, much to the great enjoyment of audiences. The Berkshires is home to an extraordinarily vibrant creative community that intersects business and the arts, which is fertile ground for the kind of experiences that characterize the PechaKucha movement around the globe,” says Van Shields, Berkshire Museum’s executive director.

For information on how to be a participant, visit What is PechaKucha on or email Tickets to attend the event tickets are $5, including snacks as well as beverages donated by Wandering Star Craft Brewery. Museum members are free. Tickets are available in advance by calling 413.443.7171, ext.10, or by visiting the museum.

Berkshire Museum is located at 39 South St. in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. Regular Museum admission is $13 for adults and $6 for children; members and children aged three and under enjoy free admission. Berkshire Museum is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday noon to 5 p.m. For more information, visit or call 413.443.7171.

Berkshire Museum is the first public museum in Berkshire County, established by Zenas Crane in 1903 as a museum of art and natural history. Little Cinema is open year-round. Taking Flight: Audubon and the World of Birds is on view through June 17, 2012. Bryan Nash Gill: Beyond the Landscape is on view through May 28. 2012. Morgan Bulkeley: Bird Story is on view through March 4, 2012. Feigenbaum Hall of Innovation, Aquarium, Alexander Calder Gallery, and other exhibits are ongoing.

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