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TEDxCharleston Announces Speaker Lineup; Tickets on Sale Now



Press Release

Tickets for the 7th annual TEDxCharleston event are on sale now at www.tedxcharleston.org. With the theme of CASCADES, TEDxCharleston’s 2020 event explores timely, relevant and inspiring ideas with the power to cascade throughout the rest of the world. Event emcee LB Adams will guide the audience through a cascading inspirational experience brought by 17 presenters and speakers. Catch a glimpse of some of this year’s speakers via the video below.

At $57.50 per ticket (fees included), the event will take place on Wednesday, April 1st, 2020 from 12:30 pm to 5 pm at Charleston Music Hall and include a lively after-party reception, including food and libations from local restaurants, beginning at 5 pm at the Charleston Museum.

CASCADES embodies the spirit that triggers great force and movement within the Charleston community and beyond. The city is overflowing with energy and momentum, and Cascades illustrates that dynamic renaissance our whole area is experiencing.


The Presenters: Ideas Worth Spreading

Stephanie Armstrong: An instructor at MUSC School of Nursing, Stephanie has a strong interest in marginalized, exploited members of our society. Her mission seeks to increase awareness, community connections, and improve availability of services for survivors.

Jody Bell: When this College of Charleston freshman was in high school, she noticed good friends suddenly not coming to school out of fear for their undocumented parents. Jody will share her idea to help educate this growing, often overlooked population.

Jared Bramblett: Flooding is escalating and solutions are daunting. Jared, an engineer and expert on issues relating to drainage and flood mitigation, sees the need for increasing collective awareness on sea-level rise impact and modifying approaches to the accelerating risks.

Charleston Symphony: Members of this renowned symphony honor another 2020 anniversary: Beethoven’s 250th. Performers include Charles Messersmith, Brandon Nichols, Quinn Delaney, Yuriy Bekker, Jan-Marie Joyce, Norbert Lewandowski, Taddes Korris.

Zandrina Dunning & Stephen Washington: A Boston-born, Charleston-based classically trained singer/songwriter who ranges joins a native son of the Low Country who is a piano virtuoso. Together the talented duo will debut an original work inspired by the Cascades theme.

Austin Fitzhenry: Enamored with biology from an early age, Austin looks to nature for clues on improving our own human behavior. Using snakes as an example, he shows how environmental responsibility can naturally bridge better social interaction among humans.

Gracie & Lacy: Talented performers, song writers and creators whose work honors their Charleston roots, this dynamic duo will present with their unique style an original piece honoring the 350th Anniversary of Charleston.

Jacquelyn Nagel: The old saying holds true: we can learn from nature. Jacquelyn, a PhD in mechanical engineering, believes inspiration through biomimicry can lead to realistic and feasible solutions using nature as a guide.

Sam Norton: Farming – not on land – but in the sea. Budding entrepreneur and recipient of the most ever grant funding by a College of Charleston student, Sam is working to grow a new sustainable food supply.

Karen Perlmutter: With a master’s degree in clinical social work, Karen has seen first-hand that addiction is a tragedy with a profound effect on the family. She has an idea on how to combat addiction through more than treating the addict.

Kristy Pierce-Danford: A director of Charleston County Criminal Justice Coordinating Council (CJCC) since its inception, Kristy has seen how diminishing resources and inadequate prisons and jails present growing challenges on the horizon.

Russell Reagan: Must the grass always be greener? Expert horticultural scientist and experienced landscaper Russell thinks there are more options than having a lush, green lawn, which in the long run may do more harm to our environment.

John Rhodes: Becoming a physician is hard enough, but MUSC cardiologist John proves that overcoming dyslexia, attention deficit and other processing deficits is not an insurmountable task to achieve your dreams.

Steven Rosenzweig: A happy accident in the lab can lead to incredible advances in the treatment of cancer and dementia. This MUSC researcher, Steven, a PhD from the University of Toronto and former staff at Yale Medical School, provides more.

Landon Sanford: How many times have we wished to learn more from those who are at the end of their lives? Charleston native and recent Vanderbilt grad Landon thinks the answer may be asking questions as they look back on life.

Keith Smalls: The only formerly incarcerated member of Charleston County Criminal Justice Coordinating Council (CJCC), Keith’s 19 years in prison’s punishment and rehabilitation process taught him what doesn’t work.

Anthony Waite: Active duty naval officer Anthony has seen that mentoring young men with no positive male influence can disabuse them of following the wrong leader. He is a believer that one person can, indeed, make the difference in a young life.

LB Adams: A crowd favorite last year, LB returns as mistress of ceremonies. Fresh off her 2019 talk entitled “The Power of Words”, LB will dip into her theatrical skills to keep TEDxCharleston 2020 cascading along.

Jonathan Rypkema: Jonathan is responsible for bringing TEDxCharleston’s 2020 theme, CASCADES, to life. As a dynamic visual artist in various mediums including spray paint, acrylics and wood, Johnathan’s art and stage design will have a powerful cascading effect to represent this year’s speakers.

New for 2020

TEDxCharleston has traditionally been an all-day event from 10 am to 4 pm which included an extended lunch intermission. The new half-day timeframe (which excludes lunch intermission) enables a lower ticket price and provides more opportunities for individuals to attend, according to event organizers.

These changes are also a part of TEDxCharleston’s mission of bettering the event’s carbon footprint. With no lunch on Marion Square, this drastically limits plastic water bottle usage for the 1,000+ attendees, which has been a major concern among organizers. For the after party, TEDxCharleston will utilize only compostable materials, elevating the food and beverage compost program that was introduced in 2019.

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