TEDx Time in Salt Lake City

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TEDx Time in Salt Lake City

By Erin West

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Many of us have been inspired, motivated and challenged by conference and video phenomenon, TEDx. The groundbreaking series returns to Salt Lake City Saturday Sept.17, bringing with it several distinguished speakers and performers.

TED talks are short (18 minutes or less), powerful speeches or performances “devoted to spreading ideas,” as their website claims. TED is the brainchild of Richard Saul Wurman who, in 1984, was inspired by the convergence of: technology, entertainment and design – or “TED,” for short. It spurred an annual conference in Monterey, California for a select group of experienced invitees. The event rocketed to a global scale after six videos of the speeches were posted online in 2006. The conference then widened its reach by including business and religious leaders, philanthropists and musicians, among others.

This year’s conference includes U College of Fine Arts professors Molly Heller and Brian Manternach.

“It is an honor to have been selected as a speaker at TEDxSaltLakeCity,” Manternach said, singing voice instructor for the Department of Theatre. “My fellow speakers have such insightful experiences and perspectives to share and I’m so excited for everyone to hear what they have to say.”

The TED community continued to grow on a global scale with “TEDx”– independently run conferences in communities around the world, such as this year’s TEDxSaltLakeCity. Each event curates speakers on their own, staying in line with TED’s format and rules.

“I have been watching TED talks for years and have even showed some in my classes,” Manternach said. “I appreciate their mission of creativity and exploration and how they provide all of us inspiring messages [allowing] us to continue learning about the world around us and the people who inhabit it. It is all the more special that my own communities of Salt Lake City and the University of Utah are the home of a TEDx chapter. I am thrilled to be part of this wonderful organization.”

The theme for TEDxSaltLakeCity stems from the word, “Meraki,” meaning the soul, creativity or passion you put into something. Heller will be performing a 10 minute version of her duet piece, “mighty.” According to U Fine Arts blog, Finer Points, Heller’s performance research “rhythmically probes at ideas of partnering with space and the tensions (and play) that exist inside of an overtly arduous performance.”

Manternach will address his observations on a common hesitation to sing in front of others.

“It seems everyone enjoys music, but we feel such pressure to be professional-level performers if anyone is going to hear us sing. So many people assume that you are either born to be a singer or are tone deaf. In actuality, for the majority of the population, singing is a learnable skill that improves over time with practice and attention—just like so many other skills. […] I’m hoping we can reclaim our right to sing, discover our voices, and become more active participants in music.”

Other speakers and performers include: Lance Allred, Kyl Myers, Talia Keys, Dave Durocher, Piper Christian, Carrie Rogers-Whitehead, Jamie Littlefield, Reid Robison, Paul Tanner, Michael Ferguson, Archana Thiagarajan, Davis Smtih, Baya Voce and Deanie Wimmer.

This event will take place in Kingsbury Hall Saturday, Sept. 17 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.

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