Pecha Kucha: Year of the River

The Year of the River is an initiative by Cultural Fusion Jax bringing together more than 50 institutions to raise awareness of the St. Johns River as the “cultural current” of our city and an important driver for economic development, recreation, tourism and quality of life throughout Northeast Florida. @CulturalFusionJax #yotr


Event: Pecha Kucha: Year of the River
When: Thursday, June 18, happy hour at 6 p.m., presentations at 7 p.m.
Location: MOCA Jacksonville
Tickets: Free
Contact: or


Pecha Kucha Night was introduced in Tokyo in 2003 as an event for young designers to meet, network, and show their work in public. The word is Japanese: a term for the sound of conversation or chit-chat. As it is used today, Pecha Kucha is a presentation style of 20 images at 20 seconds each, which makes for rapid, fun imagery and impressions. Pecha Kucha has quickly gained international appeal with events happening in hundreds of cities around the world. Locally, the Jacksonville Chapter of AIGA (which stands for American Institute of Graphic Arts, and is actually the oldest and largest professional membership organization for design) started the first Pecha Kucha Night in Jacksonville in 2008. Now, local nonprofit fundraisers PB&J (Party, Benefit & Jam) have begun hosting Pecha Kucha Night to feature design, world travel, causes, life-changing events, and much more.


Pecha Kucha is an ideal way to showcase Cultural Fusion’s Year of the River initiatives because topics surrounding the river are so diverse. On June 18, speakers will discuss a range of issues surrounding the St. Johns River, its environment, art, and industry at MOCA Jacksonville. Adventurous and authoritative speakers during this high-energy, engaging, and rapid-fire-style event include:

  • Jim Alabiso, JumpingFish Inc., advocating for waterways through athletics
  • Alyssa Bourgoyne, Groundwork Jacksonville Green Team coordinator
  • Lee Ann Clements, Jacksonville University professor specializing in biological oceanography, physiological ecology, and regeneration in invertebrates
  • Will Dickey, The Florida Times-Union photographer
  • Jim Draper, artist, environmentalist, University of North Florida galleries coordinator
  • Nadia Gordon, marine mammal research biologist with Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission
  • Yvette Angelique Hyater-Adams, poet, writer, narrative coach, and teaching artist
  • Lisa Rinaman, St. Johns Riverkeeper
  • Michelle Tappouni, City of Jacksonville Environmental Protection Board chair

The event is being hosted at MOCA Jacksonville coinciding with its newest exhibition Southern Exposure: Portraits of a Changing Landscape, which showcases richly detailed images that come to mind when someone says “the American South” or “the Deep South.” Denise Reagan, director of communications at MOCA Jacksonville, said that Cultural Fusion’s Year of the River initiative has encouraged collaboration between cultural institutions. “The Pecha Kucha event allows for different perspectives on the river. Artists and scientists alongside advocates and volunteers—all will have equal attention on this topic.” At times, these different professional fields seem to blend together, and the community can see how we are all working towards a similar vision for our community and our river. “MOCA Jacksonville is proud to be the host for such an exciting experience,” says Reagan.

The event is free and open to the public, but reserve your spot because seating is limited. Visit to register today. To learn more about PKN Jacksonville, visit To find out more PB&J events, visit

About Shannon Blankinship

Shannon Blankinship is the Outreach Director for St. Johns Riverkeeper and contributes regularly via the “On The River” column building awareness for the many issues that impact the St. Johns River. Shannon received her B.S. from Purdue University in Natural Resources Economics and Policy and her J.D. from Florida Coastal School of Law in Jacksonville. She is currently an elected official in Duval County serving on the Soil and Water Conservation District. She is a board member for the local nonprofit The Girls Gone Green and regularly contributes articles affecting animals and health. She is a Springfield resident and works to promote all things great in the urban core neighborhoods.