TEDx Comes to the Hilltowns of Western MA

TEDxShelburneFalls: Oct 12th & 13th, 2013
Ideas Worth Spreading

What place are you from? What defines a place? What is the history and nature of the places you most love and most dislike? What can you do to make the places you live, work and play better? Attend 2013 TEDxShelburneFalls conference, themed A Sense of Place, on Saturday October 12, 2013 to talk about and hear how your neighbors are answering these questions.

This weekend, October 12th & 13th, thirteen community members share their thoughts and experiences surrounding the development of a sense of place at TEDxShelburneFalls.

Including two sessions of talks on Saturday, the event features speakers who have had a wide variety of life experiences and whose understanding of the importance of a sense of place takes on many different personas.

The internationally known TED talks, which stands for “Technology, Entertainment, and Design,”  is a democratically run organization which allows for their platform to be utilized by communities across the country in regional TEDx talks, and makes their videos available for free on the internet (They are translated into more than 90 languages.).

In allowing for this, TEDx broadens the scope of their library of talks and works to engage diverse groups of people in international conversation.

Among the thirteen different presenters at TEDxShelburneFalls this Saturday, October 12th, 2013, are activists, puppeteers, artists, singer/songwriters, local government officials, community organizers, and others whose interactions with and relationship to the local community have helped them to develop a critical understanding of what it means to have (and to foster) a sense of place.

Presenter Cheryl Dukes, member of the Buckland Select Board, will speak about putting down roots in the Hilltowns after unpacking the effects of a military childhood, as well as her mission to understand and challenge powerful assumptions. Puppeteer Carlos Uriona, a native of Argentina, will speak about creating artist cooperatives during his country’s fight for freedom from military dictatorship, framed with tales about his experience at Double Edged Theater in Ashfield. Local singer/songwriter and sense of place educator Erica Wheeler‘s presentation shares her experiences creating programs across the country that help people to grow closer to their surroundings. Activist and Hilltown Families founder/director, Sienna Wildfield, will discuss her experiences as a parent in the rural Hilltowns and share the path that lead to her work in helping parents work to foster a strong sense of place within the culture and natural surroudings of western Massachusetts by supporting the education of children through community engagement. Each and every talk is different, and yet they are all joined by the common thread of place.

Held on Saturday, October 12th at Memorial Hall, located at 51 Bridge Street in Shelburne Falls, the talks will be held between 12noon-2pm and 4:30-6:30pm. In addition to the talks, weekend activities designed to heighten participants’ sense of place have been scheduled for Saturday morning and throughout the day on Sunday, October 13th. The fourteen adventures scheduled include farm and forestry tours, local history hikes, tours of local businesses, cultural celebrations, and more. Each adventure provides an experience that will allow participants to deepen their connection to the area, and will bring together community members who share a common sense of place.

While TEDxShelburneFalls talks would be challenging for young children to absorb, older students and adults are welcome to attend. Tickets to the talks is $41 per person (though there are free tickets available for government workers on furlough), and the event will be screened via web broadcast at Mocha Maya’s on Bridge Street and the Shelburne Falls Senior Center (these broadcasts do not require tickets). Viewers outside the region are invited to watch live on the internet. Admission to the scheduled adventures is included in the ticket price, and ticket holders may select to attend one Saturday morning and one Sunday adventure with their ticket purchase. A celebratory after party will follow the event at the Shelburne Historical Society (Severance Street) from 7-8:30pm.

For more information, visit TEDxShelburneFalls.

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