Last Friday, TEDxRVA took over downtown Richmond. I was there (at the invitation of curator Andy Stefanovich) to take in the day of creativity. I was also pulling some afternoon double duty blogging for WRIR at the invitation of RVA Open Source host Chris Dovi. The event was a clear success for the TEDxRVA organizers and, I believe, RVA as whole. While there was a bit of hoopla leading up to the event – who was speaking – how long they had to speak – were the speakers diverse – reflecting back on this massive undertaking – I want to take a quick moment to reflect on my personal takeaways from the inaugural TEDxRVA…..wrote a song about it – like to hear it-hear it go:
#6 WHO NEEDS NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS WHEN YOU’VE MET ZOE ROMANO
So my new year’s resolution – like many people – was to get outside and run more….well – as you know – RVA weather is very unpredictable hence the epic snow this week alone. I’ve been off to a slow start BUT I plan to pick it up — I have time right? Then at TEXxRVA, I met and heard the story of Zoe Romano. Zoe has literally run across the US. During this “odyssey run” she ran over a marathon day, about 30 miles everyday. She did this despite the weather (my key excuse), Knicks games on TV (my second key excuse), being hunger (my third key excuse) and being too tired (I use that pretty much as my default). Zoe is now preparing tor run the route of the Tour de France. Just thinking about that challenge makes me want to get dress and run a 5K– but I think there is a new R. Kelly trapped in the closet coming on TV in the next week so that will affect my training time — Okay, I can do this I’m going to run now. Oh snap – the Voice is back…never mind.
Support Zoe’s new challenge at: http://zoegoesrunning.wordpress.com/
#5 DEAD BIKES RUNNING RAMPANT IN RVA
I’ve lived in RVA my whole life and I’ve never run across a dead bike cover. I feel so robbed. Dead bikes are a problem people! So much that my dude Brother Manifest live tweeted this: “I didn’t know Richmond had a rampant abandoned bike problem. Someone should definitely call city hall about this…” RVA has it share of serious problems: crime, education, taxes, abandon homes, let me tell you what is no longer a problem — Dead Bikes. The Dead Bike problem has been solved….next up The Diamond and Richmond Coliseum. You think I’m joking…I’m one step away from writing in James Walker for City Council. He did solve one problem.
RVA we had a problem – who knew? www.deadbicycles.com
#4 TWO NAMES ARE OVERRATED
Madonna, Beyoncé, Prince, heck even Cher….they’ve proved one thing to me — two names are overrated. My theory was proven again at TEDxRVA by the one and only Elew. Elew was so dope he didn’t need a last name. I didn’t even ask him. The man has toured the world and on the TEDxRVA staged killed a his very own version on Nirvana on the piano. I’ve tried people…I tell everyone to call me Cheats — but it’s not the same. Elew, you have long surpassed whatever old fashion two names you once had.
Elew – I should have known he was great by the name….elewrockjazz.com
#3 CHEATS AND BROTHER MANIFEST KICKED OUT OF THE QUIET SECTION OF TEDXRVA
So as I mentioned earlier, I was doing so live blogging at the request of my friend Chris Dovi (WRIR). Well, along with me was my dude Brother Manifest. Now, neither one of us were on our “best” behavior – honestly, we often talk about going to “similar” style events and forums and being the only person of color in the room – that was not the case at TEDx – and probably just the near sight of each other caused us to cut up more than usual. Little did we know that we were in a “no talking zone” enforced by a very young lady we didn’t know but she looked serious. She went as far as slapping Manifest’s hand when he reached for the TEDx program. It could have been the greatest moment of the day until I realized this girl was serious – then both of us were like – hold up – we are grown –“little girl” have lost your mind? Man, you can’t take us anywhere. I had to break out of that section and blog from the rafters — sorry Nicole!
I can’t hang out with this trouble maker! Future RVA event makers, Manifest and I cannot be in the same room – it’s just too much – even in a room as large as the power plant – we found trouble. Plymouth Rock landed on US!
#2 THE ANDY STEFANOVICH DRINKING GAME – A MUST FOR THE NEXT TEDXRVA
As I mentioned earlier, the only reason I was at TEDxRVA was because of the invitation and generosity of TEDxRVA curator Andy Stefanovich. About a month ago, I attended a meeting with Andy and a small group of friends to discuss some of the challenges the TEDx team was facing leading up to the event. It was my first time meeting him but I could tell he was a sincere and passionate man. Little did I know just how passionate. Andy is a bit of crier. To his credit, he told us this in the TEDxRVA intro. He told us he would be moved to tears – probably several time during the day, and he was. Andy actually teared up before the first speaker said a word. As an emotional guy myself, I know where he is coming from but with that said…I’m a bit upset I didn’t think of the Andy drinking game. It will be on deck next time.
#1 MY UNBORN CHILDREN WILL PLAY THE VIOLIN…TEDxRVA HAS CHANGED THE FUTURE!
In my opinion, the most powerful moment of the entire conference was when locals Rob Gibsun & Eric Stanley performed a collaboration matching Rob’s spoken word with Eric’s violin. It was powerful, it was creative, and really well done. Immediately after I stop cheering, one thing was pretty clear – my unborn children will be forced by me to play the violin! I may have to adopt children just to make them violin players…way to go TEDxRVA – you did changed the future already…even if my unborn, (& not planned) child doesn’t know it. WE ALL WIN!
Rob Gibsun and Eric Stanley
Photos of this blog post are courtesy of the TEDxRVA Flickr – Dead Bike photos from DeadBicycles.com – Manifest photo from Style Weekly.