10 amazing Reno County locals armed with 20 slides of images and given only 20 seconds to speak about each. The set up was simple, and the outcome was fantastic.
Friday night was the first talk20 Hutch, and to call it a huge success would be an understatement. Two of my friends, Kari Mailloux and Patsy Terrell, were having coffee together, and they had this great idea to bring talk20 to Hutchinson after Kari shared her experience with talk20 in Spartanburg, South Carolina, where she used to live. They then went to work to make it happen.
Held after hours at the Hutchinson Public Library thanks to the amazing library director Gregg Wamsley (he really is amazing), talk20 Hutch was ready to entertain, enlighten, and start conversations. That was exactly what it did (here is the press release).
Patsy was hoping for at least 50 people to be there. When I arrived, the room was packed and people were spilling out into the hallway. People were still arriving too. Some tried to find a few empty spots to either sit or stand in the room while others placed themselves around doorways to listen and do their best to see the slides.
The excellent Marci Penner with the Kansas Sampler Foundation kicked things off with her entertaining adventures with the wonderful WenDee LaPlant around the state of Kansas. Laughter came both from the room and the hallway as she talked about nifty sights, tasty restaurants, and fantastically friendly Kansans they encountered along their trips. Jason Probst followed with his discussing his famous obituary for Kansas that made international news. The next three talks were just as fascinating and entertaining as the previous two.
At intermission, I traded the hallway for a spot on the floor next to the excellent Bailey Stiggins (she really is excellent) for the second half. Each speaker captivated the crowd as they sat there in silence (except when laughing), soaking up the speaker’s voice and watching the images change before them.
The great night came to an end with the inspirational high school student David Sotelo discussing Communities That Care and the Hutch High students’ creation of the very nifty Hutch in the Act. It was the perfect way to close the evening.
To call the evening “amazing” would still not be doing it justice. It was truly magical from the presenters to the crowd to the people connecting with others for the first time, thus further bringing together the community. Before many of us went downtown to Carl’s Bar to continue to enjoy the evening together, Bailey and I looked around the room and smiled once again as we saw before us another excellent example of why Hutchinson is a great place to call home.
Just curious, if you were given 20 slides and 20 second to talk about each, what part of your life would you share?