How PechaKucha Providence is Transforming Presentations One Story at a Time

The fast-paced, highly visual format inspires and engages the local community every month


PechaKucha is revolutionizing presentations by offering a refreshing alternative to the typical, often dull formats. Originating in Tokyo in 2003, architects Mark Dytham and Astrid Klein introduced this concept, which means "chit-chat" in Japanese. The format is straightforward yet captivating: 20 images, each displayed for 20 seconds. 

“We've all suffered through excessively long and boring presentations. PechaKucha is the remedy,” says Chris Donovan, the current community organizer in Providence. “With only 400 seconds to communicate your message, you must show more and tell less.” This approach results in striking, engaging visuals that truly embody the saying, "a picture is worth a thousand words."

Since being introduced to Providence in 2009, the events have always been free, venues rotate to highlight new locations, and “there is always a platform for sharing passions, ideas, and stories,” Donovan reflects. The thriving local PechaKucha chapter has also grown significantly. “We used to fit into a coffee shop, but now we have such a strong following that we're filling up parks!”

Unlike many curated events, PechaKucha Providence prides itself on its open call for presenters. “We don't curate our lineups, and you don't need an invitation to sign up,” Donovan says. The selection is guided by three core values: community, creativity, and celebration. Each month, a theme serves as a starting point for creative interpretation.

PechaKucha events play a vital role in nurturing the local creative community. “Creativity doesn't happen in isolation. We need to discover, be inspired, and be challenged,” Donovan asserts. These events provide a platform for discovering new ideas and challenging existing perceptions. While the core elements of PechaKucha will remain, Donovan envisions an evolution in the voices and ideas shared. “Knowing that, I'm confident that Providence will have stories for years to come.”

Donovan encourages everyone to sign up. “Everyone has a story. Be brave enough to share it,” he urges. From a presentation about Microsoft Excel that brought the house down with laughter to heartfelt journeys of loss and the impact of volunteer communities, PechaKucha proves that every story matters. “You have a story. It matters, even if you don't realize it yet.” PechaKucha takes place monthly, with rotating themes. Learn more or sign up online at and watch for “Out of the Bag” taking place June 26.


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