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Grand Stafford Theater’s Pecha Kucha Night showcases community development through music

Texas Music Office of the Governor Director Brendon Anthony was the event’s keynote speaker
Published: Nov. 30, 2021 at 10:50 PM CST
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BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - The Grand Stafford Theater hosted an event Tuesday night to boost the ways music and performance art improve our community.

That event was called Pecha Kucha Night. The term means “chit chat” in Japanese. It’s a form of storytelling that uses 20 slides consisting of only pictures, and the presenter has just 20 seconds to talk over each one. Grand Stafford Theater President Jose Quintana calls it a Ted Talk on steroids.

“It is how we bring community together, so we talk about creativity,” Quintana said. “We talk about community development within the context of different types of cultural events, art, and creativity, so it’s a really good field for us.”

Quintana says Pecha Kucha Night is a very important community development effort they’ve been behind for a long time. It was an initiative they started in partnership with Texas A&M University’s Center for Applied Creativity at the College of Architecture many years ago.

“We’re really focusing on live music in support of community development, the importance of cultural perspectives and how that builds community, specifically how our heritage from the music side is very important.” Quintana said.

Presenters talked about music and the arts and their influence on a wide variety of topics, ranging from engineering to therapy. The work highlighted throughout the various presentations is helping the City of Bryan achieve its Music Friendly Community designation.

“Once we have that in place, then we can open up to attract more music-related enterprises, from record labels to production facilities and entities,” Quintana said. “There is plenty of great talent in our community, and by community I mean the whole Brazos Valley, so it’s a great experience. We hope that just brings more relevance to what live music contributes to our community. We need to kind of leverage that to lift up our community in that perspective.”

A special guest was also in attendance - Texas Music Office of the Governor Director Brendon Anthony. His presentation as the event’s keynote speaker provided an update on the city’s certification status and the benefits that come with being involved in the program.

“I’m the only office in the country that functions the way we’re able to with the sort of backing from the chief executive the way we do through Texas Music Office, so it’s extremely important that we get out there in the communities and do this work,” Anthony said.

Anthony says Texas’ music and performance industry economy puts over 100,000 Texans to work and creates over $440 million of tax revenue for the state.

“It’s truly worth advocating for,” Anthony said. “It’s truly worth protecting, and we’re proud to do that through the Texas Music Office.”

Anthony is also the chair of the state’s new concert safety task force. Regarding his work in that capacity, Anthony told KBTX he can’t say much about the work they’re doing at the moment. He did say they are meeting regularly, and they plan to have a report ready for the governor within a reasonable timeframe.

“We know that the things we’ve seen recently just simply cannot happen at live music, mass gathering events. We just know that,” Anthony said. “People should have a reasonable expectation of safety when they go to see their favorite performers play. We just know that as a general truth. All we’re trying to do is make sure that there are concrete guidelines that are in place, they’re well understood, and make concert-going in the state of Texas something we’re going to continue to do, but continue to do very safely.”

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