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Artist Spotlight: Chris Erk

Chris Erk is a dancer whose feet speak volumes. He not only performs, but also illuminates students’ lives so that they too can experience the beauty of dance. We at TEDxPeachtree are extremely proud to showcase his talents this year. Please come see for yourself on October 17th!


Is this your first time performing at a TEDx event? What are your thoughts on presenting on October 17th?

This is my first time speaking at a TEDx. First and foremost, I have to say that it is an honor to be able to share the passion for my work amongst the esteemed TEDx community. I look forward to the enrichment that will come from this experience.

At the end of the day, what is it about your work that keeps you going?

What keeps me going in my work is the fact that I can take it anywhere. Although I am in the arts, what I find to be most valuable, are elements that can be shared across any field of interest.

What is your passion?

I am passionate about teaching. I love equal exchange of insight that is shared amongst a student and a teacher. These roles are one and the same.

What keeps you centered in this crazy world?

What keeps me centered is the understanding that each and everyone of us are on a similar journey of the unknown. Whenever things get complicated, I resign to the fact that I am not alone in my efforts towards deeper understandings.

What is one place you’ve visited that you’ll never forget?

One place that I have visited that I will never forget is the ancient city of Petra in Jordan. I remember in the first 10 minutes of the tour the guide cautioned us to save our film because it was going to be a long journey of amazing scenery. Every corner turned offered an image more magnificent than before.

What is your motto?

Action speaks.

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Illuminating Conflict and Healing: The Power of Cartoons

Illuminating Conflict and Healing: The Power of Cartoons

cartoon problem

Patrick Chappatte is not your ordinary cartoonist. Instead the 2010 TED presenter is tasked with reporting on global events through his creation of cartoons. A journalist and global traveler, he generates conversation with cartoons.

Patrick has seen cartoons used as weapons and for wellbeing, to depict wealth and poverty, to illustrate love and hate. He himself leverages humor and the impact of images to address serious issues.

At a time of extreme conflict in the Ivory Coast, Patrick brought together cartoonists from all sides over three days. He was effective in having them tell the story in their own cartoons regardless of what side they were on.

On day one, many were shouting at each another. But their common ground of being cartoonists unified in their mission to illustrate the issues, created an opportunity for understanding, if not actual reconciliation. Patrick has repeated this process in Lebanon, West Africa, and Gaza.

Humor illuminates the opportunity to take a fresh look at old issues and opens a window of understanding.

Watch Patrick’s illuminating TED Talk from July 2010 about how connection happens through laughter.

It also happens through the spreading of ideas. Don’t miss the connections at TEDxPeachtree 2014! Get your ticket today!


Melissa Galt_072213_0429



A success strategist, speaker, and author, Melissa Galt inspires, leads, and coaches entrepreneurs into achieving outrageous success and building an awesome life.



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Speaker Spotlight: Ion Popian

Speaker Spotlight: Ion Popian

Art has always played a part in Ion Popian‘s life. And as a TEDxPeachtree 2014 speaker, he will bring his artful presentation to the stage at the Buckhead Theatre on October 17th. 

This year’s theme is “illuminate.” What does “illuminate” mean to you? What has been the illumination in your work that has brought you here today?

In this case, “illuminate” is definitely not taken in a literal sense, it is taken to mean an epiphany, or a new creative discovery that enhances the creative process. It is a new mode of “making.” Humans use tools as ways to articulate their ideas into the physical world and each tool is an illumination, a way to bring to light a final product through a sequential process.

mentalfabrications___LANDSCAPESAt the end of the day, what is it about your work that keeps you going? 

It’s seeing ideas you had and the unproven questions you answered in your own mind become reality. The sharing of the project with others in the form of art openings, shows, installations and the people there being completely confused about the spoken description and in disbelief when they experience it and see its end result.


What keeps you centered in this crazy world?

Being myself, motivation and being centered comes from yourself. It’s an internal force not an exterior one. The world is the byproduct of individual decisions and a reflection of a collective mindset.

What is one place you’ve visited that you’ll never forget?

As of now I have lived on three continents, and each has presented its own unforgettable experience. Europe for its historical and cultural aspect. Australia for its natural beauty, and America for its respect of the human fabric, its creative freedoms, and optimism.

What is your motto?

“Simplicity is complicated.” To achieve a simple streamlined idea, concept, or project is so difficult. The more you work on a project the more you can get lost down a rabbit hole of semantics and nuances. To create a project that has an innocence and freshness of idea that is maintained requires allot of focus and an expanded view of your idea.

What are three words to best describe you?

Inventive. Kind. Determined.


You’re not going to want to miss the art that Ian will create at this event. Come be a part of the process and get your ticket to TEDxPeachtree 2014!



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