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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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Artist Spotlight: HeaveN Beatbox


Not only do we have some one-of-a-kind speakers this year at TEDxPeachtree, we are excited to share with you some of the artistic representation that you’ll experience on October 17th. One incredible talent we have the privilege of hosting is HeaveN Beatbox, also known as Steven Cantor. We asked him a little bit about his perspective on life.

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

This will be my first time speaking and performing at a TEDx event. I am very excited to be apart of TEDx especially because I am a big fan and supporter of the TEDx platform. I watch TEDx online all the time so being able to speak at TEDx is a huge honor for me.

This year’s theme is “illuminate.” What does “illuminate” mean to you?

Enlightenment or even the process of adding value to others or myself which beatboxing has literally been a catalyst in structuring my life.

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

I was inspired by and love to inspire others through the art of beatbox. I like the general feeling that inspiration brings regardless if you are the one feeling the inspiration or providing it and every time I see someone smiling and enjoying what I do it reminds me its all been worth it.

What is your passion?

I was quite the “character” growing up. I use to love trying to imitate characters in movies and shows I’d see on TV and so I feel like that passion for imitation and creation was always there. Now I love imitating and creating not just what I see but also what I hear using the vocal art of beatbox.

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

The Slums of Ahmedabad, India. Never before had I seen such a bizarre contrast where in what some may consider the poorest and dirtiest place on earth you can find some of the happiest and most beautiful people.

What is your motto?

Do whatever you’re truly passionate about because you will always put positive energy into things you care about and that’s what I believe leads to a path of happiness and success.

What are three words to best describe you?

Eccentric, Passionate, Open-Minded


Connect with HeaveN Beatbox on Facebook, Twitter or YouTube and get ready for him to illuminate spoken word at TEDxPeachtree 2014! Get your ticket today!

Posted in General, TEDx1 Comment

Will You Find Catlanta’s Golden Lanterns?

Will You Find Catlanta’s Golden Lanterns?

Screen Shot 2014-09-08 at 10.29.58 AMOn Saturday, September 6th, Atlanta artist Catlanta created six “Cat Lanterns” and hid them around the Beltline Lantern Parade.  Those who found the lanterns Tweeted, Facebooked and Instragrammed pictures of themselves with the Cat Lantern and #TEDxPT for a chance to win two free tickets to the event. Well, it’s happening again!

On Friday 9/19 – Sunday 9/21 Catlanta will be hiding six new Cat Lanterns for people to find. Again, if you find one, Tweet, FB or Instagram a picture of yourself with the Cat with #TEDxPT for a chance to win two tickets to TEDxPeachtree.

We were able to ask Catlanta a few questions about why he does what he does!

When did you begin?  And what was the genesis of the creating, hiding and giving away your cats?

I somewhat accidentally began Catlanta during the snowstorm of 2011. Bored and off work, I illegally painted a few cats I had been doodling for years around the city with Catlanta written nearby. I saw that people were responding to the graffiti on social media outlets, and there that there was an opportunity to develop a character that the residents of Atlanta could both recognize and interact with. I wanted the full support of the city and was far from being a graffiti artist, so I quickly traded in the spray paint for a paintbrush and started creating works of art that people could find and take home using social networks.  The first time I left pieces of art around town, people quickly snatched them up, and I saw that there were people who appreciated this kind of art experience.

Our theme this year implies the discovery of something that was before unseen. Tell us about a pure unexpected change in your life that was the illumination of a revelation.

A few years ago when this project was just beginning, my car died and I was left without any form of transportation besides walking. Anyone who’s spent more than a layover at Hartsfield-Jackson knows that Atlanta isn’t very well-suited for the pedestrian, but I kept it up and spent hours walking to get to my destinations. Exploring Atlanta as a pedestrian completely changed my view of this city and helped me really fall in love with my environment. I’ve lived in or around Atlanta all my life, but had missed so much of the in-between using a car to get from one place to the next. I’m no longer solely a pedestrian, but that time has inspired my desire to continue to explore this city and everything it has to offer. I’ve since discovered nature preserves, historical sites, and abandoned properties that have been right in my backyard this whole time. Exploring your city in a new way can make your environment new and exciting all over again. No matter how long you’ve lived somewhere, there’s bound to be something you haven’t seen before.

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

The residents of Atlanta and beyond! If you can’t tell, I love this city and want to do my part to encourage folks to get out and explore where they live. I’ve gotten so much support and love from the people here that I feel like I gotta keep painting for them. I never set out to paint cats all the time, but I feel a sense of obligation to keep painting cats until everyone in the city who wants one, has one. I think I still have a ways to go…

Which talent would you most like to have?

The ability to cross everything off my daily to-do lists.

What is your motto?
Don’t be afraid to find your own path. Art is my number one passion, but there’s a lot of aspects, traditions, and standards upheld by the art world that I don’t support or want to conform to, so I choose not to. I may not have the same experiences as other artists, but finding my own way to reach people is so much more rewarding. Plus, I haven’t had to write an artist statement in years!

Posted in General, News, TEDx1 Comment

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Eventbrite - TEDxPeachtree 2014 "Illuminate!"

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