What is Pecha Kucha?

By Stefanie

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) - The hottest ticket in town Thursday night wasn't at a big venue, wasn't widely publicized, but it was all about the hidden creativity in the Holy City.

It's called - Pecha Kucha.

The first reaction of people is often, "What is Pecha Kucha?" or "Pecha..what?"

It's a unique word jammed-packed with meaning. The Japanese word translates to "the sound of conversation"' It's a concept started in Tokyo nine years ago as an open forum for creative ideas.

"The idea is that there is not one talking head that is talking all night about one subject, but you get a quick snapshot of creative ideas and inspiration and projects that are happening in your own backyard," said Lee Deas, a strategic posse member of Charleston's Creative{}Parliament.

Pecha Kucha is put on by Parliament -- a group of professionals dedicated to putting Charleston on the creative industries map. The event gives creatives a platform to express their ideas, projects they're working on and inspiration. Speakers are only given a tight 6:40 time to present.

"We want to keep the excitement and energy moving, so we try not to give away all the details at first. Instead, we leak them piece-by-piece," Deas said.

The Pecha Kucha nights aren't announced until near the event date. The location changes every time and isn't unveiled until two days before. Speakers aren't{}known to the public{}until after tickets are purchased.

"We sold out tickets faster than Elton John and the Prince concerts when they were in town. This last one sold out in 28 minutes," Deas said.

Funds from Pecha Kucha have helped Parliament fund a research study by Regional Technology Strategies that showed creative industries in Charleston supply nearly 30,000 jobs and have a $1.4 billion economic impact.

"The creative class is the eighth largest economic driver in Charleston, and I think Pecha Kucha is helping us grow that more and more because we are connecting all the dots with these creatives and bringing them all together," Deas said.