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Bushwick's TEDx Conference Seeks Locals to Talk About 'Transformation'

By Serena Dai | October 13, 2014 4:18pm
 Bushwick's Tedx conference seeks speakers to talk about the neighborhood's transformation.
Bushwick's Tedx conference seeks speakers to talk about the neighborhood's transformation.
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DNAinfo/Dana Varinsky

BUSHWICK — Think you have an "inspiring" story related to Bushwick's transformation?

TEDxBushwick, a local version of the TEDx conferences based around ideas, is seeking locals to speak at its spring event.

The theme is "Translating Transformation," a nod to the way the neighborhood has changed culturally in the past 10 years, said Minda Aguhob, a co-organizer of TedxBushwick.

She pointed to the addition of theaters, art venues and restaurants as ways the neighborhood has changed. Several other neighborhoods have also organized TEDx conferences in the past, including Gowanus and Harlem.

Aguhob also said Bushwick has many "hidden" points of inspiration from longtime establishments, such as Woodhull Hospital's Artist Access program, which offers credits to pay for health-care needs that can be exchanged for art.

"Bushwick is totally the space of transformation right now," she said. "I really would love to see people who have been around in the neighborhood much longer than I have to share what they see."

Five people will be chosen to give eight-minute talks at the event on March 21. Applicants must apply online by the Oct. 15 deadline.

Organizers are seeking speakers who are associated with Bushwick and Brooklyn in some capacity, Aguhob said.

Aside from the theme of transformation, they're not looking for any particular type of story or talk from applicants.

"We’re just looking for something inspiring," she said.

The event itself will also feature several invited speakers who will talk for 18 minutes or less, including Jonathan Metzl, author of "The Protest Psychosis."

Organizers said Metzl's expertise on race and violence would be relevant as Bushwick is a mixed neighborhood with a history of crime, such as the 1977 blackout when the neighborhood's stores burned.

People who apply for the shorter time slots may also be considered for longer time slots.

Aguhob encouraged applicants to "have your game ready," but newcomers don't need to be perfect, as the conference will provide training.