It was another full house at the Miller Theater as local and national speakers presented at TEDxAugusta on Saturday.
This year’s theme was “Venture: Dare to Be Audacious.” Speakers focused on a wide range of topics including investing, entrepreneurship, religion and medicine.
Patrick Darnell, who works with churches in the area, presented on reimagining the church.
“My topic can be a little controversial because I’m talking about ills of the church, and that’s a sensitive subject to a lot of folks, but at the same time, I consider it hopeful that good things can happen and good things can be done,” he said.
This is TEDxAugusta’s fourth year in the Garden City, beginning in 2014 and taking a hiatus in 2017. The event was previously held during the week at the Imperial Theater. Following the massive renovation across the street at the Miller Theater, and its larger size, the event was moved.
Celeste Headlee, who was a presenter at the 2015 TEDxAugusta event and the executive producer and host of On Second Thought on Georgia Public Broadcasting in Atlanta, emceed this year’s event, asking speakers follow-up questions to their presentations. While speakers shared their stories, artists created pieces off to the side of the stage, building on the creative energy in the 1,300-seat theater.
Part entertainment, part education, the TEDx experience left the audience inspired.
“They were just incredible,” Dana Walker said of the speakers. “Their passion, their enthusiasm – it just made you want to get up and do something – anything.”
The audience was not the only group to take away valuable advice.
“I’m lucky as a presenter that I get to have some one-on-one time with the presenters. I get to learn so much, that next level, that next step of what they’re all about,” Darnell said.
In 2014 at TEDxAugusta, local artist Leonard “Porkchop” Zimmerman shared his story of finding happiness in the midst of loss. A movie producer heard his story and Zimmerman became the subject of the documentary Happy: A Small Film with a Big Smile.