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Setting the stage for TEDx New Bedford

File photo from The 2015 Core Team: Dena Haden and Sarah Athanas (Groundwork! co-founders), Dolores Hirschmann and Kevin Kertscher.

File photo from The 2015 Core Team: Dena Haden and Sarah Athanas (Groundwork! co-founders), Dolores Hirschmann and Kevin Kertscher.

Many of you may already know that Friday, Nov. 4 is TEDx New Bedford day. From 1:00 to 8:00 p.m. on the Zeiterion Theatre stage, 16 regional and national speakers will share their inspirational stories around the theme of “VISION” to give us a glimpse of our future.

For those who may not know, here’s the quick 411 about the whole TED movement from the national TED website: TED is a nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks (18 minutes or less). TED began in 1984 as a conference where Technology, Entertainment and Design converged, and today covers almost all topics — from science to business to global issues — in more than 100 languages. Meanwhile, independently run TEDx events help share ideas in communities around the world.”

TEDx New Bedford is one of those independently run events – and it’s a credit to our city that one has been organized here. Leading up to the big conference, TEDX NB runs a number of smaller idea salons that have been fun and informative. And in the past, the big annual conference has been a great and enlightening experience.

This third edition will be no different – it will no doubt be even bigger and better than last year’s because that’s the direction TEDx New Bedford is heading in. What will be different, however, is the stage – designed again by Groundwork! co-founder Dena Haden, this time with artist Jacob Ginga.

The confluence of art and ideas, Groundwork! and TEDx reflects its own kind of vision. In that vision of the future, an open exchange of ideas and free-flowing collaboration between people, groups and organizations lifts the whole to an entirely new level. It’s TED talk in action.

Dena and Sarah Athanas, Groundwork’s other co-founder, have been keen collaborators with the TEDx New Bedford team. Groundwork! member Justin Broduer of Pidalia handles Marketing and Communications for the organization. Its lead organizer, Dolores Hirschmann, is a familiar presence at 1213 Purchase Street – and mixing her inspirational entrepreneurship with art is a family affair. Her father is the artist Sergio Barbeiri and his work is hanging right now in the Groundwork! gallery.

The artists Dean Haden and Jake Ginga (a.k.a. Maker Jake) constitute another sort of family – the dynamic artistic community which helps define this city and adds immeasurably to events like TEDx New Bedford.

For this Friday’s presentation, they have chosen to express the theme of “VISION” in this way, from their artists’ statement:

“Together, artists Jacob Ginga and Dena Haden collaborated to create an installation for the TEDx New Bedford stage with its theme of ‘Vision’ in mind. Both of these artists have an inherent love for the found object and the life of materials. Jacob has created an installation using objects from the cold waters of Buzzards Bay – rusted, spirited, waterlogged, and beautiful. They began to intertwine them, adding colorful splashes of paint in thoughtful arrangements to draw attention to the plant life. As a metaphor, they are acknowledging our past through objects and materials, repurposing and bringing them to life while creating a new vision for the future.”

Catch that vision – and a “VISION” of the future as expressed by 16 speakers – on the TEDx stage this Friday, Nov. 4 at the Zeiterion Theatre. You can purchase tickets online and see the full line-up of speakers here.

Steven Froias