x = independently organized TED event

This event occurred on
July 20, 2013
5:00am - 10:00am AKDT
(UTC -8hrs)
Sitka, AK
United States

“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” --Ralph Waldo Emerson

Returning by popular demand, TEDxSitka brings together local, national and international speakers presenting 18-minute talks on a variety of topics, including our relationship with food, the nature of creativity, the meaning of community, etc. Speakers range from Camas Davis, founder of the Portland Meat Collective and Steve Grody, author of “Graffiti L.A.” to award-winning Vietnamese novelist lê thi diem thúy and W.T. McRae, clown and artist-teacher at the New Victory Theater on Broadway. Prepare to be inspired!

Odess Theater in Allen Hall
Sheldon Jackson Campus, 801 Lincoln Street
Sitka, AK, 99835
United States
Event type:
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Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Camas Davis

In 2009, Davis, a magazine editor and for writer in Portland, Oregon, lost her job and ran away to Southwest France to study butchery. She had no idea where it would lead her. Upon her return, she founded the Portland Meat Collective, a one-of-a-kind meat school and culinary resource that changed the way citizens of Portland, Oregon think about the meat they eat. But what began as a personal exploration of 'food transparency,' quickly became something much larger and more controversial than Davis could have imagined.

Steve Grody

Grody has long been involved in his era's 'pop' graphics and psychedelic art. When he saw spray can murals popping up around Los Angeles, he immediately recognized their creativity and verve. Since 1990, he has been driving across L.A., exploring its back alleys, washes and abandoned lots in search of graffiti. His obsessive drive to document this distinctive youth underground has resulted in an archive of over 20,000 images. From this he chose the best work to illustrate the range of styles and approaches of this urban phenomenon in his book Graffiti L.A.: Street Styles and Art (Abrams 2007).

Tommy Joseph

Engaged in Northwest Coast carving since the 1980s as an instructor, interpreter, demonstrator and commissioned artist, acclaimed Northwest Coast carver Joseph has created 35-foot tall totem poles, house posts, intricately carved and inlaid ceremonial masks, bentwood containers and Tlingit armor, among other works.

lê thi diem thúy

Raised in southern California, thúy often explores in her work the role of the body as the site of memory. Ms. lê is the author of the award-winning novel, The Gangster We Are All Looking For. The New York Times Book Review calls The Gangster We Are All Looking For “A brilliant evocation of human sorrow and desire. ... Heartbreaking and exhilarating ... As vivid as a fairy tale, as allusive as a poem.”

W.T. McRae

Clown, mime, actor and circus educator, McRae is co-founder of Fool’s Academy and a circus and theater educator for the New Victory Theater in New York and Sitka Fine Arts Camp.

Paul Cox

Exploring the blurry boundary between art and life, Cox examines the dramatic relationship between Alaskan-born artist Xenia Kashevarof and famed experimental composer John Cage within their bohemian circle of friends in the late-1930s. Cox is a visiting assistant professor of musical studies at Oberlin College. Formerly the Assistant Curator of Music and co-director of the AKI Festival of New Music at the Cleveland Museum of Art, he graduated from the Oberlin Conservatory in 1992 and earned a PhD (musicology) from Case Western Reserve University in 2011.

Christian Ervin

Ervin is a Research Associate at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, where he recently completed a master's degree in design technologies. He works in the Responsive Environments and Artifacts Lab, serving as project manager for a unique collaboration with the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering on intelligent material systems. An architect and interaction designer, Ervin received his B.Arch from Rice University in 2008.

Ray Friedlander

Friedlander is an activist and community organizer for the Sitka Conservation Society. She has spent the last six years with people working for positive change within their communities, campuses and our country’s capital. Her background in organizing originated at Santa Fe College in Florida and has evolved over the years through events like Powershift 2007 and 2009, the student protests during the University of California budget cuts and tuition hikes, as well as training programs with the Midwest Academy, Training Resources for the Environmental Community (TREC) and New Organizing Institute (NOI). "When you have people together who believe in something very strongly - whether it's religion or politics or unions - things happen," said Cesar Chavez. What we need NOW is for you to become an organizer in your community to make positive change happen!

Julie Zhu

Zhu is known to many Sitkans as a painter and member of the visual arts faculty of the Sitka Fine Arts Camp. As a child, she watched her mother do Chinese calligraphy, but trained as an oil painter in high school. During her senior year of high school, President George W. Bush awarded her a double Presidential Scholar title in arts and academics. In 2010, she was featured in the HBO documentary Masterclass with contemporary artist Olafur Eliasson.

Jarrett Moran

Jarrett is a New York-based writer and editor. From 2010 to 2013 he was the editor-in-chief of the contemporary art website Artlog, and in the fall he will begin studying nineteenth-century English criticism at Columbia. He graduated from Yale in 2010 with a degree in Ethics, Politics, and Economics, writing his thesis on contemporary art and U.S. law.

Ben Seretan

Ben Seretan plays the electric guitar, sings, and makes long music. He lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.

Organizing team


Sitka, AK, United States
  • Paul Cox
  • Ashia Lane
  • Isaac Grody-Patinkin