The theme of this year’s TEDxRVA event is “Create”—
a tribute to all forms of creativity in Richmond.
John S. Blake’s middle initial stands for survivor. A National Poetry Slam finalist and Pushcart Prize nominee, John was an addict on the brink of overdose when a poem saved his life. Instead of following his family into an abyss of chemical dependency, violence, AIDS, Hepatitis C, Cancer and death; John stopped using and started writing. John has toured nationally sharing his story through lectures, workshops, and spoken-word performances in juvenile detention centers, universities, libraries, schools, coffee houses, and rehab centers. As co-curator of Slam Richmond Reading Series on the south side of Richmond, John hopes to convince educators to include poetry and spoken word in curricula for all ages... Read More t
Bill Martin believes there’s more to Richmond history than Gillette gardens and equestrian statues. As director of the Valentine Richmond History Center, he brings cultural diversity and present day relevance to the museum-visitor experience. The center’s current exhibit, History Ink: The Tattoo Archive Project injects the city’s past into the ongoing urban conversation. With a degree in urban studies and twenty-five years in tourism and museum management, Bill brings the city to life for locals and visitors alike... Read More t
James Walker believes design influences the way we interact within our physical spaces, whether we’re outside or in. An MFA student in VCU’s Visual Communication and Design program, James is a native of rural southern Illinois and earned a degree in graphic design at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale. His most recent design project, Dead Bicycles, was developed to stimulate social interaction and local awareness. .. Read More t