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Charleston Music Hall & the Charleston Arts Festival Present:

PK Charleston 35

Presenters are: Aaron Zych, “Cookie” Torreah Washington, Giovanna de Luca, Jackson, Gabe, & Riley Silverman, Kali Holloway, Kyle Barnette, Michele Seekings, and Taylor McCleskey

DOORS: 7:00PM / SHOW: 7:30PM

$12 ADV | $14 DOS


We will be doing a food drive at this event, scroll down for more information.

Tickets can also be purchased at Music Hall Box Office:
37 John Street (843) 853-2252 | Monday – Friday (10 am – 3 pm)


Due to Hurricane Dorian, PechaKucha 35, originally scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 4 was rescheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 12. Patrons are encouraged to hang on to their original tickets as these will be honored for the new date.

The Charleston Music Hall is thrilled to be teaming up again with the Charleston Arts Festival to present PK Charleston 35! PechaKucha, Japanese for “chit chat,” is a presentation style in which 20 slides are shown for 20 seconds each (6 minutes and 40 seconds in total) keeping presentation concise, fast-paced, and powerful. Charleston Music Hall is proud to be the official venue and producer of PK Charleston. The Music Hall’s goal, with help from our collaborators and artist liaison Terry Fox, is to focus on developing a strong, interesting, and diverse presenter line up from an array of different artistic, creative, and entrepreneurial disciplines and encourage collaboration, communication, and support in Charleston’s creative community. This go around Stephanie Burt of The Southern Fork will be our emcee and Professor Ping will be DJing.

The PK 35 presenters are:

  • “Cookie” Torreah Washington, art quilter and activist
  • Kyle Barnette, Co-Founder and Producing Artistic Director of What If? Productions
  • Giovanna de Luca, Associate Professor of Italian and Film, Director of the Italian Studies Program, and Artistic Director of the Nuovo Italiano Film Festival at the College of Charleston
  • Aaron Zych, Owner of Heart of Gold Gallery
  • Kali Holloway, Senior Director, Make It Right Project
  • Michele Seekings, owner of SPIRE Art Services and co-founder of INTRO
  • Jackson, Gabe, and Riley Silverman, prime movers behind the I Heart Hungry Kids project
  • Taylor McCleskey, Frontman of Beach Tiger

Food Drive

At the Charleston Music Hall we support the efforts of I Heart Hungry Kids to feed our neighbors in need and lead the community to end child hunger.

So many in our community are struggling, and when it comes to hunger, children are especially vulnerable. Statistically, over 16,000 kids go hungry every weekend right here at home.  Please bring non-perishable canned or shelf stable goods to donate when you come for PechaKucha 35 and help make a difference in their lives during this holiday season.

Donations from this food drive are distributed by I Heart Hungry Kids to local food pantries, the Blessing Box Project, as well as other community organizations.

Aaron Zych

For as long as he can remember, Aaron Zych has been fascinated by history; more specifically, the stories behind our legends – the artists, musicians and icons that have become a staple in our minds and hearts for generations.

Peering at iconic photos, he would always question the moment behind the lens. His curiosity for context and love for photography cleared a path to becoming an esteemed art curator and collector.

After nearly two decades of running a fine art gallery in New York, Aaron decided to bring this appreciation and curation for rare photography to the southeast in 2017. As a central hub for culture and innovation with an obvious respect for historical roots, Charleston was the clear choice for Heart of Gold Gallery.

Cookie Washington

Torreah “Cookie” Washington is a textile designer whose proudest accomplishment to date is having be selected as one of 44 Master Art Quilters to create a quilt to honor President Barak Obama.

She has also designed costumes for theater, film and the stage and high fashion wedding gowns.

For 13 years Cookie Washington has been curator for the African American Fiber Arts Exhibit that is part of the North Charleston Cultural Arts Festival.
Ms. Washington’s  passion is fiber art muralism that celebrates the Divine Feminine.

“I am a mostly self-taught quilt artist. I have been a fiber artist of some sort my whole life. At four years old, my Granddaddy paid me fifty cents for the first “Barbie” dress I ever designed.”

Cookie has been featured in two recent documentary films about African American Art Quilters, The Wayshowers, which she shared executive producer credit on, with Susan Scott Hester, and the film Skin Quilt by Lauren Cross.

Cookie says, “I find that textile design emits a spirit, a presence, an energy, a vitality unlike that of any other medium.  Quilting is in my blood. Enslaved Africans used quilting to tell their stories. I wish to keep this tradition alive, and through my work validate our culture by weaving stories of the African or African-American experience, into my quilts, just as my foremothers did almost four hundred years ago.  Even though I’m working in a medium centuries old, I believe we art quilters are shifting the historical to accommodate our new application. Art quilting, an emerging art form, is a fairly small part of the art world.  I am thrilled to be part of it.”

She goes on, “I want to make art that challenges people to feel, art that makes you soar and annoys, art that challenges them to learn more about the subject and their own feelings about it.  I have a fire in the belly, a passionate urge to create art that is griot in nature. I want the viewer to come away changed after having experienced my work. I am not at all interested in creating art that matches your furniture.”

Giovanna De Luca

Giovanna De Luca is Associate Professor of Italian and Film at the College of Charleston, South Carolina. She is the director of the Italian Studies Program. Her research interests are Italian cinema, 20th and 21st century Italian literature, comparative literature, literary and film theory and cultural studies. Her articles have appeared in Filmcritica, Film Comment, Quaderni d’Italianistica, Forum Italicum, Italica, La Tribune International des Langues Vivantes and Journal of Italian Cinema and Media Studies. She is the author of the book Il punto di vista dell’ infanzia nel cinema italiano e francese: rivisioni on the role of children in Italian and French cinema and currently she is writing a book on the cinematic representations of the Mafia whose tentative title is: Harsh Spectacle: The Mafia in Italian and American Cinema. She is co-authoring a book about the new Neapolitan cinema.

She is the founder and artistic director of Nuovo Cinema Italiano Film Festival. Started in 2006, the annual four-day event showcases 13 Italian films, and features guests appearances by  to Italian filmmakers, actors, and screenwriters.

I Heart Hungry Kids

From left to right: Jackson, Gabe, and Riley

Since 2013, I Heart Hungry Kids has empowered kids to beat hunger through hands-on service, peer-to-peer mentoring, and advocacy.  Founded by Jackson Silverman (then age 7) and his twin brothers Gabe and Riley (then age 5), the nonprofit has been recognized at the local, state, and national levels for its impact on the issue of kid hunger. Over the past six years, these brothers have raised over $125,000 and led more than 5,000 youth volunteers in providing 300,000+ meals for kids in need in the Lowcountry–living their motto, “kids helping kids to change the world”.

Jackson, now a ninth grader at James Island Charter High School, regularly leads volunteer events that offer young kids their first opportunity to do meaningful service to others through programs that encourage teamwork and self-empowerment. A TedX Charleston speaker at age 10, he has spoken on the power of kid leadership at The Citadel, Charleston Rotary Club, Charleston County School District, and the Junior League of Charleston, as well as many area elementary and middle schools. Jackson has received the national Prudential Spirit of Community Award and the national Sodexo Foundation Stephen J. Brady Stop Hunger Award.

Gabe, a seventh grader at Haut Gap Middle School, focuses his attention on problem-solving in operations as well as event planning and marketing efforts for I Heart Hungry Kids.  Dancing on WCBD News 2 and in viral videos to raise awareness about kid hunger, Gabe is our resident DJ for the packing parties and led the inaugural Beat Hunger event in May 2019 that raised over $9,000 to support I Heart Hungry Kid programs.

Riley, a seventh grader at Haut Gap Middle School, educates kids and parents on healthy eating through cooking demonstrations with MUSC’s Sodexo Wellness Program and kid-powered community gardening as a grower for Katie’s Krops on Johns Island. Featured on Lowcountry Live, Riley has been heavily involved in raising over $25,000 to combat school lunch debt and lunch shaming through the local collaborative group Catch Up On Lunch.

Kali Holloway

Kali Holloway is the Director of the Make It Right Project, a national campaign to take down Confederate Monuments and tell the truth about history. Charleston’s John C. Calhoun marker is one of the monuments on the group’s target list. She is also a Senior Correspondent at the Independent Media Institute. Holloway previously was Senior Writer and Associate Editor of Media & Culture at progressive news site AlterNet. She co-curated the New York City Metropolitan Museum of Art’s 2017 summer performance and film series “Theater of the Resist.” She was Director of Outreach and Audience Engagement for the HBO documentary Southern Rites, PBS documentary The New Public and the Emmy-nominated film Brooklyn Castle, and Outreach Consultant on the award-winning documentary The New Black. She worked in production and programming on the long-running PBS documentary film series POV. Prior to that, she was speechwriter for a New York City Commissioner and Deputy Director of Communications for the New York State court system. Her writing has appeared in The Nation, The Daily Beast, Salon, The Guardian, TIME, Huffington Post, The National Memo, Jezebel and numerous other outlets.

Kyle Barnette

Kyle Barnette is the Producing Artistic Director of What If? Productions, a Charleston-based professional non-profit theatre company which he co-founded in 2010 alongside Brian Porter. The company marked its Charleston debut with a performance of Hedwig & the Angry Inch at The American Theatre. A graduate of Ole Miss, Kyle has worked as an actor and director in a variety of theatres across the country including Playhouse on the Square in Memphis, TN as a member of their Resident Acting Company.

Through his artistic partnerships at Charleston Stage Co., Kyle has directed Steel Magnolias, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee and The Foreigner and appeared in numerous productions including The 39 Steps, Shear Madness, Young Frankenstein, 9 to 5: The Musical and The Underpants.  Through his work at What If?, Kyle has helped foster the work of emerging playwrights throughout the country with the theatre’s annual Playwrights Festival, launching the world premiere of many new works including The Practice Child and The Cannibals as well partnering with Chicago’s The New Colony theatre company on the East Coast premiere of the award-winning Five Lesbians Eating A Quiche, along with other new plays in their repertoire. Other notable What If? shows he has directed include Amadeus, Kate & Sam Are Not Breaking Up, Feathers & Teeth, Cabaretand Evil Dead: The Musical.

Over the past year, Kyle has worked with the newly revamped Footlight Players contributing artistically both as a director (Lady Day At Emersons Bar & Grill) and as an actor. Most recently Kyle achieved a longtime dream for the theatre by producing the musical Hair, attracting the company’s largest audience to date and marking the debut of What If? in its new home at the Queen Street Playhouse. This September What If? will celebrate its 10 year anniversary all year long with a full season of shows including a revival of Hedwig & the Angry Inch, a variety of unique pop-up performances, and a 10 year anniversary party celebrating What If?’s unique Charleston theatre legacy as they prepare for a new chapter in the company’s promising future.

Michele Seekings

Michele Seekings is the owner of SPIRE Art Services in Charleston, South Carolina.    After  26 years in the medical/pharmaceutical industry,  Michele founded SPIRE to pursue her passion for art. Michele is an avid art collector and supporter of local art initiatives including curating INTRO, an annual pop-up show featuring the area’s top 10 emerging artists.   She actively serves on the Board of Directors for the Gibbes Museum of Art and have served at the  Past-Chair of the Visiting Artist Program.  Michele is also involved with local organizations such as Historic Charleston Foundation, the Preservation Society, and Spoleto USA.   

Taylor McCleskey

Taylor McCleskey is a multi-instrumentalist, singer-songwriter, and frontman of the indie-pop group Beach Tiger. With millions of streams worldwide, McCleskey has found the most success through Spotify landing on prestigious playlists such as New Music Friday and Indie Pop; as well as Starbucks’ Sunny Afternoon. During a musical hiatus in 2018, he created and designed his own board game aptly titled Musicians are Monsters.

EMCEE: Stephanie Burt

Photo: Leslie Ryann McKellar

Stephanie Burt is the host of The Southern Fork podcast and a writer based in Charleston, SC. Her work has appeared in numerous publications, including Saveur, Washington Post, CNN’s Parts Unknown, Conde Nast Traveler, and the Southern Foodways Alliance’s Gravy. She focuses on researching heirloom ingredients, interviewing passionate culinary makers, and when she’s in the kitchen, perfecting her roasted chicken recipe.

Venue Information
Charleston Music Hall
37 John Street
Charleston, South Carolina, 29403