Monday, July 24, 2017 This Week's Paper

T.E.D.x Tacoma

T.E.D. is headed to Tacoma next week. You know, T.E.D., as in T.E.D. Talks, those lecture videos – on topics ranging from cultivating mindfulness to how to spot liars - that have become so popular on Netflix. Several such presentations will take over Broadway Center's Theatre on the Square on Feb. 28 for a conference dubbed T.E.D.x Tacoma.

T.E.D. is a non-profit group dedicated to “ideas worth spreading,” and it started in 1984 with a conference that brought together innovators from three worlds: technology, entertainment and design. The general idea is that everyone has at least one great idea that's worth sharing, and T.E.D. presenters are invited to give short talks on those topics that are then recorded and shared for free.

Lecture videos are distributed for streaming and download at, where you can find more than 1,500 of them. Among the topics du jour are philosopher Yann Dall'Aglio's “Love – You're Doing it Wrong,” sculptor Aparna Rao's “Art that Craves Your Attention” and British film producer David Puttnam's “Does the Media Have a Duty to Care?”

Among those presenting at T.E.D.x Tacoma is cellist Emily Ann Peterson, a member of local indie-rock band Goldfinch and co-founder of the Coda School of Music. Her talk will focus on holistic teaching, shared experience and the idea of “resonance.”

“Resonance, to me, means making action happen, or making movement occur,” Peterson explained. “In the cello, that means the bow has movement, and the movement of the bow makes the string vibrate, which makes the bridge buzz, which makes the front of the cello vibrate … and everything comes out of the two holes in the front and you have sound.”

People and communities can similarly connect to create harmony. “My idea, with global resonance and building community,” Peterson said, “is that if you can teach, perform or live your life really trying to make movement happen … then the world can be a better place. You have world peace and beautiful humans and all that good jazz.”

Peterson will also perform a musical piece with Vicci Martinez, the Tacoma singer-songwriter who became a national sensation when she finished second on NBC-TV's “The Voice” in 2011.

Technology speakers at T.E.D.x Tacoma include Milenko Matanovic, who runs the non-profit Pomegranate Center, a group that specializes in community problem solving; Tony Blau, founder of the University of Washington's Center for Cancer Innovation; and iQ Technologies founder Jim Tisch.

Joining Peterson and Martinez from the entertainment world are Seattle radio veteran Bob Rivers, host of “The Bob Rivers Show,” which airs mornings on KJR-FM (97.5); Becci Crowe, known for wildlife art inspired by her travels in Africa; and Muh Grog Zoo, a Tacoma group that specializes in improvised, one-act plays.

Design speakers include Adam Argyle, a web developer for Lively, an innovative company that brings fans and artists together.

T.E.D.x presentations will run from 3-9 p.m. on Feb. 28. Tickets are $79. Presenter bios and other information can be found at

T.E.D.x Tacoma

3-9 p.m. Feb. 28

Theatre on the Square

901 Broadway, Tacoma