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TEDxRVASalon was a series of 12 events that brought the Richmond community together to view and discuss TED talks, both old and new, from near and far. With much smaller audiences gathering in more intimate spaces, salons created environments where attendees could get to know one another and exchange ideas. I was proud to lead the TEDxRVA Community Team in charge of curating this free "sold out" series. (Each event reached the maximum capacity of 100 registered attendees.)

Community Team Lead

I first got involved with TEDxRVA as the Interactive Team lead, developing interactive concepts to complement the speaker content for their annual event drawing 3,000+ people to the Altria Theater.


For me, listening was not enough. I longed to turn knowledge into action and I knew I wasn't alone. This prompted my initiation of a TEDxRVASalon series.  I assembled 12 volunteers to form a new Community Team. We secured venue space, curated content, solicited in-kind donations for catering & refreshments from local vendors, and created/distributed beautifully designed promotional assets for each event.


Choosing locations relevant to the topic created a more immersive experience.


Updating the Menu
(The Food We Eat)
at Kitchen Thyme

Small Group Discussions & Interactive Activities

Attendees would be broken up into randomly assigned small groups to discuss the content of each TED talk and through a more local lens. Every small group had a facilitator with knowledge of the event's topic and how to engage locally following the event.


We sprinkled in other fun activities like live polling, and for our travel themed salon we had each attendee write in a notecard their top travel suggestion. They then wrote their name and address on the envelope. Afterwards, we shuffled the envelopes and mailed the notecards ensuring that no one would receive their own suggestion.

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While each small group discussion would have an expert from the field as a facilitator, we would also sometimes host a panel to bring in a more diverse set of perspectives.  My favorite example of this was during our salon on human trafficking. The panel included 2 victim survivors, a local nonprofit raising awareness of child trafficking, a mental health provider, an associate professor of political science, and a representative from Capital One's anti-money laundering department.


Local organizations were enthusiastic to partner on our events in order to bring awareness to their missions and programs.  We offered a bridge to potential donors, volunteers, lobbyists, and supporters.

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