Saturday: Spark. Inspire. Change. at TEDxLafayette

Are you interested in ideas that are worth spreading in Great Lafayette? The line-up for TEDxLafayette looks diverse and well-rounded. Changing Greater Lafayette for the better has been a hot topic for a few years now, so it will be interesting to see how these speakers think we are progressing and what ideas they have for the future.


Here is the press release:

Community Thinkers and Visionaries Invited to Spark, Inspire, Change at Local TEDx

Lafayette, Indiana – Surf around YouTube long and you’re bound to run into a 12-18 minute TED Talk video that’s gone viral. Now considered “the world’s biggest stage,” TED events have gained international notoriety for delivering award-winning talks on topics ranging from technology and entertainment to science and global issues. 

On November 22, Greater Lafayette will host TEDxLafayette, an independently organized TED conference highlighting local thought leaders and community activists.

Eleven presenters will stimulate creative and innovative ideas related to technology, community, and education in the Greater Lafayette area and worldwide. The theme for the day is “Spark. Inspire. Change.”  Each presenter is given 12-18 minutes to convey his/her perspective and spark further conversations. Presentation topics are intentionally kept secret until the day of the event.

TEDxLafayette presenters are:

Zachary Baiel is the Director of Customer Relations at Spensa Technologies. As an assiduous citizen, he serves on the New Chauncey Neighborhood Leadership Team; the City of West Lafayette Housing and Maintenance Appeals Board, the West Lafayette Friends of the Library, and the WLPL Foundation board.

David Bowker is the Director of the Office of Future Engineers at Purdue University. He directs recruiting for the College of Engineering and teaches Academic & Career planning.

Beth Carroll is an Instructor of Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Purdue University, former small business owner and creator of Small Shopper.

Ed Finkler is a Developer at LegalServer and has served as web lead and security researcher at The Center for Education and Research in Information Assurance and Security (CERIAS). He is co-host of the Development Hell podcast.

Joe Ruhl is a Golden Apple Award-winning Teacher of Biology, Genetics, and Science Research courses at Jefferson High School. He was honored at the White House as Indiana’s recipient of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science Teaching.

Ashley G. Scott is a Top 10 Under 40 Greater Lafayette award recipient and Operations Manager & Community Curator for MatchBOX Coworking Studio. Shee Creator and Co-Organizer for the Black Professionals of Greater Lafayette, and founder of Curly In College.

Kris Taylor is founder of Evergreen Leadership and author of The Leader’s Guide to Turbulent Times. In addition to her coaching and leadership development work, she teaches entrepreneurship at Purdue.

Keith Watson is Information Security architect for Purdue University, a host on the Eyes on Privacy podcast and co-author on A Guide to Facebook Security.

Double Helix Collective, an interdisciplinary new media collective that explores the visual poetics of the intersection of technology, sound, music, live-drawing, video, shadow and ritual. The collective features Sabrina Lastman (vocalist, songwriter, voice educator & Guild Certified Feldenkrais Practitioner) & Petronio Bendito (intermedia artist & Associate Professor of Visual Communications Design at Purdue University).

Briagha McTavish, a singer/songwriter earning award recognition on NPR’s “In Search of Song” competition and the SAMI Shirley Martin Scholarship for Young Songwriters and Blooming-Tunes Songwriting Competition.

“We are ecstatic to see such a great diversity of speakers and performers sharing their stories and experience related to science, technology, art, diversity and business,” said Joe Seaman, President and CEO of Greater Lafayette Commerce. “There are so many fascinating visionaries, thinkers, and teachers in our community. The TEDx event is the perfect venue to cast a spotlight on their work in our community.”


The speakers were carefully selected by a volunteer committee led by Nelu Lazar, community activist founder of Lafayettech and K12TECH, engineering lead, technology evangelist and developer, and Executive Director of TEDxLafayette. 


“We’ve invited local thought leaders and performers to share their diverse perspectives. Sparking engaging conversation and inspiring positive change is the goal of our first TEDx event in Lafayette,” said Nelu. “We’re excited to highlight amazing local talent and offer the opportunity for us to see and hear about wonderful ideas and powerful actions that take off and grow from within our community to better educate and change the world as we know it,” he added. 


TEDx organizing committee members are Adi Ben-Yehoshua, Brian Bettag, Matthew Brown, Kitty Campbell, Nicole Gebhardt, Nelu Lazar, Kevin Maxwell, Joanna Retherford, Julie Rubsam, Koa Spencer, Marci Spitznagle, Michael Wilson. Sponsors include Greater Lafayette Commerce, Lafayette Urban Enterprise Association, All-Fired Up, C-Factor Marketing, Creative Inc, ISPhotographic, Time Keepers Productions, and MatchBOX Coworking Studio. 


TEDxLafayette will begin at 1:00 pm on Saturday, November 22, 2014 at The Civic Theatre in downtown Lafayette immediately followed by a surprise-filled After Party at the MatchBOX CoWorking Studio. 

Tickets are all-inclusive $45 each and may be purchased online at Student prices and VIP Passes are also available. Conference attendance is limited to 100 people. Ticket price includes access to the TEDx conference and the super After Party. Both events will feature engaging entertainment, food and beverages.


For a full list of speakers, latest news, and to reserve your spot at the event, go to




About TEDx, x = independently organized event

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized. (Subject to certain rules and regulations.)

About TED

TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. Started as a four-day conference in California 30 years ago, TED has grown to support its mission with multiple initiatives. The two annual TED Conferences invite the world’s leading thinkers and doers to speak for 18 minutes or less. Many of these talks are then made available, free, at TED speakers have included Bill Gates, Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Gilbert, Sir Richard Branson, Nandan Nilekani, Philippe Starck, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Sal Khan and Daniel Kahneman.

The annual TED Conference takes place each spring in Vancouver, British Columbia, along with the TEDActive simulcast event in nearby Whistler. The annual TEDGlobal conference will be held this October in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. TED‘s media initiatives include, where new TED Talks are posted daily; the Open Translation Project, which provides subtitles and interactive transcripts as well as translations from volunteers worldwide; the educational initiative TED-Ed. TED has established the annual TED Prize, where exceptional individuals with a wish to change the world get help translating their wishes into action; TEDx, which supports individuals or groups in hosting local, self- organized TED-style events around the world, and the TED Fellows program, helping world-changing innovators from around the globe to amplify the impact of their remarkable projects and activities.

Follow TED on Twitter at, or on Facebook at

About Civic Theater, the hosting venue

Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette is an 83 year old community theatre. Performances are at the Historic Monon Depot Theatre, located in the heart of Downtown Lafayette. In addition to multiple thrilling productions annually, Civic Theatre has an extensive education and outreach program. More information on all of Civic Theatre’s programs can be found at

For more information, contact sources:

TEDxLafayette Organizing Committee

Nelu Lazar, TEDxLafayette Executive Director

Greater Lafayette Start-Up Weekend Begins Now!

Startup Weekend is a weekend-long, hands-on experience where entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs can find out if their startup ideas are viable. Developers, designers, marketers and creatives, have 54 hours to take their idea from concept to launch during the 5th Greater Lafayette Startup Weekend.

The event kicks off today, Nov. 7th through Sunday, Nov. 9th, at MatchBOX Coworking Studio , 17 S Sixth St, downtown Lafayette. Purchase tickets at

Beginning with open mic pitches on Friday, attendees bring their best ideas and inspire others to join their team. Over Saturday and Sunday teams focus on customer development, validating their ideas, practicing LEAN Startup Methodologies and building a minimal viable product. On Sunday evening teams demo their prototypes and receive valuable feedback from a panel of

Build your network. Learn a new skill. Meet a potential co-founder. Enjoy great food. Test your idea. Gain insights from Coaches. Launch a business.


Afroman Performs at the Hideaway

Co-written by Aaron Bumgarner and Cathryn English

Afroman, famous for songs like “Because I Got High,” regularly rolls through southeast Lafayette. Last Friday, we finally made it to a show. The Hideaway is a bit of a dive, tucked behind Lafayette’s worst Pizza Hut. Our only expectation for the night was to hear “Because I Got High”. We saw no reason set the bar any higher.

Each attendee got a copy of the new Afroman album, Marijuana Music. A quick internet search turns up the fact that he has released at least 28 albums. Still, Afroman has just one hit song, originally popularized by the Howard Stern Show. “Because I Got High” was an international hit. He embraces his lack of success with grace, even performing a song titled “One Hit Wonder”.

10576835_548319375314013_1546409453_nThe first perfomer (missed his name) sounded bad at the back of the bar, so we grabbed a drink and got closer. Still bad. Next up was PLOT, a local hip hop group with a small following. The third act was the Insomniacs, who brought a large and devoted crowd.

At some point during PLOT, Afroman entered the building. His afro was immaculate, he smelled nice, and he wore a shiny short-sleeve turquoise suit, obviously custom tailored. He was happy to converse with fans, and asked us for requests. We couldn’t tell if he genuinely expected the crowd to be familiar with his huge body of work. We bought him a shot of SoCo to change the subject.

Wish you were here.
Wish you were here.

10728554_548319055314045_672761767_nThe crowd had thinned once Afroman took the stage, but he got a wild response. We were both surprised by his deep, soulful voice and his commanding stage presence. Even more exciting were the numerous times Afroman busted out his double neck guitar. Though impressed with his skills, we were greatly disappointed that he never touched the upper 12-string neck.

Mid-set, Afroman took a quick intermission from the music to tell several vulgar and mediocre jokes. Shortly after a pilled-out townie was punched in the face by woman with only one arm, the crowd dwindled to us, a pregnant couple, three frat boys, and a very short Vietnam veteran shaking his cane to the beat. Unfazed, Afroman maintained his level of showmanship until the end. We left the bar listening to his new CD on the way to Jimmy John’s, and both agreed that Afroman is best experienced live.


The Map Collective Revisited: Your Favorite Place Downtown


About 10 months ago, we put out a post about using Google Maps to collectively map what you like most about our town.

In partnership with The City of Lafayette’s Economic Development Department, we’re relaunching and re-asking for more of your input on this topic.

The City will be collecting and using this information for a 3-day Project for Public Spaces ‘Placemaking Workshop’ October 6th, 7th and 8th . Project for Public Spaces (PPS) is an internationally recognized, nonprofit planning, design and educational organization dedicated to helping people create and sustain public spaces that build stronger communities.


View The Map Collective: Your Favorite Place in Town in a larger map

What should I write about?

Ever had an idea for Downtown that didn’t make any sense? Write about that.

Want a zip-line from Triple XXX to Sgt. Preston’s? Let us know.

Want to hold an outdoor movie series featuring your all-time favorite martial art’s movies? I’d go to that.

How do I participate?

1) Log into a Google account — any Google account — to edit the map.

2) Click where it says “View The Map Collective: Your Favorite Place in Town in a larger map” above.

3) Click the orange “Edit” button.

4) Some tools will pop up at the top of the map window. You will see a hand, a blue marker, and a squiggly line. Select the blue marker, and drag it to where you want to leave a point on the map. A window will pop up looking for text. Tell the story in the window! Tell us all about it!

  • What happened here?
  • Why is this place awesome?
  • What makes it special?
  • Who makes it special?
  • What should other visitors look for?
  • Please limit your contributions to public spaces, and don’t include your poor grandmother’s address. I’m sure her pie is lovely.

The squiggly line gives you the option of adding a path to the map. Want to draw a line along the Wabash Heritage Trail? Need to draw a line from Columbian Park to Frozen Custard? Knock your socks off.

5) If you want to give it a funny or custom marker, click on the marker in the text box, and it will give you the option to choose amongst Google’s options or even to upload your own.

Please feel free to play, edit, contribute, and explore.


Slayter Slammer! Tomorrow Night.

“Fall Concert 2014 (Presented by PSUB, PSG, SCC, and RHA) featuring Walk The Moon and special guests Mike Mains and The Branches! On Slayter Hill, September 12th at 7:00 p.m. Admission is free! Bring your friends and come out and enjoy our 3rd annual Fall Concert on Slayter Hill.  Joining us this year are VH1 You Oughta Know Artist Walk The Moon.  Walk The Moon is an Indie Rock band based out of Cincinnati, Ohio and are currently on tour with Panic! At The Disco.  Known for their chart topping songs “Anna Sun” and “Tightrope”, Walk The Moon have played large festivals such as Lollapalooza and Bonnaroo and have had numerous appearances on Late Night shows. Walk The Moon is excited to play a show at Purdue, so come check it out!”


WEDNESDAY: Art in the Park Season Finale

Lafayette Parks and Recreation hosted the 1st annual “Art in the Park” summer art and music series this year, a free family event held in Lafayette’s historic Columbian Park. Located on the recently fancified Memorial Island in the center of the Columbian Park pond area, Art in the Park features local artists, musicians and food trucks. It’s kind of like a mid-week mini-Mosey (without the drunken shenanigans) but with a focus on the arts and on family entertainment. It’s a great regular Wednesday evening event, one where you can take the kids, get a snack, play on a gorgeous playground, and catch a live music show in one fell swoop.

I asked Parks Coordinator Alex Dewitt what the Parks Department wanted to see when they started this free event. “[We] wanted to bring families together outdoors, inspire creativity in children and build an appreciation for local arts and culture,” she said. Early in the season, the Parks Department decided to clean up the old Memorial Island area, and discovered that under all the old craggy shrubbery were networks of lovely old rock gardens and flower beds. They revived the old gardens with new landscaping, generally cleaning up the island and stage area. It’s a handsome venue today. This was definitely a goal for the Parks team. But most importantly, Dewitt said, “we wanted to provide a safe, beautiful environment for the community to come together” and appreciate the arts.

On a personal note, it was great to see city-sanctioned events held in this public space. Growing up in Lafayette in the 80s, Columbian Park was kind of a dead area in town, but after years of development and imagination, Columbian Park is a clean, vibrant community hub again. Folks wandered in and out of the event area with kids big and small, tapped a foot to music, got some shaved ice from the Kona Ice truck, or a taco from the Lkora truck. On the nights I was there, my family saw a special 1960’s cover set from local cool kids Popular Ego, and on another night, a vibrant and smooth session from Clive Caribe. Folks like artist Stacy Bogan and the sublime crafters from Blue Monday were out selling their wares. Really, it is a stellar way to spend a Wednesday evening over the summer.

Art in the Park’s season finale is happening this week, and the Parks team plans to end the inaugural season with high fives all around, more great bands, and more great art and food vendors. Get out there and support the local arts.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014, from 6:30-8:30pm
Cost: FREE
Memorial Island Stage, Columbian Park
Featuring: Traveling, Broke, and Out of Gas & The Prannies

Follow Art in the Park on Facebook to stay current on future information and dates.


Carnahan Hall marks successful rock show debut

Lafayette got to kick the tires of its new live music venue Thursday night.

While technically open since March, the Funky Junk/Joe Marcinek Band bill marked the first rock show at the 250-capacity Carnahan Hall. Yes, music acts have performed at the 800 Main St. space but this was the first traditional rock show event – anyone could come in, pay the cover, enjoy a full bar (with proper ID, of course) and rock out. Private events and gallery walks set the table, but now owners John Warner and Seema Choudhary can finally realize their vision from a year ago.

Painted red and black with hardwood flooring, the room has a new, stylish vibe. I think it will improve as it gets more “lived in.” Choudhary mentioned some sound enhancements to be made, but it is already in the top three or four of best sounding venues in the area, with much thanks to an impressive sound system/PA and all-star soundman Casey Latter turning the knobs.

With about 65 in attendance, a fuller room would have made the sound a little better, too. For most of opener Funky Junk’s set, the crowd sat at tables or stood far away from the stage. It took a little girl and her dad to be the first dancers of the night.

Thanks to a bar tucked into the northeast corner of the room and roped off, all-ages shows are a possibility at Carnahan Hall, which gets its name from the building it inhabits. The bar is set far away from the entrance and bathrooms, allowing all ages to enjoy shows.


The timing is pretty good for Carnahan Hall to become fully operational. Lafayette Theater will be temporarily closing in September to start construction on the annual Haunted Theater event in October. The haunted house attraction will then run through Nov. 1. As anyone who has lived here for more than a couple years can attest to, September and October are pretty swinging months for live music. Carnahan Hall will pick up the slack.

Thursday night’s probably wasn’t the show of the year in terms of turnout and performance, but it was probably one of the most important. It signaled a year of planning, hard work, frustration, elation and celebration for two young entrepreneurs. Choudhary and Warner beamed and breathed easier right after Funky Junk’s sound check. Now that everything is in place, the possibilities for Carnahan Hall are many.

Purdue, Lafayette & West Lafayette, Indiana: All things Weird, Wild, and Interesting in the Arts, Music, Food & Culture. Also featuring discussions on #LafCoC & a free Community Calendar.