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Members Showcase, Powered by PechaKucha

Thursday, July 20, 2017 - 6:00pm to 7:30pm
Reception to follow
Lovely Valentine

Members Showcase, Powered by PechaKucha

Joyce Bowden, Emily Levine, Scott Oleson, Abraham Schechter, Kate Sullivan, and Nancy Upper

Six Athenæum members present on their research projects and artistic endeavors in a compelling, dynamic slideshow format: 20 images for 20 seconds each. The PechaKucha 20x20 format was first developed in Tokyo by a team of architects as a way to share content with concision and speed. These succinct presentations allow a range of perspectives on a single theme and are sure to spark spirited conversation between presenters and audience members.

A cocktail reception at 5:30 will precede the presentations.

Joyce M. Bowden is a researcher and author of Four Connor Generations in South Carolina, 1790-1920 (2014), a genealogical history focused on her ancestors, who migrated from Virginia to South Carolina after the American Revolution. She is currently working on a second family history about a mother and daughter in her great-grandmother’s family. Bowden joined the Athenaeum in 2002, and became a Proprietor six years later. She volunteers as a docent and is the past co-moderator for the Civil War discussion group.

Emily Levine is currently finishing her Masters in Library Science and Masters in History as a graduate student at Simmons College. With degrees in Violin Performance and English from the University of Iowa, her research interests lie at the intersection of local musicology and inventive re-readings of primary source materials. Before accepting an internship position in Reader Services and Interlibrary Loan here at the Athenæum, Levine worked for the Library of Congress Music Archives and the National Archives Administration Presidential Museums. An avid knitter and active bartender, she lives in Brookline with her two cats.

Scott Olesen is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health. He studied physics at Williams College and applied math at the University of Cambridge. He holds a PhD in Biological Engineering from MIT, where he studied environmental microbiology, the human microbiome, and clinical trial design. At MIT, Olesen was co-leader on a project to produce the CommKit, an online resource designed and written by scientists for scientists to improve the quality and clarity of scientific writing, speaking, and visual design. His current research at Harvard focuses on the past, present, and future of antibiotic resistance.

Abraham A. Schechter is a writer, teacher, and artist from Portland, Maine. He has worked as a professional archivist, research librarian, book conservator, and preservation educator for 18 years, currently serving as head of special collections & archivists at Portland Public Library. Before his career in libraries, he worked for 13 years in commercial photography, illustrating his own print and digital publications, including his website of essays, La Vie Graphite. He holds a BFA from Maine College of Art and a master’s degree from Simmons College, and has been an Athenæum member since 1998.

Kate Sullivan is an artist who works in graphite and watercolor. Her drawings and paintings are highly realistic in their depictions of city buildings and vehicles. Three of her watercolors are exhibited in New England on Paper: Contemporary Art in the Boston Athenæum's Prints & Photographs Collections at the Boston Athenæum. Sullivan, who has been a member since 2005, holds a BFA in painting from Massachusetts College of Art and Design.

Nancy Upper is the founder and creative director of Uppersand, an organization that strengthens global connections through creative projects. She is currently completing a book, Power of Ampersand, that tells the story of the ampersand's rise from ancient symbol to favorite character, global connector, business driver, and branding icon. An active Athenæum member, Upper volunteers as a membership ambassador.

“Powered by PechaKucha” events are one-off events that are separate
from regular city-based PechaKucha Nights, and are usually held
as part of festivals and conferences, but can also act as standalone events.
These events include presentations that use the PechaKucha
20 images x 20 seconds format.
Find out more at

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Most programs held in the Bayard Henry Long Room on the Athenaeum's first floor are amplified and assistive listening devices are available for patron use.

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To request ASL interpretation services for any of the Athenaeum's programs, please contact Hannah Weisman at 617-720-7617 or