TEDxBroadway 2019 — A Moment of Reflection

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TEDxBroadway 2019 is officially a wrap. This year we welcomed our biggest crowd yet, and it was also one of the warmest I’ve ever stood in front of. Thank you to everyone who came out and contributed to the conversation around “what is the best Broadway can be?”

This is our 8th year running this event, and there was no shortage of passion or ideas brought to the stage by our fabulous and fearless speaker line-up. As I walked around New World Stages meeting new folks and fully taking in the enormity of the day, a few themes stood out to me this year.

Broadway isn’t just an industry; it’s a community.

There are many differences between an industry and a community. Out of all these differences, there is one core difference that stands out: industry connects us by profession, but community connects us by humanity. Theatre has this innate power to bring fellow community members together uniquely and memorably, and that power can never be underestimated.

What unites us all is our desire to be heard.

All themes point in one direction: all voices matter. Whether you call it accessibility, diversity and inclusion, or “a seat at the table,” all everyone wants is to be respected and seen for who they are. The need for representation and connection is part of why we produce this event and how we view the power of our stage. TEDxBroadway creates space for new voices and new conversations in a growing community.

Yes, action is possible.

There is a common desire to say, “that’s a great idea, but it’ll be impossible to make it happen.” What I saw this year was that the words heard on the stage can indeed drive real change. This year, we did a special “where they are now” session that highlighted past speakers and their impact beyond the stage. As we looked back on incredible speeches from years past, we saw how words spoken on the TEDxBroadway stage directly translated into real-world impact. I have no greater respect than for those who have both the passion for speaking and the commitment to turn their words into action.

It takes not just any village to pull this event off.

Situation Events knows how to produce exceptional events. Yes, of course, I’m biased, but I’ve also worked on many live events, and the standards (against a tight budget to pull off this event) is second to none. Patch Canada, our publicist, got one of the biggest (and well-deserved) applauses of the day. Jim McCarthy, CEO of Goldstar, MC for the day, and my long-time fellow co-organizer of the event, prepares himself and the speakers like no other can. As for the team behind-the-scenes, their passion for excellence fuels my passion for keeping this going, year after year.

Let’s all raise a glass (or cup of coffee) to another great year at TEDxBroadway and to all that support us. I can’t wait to see what happens in 2020.

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