TEDxCincinnati pivots to drive-in event

Fans of watching movies on the big screen went into withdrawal during the Covid-19 pandemic, as most movie houses closed for months. Fortunately, the few drive-in theaters that remain were able to step in the gap and offer good movies on a big screen from the relative safety of your automobile.


Now, fans of innovative ideas and authentic storytelling have a similar opportunity as TEDxCincinnati is holding its 2020 Main Stage event at the Holiday Auto Theatre Drive-In in Hamilton on Aug. 27.


TEDxCincinnati is billing it as “The world's first and only drive-in TEDx Main Stage event.”


"We're using this opportunity to explore a new setting and try new things, which will make for a fun and perspective-shifting night out," says Executive Director Jami Lah.


TEDx is always about shifting perspectives. It's is a nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short talks of 18 minutes or less. It began in 1984 as a conference where Technology, Entertainment, and Design converged. TEDx experiences began as independently run events in communities to share ideas and broaden understanding about disciplines, cultures, and people.


TEDxCincinnati’s main stage events have been held in previous years at Memorial Hall in Over-the-Rhine, but couldn’t be done safety this year, so the May event was cancelled.


With the pandemic still growing, the event organizers shifted to the socially distanced venue of Holiday Auto theater for its 2020 event.


The drive-in lineup will feature a half dozen speakers, including Renee Seward, an expert in communication design at the University of Cincinnati whose research is at the intersection of graphic design and literacy; Sanjay Shewakramani, an emergency medicine physician and personal strength and wellness coach; and Dr. Somi Javaid, a women’s sexual health provider and thought leader.


The event will be emceed by Jenn Jordan, co-host of the Jeff and Jenn Morning Show on WKRQ-FM.


The full speaker lineup and ticket purchases are available here.


Organizers say those planning on going should arrive at the drive-in between 7 and 7:45 p.m. The show will begin at 8:15.


No drive-in is complete without hot dogs, nachos, and cotton candy from the snack bar, and the concession stand will be open for TEDxCincinnati.


The sound will be broadcast through the car radios and attendees are welcome to bring lawn chairs and sit under the stars.


Read more articles by David Holthaus.

David Holthaus is the managing editor of NKY Thrives, an award-winning journalist, and a Cincinnati native. When not writing or editing, he's likely to be bicycling, hiking, reading, or watching classic movies.