Tickets are now on sale for TEDxCharleston 2019, taking place on Wed. April 10. The lineup of 20 speakers, artists, and performers was announced today and includes a range of local folks from hip-hop star Benny Starr to financial counselor Anetra Smalls. What this wide and varied list of speakers have in common, though, is the topic: Currents.

In a press release TEDxCharleston, which is curated by Edith Howle, defines Currents for us: “This year’s theme, Currents, sets the tone for talks and performances that examine powerful, persistent and often unperceived forces that enhance our world and inspire transformation — and the action we might take from them.”

TEDxCharleston speaker from 2017, clinical psychologist, and tech entrepreneur Brian Sullivan, serves as this year’s event emcee. This year’s stage design was created by Mary Edna Fraser, tapping into the local artist’s ability to capture the patterns of land and sea.

And now, for those “idea makers:”

LB Adams is the founder and CEO of a “soft skills training” company, Practical Dramatics and is looking to “break the patterns of language to reshape the narrative.”

Three time Pulitzer-prize finalist reporter Tony Bartelme will discuss climate change during his TEDx talk. Bartelme is currently the senior projects reporter for the P&C.

Sexual assault counselor Stephanie Boye will talk about the mental and emotional wellbeing of adolescents.

Jay DeMarco is an orthopedic surgeon looking to combat the opioid epidemic by looking more closely at those who prescribe the drugs.

Also in the medical realm, biotech entrepreneur Ryan Fiorini wants to looks more closely at how we detect concussions.

Stephen Frederico will discuss the use of nanoparticles to treat cancer without side effects. According to TEDx, Frederico, “supports chemotherapy treatments that still allow patients to live a full, optimistic life.”

Dancer Annaliesa Gowe will perform, highlighting both contemporary and more classical forms of dance.

CEO of the Charleston County Housing and Redevelopment Authority and the general counsel for the Housing Authority of the City of Charleston, Melissa Maddox-Evans is an affordable housing champion who says “we must first acknowledge with an apology to lead us toward a path of change.”

Robbie Madison and Kanika Moore are Charleston natives who perform music that features elements of jazz, gospel, and soul.

Keith McElveen, founder and CTO of Wave Sciences, is a leader in the space of audio engineering.

Educator and senior pastor at Mount Zion AME Church, Kylon Middleton seeks to improve relations between citizens and the police force, using “lessons in injustice to facilitate difficult, yet collaborative conversations with the community.”

Jacobo Mintzer is a researcher who explores how music stimulates the brain and “opens doors for new medical treatments.”

Former executive director of We Are Family and current director of operations at Housing for All, Melissa Moore, wants to bring an end to a staggering statistic: up to 40 percent of youth who experience homelessness identify as LGBT.

Anetra Smalls is a financial counselor committed to helping others achieve financial freedom.

Small Opera, founded by Katie Small, is just what the name implies — a small group of opera singers popping up all over town, bringing this art form to the Lowcountry in a fun and accessible way.

NASA-funded neuroscientist Donna Roberts wants to see how space impacts the human brain.

Hip-hop recording artist and activist Benny Starr is here to inspire, mesmerize, and connect.

Research scientist and professor David Turner wants to make AGEs (Advanced Glycation End Products) a household name. According to the internet, AGEs are “known to contribute to increased oxidant stress and inflammation, which are linked to the recent epidemics of diabetes and cardiovascular disease.”

You can buy tickets for $65 (through Feb. 26) for the April event online at

Love Best of Charleston?

Help the Charleston City Paper keep Best of Charleston going every year with a donation. Or sign up to become a member of the Charleston City Paper club.