Life in KC

TEDxKC announces three winners in its Artistic/Experiential Program

Anthony Schmiedeler
Anthony Schmiedeler

Last month the organizers behind TEDxKC challenged artists to dream up experiential, visual or performance pieces for its Aug. 19 event at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts.

The artists were encouraged to come up with “engaging, unexpected and provocative” works that played off the event’s theme, “Question Everything.” Out of 56 submissions, three were ultimately selected for the TEDxKC Artistic/Experiential Program by a panel that included Ink interim editor Sarah Gish.

The artists — David Steele Overholt, Anthony Schmiedeler and Trey Morgan — received $1,000 each to offset the cost of materials and expenses, as well as the opportunity to show off their work to 3,000 TEDxKC participants in the Kauffman Center’s lobby on Aug. 19. Here’s what the winners are working on:

▪ Steele Overholt is prepping “MuTED: Silent Sing-along,” an interactive dance party with a twist. According to the artist’s proposal, participants will wear wireless FM headphones as they dance and sing along to popular songs “stuck in our communal memory.” Neon images of the silent disco will be displayed on a 12-foot projection screen so those without headphones can watch.

▪ Schmiedeler is working on “Reflect,” another interactive art piece that challenges participants to “question the validity of their own personal judgments,” according to the artist’s proposal. “Reflect” will feature mirrors illustrated with visual representations of opposing viewpoints.

▪ Morgan will also use mirrors in his interactive animation sculpture called “Gender ≠ Identity.” The spinning sculpture “is meant to explore the complexities of self-perception in relation to gender,” according to the artist’s statement.

This is the second year for the TEDxKC Artistic/Experiential Program, which is presented by the Polsinelli law firm, and the eighth for TEDxKC, an independently organized evening of presentations that brings the international spirit of TED Conferences — Technology, Entertainment and Design — to Kansas City.

Speakers at this year’s event include a relationship expert, a molecular biologist, an activist fighting rape on campuses and a New York Times best-selling author.

Tickets to the live event and simulcast are sold out, but $10 tickets to local watch parties are still available at