Review: Ignite Baltimore #4 @ The Walters Art Museum

IgniteBaltimore #4 provided yet another entertaining, energizing Ignite success. I’ve already shared how much I love the Ignite events, so I’ll cut right to the recap. And this time, I even created a little YouTube video to go with it… (Go, me).

Click here to view my Ignite Baltimore #4 video on YouTube.

To begin, the Walters Art Museum proved a great venue for this event. True, the high ceilings and marble surroundings made for a literal echo chamber in ironic contrast to the virtual one often cited on Twitter, but I think it added to the grandeur of the evening and the overall ebullience of the atmosphere. (Besides, “grandeur” can be hard to come by in Baltimore, so when you come across it, you embrace it.)

fishing_in_antietam_bgraxFirst up was Betsy Gordon, a rogue museum pro who turned a question about a skateboard graphic into an art show on a world tour. Then Braddock “The Haddock” Spear chatted with us about sustainable seafood. Not sure which fish has too much mercury or whether farm-raised beats wild? Mr. Spear provided a few resources to help out:

  • The Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch Guide
  • The Blue Ocean Institute FishPhone (Text 30644 with the message FISH and the name of the fish in question. They’ll text you back with their assessment and better alternatives, if needed.)
  • The Sustainable Ocean Project blog

We learned about green mapmaking from Janet Felsten and were inspired to pick ourselves up and dust ourselves off by Jennifer Cohen. When Cheryl Taragin got to her slide showing the Baltimore Colts sneaking out of town in the middle of the night in her review of Baltimore’s historical moments, I heard a crowd hiss for the very first time. (I don’t get out much.)


Ryan Boddy gets an extra hat tip here because when he talked about the highly creative process of making beer — the mysterious and enchanting blend of art and science — I swear I saw a glimmer in his eye and a smile on his face that is the kind of glimmer and smile born only of a true, deep and abiding love. baltibrew_logoIt may have been the spotlight in his eyes, but I’m telling you I’ve never seen a man express a deeper love for beer than this man. Don’t believe me? Go talk to Ryan for yourself. He’s over at spreading the hops/love.

Jason Slanga, a Latin teacher in Baltimore County, killed with his lessons on how not to be a zombie. And then Shodekeh and friends Kate Porter and Ian Hesford brought down the house…er, museum…with some very cool “conversations without words” set against slides of various pieces of art.  You can give a listen to his unique hip-hop, beatbox stylings over on his MySpace page.

graypicturesAdam Borden begged us to “unshackle the grapes” as he explained Maryland’s convoluted laws which prevent Marylanders from purchasing wines online or by phone from any vineyard outside of Maryland. While Maryland wines are getting better every year, Maryland houses only 38 out of the 6,500 wineries in the U.S. Just think of what our palates are missing or, better yet, take action at Marylanders for Better Beer and Wine Laws.

Mary Spiro enlightened us on nanobiotechnology and Randy Sovich of RM Sovich Architecture looked back to 1984 to recap his look ahead to 2010. memorial_bridge_dcHelen Glazer, who’s looking at clouds from both sides now (borrowed that joke), shared her artist’s viewpoint of the clouds, which may further enhance our perspectives on what we see when we look up.

Kale in hand, Steven Mandzik walked us through a few simple steps for living a cleaner life and healthier eating:

  • Eat quality food
  • Eat 1/3 less
  • Eat “real” food (the more packaging there is, the less “real” it is)
  • Eat seasonal foods

Adam Meister stepped up in his tuxedo to warn us against hyper-consumerism. Consensus is he issued the quote of the night:

You don’t have to be cool. This is Baltimore.

Baltimore_Style_bgrax_flickrNo truer words…

To bring it all home, Tracy Gosson, @SagesseInc on Twitter, reminded us all that the fear of fear can — and should — be overcome. She asked, “What would you attempt if you knew you could not fail?” And she reminded us all how vital facing our fears is to learning, growing and experiencing all that life has to offer.logo-ignite

It was a great night and I look forward to Ignite Baltimore #5, to be held on March 4, 2010. Want to read more about number 4? Click here to see what was said about #IB4 on Twitter.

Also might want to keep your eyes on:

Or look for the Ignite event near you!

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16 Responses to “Review: Ignite Baltimore #4 @ The Walters Art Museum”

  1. Rob W. Says:

    This was our first Ignite Baltimore, but our 2nd one this month – we did Ignite Annapolis too. It was interesting to note the difference in crowds between the 2 places, Baltimore is much more eclectic I think, but the presentation quality was just about on par for both.

    We much preferred the rapid-fire, no intro style in Baltimore. It seemed to really convey the intent of Ignite – get up there, get your message across & make it interesting! Definitely will go again, to both cities!

    Great re-cap too! I never think to even try and take notes, and my short-term memory had already practically forgotten what happened.

  2. Renee Lemley Says:

    Hey Rob,
    Glad you enjoyed your nights out. I think now that Annapolis has one Ignite under their belts, they can tweak and adjust as needed for #2. I’ve attended both Baltimore and DC events and I’m as entertained by the crowds as the speakers. Not only does the rapid-fire slideshow present speakers with a challenge to manage, (more so for those who have not rehearsed against a 5-min stopwatch), but to present while half of your audience is tweeting while you’re talking provides another layer of mental adjustments.
    Given the format, I think anyone who gets up on that stage deserves a nod for putting themselves out there for our consumption. As I said to Mike Subelsky after Thursday’s event, I always walk away feeling energized. It’s cool to go to an event where people are encouraged to be who they are so completely. It’s absolutely refreshing.
    Thanks for your comment and no need to take notes at Ignite #5…I’m on the job.

  3. Joan Says:

    Renee —

    Great recap and video! I was at TwtrconDC, but now wishing I had gone to Ignite instead. Next time, for sure!


  4. Roger Rebetsky Says:

    Nice video, guys. Good shooting, good editing…good to see you there!

  5. Mike Subelsky Says:

    Thanks for the cool video and writeup Renee!


  6. Renee Lemley Says:

    Thx for making it happen, Mike.
    Mark your cal for #5, Joan.
    Thx for the nod, RR.

  7. Braddock Spear Says:

    Hey Renee,
    “Braddock the Haddock” brings back some memories! My 4th grade math teacher called me that and I thought he was trying to humiliate me out of school. Little did I know he was priming me for a career in the fish world.

    Glad I got you thinking about seafood. Generally, bigger and longer-lived species (like ahi tuna, swordfish) contain the highest mercury levels. Better alternatives are squid, trout, and scallops. And the farmed vs wild issue isn’t cut and dried….farmed oysters and clams are usually more sustainable than wild, but wild Alaskan salmon is much better than salmon raised in South America.

    Thanks for the great review of IB4!

  8. Renee Lemley Says:

    Hey Braddock,
    Figured I wasn’t the first to come up with that moniker. Greatly enjoyed your preso and glad you are finding a way to build a business around your passion (that’s always a good route to take, I say).
    I fought temptation to make a play on your last name as it relates to the fish world…probably wouldn’t be the first to have thought of that either, eh?
    In either case, your fish-friendly name and your resource links provided a highly sustainable source of entertainment and information.
    Thanks again.
    You’re a good sport.
    Best of luck to you,

  9. CherylT Says:

    Thanks for the great recap and video of Ignite #4. So looking forward to #5

  10. amy Says:

    It seemed to really convey the intent of Ignite – get up there, get your message across & make it interesting! Definitely will go again, to both cities!

  11. Matt Spencer Says:

    Great roundup of the event! I’m going to try to make it to #8.

  12. Adam Says:

    Jasons talk “how not to be a zombie” would have beeen so so amazing to see, plus” thats is a killer title”. Im shocked at the turn out 400 attendees and 16 speakers. The event will be even bigger for #6.

  13. Renee Lemley Says:

    #6 has come and gone…

    Ignite #8 is on the horizon.
    Here are the deets:


  14. david miller Says:

    Yay! June fits in perfectly with our scheduled vacation the the States and its a while since we have been to Baltimore. This seems a good reason to visit. We have Ignitebaltimore in our schedule and hope to post back on our impressions.

  15. Taylor Says:

    I was reading through your review and got stopped cold at the “unshackable grapes”.

    I’ve never heard of such a law.

    What happens if you break this law and how on earth could they even catch you?

    Seems more than a tab bit unreasonable.

    Glad I’m just going to be a Maryland tourist this summer

  16. Bubba Says:

    Looks like it was a really great event. Thanks for an awesome recap.

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