PBS is teaming up with the nonprofit organization TED to present a six-night series of “TED Talks Live” at the Town Hall in Manhattan’s theater district this coming fall.
Already a well-known organization, it’s expected that TED will draw a big crowd to the event. Variety describes the group as a “brainy nonprofit that showcases notable ideas,” but bringing in big-name academics and celebrities is just the first part of what makes TED conferences such a huge success.
TED has found unprecedented success by utilizing digital marketing and social media sharing. Considering that around 56% of American adults engage with the arts, either live or through digital media platforms, TED talks make the most of each presentation (which last about 20 to 25 minutes on average) by organizing live conferences and by posting videos of each speaker online, to stream and/or download for free.
The upcoming conference will be held from November 1-6, according to the Associated Press, and the majority of the speakers will focus on the topics of war, education, and science. The six nights have been divided into three segments for later broadcasts on PBS.
The first two nights (Nov. 1-2) include talks dedicated to the first planned PBS special, “The Education Revolution”; the next two nights (Nov. 3-4) focus on the subjects “War and Peace”; and the last two nights (Nov. 5-6) are titled “Science and Wonder.”
Notable speakers will include musician Rufus Wainwright, singer-songwriter Angela McCluskey, author Sebastian Junger, and HBO Girls actor and Marine Corps vet Adam Driver. The event will be hosted by comedian and author Baratunde Thurston and Tony award-winning actress Sara Ramirez.
Tickets to the conference will cost $100 each (students and teachers can apply for free tickets online) but the recorded talks will air on PBS stations this coming spring in three hour-long specials.