NORTH ADAMS — Following the success of the first TEDx talk in North Adams last year, its organizers have announced a date and lineup of speakers for year two.

The 2019 edition of TEDxNorthAdams will be held Feb. 2 at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Arts.

Speakers at the event — first announced in December — include many with local ties and the topics they cover will range from literacy to the impacts of water on community. The theme this year is "community."

"We all engage in communities in our own lives, and this year our speakers cover an incredible and diverse breadth of specific ideologies and experiences with their own defined `community,'" said Benjamin Lamb, one of the organizers.

The five-hour event allows a variety of hand-picked speakers to share, as the TED motto goes, "ideas worth spreading."

"North Adams is such a dynamic place that in itself is home to a broad spectrum of these individual and feathered communities, and we are a place where people have proven how they can come together in powerful ways," Lamb said.

TEDx talks are an offshoot of the popular TED Talks, spawned in California and made famous online throughout the world. The TEDx versions follow a similar formula, but are held in various cities and organized independently.

The event is coordinated by a core team of nine volunteers.

Speakers with obvious connections to North Adams include North Adams Public Schools Superintendent Barbara Malkas, who will discuss creating inclusive communities, and Lisa Donovan, an arts management professor at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, who will outline a "Berkshire Blueprint" for the county's future.

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Ty Allan Jackson, a Pittsfield-based children's author who campaigns for literacy, is also no stranger to Berkshire audiences.

Mark Stewart, a multi-instrumentalist who spends summers at Mass MoCA with Bang on a Can, will speak to the power of music. And dysFUNKcrew, a dance group consisting of MCLA alumni, will present their efforts to build community through dance.

The complete list of speakers is Donovan, Malkas, dysFUNKcrew, Hamza Farrukh, Craig Floyd, Kristen van Ginhoven, Jackson, Sewart, and Catherine Storing.

Speeches from last year's event can be seen on the TEDx Talks YouTube page. The speakers included State Sen. Adam Hinds, D-Pittsfield, and Julia Bowen, the former director of the Berkshire Arts and Technology Charter Public School in Adams.

The 2018 event was considered a success in many ways by its organizers, including in the speakers who were chosen and their engagement with the audience. This year, organizers have taken lessons into planning the 2019 event.

"We really learned how imperative strong mentorship leading up to the event is and have made great strides in engaging a larger coordinating team and cohort of mentors to give that high touch moment with our speakers," Lamb said.

Tickets are available in limited quality, according to organizers, at a cost of $45. They can be purchased at

Adam Shanks can be reached at, at @EagleAdamShanks on Twitter, or 413-629-4517.