Emily Curtis

Emily Curtis is a soulful singer-songwriter with a captivating southern flair. Since bursting onto the local music scene in 2015, she has enchanted audiences with her guitar skills and smooth vocals, following in her father’s footsteps. With a crowd-funded EP and a collection of singles under her belt, Emily’s tracks have been signed to sync catalogs for prestigious publishers including Concord Music Publishing and Koze Music.

Emily wowed audiences at the Charleston Spiegeltent alongside Grammy winning artists Charlton Singleton and Quiana Parler, and performed at the Riverfront Revival music festival curated by Darius Rucker in October 2023. Her all-female band caught the attention of Garden and Gun Magazine, leading to a feature in the magazine’s online performance series, “Back Porch Sessions”.

She is committed to fostering a healthy creative community and is a proud co-founder of “Sisters In Song,” a group dedicated to empowering women in the Charleston music scene.

LB Adams

Back for her 3rd stint as Emcee of TEDxCharleston, LB brings her dynamic style, wit and insights to keep the show moving along. LB was a popular 2019 TEDxCharleston speaker, and spoke most recently at DisruptHR Charleston. She is the CEO of Practical Dramatics, a communication training company that builds better teams by building better conversations.

Cookie Washington

Cookie Washington, our 2024 featured artist, is an artist, curator and folklorist. Cookie led a sold-out art quilting presentation at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture in 2023. She has been invited back in March of 2024 to teach two classes at the NMAAHC. In addition to her ongoing studio art practice, she has curated & produced exhibitions.

Taiko Charleston

Taiko drumming is a Japanese musical art form grounded in core aspects of the martial arts, dance and percussion. Since 2009, when the first group of students gathered under the direction of Tracy Bush, a diverse community of drummers have emerged to make music and honor the roots of the art form. Having grown in popularity in Charleston and the southeast, it has been rewarding to keep up with the interest within the area and numerous requests for performances, workshops, residencies and artistic collaboration.

Manny Houston

South Carolina native Manny Houston, and his Boom Bap Crew – Alex Kellner, Lee Barbour and JT Rollerson – will amaze you with their unique brand of hip hop improv – showcasing what it takes to keep the music and poetry flowing. A classically trained pianist who recently completed a tour with an improv comedy hip hop troupe started by Hamilton creator Lin Manuel Miranda, Houston is gaining a loyal fan base here and across the country.

Peter Kfoury

Peter Kfoury has brought the concept of the American melting pot to life through his music. Of Lebanese descent, Peter immersed in his songs the influences of jazz, pop, blues and even funk along with his Middle Eastern/North African roots. At TEDxCharleston, Peter will play “Lucia” one of his original compositions that honors an Italian immigrant friend that lived to be 100 years old. Peter will perform on the oud, an instrument that is regarded as the grandfather of the guitar and that is still the principal instrument in many countries. In addition, TEDxChalreston will be the world premiere of his new music video Mussawat which honors women’s equality and equality in general. Featuring Jamaican American singer Audrey Martells, this song and video help us to see the beauty of the human experience.

Dr. Jeannelle Perkins-Muhammad

Dr. Jeannelle Perkins-Muhammad, a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist Supervisor with two decades of experience addressing the systemic racism that impacts the mental and emotional health of Black couples. She holds a BA in organizational communications, a Masters degree in marriage and family therapy, and a Ph.D. in counselor education and supervision. The author of, Into-Me-See, her work navigates the complexities of the psychological effects of racism, offering insights and solutions for overcoming the challenges that contribute to high divorce rates among Black families.

Stephanie Mackara

Originally from Philadelphia, Stephanie Mackara has lived in Charleston for 13 years and is the owner of Charleston Investment Advisors, LLC where she helps clients build healthier financial habits and stay accountable to their goals. Drawing from her own personal struggle with financial scarcity, Stephanie’s insights challenge us to flip the script and rethink our relationship with money, advocating for a holistic integration of financial health into our overall well-being.

Amber Ludeman

Amber Ludeman, co-founder of Matchstick Social, Charleston’s leading social marketing firm, believes it’s never been more important to strengthen the art of how we relate to one another at work. Her journey as a remote worker pre-pandemic has fueled her desire to help others see what has been lost as in-person work relationships fall to the wayside. She points out that culture can’t truly exist when no one is relational. Amber’s talk highlights the profound need to master the art of relationships to thrive in every aspect of our lives.

Kubby Culbreth

Kubby Culbreth, founder of Stop Light Observations and Wide Awake Life Coaching, has lived a life many only dream of. As a young musician, he performed to sell-out crowds nationwide, collaborating with stars like Ed Sheeran. But he still searched for happiness. He also experienced a profound journey into mental health advocacy following a personal tragedy, which inspired his exploration into the radical difference between joy and happiness. He has learned that becoming comfortable with the uncomfortable is essential and challenges us with the notion that replacing one simple word can empower and motivate modern youth in this comparison-driven digital age.