Downtown Brooklyn’s 5×10 Talks the place to hear ‘What’s Next’

Partnership expects sell-out crowds

April 21, 2015 By Mary Frost Brooklyn Daily Eagle
The second annual 5x10 Talks, a popular event showcasing innovation in Brooklyn, is coming up on May 6. Shown: Katherine Isbister, director of the NYU Game Innovation Lab, was one of the speakers at last year’s event. Photo by Kate Milford
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Five Brooklyn trailblazers in culture and technology will speak for 10 minutes each at the second annual 5×10 Talks, an event organized by the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership that showcases innovation in Brooklyn.

The topic of the talks, set for Wednesday, May 6 at 7:30 p.m. is “What’s Next?”

The 5×10 Talks sold out last year, “and we’re on track to sell out again,” Vivian Liao, director of marketing and strategic relationships for the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership told the Brooklyn Eagle.

“All the speakers have some kind of connection to Downtown Brooklyn, and it’s a great night of hearing in their own words what’s next for them,” she said.

This year’s speakers are:

Vishaan Chakrabarti, principal of SHoP Architects, which designed Barclays Center among other Brooklyn projects;

Will Dean, CEO and co-founder of Tough Mudder, a Downtown Brooklyn-based company which offers team-oriented obstacle courses;

Lexy Funk, CEO and co-founder of Brooklyn Industries, the lifestyle clothing and accessories retailer with 16 stores in three states, including one on Fulton Mall;

Bernice L. McFadden, author of nine critically-acclaimed novels and a Brooklyn native;

Garrett Oliver, the brewmaster for Brooklyn Brewery and one of the world’s foremost beer authorities.

Interspersed among the talks are performances by local cultural organizations, including Bang on a Can’s Asphalt Orchestra; a video presentation by BRIC; and writer and performance artist Najee Omar, presented by MoCADA.

The performance by the Asphalt Orchestra is “very timely,” Liao said, “since Bang on a Can’s co-founder Julia Wolfe just won a Pulitzer.”

Wolfe won the Pulitzer in music on Monday for her work “Anthracite Fields,” which the Pulitzer jury described as “a powerful oratorio for chorus and sextet evoking Pennsylvania coal-mining life around the turn of the 20th century.”

David Lang, another Bang on a Can co-founder, won a Pulitzer in 2008 for “The Little Match Girl Passion,” according to NPR.

Liao said the ensemble planned to experiment with some fun entrances at the 5×10 event “and surprise the audience as well.”

This year the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership has opened up VIP level tickets, Liao said. VIPs can attend a special pre-event reception to meet speakers and sponsors, and enjoy a tasting with food and drink provided by Hill Country Barbecue Market, Breuckelen Distilling and Brooklyn Brewery.

Brewmaster Garrett Oliver “will be there to answer questions about the beer,” Liao added.

The 5×10 Talks take place at BRIC in Downtown Brooklyn. VIP tickets are $100; program-only tickets are $75. Proceeds go toward supporting the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership’s free community events. For more information visit

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