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Trail Talks Open Mic Night

Trail Talks Open Mic: Tales from the Wild

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 To close out the year, we are handing the mic to you for a special Trail Talks Open Mic event on Thursday, December 14, 6:30-7:30 PM! 

This is where we get to hear from you, yes you! Are you a hiker, backpacker, or outdoor enthusiast? Are you passionate about birding, wildflowers, nature photography, or some other aspect of nature? Surprise us!

We want to hear about your amazing discoveries and treks. You don't necessarily need to be an expert on the subject, just as long as it's something you're passionate about. 

Some of the best hiking and backpacking talks are those that are simply a mix of armchair travel for the audience, good stories, and tips for people who might want to do a similar trip. And some of the best natural history related talks are those that help us appreciate the beauty of a particular aspect of nature, learn a thing or two about it, and hear what got you interested in it.

Presenters will have up to 8 minutes (about 20 slides) to share their stories and pictures. If you have a compelling talk without slides, let us know. 

Please review the frequently asked questions below and submit the online application by Saturday, November 25, and SBPL librarian Paige Sundstrom and Trail Talks partner James Wapotich will contact you to confirm your presentation.

To apply to present at the Trail Talks Open Mic click this link: Trail Talks Open Mic Sign Up

Learn more about the Trail Talks Open Mic here:

What kind of topics can we present on?

Almost anything hiking, backpacking, trails, and nature related. Maybe you’ve done an epic trek and have some great stories and images to share. Maybe you’re passionate about wildflowers, butterflies, foraging, geology, or some other aspect of natural history. Many of our presentation were presented virtually during the pandemic and are recorded on the SBPL YouTube channel, so you can see the wide variety of topics we’ve explored.

Local is great, particularly in terms of natural history. And there are also a lot of great places to explore around California, or the south west, or even around the world. Maybe you’ve done a great trek in the Sierras, or Arizona, or South America.  

Not sure if your idea fits? Just submit it, and we will review all of the entries. If something sounds intriguing but unclear we can follow up with you.

Who can participate?

We want to highlight the community's interests and experiential knowledge! You don't necessarily need to be an expert on the subject, just as long as it's something you're passionate about. Meaning for someone to participate in the open mic event, you don't need to have a specific title, degree, or number of years of experience in order to share with the community. And if you do, we also want to hear from you! 

What is the selection process?

All entries must be submitted via the online application no later than Saturday, November, 25th. Here is where you want to describe your topic and presentation in a way that summarizes what it will be about and why you’re passionate about it. Presentations need to be 6-8 minutes in length. Entries will be reviewed by SBPL librarian Paige Sundstrom and Trail Talks partner James Wapotich. Selection in part will aim to bring together a diverse group of speakers and topics. We're limited in the number of people we can choose, but we plan to host another open mic in 2024. If we don’t have enough time to accommodate everyone, we’ll choose topics for maximum variety. 

Those selected will be notified no later than Friday, December 1st. If selected, we ask that you agree to send us your slideshow presentation 2 business days before the scheduled event, so we can compile all presentations in one slide deck. 

Where and when can I attend the Trail Talks Open Mic?

The event will be Thursday, December 14, 6:30-7:30 PM,  in the Santa Barbara Public Library’s Faulkner Gallery, 40 East Anapamu St. The library has a full set up for presentations, including projector screen, speakers, and microphone.  

Still have questions?

Email us psundstrom@santabarbaraca.gov and jwapotich@yahoo.com

About Trail Talks: Trail Talks is a monthly series of public education talks about exploring the natural world for outdoor enthusiasts organized by Santa Barbara Public Library with support from James Wapotich. In addition to discussion of trails near and far, we feature speakers on the ecology, geology, and history for naturalists of all types.