I watched my first TED Talk my freshman year of college in my Intro to Design class, and have been addicted to the curiosity inducing talk sessions ever since. Last Friday was a night that I never thought I would be a part of. True to its name, it was a night that I was reawakened through the words of successes, failures, compassion and wisdom.

Every time I have watched a TED Talk video, I noticed the people in the audience with their TED lanyards and wondered what they did for a living that gave them the golden ticket to be an audience member. It was last week at the TEDxUMN Reawaken that I discovered the golden ticket belongs to the general public, no specified occupation required.

WAM Collective had several pieces of art at the event from the Weisman Art Museum’s art rental program. The small collection at the event was chosen by the TEDxUMN team, which drew on themes of rediscovery.

As I sat in the audience at Northrop waiting for the first speaker to take the stage, I felt as though I was on a plane getting ready for takeoff. The destination was a place of stories kept alive by the lessons learned of the people who lived it.

The narratives of the night left me inspired and reflective of my own. Through Sona Mehring’s observations of the power of human connectedness to Charles McJilton’s eloquent lesson of living your values, I felt empowered in a way that reawakened my mind, my body and my soul to the possibilities of the life that I am living.

I encourage you to go to a TED Talk in your lifetime and catch one of 2,100+ online. The stories of others and the words spoken in between have the power to reawaken. Grab the golden ticket to this ride that overflows with inspiration of the world.


Layna Mestad I’m a senior majoring in Strategic Communications with a focus on Art History and Museum Studies. I’m Minnesota born and raised and am a lover of the north shore and antique shops. I love to find a quiet corner amidst the hustle and bustle of the Twin Cities to curl up and read a book, most likely about the happenings of the sixties. Art and history make me intrigued in the world that surrounds me. I will forever be a student to that fascinating combination. I am so excited to be a part of WAM and promote this museum to the university community and beyond.



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