TEDx Takes the Stage

Our Director of Marketing & Communications (and previous TEDxPortsmouth co-host), Monte Bohanan, spoke with this year’s co-hosts Kathleen & Emmett Soldati.

What is TEDxPortsmouth?

Emmett: It’s an opportunity to reach into the depths of your community, your neighborhood, your world and pull out people who you would have never known what makes them tick—what goes on in their head, what their values are, what they’ve committed their lives to. It’s a way of connecting with the psychic space of our cities on a level you won’t find interacting with folks at the grocery store or at work.

Kathleen: It’s a great coming together of the community for conversation about new ideas and actions.  

Tell us a little bit about yourselves and what brought you here to host?

Emmett: The Soldatis live by one rule—if you can do nothing else in this world, throw a good party. We’ve lived those values for three generations in Southern NH and we’re delighted to bring this to the Portsmouth stage.

Kathleen: A wonderful member of our community, Erika Beer, nominated us and we couldn’t be happier to be on The Music Hall stage for this.

What about hosting this event has you the most excited? Have you two come up with your Laurel and Hardy routine? 

Kathleen: I love being with Emmett. He’s such fun. When Emmett was around 8 years old, I had a green Chrysler LeBaron convertible and Emmett hopped in and said, “Mom, grab $20 and let’s go on an adventure.”

Emmett: It’s better than the story I was going to tell about how you saved me in our neighbor’s pool when I was three!

How does this event compare/compete on a national/international level? 

Emmett: Who cares? We’re going to have a ball!

Kathleen: My late brother Michael said that he spent several years thinking there was a party somewhere he hadn’t been invited to.  Then, he realized that he was the party. That’s how I think about Portsmouth and the Seacoast—we are the party.

Tell us more about the theme, “The Point of No Return,”  and what it means to you? 

Kathleen: It’s interesting that it has a WWII origin re: the point in flight where there literally isn’t enough fuel to go back and you have no choice but to continue to your destination.  

Emmett: For me, it has to do with an internal commitment and alignment of one’s intentions. A lot of us are always wandering through our work—searching and sort of moving through it all wondering when we’ll be ‘struck’ with meaning and purpose.  There comes a point where we recognize or come to agreement with ourselves that “this is what we’re going to do/this is what we’re going to focus on” we may have been doing a job or starting a project or working on an idea all along but you have a reckoning with the universe where you say—this is my direction.

Can you give us any sneak peeks into what talks or speakers you are most excited about?

Emmett: I’m most excited about Madison Person, the high school senior and artist. Her work is phenomenal and blows my mind that this work came out of a teenage brain. This is an “I knew her when” kind of feeling!!

Kathleen: I had never heard of a snow scientist and am looking forward to hearing Dr. Elizabeth Burakowski talk about what we can expect in the future for New Hampshire winters.