Follow This, Speakers, TEDxColumbus

FOLLOW THIS: Denny Griffith

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DennyGriffithby DrewRobinson

by Ruth Milligan

Look around for that inspiration. Take it. And run with it.

These are the words of Denny Griffith, former President of CCAD and beloved arts leader, as he closed out his TEDx Columbus 2011 talk. Denny tragically passed away on Monday from cancer at the age of 63.

When I started TEDxColumbus in 2009, I reached out to Denny. He was really helpful in brainstorming the first year, the second year he then helped to host it at CCAD. Then came the third year. I started the planning by sending him this note:

Subject: YOU!
I wrote: You wanna take a stab at being a TEDxColumbus speaker this year? Back to what we discussed last year?
Minutes later he wrote: I’m in.

He and I spent the next months back and forth over his talk. It was both messy and cathartic for him, a fascinating journey for me. I learned about what a truly creative mind goes through in trying to be concise and being “done.” I found that the talk sought for a sense of balance, beauty and justice, just as his life had.

After watching his talk again, I felt moved to transcribe it and wanted to share his complete words with each of you as a tribute. I remember he toiled over it and deeply wanted it to be beautiful and inspiring, reflective and authentic. I’m sure you’d agree he achieved all of that and more. Not just with his talk, but with his life.

Let us be ever inspired by his eloquent words, his immeasurable actions, and his splendid legacy.

Rest in peace, Denny. And thank you for your remarkable binary gifts to our community.

Transcription of Denny Griffith’s TEDxColumbus Talk
Video of Denny Talk 

Celebrate Denny’s life with his family and CCAD at the Canzani Center (60 Cleveland Ave.) today, Friday Jan 22, from 4 to 7 p.m.

Illustration by Drew Robinson