National Geographic Live series to make Palladium debut


National Geographic magazine has been an educational tool through its photos and storytelling for more than 130 years.

“The brand is about illuminating and protecting the wonder of our world,” said Timo Gorner, vice president of the National Geographic Live series. “That is the mission of the brand. Nat Geo Live is connected to that mission. It’s about our storytellers. Many of them are photographers or explorers standing on a physical stage and talking about their respective line of expertise. It could be a marine biologist, an archeologist, or it could be a space scientist or anthropologist and they have fascinating stories to tell from the field about their own scientific work that they do.”

The National Geographic Live touring series will feature three presentations at the Palladium at the Center for the Performing Arts in the 2022-23 season. It’s the first time the series has been held at the Palladium. Before each evening event, there will be free presentations for high school students that morning. 

The National Geographic Live series will open with “Brian Skerry: Secrets of the Whales” at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 15 at the Palladium at the Center for the Performing Arts in Carmel. Skerry has spent nearly 40 years exploring and documenting the ocean.

The other two National Geographic Live Series shows during the 2022-23 season feature paleontologist “Lindsay Zanno: T. Rex Rises,” Feb. 21, 2023, and “Filipe DeAndrade: Untamed,” April 25, 2023. DeAndrade is a wildlife filmmaker and conservationist who shares what it’s like to come face to face with wild animals.

Gorner said the speakers also discuss leadership, perseverance and resilience. 

“They talk about how they got into their field and the obstacles they had to overcome,” he said. “It’s a full package of fascinating topics often related to the natural world and how we perfect it and the beauty of it. I liken it a little bit to the National Geographic version of a TED Talk. You have an expert on the stage who in a very engaging fashion talks about their field or topic.”

Gorner said large projections of visuals are in the background.

“We are known for the visual vibrancy of our storytelling,” Gorner said. “We’ll have photographs and video taken by experts on stage, and many are photographers or videography training, or they picked up the skills along the way.”

Gorner said this is the 26th year of the speaker series. It has evolved through the years with massive technology advances.

“It goes back to the inception of the National Geographic Society in 1888. The idea was, ‘Let’s go out in the world and explore this planet,” he said. “It was originally a club by invitation only. Even then, there was an idea that when we come back to (Washington, D.C.), we share the stories that we found in the field with each other.”

The first National Geographic was published that same year as a scholarly journal and soon became a magazine.

“In a way, Nat Geo Live is the modern-day extension of that,” Gorner said.

Gorner said three speakers coming to the Palladium have very different stories.

“But what they have in common is a pretty compelling way to share their stories,” Gorner said. “Brian Skerry is a legend in that field. He’s a National Geographic photographer and along the way he picked up videography and filmmaking skills. He is a visual storyteller par excellence. Lindsay is a classic scientist who goes out in the field and discovers pretty amazing things of what happened 80, 90 million years ago. She picked up visual storytelling skills along the way. She is new to our speaker roster and a fantastic addition. Filipe talks about his life story, growing up in poverty, his resilience and how relating to wildlife helped him as he was growing up. He’s very relatable and inspiring.”

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