Sounds of Change
Tom Heath: Good morning Tucson. It’s a beautiful Sunday in the Old Pueblo. Thank you for spending a part of your brunch our with us on your downtown Tucson Community sponsored rock and roll radio station this week. We’re going to finish our two-part series with Dre Vocal and Jessica Susskind, the director and co-director of the TENWEST Impact Festival.
Tom Heath: Each and every Sunday our focus is on social cultural and economic impacts in Tucson’s Urban core and we shed light on hidden gems everyone should know about. From A Mountain to the U of A and all stops in between, you get the inside track right here on 99.1 FM streaming on DowntownRadio.org also available on your iPhone or Android by using our very own radio app. Just head over to your iPhone store there or the The Google play and download Downtown Radio Tucson. Take us wherever you go. If you want to get us on the show. Our email is [email protected] interact with us on Facebook at Life along the streetcar and follow us on Twitter at streetcar life.
Tom Heath: Well today is November 10th. My name is Tom Heath and you are listening to Life Along the Streetcar. And we start today’s show with music to my ears. As we are speaking The Dusk Music Festival is preparing for its third and final day of 2019. If you recall last year from our interview with Paige Rep, one of the founders of the Dusk Music Festival. It’s this annual Music and Arts Festival that’s held at Armory Park and its goal is to really bring a different type of music into our community, they’re going to have all kinds throughout the weekend.
Tom Heath: They had all kinds of music rock, indie, hip hop, electronic, dance music and their goal is a very inclusive day of music and art it’s all enclosed Armory Park. They got food all kinds of things going on there, and I’m sure they’ve got some tickets left if you want to sneak in for the last day here. It’ll be over I think around 10 o’clock this evening.
Tom Heath: Well that got me thinking about music in Tucson and coincidentally, I was out at 191 Toole last week. I think it was Wednesday. There’s some bands in from LA who I had never heard of but I thought I would go check them out and I ran into our station manager there Jason Lavallee and he asked me if my time on Downtown Radio had broadened my musical horizons?
Tom Heath: If I’d been learning more because I’m not a music guy. I enjoy music, but the DJ’s on the station, they know their stuff. They know their genre. They know their artists, they kind of these in-depth conversations and I’m not that guy. I enjoy it, but I don’t know a lot about it and kind of caught me off guard with that question and I’m thinking, it’s been over two years.
Tom Heath: Some of that has to have rubbed off and when I came to realize is that what I’ve really learned most about music in those last couple of years is about Tucson music and it part of it is because of what we play here on the show are on the station, but also because of the interviews of gotten to do on the show itself.
Tom Heath: So that you know, it got me excited to think about, you know, a few years ago. I did not know some of the bands that I know now and I didn’t know of how cool some of the venue’s were that we have in Tucson, but I’m wondering what your thoughts are on our music scene. So I’m going to put a little call out there and we’ll post some things on Facebook and ask for feedback, like to know what you think about Tucson’s music scene.
Tom Heath: Is it getting better? Is it is it getting stronger? To me it is but that could just be because I’m, my Eyes are open and them a little bit more awakened to to what’s happening and I’ve been to a few concerts at 191 tool where they brought in some really good acts from different parts of the country the course you’ve got Rialto. Those are the larger venues The Rock but we also have those smaller venues, you know box yard has a place chaise lounge the Sky Bar. What is your favorite location to hear music and what are some of your favorite bands that you would like to hear? So keep an eye out for our Facebook polls and give us some feedback.
Tom Heath: So we’d like to feature a little bit more about some of those artists and locations in our show. Let’s get into our feature today. We got a good one. We’re wrapping up here today.
Tom Heath: We are finishing up our two-part feature with Dre vocal and Jessica Susskind the director and co-director of the TENWEST Impact Festival which just wrapped up a couple of weeks ago last week in part 1 we talked about the preparation for 2019 kind of what this debrief period looks like as Things have wrapped up got a little bit of history with Dre and Jessica’s to how they came to this festival and a little bit about what the festival’s achieved over the last five years.
Tom Heath: Today’s interview is more specific about some key moments from this year’s impact Festival. It’s a 10-day event. So we certainly had more than just a handful of key moments, but we’re going to put them on the spot and kind of pick their brains a little bit about what they found interesting and then what’s that going to To lead to in coming years. So once again, it’s a Dre vocal and Jessica second with attend West impact Festival.
Dre Vocal: My name is Dre vocal on the festival director of TENWEST on through Startup Tucson. I’m also the program director at Startup Tucson parent.
Jessica Susskind: My name is Jessica and I’m the co-director of the festival and I’m a program manager for festivals and community outreach at the University of Arizona.
Tom Heath: Was there take away to another all your favorite. You can’t name your favorite kid, but what was the takeaway was there one that you were just so pleased that it came off the way it did.
Jessica Susskind: Um, so one for me that was like a surprising one that this one stood out was branding your Brew at Thunder Canyon Brewery and I was in partnership with some different breweries around town and the artist and the Brewers got up on stage and talk together about the process they use to take a beer from the Hops and then give it a packaging in a design and tell a story and that event to me was like really we moving because it was very Tucson. like those beers.
Jessica Susskind: I mean their brewed here and most of those brewers grew up here and just hearing them and how they take these like random hops from wherever and how they tie the design to tie it back to the city and tell this story and maybe I connected to that because I’m a Beer Drinker but that event it was kind of it was smaller because there was only so much room, but there were still about 50 people there and that the energy in that room was like very engaged and people like really wanted to listen to this story that I feel like doesn’t get told a lot.
Jessica Susskind: I’ve never even thought very much. About a beer can in like how it came about. So for me, that one was like surprising that of the 10 days that part stands out to me a lot.
Dre Vocal: For me, it was the son of the Mayor Symposium. I felt like I was totally inspired by the mayor from Pittsburgh and he told his story about he became the mayor of Pittsburgh when you know, people had written Pittsburgh off, you know, there were no jobs. There was no young hipsters.
Dre Vocal: There was nothing going on and it was was kind of the way he said it was like it was almost lights out on Pittsburgh and so he kind of tells the story about how they really kind of clawed their way back and now they are a tech Hub and there’s all sorts of happy things happening in the creative spaces there and the entrepreneurial spaces and young people are flocking there because of their food in their culture and all different things. So for me, that was really inspiring story to see what were the steps in like tactic. How do you make that happen?
Dre Vocal: He talked about collaboration he talked about dreaming big he talked about really pushing through those barriers of you know, oh, this is my thing. And that’s your thing. And we’re not going to you know, we can’t that competitiveness that sometimes can bring communities down and he just said we just pushed and we push and we work together and we leveraged and we made it happen and for me, that’s really exciting.
Dre Vocal: I mean Tucson has an Arizona has had some hard times in. Our past and we’ve had a communities that have not worked well together. We’ve had some real Financial struggles and I just am so excited by the place that we’re at now as a community because I feel like collaboration is such a heart of what we’re doing and this process of working with 60 different organizations is like difficult and exciting and awesome. And I feel like when he said that I was I was like, that’s what we’re trying to do with this Festival.
Dre Vocal: We are we’re making a play to set a new model for cities like like Tucson and what we can do and and it felt really powerful this year to have so many different organizations and sponsors and people that I really admire get involved and sort of catch that Vision with us, you know, this is this is something that could really shine a national spotlight on Tucson.
Jessica Susskind: Ali burns from Village Capital and DC was the keynote at idea funding and she talked a lot about financing for non-traditional entrepreneurs and for women and minority entrepreneurs and this woman. From the South Side who was there solely because she won a raffle like she didn’t buy her ticket to the festival. She won a raffle that got her an all-inclusive passport. She attended a couple days of the festival and she did everything. Yeah. I was there every day. Yeah soaking in everything. Yeah.
Jessica Susskind: She raise your hand to ask a legal question and instead of asking her questions. She just thanked her and said I’m from the south side of Tucson, and we don’t get recognized a lot, but I’m an entrepreneur and there’s other entrepreneurs in our area and we would love to be able to work with you and thank you for coming and letting us I know that there’s a place for us to be worked with and like the fact that we made this festival and allowed that to happen for that.
Jessica Susskind: One person was like beautiful to see and is like really like visual interpretation of the collaboration. That is 10 West and like we want people like that women to have their voice heard and be at our table and be a part of this because it’s Tucson’s TENWEST is Tucson’s it’s not ours. It’s two songs.
Dre Vocal: Startup Tucson was the organization that initially was house. Is this in sort of launched it and and it was really designed to solve a couple of problems that as in our work with entrepreneurs. We’re continuing to sort of butt up against sort of these mythologies that oh, there’s no talent in Tucson. Oh, there’s no financing in Tucson. Oh, there’s nothing there’s no opportunities.
Dre Vocal: There’s no, you know these sort of like naysaying and so it was like, well, we got to change the narrative here because that’s simply not the case there and a festival like 10 West really draws out of the Works these incredible talented people that have maybe not really known how to engage with Tucson or haven’t been in a clique that made sense or it was very siloed.
Dre Vocal: So it wasn’t sure how to, you know connect in Innovation really happens when you get that cross discipline that cross-pollination that’s where really interesting solutions are made is when you’re really getting people in conversation that are not necessarily in each other space but draw from each other’s experience and expertise.
Tom Heath: We are in our final part of our two-part series with Dre Vocal and Jessica Susskind of the TENWEST Impact Festival will be back to the completion of that interview in just a moment, but I want to remind you that you are listening to Life along the streetcar on Downtown Radio 99.1 FM and available for streaming on Downtown Radio.org.
Tom Heath: We are back to finish up our interview here on the TENWEST Impact Festival this last segment here. We’re going to hear about some of the the people that have made it happen how participants have converted from attending to volunteering and supporting and some other key members in the community that have really stepped up to make the TENWEST Impact Festival as impactful in our community as it can be.
Dre Vocal: So that’s how the festival started but it started, you know, five years ago was like 700 people this year. We’re still tallying up the final numbers, but I think we’re close to 12,000 which is really really exciting. I feel like all year leading up to the festival. We were saying build it and they will come and they did.
Jessica Susskind: And to me that’s what success is and that’s been that was cool. So, I remember that very moment and a guy from last year. She’s from Pima Community College and she came up and she was like, how do I get involved? And then she took the Science and Technology day and ran with it and it was a really powerful conference. And then also we’re really able to Loop in Pima Community College in a new way and they came in at a huge level as a supporter and a sponsor and we’re able to really talk about the ways that they’re thinking about. Out Workforce Development. That’s that’s really Innovative and exciting.
Jessica Susskind: So that’s like the person who came had a vision and then was able to create something that was really exciting that we would not have been able to do on our own.
Tom Heath: You can tell a lot about Community Support by who shows up not just with their money, but who spends their time and I was at the kickoff event that room was filled with it was like for me like baseball. See all these people start asking for autographs.
Tom Heath: So many influential people into something straight all in one room that wanted to be there enjoying the conversations from the local and National Speakers. I think that when you have that Synergy in a room and those people that believe in what you’re doing and then you have the energy of individuals like yourselves. It’s just that it’s a very powerful thing to think about 5 years from now. Now the exponential leap year.
Dre Vocal: Well what’s exciting to is it’s very multi-generational as well. I think when they won the festival first started there was a belief that it was. Oh, it’s just for those young kids, you know doing so, you know, but really is we’re looking at the demographics. It’s actually a great spread. We have like a ton of students that came we have a ton of young professionals that were that are involved.
Dre Vocal: We have a bunch of you know, leaders and CEOs and you know thought leaders that are Mid to late career as well. So that was really exciting for me to see that there was a really great spread and then we’re really trying to understand the demographics to something. I’ve said before as we really want to increase the diversity of the attendees and this year. We saw that happen a lot that we have a we had a Festival attendance. It was actually much more reflective of of our community at large and we want to continue to push that forward.
Jessica Susskind: We’re really trying to think about continuing to push up the level and the experience that attendees are going to be having. Being from start to finish and really breaking it down into the stories because we find that really critical because it is so big we want to find ways to make it accessible and easy to navigate for attendees. I think that’s a big challenge is people just look at it and you’re like, oh my gosh a hundred events.
Jessica Susskind: I don’t even know how to start so we want to break it down and make it easier for people to understand how they can get involved and really make sure that they know that there’s a place for them.
Dre Vocal: Yeah and one thing that I just want to add that I think it’s funny. So in this whole conversation, we haven’t said the word impact at all. So we’ve talked about what ten west days and why we do it and what we’ve accomplished with it and where it’s going but ten west is an impact festival and all those things that we were talking about that we want to accomplish. I think it’s funny that we never use that word. But that’s what we’re doing.
Dre Vocal: We’re making an impact with this festival and I’m really excited to see how much more of an impact will be able to make next year and throughout the year. We’re going to be documenting things like you’re saying impact that came because of the festival so companies that were started Partnerships that were developed. Developed, you know new collaborations that came of it.
Dre Vocal: We have some really exciting news from some announcements that were pure enough with that were launched from this year. And we’re going to continue to track those throughout the year so that you can stay engaged throughout the year and see kind of sort of how you know, open up the process and transparency about what’s developing and how we’re reaching and who’s getting involved. So we want everyone to follow along to our blog and continue to update that our social media TENWEST is on Facebook and Instagram and Twitter and so that you can really be a part of shaping the 2020 as well.
Tom Heath: Dre vocal and Jessica Susskind very kind with their time talking about the ten west impact Festival. They are the director and co-director respectively that is not the last we are going to hear of the ten west Festival on the show, but we are looking forward to diving into some of the specific collaborations and specific results as they come out through out the next year.
Tom Heath: My name is Tom Heath and you are listening to Life along the streetcar on Downtown Radio 99.1 FM and available for streaming on Downtown Radio dot-org.
Tom Heath: Well, today is November 10th making tomorrow November 11th. And that is Veterans Day. The 100th annual Veterans Day Parade will take place tomorrow morning staging starts around 8 a.m. The festivities will the event will take place right there in the corner of Granada and Alameda around around the City Hall area, that’s the starting point there.
Tom Heath: But at 11 a.m. Is when the parade will actually take place. And if you’ve been to this in the past, they have Veterans of every era represented in some fashion and go all the way back to our colonial days leading the parade there. So if you’re going to head out, it’s November 11th tomorrow morning 11:00 a.m. And should be wrapped up fairly quickly. It’s not a huge route. You just kind of goes around that’s Square their Stone and back over to Granada and we’ll wrap up.
Tom Heath: But we did want to mention that the Vietnam Veterans Traveling Memorial is in Tucson. It’s not inside of our normal footprint, but given that tomorrow is Veterans Day and the parade is taking place. We did also want to make sure that you are aware that the world’s largest Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial Wall is in Tucson.
Tom Heath: It just got here last Wednesday on the 6th. And then it will be at the Casino Del Sol until tomorrow the 11th. So it’s here for a short time if you want to check it out. A head over to Casino Del Sol after you hit the parade.
Tom Heath: And if you’re looking for supporting veterans and you’d like to golf we’re going to link to an event for Honor Flight Southern Arizona. They have a tournament tomorrow morning for raising funds and again not inside of our footprint but in the spirit of Veterans Day wanted to make sure you’re aware of those. So if you head over to our Facebook page after the show, we’ll have links to all of that for you.
Tom Heath: Oh my goodness gracious. Is it going to be a busy year end for us want to take a few minutes here and kind of prime the pump and get you excited about the things that we see coming down the line. We interviewed Stevie Rose a couple of weeks ago and she talked about her connections through Black Renaissance and we’ll be interviewing a Sean Louis.
Tom Heath: Sean Louis is the the founder kind of the the force behind Black Renaissance. So we have an interview with him coming up. In the past, we’ve talked about Tucson as a city of gastronomy. Well, we’ve got some details coming your way. We’ve got Jason Mabry who is heading that up here in Tucson and he’ll be joined by Janos. He is the, Janos was very very influential and important in the city of gastronomy process that we have underway. He will be on on the show with Jason Mabry. We have so much more. There’s something else.
Tom Heath: Oh, yeah, we have Autumn Ackman. She is a faculty member at the University of Arizona’s school of dance. So we’re going to get some insight into what’s happening at that school and a premiere of a play of a dance that she created and we’ll get the story behind that and talk a little about the program at the University of Arizona.
Tom Heath: UArizona, I think is what I’m supposed to say now, and I don’t know if you caught it, but the U of A made an announcement recently that they are going for search engine optimization by moving away from U of A to UArizona, and that caught the attention of some comedians on Saturday Night Live who took it and ran with it a little bit of a little bit of a fun humorous way and you can Find those things on online. There’s just Google the Saturday Night Live you Arizona fun stuff. We like to make the news every now and then and I guess that’s that’s a good way to do it.
Tom Heath: And then finally some upcoming news the Parade of Lights. It’s moved up this year. Normally, it’s in December, but it’s going to be in a couple of weeks. It’s on November 30th the Saturday after Thanksgiving. So that’s Saturday and last Your had been the tree lighting ceremony, small business Saturday. Those things are still taking place.
Tom Heath: My understanding is that Mayor Rothschild’s last official act in office could be lighting of the Christmas tree at Jacome Plaza on November 30th. Santa will be there. And as you imagine, it will be a festive occasion and it will roll into the Parade of Lights that will happen a little bit later on that evening. Everything starts around 5:30 – 6 o’clock and should be wrapped up by eight or nine.
Tom Heath: My understanding is that the parade is a little bit shorter this year. So they don’t have the many vehicles a lot of congestion last year, but they are expecting it to be a very well done in organized event. So again all that’s happening on November 30th. The Saturday after Thanksgiving and that should coincide with our ice skating rink. I have not heard an update. But if you remember with the Rio Nuevo invested in an ice skating rink, that should get here sometime around Thanksgiving and get installed and will be in place from soon after Thanksgiving through New Year’s day with skating that’s going to be in that Plaza in front of the Martin Luther King building there across from Congress Hotel Congress.
Tom Heath: All kinds of stuff coming up. So stay tuned. And as always we encourage you to let us know the things that we should be talking about things. We should be sharing those hidden gems that you know about that. You think everyone else should know about you get us on our email [email protected] you can hit us up on Facebook Life along the streetcar and on Twitter at StreetcarLife
Tom Heath: Specifically, we’re like Information about music and venues so that we can do a little bit of a study on that and do some features got some cool things coming up and hope you will add to that list. Well, one of those local bands that I’m getting to learn about is the Sugar Stains and several members of the Sugar Stains have created a Black Sabbath tribute band called Snatch Sabbath and they had a debut just a couple of weeks ago and I happened to be there is a fun little concert.
Tom Heath: They don’t have any music out as Snatch Sabbath. So I pulled something from the Sugar Stains and you’re going to be listening here too Fast Girl from the sugar stains. Lots of information today. Myname is Tom Heath. You are listening to Life Along the Streetcar. We’re on Downtown Radio 99.1 FM streaming on Downtown Radio dot-org have a fantastic week into next Sunday for more news in the urban core.