In this episode, I sit down and chat with writer, former border patrol agent, and author of The Line Becomes A River, Francisco Cantu. We discuss his journey toward becoming an agent, what he experienced, and how his perception of what goes on with immigration at the border changed over time. Francisco details border patrol culture, his relationship with his mother, and the nature of evil among many other things.
In this episode, flamenco dancer Mele Martinez and I discuss what flamenco is, how it brought us together, and why we do it. We provide history, including our own journies toward becoming professional dancers, as well as walking the listener through what it's like to be in a flamenco dance company. Finally, we plug our upcoming show at Exo Coffee on May 6th, 2018.
In this episode I sit down and introduce a woman who will be a reoccurring guest....Ryann Grove! Ryann talks about having come to Tucson from Atlanta, and the challenges she faced in finding culture beyond the chain stores and mini-malls. Through her exploration of Tucson's food scene, she became convinced that there is a side of Tucson many do not end up experiencing. Ryann talks about places she's come across and what's good about them!
In this episode I sit down in South Tucson at the Dancing In the Streets ballet studio with owner/instructor, Joey Rodgers. Joey is an African-American native to Tucson and recalls amazing stories of finding ballet, and then trouble, and then ballet again. After a stint in the prison system as a young man, Joey offers insights that make him invaluable to the Tucson community as an artist and a person.
In this episode, I sit down with Tina Vavages-Andrew, the host of Cultivating Indigenous Voices and Tohono O'odham Young Voices podcasts. We discuss her experience growing up in the Tucson area and her perspective on Tucson's history as a Native woman. We also discuss the unique experience the Tohno O'odham have with the U.S. - Mexican border given that it runs right through the middle of the reservation. Tina gives us a more in depth historical look at what Shuck'son once was and why it is the way it is today.
In this episode, I sit down with digital artist and long time Tucson resident, Daniel Buckley. Once a journalist for the Tucson Citizen, Dan has produced and documented art and culture in Tucson since 1971. We discuss Tucson's collective character, its resilience through different "urban development" projects, and its wholly unique "personality." Dan describes his documentary in the making, The Mariachi Miracle, a film chronicling the incredibly positive social impact of mariachi youth programs in Tucson schools. Overall, he provides an optimistic view on Tucson's future for those of us who feel skeptical about changes coming in from the outside.
In this episode I sit down over coffee and Alvernon Doughnuts with Jenny Bell, a friend who has a lot to say and teach us as a culturally rich American society. We discuss her upbringing, her journey to settling down in Tucson, and her experience as a biracial woman learning to feel comfortable in her skin. We discuss the challenges and importance of becoming vulnerable in sharing our stories as we look to understand and be understood.
In this episode I discuss the importance of having principles in our lives, particularly when it comes to choosing where to live, where to work, and how we treat others. Should we sell our houses just to turn profit? Or is there something more important about keeping an area affordable for others? Should I work for an organization whose values do not match up well with mine, even if it pays well? Should I distance myself from friends whose values greatly differ from mine? I suggest a way to make answering these questions "easier."
In this episode I discuss what constitutes a community from my perspective. There is often talk about the need for thriving communities and participation in them, and I agree. Where I depart a bit from the current popular way of creating community is the idea that we can will it into existence with technology and hard work. Community entails investment of time and being patient for something lasting to truly come about.
In this episode I discuss what I learned recently having graduated with a Masters of Communication from Northern Arizona University. I talk about the unique challenges we face when we don't have sufficient information or know someone who does. I talk about why it's better to charge headlong into uncertainty than to remain certain in our own stagnanation.
In this episode I reveal the results of an Ancestry DNA test I took recently. There were some surprises, and the results caused me to consider that the ways in which we identify by "ethnicity" are really more about culture and appearance. I suggest how this way of seeing identity should shape how we interact with the whole of humanity.
This special episode features my wife, Mele Martinez, with whom I discuss a recent controversy over what some refer to as White Evangelicalism. Hip-hop artist, Lecrae, recently began moving away from identifying as a Christian in that specific context and has instead opted to look at a form of Christianity that allows for multiple cultural expressions in the American church. The decision generated articles from high-profile pastoral figures such as John Piper and has added something to the overall discourse that both Mele and I have wanted to address for a long time.
In this episode I examine violence as an innate part of who we are as human beings. I acknowledge the death and destruction that comes with it, but suggest reasons we should not seek to rid ourselves of it completely. It is struggle and risk and absolutely necessary. We would not have made it to this place we enjoy without it.
In this episode, I critique an event unique to Tucson, AZ: The All Souls Procession. I discuss it's similarity to Dia De Los Muertos (Day of The Dead) in Puebla, MX and suggest it may represent a borrowing of culture done the wrong way. I analyze the Facebook page for the event and discuss what the marketing strategies may be for the organization that holds the event.
In this episode, I talk about why art isn't safe. It has become disturbing to observe how ideological groups have engaged in creating art while simultaneously censoring art they don't like. I tell the story of a poetry event I recently attended where we were encouraged to talk to management if anything that was said "triggered" (or offended) us. I discuss why I'm against the idea that those observing art can talk to an authority figure to change the standards of art that is presented in that venue.