In our socially distant world, do you miss meeting new people? I sure do. Especially the exciting time in early friendships when you ask each other deep questions.
How do you do? I’m Bridgitte Thum from KXCI Community Media. Post lockdown, I am shyly emerging from my cocoon, ready to be a socially distant butterfly. But the thing is, I am tired of small talk. I wanted to get to know folks on a deeper level. So I asked them if I could ask them big questions and eight fascinating humans actually said yes!
Our guests are:
Stephanie Engs is a community member and creator with a history of blending the creative with the practical in many aspects of her work and life with over a decade of experience in the arts, entertainment, and development at nonprofits such as Arizona Public Media, the Rialto Theatre Foundation, and MOCA Tucson. Her skill-set and volunteer work allow her to create experiences, media, and art to engage with many communities and embrace complex topics. As Director of Education and Community Engagement at 91.3 KXCI and formerly Community Outreach and Marketing Manager for Bookmans Entertainment Exchange, she works at the intersection of community engagement and local business with an aim to build a stronger community through equity, diversity, inclusion, and access to art, culture, literacy, and media. She serves on two boards of directors for community organizations, Make Way for Books and the Tucson Kitchen Musicians Association, the nonprofit that organizes the Tucson Folk Festival. Currently, she is busy exploring community voices and storytelling, producing Nonprofit Spotlight on KXCI while experimenting in the kitchen, garden, and creative projects and art forms that intrigue her.
Mykl Wells is an internationally recognized, award-winning artist from Tucson Arizona. Best known locally as Co-founder of the All Souls Procession and internationally for his monumental cardboard sculptures, featured at the Lucca Biennial, the world’s largest paper and cardboard arts showcase. Also well known nationally for his unique oil paintings and miniatures. Find him on Instagram and Facebook for current works and pictures of his hairless dogs.
It is also rumored that he bakes remarkable pies.
Dr. Nadia Alvarez Mexia
Nadia Alvarez Mexia is a bilingual (Spanish-English), immigrant and award-winning educator from Mexico. She was born in Ciudad Obregon, Sonora and raised in Mazatlán, Sinaloa. In January 2005, Nadia, her husband, and oldest son arrived in Tucson, Arizona. Since then, she has developed and coordinated educational efforts for diverse populations in Latin America, the U.S., and other regions. Nadia is passionate in creating safe-learning spaces where all identities are welcome to learn from each other. She has different publications including co-author of the chapter book “Climbing Uphill” in Amplified Voices, Intersectional Identities: Volume 2. Nadia also hosts the program segment “Knitting Identities” in KXCI in partnership with the amazing DJ Nenny G as a producer.
Recently, Nadia was appointed as a faculty member in the W.A. Franke Honors College with a directorship role in the College of Education at the University of Arizona. She enjoys listening to music, writing self-reflections and learning how different voices and identities define their own journey in this world. Nadia is a proud mom of two boys and a wife of a distinguished researcher.
Fred Ronstadt is a fifth-generation native of Tucson. He received his undergraduate degree in Secondary Education and a master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of Arizona. He has been a paramedic, high school teacher, served as a Tucson City Council Member, and has held leadership positions with several nonprofit organizations. Fred is currently working at Higher Ground, A Resource Center, developing Safford K-8 in Downtown Tucson as a Community School. Fred is the President of The F. Ronstadt Company, named for his great-grandfather’s original business in Tucson. Fred is frequently found hanging out with his beautiful wife, Sharla, teasing his grandkids, welding in his shop, or hanging out with his bees.
Professor Rachel Hoblitt grew up in the city of Torrance, California, a suburb of Los Angeles and the largest cluster of American headquarters of Japanese companies in the United States – Honda, All Nippon Airways, Panasonic, and Toyota all had their headquarters in Torrance when she grew up.
Professor Hoblitt holds a Bachelors of Music, Music History emphasis from San Jose State University and a Masters of Music in Ethnomusicology from the University of Arizona. She is the Online Master Course Lead for MUS 160, Popular Music in America at Pima Community College, where she has taught since 2017.
Professor Hoblitt lives here in Tucson with her husband, two dogs and an obnoxious tuxedo cat. When Professor Hoblitt is not teaching, she works as a host and producer for Jazz Sundae on 91.3FM KXCI Tucson, and as a private post-graduate tutor in elementary education. She is an avid traveler and seasoned home cook with a passion for mid-century modern architectural aesthetic, New Zealand cricket, and learning new languages.
Amber Frame is a lifelong artist who in recent years took her self-expression off of the canvas and onto the stage. She got her start in performing with the long-running stage show Female Storytellers (FST!) and quickly made a name for herself in Tucson’s stand up comedy scene, joining showcases at Comedy at the Wench, Brew Ha-Ha at Borderlands Brewery, and annual benefit shows at Laffs Comedy Cafe. Her silly and bright humor pokes fun at her hipster sensibilities, the culture shock of an east-coaster living in Arizona, and the joys and pitfalls of starting over in your thirties. She currently co-produces Lady Haha: A Comedy Open Mic for Women & LGBTQ+ and each October embodies the spirit of George Carlin at the comedy-cover showcase Died Laughing. On Instagram and Twitter @ambahframe.
& Elijah Thum
Elijah Thum is a senior at Flowing Wells High School, where he is actively pursuing making the most of his time.
I recommend you start by listening to episode 1. because this actually is that kind of podcast 🙂
Music from Golden BooTs
4th Avenue Will
Bridgitte Thum, Michael Henderson, Margaret McLelland
To listen on Spotify click this link.