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Downtown Tucson, Hipster Destination

October 25, 2016 , ,

street party space

street party space




podcasting workshop

podcasting workshop

I traveled from midtown to downtown Tucson yesterday to attend the TenWest Festival.  This week-long entertainment and educational event is sponsored by local businesses to promote the retention of talent in town.  This miniature knock off of the 30 year old South by Southwest event that happens in Austin each year is a distinct reflection of our community. Volunteer staff organizes the flow of students, speakers, and social gatherings.

I attended two excellent workshops on podcasting.  Both speakers were well prepared with visual aids and stimulating material.  Best of all, they are both true experts in the field.  Dave Young is a marketing and content professional who helps small businesses develop materials.  He has been podcasting for and with his clients to bring their messages to the public.  He explained the explosive growth in podcasting and some of the reasons for the popularity of  audio programs.  His very enlightening presentation was followed by a more technical workshop by Bjorgvin Benediktsson, a professional audio engineer. These classes continue all week.  At the end of the day a keynote speaker and a social hour are planned each day. Our speaker and social hour were upstaged yesterday by a sudden thunderstorm.

This is an odd time of year for rain in Arizona, but about 10 minutes into the social hour we heard a very loud thunderclap echo between the tall buildings where we were stationed.  Shortly the rain was pouring and the winds was whipping the signs and tents around like crazy.  There was a river running through it. The volunteers all had to scramble to keep the stuff from blowing into the air and doing some damage.  Since the bar was set up with a special permit that was only valid for the outdoor space the few of us who were outside had to chug our drinks and run into a building.  There were two of us there who had umbrellas…I was proud to one of them.  The party made an attempt at restarting inside the building, but most people had scattered to the hard driving wind.  I called my Uber and made my way home.

I will go on Wednesday to learn about 3 D printing and artificial intelligence.  The speaker and social hour will be about our city’s special gastronomic designation from UNESCO.  The food peeps will be there, and we can only hope we will have clear skies.  On Friday there will be  TED talk and two concerts from which to choose.  I love our little start-up convention, which  is only in the second year of its existence.  I believe it has major potential to achieve its goal and to bring visitors from out of town to the event in the future.  Our downtown has been revitalized by a tram system, and is starting to be as hip as Austin.  I hope we can retain our hipness without acquiring the traffic problem they have in Austin. Wish us luck.


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I love this. I am so glad to see a write-up ! I will definitely check out those podcasting pros because I need some additional tips! I would love to hear more about the 3D printing and AI talks!! Glad you made it to this great event!


Stevie Wilson (@LAStory)

October 31, 2016

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