A bunch of motivated, intelligent and creative people came together last night at the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts for Ignite Phoenix #9.
18 local people got on the big stage to talk about things they’re passionate about–Arizona wine, 3-D printers, educating people about multiple scelrosis…you can see there are a lot of Phoenicians with a wide variety of interests, and they each got 5 minutes and 20 slides to talk about their loves.
Ignite Phoenix actually oversold this event, that’s how popular it is. It sold out within a day, meaning almost 1,000 people crammed into the theater to hear what their peers had to say. I think it’s so popular it could be moved into much larger venues and even be seen at arenas some day, although that’s probably never likely. Before and after presentations, audience members are able to mingle with presenters, and that’s something that is much more difficult in an arena setting. So as long as it stays in this intimate venue, plan on getting your ticket as soon as it’s available.
There were several presentations that stood out to me last night. A woman named Diana Benjamin gave a talk about being Assyrian and how there is an ethnic cleansing of Assyrian Christians in Iraq right now. Her talk was powerful and made me inspired to support the cause.
I also learned from Maureen Basenberg about women’s history with craft beer. There are several local clubs for ladies who love brewskies, and they sound like a really fun time. Hopefully her talk served as an inspiration for women who are interested in becoming brewers themselves.
And I really, really enjoyed hearing from Robert Hoekman, Jr. about the proper way to go about saving a stray dog. I think a lot of people might see stray dogs and not do anything for fear of disease or aggression, but he gave really helpful tips on how to keep stray dogs safe, even if you drop one off at a shelter. He also brought one of his rescue dogs on-stage, which was really cute.
My friends and I agreed that a couple of the presentations seemed more like advertisements for people’s businesses or products rather than their passion. It’s totally understandable that someone may be so incredibly passionate about something that it inspires them to build a business or write a book about it, but mentioning the product or business throughout the presentation makes the passion seem a little less genuine. Maybe including it in the final slide would be better.
Besides the fun talks, I loved listening to local singer-songwriter Tobie Milford, who performed before the show and during intermission. He’s such an amazing violinist, and his music is so beautiful. Seriously, check him out.
People who attended Ignite went home with CD’s featuring 10 local artists. If you weren’t able to attend the show, you can still get the music for free on www.ignitephoenix.com in the next coming week.
The next Ignite event is on Friday, May 20 at the same location. Submissions are open now, so if you have something you want to share with the local community, you should submit!