Streets Dept Podcast
The Streets Dept Podcast features one-on-one conversations with the creative minds shaping the world around us from street artists to poets, activists to politicians, small business owners to community organizers. The podcast is hosted by Conrad Benner and new episodes come out every other week!
Anna Shipp is the Executive Director of the Sustainable Business Network of Greater Philadelphia! In today's episode, we chat about building a just, green, and thriving economy centered by local, independent businesses. We also discuss the challenges that systemic racism and COVID-19 present in creating that economy.
Kris Henderson (pronouns: they/them) is a movement lawyer and organizer. They are the executive director of the Amistad Law Project, a West Philadelphia-based organization that provides direct representation to people in prison, advocates for just criminal legal policies, and organizes against mass incarceration and for alternatives to imprisonment. Today we talk about ending mass incarceration in the US.
Fabiola Cineas is a race reporter at Vox where she covers politics, policy, and culture. Today we dive into some of her recent reporting, including how popular opinion is shifting with the momentum of the Black Lives Matter movement, finding justice for Breonna Taylor, and the coming Presidential Election. As well, we talk about her viral tweet thread that became a resulting factor in the resignation of her former editor at Philly Mag.
Michael O'Bryan is an expert practitioner and budding researcher in the fields of community development, organizational culture, and human wellbeing. He's currently an Innovation Fellow at Drexel University’s Lindy Institute for Urban Innovation and serves as Director of Learning at The Village of Arts and Humanities in North Philadelphia. Today we talk about defunding the police, generational resilience after decades of chaos-creating policy, and why Philly's Mayor Kenney must resign now.
Today, we’ll be chatting with Tayyib Smith! Tayyib is Principle of Meta Global, parent company to Little Giant Creative. Dedicated to cultural competency and the ability to engage multicultural audiences, Tayyib has long been a successful conduit of professional and cultural ecosystems.
Robert Perry runs one of Philadelphia's most beloved bar/restaurants, South Street's Tattooed Mom (aka Tmoms). And in this unprecedented moment, I talk with Robert not only about challenges of fears of being a small business owner in the age of COVID-19, but about his story, about how Tmoms has become the culture center and community space it has over the last 23 years, and about the ever-changing role of one of Philly's most iconic streets!
Ginger Rudolph is a journalist, editor, curator, and founder of HAHA MAG, an arts magazine that brings the world’s most inspiring contemporary art to a global audience. Over the last several years, Ginger's worked on a series of projects bringing art to Philly's public space, including those created by the HAHAxParadigm public arts project, of which she is the co-founder.
Eriko Tsogo is a contemporary Mongolian American artist, project developer, civic leader, and activist for women's rights and immigrant's rights. She is also a first generation immigrant herself and DACA recipient. Eriko works in many mediums, and as a cross disciplinary artist, has created works on paper, has released several books, created an animated film, and has designed elaborate mixed media, interactive installations. She's considered one of Denver's brightest and burgeoning contemporary artists!
Sabrina Allie and David Sabados first met in the spring of 2019 as opponents on the campaign trail for Denver City Council's District 1. They both ran as Democrats in the primary, and they ultimately both lost that race. But in campaigning they realized just how many people complained about not having the resources to learn about local neighborhood and district issues. Ultimately leading them to start their own local newspaper, The Denver North Star!
Today we’ll be talking with artist, DINKC! Born in Kansas City, Missouri and having recently lived in New York City, DINKC currently calls Denver, Colorado home. His artwork ranges from gallery work to public murals, creating merchandise, custom toys, and even apparel. DINKC’s work is heavily rooted in Mexican-American cultures, graffiti/ street art influence, and "Día de los Muertos" skulls and beliefs.
Today we talk with Daphne Rice-Allen, the Chair on the Board of Directors for the Black American West Museum & Heritage Center, a museum billed as “the only Western-black-history museum in the world”. The center highlights the history of African Americans’ movement west and includes artifacts and pictorial histories of Black cowboys, farmers, ranchers, miners, Buffalo Soldiers, Tuskegee Airmen, and the residents of Denver, Colorado’s Five Points area.
How is Phoenix, Arizona using public art and urban design to draw people to their city? Today we talk with Erika Rubio, the Stakeholder Engagement Manager for Downtown Phoenix about the goals and challenges of growing a downtown district.
Named one of 48 most influential people in the state of Arizona in 2019 by Phoenix Magazine, Antoinette Cauley is a Phoenix native artist on the rise whose work is reflective of her city–the gritty and the beautiful.
In our very first road trip episode we land in Phoenix, Arizona to talk with the host and founder of the Finding Arizona Podcast Jose Acevedo, who has interviewed over 200 local business owners in the state since 2015! In this episode we also hear from Brittany Johnson, the podcast's photographer and producer who’s typically more behind the scenes, but who we invited in halfway through recording! Aside from building the podcast together, Brittany and Jose are also married!
The founder of many things including Kismet Cowork, Radio Kismet, and the groundbreaking 24-hour ideas fest GreatPHL, Christopher Plant is equal parts business, art, commerce, fun and always connecting people in his wake!
Over her 30+ year career thus far, Jane Golden has worked to promote the power of art as the head of Mural Arts Philadelphia overseeing the organization's growth from a small city agency into the nation’s largest public art program.
For our Season 3 kick-off, we’re talking with award-winning journalist and Writer at Large for Philadelphia Magazine, Ernest Owens! Ernest covers a variety of social issues regarding race, LGBTQ, and pop culture.
Very excited to bring the Streets Dept Podcast back for a third season, y'all! Here's a little glimpse into what we've got in store, include our big surprise: we're road tripping! That's right, for Season 3 we'll be hitting the road to talk with more folks from around the U.S.
Recently elected in a historic win against an establishment backed 27-year incumbent for the City Council seat of Philadelphia's quickly gentrifying 3rd District, Councilmember-elect Jamie Gauthier has spent much of her life and career working for a more equitable, greener world. Today we talk with Jamie about her life, her careers, and how she plans to address many of Philadelphia's most pressing challenges.
An Andy Warhol Curatorial Fellow who worked for many years as a curator in the UK, Robert Blackson moved back the U.S. in 2011 to spearhead the Tyler School of Art’s Department of Exhibitions and Public Programs. Now an undeniable force in Philly's art world, today we talk with Robert about how his curatorial instincts have led to a series of bold, thought-provoking exhibitions around the city that work to directly address questions from an advisory council of Philadelphians from a range of backgrounds.
Maori Karmael Holmes is the founder of BlackStar Film Festival, an annual celebration of the visual and storytelling traditions of the African diaspora and of global communities. She's also a world-renowned curator, organizer, and director. Today, we talk with Maori about film, representation vs. authorship, and so much more!
On November 6th, 2018, Malcolm Kenyatta became the first openly gay person of color elected to statewide office in Pennsylvania. In today's episode, we talk with Rep. Kenyatta about the challenges of the PA State House and about this work to help eliminate poverty in the state. And as an elected Democrat, we end by exploring some of the current 2020 presidential candidates and how he thinks the Dems could take back the White House.
William Tyrone Toms is on a mission to build a network of creatives across the globe. He's building, in a term, an artists' union of musicians, photographers, visual artists, writers, and more with the goal of lifting and supporting all creatives for the greater good. In today's episode, we chat with Will about starting REC Philly with his partner Dave Silver and how he sees their company growing, his advice for artists to better market themselves, and so much more!
A Philly-based illustrator whose artwork depicts people of color of varying skin tones and shapes with nuance and individuality, Loveis Wise has had enormous success since graduating college in 2018. Among those achievements: having her artwork on the cover of The New Yorker last summer (becoming only the second black woman artist to ever do so) and just last month being the featured Google Doodle artist. Today we talk with Loveis about art, representation, and manifesting your dreams.
Jon Geeting is the Director of Engagement for Philadelphia 3.0, a political action committee focused on City Council elections and governance reforms in the city of Philadelphia. For the last several years, Jon has played a big role in influencing Philly politics. And in today's episode, we talk about it all!
The city of Philadelphia's newly elected City Controller, Rebecca Rhynhart has spent her first year in office working to make our city government more transparent and accountable, auditing Philly's 10-year tax abatement, uncovering unfair property tax assessments, and advocating for better sexual harassment prevention policies and procedures. Today we talk with Rebecca about what she's discovered so far, and what her office plans to investigate this year.
The founder of Men's Style Pro, a consulting firm and editorial site, Sabir M. Peele helps men understand, breakdown, and expand their personal style. Today we chat with Sabir about how he's built one of the Philly area's most successful men's lifestyle blogs and social media accounts, and how he regularly works with major style brands around the world to grow his influence. (And yes, he's got some fashion tips too!)
Inga Saffron is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and architecture critic for the Philadelphia Inquirer. Since 1999, she's been thinking and writing about Philadelphia's architecture, design, public space, city planning, and all that goes into making a city worth living in. Today, we talk with Inga about Philly's past, present, and possible future!
Today we chat with interdisciplinary poet, performer, activist, and recording artist Ursula Rucker, whose work reflects the world and our times, as well as her own personal history. Ursula characterizes her work as situated “along the edge of the terrains of poetry.” She’s released five albums and collaborated with a wide range of artists, including King Britt, Josh Wink, and The Roots. In 2017, a recording of her epic poem "Logan Squared: Ode to Philly" became an anthem for the city of Philadelphia!
Morgan Berman is the CEO of MilkCrate, a mission driven tech company that helps other mission driven organizations achieve their impact goals. Named one of the "Top 10 Female Entrepreneurs to Watch” by the UN Foundation, Morgan has presented at Forbes 30 Under 30 and has been a World Economic Forum Global Shaper. In her spare time, Morgan practices Brazilian jiu-jitsu, and she recommends more female founders try it out too!
Marcus Branch is a NYC/PHL-based photographer who is taking the art world by storm. In recent years, Marcus has shot for Afropunk, Marie Claire, i-D Japan, VICE, and Interview Magazine to name a few. His seemingly effortless talent, drive, and eye combined with his passion for documenting queer, black, non-binary communities, and people of all backgrounds, makes his body of work look and feel like the beautiful future we all deserve, where our differences are respected and celebrated.
Just named as the next Poet Laureate of Philadelphia, Raquel Salas Rivera is a bilingual poet, writer, and translator. In this Season One finale, Conrad Benner talks with Raquel about how they plan to use their new influential position to advocate for Puerto Rico and address issues around community and gentrification in Philly. (Season One of the Streets Dept Podcast is brought to you by our sponsors at The Navy Yard and Indy Hall! Episodes are mixed and edited by our Producer Mike Mehalick.)
Chill Moody is a West Philly-based hip-hop artist, a businessman and a beer-maker, and Philadelphia’s official Music Ambassador. Conrad Benner talks with Chill about his many projects both in and outside of his breakthrough music career. (Season One of the Streets Dept Podcast is brought to you by our sponsors at The Navy Yard and Indy Hall! Episodes are mixed and edited by our Producer Mike Mehalick.)
Antoinette Marie Johnson is a writer, a former Army service member, and the CEO of Cohere, an urbanism-focused creative agency on a mission to build better cities. Conrad Benner talks with Antoinette about building Cohere out of her previous company, At Media. (Season One of the Streets Dept Podcast is brought to you by our sponsors at The Navy Yard and Indy Hall! Episodes are mixed and edited by our Producer Mike Mehalick.)
A writer, a podcaster, a builder of communities, and of course the guy who started one of the longest running co-working communities in the world, today Conrad Benner sits down for an extended chat with Indy Hall's Alex Hillman. (Season One of the Streets Dept Podcast is brought to you by our sponsors at The Navy Yard and Indy Hall! Episodes are mixed and edited by our Producer Mike Mehalick.)
eL Seed is a Tunisian-French artist and graffiti writer who's exhibited work on every continent of the globe! Conrad Benner talks with eL Seed about his beautiful, intricate murals and artwork that blends the historic art of Arabic calligraphy with graffiti to portray messages of beauty, poetry, and peace. (Season One of the Streets Dept Podcast is brought to you by our sponsors at The Navy Yard and Indy Hall! Episodes are mixed and edited by our Producer Mike Mehalick.)
Caledonia Curry (aka Swoon) is a classically trained, Brooklyn-based visual artist and printmaker, and easily one of the best-known street artists in the world! Caledonia sits down with Conrad Benner to talk about her career and her retrospective open now at the Contemporary Arts Centre in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Season One of the Streets Dept Podcast is brought to you by our sponsors at The Navy Yard and Indy Hall! Episodes are mixed and edited by our Producer Mike Mehalick.)
A New York City-based multi-media, performance, video, and installation artist, Marisa Williamson is seeking to make history alive in people’s worlds. Marisa sits down with Conrad Benner to talk about all the ways she's working to do that, including her new app, a video scavenger hunt that explores the African American historical struggle for freedom. (Season One of the Streets Dept Podcast is brought to you by our sponsors at The Navy Yard and Indy Hall! Episodes are mixed and edited by our Producer Mike Mehalick.)
A grassroots community organizer involved in Philadelphia education reform since 2006, Helen Gym is a first-term councilperson and the first Asian American woman to ever serve on Philadelphia's City Council. Councilmember Gym sits down with Conrad Benner to talk about her calls for the removal of a monument to the divisive former Philly mayor, Frank Rizzo, about growing up in the U.S. with parents who are immigrants, and about her thoughts on the possibility of Amazon bringing their 2nd headquarters to Philadelphia! (Season One of the Streets Dept Podcast is brought to you by our sponsors at The Navy Yard and Indy Hall! Episodes are mixed and edited by our Producer Mike Mehalick.)
R. Eric Thomas is a Senior Staff Writer for Elle.com where he writes 'Eric Reads the News,' which has quickly become an online humor staple with over a million social media shares. R. Eric sits down with Conrad Benner to talk about his burgeoning career, his faith, and the possibility of spending an eternity in heaven with Cher. (Season One of the Streets Dept Podcast is brought to you by our sponsors at The Navy Yard and Indy Hall! Episodes are mixed and edited by our Producer Mike Mehalick.)