Pangean Orchestra Looking for Talent

Join a global movement of intercultural collaboration and revolutionary new music.

The Pangean Orchestra (TPO) is the first large scale ensemble to combine instruments from all continents and time periods. After a successful inaugural performance at Phoenix Symphony Hall, TPO is looking to expand their projects in Phoenix for the ‘10-’11 season.

TPO is looking for all kinds of talent to come and join the movement.
We are looking to:
Network with other companies in the Phoenix Area
Find advisors and consultants for marketing, business operations, fund raising
Hire grant writer, fund raisers on commission basis
Find anyone interested in what we’re doing and willing to add their talents to the cause.

Watch the amazing clips of our upcoming documentary. It greatly explains what we are and why we do what we do.

HD PART 1B from USLOT FILMS on Vimeo.

More Possibilities for the Arts in Chandler

The Chandler Center for the Arts is getting ready for it’s first season since it’s $6.7 million renovation.  The improvements included several visual improvements including new facade, new carpet and reupholstered seats.  However, the biggest changes were behind the scenes as significant technical upgrades have been put in place to open the center to entirely different types of shows than it had been capable of in the past.  These new capabilities provide new possibilities.

Highlights of Season

11th Chandler Symphony (Free)
12th “That’s Life” (Free)
18th Intel Variety Show
24th Howie Mandel

10th Chandler Symphony (Free)
13th US Air Force Academy Band (Free)
24th Cirque Shanghai Bai Xi (See Them In Action)

13th ABBA Mania (See Them In Action)
14th Chandler Symphony (Free)
26th-28th Ballet Etudes – NUTCRACKER

26th-31st Zoppe Italian Family Circus (See Them In Action)

08th Chandler Symphony (Free)

04th Chandler Symphony (Free)
12th Dancing On Ice
19th Chandler Symphony (Free)

27th Chandler Symphony (Free)

08th Street Beat (See Them In Action)
16th Chandler Symphony (Free)
16th HOTEL CALIFORNIA Salute to the Eagles
17th SPENCERS Theatre of Illusion (See Them In Action)

I am excited as I hear chatter that the Center is now looking to upgrade it’s programming to be more relevant to a younger demographic.  What kind of events/shows would you like to see?  Let’s get some great content for next season!

Building Arizona’s Future: Jobs, Innovation and Competitiveness

This past April I attended the 96th Arizona Town Hall in Tucson Arizona.  The New Economy: A Guide For Arizona serves as background information on the event.  The result of the Town Hall was a set of recommendations (pdf).  Recently at Mesa Community College I was asked to speak about the experience and highlight my recommendations.  Below is my summary.

The Process

The process was good discussion, but it often felt that things were watered down quite a bit by the time they got recorded.  However, at the final session I saw the passion come back out and some good middle ground was found on a number of difficult issues.  If only our legislatures could come to agreement in this fashion.

Economic Development

Economic Development has changed.  It used to be about material resources and manufacturing infrastructure.  That is changing and now creative people are the most valuable resource.  Good companies move to where good people.  We must invest in human and social capital to be a player in the future.

Based on that I believe the following recommendations should have priority and we should concentrate on making them a reality.

Slide Rock

8. Preserve Quality of Life

We need to attract good people in the short term to fill the needs of growing companies emerging in the new economy.  Also, we need to retain the quality creators that are already here.  We can do this by preserving the quality of life.

a. Cultivate the arts, sports and other recreational amenities.

We need creatives to get involved with their local art scene.  Bring relevant programming to the great Performing Arts Centers many cities have.  Support existing programming and work to create new and diverse programs.  We need to convert empty buildings into Art galleries, centers for creation and music.

b. Preserve our natural and cultural resources.

We need to get the state legislature to restore funding to our State Park system and find ways to make sure it stays healthy.

c. Develop strong sense of place in our communities.

We need to encourage density and support third places that build a sense of place.

1. Education

We must start building our future now.  Our future lies in our youth.  We need to radically transform education to be a leader in how we restore creativity to schools.

a. Improve funding and rigorous statewide standards to meet workforce needs of business and industry.

It is time we get serious about funding schools and we restore learning to it’s roots and allow kids to explore and create.

7. Broadening the Tax Base

We need to have the proper way to pay for quality of life issues.  The best people want to live in a quality place.  We have to stop looking to be the Walmart of the world.  Low cost living, education and infrastructure attracts the people and employers that have bleak place in the future economy.

a. Implement a broad-based, diversified, and stable tax structure that does not rely disproportionately on sales tax.

We have to explore raising property taxes or finding other ways to balance providing necessary infrastructure.

11. Other Economic Development Actions

We need to grow businesses as much if not more than recruit them and then help them grow.  Jobs don’t create jobs.  Companies create jobs.  We need to focus on creating companies.

a. Fund business incubators, a competitive small grant program for start-ups and existing small businesses, and other small business assistance programs.

2. Strategic Planning

d. Address both recruitment of new businesses and retention of businesses and talent already present in Arizona.

4. Capital Formation

We need to have capital available for those companies as they grow.

d. Encourage AZ individuals, foundations, and industry to invest in an AZ “fund of funds” to provide venture captial for the early-stage development of new companies.

We need people to invest in seed funds to encourage creation of new businesses.

6. Infrastructure

We need a quality infrastructure to promote growth.

a. Create a networked business environment through advances in our transportation system and data connectivity.

12. Other Activities that Influence Economic Development

a. Pursue comprehensive, multimodal transportation planning and design programs.


Don’t wait on the state legislature, you can help do this RIGHT now.  Look to entrepreneurs to get the ball rolling.  Participate in your local government and start making a difference.  Simply voting can start to unlock necessary change.  Be active in our future!

Political Bites: Southeast Valley Arts

What can be done to strengthen the Southeast Valley’s performing arts scene?

First, start booking quality, relevant shows in the performing arts centers.  It’s okay to step outside the family friendly box on occasion.   Second,  there is still a need for smaller venues to allow local artists to take root.  Third, get out and support the arts, you might be surprised what you find.

Background, if needed:

Sunday Review: Out of Our Minds: Learning to be Creative by Ken Robinson

I have decided to do a dead simple book review every Sunday. Some of this is to just share what I’m reading. Rather than go with some complex rating system a book will either be a thumbs up or a thumbs down. Thumbs up means I highly recommend reading the book. A thumbs down means read something else unless you have free time on your hands. I will then do a one or two sentence at most comment on the book.
thumbs-upOut of Our Minds: Learning to be Creative
Take Away: Inspired by the Sir Ken Robinson’s TED talk, I picked this up for reading.  It has great content but Robinson is a much weaker writer than he is orator.

Sunday Book Review: The Dirt: Confessions of the World’s Most Notorious Rock Band by Motley Crue

Thumbs up means I highly recommend reading the book. A thumbs down means read something else unless you have free time on your hands.

thumbs-upThe Dirt: Confessions of the World's Most Notorious Rock Band

Take Away: Completely decadent and way better written than expected. Why did I wait so long to read this?

Chandler Mardi Gras Event

Downtown Chandler will be transformed into the “Big Easy” for one magical night on Saturday Feb. 6, as the Downtown Chandler Community Foundation hosts its first Mardi Gras Festival.

The event will include a parade, street festival, strolling musicians, costume contest and the crowning of the Mardi Gras King and Queen. The reception and registration will kick off at 6 p.m. at di Sciacca. The parade will go from di Sciacca to the Crowne Plaza San Marcos Golf Resort at approximately 7:30 p.m.
The resort is the site for the dinner, music and casino.  VIP tickets are $100 and general admission tickets are $75.  All proceeds from the event will go to the Downtown Chandler Community Foundation, which provides grants to nonprofits in the downtown area that meet critical community needs.
For more information, or to purchase tickets, go to

Sunday Book Review: This Is Your Brain on Music by Daniel J. Levitin

Thumbs up means I highly recommend reading the book. A thumbs down means read something else unless you have free time on your hands.

thumbs-downThis Is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession

Take Away: This book spent a lot of time about the technical aspects of music and of how the brain is wired but did a poor job tying the two together. The writing style felt like a research paper and was not engaging.

Live Music in Downtown Chandler

One of the things we were hoping would happen in moving Gangplank to downtown Chandler and getting the recording studio setup was more live music.  The great news is that the process is already well under way.   Every weekend you can find live music at the following locations. Looking forward to expanding the offering in the near future!

Murphy’s Law
Tues. Wed. Fri. Sat (480) 812-1588

Urban Tea Loft
Saturdays (480) 786-9600

El Zocalo’s
Fridays, Saturdays (480) 722-0303

San Tan Brewery
Wed.,Sat., Sun. (480) 917-8700

Kokopelli Winery
Fridays, Saturdays (480) 792-6927

Sunday Review: Talent Is Overrated: What Really Separates World-Class Performers from Everybody Else by Geoff Colvin

Thumbs up means I highly recommend reading the book. A thumbs down means read something else unless you have free time on your hands.

thumbs-upTalent Is Overrated: What Really Separates World-Class Performers from Everybody Else

Take Away: Deliberate practice is hard work, but is the only sure way to becoming excellent at something.