I am a fan and an advocate of Downtowns to the degree that Downtowns bring people together. In an increasingly isolated world, our city centers, when designed, programmed and managed properly and effectively, provide as good of a shot at building authentic communities, on a scale that is currently needed, as we might have.
Today I am the Chief Executive Officer of the Downtown Boulder Partnership, a Business Improvement District and a Public Benefit Foundation. Prior to taking this role in the Summer of 2019 I served as the Executive Director of the Downtown Association of Santa Cruz, a role which I had the honor to serve in since the fall of 2008. I am the co-founder, along with my good friend Kirby Scudder, of First Friday Santa Cruz, an amazing, monthly art and community-focused event that has been going on in Santa Cruz for over a decade. I continue to direct First Friday with my wife Abra Allan, who has been until recently the Director of Motion Pacific Dance and among many things produces Santa Cruz Dance Week. I had a short tenure as the Director of the 418 Project, a center for dance and movement presentation, exploration and education. I helped David Jackman to build and run SoSayWe, a late-night eatery and cultural epicenter from which many an artistic collaboration was born. We produced many years of the 7th sense fashion show, creating a vehicle for dozens of artists. I served for many years on the City’s Arts Commission. I helped Crystal Birns and others launch Pecha Kucha Santa Cruz, I have worked in the performing arts as a Stage Manager, Designer, Company Manager, Engineer, Production Manager, Publicist, Rigger, Producer, and just about anything else that needed to get done. Someday I will attempt to list the hundreds of inspiring artists who I have had the pleasure to work with.
For most of my life, I have found myself, in one way or another working to build community. From my early days in Santa Cruz, working in collaboration with performing artists to the work I am doing with the local business community and countless projects in between, there seems to be a thread of bringing people together.
Some of the things I get excited about:
Dance as performance
A really good scotch
Well crafted stories
Shooting the breeze