My Most Frequently Asked Questions

credit: Jackie Sterna

credit: Jackie Sterna

I often get direct messages on socials asking many of the same questions. In light of that, I figured I’d create this FAQ page that I can refer followers to, and my site visitors can read if they’d like to learn more about me. Should more FAQs arise, I’ll add them to this page and keep it updated. Thanks for taking an interest in my journey!

What do you do?

I get this question often. And I get it. I do a lot of seemingly random things, it may be confusing for some who want to narrow it down to one job title but can’t. For those that want a job title, I’ve bestowed “Experience Designer” upon myself - as well as “Multi-faceted Creative Entrepreneur,” which doesn’t give away much (I know). I like Experience Designer because most of what I do involves curating an experience. Basically, most clients hire me to assist them with: project management, brand development, and/or event planning. I also run my own festival in Tucson, Arizona and produce my own events in various cities.

Are you from Tucson, Arizona?

No. I was born in Tucson but raised on the Nogales, AZ/SON border.

Did you go to college?

I did. I graduated the University of Arizona in 2015 and was awarded “Spirit of Excellence.” I have a B.A. in Global Studies with a concentration in Human Rights, Justice, and Social Movements. I have two minors. One is French (finished that study in Paris), and the other is Hip-Hop Cultures via the Africana Studies Program.

Was college worth it?

To be honest, I got more out of my experience(s) in college than I did out of the courses themselves. College really is what you make it. If you decide to go to college, soak it up and take advantage of all it’s resources as much as possible! Explore the library, talk to your professors, talk to professors in other colleges, join clubs, create your own club, study abroad, do at least one internship, etc.

How did you get into events?

When I got back to Tucson from doing an internship with HipHop DX in 2014, I was inspired to take action and do something bigger than me (the same feeling I felt when I packed up my car and moved to Los Angeles that summer on a one week notice). I was surprised that an event embodying the whole Hip-Hop culture didn’t exist. Not in Tucson, not anywhere that I was aware of. Since I was little, I had always wanted to create a charity event, too. You know… on a “save the world” tip. So, come early 2015 I created “The Elements” and it all bloomed from there.

How did you start the Tucson Hip Hop Festival?

When I was planning “The Elements” event, my now business partner was helping me connect to the Hip-Hop community in Tucson. Shortly after The Elements happened, he approached me with the idea of doing something bigger, of doing a festival. And now here we are, going on our fourth festival in 2020.

How did you build your professional network?

In the beginning, the biggest thing for me was volunteering. I started by volunteering for many organizations in my own community, then I expanded. I gave and gave and gave until it began to personally feel wrong (in a sense) to keep doing free work. All of the relationships I currently have came naturally, nothing has ever been forced and nothing will ever be forced. I kept putting myself in positions to grow, and with that came new peers, new friends, and new professional connects. One thing that has been very beneficial and important for me is staying in touch with everyone in my network. I make sure it’s never always business. Sending personal notes, like “Have an awesome week!” emails/texts, goes a long way.

What do you charge for your installations?

It all depends on the project and the client! Sometimes I’m only a production assistant, other times I manage everything (from the concept to hiring staff to breaking down). So, it’s quite impossible to have one specific price tag on this.

What motivates you?

This may honestly be my most frequently asked question of all. I think perhaps because I do so many things. The simple fact that this lifetime isn’t a forever thing, motivates me. The thought of living a life I settled for and am not in love with, am not fulfilled by, motivates me. One day we’ll be gone and no one will remember our mistakes (I mean… unless it’s something revolutionary like inventing plastic), so why allow the fear of failure stop us from trying? There are also more personal motivational factors, like my father passing, like breaking the stigma of border-raised children. I have many motivations, and for that I keep g(r)o(w)ing.

What has been the hardest thing since quitting your 9-5 job?

Instability. You’ve got to be really level-headed, determined, hopeful, and tenacious.