Calling Phoenix’s most passionate, eccentric, weird, and awesome people!

Photo by Joe AbbruscatoHere at Ignite Phoenix, the embers of creativity are already being stoked up for another night of people sharing their passion. Our team of volunteers is determined to fill the night with wonderment, new ideas, and inspiration. We also have a super-rad venue ready for over 800 Igniters to take over on May 9th. We just need one more thing.


That’s right, Phoenix, we need your passion and ideas to make our next event the best one yet. As we gear up for Ignite Phoenix #17, nothing is more important than you. We want to know what ignites the fire in your life! Is it a job, a favorite pastime, a collection, a hobby, or a pivotal experience that has changed you? There’s no right or wrong topic…in fact, sometimes the least expected is exactly what we’re looking for!

The deadline to submit is Friday, April 3, 2015 at 11:59 p.m, so head over to the Submissions Page today and share your passion with us!

Still not convinced that we’re talking to you? Still nervous about your topic?

Rest assured that the over 200 presenters before you felt the same way at one point. But look where they are now!

Submitted a talk for Ignite Phoenix before, but it wasn’t selected?

Many of our presenters submitted their idea multiple times before being chosen. Don’t let this discourage you. See this behind-the-scenes look at our judging process to understand how it works and get ideas for how to craft your submission.

Having trouble articulating your passion?

Be sure to check out our 7 tips for writing an amazing Ignite Phoenix submission.

So, don’t keep all that passion locked up. Start working on your submission today!

Photo by Joe Abbruscato

Sound the trumpets! Your Ignite Phoenix #16 presenters are…

Well, you’ve gone and done it now. We thought it couldn’t be done, but you did it. You guys went and BROKE THE JUDGING COMMITTEE. You beautiful guys and dolls submitted so many fantastic, weird, interesting, and heartwarming ideas for talks that the group almost got into a fight over who to put on the list!

At least three ears got flicked, a charley horse attacked, and one guy totally got a bloody nose over the stress of the whole situation. Two ladies threatened to leave and start their own show if a talk they really connected with didn’t make the cut. Don’t worry, though, they’re a resilient crew. They battled it out, and (despite a few bruises) we have our official list of presenters!!!

Confessions of a Wounded Warrior: 9 Toes, 2 Purple Hearts, And Zero Regrets Tom Bishop
DEFCON Kelly Brady
Fashion Fascism: Japanese Fashion as a Movement Samantha Christoff
Exquisite Corpse: Art is something that a community does together. Jay Clayton
My Microbes Bring All the Boys to The Yard Morgan Coffinger
Mavericks Jenna Connolly
How I’m the hero of my own comic book. Damien Faughnan
How to Host an Execution JoBeth Jamison
Scuba Diving: The Affordable Alternative to Space Travel Gerda Lobo
Confessions of a Bagpiper Holly Mabery
Redefining the Grandma stereotype Vickie O’Connor
Magenta in the Key of G Major Rachelle Olsen-Veal
Is this one going northbound? Michael Ranta
Christchurch: How I Learned to Love the Quake or: A Model for Lot Activation and Adaptive Reuse in Phoenix Richard Ross
The Significance of Elk Amber J. Schoenberger
Surviving random encounters with table top RPGs Eric Steele
Cooking with the fire triangle! Colin Williams
Dinosaurs aren’t just for 5 year olds: How I turned my obsession into a convention Julia Zolondz

We’re thrilled with the selected speakers, and we couldn’t be more impressed with the field of submissions as a whole. Ignite Phoenix’s sweet 16 is shaping up to kick some ass!

Also, don’t forget to mark your calendar and set your alarms: Tickets go on sale April 12th promptly at 10 a.m. They will sell out, so don’t be that guy who really wanted to hear the chick talk about elk but DIDN’T GET A TICKET. It would be really sad for you.

See you soon!

Photo by: Devon Christopher Adams

Photo by: Devon Christopher Adams


Ignite Phoenix #15 Needs YOU (Yes, you there… with the pretty hair)

Me: Hey! I feel like I haven’t seen you in forever! How was your summer break?

You: Good to see you again, too! My vacation was ok. It’s been pretty hot here, you know, so I-

Me: Um, I don’t mean to interrupt.

You: But you totally are.

Me: Well I just have a really lot to tell you.

You: OK, but next time, if you don’t actually want to hear about someone’s summer vacation, maybe don’t ask.

Me: It was sort of rhetorical. You’re meant to say ‘Good’ or ‘Meh’, not bust out a slide projector. Don’t think I didn’t see where you were going with that.

You: Anyway. Didn’t you have stuff to discuss?

Me: YES! So listen, Ignite Phoenix #15 is officially cresting the horizon over yonder.

You: Ignite Phoenix #15 is what now?

Me: It’s inching ever closer, like the inevitable hand that holds the scythe.

You: HUH?

Me: Ignite Phoenix #15 is about to overtake us like the evening tide with a child’s sandcastle.

You: I’m gonna go over there until you start making sense.

Me: It’s totally coming up! Ignite Phoenix #15 is happening pretty soon! October 18, 2013, to be exact. Which is 8 weeks away. Or 56 days. 1350 hours-ish.

You: Oh, got it. Yay! I love Ignite!

Me: Me too! So we’re accepting submissions for the show until September 13. You should definitely submit!

You: I’m kind of more of a spectator in those situations. I’m not so much a presenter type…

Me: Well that’s just silly. You’re interesting. And your hair is pretty. You should submit to speak. But even if you don’t, I sort of need your help.

You: My help? How can I help if I don’t present?

Me: Dude. You totally have awesome friends, don’t you?

You: I certainly think they’re awesome.

Me: Of course they are. Here’s the thing: In order for us to deliver the amazing, fantastic, bizarre, thoughtful show you’ve come to know and love, we need YOU to help us bring out all the weirdos to speak. And by ‘weirdos’ I mean ‘special, fantastic weirdos’. WE know lots of weirdos, but YOU know even more weirdos. We want all of our weirdos to come together and submit talks so we have a giant, beautiful pool of weirdo submissions to craft a fantastic show for you. Get it?

You: I guess that makes sense. What sort of talks are you looking for?

Me: The options are limitless. But now that you ask, I have always kind of wanted to hear someone speak on Falconry.

You: Um… I don’t actually know any Falconers. There is a guy who lives down the street from me who seems to think it’s his mission in life to feed the pigeons. I sort of hate him.

Me: Gross. What about someone who does that Extreme Couponing stuff?

You: Oooo! I totally have a girlfriend who is obsessed. One time when I was at her house I took a wrong turn and ended up in a room devoted entirely to storing disposable razors and salad dressing. It was amazing.

Me: See! You know weirdos! It would also be so cool to have a Sky Writer speak. Or a Sky Walker.

You: I wish I had a boyfriend who was a sky writer so he could propose to me with clouds in the air…

Me: Focus, Dude. Do you know anyone who is a Taxidermist? Or a Lifehacker? Or is obsessed with Legos? Or makes her living as a Process Server?

You: Um… I’ll think about it. But I totally do have a cousin who’s been saving his toenail clippings for the last 16 years and he dyed them a bunch of different colors and is creating a mosaic portrait of Sarah Palin. I think it’s a political statement.

Me: Wow. That’s… something. For sure.

You: I know, right?

Me: Here’s what I want you to do for me. Take this post, or the link to the submissions page and share it on Facebook or The Twit and tag five people who you think might have something interesting to say. And not just your besties. We know you love your besties. Really think about your friends and your followers and tag the people who you think have a viewpoint you want to hear about or a story you think needs to get out there. Or even tell them in person. Also tell them they’re pretty. Sometimes it helps to have a little ego boost before exposing yourself in Ignite submission form.

You: Is that why you said I have pretty hair?

Me: No. You totally actually have pretty hair. Promise.

Photo Credit: Tom Stokes

Photo Credit: Tom Stokes

Ignite Phoenix #14: We’re Back! Who Do You Want on Stage?

First things first – we missed you all!  While our short break since the last Ignite Phoenix events was a nice chance to recuperate, it turns out that we were way too excited to stay away long. We’re most passionate about helping Phoenicians share their passions with the community, so it’s time to get at it again!

Ignite Phoenix #14 is on the horizon, so get pumped, mark your calendars, and tell us who YOU want to see on stage.  Here’s everything you need to know about submissions, dates, tickets, and more:

Who do you want to see on stage?

Our community is full of passionate and talented people, including some you may know.  Have any friends with a unique interest? Met any people lately with a fascinating passion or talent?  Or, have you ever encountered a topic that made you think,”I wanna know more about that!”?  We want to hear about it!

Instead of asking all of you to lend us your brilliance on stage, we’d like to hear about the people and topics you’d like to see at Ignite.  Send those people to, and we’ll do the rest.

April 26th is right around the corner

Pencil us in for the night of Friday, April 26th because you’ve got a hot date with 852 other Igniters!  Submissions are due by 11:59 p.m. on March 22, and tickets will go on sale April 6, at 10:00 a.m.  They will sell out quickly, so stay tuned for details on how to snag yours before they’re gone.

Keep up to date on all the Ignite awesomeness

Be the first to hear all the juicy details on Ignite Phoenix #14 and chat with other Igniters by finding us online:

So what are you waiting for?  Hop to it!  Send us your ideas for interesting topics and people that we should get in touch with, and get those fingers tapping to mark your calendars. It’s almost showtime!

Lucky #13, Indeed!

Another Ignite Phoenix has come and gone, whisking us all into a whirlwind of excitement and renewed inspiration.  If ever an event boldly challenged the myths of 13 being unlucky, it was Ignite Phoenix.  Not only did we challenge those myths, we completely debunked them with a stellar event!

Our 18 presenters were amazing!  These Phoenicians, of all ages and walks of life, came together to share their passion or story with us all.  Sharing what we love in life is often an intimate or vulnerable matter, and to be on the receiving end is truly a gift.  Thank you to each of the presenters for sharing with us, we were inspired, moved, educated, entertained, and intrigued.

The outstanding sponsors we have made a tremendous impact on tonight.  Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, Splinter Creative, GoDaddy, Bookman’s, and Brand-X, you’re all awesome!  Thank you for your various contributions, we’re so grateful to have you all on board.

The volunteers, extended team, and core team – you work so hard to make tonight happen.  Thank you for the time you dedicate, and the many reasons that drive you to do so.

A big thank you is due to the Ignite Phoenix Community.  You all share these events with the people in your lives, spreading the word, encouraging others to speak, and buying extra tickets for friends.  As though the experience of those 18 presentations wasn’t enough, there’s still the After Party!  Yes, the party aspect is there and fun, but it’s so much more.  It’s the chance to expand upon the five minute presentation that resonated the most with you.  Find that presenter and connect with them!  Ask them questions, they’re eager to share what they love.  Learn from each other and build community, it’s the premise under which we all gathered tonight.

Our Thanks to You!

Photo courtsey of sheiladeeisme

What a way to kick off the summer here in Phoenix, right? Even though we’re now preparing for our #13th Ignite Phoenix the event is a new experience every time for our veteran attendees, for all of the new people in our audience (both in-house and online), for our sponsors, our crew, and most definitely our presenters. They share a little bit of something they’re passionate about to everyone watching, and our own community grows that much bigger, and closer, with what they bring. Thank you all for continuing to support that community and our event. Continue reaching out to people who haven’t attended before. Your excitement and love for Ignite Phoenix is unparallelled. It’s evident in the enthusiasm you have, whether that’s at the after-party, through our social channels, or word-of-mouth. The support from all of you is what keeps Ignite Phoenix energized, and coming back season after season.

Once again we’d like to say thank you to everyone involved and show them a little bit of love.


Topic Presenter
Sunshine, Shade and Green Architecture Jack Anderson
Why do I run? Because I really love dessert. Katie Archer
Putting the jungle back in the gym Stephen Bohn
A New Breed of Human Tiffany Brown
Discovering Blues Recordings as Historical and Cultural Literature Michael Broyles
Why You Should Marry for Love. And Food. And Love of Food. Maisha Christian
Buzzed and Beautiful Susan Cope
Plastic – The Devil in a Blue Dress Amy Edgell
Human bodies as canvases for art Mark Greenawalt
Wires! Carl Jimenez
Women with Swords (or Blasters, or Stakes) Jana Knapp
Who do you think you are Sherene McLemore
Bungholes, Barrels and Backbreaking Work – A Wino’s Journey Libbie Miller
Bronies: The Internet phenomenon from nowhere Joseph Plate
Why I choose to have only one kid and everyone should just shut up about it. Debra Plunkett
Hanging Out With Hackers, Trekkies, Steampunkers, and Monsterologists Jonathan Simon
Valley of the Sunflowers Sean D. Sweat
The Dying: Not Just Patients, But Teachers Danielle Zeder


Photos and Video!

Did you take photos on Friday? I’m sure you did; we saw them coming through Twitter. Take a moment to put your Ignite Phoenix #12 pictures up on Flickr with the ones our photographers took that evening (you can see all of them at the link). Tag your photos with “ignitephx” and add them to our photo group. Want to share them a little more socially? Post them to our Facebook page, or tag them with #ignitephx on Twitter.

I don’t know about you, but I’m excited that we can re-watch the videos on our YouTube channel, and all of our videos from Ignite Phoenix #12 are up, and ready to share with your friends, family, and social circles.


Without you, we absolutely could not do events like these! Thank you so much the declaration of support, time, and services you provide. If any of you from the audience find yourself in need of products or services which our sponsors provide, show them some love.


Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts
One of the Southwest’s premier performing arts halls, the renovated Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts serves the greater Phoenix metro area, and has been the wonderful home for Ignite Phoenix for the past year.

Go Daddy offers everything you need to make a name for yourself on the Web, from domain names and website builders to complete eCommerce solutions.


Splinter Creative
Whether you’re starting a new company, developing a brand, revitalizing your identity, or simply trying to deliver a message, Splinter Creative is the gateway to provide strategy and support to make your media initiatives successful.

Bookmans Entertainment Exchange
Bookmans Entertainment Exchange is AZ’s favorite media store. Buying, selling, and trading books, games, movies and music for over 30 years. Why buy new?

Brand X Custom T-Shirts
At Brand X Custom T-shirts, we take an “offline” approach to custom t-shirt making.

Arizona’s Leading Producer of Electric Power for Arizona Homes and Businesses.

Special Thanks

Black Cat Coffee House
Who provide espresso-based drinks, specialty coffee and teas, pastries, and space for our Crew to sit every Saturday leading up to the event.

ACM Quick Cash
For providing the ATMs.

Andrew Ryno
For all of the web development support, code updates and editing that took place in the wee hours of the morning, the middle of the afternoon, late in the evening, and all days of the week!

Stephanie Liebold of Bold Avenue
Bold Avenue is a boutique agency with a collaborative approach. We do graphic design for print, apparel, identity, web and promotional products.

Niki Blaker of Blaker Design
Blaker Design is a design firm specializing in strategic identity, print, marketing and website design.

Each event we have a few photographers on hand, our own Ignite Phoenix paparazzi just a little more friendly, taking photos throughout the event. Take a few minutes to peruse their photo galleries.

Joe Abbruscato:
Samples of his work can be found at

Devon Christopher Adams:
His photography is online at

Shelia Dee:
You can find her photos online at

To our three food trucks, Paletas Betty, Luncha Libre, and Spice it Up who kept everyone full with great food!

To The Black Moods, and Sareena Dominguez for the live music during Ignite Phoenix #12.

To the following bands for generously giving us your music to share on our fifth CD: Austin Gibbs, Sister Cities, This Century, Sweet Talker, The Black Moods, The Sunset Rider & The Skeleton Army, scorpion vs. tarantula, Fight the Quiet, Andrew Jackson Jihad, O’Henry, Matthew Revels, Playboy Manbaby, North Dakota, Mitch Freedom, Brian Lopez, Sareena Dominguez, Dylan Pratt, Ryan Sims of EastonAshe, Torin Dinh, Ofthesky.

HUGE thanks to all of our volunteers:

For all their time, advice, assistance, dedication and support. It’s generously given in the wee hours of the mornings to late into the evenings in the time leading up to the event straight through to the days after.

Noah Alin Sean Roe
Nick Bastian Lisa Aragon
Laura Rogal Krystofer VanSlyke
Steve Bell Perri Collins
Andrew Knochel Amy Donohue
Jennifer Longdon Brie Susini
Shaina Rozen Crystal O’Hara
D. Patrick Lewis Ruth Carter


The Ignite Phoenix Crew:

This is the core team that worked hard for several months to make the whole show come together! Thank you all so much for your time, dedication, and the passion you brought to the event!

Alan Dayley @alandd
Andy Woodward @warfin
Brian Carson @bpcarson
Dannie Moriarty @dlmoriarty
Erika Delemarre @erikadid
Jeff Moriarty @jmoriarty
Oden Hughes @coathalia
Samantha Leopoldi @tambre
Bill Risser @billrisser
Debbie Walker @spellwight
Margaree Bigler @margareesays
Cyndi Dayley @disneylandmom
Kevin Maxwell @ludwig428


Ignite Phoenix #13:

That’s right. Lucky #13. It’s happening October 26th, same time, same place. So don’t forget! Get those idea’s flowing, start the wheels-a-turning. Share with us, and our community, what you’re passionate about! Submissions are open, we’ve already received four, and we’re waiting for yours.