Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Sarah Ventre, and I’m an audio journalist, podcast producer, and host of the new documentary podcast, Unfinished: Short Creek, about the community on the Utah-Arizona border that’s home to the FLDS church. I’m also the regional producer of The Moth, and one of the founders of Girls Rock! Phoenix.
How did you get your start?
I got a job working the door of the Rhythm Room a week after I turned 21, and started writing about music (for a now-defunct local arts blog) just a few weeks after that. Both of those jobs taught me that I loved being around creative people, telling stories, and trying new things. Eventually I started writing for the Phoenix New Times (and even one or two pieces for YabYum in the early days!) and working as the music director at the ASU radio station The Blaze.
Then I got an internship at NPR’s All Songs Considered, moved to DC, and leaned in harder to all the things that interested me most. I gained a huge appreciation for the DIY ethos of the DC punk scene, and was fortunate to learn a lot about how to tell stories, especially using audio as a medium. When I moved back to Phoenix in 2014, I started Girls Rock! Phoenix with a few other women.
What inspires you?
Vulnerability, winding conversations, liminal spaces, time in the desert (I know it’s cliché, but it’s also real!), people with strong convictions, those who seek justice, and those who aren’t phased by going out on a limb and starting their own thing.
What do you like about AZ?
I love that it’s a place that encourages experimentation and trying new things and I feel like here I have the physical and emotional space to dream something up and then go for it, and that even if I fail I’ll have a gentle place to fall. I also love our community here and I feel supported and like I can be a part of supporting others, and that overall people are more interested in collaboration than competition, which is so rare, and so beautiful.
Where can we see you(r) work?
What would you like to accomplish before you die?
To make work that challenges people to see the world a little messier than they saw it before.
What is your mantra?
Do what you would do if you weren’t afraid.