#heARTofTheCity - Artists trying to get your attention

While artistic murals are getting painted over, plays are fighting for their lives, and sculptors are still being asked “What does it do?” around this circle we still believe artists are the heart of any city. The independent films, one man plays, art-lined sidewalks and innovative creatives are major parts of what make our region so cool and yet, slowly but surely, the cultural climate is pushing them away. We talk to actor/director Richard Harder, filmmakers Ezra J. Stanley and Michael Axtell, and sculptor Nemo Gould about the challenges of making a living as artists in a world that often discounts the importance of their work. These four artists are on their grind to bring their passions to life - and also hope to inspire you by expanding your worldview. Will you look up?

Episode Notes:

Sponsor: Retirement or Education? What to save for first? We hip you to the answer on the latest segment of Ask Rickey! Ask Rickey! is brought to you by Rickey Bowen, CRPC, CEP, financial planner with Gateway Financial Advisors, Inc.

Venue: Shoutout to United Roots in Oakland, CA for the venue love.

Join the Circle: As a member of The Ambassadors Circle, you are joining like-minded individuals on a mission to inspire and equip all of us to #DoMoreGood. Click here to learn more!

Time For Some Action: It’s #PlasticFreeJuly and here at The Ambassadors Circle, we’ve been challenging ourselves to cut our use of plastics and, more specifically, plastic straws. All it takes is one small step to reduce your use! It can be something as simple as bringing your own reusable cup or straw to the coffee shop.
With over 500 million plastic straws being thrown away every day in the US alone, and most of them ending up in the ocean, it’s the least we can do.

Production Credits:  Sound Design by Courtney Grace with Hosts Becca, LT, Christianne Harder and j-
                                 Guest Relations by Andrea Rush with Production Assistance by Jen Huynh
                                 Content Development by Sophia Cross
                                 360BayArea Intro Music by Courtney Grace with vocals by ElleT

Photo Credit: Episode image by Nemo Gould

Featured Music + Clips:  
Courtney Grace - Ask Rickey Theme Music, What’s the 411 Theme Music                                        
Davis Absolute “The Body
Marcos H “Beach House
Lana Inspired “Soliel
Alon Ohana “Freeze
Garret Bevins “Limit
Tomer Ben Ari “10
Uppeach “Love
Jake Bradford “What To Expect
Oliver Michael “Timebide
Blossom Learning “Quantum
Yanivi “The Monkey Funk
Drake “Grammys
Jeremiah “She Love Me

Last Word: Governor Jerry Brown: Gov. Jerry Brown, America's unofficial climate change ambassador in the Trump era, heads to China

Guest Profiles


Richard Harder, Actor, Director, Teacher
Born in New York City, Richard’s acting career has spanned 35 years, with performances in every medium, including film, television and commercials. After receiving his degree in Education from Western Washington University, Richard began actor training in 1977 with Dominic Difasio and Geraldine Baron of the Lee Strasberg Institute in Los Angeles. Richard has been a member of various theaters in both San Francisco and Los Angeles and has been nominated for and won several awards for his theatrical performances. In 2002, Richard began directing theater productions, and so far has directed nineteen plays. Among his accolades are 4-Star reviews for directing Pvt. Wars in 2005 and winning S.F. Critic’s Circle best director for Athol Fugard’s Master Harold ….and the boys in 2012. Richard is currently the Artistic Director of award winning Off Broadway West Theatre Company at the Phoenix Theatre in San Francisco. LinkedIn | Facebook


Nemo Gould, Kinetic Sculptor
Oakland, California-based found-object fine artist Nemo Gould has produced a prolific body of work that attempts to reconcile the innocent wonder of youth with the full complexity of the adult experience. A look at his portfolio will deeply challenge any preconceived notion of what art made from salvaged materials can look like. His kinetic works bear clean, polished lines, exhibit fluid motion, and evoke a genuine, childlike sense of wonder and surprise. Gould earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at the Kansas City Art Institute in 1998, and his Master of Fine Arts degree at U.C. Berkeley in 2000. His work has been featured frequently in national media and is shown in galleries and museums throughout the U.S. and abroad. Website | Facebook | IG | YouTube


Ezra Stanley, Screen Artist, Director & Writer
With a BA in Cinema, Ezra J. is a multi-award winning Screen Artist, Director, and Writer who co-founded AboveGrey Pictures, a boutique that creates cinematically engaging commercials, music videos, and films. Most recently, he won Best Commercial as Writer-Director for his cinematic Toymail "Pancakes" commercial at the 2016 HollyShorts Film Festival, billed as the "Cannes of Short Films." Being a native of San Francisco, along with his Belize heritage from his father of Mayan descent and mother of Garifuna (black Caribbean) descent, have contributed to his extraordinarily versatile, original, and socially conscious onscreen work. Ezra J. has designed and directed benefit concerts to entertain audiences that number into the thousands, including shows for the United Nations, the American India Foundation, and TiEcon. He is currently focusing on developing character-driven film projects. When Ezra J. is not crafting stories, you can almost guarantee he's out surfing, motorcycling, or dissecting films. Website | AboveGrey Website | Facebook | Instagram


Michael Axtell, Video Producer, Documentary Filmmaker
Photo Credit: Jon Gorr
Born and raised in San Francisco’s sunset district, Michal is the award-winning ad producer at AboveGrey Pictures and emerging film director under his own Dreaming Monk Productions label. With a wide range of interests and experiences as a visual artist, educator, travel photographer, poet, and athlete, his work explores the intersection between modern technology, traditional knowledge, and the evolution of human consciousness. He studied film at SF School of Digital Filmmaking and the School of Hard Knocks; he carries a B.A. (Anthropology) from UC Santa Barbara. An intrepid traveler, Michael ‘s work reflects this. His first feature documentary, "Nyogon: together" is an intimate portrayal of a small village in Mali, West Africa, that is using sustainable plant-breeding methods to combat climate change. When he’s not directing or producing, Michael enjoys the balancing act between Zenning out, engaging in late night dancefloor battles, and aggressively rooting for his teams--49ers, Giants, and Warriors.  AboveGrey Website | DreamingMonk Website | Nyogon Website | LinkedIn | Facebook-Nyogon | Instagram

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