Weber State University Graduates!

To say that I bleed purple, would be an understatement. 

Yesterday, more graduated from Weber State University in a single day than in WSU's 125+ history. One of those luck hat-tossers was my little sister, McKenzie Knuth. Why is this so important to me, you might ask? Well, besides the fact that she is my sister, she represents something that I believe embodies the spirit of not only Weber State, but of Ogden City as a whole. She embodies resiliency. 

Ogden City has a rough history. A history that often gets glorified in a detrimental way I believe. Many in our city celebrate the drugs, murders, and prostitution that took place in our early beginnings as "Junction City" or "Two-Bit Street." Those same people are decrying the same activity that takes place today. 

I believe we can acknowledge the history of Ogden while still respecting the lives of those embedded in those situation's today.

Honoring Ogden's resiliency is what I choose to do.  

It is the residence like my sister who refuse to give up on their dreams that Ogden is continuously reborn, revitalized, and reimagined. My little sister never gave up. Because of her, myself and all of my siblings can now say that we are an entire generation of first generation Weber State University College Graduates. 

Till next time,

-T

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Ogden's Trails!

Hello!

The trails in Ogden are often the best place to enjoy, not only the beautiful weather we have, our incredible views, and our world-class hiking and mountain biking, but also the people you meet. 

Pictured in this photo, taken just above 12th street, is much of Ogden. This area of Ogden is the gateway to many of Ogden's amazing trailheads! From Birdsong to Bonneville and Indian to Waterfall Canyon. Each trail is unique and beautiful in its own way. Much like the people of this great city.

To put it simply, I am a recreational enthusiast who believes that all of Ogden's people should have equal access to our beautiful trails and recreational opportunities for years to come. This includes; 1. Strengthening and expanding upon partnerships with nonprofit organizations, such as Weber Pathways, community influencers, and other stakeholders to maintain, promote and build Ogden's expansive trails network. 2. Encouraging physical and recreational activities in our communities. And finally, 3. Create walkable communities that are safe, consistent, and accessible. 

-T 

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12th street trail

Ogden's Creative District!

“Logic will get you from A to B.  Imagination will take you everywhere.”
–Albert Einstein

Hello, Friends!

I spent the last two weeks immersed in my new position as the Development Director for the Ogden Symphony Ballet Association, Ogden's largest and longest running arts organization. 

Ogden City Arts, local nonprofit arts agencies, and individuals with a passion for the arts are currently involved in an extensive process of building a Creative District for Ogden, which you can read about by clicking here.  This Creative District is being named the Nice Rails Creative District which represents a point in Ogden's history when nine rail lines came together and a community prospered. It represents the impact that happens when people and organizations come together to create. In our future, I envision more defined districts and neighborhoods throughout our city where you can feel and see a difference from one district or neighborhood to the next. 

Being an artist and an arts administrator myself, supporting the arts has been a priority. This is why I have given my time, my talent and my money in support of local artists in Ogden. I believe in this Nine Rails Creative District, but more importantly, I believe in Ogden and initiatives like this one that looks to the citizens of Ogden to engage, inspire, and create.

#WeCreateOgden is the hashtag used to ignite this creative thinking. I will support Creative projects and programming throughout the city, providing Ogden citizens with opportunities to experience their favorite musical or ballet at the Peery's Egyptian Theatre, see the latest innovative and thought-provoking piece of art at The Platforms, or participate in a hands-on jewelry class at the Local Artisan Collective

Instrumentalists, performers, creatives and more.

Till next time! 

-T

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NEXT Ensemble

Playing at Alleged on Historic 25th Street

Weber County Elections: Representation

Being a young, gay, and mixed-race individual wasn't always the easiest or most comfortable experience growing up in Utah; specifically Davis County. I was often bullied, excluded, and made to feel inferior to my classmates, coworkers, and fellow citizens. 

Then I moved to Ogden in the fall of 2011 to attend Weber State University, where I met and fell in love with my husband, Sean. Suddenly I was surrounded by diverse people of all shapes, sizes, colors, orientations- you name it, and they not only accepted but they celebrated me. 

You see, the diversity in our city is why we chose to invest and purchase our first home in the heart of East Central Ogden.

To me, Representation among our elected officials is so much more than speaking or acting on behalf of their constituents. Yes, that is a large part of it, but I also feel as if Representation in leadership has another part to it that is often left out or forgotten. Representation in our leadership must reflect the diverse and unique characteristics of the individuals they speak or act for.

For example, 48.1% of individuals in Ogden identify as female. Is that proportionately represented in our leadership? Another example, 33.1% of individuals in Ogden identify as Hispanic or Latino which is Ogden's largest minority group. Is that proportionately represented in our leadership?

Something beautiful happens when both our elected officials and our popular culture embraces true representation; from Gal Gadot in Wonder Woman to electing our first African American President- TWICE! Does it make the problems disappear overnight? No. Black Lives Matter began during President Obama's administration, and women are still underpaid (but they are saving the world!). That being said, it's a start, and it's a start worth celebrating.

With Representation comes visibility and with visibility comes change.

What are we doing about it? 
Ogden City has made great strides in the last few years to create a more inclusive city for everyone. From the recent resolution on immigration to the creation of the Ogden Diversity Commission, of which I am a Commissioner for, efforts are being made and noticed by many. 

The next step?
Elect leadership that reflects and REPRESENTS the beauty of all the diversity this city has to offer. Want to vote for some incredible women? Check out Deana Froerer, Kathi Darby, Lou Shurtliff, or Lori Brinkeroff-- all incredible women running in Weber County. 

New Leadership. New Possibilities. 

And trust me when I say "You Belong In Ogden." 

Because you do. We all do. 

-T

P.S. I promise all my posts won't be about politics!

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