Honestly, you might be living in a box if your not in tune with the creative scene in Fresno. We are so much more than being known for monthly art-hops, taco truck throwdowns, and having passionate Downtown revitalization efforts.
This is a space for the story behind the creatives. This is the story of the people. I wanted to start my first segment focusing on John Quiroz; founder of Love The Captive.
Name: John Quiroz
Title: Curator. Farmer. Plumber. Founder of Love The Captive.
What is Love The Captive?
After I was done playing music in 2005, I noticed there wasn’t a collective of promoters in Fresno. There was a few, but none that were doing anything outside the box. I decided to start coordinating shows. Back then it was all about the music and the shows. We threw them anywhere we could – in churches, warehouses, houses, literally anywhere.
We never took a break. There’s been some years where we’ve done 10 shows in a year and there’s others where we’ve done 250 in a year. Nonetheless, we never stopped. For 14 years, Love The Captive has been known for shows.
What is LTC’s mission?
Our mission is to enhance and grow the careers of the artist’s we represent. We don’t believe in boundaries or systematic lines. We don’t believe in area codes and divisions – we’re all human. It’s not so much of a Fresno thing. It’s an everyone thing.
What is Summer Sweat?
Summer Sweat started when I was working at Peeves around 4- 5 years ago. The idea for Summer Sweat then was multiple stages, multiple genres, and hosted right on Fulton Street. I wanted to do something fun in the 100 degree plus Fresno weather, while others looked at the weather as a drag I wanted to embrace it and look at it more as a celebration. In the past it's been both a local and non-local lineup. Now for the first time ever in 2019 it’s made up of all locals that are all a part of LTC; which I'm really proud of.
What’s new for you guys?
Pretty soon we will be launching as a marketing agency for musicians and artists. No longer will you see “Love The Captive presents.”
We decided to make this change because throughout the years, we’ve accumulated many talented individuals who have certain skills. At this point we no longer need more people to do more shows, what we really need is a true music industry. A place where people can work on their music, record in studios, and get booked on tours. A place to market them in the right way. So it’s not like someone saying, “Hey my music is out” and hoping somebody listens to it. We want to feed and market these guys. I will still continue to do shows but under another moniker.
I’m excited, because this is my baby. The baby is now a teenager and it’s time to grow into something bigger.
What inspires you?
My family and my youth. I love looking back at my upbringing and the things I’ve experienced growing up. I don’t look back with the mindset of wishing I could go back to re-do things, but I look at it more of as motivation and security of where I’m going. My mom always had music bumping to Marvin Gaye, Aretha Franklin, and Whitney Houston. All these artists opened me up to different sounds. The sounds opened up my mind, and by the time I got to high-school I just wanted to get to know people and their stories. That’s what really motivates me, people.
This has been weighing heavy, but in a good way. I've been so inspired lately from my yoga practice as of late. It's opened up a lot depths of realization which makes me hungry for even more soul-searchin'. This post isn't about yoga and I'm not saying that I've finally figured out my life nor that I'm perfect.
But with this particular topic of asking and receiving I've been open enough to explore and ask myself what I truly want; especially in my work and personal life. Balancing these two is extremely important to me. Once I find out what I really want then I can start crafting the type of questions I need to ask. In addition of who I want to surround myself or I also like to think of it as "Who I want in the gym with me." Because you know, we workin.
As a creative or any other area of field; whether you're an engineer, a writer, entrepreneur, teacher, realtor, artist or chicken catcher there will always be a gray area that you don't know the answer to. There will always be once piece of the puzzle that you need your network to help you with. I think of the super women and men in my community and ask myself, "How do they do it?" "How are they so dang good at what they do and make it look easy?"
Let's take Christine Brown for example. She's the lady of Fresno. I could disappear from the world for a bit but when I come back I am always shown love and encouragement from her. She is super goals. Period. I remember sliding into her DMs one time and telling her just that and she immediately responded with "You can have what you want too. Starts with the mindset, I promise."
I took that slice of information that she said and created space for it. Don't even ask me how long it was cooking for. Fast forward a few months later and here I am taking action for the things I want. The process was and still is an animal at times.
I'm talking about the process of going through what you don't want. Knowing you don't want it but still putting yourself through it. Dealing with the bullshit and then finally having enough and reaching that breakthrough moment.
So fast forward to now and I've finally figured out what I really want (or at least I think I do LOL.) It took a lot of listening to my natural desires. Understanding that I don't need to be the "next" anyone. I asked myself and I received those answers. Currently, I'm still blogging, working as a public relations coordinator, volunteering on a Board of Directors position, and picking up djaying. I think I'm kicking my "quarter life crisis" in the ass.
Personal growth is not a pretty process and won't ever be. I want to stress that there's always room to re-invent yourself, to make time for yourself and grow. There is no timeline for "figuring it out" either. For me, once I knew what my goals looked like, I did what I could to set myself up to succeed then asked help with what I needed. You build community this way too.
You also have to know that there will always be times that you don't get what you asked for, or when something hasn't worked out they way you imagined or expected them too. That is one hundred percent okay. I've learned the journey is meant for yes's and no's. Whatever is meant for you will always be yours.
So what I'm trying to say here is that I want people to stay inspired and stay working on their goals. I want to celebrate the baby steps that people sometimes overlook. I want people to speak on what they want and not be afraid to get to know their community and grow their network in a positive way. There's always going to be roadblocks but the end game is insanely beautiful.
This post isn't just about me asking and receiving, this post is about how I see others doing the same exact thing and killing it in Fresno. It's contagious to be around and I hope others see it the same way too.