The Chandler Arizonan - 02.07.2021

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New season of AZ Creates! web series starting Feb. 11 ARIZONAN NEWS STAFF


Tempe musician and a Chandler author are among the four creatives scheduled to kick off the new season of AZ Creates!, a YouTube web series television show highlighting artists and authors, produced and hosted by Fox Crossing resident Laurie Fagen. Devon J. Hancock of Tempe is featured with author Lynne Hartke of Chandler, along with visual artist Casey Cheuvront from Scottsdale and author John J. Rust of Prescott. In Episode 9 launching Feb. 11, Hancock talks about his career path as an audio engineer, producer and visual content creator. As a jazz guitarist, he performed in downtown Chandler restaurants for several years with a former bandmate, Matt Vandal, as the Vandal Hancock duo. Hancock is also the son of Fagen and her late husband, Geoff Hancock. The show also features Hartke, who tells the story of her personal cancer journey in “Under a Desert Sky: Redefining Hope, Beauty, and Faith in the Hardest Places” in “What Are You Reading?” She also discusses the cancer diagnoses of both parents.

DIAMONDS from page 21

Devon Hancock

Casey Cheuvront

In Episode 10, which premieres Feb. 25, the Creative Connection artist is Cheuvront, who talks about her life as a visual artist in a variety of mediums. Also on that program is Rust, a sci-fi/ action adventure published author and sports director for KYCA radio. In the program’s regular arts events segment, called “Something to Look Forward To,” co-host and graphic designer Cathy Beard of Clemente Ranch will

highlight Valentine’s Day and other art happenings from around the state. The featured nonprofit for the Episode 9 will be the Cancer Support Community, an organization that ensures those with cancer are empowered by knowledge, strengthened by action and sustained by community; and Episode 10, Art Resource Center that collects reusable discards from individuals and industries and offer them free of charge to schools

and other nonprofit entities for the purpose of making art. The programs all close with a “Creative Quote of the Day.” AZ Creates! is a twice-monthly, halfhour web series to highlight artists, writers, dancers, musicians, film, theatre and TV creatives, and other artistic people in Arizona. Fagen, former publisher of SanTan Sun News, an artist and crime fiction novel writer, designed the program to connect art patrons with artists, and to work on a positive project during the COVID-19 pandemic. Show #9 airs at 7 p.m. MST Feb. 11, and Show #10 on Feb. 25. All episodes are available on the AZ Creates! YouTube channel at any time, along with other video content. Sponsorships are available with introductory rates and discounts for multishow commitments. Sponsors for the show include Times Media, Sibley’s West, an Arizona and Chandler Gift Shop and Mary Contreras State Farm Insurance. Subscribe to the AZ Creates channel on at AZCreates, visit the Art Online AZ Facebook and Instagram pages or email for details.

about what happened,’” said Yotter. “So, my dad was very rare in that he always “When they got to my father, they sent talked about it.” him one way and then after that, they According to Yotter and Tiffani Egnor, said, ‘Everybody else the other way,’ education coordinator at the Chandler which was to the gas chamber.” Museum, the atrocities Soldinger sufEven after Soldinger escaped the Holo- fered also helped qualify him for the pocaust, it still surrounded his life until he sition at Harry Winston. passed away on Jan. 2, 2001. Soldinger “He thought he was a really good fit had friends who’d survived the Holocaust because he had the cultural sensitivity with him and who lived as far away as Is- of being someone who’d experienced so rael. They wrote to each other and visited much turmoil in his life because he was each other around the globe, according to Jewish,” said Egnor. Yotter. Even the best man at Soldinger’s In 1962, Harry Winston had employed wedding was a fellow Holocaust survivor. an approximately 80-90 percent Native “A lot of my dad’s friends would be American workforce due to a government like, ‘Sam, that’s behind us. Let’s not talk program created by Barry Goldwater and

the Bureau of Indian Affairs to help lessen tribal unemployment at the time. “The BIA would provide funding for the employment of Native Americans to learn the diamond cutting trade to work there,” Egnor explained. Yotter, who accompanied her dad to work sometimes, remembers personal details in bits and pieces because she was around 6-years-old at the time. She remembers the high security and the common presence of glittering diamonds and gemstones. She remembers picnics on the front lawn of the factory and that her father brought in a ping pong table for employee lunch breaks.

“He tried to keep a good environment,” Yotter said. “For the holidays, I remember they’d give out hams and turkeys, and on Halloween, I’d hand out candy.” Out of all the fascinating stories surrounding Soldinger’s life, Yotter said that his positive outlook impacted her the most. “Even somebody that went through Hell and fortunately survived was able to flourish,” she said. “There are good stories no matter what people go through in life.” “Death and Diamonds, the story of Samuel Soldinger,” will show from Feb. 3-March 10 at the Chandler Museum, located at 300 S. Village Dr. Admission is free.

with the Dignity Health Foundation-East Valley to raise money for high-quality masks. Blake Su, a senior at Arizona College Preparatory, said there were two family mem-

bers who indirectly inspired him – along with news stories he had read last year about shortages of masks and other protective equipment in hospitals and clinics. The son of a surgeon at Dignity Health’s

Chandler Regional and Mercy Gilbert medical centers, Blake also has an elderly aunt who had just completed physical

Chandler teen raising funds for healthcare workers’ masks



Chandler teen is doing his part to help frontline healthcare workers during the pandemic by working

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