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Podcast Shares Stories of Downtown Arlington History

“Downtown Arlington Roots” Podcast is the latest initiative by DAMC to support its Business Improvement District members, partners and community through the COVID-19 crisis.

A new six-week podcast is being launched this week by Downtown Arlington. It is the latest in a number of new initiatives launched since the COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) crisis began to impact the businesses, restaurants, educational and arts institutions within this official State of Texas cultural district

The free podcast, entitled Downtown Arlington Roots, engages leaders, experts, artists and innovators in thought-provoking conversations about the district’s fascinating past and hopes for the future. More than just a history lesson, the podcast focuses on the ingenuity, creativity, and hometown pride that has driven the nearly 150-year development of Downtown Arlington.

The entire series will be available on Downtown Arlington’s Facebook Live and YouTube channels. Listeners can also tune in to the audio-only podcast format via Spotify and iTunes. 

Maggie Campbell, president and CEO of Downtown Arlington Management Corporation (DAMC), serves as host for the series.

“As communities continue to maintain social distancing practices,” said Campbell, “it is critical to seek other kinds of meaningful connections, particularly between generations. History reminds us that we’ve got what it takes to face adversity head on. What better time than now to both celebrate the resilience of Downtown and strengthen our community bonds through the sharing of those stories?” 

The podcast line-up includes:

  • Episode One. Uprooted: The Stories of the Texas Rangers with John Blake, executive vice president of the Texas Rangers, and Parker Vandergriff as they reminisce about how the Texas Rangers came to Arlington and the stories behind all three ballparks.
  • Episode Two. Puttin’ Down Roots, stories of early Arlington with writer and historian O.K. Carter and Geraldine Mills, Executive Director of the Arlington Historical Society and Fielder House.
  • Episode Three. Rooted in Creativity explores the traditions of live music, fine and performing arts, and arts education in Downtown. Joining the conversation is Levitt Pavilion Executive Director Letatia Teykl, 3Di Signs + Design Owner Paul Fulks, and Persis Ann Forster, Artistic Director for Dance Theatre Arlington and Owner of Miss Persis Studio of Dance.
  • Episode Four, Roots of Revitalization. The renaissance in Downtown started with lots of big dreams, dedication and tenacity. This conversation includes “Downtown Tony” Rutigliano, CEO of Three Monkeys Co./Urban Alchemy, longtime Arlington leader Tom Cravens, and Tom’s daughter Mary Tom Curnutt, Tarrant County Judge, Precinct 2 sharing stories of reinvention and community building.
  • Episode Five. Spreading Our Roots: The History of Innovation and Reinvention celebrates the spirit of entrepreneurship and innovation, two concepts central to Arlington’s identity that are fueled in large part by the University of Texas at Arlington. Panelists includes Cadmus Dental CEO Scott Parsinen, Salter Bros. Coffee Roasters Managing Partner Cindy Salter, and Michael Jacobson, President & CEO of the Greater Arlington Chamber of Commerce
  • Episode Six. Rootin’ For Each Other: Arlington’s Heart dives into the important roles Downtown’s nonprofit, volunteer leadership, and community organizations play in responding to needs within the community. Joining the program are special guests Arlington Tomorrow Foundation Executive Director Carolyn Mentesana, Jim and Tillie Burgin of Mission Arlington, and 16 Grammy Award-winning recording artist Kirk Franklin of Camp Lotus and Franklin Imagine Group.

In addition to Downtown Arlington Roots, DAMC has launched several other initiatives aimed to support its community through the extreme but necessary measures to stop the spread of COVID-19:

  • Downtown Delivers: Downtown Delivers is an online platform for Downtown Arlington bar and restaurant owners to quickly communicate their current operating models, including to-go ordering, curbside pick-up, and/or delivery.
  • Stronger Together: DAMC communicates real-time COVID-19 information via its website clearinghouse, social media, weekly executive briefs, and co-promotion of resources produced by local entities including the City of Arlington, Tarrant County, Greater Arlington Chamber of Commerce, and others.
  • Spreading Kindness: In support of the City of Arlington Kindness Initiative, Downtown Arlington is actively promoting acts of kindness shared throughout the district by individuals, arts institutions, and businesses.

“From the beginning of this crisis,” said Campbell, “we’ve been working tirelessly to keep Downtown Arlington top of mind as source of roll-up-your-sleeves tenacity, innovation, and especially hope.”


Through its contract with the City of Arlington, the Downtown Arlington Business Improvement District (BID) is a legal entity representing property owners within the approved BID boundaries. Overseen by a representative board, the BID provides wide-ranging benefits for the district including marketing, economic development, security, and beautification services.


Designated by the State of Texas as the Arlington Cultural District, Downtown Arlington is where creativity, authenticity, and hometown pride thrive and drive what's next. Within its less than a two-mile radius, Downtown is home to a top tier public research university, prolific visual and performing arts, live entertainment, exciting NCAA and professional athletics, one-of-a-kind dining and retail, and a supportive business climate. 


updated 5/28/2020

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