Joel Tracey

Photo credit: Tonya Russ Price – PopRock Photography

Hi! Meet Joel. We met because of #WeLovecLT and our mutual interest in seeing Charlotte taken to new levels of awesomeness. I’ve had a lot of those types of conversations since starting all of this. Most people are interested in seeing Charlotte be bigger and better but are ok just watching it happen. Joel’s going to make it happen. Whether that’s through his own events with Culture Initiative or supporting the things others are doing. He’s showing up for Charlotte. That’s awesome.

Also, ask him why he chose the heart emoji.

What are you passionate about?

I would say that I am passionate about Charlotte. I know that sounds completely generic. I’m passionate about seeing and help facilitating a growth in our city that really puts us on the map for food, for beer, for art and for culture in general. Just seeing this city nurture and me just playing my part in helping it grow.

What frustrates you?

What frustrates me more than anything is people that completely replicate what’s already being done in this city versus playing a part or supporting those people that are already doing it and doing it well. Just this kind of desire to be in charge of and in front of something instead of supporting it. It’s frustrating to see because it ends up saturating the development of awesome things because you have several people trying to do the same thing versus jumping in, doing it together and really making some noise on a national level on what’s happening in Charlotte. Instead it just ends up being a lot of little murmur that doesn’t escape our city.

What is your greatest indulgence?

Music. As much as I love food and beer I think music is something that I indulge in on a constant basis. Working for myself and working from home I’m constantly seeking new music to fall in love with. My days are filled with blasting music. All day, every day. I would definitely say music. Right now i’m listening to My Morning Jacket, Built to Spill and kind of anticipating Heartless Bastards new albums.

Where are you ripe with talent and where do you quickly deflate?

I would say where I’m ripe with talent is developing ideas. When it comes to brand or event development i’m good at being original and plugging in variables to create unique experiences. I feel like i’m firing on all cylinders. Where I fall short is communicating and being able to gain assistance during these developments. Just getting people on the same page as me. I definitely think communication is where I fall short.

What’s one question you would ask something that you’ve never met before?

I think I would ask them what they feel their community lacks? Often we focus on what it is that we love that’s going on around us but there’s always one thing that people wish there was more of or obtainable. In the mission of developing community and making Charlotte a cooler city is figuring out what we don’t have and filling that void. A lot of the projects i’ve done that have seen marginal success has been by creating things that we don’t have. Do something that’s missing. I’m always interested in seeing what people want more of.

Joanne Spataro asked if you could be transformed into one food what food would that be and why?

That’s a complex questions. Is it an actual produce or is it a meal? I think that I would be escargot. I would be a sea snail because in preparation it’s so simple but it’s one of those foods that you experience. You have that moment where it just changes your life. That’s what I would be… sea snail. {laughs}


You can find Joel on Twitter at @Captntracey and @CI_CLT. Also check out the last happenings over at Culture Initiative and find out how he’s trying to take Charlotte to the next level.

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