By: Madison Spratto / NM News Port
The Duke city’s image is synonymous with high crime rates and heavy drug use as seen in TV shows — but a brother and sister duo are working to change that through a podcast.
Ryan Freeman and Lindsey Dominguez have been involved in radio and podcasting throughout their lives, but this time they felt it was important to create a show that focuses on all the good Albuquerque has to offer.
Freeman and Dominguez launched their podcast four months ago to fill a need.
“There’s not a lot of podcasts that are coming out of Albuquerque,” Dominguez said. “My goal is to shine a light on good things (about the city).”
They both grew up in Portland, but when they moved to New Mexico became a home. Freeman moved to Missouri, but like many who leave the state, he came running back.
Dominguez has been in the state for an extended period of time, and said having Freeman come back and see the changes has brought new and exciting things to the forefront of their project.
“We compare (our) perspectives a little bit,” Dominguez said. “I feel like to make it work here you have to be able to shift your perspective because there are good things — it’s really a matter of perspective.”
The “good things” the two explore range from restaurants and breweries, to local bed and breakfasts, and art. They share an affinity for all things local and giving back to the community in terms of business.
“There’s lots of cool things to do and always something happening” Freeman said. “People genuinely want to support local endeavors — it’s not just a slogan, it’s not just one day of the year.”
The sense of community is exemplified by the relationship the duo has with Thirsty Eye, a brew pub they featured in their podcast. When the two don’t have anywhere to record, Thirsty Eye opens their space as a makeshift studio.
Dominguez said the typical rhetoric of crime plaguing the city is something they are wading through. Throughout her time in Albuquerque she’s seen some turnover first hand.
“I know people who have left Albuquerque due to the rhetoric about there (being) so much crime,” Dominguez said.
The process of finding who to showcase has left their hands — and entered their social media messages. Freeman said after a few episodes businesses started reaching out to them wanting to share their story through the podcast.
“It kind of just happens, we don’t chase anyone, everybody reaches out to us,” Freeman said, adding that their interviews are booked until December.
Dominguez said recording works best when interviewing people who want to be interviewed, which is why they welcome all businesses to reach out.
“If you have something to say, we have the platform and let’s talk about it,” she said.
The art scene in Santa Fe is what Dominguez said all of New Mexico can piggyback on and will put the state on the map. She said the city has the space to expand and be creative, which is a part of the state’s resilient culture.
“I think we can be humble moving forward, but we will be able to grow exponentially in terms of creativity,” Dominguez said.
The podcast is a change of pace for Dominguez coming out of a case management background.
“Seeing all the negative stuff the city had to offer every single day; it got a little draining,” she said.
Freeman said he loves seeing the city grow, but hopes it isn’t fleeting.
“We have independent creativity here and things that people love, and I want it to get roots here so that it’s not just a boom, bust sort of thing,” he said. “I want to believe.”
Freeman said their first goal is to last one year, which in the podcasting world is a big feat.
Not every sibling pair work well together, but Dominguez said they’ve always been stuck like glue even through challenges.
“We have our own lives and we live (on) opposite sides of town, and this is a nice time to hang out every Wednesday,” Freeman said.
Madison Spratto is a reporter for the New Mexico News Port. She can be reached on Twitter @madi_spratto or at firstname.lastname@example.org.