A women-led podcast is amplifying real talk about real issues affecting real people in the city of Ocean Springs.
Hosted by Ravin Nettles and Sarah Qarqish, “City Culture” is quickly gaining a large following with its honest conversations about the vibrant City of Discovery. And these ladies are harmonizing their platforms with a double dose of fun, knowledge, and creativity while talking to everyone from city, school, and business leaders to community focus groups and event planners.
“We’re rocking and rolling in the city,” said Nettles, who is also the city’s administration and community relations coordinator. “We’re invested in all of the projects the city has, but we want to know what are we missing. We get caught up in all of our projects but we want to know what our residents think. We want to hear from the people who live here and work here.”
Nettles said she constantly asks people to give their viewpoints about Ocean Springs and its future.
“Sometimes, people are a little apprehensive about answering the question,” she said. “I always tell them I want you to be honest with us and to tell me the positive or negative so we can work toward something together. I’ll bring in the heavy hitters you want to hear from.”
Qarqish is also the arts & cultural coordinator at the Mary C. O’Keefe Cultural Arts Center and is a co-owner and designer at the HannaBerry Workshop.
“We have a lot of creative people here who are hardworking,” Qarqish said. “This is an opportunity to get more information out and to have real conversations with the right combination of balance and show the city’s bigger picture between our two main things, which are the city and the arts.”
The first “City Culture” podcast was on Feb. 14 and featured the pair introducing themselves to their listeners and outlining their first 12-episode season. Featured guests in the biweekly podcast have included Mayor Kenny Holloway and Theater Director Devin Carter; Fire Chief Derek McCoy and Mary C. Art Teacher Danea Israel Brown; Artist and Photographer Oliver Preus and the Lord is My Help Board President Susannah Snyder; and Trey Brennan, the Communication Specialist for the Ocean Springs School District and Clay Barney, owner and chef of the Grateful Dread Mobile Food Experience.
“We have so many others coming up that I know people will be excited to listen to,” Nettles said.
This is just the beginning for these podcasters who have plans to take the show out on the street during citywide and coastal events such as the annual Crusin’ the Coast.
“We would love to talk to the people that come here and ask why they’re here and what they enjoy about our town and get some of that out-of-town perspective,” Nettles said.
There are also plans to add guests from other coastal cities in Jackson, Harrison, and Hancock counties and eventually the entire Magnolia State.
Check out “City Culture” on Apple Music, Spotify, iHeart radio, and YouTube. You can reach out to Nettles at [email protected] or Qarqish at [email protected] with comments or suggested topics or guests.