Michelina DiSibio: Chef and Owner of Michelina’s Ristorante Costa Campagnia

Michelina DiSibio, owner of Michelina's Ristorante Costa Campagnia, photographed at her restaurant in Phoenix, by Nicki Escudero

Michelina DiSibio, owner of Michelina’s Ristorante Costa Campagnia, photographed at her restaurant in Phoenix, by Nicki Escudero

Michelina DiSibio
facebook.com/MichelinasRestaurant

Michelina DiSibio runs one of the tastiest Italian restaurants in the Valley, her namesake Michelina’s Ristorante Costa Campagnia. The Italian-born chef, 63, has been cooking since she was a little girl, and now her gorgeous, intimate, fresh flower-filled restaurant is set to celebrate its 30th anniversary this upcoming November.

Learn more about her restaurant by watching KAET 8‘s Check, Please! Arizona this Thursday, February 26 at 7 p.m. Get to know the Phoenix resident, who is in the kitchen every night the restaurant is open, better here. You can watch a video of DiSibio naming her five favorite reasons for loving living here in the Valley, too.

What brought you to Arizona?

I arrived in the United States in1970 and lived in New Jersey for nine years. I was married and had two children. We came to Arizona in 1979 because we had visited and loved it and wanted to get away from the cold and snow. It’s been great.

I was born in Gesualdo, Italy and came to America when I was 18. My sister was married and living in New Jersey at the time. My dad convinced me to come here because he thought I’d have better opportunities here and didn’t want me to go to school in Italy. I worked in a factory in Newark and learned English within a year. Continue reading

Lauren Wise: Founder of Midnight Publishing

Lauren Wise, founder of Midnight Publishing, photographed at The Poisoned Pen Bookstore in Scottsdale, by Nicki Escudero

Lauren Wise, founder of Midnight Publishing, The Poisoned Pen Bookstore in Scottsdale, by Nicki Escudero

Lauren Wise
twitter.com/MidnightWriting

Lauren Wise is a writing and editing machine, as a freelance writer for publications around the country, and as founder of her own Midnight Publishing, which provides editing, self-publishing and ghostwriting services for authors and businesses. The 30-year-old Tempe resident has helped edit more than 30 books, aiming to create industry experts with the power of the pen.

Wise is also a huge heavy metal fan and works with HeavyMetalTelevision.com as a host and record label contact. She shared why she’s passionate about writing and helping others hone their skills, as well as shared her most memorable moments as a journalist. You can also watch her name her five favorite reasons for loving living in the Valley in a video.

What brought you to Arizona?

I moved here when I was 15 and went to Saguaro High School before attending ASU and getting my degree in journalism. My parents relocated, so I had to go with them. I was born in Hinsdale, Illinois, a little bit out of Chicago.

I spent my childhood all over South Florida and my early teenage years in Kansas. My dad designs golf courses, so that is why we moved so often — you go where the work is. Arizona is a perfect place for that, and the projects here he worked on include Grayhawk, Mirabel, Estancia and Whisper Rock. Continue reading

Josh Montag: Drummer for Scattered Melodies, The Wiley Ones and Ruca

Josh Montag, drummer for Scattered Melodies, Ruca and The Wiley Ones, photographed in his home studio, by Nicki Escudero

Josh Montag, drummer for Scattered Melodies, Ruca and The Wiley Ones, photographed in his home studio, by Nicki Escudero

Josh Montag
facebook.com/ScatteredMelodies

Josh Montag is one of the busiest guys in the local music scene, as drummer for bands Scattered Melodies, The Wiley Ones and Ruca. The 27-year-old Mesa resident works as a server at Pita Jungle, but his true passion is music, as is evident by the myriad shows you can catch him playing around the Valley.

Montag and his Scattered Melodies collaborator, Jake Johnston, are currently working on their second album, which will feature more than 30 musicians and different singers and guitarists on every track. Learn more about why Montag loves the drums, and watch him name his five favorite reasons for loving living in the Valley in a video.

What brought you to Arizona?

I was 6 years old when my family moved here from California. I was born in San Diego and lived in San Jose before coming here. I went to Mesquite High School and studied film at Scottsdale Community College before studying music business at Chandler-Gilbert Community College. Continue reading

Tara Logsdon: Founder of DIE Bearmy and Multimedia Artist

Tara Logsdon, artist and founder of DIE Bearmy, photographed at the Rio Salado Habitat Restoration Area, by Nicki Escudero

Tara Logsdon, artist and founder of DIE Bearmy, photographed with her dog, Mixtape, at the Rio Salado Habitat Restoration Area, by Nicki Escudero

Tara Logsdon
twitter.com/DIEBearmy

Tara Logsdon feels a unique connection to inanimate objects. Teddy bears found face-down in thrift stores speak to her emotionally, and she rescues them and rehabs them, turning them into beautifully unique pieces of art with her DIE Bearmy teddy bear line. The artist makes one-of-a-kind stuffed animals for people around the world, and the bears have found their ways into the multimedia artist’s exhibitions. She’s made bears for celebrities, and is planning on creating one for actor Jeff Goldblum’s baby.

The 41-year-old Phoenix resident works as a production assistant for Martha + Mary, a venue development company with an arts focus, and at Jobot cafe in Phoenix on the weekends. You can see her bears in her upcoming art installation Bearial Ground at Frontal Lobe Community Space and Gallery in Phoenix February 6 through 20, and you can meet her at the opening reception this Friday, February 6 from 7 to 11 p.m.

Learn more about how Logsdon founded DIE Bearmy, and watch her name her five favorite reasons for loving living in the Valley in a video.

What brought you to Arizona?

I grew up here and moved to Seattle to go to The Art Institute of Seattle. I graduated with a degree in multimedia and a minor in curation. From Seattle, I was moving to L.A. and had all my possessions stolen, and my insurance wouldn’t cover it, so I had to move back in with my parents. My son was 9 at the time, and he wanted to stay here because his grandparents were here, so we stayed. I ended up finding downtown Phoenix and moved into Holgas [artist living space].

I was born in Beatrice, Nebraska, and my parents moved out here when I was 5 years old. I went to Buckeye Union High School. Continue reading