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Inspiring Stories from Fort Worth

The heart of our mission at VoyageDallas is to find the amazing souls that breathe life into our city. In the recent weeks we’ve had the privilege to connect with some of the Dallas-Fort Worth area’s finest artists, creatives, entrepreneurs and rabble rousers and we can’t begin to express how impressed we are with our city’s incredibly deep talent pool. Check out Fort Worth’s rising stars below.

Dan C. Wright

n a nutshell, my story is, I’m a Texas-born musician/producer/actor/writer, I’ve been writing music for TV and film for the past ten years. In 2011, I wrote the theme song to an MTV show called “Skins,” and since then, I’ve been featured in tons of other shows such as “Jersey Shore,” “Supergirl,” “Punk’d,” “The Goldbergs,” “Revenge,” “Catfish,” “Dr. Oz Show,” “Ray Donovan,” and countless others. My professional career started around the age of 15 when my pop-rock band at the time signed to a management company that quickly propelled us to working with Grammy-nominated producers on multiple records, touring the United States, and performing at the Van’s Warped tour in 2007 and 2008. When that group disbanded in 2009, I started my solo project, 3D FRIENDS. I began releasing a handful of bedroom recordings on the internet, and it was about a year into that project when I released my song “Lina Magic” which caught the attention of MTV. I was flown out to New York to rework the track for TV and film the music video, which premiered on MTV to four million viewers (directly following the newest episode of Jersey Shore). Read more>>

Charmaine Marie

I am from Omaha, Nebraska. I was raised by my mother and my father, along with my two siblings. I had my first child at the age of fifteen years old and when I graduated from high school, I was pregnant with my second child. It was always my dream to go to the Navy because I loved seeing my aunt in her uniform. However, with two children, I was not willing to give up custody so I went to school for a little while and worked to make a living for me and my family. At the age of twenty, I had my third child. Although I came from a good home, I was not a stranger to the streets or to trouble and I enjoyed every minute of the trouble I would find myself in, calling it fun because it was and I have no regrets. I enjoyed raising my children as we grew up together, learning how to live and love together. I have always valued my family and friends and I enjoy being around and spending time with them. Wanting to change my life for the better, I packed up and moved my family to Orlando, Florida in 2000. The big move started out rough but Orlando ended up being a great place to live. Read more>>

April Westbrook

It all started with me buying a Cricut! Not actually, I have always liked to create things and so for about 2 or 3 years ago, I had been hearing about how amazing this cutting machine was, so I wanted to know for myself. I did a little research and found out that this machine make cards, cuts designs for shirts and a whole bunch of stuff. So I eventually bought one for myself. I was hooked, I was making myself shirts, Christmas cards, gift tags, labels and anything to make a gift a personalized gift. I did not buy another card or shirt again because I was making my own. Then close friends started to see the stuff that I was making and they were like, “hey, make me one!” From that time on, I have had people to ask me for different things all the time and I absolutely love it. Read more>>

Landon Coats

It all started when I was in middle school and I saw the movie Platoon. Before that, I just saw movies as an escape from reality, which is in essence what they are, but I had never seen a movie before then that left me thinking, and I came to the realization that movies can be very powerful ways to communicate thoughts in feelings in a way that just words hadn’t be able to for me in the past. Today I strive to make video content that speaks to others in the same way Platton spoke to me all those years ago. Read more>>

Libby Tilley-Hogg

Lottie Mae Lounge, a roving 31ft. art gallery in a refurbished 1979 Airstream Sovereign, made its debut at Fall Gallery Night 2020 and has since embarked on an ongoing series of cross-country openings, featuring the work of both emerging and established contemporary artists. Gallery founder, Fort Worth resident Libby Tilley, is a Sotheby’s graduate and an avid collector, who has cultivated a discerning eye while working with such art institutions as The Contemporary Austin, The Amon Carter Museum of American Art in Fort Worth, TX, Blue Star Contemporary Art Center in San Antonio, TX, and Artpace San Antonio. “I always wanted to have a gallery of my own,” says Tilley, who named the gallery after her maternal grandmother. “While doing research with respected friends and colleagues who are gallerists, a common refrain was the uncertain nature of not owning the space itself. Read more>>

Alexis Schwarting

My love for music started as a kid in the back of my mom’s car, kicking the seat to artists like Destiny’s child, No Doubt, 50 cent, Eminem, Queen, Metallica and tons more. I fell in love with the bass and vibration it would give the seats, the way every instrument would fill up the space in the air and how every harmony was coming from all directions. Everything about music has drawn me in for as long as I can remember. Growing up, I had so many questions about music, so as soon as I was old enough, my mom enrolled me in piano and guitar lessons. I loved the instruments but by the time I was in Jr. High, I wanted to try something new. I turned my focus to percussion and fell in love with the endless instruments I could learn within it. I studied and practiced those years and by Freshman year of High school, I joined the Snare line. This gave me a new appreciation for music as it taught me the complex rhythms and endless patterns music can have. I became interested in leadership and started pushing myself to be the best and become the first female Snare Captain. My dedication and commitment to excel then earned me the title of Drum Captain. Read more>>

Santiago Torres

I have been in the hospitality/food industry for 20 years. Eleven of them I have been employed for the Darden Corp. with the Olive Garden branch. After so many years of hard-working and gathering knowledge, I come to the realization that I wanted to start my own business in the food industry. I didn’t have the capital to open a physical location so I started looking for opportunities and thinking how can I make this happen. Growing up and having Salvadoran roots, Mexican and Salvadoran food was always prepared by my mother and grandmother. And I got to learn by watching them cook. So I have carried on with their recipes and I remember all the love they used to put into the delicious meals. So one day talking to my brother Frank. I say I really would like to start my own business and adventure. Read more>>

Leanna Johnson

Up until December 2018, my entire adult life was spent in an academic setting. I had finished my doctorate, complete with a 300+ page dissertation, and was teaching. From researching and writing to communicating with students, I had fully developed the left side of my brain, the analytical, logical, organized part. Without my graduate work, I found myself feeling a bit lost and had way too much time on my hands. After twelve years of being overworked, I simply couldn’t not do something. Plus, teaching, as you can imagine, is a stressful profession. So I turned to cookie decorating. I had always enjoyed baking and watching sugar artistry, like Buddy Valastro’s “Cake Boss.” Two photos I have show toddler me covered in flour and opening day of Carlo’s Bakery-Dallas meeting Grace Faugno, Buddy’s sister. Sugar artistry was something that I wanted to learn, but for so long didn’t know how to start. Read more>>

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