Tahoe community can voice opinions at Meet and Speak event

Miranda Jacobson

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — Local artist, musical mentor and creative coach Dreda Dre and city of South Lake Tahoe Parks and Recreation Director Lauren Thomaselli are leading a private Meet and Speak event, aimed at bringing together community members, businesses and various city and school board members.

The event, which will be held at the South Lake Tahoe Parks and Recreation Center from 5-8 p.m. Thursday, June 24. Reservations can be made at Dre’s Patreon, which offers different tiers ranging from $5-$20. Each tier allows guests to bring a certain amount of people to the event, and the proceeds will go to the Meet and Speak series, as well as other events throughout that Dre said he will put on in the future. Guests must RSVP for the event to be granted entry.

Dreda Dre and Lauren Thomaselli have been working with a number of community sponsors and board members to bring this event to life. Provided Dreda Dre and Spicy Mike

Dre said that his long term investment and work with the South Lake community was what led him to start putting together the series.

“I already was along the path of how to give back and what to do,” Dre said, “but then when the pandemic came, I had to sort of reevaluate my approach.”

After working to find inclusive ways and pitching his ideas to the city council and school board, Dre was able to find a safe approach that would also benefit the community as much as possible.

The all ages event is sponsored by a number of South Lake businesses and groups, including The Village, The Buttermuffin, Vinny’s Pizza, Savvy, Xhale, and Lake Tahoe Sitters Child Care. Signing up for Dre’s Patreon will also give users discounts with certain sponsers of the event, including Vinny’s Pizza and Savvy.

“There will be chefs that will be cooking up the food,” Dre said. “People are allowed to bring their own food, people are allowed to bring their own beach chairs and games. There will be music, but no live performances. There will be microphones set up so that people can take turns speaking. There will be speakers who are going to speak on certain topics such as career building, mental health, arts and crafts.”

The event will feature a variety of speakers, pictured above, with more to still be announced. (Provided
Dreda Dre)

Dre said that it’s important now more than ever to get community members together and communicate with each other, and his own love and passion for the community pushed him to make it happen.

“I realized that I’m really intrigued as well as inspired by genuine human connection and the exchange of information,” Dre said. “So that’s when I started to redirect my attention towards how to do that efficiently. I realized that part of the issue that we face is there’s not a lot of communication and there’s not a lot of connectivity. With it being a seasonal town, if it’s not summer or winter or a holiday, it has this feeling that people just don’t care about Tahoe.

“And so there’s a lot of locals who get caught up in that mind frame and also feel the repercussions of that mind frame. And when you add in on top of that, a pandemic, a bunch of outsiders moving in and changing the housing prices and pushing locals further and further off the mountain, it just adds to the overall stress and overwhelming fear and feeling that there is a disconnect and that there is no light at the end of the tunnel.

“Together we are going to speak and we are going to voice our concerns as well as the projects that we’re working on so that everybody can be on the same page and we can move forward, unified towards something better.”

To RSVP for this event, visit Dre’s Patreon..

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