Never underestimate the power of a cheeseball.
Forty some years ago, my southern-born mama started making cheeseballs for The Sorry Muthas: a Minneapolis based folk band. Before the band went off on tour, mom would fill doubled up paper sacks from the local Red Owl grocery store with oranges, crackers and other substantive snacks. Cheeseballs were her way of ensuring the band “got a little nutrition.” Overtime, she and my father opened their hearts and home to support their musical family, hiring them to play at parties, spotting them cash, even offering the fiddler, Bill Hinkley, a home in our basement, and the harmonica player, Soupy Schindler, space in our Chicago attic after we moved to the Windy City. Whatever the Muthas got, they gave back with interest, enriching our lives with their skills, intelligence, humor, and of course, their music.
Mom passed away more than 20 years ago, but I do my best to hold the spirit of the cheeseball aloft. For the past year, my business partner, Joshua Maes, and I have used our real estate listings in downtown Santa Fe to showcase the work of emerging and independent artists and musicians. 100% of the proceeds from any sale go to the artist. We’re happy to report at least 14 sales that took place at or following one of our Art Open Houses. I also use the forum of this blog to report on the people and events of Santa Fe’s alternative, independent and emerging arts scene, since, at this writing, there is no formal one-stop resource for such information. (I do commend The Santa Fe Reporter for its community calendar.) A couple of times, I’ve thrown in information on Albuquerque players, including photographer David Bram, Fraction Mag, and [AC]2
Up to now, I have been tucking alt arts info into the tail of my blogposts and rotating, somewhat awkwardly, between reviews of our openings, artists, local businesses and real estate, constantly worrying that if you came for one, you might not want to look at the other.
But here it is: I am an art lover, an ad hoc mentor, an enthusiast for entrepreneurial energy, a proud citizen of Santa Fe, and a real estate agent. In me, all those passions are reconciled. By offering emerging and independent artists and musicians a place to be seen and heard, I am attempting to support the people and activities that make my chosen home more interesting, vibrant and dimensional. I am also hoping these efforts will help attract and retain young people who are a vital component of our community. I support and showcase local businesses I know to be doing good work because I hope that you will use their goods and services and keep them in business. And, yes, I do talk about real estate because that’s my day job of choice and something I care to see done well.
So, when you visit my blog, you may find some words on real estate, an update on an emerging artist, a restaurant review or interview with a business owner. You can focus on just one subject using the tabs. But my hope is that you will take a look at whatever befalls you. It’s just my cheeseball, but never discount the collective power of small acts; witness the enormous grassroots response to the quake in Haiti. Hope to hear from you.
Didn’t get word on much this week, but a shoutout to Alt Curator Red Cell and The End of Being, a news magazine and Esoteric Guide to Difficult and Unusual Art, Music, Film, People and Ideas he cohosts with Patricia Sauthoff, former Arts and Entertainment editor of the Santa Fe Reporter. Good things starting in March through The Process, Red Cell’s alternative curatorial wing.
UPDATE FEBRUARY 5TH, 2012:
If you’re in Minneapolis on February 12th, don’t forget to catch the 30th annual Battle of the Jug Bands at the Nomad World Pub. “The oldest Jug Band Gathering in the Known Universe.” Three former Muthas, Papa John Kolstad, Bob Stelnicki and Cal Hand, will be playing. Whatever your musical leanings, the passion of these battles is a joyous thing to hear and watch.