The Unconference of educational and networking events serving Albuquerque’s creative workers is growing into a powerful model for how to engage, serve and support a robust creative community.
I chat with Pilar Westell, owner of Zendo Coffee, about the intersection between art and coffee, and the ins and outs of building and running a community space.
I thought of Lujan Grisham because it was at her event that I was speaking: the Congressional Art Competition for high school students across the district. Lujan Grisham is currently our Rep for New Mexico Congressional District 1 (which includes Albuquerque) and since she has been in office she has hosted this competition.
Building a business takes resourcefulness, resilience and often a lucky accident or two. No one knows this more than Sheri Crider, who has built a life as an artist and founder of visual art centers (currently, the Sanitary Tortilla Factory in downtown ABQ), despite challenges of addiction and incarceration in her early life. Peri and Eph Sharpe chat with Sheri about the intersection of “businessperson” and “artist” and how she built upon skills in drawing and construction to create a rewarding, creative self-employed life.
Peri and Eph have a fantastic chat with Ebony about how she created a showcase for Black performers in Albuquerque, and how she balances the many different identities — poet, organizer, marketing pro, auntie-mom, holder of the mic — that make her who she is.
The most important detail for you to be clear about is who is in the audience. How much did they pay to get into the event? Say, for an art competition, who are the participants: adults from a local correctional facility or high school students? You’ll want to cater your talk to their perspective.
Mainly what I’d say to my friend is this: Imagine a world where there is a free beer tap on every corner. If you want to make a living selling beer, how can you succeed? One inescapable part of the answer, it seems to me, is that you end up giving away a LOT of beer.
I’ll be honest, the simple act of listing what we’ve accomplished makes me feel pretty great and makes me excited to contemplate what we’ll achieve in the coming year and years beyond that. Because, to continue being honest, I feel a palpable feeling of overwhelm.
Peri interviews Collin Troy, a.k.a. Eph Sharpe, known to hip hop fans for his work with 2bers, but who also has a crap-ton of other creative ventures on his plate, including a new solo music project called Factory on Fire.
Peri interviews glitter-dusted musician and practicing Buddhist Little Bobby Tucker, and conceptual artist Jessamyn Lovell about her new work in progress, The P.I. Project.