Who’s who and what’s ahead from the Santa Fe Winter Arts Festival’s presenting organizations
Santa Fe New Mexican
The festival's presenting organizations highlight what's ahead Canyon Road NANCY OUIMET I OWNER CANYON ROAD CONTEMPORARY ART What’s an event from your organization’s history that symbolizes its character? Canyon Road is a historic art district that evolved as artists, attracted to the quality of light, culture, and beauty, settled onto the quaint road, eventually creating one of the densest art districts in the world. Today, Canyon Road boasts 100 galleries, boutiques, and restaurants in just half a mile. What does your Art + Sol Festival event offer attendees? Visitors can enjoy true romance while drifting through the large number of shops that offer high-quality, handmade, and artful objects of beauty on Canyon Road, and imbibe on quality food and libations at the renowned and awarded restaurants. As you look ahead in 2023, what is your organization most excited about? Canyon Road continues its tradition of offering spectacular community events with live art demonstrations and a chance to meet the artists. These events include the Canyon Road Spring Art Festival, the weekly Canyon Road Art Stroll, the Historic Canyon Road Paint and Sculpt Out, and the Fireside Chat Artist’s Series. Chatter DAVID FELBERG I CO-FOUNDER AND ARTISTIC DIRECTOR What’s an event from your organization’s history that symbolizes its character? Chatter has always searched out interesting venues to present our programs, and we’ve rarely performed in actual concert halls. One of our milestones was the 2014 performance that opened the newly renovated Albuquerque Rail Yards blacksmith shop. We had over 700 people (our largest audience to date) and performed a program of Bach, Schnittke, and Arvo Pärt, a typical programmatic format of ours that mixes old and new music together. What’s something about your organization the public doesn’t know? Even though we produce and perform 96-plus concerts per year, we don’t have any full-time employees. As you look ahead in 2023, what is your organization most excited about? We just acquired a new building and venue [in Albuquerque], in which we have 24-hour access, which has already opened new possibilities for us. For example, we started a once-a-month late-night series with super-interesting sounds and beer sales. Having our own building means we can experiment with different concert formats, times, etc. CloudTop JESSICA BAXTER I EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR What’s an event from your organization’s history that symbolizes its character? Diversity is a top priority for CloudTop, and we were so proud to include two special showcases in the [September 2022] festival. The first was a showcase of brilliant Indigenous comedians living right here in New Mexico, presented in partnership with IAIA. The second showcase featured all the LGBTQIA+ comedians. It was such a hit that it put us at fire code capacity for our venue — a good problem to have! What’s something about your organization that might surprise people? CloudTop is a nonprofit 501(c)3 performing arts organization and offers free and low-cost programming for the community, plus professional development for established and aspiring comedians. As you look ahead in 2023, what is your organization most excited about? We are in a partnership-building phase right now and are very excited about some new partnerships taking shape. CloudTop 2023 will still have everything festival-goers have come to expect, but we hope to add even more collaboration with our local community. Lensic Performing Arts Center JOEL AALBERTS I EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR What’s an event from your organization’s history that symbolizes its character? The answer for this goes back to the very beginning. The Lensic was built as a gift to the people of Santa Fe at the start of the Great Depression by an immigrant who found success in this, his adopted home. The spirit of this gift has carried on over the decades and into the Lensic’s current role as a performing arts center. This is a place where everyone f rom this community can come to experience arts and entertainments and connect with their f riends and neighbors. Our over 200 events per year offer something for everyone, and our performing arts education program engages over 18,000 children annually. What’s something about your organization the public doesn’t know? Surprisingly, many people do not know that the Lensic is a nonprofit. Rent and ticket sales only make up about 60 percent of our annual budget. It’s the support of our incredible community that allows the Lensic to support all the nonprofits that use our space and provide the rich community arts education and engagement that make the Lensic the beating heart of downtown Santa Fe. Our programs enhance the quality of life in this community, support economic growth for downtown, and offer thousands of children their very first live performing arts experience. As you look ahead in 2023, what is your organization most excited about? One of the events I’m looking forward to the most this year is the Paul Taylor Dance Company on April 5. Established almost 70 years ago, the iconic modern dance company built an international following with dances drawn f rom Taylor’s extensive choreographic repertoire. With his passing in 2018, this is the first time our audience will be treated to the company performing new works by outside choreographers, both adding to and extending the Taylor legacy. Performance Santa Fe AMY IWANO I EXECUTIVE AND ARTISTIC DIRECTOR What’s an event from your organization’s history that symbolizes its character? On October 20, 1937, when Santa Fe’s population was just 20,000, pianist Dalies Frantz gave the very first concert for the Santa Fe Community Concert Association (now known as Performance Santa Fe). Seven hundred seventy-five audience members turned out for Frantz, one of the leading pianists of the era — a harbinger of the new organization’s vision for bringing world-class touring artists to Santa Fe and local audiences’ appetite for such culture. What’s something about your organization the public doesn’t know? Performance Santa Fe is 86 years old and New Mexico’s longest-running arts presenting organization. As you look ahead in 2023, what is your organization most excited about? We are looking to bring some unique performances that audiences most likely have never experienced. Santa Fe Music Collective JOHN TRENTACOSTA I FOUNDING DIRECTOR What’s an event from your organization’s history that symbolizes its character? This event stays with me: we had a concert planned with NEA jazz master and living legend Sheila Jordan. Sheila was so ill that she could not perform. Alan Pasqua and Darek Oles were all set to go ahead with an instrumental trio concert. Eddie Daniels walked in with his clarinet and saxophone, and he sat in for a set. Where else could a Grammy Award– nominated musician just come out for a small organization? SFMC may be a small organization, but [it’s one] with character and heart. What’s something about your organization the public doesn’t know? SFMC became a member of Western Jazz Presenters Network (WJPN) several years ago and began partnering with SITE Santa Fe and the New Mexico Jazz Festival. WJPN uses NEA grant money to bring in national touring jazz musicians to New Mexico; we wouldn’t be able to afford to do this without our partners. As you look ahead in 2023, what is your organization most excited about? August 2023 will be SFMC’s 10th anniversary. The organization started at a small diner with two people talking through what it could be — and it became. It’s still going strong and gaining recognition — even through the pandemic. We’re now presenting 24 concerts a year. And we are excited about our new partnership with Santa Fe’s first full-time jazz club, Club Legato, where we have begun presenting smaller concerts in an intimate jazz club atmosphere. Santa Fe Playhouse ROBYN RIKOON I ARTISTIC DIRECTOR What’s an event from your organization’s history that symbolizes its character? The Santa Fe Playhouse celebrated our centennial season in 2022. We were founded 101 years ago by pioneer and activist Mary Austin, a woman from Illinois. Mary was a writer of novels and plays that uplifted women, environmentalism, and social progress. Since its founding, the playhouse has produced the Fiesta Melodrama every year and presented progressive new works and important classics, in keeping with the original mission. What does your Art + Sol Festival event offer attendees? Through the Looking-Glass offers attendees a sneak peek into our upcoming 2023 season and our process — beginning with The Baby Monitor, which will be in its first week of rehearsal, and then getting a premier look into raw versions of scenes f rom Sweat by Lynn Nottage, A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder, On Clover Road, and The Night Before Christmas. Attendees can meet cast members and directors, taste local concessions, and get a sample of our theatrical offerings. We look forward to spending time with our community and being part of the opening day of the Art + Sol Festival! As you look ahead in 2023, what is your organization most excited about? There are so many things to be excited about in 2023. We have a great staff right now, and we’re feeling particularly exhilarated as we gear up to produce A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder and the Pulitzer Prize–winning play Sweat by Lynn Nottage. Both are big-cast pieces, with big sets and costumes, and they’re about big topics, including classism and the American dream. Santa Fe Pro Musica ANDRÉA CASSUTT I EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR What’s an event from your organization’s history that symbolizes its character? The emerging character and tenacity of a 40-year-old organization, founded by Thomas O’Connor and Carol Redman, are difficult to characterize in one event or milestone. A local organization with strong community roots and relationships in the wider musical world, Santa Fe Pro Musica has focused on honoring the music of the great Baroque and classical composers, supporting new compositions, and the work of women in classical music. A foreshadowing milestone: in 2003 Santa Fe Pro Musica presented a benefit event featuring cellist Yo-Yo Ma, violinist Colin Jacobsen, and pianist Joel Fan at the Santa Fe Opera. It was so successful that the concert was held up for 45 minutes as state police were called in to untangle the serious traffic congestion f rom Highway 285 onto Opera Drive. What does your Art + Sol Festival event offer attendees? Santa Fe Pro Musica will present the Dover String Quartet performing a vital and dynamic program featuring the work of Mason Bates (b. 1977), a Grammy Award–winning American composer and DJ of electronic dance music; George Walker (1922–2018), who achieved many firsts, including being the first black composer to be awarded a Pulitzer Prize for Music (1996); and Antonín Dvořák (1841–1904), whose Slavonic Quartet has been described as the perfect fusion of classical style and the Slavic folk spirit. As you look ahead in 2023, what is your organization most excited about? The Santa Fe Pro Musica community is excited for our next chapter with new artistic director Colin Jacobsen. Violinist and composer Jacobsen is “one of the most interesting figures on the classical music scene,” according to The Washington Post. As a touring musician engaged in collaborating with an astonishingly wide range of artists across diverse traditions and disciplines while constantly looking for new ways to connect with audiences, Jacobsen brings the world to Santa Fe. Together, Colin Jacobsen and I look forward to continuing the adventurous spirit of Santa Fe Pro Musica, commissioning new works and f raming them with historical works to create a dialogue across the centuries, embracing the rich cultural history and communities of Northern New Mexico, and offering magical experiences that resonate far beyond the concert hall. Santa Fe Symphony Orchestra & Chorus EMMA SCHERER I EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR What’s an event from your organization’s history that symbolizes its character? The Santa Fe Symphony was founded as a collective by musicians, for musicians, in 1984. Our organization has existed since then because of the hard work and dedication of our musicians. In fact, many of those founding members still play with us today. Our board of directors is made up of 25 percent orchestral and choral musicians, and they participate in decisionmaking at every level. We look ahead to the next 40 years and know that our amazing local musicians will continue to help lead the symphony into the future of classical music. What’s something about your organization the public doesn’t know? While other companies shut their doors, the symphony created a robust virtual season during the pandemic that we’ve continued in our current seasons. These concerts highlight beautiful locations across Santa Fe and the talent of our amazing musicians. Anyone can join us for a concert, even if they can’t attend in person, by visiting SantaFeSymphonyTV.org. As you look ahead in 2023, what is your organization most excited about? The 2023–2024 season will be our 40th of making great music in Santa Fe. We have an incredibly talented group of musicians, world-class soloists lined up, an energetic board, and unbridled enthusiasm from our audience. We aim to set the tone for our next 40 years, and we want to take Santa Fe on that journey with us.