2019 PERFORMERS

Lots of our 2018 performers returned for 2019. THANK YOU! PorchFest simply wouldn’t happen without you returning year after year. Thanks for giving up your Saturday to serve others!

Aaand we’ve got some new performers this year, too! One great way to keep up to date is to head to our Facebook page, “like” it and “like” a bunch of posts so that it starts to show up in your feed.

We’ll have this page ready when every single person is 100% confirmed. Meanwhile, feel free to check out previous years. Thanks!

2018 PERFORMERS

Lots of our 2017 performers returned for 2018. THANK YOU! It makes everything so much easier when people keep participating year after year.

#1 – Kevin Morgan

#2 – Ron Greene

#3 – Ashley Pyle

#4 – Dylan Hathaway

#5 – Chad Moore

#6 – Bodhi Bill

#7 – Jen Edgren

#8 – Misty Mountain Pony Club

#9 – Sydney King & Friends

#10 – Sweet Rebel D

#11 – Kai

#12 – Dave McRae & Friends

#14 – Rich Myers & Friends

#15 Jon Lossing & Friends

#16 – Ken Davis

#17 – Nic Vigil

#18 – Thom Caraway & Friends

#19 – Ursus Americanus

2017 PERFORMERS

Almost 100% of last year’s musicians and a bunch of poets have signed up again. Scroll down to see some of the performers’ profiles…

– MUSICIANS –

#1 – Dario Ré  – Full Band

#2 – Jesse Tinsley – Covers – Jazz/Hawaiian -Trio

#3 – Madeline McNeil – Opera/Etc. – Vocals/Guitar – Solo

#4 – Tourist Union – Folk – Trio

#5 – Angela Marie Project – Originals – Rock/Pop – Vocals/Guitar – Duet

#6 – Steve Schennum – Originals – Vocals/Guitar – Solo

#7 – Abe Kenney – Classical – Guitar – Solo

#8 – Dave McRae – Folkabilly – Vocals/Guitar – Solo

#9 – Sweet Rebel D – Duo – Rock

#10 – Kevin Morgan – Singer/Songwriter

#11 – Amy Shaver – Singer/Songwriter

#12 – Lyle Morse – Singer/Songwriter

#14 – Tyler Aker – Singer/Songwriter

#15 – Chad O. Moore – Singer/Songwriter

#16 – Lucas McIntyre – Singer/Songwriter

#17 – Bob Lawrence – Singer/Songwriter

#18 – From The Sea – Blues/Soul – Band

#19 – Jon Lossing and Friends – Blues/Soul – Band

#20 – 528 Crew – Band

#2 – Annie May’s Friends– Bands and Singer/Songwriters

More to come…

 

– POETS –  

#1 – Davy Nguyen (Poet Wrangler)

#2 – Devin Devine

#3 – Jansen Niccals

#4 – Leo Smith

#5 – Katy Fitz

#6 – Shedlock

#7 – Clarke Hannahs

#8 – Alexander Manzoni

#9 – Hailey Clawson

 

2016 PERFORMERS

Almost 100% of last year’s musicians and a bunch of poets have signed up again. We’ve been shooting photos and gathering texts, so look forward to new portraits and interviews every day on the BLOG. Until those appear, just check out the 2015 profiles to get a feel for the show. Thanks!

– MUSICIANS –

#1 – Grand Avenue – Rock/Pop – Full Band

#2 – Daniel Hall – Progressive Rock – Vocal/Guitar

#3 – Carlton Oakes – Classical – Guitar – Solo

#4 – Steve Schennum – Originals – Vocals/Guitar – Solo

#5 – Angela Marie – Originals – Rock/Pop – Vocals/Guitar – Duet

#6 – Matt & Sarah – Covers – Rock/Pop – Vocals/Guitar – Duet

#7 – Abe Kenney – Classical – Guitar – Solo

#8 – Perfect Destruction – Rock – Full Band

#9 – Brett & Janet Dodd – Covers – Vocals/Guitar – Folk/Americana – Duet

#10 – Angie & Phil Lamb – Covers/Originals – Vocals/Guitar – Folk – Duet

#11 – Tonya Ballman – Solo – Vocals/Guitar

#12 – Nic Vigil (Milonga) – Latin – Vocal/Guitar – Solo

#13 – Jesse Tinsley – Covers – Jazz/Hawaiian -Trio

#14 – Ron Criscione – Covers – Vocals/Guitar

#15 – Madeline McNeil – Opera/Etc. – Vocals/Guitar – Solo

#16 – Nick Grow – Covers – Singer/Songwriter – Vocals/Guitar – Solo

#17 – Tourist Union – Folk – Trio

#18 – Dave McRae – Folkabilly – Vocals/Guitar – Solo

#19 – Britt & Friends – Swing – Full Band

#20 – Lucas Brookbank – Covers/Originals – Folk/Rock – Vocals/Guitar – Solo

 

– POETS –  

#1 – Chadwick Aufderhar

#2 – Chris Cook

#3 – Fitz Fitzgerald (Poet Wrangler)

#4 – Jansen Niccals

#5 – Laura Read

#6 – Lauren Gilmore

#7 – Luke Grayson

#8 – Maya Zeller

#9 – Seth Marlin

#10 – Teri Koski

#11 – Thom Caraway

 

2015 PERFORMERS

Performer Profile #1

© Marshall E. Peterson Jr.

© Marshall E. Peterson Jr.

– MICHAEL BETHELY – Poet

 

Bio: Michael Bethely is a poet/lyricist who loves to utilize his gifts to inspire those who need it, and also be a light to those who see it. He is the founder of Bethely Entertainment Group, a company working to empower the community, by using the community, to develop the community – by being a catalyst for inspiration, personal growth, self-help, community service, positive reinforcement, and hope. Fresh off the plane from his wedding, Michael hopes that he and his wife can inspire a change in Spokane that will consist of the greatest gift… Love.

 

Talk to us a bit about community, about yourself as an artist, and about PorchFest, please…

 

1 -What got you interested in PorchFest? What do you think about it?

Big Trav (last year’s PorchFest Poet Wrangler) told me about the opportunity and the concept behind it, and I LOVE IT! I think it’s an awesome way to get a community together, and am honored to be able to be a part of it.

 

2- How often do you get over to West Central? What brings you over?

I actually work at West Central Community Center as a recreation leader, so I’m over here pretty often.

 

3- What is “community”? How do we build it? Does it happen automatically or does it need catalysts?

Community is me and you… you and me… him and her… them… Us. And we build it by loving our neighbor as we love ourselves. Looking out for each other, being willing to give, embracing and understanding our differences and then taking those differences and highlighting how those individual differences can help us reach the same goal.

I wish it was automatic, but we do need catalysts. Those who will BE an example, and pave the way. Being the pebble that starts the ripple in the water. Kind of like Porchfest is doing. :)

 

4- What have you done to build community? What else would you like to do?

Right now I’m doing all that I can to be involved without spreading myself too thin, and taking time away from my family. From being involved at my church, to helping out local non-profits with my talents and desires. But the biggest thing that I try to do is create a contagious atmosphere of Love.

I hope to be able to run my business full time one day – that will allow me to make an even bigger impact.

 

5- What do you hope to accomplish at PorchFest? What do you want to help PorchFest accomplish?

I hope to meet new people who like meeting new people. Share my life with them, and help PorchFest reach any goals or objectives that they may have.

 

6- Why should people come to the event?

Because if they haven’t been before, they can say they tried something new. And if they have been, they can say they’ve seen myself, or any of the other talented performers perform right on their (or someone else’s) front porch.

 

Performer Profile #2

© Marshall E. Peterson Jr.

© Marshall E. Peterson Jr.

– MELLOW POLYNESIA –  Trio –  Jazz (with a Hawaiian Touch)

 

Bio: Jesse Tinsley and his two sons, Colby and Rogan, have been exploring jazz for the past year and finding ways to share it and make it accessible for people, whether they like jazz or not. The boys play saxophone and dad leads on the guitar.

 

1 -What got you interested in PorchFest? What do you think about it?

Music, both playing and listening, brings people together. It’s a social magnet and allows people to enjoy each other’s company because they’re all enjoying the music.  I want to be a part of that. We love to busk, playing on the street for tips and just for the fun of it, for people, wherever they are. The idea of a porch concert seemed like an extension of that. Sharing the right music, for folks in the mood to hear it, is magic.

 

2- How often do you get over to West Central? What brings you over?

Kendall Yards, for great pizza, ice cream or a dinner out is a great place. We love to walk the trail along the gorge, the prettiest views in the city.

 

3- What is “community”? How do we build it? Does it happen automatically or does it need catalysts?

Community is about knowing your neighbors, finding common interests and values and using that feeling of belonging to motivate you to give back.

 

4- What have you done to build community? What else would you like to do?

Community comes about when you’re the best neighbor you can be. I use my talents to help neighbors, whether its helping elderly neighbors with yard work, playing music at nursing homes and local events or volunteering at gatherings like Unity in the Community.

 

5- What do you hope to accomplish at PorchFest? What do you want to help PorchFest accomplish?

Music isn’t about what I want to play. The challenge is the playing what people want or need to hear at the right time. I hope that while we’re playing music, people will feel comfortable enough to chat with their neighbors.

 

6- Why should people come to the event?

People should spend one of the summer’s last warm evenings visiting their neighbors, making connections and enjoy the music as a group activity. It’s a great compliment to a performer when someone stops and listens for awhile, or even dances with a friend to music being made.

 

Performer Profile #3

– EMILY GWINN – Poet 

 

Bio: Emily recently fulfilled her goal of returning to Spokane. She taught high school English and journalism in Yakima, Washington for seven years and is the former recipient of the Tom Pier Prize in poetry. In August, she represented Spokane at the 2014 National Poetry Slam in Oakland, California.

 

© Marshall E. Peterson Jr.

© Marshall E. Peterson Jr.

Talk to us a bit about community, about yourself as an artist, and about PorchFest, please…

 

1 -What got you interested in PorchFest? What do you think about it?

I had the pleasure of participating in PorchFest last year, and was thrilled to be invited back.  The event was an incredible experience, and my family had a fabulous time biking from porch to porch and meeting new friends in the West Central neighborhood.  This is an event for everyone to enjoy, and whether you find yourself on one porch or four, you will be sure to have a great time.

 

2- How often do you get over to West Central? What brings you over?

My family has lived in the West Central neighborhood for over a year, and we love the proximity to downtown, the river, and the Centennial Trail.  Our neighbors are incredible, and the sense of community here is what draws people in.  I love that PorchFest highlights this unique Spokane neighborhood and I can’t wait to meet more friends this year.

 

3- What is “community”? How do we build it? Does it happen automatically or does it need catalysts?

A community is a collection of people motivated to make the world a better place.  I believe in the community of West Central.  Since the day my family moved into the neighborhood, strangers opened up their doors (and pantries) and made us feel welcomed.  A community does just that – it ensures that strangers are fast friends and that people aren’t displaced for long.  A community is there support the collective, with each person using their own unique skills and talents to benefit the greater good.  To build a community there needs to be people willing to extend themselves – their time, energy, and talents.  I believe that in Spokane there is a focus on building strong communities, and you can see that at events like PorchFest.

 

4-What advice would you give to visitors for this year? Did you learn anything that you’d like to share to help newbies be more successful?

Simply be ready to relax, unwind, and enjoy the end of summer with friends.  Try and visit as many porches as you can, if only to meet as many people as possible.

 

Performer Profile #4

 

Dave is back! You’ve seen him all summer long at the Kendall Yards Night Market – he was the star of our first video…

 

DAVE MCRAE – Multi-instrumentalist – Singer/Songwriter – Folkabilly –

 

© Marshall E. Peterson Jr.

© Marshall E. Peterson Jr.

Bio: Dave has been performing in the Inland Empire since 1982. He plays solo with acoustic/electric guitar, harmonicas and dobro. He uses an electronic percussion/looping station that enables him to create the illusion of being a full band. Dave’s music draws from folk, rock, country, blues, and bluegrass and could be called “Americana”, although Dave prefers to call his particular blend of tunes “Folkabilly” music.

 

Talk to us a bit about community, about yourself as an artist, and about PorchFest, please…

 

1- How often do you get over to West Central? What brings you over?

I live in West Central at 2332 W. Sinto. My wife, Louise Chadez, and I have happily lived here since 1987. My kids went to Holmes Elementary School K-6, and have thrived ever since. We’ve loved it here.

 

2- What is “community”? How do we build it?

Community is people living together, rather than just side by side in houses. It’s shoveling infirm neighbors’ snow… it’s jumping cars with dead batteries for the folks across the alley… it’s being aware of who lives around you and who passes through… it’s sharing home-grown produce.. it’s playing music out on porches – I like the dobro for that. It’s so much that I’ve said enough…

 

3- What have you done to build community? What else would you like to do?

I used to do more, when my kids went through Holmes – their little reader board was one of my projects a couple of decades ago… we still host the annual Block Watch Night Out in our yard… I still play my instruments on the porch… I still even try to shovel the whole block when it snows – it’s not so easy any more, but I still git’er! It’s an attitude – I’m proud to live in West Central.

 

4- What do you hope to accomplish at PorchFest? What do you want to help PorchFest accomplish?

I just want to play a good set of original, electric device-enhanced acoustic tunes for some folks in the neighborhood. I see I have a number of pickin’ pals already involved, and porch-pickin’ with pals is perfect!

 

5- Why should people come to the event?

People should come for the pure pleasure of meeting pleasant neighbors, making new friends and enjoy, while the porch-pickin’ pals and the poets pick on the porches and present their poetry.

 

Performer Profile #5

© Marshall E. Peterson Jr.

© Marshall E. Peterson Jr.

 

NICK VIGIL – Singer/Songwriter – Latin Music –

 

Bio: Nic found an accordion in the basement closet one evening and learned to play it by ear.  Other than playing trombone in the 6th grade, he had never been a musician before age 22, and continues to play without much formal training or any idea of what he’s doing.  Now in this mid-30’s, he leads one of the inland NW’s most celebrated bands (Milonga) as a guitarist, percussionist, and singer/songwriter.  He also performs solo and with the Nic Vigil Trio.

 

He lives and works in Spokane, WA with his lovely wife Rita, and their five year old son, who is also an aspiring musician, dancer, and stuntman.  Nic also owns and operates Big Cajones, building and selling unique percussion instruments, as well as the Art Studio of Carlos Vigil, specializing in graphic design, sign-making, and commercial art.

 

Performer Profile #6

Spokane’s one and only Poet Laureate. Drumroll, please? Brrrrrrrrr… bing! Thom Caraway!

 

THOM CARAWAY – Poet Extraordinaire –

© Marshall E. Peterson Jr.

© Marshall E. Peterson Jr.

 

Bio: Thom Caraway was named Spokane’s first poet laureate in October 2013, and is now closing out his term. Since then, he’s created Verbatim, a collaborative event featuring writers and visual artists, edited Railtown Almanac, a Spokane poetry anthology, and read poems anywhere people wanted him to read poems (and probably even in places that people didn’t want him to read poems). He’s honored to have had the chance to serve Spokane as its laureate. He teaches English, editing, and book design at Whitworth University, and lives in West Central.

 

Talk to us a bit about community, about yourself as an artist, and about PorchFest, please…

 

1 -What got you interested in PorchFest? What do you think about it?

Marshall asked me about it last year, and it sounded like an interesting, new kind of reading, that gets art out in public, right on people’s porches! It remains an awesome idea and a fun event. Any time you can get people out of their houses and into each other’s yards to experience art, good things can happen.

 

2-What is “community”? How do we build it?

Community is when people come together, despite potential ideological differences, to accomplish things that benefit the larger population. Sometimes community develops around commonalities (poetry, music, ice cream). It doesn’t always happen naturally though, in fact, it rarely does. We are a self-interested people. We come together to eat sometimes (Pig Out) or to see things (Interstate Fair, concerts, sporting events) but in those instances, people still keep to themselves. Sometimes interactions have to be initiated, even artificially, to get people to really listen to each other, find common ground, and act toward greater purpose.

 

3-What do you hope to accomplish at PorchFest? What do you want to help PorchFest accomplish?

What I hope at every reading I’m in: That someone hears something they didn’t expect that changes the way they think about poetry. That someone who wasn’t sure about coming to a reading is glad they came.

 

4-What have you done to build community? What else would you like to do?

I’ve tried to create opportunities for people to interact. A show like Verbatim randomly pairs artists and writers, and results are so much bigger than something the individuals might have done on their own. Most of my community-building has been in literary circles, as that’s where I might have the most to offer, either by editing a magazine or publishing books, teaching others to do those things, hosting readings, or helping create community spaces where people can come together to make things.

 

5-Why should people come to PorchFest?

It’s on people’s porches! There’s nothing better than a good porch. Meet neighbors, meet new people, hear really good work you didn’t know about before. Also: Porches!

 

Performer Profile #7

 We just met Matthew and Sarah a couple of weeks ago. Welcome to Spokane Sarah!

 

MATTHEW WINTERS & SARAH HULL – Singer/Songwriters –PFEST2015LH4DSM2

 

Bio: “Matthew started off as a writer and later added music to his repertoire.  He sang in bands of various genres in high school, but nothing fit until he started accompanying himself on guitar.  His lyrics paint realistic pictures of everyday life.  One might be overcome by the darker aspects of his songs, but there’s always some underlying hope or even a wry sense of humor beneath the surface.  Matthew’s voice is deep and raw…it’s easy to see why many people call his style ‘acoustic punk.’  He has been writing, performing, and touring intensely in the past couple years, which resulted in a loyal following but only now is he getting broader attention.  He earned The Inlander’s “Band to Watch” designation.”

 

Talk to us a bit about community, about yourself as an artist, and about PorchFest, please…

 

1 -What got you interested in PorchFest? What do you think about it?

Matthew: This will be my first time at PorchFest. I missed the boat last year, so I’m excited to get to perform this time. Marshall Peterson recently contacted me about playing at the Kendall Yards Night Markets. Sarah had just moved up from Gresham, OR and we had a couple songs together, so we played and just loved the atmosphere. There were vendors coming by to chat and people pulling up chairs to listen for a couple songs and go about their evenings. It was just a good vibe. PorchFest seems like it will be a similar feel and I’m happy to be a part of that.

 

2-What is “community”? How do we build it?

Sarah: I think that a group of like minded  people can accomplish anything, but I also believe that continually having a catalyst as something to push off of is the best way to create, maintain, and propel a community.

 

3- How often do you get over to West Central? What brings you over?

Matthew: I haven’t been over in years. It’s looking great.

 

4-What do you hope to accomplish at PorchFest? What do you want to help PorchFest accomplish?

Sarah: I want to do the best that I can to add as much as I can to the fun as possible! I’m excited to perform!

 

5-What have you done to build community? What else would you like to do?

Matthew: I’ve been a part of the music scene in Spokane for years. I’d like to think my addition to that has been my musical output over my input, although that doesn’t always seem to be the case. I’m fortunate enough to continue performing and writing. My intention is to keep that mojo going.

 

6-What do you hope to accomplish at PorchFest? What do you want to help PorchFest accomplish?

Matthew: I just can’t wait to meet everyone. From what I’ve seen so far this is going to be a lot of fun. Sarah: I want to do the best that I can to add as much as I can to the fun as possible! I’m excited to perform!

 

Performer Profile #8

You’d be surprised to know that Drew is a relative newcomer to the music scene…

 

© Marshall E. Peterson Jr.

© Marshall E. Peterson Jr.

DREW BLINCOW – Singer/Guitarist –

 

Bio: I am 26 years old and I found music about 4 years ago. Patti Smith said “all you need is a poem and three chords” and thats what I did! Little did I know I had so much music to give, and now over time I can call myself a true musician.

 

I love music and art and I truly believe they are human gifts for therapy, healing and expression. Sharing songs is one of the most beautiful things in this life.

 

I am also a face painter and fine artist and I tend to jump through cycles of creativity by alternating between seasons of art and music. I’m not sure what to make of this world and this life, but I know art, music and community sure make it better.

Performer Profile #9

Anastasia performs!

 

ANASTASIA ANGUON – Poet –

PFEST2015LH9BSM2
Bio: Anastasia was born and raised in Goldendale, WA and has made Spokane her home since 2012. She is a senior at Eastern Washington University where she studies Theatre. She has been in the Finals Stage for Spokane Poetry Slam, published, and participated in various art events around Spokane such as The Round and Terrain.

 

Talk to us a bit about community, about yourself as an artist, and about PorchFest, please…

It has been about three years since I joined the Spokane poetry community. The people in that community taught me that family is something you can choose. That in order to build a better world, you start at home, in whatever community you participate in. I was never told “no” to what I wanted to achieve – and that is what creates a thriving art environment.
This will be my first year attending PorchFest, and I am thrilled! I want other people to know that art is alive and well in Spokane! I am still growing as a writer, but I want others to at least know anything is possible if the right people are behind you.

 

Performer Profile #10

Kyle is expressive!

 

KYLE KAHKLEN – Poet –

 

© Marshall E. Peterson Jr.

© Marshall E. Peterson Jr.

Bio: A resident of the Inland Northwest for seven years, Kyle has been writing poetry seriously since his sophomore year of college. He is an EWU alumnus and works as substitute teacher in Spokane Public School. He has come to fall in love with the Spokane area and its artistic community after participating in weekly Broken Mic nights. He would like to thank Hannah for her inspiring work ethic and being the poet’s muse.

 

Talk to us a bit about community, about yourself as an artist, and about PorchFest, please…

 

1 -What got you interested in PorchFest? What do you think about it?

I blame my friend Devin Divine, who sent me a message to come to a party. “Go get some treats and things! You’ll have a blast!” she said, “It’ll be fun!” she said. I went and all of a sudden I’m performing. THANKS DEVIN.

 

2- How often do you get over to West Central? What brings you over?

Usually, I go to Kendall Yards for food. There’s a farmer’s market every Wednesday that Hannah and I like to go to. Central Food and Brain Freeze Creamery are often the go-to favorites. I also enjoy biking through the neighborhood since it does not have too much heavy traffic.

 

3- What is “community”? How do we build it? Does it happen automatically or does it need catalysts?

Community, like culture, is a system of shared beliefs and likes brought about through various forms of communication. These beliefs can vary from interests to trades to even locations. As long as there are groups of people with beliefs, there will always be communities. The important notion of communication in community derives from the idea that people can share in their beliefs without prejudice; in contrast, people can also expand their own ideas by communicating their thoughts on their beliefs. Community really depends on the people that surround it and how they interact with others.

 

4-What do you hope to accomplish at PorchFest? What do you want to help PorchFest accomplish?

I hope to promote reading and writing around Spokane. I hope to explore other people’s arts and, in turn, hope to pass on some of my own. I hope PorchFest helps to expand art and neighborly events like it in Spokane.

 

5-What have you done to build community? What else would you like to do?

Well, I feel I’ve been a part of several different communities: websites, poetry, education, etc. Participation really includes anything I can do to allow that community to grow and spread; anything to help with events to share love of the community. For one, I’d love to showcase more poetry readings around Spokane. If that can happen, it might promote more readers and writers to showcase their talents.

 

6-Why should people come to PorchFest?

Because I’m performing poetry.  Oh, and I guess because I like West Central and everyone else should.

 

Performer Profile #11

– MADELINE – Solo Act – Jazz/Blues/OperaPFEST2015PP3CSM2

 

Bio: Madeline McNeill is a singer/songwriter who combines a variety of music genres including jazz, blues, and opera to craft her unique performances in and around Spokane. She studied opera at Western Washington University and has since become a writer, philosopher, and a musician with a passion for playing music in a variety of spaces from the porch to the campfire to the concert hall.

 

“I love the idea of playing live music in spaces were music is not normally played. Music inspires a range feelings, and put in a new space, can effectively break up blandness and breathe new life. I used to busk downtown and in front of businesses because it was fun to break the boring bustle of people striving to get to the next destination. I’d play and an adult would smile and fall in step with the rhythm. Kids would dance. Playing on porches evokes the same feeling for me. I see Porchfest as a gentle revolution against the monotonous culture of living in a quiet neighborhood where people don’t know who lives next door. Playing on porches gets everyone outside and celebrating the shared space where people live their lives, together.”
More info: thebodyphilosopher.org

 

 

 

Performer Profile #12

Devin is this year’s Poet Wrangler! She’s taken the reins from our inaugural Poet Wrangler, Travis Naught. Thanks for all your hard work Travis and Devin!

 

DEVIN DEVINE – POET WRANGLER –

 

PFEST2015PPP1BSM2

Bio:Devin Devine is a proud Spokane local and a graduate from Gonzaga University, where she studied both theatre and creative writing with a concentration in poetry. She spends too much time lamenting her loans instead of paying them. As she pursues the life of an artist, she works as a server downtown at Sante Restaurant & Charcuterie in the Liberty Building.  She was a member of the 2015 Spokane National Poetry Slam Team that traveled to Oakland this August, and recently self-published her first chapbook Feral Empathy. She can be found reading in bars around Spokane, convincing strangers the magical properties of a pickleback.

 

Talk to us a bit about community, about yourself as an artist, and about PorchFest, please…

 

1 -What got you interested in PorchFest? What do you think about it?

I went to Porchfest last year to see some friends perform (and perform myself!) and loved it! It felt so routine to walk from one porch to the next, eat some hummus from a stranger, shake their hand, sit on their lawn, and enjoy some local talent. It was a beautiful day and I expect this year to be just as fantastic.

 

2- What is “community”? How do we build it? 

For me, there’s two ways to look at community. The larger and greater community of Spokane that brings us together through winter storms, dry summer heat, “near nature/near perfect”, our handful of national headlines a year that leave us with our heads in our hands, a hashtag to defend our worth #SpokaneDoesntSuck, and so forth. And then within that there’s your passions, your life, your choices. The neighborhood communities are obviously easy to spot, especially with centralized spots like the Perry District providing more and more reason for businesses and restaurants and action to truly become a part of residential areas. But for me, my community isn’t my street (living off Division does that), it’s definitely my pursuits. The poetry, and then the greater literary and arts community of Spokane continues to surprise me with growth and support.

 

3- What have you done to build community? What else would you like to do?

I know this is silly but honestly… Spend my money at local places. I’m a restaurant industry worker that just goes out and spends what I do make by eating out, drinking out, and connecting with friends and strangers by breaking bread. I’ve learned more about Spokane in the last year by drinking my way through downtown bars and talking to strangers than I have in my fourteen odd years of living here. Also, participating. You’ll find me almost every Wednesday at Neato for Broken Mic, and at the poetry slams in town too. But also going to events that aren’t my usual scene, letting friends drag me to their favorite band that is at The Bartlett, or maybe a co-worker has an art show coming up etcetera. I’d love to enter a role of facilitating soon, in some form. Not sure what that will look like yet. Maybe volunteering more.

Performer Profile #13

Go Fitz!

 

MOLLY FITZPATRICK – POET  –

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Bio: Fitz (aka Molly Fitzpatrick) is a slam poet based out of Spokane, WA. She had the exciting honor of being a part of Spokane’s 2015 National Poetry Slam team in Oakland, California this year. She has been published in the October 2015 issue of Riverlit and has a chapbook entitled Boom Boom, Break Break that is available at Auntie’s Bookstore.

 

Talk to us a bit about community, about yourself as an artist, and about PorchFest, please…

 

1 -What got you interested in PorchFest? What do you think about it?

I joke that I “drank the kool-aid” at the National Poetry Slam and so I’ll take any opportunity I can to perform and be around other artsy folk. However the concept of this particular event seemed especially cool and I loved the idea of yelling about my feelings on a porch where people actually stopped to listen.

 

2- How often do you get over to West Central

 I have friends that live in the area. That’s where Ink Art Space is located and where cool skillshops exist that I like to go to. Also the restaurants are fantastic.

 

3- What is “community”? How do we build it?

I think of community less in geographical terms and more like a chosen family. A Community is a group of people that share something very important in common and then choose to connect and care for one another. That thing they share can be a neighborhood, an identity, a love of poetry etc. The important thing is the caring part. I think Spokane is awesome at that part.

 

4- What have you done to build community? 

I think one of the most basic things I can do to build community is to just actively participate in it. In the past for me that’s been a lot of activist work with local non-profits. Right now it looks more like going to as many poetry events as I can and actively supporting other artists with my cheers or my dollars etc. It means being open and inclusive to new folks who want to join in the fun. I hope to be able to continue to introduce new friends to the arts scene in Spokane and be able to connect more of the different communities I’m a part of together.

 

5- What do you hope to accomplish at PorchFest? What do you want to help PorchFest accomplish?I hope that there are people attending who’ve never been to a Spokane Poetry event and that they connect with my performance and the performances of my friends and ideally at least one person asks me what other performance poetry stuff happens in this lovely city. Beyond that I mostly hope to hear and see a lot of cool stuff and maybe make at least one new friend.

 

 

 

2014 PERFORMERS

Performer Profile #1

– MADELINE – Solo Act – Jazz/Blues/Opera

Bio: Madeline McNeill is a singer/songwriter who combines a variety of music genres including jazz, blues, and opera to craft her unique performances in and around Spokane. She studied opera at Western Washington University and has since become a writer, philosopher, and a musician with a passion for playing music in a variety of spaces from the porch to the campfire to the concert hall.

 

Talk to us a bit about community, about yourself as an artist, and about PorchFest, please…

“I love the idea of playing live music in spaces were music is not normally played. Music inspires a range feelings, and put in a new space, can effectively break up blandness and breathe new life. I used to busk downtown and in front of businesses because it was fun to break the boring bustle of people striving to get to the next destination. I’d play and an adult would smile and fall in step with the rhythm. Kids would dance. Playing on porches evokes the same feeling for me. I see Porchfest as a gentle revolution against the monotonous culture of living in a quiet neighborhood where people don’t know who lives next door. Playing on porches gets everyone outside and celebrating the shared space where people live their lives, together.”

More info: thebodyphilosopher.org

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Performer Profile #2

– MELE POLINAHE – Duet – Hawaiian Traditional

Bio: Jesse Tinsley and Steve Riggan play old, old-style Hawaiian music. The music has the simplicity of Hawai’I culture, influenced by swing, jazz, country and oldtime music. Jesse is part native Hawaiian via his mother. Steve has Hawaiian family by marriage. Together they play guitar, ukulele and steel guitar and are joined by a variety of friends and family.

 

Talk to us a bit about community, about yourself as an artist, and about PorchFest, please…

1 -What got you interested in PorchFest? What do you think about it?

Music, both playing and listening, brings people together. It’s a social magnet, allows people to enjoy each other’s company while enjoying the music.  I want to be a part of that. Hawaiian music is often only background music, which is fine with me. The more people connect, the stronger our community can be.

2- How often do you get over to West Central? What brings you over?

Kendall Yards, for cool eats or just to walk the trail along the gorge, is a huge draw for me and my family, even though we live on the South Hill.

3- What is “community”? How do we build it? Does it happen automatically or does it need catalysts?

Community is about knowing your neighbors, finding common interests and values and using that feeling of belonging to motivate you to give back.

4- What have you done to build community? What else would you like to do?

I try to be the best neighbor I can be. I use my talents to help neighbors, whether its helping elderly neighbors with yard work, playing music at nursing homes and local events or volunteering at gatherings like Unity in the Community.

5- What do you hope to accomplish at PorchFest? What do you want to help PorchFest accomplish?

Music isn’t about what I want to play. The challenge is the playing what people want or need to hear at the right time. I hope that while we’re playing music, people will feel comfortable enough to chat with their neighbors.

6- Why should people come to the event?

People should spend one of the summer’s last warm evenings visiting their neighbors, making connections and enjoy the music as a group activity.

 

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Performer Profile #3

– DRY AND DUSTY -Duet – Old Time Music

Bio: Dry and Dusty grew up playing music with their family, hiking around in the desert singing cowboy songs, and learning the old tunes from their extended family at festivals and camps.

 

Talk to us a bit about community, about yourself as an artist, and about PorchFest, please…

“I’ve always loved playing music on my front porch, so it’s fun that there is a music festival that’s creating a more intimate and welcoming way for people to hear and play music. When you play on a stage, there is a definite division between the audience and the performer, and each has their predetermined role. Playing in a different setting (like a porch) can be really freeing for everyone involved- there’s more human connection, and it’s ultimately a richer experience.”

 

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Performer Profile #4

– ABE KENNEY – Classical Guitar –

Bio: Abe Kenney is a dedicated professional guitarist who performs a vast range of classical repertoire. He also incorporates flamenco, tango, twelve-tone, video game music, original compositions and improvisation. All of this variety is executed with advanced technique and thoughtful expressiveness.

 

Talk to us a bit about community, about yourself as an artist, and about PorchFest, please…

“I live in West Central and regularly play guitar on my own porch. Some people see West Central as a rough area, in terms of poverty and crime. I would like to see this change and one way that can happen is by getting people together, learning about our surroundings, and figuring out ways we can improve our neighborhood. I think Porchfest is a great start. I’m happy to be a part of it and think it will be a great time for everybody!”

 

abe

 

Performer Profile #5

– THOM CARAWAY – Poet –

Bio: I write poems about where I am. The West Central neighborhood in Spokane is where I have been since 2008, and where I will probably always be. I teach creative writing, editing, and book design classes at Whitworth University. I also serve on the board of directors for Project Hope Spokane, an urban farm job-training program for West Central and Emerson-Garfield youth. In October 2013, I was appointed Spokane’s first Poet Laureate. So I do that. I also serve as editor-in-chief of Rock & Sling, a literary journal, and I’m the publisher of Sage Hill Press.

 

Talk to us a bit about community, about yourself as an artist, and about PorchFest, please…

1 -What got you interested in PorchFest? What do you think about it?

I love things going on in West Central, especially things that encourage community with Kendall Yards. I’m in favor of anything that gets people out of their houses and walking around the entire neighborhood. I’d love it if people stopped thinking about them as two separate neighborhoods.

2- How often do you get over to West Central? What brings you over?

Every day! (I live in West Central.) I’m kind of an evangelist for West Central. I want everyone to live here. It’s too much for some people, but if you want to make a place better, you can do that here, sometimes just by moving in.

3- What is “community”? How do we build it? Does it happen automatically or does it need catalysts?

Community. Hm. A group of people who share something in common, in this case, proximity. And based on that shared experience, a community cooperates, and fosters an environment in which all of the members of the community can benefit and flourish.

4- What have you done to build community? What else would you like to do?

We live on Bridge, across the street from all the new construction. We’ve hosted a summer block party the last three years to get people from both sides of the street in conversation with each other and sharing meals. Sharing a table is a big community-builder for us, and we have a regular community dinner (Thursday nights at 6; come over!). I’d love to see regular art events in West Central, and we have some great venues, with more on the way. It’s the kind of neighborhood you can just move into and if you want to do something, people will help you do it.

5- What do you hope to accomplish at PorchFest? What do you want to help PorchFest accomplish?

I’m going to read some of my West Central poems. I hope people like them.

6- Why should people come to the event?

Poetry and music on people’s porches? Why wouldn’t you come to that? It’s the end of summer, a perfect time to get to know some people and hang out in cool places.

 

thomcaraway.com

 

thomcaraway

 

Performer Profile #6

– TERI KOSKI – Poet –

Bio: Teri is a spoken word poet who has a secret identity as a social worker. Much of her poetry speaks to the clients she works with and her advocacy work for mental illness. She hopes that her poetry starts conversations about mental illness and suicide awareness, breaking down stigmas.

 

Talk to us a bit about community, about yourself as an artist, and about PorchFest, please…

1 -What got you interested in PorchFest? What do you think about it?

I heard about Porch Fest from my friend Travis. Community events like this are important, especially in a neighborhood in transition like West Central. Events like this bridge gaps between neighbors, bring people out of their homes and get them talking.

2- How often do you get over to West Central? What brings you over?

I cycle quite often, and I enjoy riding on the Centennial Trail and through Kendall Yards. West Central is a beautiful area, with tree lined streets and turn of the century architecture. I love riding by the restored homes, and picturing the families who must have lived there when the houses were new. It’s fun to imagine such a different way of life happening in the same place, only separated by time.

3- What is “community”? How do we build it? Does it happen automatically or does it need catalysts?

Community is about a feeling of belonging. A feeling of going home, of comfort and joy. I think catalysts such as PorchFest are important, as they grab hold of that person that is reaching out, and let them know that they have a place to go to, a place to belong.

4- What have you done to build community? What else would you like to do?

I feel like my work I do with NAMI Spokane (National Alliance on Mental Illness) is very community oriented. Mental illness is a community concern and a difficult one to address. It’s only by working together that we can hope to make lives easier, and build healthy communities. Through my poetry, I try to share my personal stories with mental illness, showing people that this is a difficult subject, but we can talk about it and handle it together.

5- What do you hope to accomplish at PorchFest? What do you want to help PorchFest accomplish?

The same thing I try to do whenever I read: make a difference to someone. Then that someone helps another someone. And it keeps going.

6- Why should people come to the event?

Why not?

 

TERIK

 

Performer Profile #7

– EMILY GWINN – Poet –

Bio: Emily recently fulfilled her goal of returning to Spokane. She taught high school English and journalism in Yakima, Washington for seven years and is the former recipient of the Tom Pier Prize in poetry. In August, she represented Spokane at the 2014 National Poetry Slam in Oakland, California.

 

Talk to us a bit about community, about yourself as an artist, and about PorchFest, please…

PorchFest will be the first event I get to be actively involved with in my new neighborhood. Being a recent addition to West Central, my family has had an incredible experience exploring and learning about this unique part of Spokane. We love it. The new extension of The Centennial Trail is incredible and we enjoy being close to downtown and Kendall Yards. We visit the osprey nests daily. After graduate school my husband and I left Spokane with the intention of returning someday, and we are so glad we finally made it home. This city continues to be a place that welcomes writers and artists alike and inspires me to be more active in giving back – through volunteer service and activities. The Spokane Poetry Slam community has provided me a platform to challenge myself as a writer, and I am forever grateful for their support upon returning to Spokane. I continue to be inspired by this community. I am honored to be a part of PorchFest.

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Performer Profile #8

– NAOMI HARRIS – Solo Act – Accordion –

Bio:  Naomi Harris is a 14 year old accordionist who has been competing internationally representing the United States since she was 12. She started taking lessons at age nine at Able to Play Studio in Spokane, under Patricia Bartell. She has won many competitions since then including 1st place in Junior Division at the 6th JAA International Accordion Competition in Tokyo, Japan, 1st place in Open at 2014 Leavenworth International Accordion Competition, as well as 1st places in all three categories she entered for at 2014 AAA Accordion Competition in New York.

 

Talk to us a bit about community, about yourself as an artist, and about PorchFest, please…

“I love playing the accordion because of its sound and versatility. You attach the instrument really close to your body when you perform. You express your music using your whole body. I don’t know too much about the West Central neighborhood, but all the experiences I had in the neighborhood in the past were very positive. I was invited to perform at Salem Lutheran Church a couple of times this summer, and the people at the church was really nice and welcoming. There are a couple of restaurants my mom likes to go to at Kendall Yards and I always enjoy going there with her.”

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Performer Profile #9

– KEVIN WATKINS – Solo Act – Guitar

Bio:  Kevin’s songs defy categorization, authority, social norms, or sometimes even common sense. Kevin works hard to craft songs that are palatable and worthy of a listen (or two). His deserted island jukebox would include “I’d Love to Change the World,” by Ten Years After, “Wicked Game,” by Chris Isaak, “Lo Siento mi Vida,” by Linda Ronstadt, “Wild Horses,” by the Rolling Stones, to name a few. Inspirations include ancestral genealogy, road trips, Fannie Pierce, and “mama, trains, trucks, prison, and gettin’ drunk,” with an appreciative nod to Steve Goodman. It’s tough writing songs that approach such heights, but, being obstinate, persistent, and maybe mostly delusional, he keeps trying!

 

Talk to us a bit about community, about yourself as an artist, and about PorchFest, please…

1 -What got you interested in PorchFest? What do you think about it?

Two friends recommended me to Marshall, as I was unaware of the local festival! I quickly answered the call out for performers and was lucky enough to be selected to play! At my neighbor’s porch no less! The concept immediately struck me as a good one, with tons of promise.

2- How often do you get over to West Central? What brings you over?

I’m lucky enough to live in West Central; I moved here after my landlord made it impossible to stay at my apartment in the Chief Garry district. So when Kendall Yards began developing, I took the plunge and bought a townhouse here. Boy, was that a shrewd move!!

3- What is “community”? How do we build it? Does it happen automatically or does it need catalysts?

I moved to Spokane to study Occupational Therapy @ EWU. There I learned a framework for understanding how a person interacts with their environment, including “community.” It includes the physical surroundings, homes, businesses, gathering places, public utilities, and everything else you see, hear, and smell as you drive or walk along streets and pathways.
Community also includes the group of people and animals a person embraces in his/her life. Either at the workplace, in the homeplace, in leisure activities, and, especially important these days, in the extended, electronic life. Having no immediate family living here, community is especially important to me and requires that I constantly build and maintain the relationships which comprise “community.”
Building all varieties of community is best done in concert with other’s efforts; like playing music in a band, cleaning up trash along the street, watering a neighbor’s plants while they’re away, joining a church congregation, or any number of endeavors.

4- What have you done to build community? What else would you like to do?

First, I know my neighbors; I recognize that, being retired, talking to and meeting new neighbors is a bit easier for me compared to most. I learned its importance, and most of the good things I’m able to do in life, from my parents. We exchange phone numbers, stories, and updates on important life matters. It makes everyone feel safer and more inclusive.
I’d like to organize regular get togethers; maybe dinner night, evening bike rides; but before I tackle too much, I need to get more organized at home! (that’s always been a chore; I’d rather help someone paint their house than clean my own!)

5- What do you hope to accomplish at PorchFest? What do you want to help PorchFest accomplish?

First, as a performer, I’d like to help neighbors and visitors to get to know each other. Like having a good set list and playing good music, engaging the folks who are kind enough to stop by and listen and say “Hi.” I’d like for the porch hosts, neighbors and visitors to say, “Hey, that was fun! I can’t wait for the next Porchfest! Maybe there’s a way I could participate.”

6- Why should people come to the event?

My dad used to say, “It doesn’t cost anything to be friendly.” For me, Moses himself couldn’t have said anything more profound! Being friendly to other folks is simple, though not always easy, especially when dealing with life’s potholes and speed bumps.
I believe Porchfest provides a great opportunity to practice what my dad preached! Also, porchfront art might foment a child’s creativity and/or desire to play an instrument or draw with a pencil or crayon or write some prose or appreciate an osprey or magpie or crescent moon. The possibilities are endless!

 

kevin-watkins

 

Performer Profile #10

– TRAVIS LAURENCE NAUGHT – Poet –

Bio:  Travis is a poet who happens to be a quadriplegic wheelchair user. Collections of his written works have been published in paperback, The Virgin Journals, and in e-book format, Still Journaling. His spoken word poetry has earned him the honor of competing at the Spokane Poetry Slam Finals in 2013 & 2014.

 

Talk to us a bit about community, about yourself as an artist, and about PorchFest, please…

“POETRY is my community! I am an inclusive sort of fellow, interested in hearing/reading/experiencing everyone’s story, and I’ve found that poetry, along with music, is the way that people are often most comfortable sharing. Once people feel like they are being listened to, they feel like they become accepted. Once people become accepted, they feel like they are a part of something bigger than themselves, and that is when a community is able to grow.

PorchFest is really a golden opportunity for the residents of one very important section of Spokane (West Central) to discover these other individuals who are playing music, reciting poetry, putting themselves on the line in hopes of both entertaining and gaining a foothold to become more visible in daily life. Hopefully everyone who attends will leave inspired to take a more active role in growing what is already a vibrant community!”

 

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Performer Profile #11

– KATIE SCHMARR – Poet –

Bio:  Katie is a born-and-raised Spokanite and third year undergraduate student at Gonzaga, where she studies English, History, and French. In August, she represented Spokane at the 2014 National Poetry Slam in Oakland, California.

 

Talk to us a bit about community, about yourself as an artist, and about PorchFest, please…

“I became active in the Spokane poetry community roughly two years ago. I was instantly welcomed by a myriad of fellow artists who applauded my (very young, very new) work and encouraged me to keep writing and performing. This will be my first year attending PorchFest, and I’m ecstatic. Too many people are unaware of our electric, diverse arts scene, and I support any effort to present it to the public–especially in the form of a cool event like PorchFest! I’m still finding myself as a writer, but I hope the work I read can strike a chord with my audience, or at least encourage them to support and participate in the arts in Spokane.”

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Performer Profile #12

– DAVE MCRAE – Multi-instrumentalist – Singer/Songwriter – Folkabilly –

Bio: Dave has been performing in the Inland Empire since 1982. He plays solo with acoustic/electric guitar, harmonicas and dobro. He uses an electronic percussion/looping station that enables him to create the illusion of being a full band. Dave’s music draws from folk, rock, country, blues, and bluegrass and could be called “Americana”, although he prefers to call his particular blend of tunes “Folkabilly” music.

 

Talk to us a bit about community, about yourself as an artist, and about PorchFest, please…

1 -What got you interested in PorchFest? What do you think about it?

I live in West Central at 2332 W. Sinto. My wife, Louise Chadez, and I have happily lived here since 1987. My kids went to Holmes Elementary School K-6, and have thrived ever since. We’ve loved it here.

2- How often do you get over to West Central? What brings you over?

Community is people living together, rather than just side by side in houses. It’s shovelling infirm neighbors’ snow… it’s jumping cars with dead batteries for the folks across the alley… it’s being aware of who lives around you and who passes through… it’s sharing home-grown produce.. it’s playing music out on porches – I like the dobro for that. It’s so much that I’ve said enough…

3- What is “community”? How do we build it? Does it happen automatically or does it need catalysts?

I used to do more, when my kids went through Holmes – their little reader board was one of my projects a couple of decades ago… we still host the annual Block Watch Night Out in our yard… I still play my instruments on the porch… I still even try to shovel the whole block when it snows – it’s not so easy any more, but I still git’er! It’s an attitude – I’m proud to live in West Central.

4- What have you done to build community? What else would you like to do?

I just want to play a good set of original, electric device-enhanced acoustic tunes for some folks in the neighborhood. I see I have a number of pickin’ pals already involved, and porch-pickin’ with pals is perfect!

5- Why should people come to the event?

People should come for the pure pleasure of meeting pleasant neighbors, making new friends and enjoy, while the porch-pickin’ pals and the poets pick on the porches and present their poetry

 

DaveMcRae

 

Performer Profile #13

– DENNIS HELD – Poet –

Bio: Dennis is one of the cornerstones of Spokane’s poetry scene. He has recently hosted the seasonal reading series, Danger Live Writers, as well as worked in several local schools teaching poetry as part of Eastern Washington University’s Writers in the Community program. His books Betting on the Night (Lost Horse Press) and Ourself (Gribble Press) are frequently sold out at Aunties’ Bookstore in Spokane.

 

Talk to us a bit about community, about yourself as an artist, and about PorchFest, please…

1 -What got you interested in PorchFest? What do you think about it?

I’m a fan of porches from way back, especially those old-fashioned front porches that people used to sit on and holler out to the people who were walking by on the sidewalk, back when people still walked and hollered. Lots of good visiting got done on and around those porches. (The often-overlooked author Reynolds Price has a great book about porches, by the by.)

2- How often do you get over to West Central? What brings you over?

My friend Bea lives in West Central, and I helped paint her house, once. She has chickens and a huge garden, and my old friend Bill Wiley used to live next door, bless his belated banjo-picking heart. So I have some series West-Central time under my belt.

3- What is “community”? How do we build it? Does it happen automatically or does it need catalysts?

“Community” is actually a web of obligations and opportunities to help each other, thereby building good relationships between people. (Back in Wisconsin, when my grandpa’s neighbor, Harvey Metzger, got his tractor stuck trying to plow too early – which he did every spring – “community” meant that my grandpa had to quit what he was doing and go down there with his team of draft horses and pull old Harvey out of the mud.)

4- Why should people come to the event?

People should come to Porchfest because it has porches in it, and it’s free.

 

Dennis

Performer Profile #14

– ADRIAN MURILLO – Poet –

Bio: Adrian is a writer-musician-performance poet, political activist/theoretician who emphatically believes we are at the dawn of the Poetic Age when poets light the way to a better, cohesive world at ease with itself, putting bounce into the movement for peace and justice. His heart resides at the intersection of land and community.

 

Talk to us a bit about community, about yourself as an artist, and about PorchFest, please…

” I live in Browne’s Addition and rarely visit Kendall Yards, but I’m looking forward to meeting new neighbors, making friends, finding people who love music and poetry. Music is the bottom line for me even with just spoken word; it has to have rhythm.

I believe community is made and held by custom, kinship, and craft.

Everything I do is about helping create those elements, discovering the new skills we need to live a human-scaled life of the arts, sustainability, social conscience. Neighborhoods should be welcoming, colorful (street art/poems/murals), safe zones with community gardens so everybody on the block has enough to eat.”

 

Different people feel differently about photographs. We don’t have one for Adrian, but you can see him live on Saturday.