Cultural Double Header The weekend of January 19-20, 2024 saw 2 events bringing art and music to Las Cruces NM. On Friday January 19 the closing reception for the art show at Tombaugh Gallery was held, including announcement and presentation of awards. Artists were asked to react to the song “I’m Going to Say it Now” by Phil Ochs. Cash prizes were given for first, second and third artistic merit, as well as for best interpretation and People’s Choice. A group of local musicians generously donated their time to entertain attendees with some of Phil’s songs as well as other selections. The next night (January 20) singer/songwriter Joe Jencks performed at the Dona Ana Arts Council. A Still Small Voice funded Joe, so ticket sales were split between the Arts Council and Weaving for Justice. The latter group is a Las Cruces non-profit which assists women’s weaving guilds in Chiapas, Mexico to sell their wares in the states. Folk music is rare in Las Cruces and Joe easily convinced the audience that this is regrettable. He was touring in the southwest and fortuitously ASSV snagged him between gigs. We hope he will put us on his permanent itinerary.
Las Cruces, NM, was the site of a fund raiser for the Dona Ana Arts Council on September 29., 2023. ASSV was pleased to bring folk duo Jennings and Keller to a sold out event which yielded $1335 for the Arts Council. The program featured songs by Joni Mitchell, Joan Baez and Judy Collins. By giving the background and context of each tune the performers made listening not only enjoyable but informative.
Rain did not deter music lovers from attending a concert in Widow Jane Mine, Rosendale, NY. on September 23. Weather was not as issue as the program was presented IN the cavern left after limestone excation many years ago. This successful fund raiser supported the organization which seeks to preserve this aspect of local history.
August 2023 brought to a close the yearly Rensselear Youth Outdoors (RYO) program conducted by the Rensselear Plateau Alliance at several county parks and conservancy properties. In conjunction with the National Forest Service, and support from ASSV, teens are paid to maintain and improve these public natural spaces. With a newly appointed full-time coordinator, RYO has plans to work in inner city schools, especially in Troy, NY, to bring nature indoors and inspire future conservationists.
Over 50 people gathered at the Sand Lake Center for the Arts on August 12, 2023 for a reception and prize distribution for the annual art show.
On June 23.2023 singer-songwriter Tret Furie was surprised with the Phil Ochs award at Old Songs Folk Festival in Altamont, NY ( near Albany). Board president Kathy Cooke and treasurer Ron Cooke were on hand as Sonny Ochs recounted Tret's many years of dedication to promoting inclusivity and fairness for all musicians. The award included a plaque and a check for $2,000.
On June 18, 2023 the Corazon Collective (Collective Hearts) from Austin, Texas paused on their tour of New Mexico for a writing workshop and poetry reading in Las Cruces. The Collective is comprised of 5 published authors – ire’ne lara silva (poet laureate of Texas), jo reyes biotel, Jen Yanez-Alaniz, Carmen Calatayud and Angelina Saenz. The day started with a workshop attended by 20 local folks- both accomplished and aspiring writers. Ms. lara silva promised a program including visualization, sound-making experimentation and writing prompts, to examine “how we perceive our voices.” Later in the day the Collective offered a poetry reading which was free and open to the public.
Both activities were held at the Galleria Nopalito, with sponsorship and support from ASSV board member Patricia Gallegos and her family, which owns the galleria and the adjacent Nopalito restaurant.
These programs and associated events would not have been possible without the skilled, dedicated and energetic management of Denise Chavez. Ms. Chavez, a native of Las Cruces, has long been a leader in supporting the arts and culture of the area.
In addition to support from A Still Small Voice, other contributing community businesses and organizations included The Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, La Posta and Roberto’s restaurants, Weaving for Justice, and radio KTAL.
From January through August ASSV supported a teen guide progam at Historic Cherry Hill in Albany NY. About 5 teens from local schools attended classes to learn the history of this residence and hone their skills in meeting the public and making presentations. During the summer the teens acted as guides throughout the house.
ASSV4U sponsored a community drumming circle at the Sand Lake Center for the Arts. Under the able direction of master drummer Zelda Hotaling, about 30 people spent almost 2 hours participating in and enjoying percussion. Many brought their own drums and also experimented with various rattles, shakers and other percussion instruments.
Reggie Harris & Greg Greenway Deeper Than The Skin Sunday, October 9, 2022 2pm Admission is free, registration is required. A suggested $20 donation will benefit the Spencertown Academy
Deeper Than The Skin is a musical presentation by two talented musicians with a unique story. Reggie and Greg, born three days apart, ancestry flowing through the same portal of history, Richmond, VA, they are on a pilgrimage together - one that began three decades ago. The racial divisions that are the reality of America started them in two different worlds, but the amazing bonds of music, respect, admiration, and shared vision have brought them together as friends and colleagues.
Susan Katz Wins Phil Ochs Award The fourth annual Phil Ochs award was presented to Susan Katz on June 28, 2019. This award recognizes a singer-songwriter whose music and personal activity carry on Phil’s commitment to social justice. The $2000 amount allows the recipient to continue bringing the message of equity and fairness to their audiences and community. The presentation was made before a main stage concert at the Old Songs Festival in Altamont, NY. Prior recipients are Emma’s Revolution (Pat Humphries and Sandy O), Charlie King and John Flynn. Nominations for the 2020 award may be sent to ASSV….
A Still Small Voice Supports Music Stage Once again A Still Small Voice 4U was pleased to sponsor a stage in the Whaling Museum at the New Bedford MA Summerfest July 6 and 7, 2019. This popular music festival is held every year, drawing performers from across the US as well as Canada, the UK and Australia. By sponsoring a stage ASSV reduces festival costs and helps ensure that this event can continue.
Art Show Recognizes Local Talent In collaboration with the Sand Lake Center for the Arts, Sand Lake, NY, A Still Small Voice 4U presented an art show in July and August 2019. In connection with the 100th anniversary of Pete Seeger’s birth artists were invited to interpret his song “Turn, Turn, Turn.” Over 50 submissions competed for first, second, third and people’s choice awards, each carrying a cash prize. Jason Van Stavern, art faculty at UAlbany and Hudson Valley Community College, acted as juror. Winners were Kelly Tankersley (first), Liz Smith (second), Joan Hogan (third) and Alan Opreska (people’s choice) The art included work in pastels, oils, and acrylics as well as photography and sculpture. This show will be presented again in July 2020. Artists are invited to monitor the Sand Lake Center for the Arts’ website (slca-ctp.org) for submission details. There is no submission fee.