Watchlist: Cultural Power Players

CJ Andrews

“I love this place,” 17 year-old Andrews says about his motivation to make art pianos on the Railyard a reality. “Many people, especially around my age, just wanna leave...I would love to change that because I really love our community.” Past-their-prime hipsters twice his age that vent on Facebook for a living, take note.

Jamison Chas Banks

Banks marches to his own battle cry with projects that suggest, reflect and push people past their comfort zones. Look out for him as our hometown representative, alongside Ric Lum, in SITE’s upcoming Unsettled Landscapes.

Nicholas Chiarella 

The ol’ “If the mountain doesn’t come to you…” adage also works for the nightlife and art scenes. Just ask Chiarella, whose Radical Abacus has been responsible for some killer house shows. After a summer sabbatical for grad school, Chiarella advances he’ll host experimental band Electrician on Sept. 3. 

Linda K

For a town constantly voted Top LGBT this and Best Gay Destination that, the scene here is pretty bleak. Thankfully Linda K is here to save the day with a calendar full of dragtastic Jewel Box Cabaret performances (next one is May 24 at The Lodge) and rumors of an August stage play with a cameo from a super handsome SFR staffer. 

George RR Martin

Around this time last year, the famed A Song of Ice and Fire penman made his purchase of the single-screen Jean Cocteau Cinema official. Since then, GRRM’s lived up to his promise of providing “eclectic” programming with magic shows, a Rin Tin Tin look-alike contest and penis-shaped cupcakes. Awkward frosting jokes are coming…

Dallin Maybee 

Broaching its do-or-die 93rd installment, all eyes are on this year’s Indian Market. An accomplished artist himself, Maybee won Best of Show in the 2007 edition and has consistently delivered since then. Fittingly, his Arapaho name, Thunder Sound Comes Down, loosely translates to “A Thunder Being is Coming This Way.”

Jacques Paisner

“Expect five days and nights of movies, parties, educational panels and movie discussions,” Paisner says of this year’s Independent Film Festival, where Hampton Sides will be honored with the American Author award. Can’t wait till October? A special summer series kicks off on June 18 and on July 12 presents a live version of The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

Sanjit Sethi

A youth design/build intensive, a live presentation of activist/comedic duo the Yes Men and the continuation of SFAI 140 are a few things to expect this season from the Santa Fe Art Institute. “Lincoln spoke his 272-word Gettysburg Address in a little under 140 seconds,” ED Sethi says of the idea-incubator series. “Having a short amount of time doesn’t limit seminal ideas and their impact.”

John Torres Nez

Making its splash on August 21, the Torres Nez-led Indigenous Fine Art Market marks a new era of outdoor art fests. How confident is the IFAMily about its success? A Winter Market is already in the works.


Kiwanis Club event committee chair Ray Sandoval says the move to burn the gloomy effigy on Labor Day Friday, is one 19 months in the making.  “I’ve had conversations with the downtown merchants, and we’re looked at as a pariah,” a resilient Sandoval says. “That should not be the case…this vampire has to die.”  

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