In the span of roughly 40 minutes, each episode of Santa Fe arts-based nonprofit Littleglobe's aptly titled YouTube series Littleglobe TV takes viewers on a video journey throughout as many local elements as possible.
Short film, documentary, comedy bits, music, dance, medical info and journalism intermingle, creating a well-informed (and wildly informative) love letter to the city and its surrounding areas, but also an important community service I didn't know I needed until it came barreling into my life. It's enjoyable, it's entertaining and its plan to reach out into as many communities as possible is, at the risk of sounding cheesy, inspiring.
The Littleglobe mission, after all, is to unite humans across boundaries with art while telling the story of Santa Fe; to help -amplify the voices of the creative, but also the -marginalized and underserved. But whereas that's a rally cry shrieked from the hilltops and adobe abodes by many a Santa Fean, such words can (and do) often ring hollow. Here, however, Littleglobe Executive Director Chris Jonas and the Center for Contemporary Arts' Cinematheque Director Jason Silverman—plus a seemingly endless string of students, filmmakers, helpers, hosts, animators, jokesters and hangers-on such as filmmaker Nathan Hollis and contributors Alma Castro and Dylan Tenorio—have drafted the blueprint for something special and all-encompassing. Think the pacing of Sesame Street (or even the criminally underrated Wondershowzen, albeit far less dark and dirty and with a lot more feeling)with the sensibilities of a news magazine television showand a dorky insider baseball kind of humor tailor-made for Santa Fe, and you're getting it—and they're only three episodes in.
"As soon as the quarantine happened, Chris and I were like, 'what do we do?'" Silverman tells SFR. "First of all, it's like, what do we as culture workers do in this moment to contribute to everyone's well-being, because that's our job, and the second question was, what are the unique opportunities of this weird moment in terms of storytelling?"
So far those opportunities have included segments on a rancher facing an uncertain future, hygiene tips from puppets (shoutout to Devon Ludlow and his The Love That Would Not Die musicalseries); health information from La Familia's Wendy Davis; interviews with community members, restauranteurs; fledgling beekeepers; uprooted Native youths; dancers with no place to practice and perform; weather jokes and many other bits and pieces.
Littleglobe TV's third episode adopted a more serious tone, looking at -workers around Santa Fe and, to paraphrase Silverman's introduction in the piece, making their invisible work visible. Of particular note is contributor Hannah Hausman of the Santa Fe Children's Museum, whose vulnerability in documenting and dissecting her daily life as a single mother is fascinating and surely recognizable and relatable to so many struggling with feelings of solitude or inadequacy. This speaks to the show's core premise, namely, that if Littleglobe TV can produce a segment that makes us laugh and then phase into another that makes us feel connected to our fellow Santa Feans, it probably will.
"We're living in a day-to-day world where we can't predict how we're going to survive in a couple months, but it's also an opportunity to let go of future plans," Jonas explains. "Maybe we as a town can grow from the day-to-day and into a new way of thinking of who we are as a town—the big vision is that when we ARE back up and running, we're telling the story of the people who we are today. It's diverse, it's complicated, it's ideally kind of funny, it's frustrating, its inequitable…we want to be OK with the complexity, we don't need to tell one story; we want to tell all the stories."
Exploring such complex themes, it turns out, needn't be complex itself. Much of each episode is filmed with phone cameras ("We all have these HD cameras in our pockets," Silverman notes), and with a team of 16 working to produce episodes, the DIY punk-rock nature isn't overwhelming. In fact, it's imperative to educating the younger and/or newer filmmakers on the team. Additionally, according to Jonas and Silverman, the "rough and tumble" aesthetic is very much intentional, and everyone involved, from the seasoned filmmakers like Ed Radtke to those still learning like Aurora Escobedo, gets paid for their efforts—pretty cool in the best of times, downright awesome during a pandemic.
And they'll keep going. Jonas and Silverman say there are countless ideas left unexplored and, though there's no plan as far as how long Littleglobe TV will run, it sounds as if it'll be there as long as we need it.
"We're doing this thing because it's the right thing to do now," Silverman says. "I don't know what the world's going to look like for storytelling, but one thing Chris and I ask ourselves is, if our grandkids ever ask us what we were doing during COVID, this is what we were doing." Catch the next episode on Thursday, July