Yes, But…

Santa Fe school for improv acting celebrates 10 years

“Santa Fe Improv has been around since 2009, and it sort of stopped and started a few times,” Executive Director Kita Mehaffy tells SFR. “In January 2019 I started working to get 501c3 nonprofit status because I felt it was important to get the work out into the community.”
The nature of improvisational -acting—often propless, costumeless, setless, and especially scriptless—might make you think that it’s inexpensive, or maybe even free to do. But to get good at improv, lots of practice with a good teacher is necessary, plus a venue to -perform in, some way to get the word out, etc. SFI has been working hard at providing classes for adults and youth, but at the end of the day, creating a community requires resources.
This Saturday, the school hosts a fundraiser benefit to take steps towards not just financial stability, but expansion. Mehaffy hopes to offer more scholarships for low-income and LGBTQ2IA+ students, and to partner with other local nonprofits to offer classes. The fundraiser includes a one-hour improv performance, refreshments and a raffle for various prizes and gift certificates to local restaurants, including a dinner for four at Il Piatto. Raffle tickets are an additional $5 to the benefit ticket, but the potential returns are invaluable.
Besides gushing over the idea of a great dinner, Mehaffy also describes improv’s deeper value for our current times.
“Our basic tenets at Santa Fe Improv are listening, courage and teamwork. … Given the discord in our country and the lack of truthfulness that is fairly apparent, it means we have to listen to each other and it means we have to have the courage to speak our truth and it means that we have to work in collaboration and community, and those are the things that improv has always been all about.” 

The first rule of improv is to never say “no,” because it shuts down a scene’s creative possibilities. So let’s practice: Are you going to SFI’s benefit this weekend? (Cole Rehbein)

Improv Celebration:
7–9 pm Saturday, Nov. 23. $20.
Warehouse 21,
1614 Paseo de Peralta,
santafeschoolofimprov.com

Midtown Madness

Courtesy Santa Fe Art Institute

After SFUAD closed and rolled out of Midtown, one organization managed to stay and hold down the fort for the arts: The Santa Fe Art Institute, now in its 35th year, continues to offer artist residencies and support arts leadership in the community from the mostly-vacant 64-acre campus. This Thursday morning, the Design Corps of Santa Fe hosts a coffee sesh with SFAI Executive Director Jamie Blosser, who will discuss the organization's involvement in the future development of the Midtown district. The ball is rolling—slowly—but only the involvement of community members and contemporary local artists (aka, YOU) can turn it into something that works for everyone. (CR)

Design Corps Coffee with SFAI’s Jamie Blosser:
8:30–10 am Thursday, Nov. 21. Free.
The Library on the Midtown Campus,
1600 St. Michael’s Drive.
216-6044.

All Aboard!

Public Domain

If you're a railroad transportation enthusiast, then this club is your ticket. Every Saturday, the Santa Fe Children's Museum hosts the Train Club where kids and adults can be the conductors of the museum's O Scale model trains. The club allows children to put their imaginations to work painting and conducting their own trains and worlds, and with help from the Santa Fe Model Railroad Club, which promotes events on the regular, they'll probably learn a thing or two. It should also prove artistic, so if you're ready to go full speed ahead, just show up. The Children's Museum also has snakes—just sayin'. All ages are welcome.
(Cade Guerrero)

Train Club: 
10 am–noon Saturday Nov. 23. Free with admission, $5–$7.50.
Santa Fe Children's Museum,
1050 Old Pecos Trail,
989-8359.

Saint Matthew

Courtesy Matthew Andrae
Courtesy Matthew Andrae

Approximately one million years ago, while working in a restaurant, I approached local musician Matthew Andrae, a customer at the time, to say "Hey, aren't you that music guy?" A gigantic grin appeared across his face as he said "Ohmygod, yes! It's so nice to meet you!" And I never forgot it. Niceness aside, Andrae is a guitalele—half guitar, half ukulele—master, a honey-voiced vocalist and an impressive songwriter and covers curator all rolled into one. Things get a little bit folky, a little bit indie-pop, a little bit island jammy and a whole lot pretty when Andrae does his thing and, as I say, his whole super-nice thing doesn't hurt one bit. (Alex De Vore)

Matthew Andrae: 
6 pm Sunday Nov. 24. Free.
La Fiesta Lounge,
100 E San Francisco St.,
982-5511.