Chatter, Exodus Ensemble Join Center for Contemporary Arts

Nonprofits to take over Tank Garage gallery/performance space, share costs

The Center for Contemporary Arts saga continues in Santa Fe with the imperiled nonprofit announcing today it will join forces with Albuquerque-based contemporary chamber and classical music organization Chatter and Santa Fe’s nomadic theater troupe Exodus Ensemble.

The announcement follows CCA’s board April vote to close the more than 40-year-old organization, a decision promptly upended through a flurry of local donations.

According to a statement from CCA leadership, Chatter performs two dozen contemporary chamber music concerts at downtown art museum SITE Santa Fe each year, but will upgrade to weekly performances in the CCA’s Muñoz Waxman Gallery. Chatter will also reportedly be responsible for other artistic programs and services in its new home.

“Right before CCA went public with some of the challenges they’ve faced over the last several years, Chatter performed a concert in the CCA gallery, and the acoustics were simply electrifying,” Chatter Artist Director and Santa Fe Symphony Concertmaster David Felberg said in a provided statement. “When we heard the news of their closing, we immediately reached out to see if we could be a part of a solution to help save CCA for the community.”

The Exodus Ensemble, which has been making use of the Acequia Madre House nonprofit among other spaces, will soon take over the CCA’s Spector-Ripps Gallery and offer up to 40 weeks worth of its particular brand of immersive and experiential theater programming.

“Exodus pioneers a new mixture of next-level immersion”, Exodus Artistic Director April Cleveland said in a statement. Exodus has previously collaborated with SITE Santa Fe, The Acequia Madre House, The Women’s International Study Center, Meow Wolf, Sky Railway, The New Mexico Museum of Art and others. “We’re thrilled to be on board with CCA”, she said.

According to CCA, performance schedules for Chatter and Exodus will be forthcoming soon.

The cinema will keep on keeping on under General Manager Paul Barnes’ watch.

“To have both [organizations] is a wonderful development, and I’m looking forward to having them,” Barnes tells SFR. “I recently saw a Chatter performance...they have an amazing ensemble, and Exodus just has this wonderful reputation.”

Barnes further explains that “facilities and maintenance [costs] will be shared by the three entities,” at CCA’s campus at 1050 Old Pecos Trail, though other particulars, such as whether Chatter will fully move to Santa Fe, are still in process. Both it and the Exodus Ensemble will maintain their own 501(c)3 nonprofit statuses.

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