The Mayor’s Forum on Jobs and Economic Growth was held last Friday morning at the Santa Fe Community Convention Center, in downtown Santa Fe. The forum, moderated by Santa Fe Reporter columnist Zane Fischer, began with a panel of local economic players followed by community input. The choice of Fischer, an independent voice from an alternative weekly rag, provided an interesting counterpoint to the more establishment face of the panel. As moderator, Fischer did a commendable job containing the public’s nervous, angry and diffuse energy into two minute bitstreams, gently “tasering” those who exceeded their time with humor or a touch of tough love.
Jon Hendry, business agent at IATSE local 480, the local union branch of employees in the film and television, caught our attention with compelling numbers and stories of immediate employment opportunities through the film and TV industry. “These are jobs for our young people,” Hendry said, and pitched the urgent need for a studio in the Santa Fe environs. Michael Halsey and Santa Fe Councilor and Mayor Pro Tem, Rebecca Warzburger, both cited the need for affordable housing. For highlights from these and other panel members (Marie Longserre, Fidel Gutierrez–Randy Grissom was present, but not filmed due to a technical glitch) check out Joshua Maes’ video below.
Suggestions from the citizenry ranged widely in their usefulness, clarity and relevance. Some sought to create a greater whole by interlinking several sectors of the community. Others had a more narrow agenda. And then there were the odd, out there and occasional “dangit, it’s my moment to rant” folks. Indeed the need to vent made me think that perhaps a Truth and Reconciliation Commission style opportunity might be in order as a way to clear the way for dialogue and cooperation.
Many people are frustrated and rightly so. But as Fischer noted at the outset, what was most needed and most likely to be effective were ideas “that inform policy.” As it was, good points and suggestions landed like multiple balls on a playing field–usable, but unclear which one to kick towards the goal.
Mayor Coss’ Vision of Santa Fe’s future economy, projected on a screen at the start of the forum, defined an ideal Santa Fe with the following terms: creative center; high wage jobs; strong middle class; vibrant youth culture; leadership in sustainability; innovation center for environmental and other technology, art, cultural and science capital. Happily, many of these aspirations already apply, although they cry to be expanded.
“Business, banking, and our not-for-profits can very likely make something magic happen here in Santa Fe. We’ve seen it before; we know we can do it again,” said Coss in his opening statement. We, too, believe in Santa Fe’s magic it and look forward to more. Meantime, we’ll do our parts to swell Santa Fe stockings through our support of local artists, musicians, business owners and other creative and entrepreneurial lights who work to make the City Different such a great place to call home. We hope you’ll do the same.
This week in Santa Fe’s alt/indie/emerging cultural scene….
A couple of weeks ago, we attended the REAL closing night of MeowWolf’s GEODEcedant exhibition (extended run) at which we met Benjie who gave us a guided tour of the exhibit. Benjie’s a hurdy gurdy of creative intelligence churning out brilliance, curiosity and buoyant good nature. This coming Saturday, from 5-9 and again Sunday, from 2-7, the boys at Meow Wolf will be spinning another experiential wonder with the opening of OmegaMart. “…bringing quality affordable art product to the citizens of Santa Fe just in time for the 2009 holiday shopping season…” If GEODEcedant is any indication, you will grin like a kid at OmegaMart. Meow Wolf is raw, catch-it-while-it’s-local-and-affordable talent.
Just discovered Fraction Magazine, “an online venture promoting and exploring emerging photographic artists” conceived in an Albuquerque coffee shop by Joshua Spees and David Bram and sustained by Bram and Melanie McWhorter. Bram’s blog offers thoughtful words and pics from a photographer, dad and reflective human. Check out Fraction’s recent post on the future of photography books and the Fraction Magazine Holiday Print Sale.
Friday, December 18th, is the last night to catch the musical wave at Annapurna Restaurant on Alameda. Hear Monsoon 6, featuring Dave Decibel, from 6-9 tonight. Steve Brisk writes, “Hopefully a new venue will be found soon. Lets end this series with a bang!”
Real estate agents Malissa Kullberg and Joshua Maes, AKA Changing Gallery, use their listings, where appropriate, to showcase the art, photography, sculpture and other creations of emerging and independent talents. Artists receive 100% of the proceeds from any sale. Currently displaying work by Mark Frossard, Laird Hovland, Jonathan Tercero at 133 Sombrio in Casa Solana, downtown Santa Fe. To schedule an appointment, call: 231.7598. For up-to-date market info and full access to the MLS, visit: Santa Fe Real Estate Downtown.