Sunday, May 20, 2007

Another Party, Another Planet

Just to continue a line of thought that my fine, thoughtful commenters already advanced, there's a huge difference between a scene and a community, and if I get a vote I opt for the latter. After our somewhat off-putting experience Thursday night at Nights at the SBMA, on Friday night Amy and I attended the Fundraiser for Fire Disaster Relief for all the folks who lost their businesses and homes and cats a month ago. Local businesses pitched in donating food and drink; Spencer the Gardener with Nate Birkey played two terrific sets of music; people chatted and had fun and even John Palminteri made an appearance and joked about his very own Prime-Time-ness (he's such a big silly fish in the small Santa Barbara media pond). The mayor was there, as was Councilman Brian Barnwell, dancing with his wife Camilla Cohee as the accordion and horn-led sounds of the band echoed out from the historic Casa de la Guerra courtyard and bounced off the ever-increasingly distant News-Press building (it really seems to be merely a historic relic at this point). People seemed to be there because they cared, because they knew their $10 donation would help someone, not like the night before when it seemd as if people thought their $25 ticket would enter them in the "let's get laid" lottery of the very well dressed. Sure enough, David from Frameworks said a few words and stressed how their goal with the gallery was to make a community, to get around the idea that art was too expensive and too exclusive. While the fire certainly made things much harder, their dream has far from gone up in smoke--the community they made was there for them, hoping, helping, having a blast just a few blocks away from where everything had seemed to go so terrible wrong.

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