What's happening in Taos?

Here's a quick rundown of what's going on in the Taos entertainment scene

By Tempo staff
Posted 3/20/19

There's a lot going on this week as taos enters its first full week of spring. Here's a quick rundown of entertainment events ...

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What's happening in Taos?

Here's a quick rundown of what's going on in the Taos entertainment scene


There's a lot going on this week as taos enters its first full week of spring. Here's a quick rundown of entertainment events. For more, check out the print edition of Tempo inside The Taos News on sale bright and early Thursday morning.

Bowling for Shannyn

Friends and family of Shannyn Thompson are hosting a community-wide fundraiser to raise much-needed funding for Shannyn’s medical recovery. The event will take place Friday (March 22), 6-10 p.m. at Gutters Bowling Alley, 520 Plaza Cañon Drive, off Paseo del Cañon East.

“Friend, sister and longtime member of our community, Shannyn Thompson, was in a nearly fatal car accident in mid-February,” a press release states. "Without health insurance, Shannyn has a very long, expensive road of recovery ahead. Her family is now asking for the community’s support to help Shannyn get the care she needs to recover fully from her injuries.”

The fundraising team invites the community to come bowl for free at Gutters. Taos businesses are generously sponsoring bowling games for all who come to give. While enjoying a night of free bowling, attendees can give to the cause through taking part in the donation station and raffle with dozens of prizes. Food and beverages will be available for purchase. In addition, Gutters will be giving a percentage of all proceeds for the evening to Thompson’s medical recovery fund. Music will be provided by DJ Will.

Her family states: “We thank you for considering opening your heart and making a donation to our dear loved one's recovery.”

For more information, call Sarah Livingston at (505) 660-8382 or Julia Daye at (301) 512-9002. Thompson’s ongoing GoFundMe campaign can also be found at gofundme.com/shannon-thompson-recovery-fund.

The Lil Smokies return

One of the more popular bands to play Taos is making a return engagement. The Lil Smokies will light up the stage of the Taos Mesa Brewing Mothership on Friday (March 22) starting at 8 p.m. Tickets are $10.

When people see The Lil Smokies setting up their acoustic instruments, they’re often unprepared for the electric energy they generate. The band captures that same dynamic presence on their most recent album, “Changing Shades," delivering their exceptional songwriting and bluegrass roots with the punch of a rock band.

The first incarnation of The Lil Smokies got together in Missoula, Montana, during the winter of 2009. Through the years, the band transformed and settled into the current lineup – Scott Parker on bass; Jake Simpson on fiddle; Matt Rieger on guitar; Matt Cornette on banjo and Andy Dunnigan on dobro. Previously, the band has won the 2015 Telluride Band competition and took home the 2016 IBMA Momentum Band of the Year award. They’ve also wowed fans at High Sierra, Telluride Bluegrass, DelFest and FloydFest, to name a few.

Opening for The Lil Smokies are The Lonesome Days, a five-piece, high energy, modern bluegrass ensemble from Denver, Colorado. Blending heartfelt songwriting and powerful vocals with precise instrumentation and undeniable groove, The Lonesome Days have charged their way to the forefront of the Colorado bluegrass scene.

Doors open at 7 p.m. The Mothership is located at 20 ABC Mesa Road, off U.S. 64 west. For more information, call (575) 758-1900 or visit taosmesabrewing.com.

Lesley Poling-Kempes to speak

New Mexico writer Lesley Poling-Kempes, author of ”Ladies of the Canyon,” will deliver a talk about the indomitable Victorian ladies who left their comfortable Eastern homes to forge artistic and intellectual pursuits amid indigenous communities of the Southwest. The talk is planned Saturday (March 23), 2 p.m., at Millicent Rogers Museum, 1504 Millicent Rogers Road in El Prado. Admission is free with museum admission ($10, $8 seniors, $2 children 6-16). Call (575) 758-2462 or visit millicentrogers.org.

Coco’s presents ‘Beneath the Layers’

Coco’s Hen House will present its latest spicy production, “Beneath the Layers,” Saturday (March 23), 8 p.m., at Old Martina’s Hall, 4140 State Road 68 in Ranchos de Taos. The local burlesque troupe will feature performances by Albuquerque artists Perla Foxx, Missy Venture and Venus De Folie, plus Jaz Bubbles of El Prado. Doors open for this one-night-only burlesque show at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10. Mature audiences suggested. Call (575) 758-3003 or visit cocoshenhouseburlesque.com.

THS Speech and Debate Team holds fundraiser

The Taos High School Speech and Debate Team is hosting “An Evening of Speeches, Oral Interpretations, and Duets." Students are performing class and State Speech Tournament pieces as a fundraising activity Wednesday (March 27), 6-8 p.m., at the school’s Little Theatre, 134 Cervantes Street. Admission is $10, $5 for students. Call (575) 613-0381.

'Opuntia' screening and filmmaker talk

In 1528 Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca crossed the Gulf of Mexico on a raft made of melted armor and slaughtered horses. Over the next eight years, he walked across what is now the American Southwest and Northern Mexico to the Pacific Ocean. Experiences with various Native American groups transformed him from conquistador to shamanic healer. When he returned to Spain he wrote La Relación, a chronicle of his experiences in the "New World.”

Tracing his route, the film "Opuntia" connects Cabeza de Vaca’s historic journey and spiritual transformation to contemporary people and places.

It will be screened today (Thursday March 21), 5 p.m., in the Arthur Bell Auditorium at the Harwood Museum of Art, 238 Ledoux Street, Taos. Admission is $10, free to museum members. A Q&A with director David Fenster is included.

With help from psychic Asher Hartman, director  Fenster attempts to communicate with Cabeza de Vaca through a prickly pear cactus. Also known as Opuntia, the plant saved Cabeza de Vaca from starvation. Together, Cabeza de Vaca and cacti defy the weight of centuries and narrate a poetic meditation on colonialism, indigenous cultures, healing, and mystical transformation.

Fenster’s films have screened at festivals and museums including: The Sundance Film Festival; The Museum of Modern Art; The Pérez Art Museum Miami; Machine Project; and The Hammer Museum. He was the artist in residence at the Chinati foundation and the Wurlitzer foundation.

For more information, call the museum at (575) 758-9826 or visit harwoodmuseum.org.

El Prado author nets writers grant

One of the first recipients of a New Mexico Writers Grant is Sylvia Rains Dennis of El Prado.

Rains Dennis will be honored along with children’s book author Laurel Goodluck of Albuquerque at the third annual New Mexico Writers Dinner planned Thursday (March 28), 5:30 p.m., at La Fonda on the Plaza in Santa Fe. The keynote address at the dinner will be delivered by acclaimed New Mexico poet Lucy Tapahonso.

Rains Dennis is a poet, native plant ecologist, educator and restoration specialist. Her writings and professional endeavors have focused on sustainability of our shared homelands and the unique land-based cultures of our region, a media announcement reads. She celebrates a love of language, community and homelands by engaging with the natural world and “all the company we keep, learning from every aspect of our native biodiversity.” Rains Dennis has collaborated with others — including mentors like the late authors and educators Tony Mares and Estevan Arellano — to help communities restore and preserve Northern New Mexico’s rich ecosystems.

“As an integral aspect of voice, music and listening, poetry represents a continuum of belonging to the places, people and stories that connect us,” Rains Dennis said in a prepared statement. She adds that she learns from every aspect of her surroundings, interweaving language, creative arts, music and memory into “what restores and sustains the whole.” Her current project involves a collection of poetry focused on ecological and cultural sustainability, which she hopes will extend “the creative continuum to students, community members and the land-based people whose voices carry the song of our world.”

Rains Dennis has an extensive academic and professional background in botany, ecology and biodiversity. She has taught at several universities, most recently as adjunct faculty at the University of New Mexico-Taos. A lifelong advocate of field-based education and interactive learning opportunities, Rains Dennis also created the Ecology Programs Division for Taos Pueblo.

Rains Dennis' grant will help advance her commitment “to restore links to our natural surroundings as well as to our extended community,” she says. “The rivers, mountains, meadows, shrub-steppe and sustainable farmlands are inseparable from who we are.”

Tickets to the dinner are $80 and may be purchased at nmwriters.org.


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