I took a walk this afternoon through the Rochester pedestrian skyway system to our City Hall building so I could renew my disclosure form with the City. In my role on the Civic Music Advisory Board, I am essentially an unpaid employee of the city (some people call that “volunteering”, of course). What distinguishes my situation, however, is that I serve under the same requirements for honesty and integrity as paid city servants. So, it is necessary and good that I disclose any financial or other relationships I have with businesses that operate within the city, so that my participation on the Civic Music Advisory Board does not conflict in any unfair or improper way.
Janet and I are lucky to be living in a town that not only has a vibrant arts culture, but has an arts culture that let’s us in! My limited experience with artistic communities in other cities gave me the impression that the community was hard to break into. Not in Rochester.
Under our current presidential administration we are facing the likelihood of loss of federal funding for the arts through entities like the National Endowment for the Arts. In Rochester, MN, where there is a strong arts presence, these cuts will have a profound impact. Recently, we participated in a community awareness event where citizens and musicians from the Rochester Symphony Orchestra and Chorale gather to sing an impromptu Hallelujah Chorus to show that we are opposed to cuts in funding for the arts. See a short video here.
It’s been quite a while since I’ve picked up the banjo, so I got the itch to play recently, but didn’t really know where to find any local jam groups. In a previous blog, I wrote about my encounter with an old-timey family band. That conversation led to my discovery of a regular bluegrass and country jam group that meets on Friday nights in Rochester.
Jan and I had a great evening of dining and music, shared with Jan’s brother and sister-in-law. We started at one of our favorite hangouts, the Redwood Room, located at 300 1st Ave NW. We go there not only for the excellent entrees but for the delicious bread, served with oil and parmesan cheese. Favorite entrees of ours: the Burgundy Bavette, Apple Cider Pork, and Chicken Basilinni. Find their menus here.