The party was filled with people of all ages and styles. All photos by Sandra Schoenenstein.
Taking place on the third Thursday of every month, February’s MIX Santa Fe was held at the Santa Fe Culinary Academy. The upper-level space consisted of winding rooms opening into a large demonstration kitchen. Several platters of food were exhaustively replenished during the event by Executive Chef Rocky Durham and his crew.
“People love the Azerbaijani flatbread,” said Durham. It was delicious. Chewy, herbed bread with a sharp tinge of cheese. It was easy to see why the platter emptied so quickly. Other platters held shrimp spring rolls, pork-filled lettuce wraps and vegetarian nori rolls. Blue Corn Cafe & Brewery manned the cash bar, initially serving beer in glass jars, then abandoning them for the more traditional plastic cup. People met up, introduced each other to new acquaintances, and generally broke the MIX drought brought on by MIX’s absence in the months of December and January.
Left: SFCA Executive Chef Rocky Durham prepares various and exquisite bites without pause. Right: Survey completion would net you one glass of free beer.
Speaking with Kate Noble, MIX coordinator and special projects administrator with the Economic Development Division for the City of Santa Fe, the past 31/2 years of MIX have had their ups and down. Yet, even during the low points, “We were still hearing about people making connections or getting work and being able to stay in Santa Fe,” Noble said.
Entrepreneurs took the opportunity to hand out flyers on their projects. Dawn Hoffman of Only Green Design gave information on “Upcycle Santa Fe”: a festival to come up with creative solutions to the ecological issues that face the community.
Another entity on site was the graphic design collective known as “Hexagono,” a group of Santa Fe University of Art and Design students, seeking donations to their project “The Importance Of," which is “A 200 page hard-bound book exploring Graphic Design as Contemplative Art.”
One of the larger roles MIX plays is that of data collection. MIX utilizes drink ticket incentives for filling out surveys in order to find out key information about the issues that face their demographic. According to Kate Noble, 75 percent of the MIX attendees are in their 20s and 30s, and the majority are fairly new to MIX.
For Santa Fe City Councilor Rebecca Wurzburger, MIX is “one of the most important things for economic development in Santa Fe.” Wurzburger adds, “One of the greatest issues facing Santa Fe is the loss of young people. MIX has the opportunity to provide solutions for that.”
Santa Fe City Councilor Rebecca Wurzburger mingles and answers questions about her support of MIX Santa Fe.
When asked why she comes to MIX, Wurzburger said that she “wants to reboot her mind” adding, “I want to meet with young people and hear what they’re thinking.”
DJ Flobug kept the crowd moving and MIX attendees spilled out onto the balcony for the solace of the night air. I managed to catch up with Shannon Murphy, a MIX coordinator and key part of the After Hours Alliance, a project formed to address the concerns on nightlife in Santa Fe, on why young people should come to MIX events.
“I think young people want a place where they can go to find a cute boy or girl, or generally interact with people their own age," Murphy said. "MIX is a good venue for that. Also, it’s networking, but cool. Not lame.”
After Hours Alliance founder and MIX coordinator Shannon Murphy greets one of her many friends at the event.