Rachel Anne Goodman was a well-known producer on KUSP-FM radio who won a Peabody award and also taught at Cabrillo College. She next crossed over from journalism to head State Assemblyman Bill Monning's local district and press office. In January she was hired as executive director of the bold and innovative Tannery Arts Center, home and office to local artists of all kinds.
Arts Center at 1060 River St. opening begins Friday at 4:30 p.m. with a ribbon cutting ceremony and continues with exhibits, music and dancing from 5:30 p.m. to midnight.
It continues Saturday from noon to 5 p.m. with open studios, art demonstrations and music.
1. What does this weekend's grand opening at the Tannery mean for Santa Cruz?
This weekend's grand opening mean Santa Cruz will keep growing in reputation as a town that loves and supports the arts. 26 open studios will be open to the public now, and artists will have a place to create great works of art for us all to enjoy. This grand opening represents the completion of Phase II, the working studios. Now we have 100 affordable live-work lofts for artists, 28 studios, and soon, a new theater.
2. What are the highlights of the two day celebration?
There will be 26 open studios with artists showing their work, a ribbon-cutting with Mayor Don Lane, and a performing arts showcase that includes Poet Gary Young, the Americana band The Juncos, Marimba favorites, Sadza, William Coulter and Deby Benton Grojean doing Celtic, Bob Reid, Earl White, Santa Cruz Youth Symphony Quartet and African guitar by Malima Salif Kone.
If that's not enough for you, there will be Hula, Bollywood, and Tango dance performances in the Tannery Dance Studios, and a DJ dance to top it off.
That's just Friday. Saturday the lineup includes Sweetjam, a Tannery favorite, All About Theater ,and local guitar picker Steve Palazzo. I've been told I may even do a surprise performance of a cowboy song (after all, it was a Tannery).
3. What is your vision for the future of the arts complex?
The vision, which Ceil Cirillo and other had at the project's inception, was a vibrant arts campus where visitors could take classes, see art being made, see a show, go to a cafe, and where artists could enrich the larger community by creating their own community at the Tannery.
The vision will be complete when we as a community come to opening night at the new theater (once we raise the funds and build it). Having a performing arts venue there will be the jewel in the crown of the Tannery and will bring it all together.
4. They say in the new economy, people will change jobs every 3-5 years. You are living up to this, having worked in radio, in government and now the arts. What's been the best and worst parts of your transitions?
I have been incredibly blessed to have had such a varied and rich career so far. When I paused my radio producer career, I missed it terribly; not just the work and my fellow radio folks, but the listeners and the meaning we tried to make of the world together.
I plan on resuming some of that soon, if only on the side. The best part of leaving state government work was that I was no longer living and breathing the budget crisis. The worst part was missing the cherished personal connections I made.
Fortunately for me, I get to work with many of the same folks, only from a different angle. The best part of my new job as Executive Director of the Tannery Arts Center nonprofit is that I am in on the ground floor of one of the most innovating projects in California if not the nation. When we have a new theater, our community can point to it as something we gave the future, and that's about as real as it gets.
5. What are the best and worst things about living in Santa Cruz for you?
Best: My family lives here, immediate and extended, and we're close. The arts are thriving. Worst: Seeing it speed up and get more crowded.