Wednesday, January 11, 2017

2016 Highlights

This year was very full!

It would do a disservice to the many people, events, projects, books, ideas and processes from the past 12 months, and also to any potential readers, to try to cram some semblance of an explanation into one long post.

That being said, in light of my upcoming travel-blog intentions, I still think it would be good at least to share some highlights from the past, leading into things ahead. 

Personal Life: 

I've continued working at Herzing University, where I've been employed as an administrative assistant for the better part of the last 5 years. It has been a privilege to have the opportunity to be developed and grow professionally in an organization that is so committed to believing in the potential of their every student. I have worked for and with many colleagues who have taught me the importance of character in leadership, how to implement positive change in both personal and practical process and to approach problem solving with grace. I'm very grateful for my time here, which will be concluding after my last shift, tomorrow at 5:00 pm.

I've resolved to finally finish my bachelor's degree, so I've been a student as well this past year. That will be my primary focus until I'm, at long last, finished with my program in the spring of 2018. 

I spent most the year living on the Anthony Lane block in Racine, where I learned the beauty of microwavable black bean burgers successfully grew my first cucumbers. S/O to RUGN and my wonderful neighbor lady, who watered my plots every now and again.

I accidentally introduced my pet fish to drugs, had my first - and hopefully last - bed bug fiasco and ran the fastest I've ever run in 3 minutes. I wrote a few new songs and forgot one or two mid-performance.

I also went on vacation to Oregon with the fam this summer! My mom is the bomb, which is still something I say, apparently, even though that is so 1995. The ocean is glorious, I'm definitely more of an introvert than I thought I was before vacation and Portland was super hospitable. Thanks, Portland.


This year one of my main musical projects was a monthly gig with my friends in the Southport Sound. We're a big band with 10+ players, playing primarily classics written by composers like George Gershwin, Kurt Weil and Richard Rogers. It's a swell time. We're mostly a party band for hire. The monthly gigs are public rehearsals, free to the public. Look us up if you're ever swinging through Kenosha. If we're not playing, still see another local band at Fusion!

SN: This pictures was taken by Sean Krajacic. 
Shout out to him for being a great local photographer, for supporting local music and being too legit to quit.

One of my favorite personal art projects this year was a show put together to raise funds and awareness for an organization called the A21 Campaign: a reputable non-profit who passionately advocates for those trapped in human trafficking. The event showcased a few sweet local indie bands, a couple of inspiring spoken word poets from Chicago and a short presentation from Annie Olson, Milwaukee's #WalkForFreedom coordinator. Because of the amazing support of the K-Town community and ordinary people willing to pay a couple dollars to fight injustice, we significantly exceeded the goal of $500. The event was featured in local news, and I was told this outlet was what informed several attendees, so let's a take a moment say "Thanks" to the Kenosha News!

SN: For more information on how you can partner with A21 on the fight against human trafficking, 
click here: A21 Campaign 

Another event that I love to be a part of is the 16th Street Studio Tour. While my role is to help provide ambiance and entertainment to those passing in transit from one artist gallery to the next, I also get to peruse before, after and in between sets. I'm always enamored by the unexpected variety and quality of talent in this unassuming town. I am equally refreshed by the amount of art lovers who creak the floorboards of that old building on these open-house days. 

SN: Check out the 16th Street Studio Tumblr Page: 16th Street Studio Tumblr Page

ONE last gig I wanted to share about was at Public Craft Brewing. I performed as the resident act , opening for a duo from Argentina who were on a summer Midwest tour. They made a new fan and I made some rad new friends. The next day they were able to meet up with me at a gig I had at the Root River Festival (which is also something you should totally check out if you're in SE Wisco next September). We went canoeing and ate Jerk Chicken from a truck, which is THE STUFF DREAMS ARE MADE OF. Check them out here: Axtell Duo

That concludes my brief highlight reel schpeel of fun happenings in 2016. I'll look forward to sharing what's up ahead next soon!


Naomi Marie

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