Happy Ninth Birthday SubRosa! (and some Santa Cruz radical history)

Today it is November 1st and SubRosa is nine years old. Below is part of a post I wrote two years ago when SubRosa turned 7 (updated to acknowledge the passing of years)...

September and October 2008 we worked on the inside and courtyard at a space at 703 Pacific Avenue that was soon to be named SubRosa (check out the entry about this at this website Name Suggestions 4 Infoshop).  Lots of folks and lots of hours.  On Halloween we were still working on the inside, painting.  People would drift in and out in costume to help until late into the night.

The next evening, November. 1st was our opening with an art show and music!  It poured rain that night and the courtyard flooded.  We called the outside area the info-swamp and set down blocks of cement as stepping stone islands.  Inside the space was packed and humid.  The paint started dripping down the walls and quite a few people went home wearing the paint on their clothes as they unwittingly leaned against the wet walls...hopefully a nice reminder of a great opening night.

And now 9 years later we are still going...doing-it-together.  Come to SubRosa and check out what is going on.  Go to our events page at this website for more info at SubRosa Events.  The space is what we make of it, and this includes you as well.  There are many ways to contribute to SubRosa. Get involved with the space...join the collective...host an event...show your art...and so on.  Another world is possible.  We can create it now, and at the same time counter the coercive and destructive impact of the over-culture.  A question i often ask myself is, how can SubRosa be relevant to those endeavors?  Let's figure that out together and do it (especially in these times).

Much appreciation to all those who have contributed to SubRosa over the past 9 years...so many people in so many different ways.  And may we continue to thrive for years to come.

from indybay post from early November 2008:  https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2008/10/28/18547019.php

SubRosa, a new community space in downtown Santa Cruz, hosted its grand opening event on November 1st. The event included an art show, spoken word, live music, food, and a first look inside this vibrant new social space.

Music poured out into the rainy night, as people cramped tightly together to share in the musical performances at the grand opening of SubRosa. The small, but cozy space was filled with a vibrant youthful crowd. Event goers snacked on piles of free bread, and coffee from reusable ceramic mugs. Artwork from local artists covered the freshly painted walls, as well as a colorful display of ‘zines, and a lending library. The set had almost everyone jumping and singing along. The space will be a home to future performances, open mics, and Free Skool workshops. Stop in for a steaming cup of coffee and check out the extensive library.

SubRosa: A Community Space is a non-profit, donation-funded space for art and radical projects run by a collective of volunteers from the Santa Cruz anarchist community. Located at 703 Pacific Avenue in downtown Santa Cruz, SubRosa is open 7 days a week, 8am-1pm and 3pm-8pm.


Some Santa Cruz radical history...SubRosa is part of a lineage, in some cases direct and in other ways indirect. Here are some of those radical ancestor projects and spaces. Written from my perspective. -j!

-in early 2000s there was a radical/anarchist community space/ infoshop located on Walnut Avenue that shared space with Bike Church and Hub called the Rhizone.  It had a library and meeting space. I went there for Free Radio Santa Cruz meetings and other groups had meetings there too. Some groups had desks and work spaces there.  It ended in part due to complaints from upstairs neighbors (things came to a head after a particularly raucous show there) and money was also a stress. Santa Cruz radicals and anarchist went to Seattle in the late 1990's and this was inspirational for folks. I was not intimately involved with this project so I can’t comment on it much.  In the same building was the Hub at which an anarchist discussion group that met (this was after the Rhizome closed).  There was also a dumpster collective that used the fridge in the backroom of the Hub.  So much food abounded and was shared!

-What Is Art? was a radical performance and art space located at the other end of Pacific Ave. past the town clock.  Not explicitly anarchist, it was run as a collective and was around in the late-ish 1990's.  I was also involved with this space, as was another initial member of the SubRosa collective core: http://www.santacruzart.net/2007/04/now-what-what-is-art-collective-is.html

-Santa Cruz Anarchist Infoshop, that never really settled on a name, 2004: http://santacruz.indymedia.org/newswire/display/9970/index.php and http://santacruz.indymedia.org/newswire/display/8412/index.php  and http://santacruz.indymedia.org/feature/display/9991/index.php  and http://santacruz.indymedia.org/newswire/display/10070/index.php and http://santacruz.indymedia.org/mod/otherpress/display/233 (this article originally in Good Times…one sided view and take with a grain of salt…it does point out some of the tensions involved in the group)

-After the above infoshop closed the @ library moved to the Sacred Grove and I tended it for some years.  This was meant to be temporary as we thought we would find another space but that didn’t happen.  Sacred grove folks were very supportive and even gave me a key to the space: http://santacruz.indymedia.org/newswire/display/11122/index.php

And of course much more could be (and will be) written...

1 comment:

  1. Wow it's so cool to read this lineage to SubRosa - thanks for posting this, happy 9th b-day!