Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Ex-CIA Man Cooks For Out North Fundraiser

Out North is a tiny (seats about 90) theater in Anchorage that has regularly brought often edgy, sometimes beautiful performances that usually challenge my stereotypes, assumptions, and even my world view.

It’s what art is supposed to be - blasts of blasphemy piercing through the facades society  constantly creates to hide the uncomfortable by-products of how we live. Not every event is great, but if you aren’t making mistakes now and then, you aren’t pushing the limits.

So, when we were invited to a fundraising dinner for Out North, we said yes. 
It was a little pricy, but the tickets at Out North are usually much less than the more proper venues and we’ve gotten far more stimulation than we’ve paid for.  And we want to make sure that Out North is here a long time.  It’s one of the parts of Anchorage that sustains my brain and soul. 

Entering the Green Connection from a decidedly ungreen early May Anchorage was already a treat.  We were treated like VIP’s - creative name tags, a glass of bubbly, and hors d'oeuvres tucked away amongst the greenery. 

And there was music.  I’m pretty sure they were part of the group Super Sweet Sugar Strings. 

And then we were called to take our seats for a gourmet dinner.  Yeah, I can hear you saying, “What do you know about gourmet food?”  And you’re right.  As a mostly vegetarian who also east fish, but rarely meat, I do now and then stray from my normal diet.  But if I’m going to eat meat, it better be really, really good.  (It was.)

Our dinner was a lot of very fresh local and wild treats, combined in unexpected ways, cooked by chef Carlyle Watt, a graduate of the CIA (Culinary Institute of America), Napa Valley branch.  Some people we already knew.  Others we know now.  

OK, I thought I better check the criteria for gourmet food.  From Ask.com:
"Gourmet food is of the highest quality and flavor, prepared well and presented in an artful manner."

I forgot the artful manner part, but you can judge for yourselves.  Click the pictures to enlarge if the text is too small.

Since it was a fundraiser, there were some auction items between courses.  We ended up with two punch cards to the Spenard Jazz Festival. 

Someone else bought this Out North poster with Out North founders Jay Brouse [Brause] and Gene Dugan demonstrating their willingness to provoke some folks in the community for the sake of not self-censoring their work.  It made their lives and Out North's existence more difficult, but it also made it more real.  And they attracted true artists up here. [I know that some people will look at the poster and wonder what I'm talking about.  But remember, just last month 58% of the voters turned down an amendment to the local non-discrimination ordinance to add LGBT folks to the list.  This wasn't about marriage, it was just equal rights to not be turned down for a job or an apartment or loan because they're gay.]

Check out their website.  Sign up for their email alerts.  If you don’t want to become mentally and spiritually lazy, monthly visits to Out North are highly recommended. 

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