Weirdness and generosity

Celebrating the offbeat stuff and a big thanks to our readers for their donations

One of the CN&R’s main functions is of community watchdog. But we also are an authority on local arts and culture. I say this not to brag, but rather to note that we know what we’re talking about when it comes to the things that fall under that umbrella. As regular readers know, we tend to eat up the oddball stuff. And there happens to be a lot of it in our community.

In fact, there’s so much wacky, innovative art and entertainment and so many eccentric characters in our midst that we decided a little over a year ago to feature some of these things and people with a cover story (see “Keepin’ Chico weird,” Oct. 13, 2013). We did so with the intention of embracing the offbeat and diverse people, places and events around the area. After all, these are the things that keep Chico from being your average North State town.

We had a lot of fun putting together the issue, and afterward, the evening before it hit the stands, an epiphany struck me: “Why not celebrate the community’s weird side with an event?”

After talking with my colleagues, the idea morphed into the Keep Chico Weird Talent Show featuring an art show. The event took place at the El Rey Theatre last February, and it was so well-attended, funky and fun that we’re bringing it back this year, on Jan. 31 at the El Rey, and it promises to be another epic celebration. The night will include an eclectic cast of performers with a wide array of talents—from comedians and burlesque dancers to filmmakers and musical acts. In addition, since the art show was so popular, it has its own night and proper venue, Jan. 29 at 1078 Gallery, leading up to the big event. (The art will be on display through the 31st.)

Somehow last year’s show sold out. In fact, at one point, the line to get into the building stretched all the way from the theater on Second Street to the corner of First and Salem. More than 100 people didn’t make it in the doors. So, get your tickets now—from our website or various other locations. You’ve been warned.

Special delivery: By the time you read this, fingers crossed, my hope is to have already dropped off boxes full of toiletries to the Jesus Center, the Torres Community Shelter and the Esplanade House. During the holidays, the CN&R hosted a drive for items like shampoo, soaps and other personal hygiene products. Readers came through—big time. We sorted through all of the donations, hundreds of them, last week and filled three giant boxes with all sorts of good stuff, including apparel from local T-shirt makers Design by Humans.

Keep in mind, dear readers, that these worthy organizations (and others not mentioned here) accept donations on a regular basis.

To those who came in with contributions to this cause—including my neighbor, Ruth, who practically bought out Target—thank you!

Melissa Daugherty is editor of the CN&R