As part of the Housing the Future 2.0 program, Creative Santa Fe worked with three local artists to respond to a collection of local affordable housing stories through their mediums. The result was a song, a poem, and a theatrical performance that narrated those lived experiences and deepened our community’s connection to the housing issue in powerful and creative new ways.
Jessie Deluxe is a well known local punk rock musician encompassing a range of musical talents in her performances. Jessie was inspired by the affordable housing stories collected by Creative Santa Fe and her own personal experiences struggling with housing availability and quality in Santa Fe. Her custom song for the event, Where Do We Go, is a sullen ballad that questions our city and the values of our community in the face of the housing crisis. Alone with her bass guitar she sang the lines “And how do I get ahead, with no place to lay my head – And how do we thrive, when all I do, is work to survive.”, “And you say, that you love Santa Fe, that you love the arts and creativity, – That you love the land the culture and diversity, – Then please think about us, Please think of me.”
We reached out to Jessie after the event to dive a little deeper into her process of writing these powerful lyrics and sharing them with the community through this program.
Which stories and experiences inspired your song Where Do We Go which you performed at ‘Housing the Future 2.0’?
Right away hearing of “The man living in a van” struck me. It’s shocking…. and not. Of course this is happening in our city. It was just a matter of time that we started to hear about it. Most just leave and I feel we are losing such talented and passionate people.
Second I used my own personal experience and other’s experiences I heard from my community when working with the Siler Arts Yard development meetings.
What are some of your biggest takeaways from the process of writing this song and sharing it?
I also was so happy to give a voice to the people in my community that have or are struggling with the housing crisis. I have been wanting to do something about it for so long, I am so grateful and honored for this opportunity and to be a part of this event.
Do you think the arts are important to integrate into the conversations around affordable housing in Santa Fe? Why or why not?
Definitely! We all live, learn, hear and see things differently.
I think it is very important to have multiple platforms to communicate to people. Storytelling in itself has proven to communicate and educate since the beginning of human existence….that is exactly what the arts are/do. You are experiencing a story.