Suffering from Poetry Burn Out? Try going to the monthly information series All Knowledge Must Be Shared! It’s the first Tuesday of every month at Rad-ish Collective (710 31st Street) from 8-10 p.m. What? You’re a poetry die hard and you still want to read at Innisfree’s open mic that night? No problem! The host, Matthew Clifford, always gets to Rad-ish on time and sets up but it doesn’t really start until after 8:30. You would need to skip going to the No Name Bar after Innisfree, but you can always bring your own refreshments to Rad-ish or just plan on hitting the Dark Horse afterwards. Be warned, it does end at 10 so don’t come too terribly late.
What the hell is Rad-ish Collective, you say? Well, it’s a house near Baseline and 30th in Boulder that bills itself as “a safe space for queers, trans folks, POC, youth, women, elders, and weirdos” whose mission is to provide “a community space for knowledge, skills, and fun sharing. If you are looking for a space to have a community talk, meeting, gathering, potluck, show, etc, let us know; the door is always open.”
While Cliff was hosting All Knowledge at the now defunct Left-Hand Books on Pearl Street last winter, he found out about the Wine and Poetry night at Rad-ish the last Tuesday of the month starting at 8 p.m. Left-Hand was soon to close and sold books at alarmingly low prices and eventually they donated the remainder of their stock to Rad-ish. Cliff talked with Rad-ish and arranged for All Knowledge’s new home. It’s a perfect fit.
Here’s how it works: people show up, some sign up to share their knowledge for five to ten minutes, and we get to ask questions. It’s that simple but each month is completely different. Each time, different people show up with various tidbits of info and agendas and you never know what you’re going to hear about. Rad-ish Collective is indeed a secure place where one feels comfortable and it encourages an open environment that allows you to be surprised.
While All Knowledge was held at Left Hand Books last Fall, it brought in foot traffic from the mall and Cliff would run the register to sell chocolate bars or postcards or ridiculously cheap books during the discussion. Now that it’s at Rad-ish, it has the same kind of crowd that frequents Wine and Poetry night but they don’t read poetry or sing; they share their alternative knowledge on subjects like using the intervention model to confront President of CU Boulder with his addiction to oil, recognizing the sounds of other birds who alert to the presence of a hawk, working with the Peace Corps in Africa, details on solar energy panels, creating bike machines to make smoothies or harvest things, comparing post-Soviet Russia to its past, the new recycling program, and even using mushrooms to cure breast cancer. It used to be more of a presentation, but now it’s more of a fireside chat that sparks discussion.
So how did this start? Cliff noticed a strong presence of thinkers in Boulder and felt like getting Arts people together with Science people in the same room to show them they don’t have to be scared of each other. Admittedly, Cliff also was curious and wanted to steal their knowledge.
So he got a space, put up fliers around campus, at coffee shops and community events boards and people came. It’s a fun place to draw connections from the various topics. Last month, we learned about the connection of mushroom systems from one speaker and the connection of family constellations, where the actions of past relatives affect the current relatives.
As my close friend and chauffeur Jon says, “It’s hard to know what you know until you try and share it.” It’s a forum where you’re not required to know but if you do know something, you’re obligated to share. I don’t always present a topic, but I love asking questions and spurring the sparks of discussion. It’s a pleasant time and Cliff does a nice job creating an event, then allowing it to define itself and take on a life of its own.
So, if you’ve just learned something from Wikipedia or you developed the game Scrabbleship from the Simpsons or you really want to share your love of Rainbow Gatherings or you want to start a Greek rock garden in Boulder, or maybe you want to create a Utopia one dollar at a time, All Knowledge Must Be Shared is the place for you! Or if you want to supplement your frequent poetry open mics with some unpredictable group discussion, head over to Rad-ish (710 31st, 8pm tonight) and listen for a while. It is guaranteed to get your brain exercising and, before you know it, you’ll realize you have some knowledge to share as well!
– Phil Me Brightly