The new monthly series combines music, art, spoken word, and local activism.
Wendy Schneider is best known in Madison for her work as a recording engineer, her band Bugatti Type 35, and her long-in-the-works documentary about Smart Studios (which she says she'll be wrapping up soon). Earlier this year Schneider also began carving out a really interesting niche in the local music calendar when she launched a monthly show series called An Evening At Maria's at the Art In space at 1444 E. Washington Ave. At each event, Schneider books local musicians, but the music shares equal billing with a rotating cast of visual artists, spoken-word performers, and local non-profits. The next one is this Saturday, September 26 and features four visual artists, music from Cowboy Winter and Kleptix, information from the Dane County Time Bank Youth Court program, and, perhaps most surprisingly, an appearance from Thax Douglas, who for many years was famous/notorious for reading his poems at indie-rock shows in Chicago. The best way to keep up with the series for now is to join the Maria's Facebook group or look out for previews of the individual events in our weekly calendar.
Schneider joined me at WORT-FM studios this week to talk about how she started the Maria's series, how she hopes to give local non-profits more opportunities to reach the community, and the series' June event commemorating the '90s Madison hip-hop band Black Poets Society.
Thanks as always to WORT-FM's Dylan Brogan for producing the segment (and lacing it with a bunch of music recorded at Smart Studios, in a nod to Schneider's forthcoming documentary). Keep up with the Tone Madison/WORT podcast on SoundCloud and hear a short version of it every Thursday on WORT's evening news show.