Breakfast All Day celebrates a year in Outer Space

FLOATING WEIGHTLESS A glowing cake illuminates the stage in Outer Space at Arcata’s Breakfast All Day Collective.
Photo courtesy Breakfast All Day Collective

Janine Volkmar
Mad River Union

ARCATA – One of my favorite jokes by that deadpan comedian, Steven Wright, goes like this: “The menu said Breakfast Anytime, so I ordered French toast in the Renaissance.”

The Breakfast All Day Collective, at 11th and M streets, is named for this type of humor but their mission to provide an all ages performing space in Arcata is one of hard work and dedication.

Co-founder Alex Nordquist feels strongly about the necessity for an all ages, drug and alcohol free space.

“Young people should be allowed to have pretty unfettered access to feed their curiosity about the world and figure out who they are and what their beliefs and values are. I think that art is a really wonderful gateway to exploring different parts of yourself and the world around you,” he said in a Breakfast All Day press release.

Co-founder Zev Smith-Danford echoed that belief in a recent interview. “Not only is it all ages but teenagers and parents and everyone in between attend concerts. They feel comfortable to be there together.”

The two started the collective “about five years ago with fundraising in the community,” Smith-Danford explained. Both are graduates of Humboldt State who stayed on and became part of the community. The space in a former industrial building in Arcata, lends itself to all kinds of events.

“It’s ADA accessible and walkable,” he said. “We’ve had poetry readings, all sorts of workshops, yoga, Tai Chi, self-defense classes, and a youth AA group is just starting,” Smith-Danford added.

But music, music, music is the focus of the one-year anniversary of the performing space run by Breakfast All Day. That part is called Outer Space and it has seen the birth and development of many new musical groups, groups so new that they haven’t gotten the bigger venue gigs yet.

“Outer Space as a name grew on everyone involved,” Smith-Danford said. “It’s a space outside of HSU, almost outside of the city, and it is its own thing. A lot of performers have said that they feel they are playing in outer space.”

“We are giving these performers an outlet in the community. It has really opened up opportunities for lots of local bands to share their art.”

The one-year party on Friday, Jan. 19 starting at 7 p.m. features a long list of groups including Trust Fall and Squill, (both from Olympia, Wash.), La Mancha, and Grocery Outlet, (both from Arcata). Admission is $6. In addition, Outer Space is releasing a “compilation album of bands who have played at the space in the last year since opening.”  Proceeds from album sales will support the continued existence of Outer Space.

Since opening Outer Space on Jan. 16, 2017, the collective has hosted over 70 events.

The whole shebang is a DreamMaker Project of the Ink People Center for the Arts in Eureka. Ink People is well known for making community dreams possible by acting as an umbrella organization. Libby Maynard, executive director of Ink People for 39 years, said that the Breakfast All Day Collective “has been doing a fabulous job. They’ve done a great job of meeting needs that have been unmet, not only in Arcata,

but in other places in the county. They are all ages, all encompassing, all people,” she said.

Danford-Smith said that the collective is “100 percent volunteer run.”

The group is in the process of building a website. Until that is finished, the best way to learn about their many events is on various social media outlets.

Upcoming events at Outer Space include Broken Spirit (anarcho peace punk from Portland) on Jan. 20; Signor Benedict the Moor (hip hop from California)  and Pink Navel (indie rap from Boston on Jan 22; and so much more.

Outer Space is located at 1100 M St. at 11th and M streets in Arcata.


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