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When I first thought about where I’d like to live, the Methow Valley was high on my list for two things – the terrific outdoor recreation possibilities (hiking, skiing, etc) and the arts. This area has a large number of creative people and it also supports the arts pretty remarkably for such a rural location. Last night we had the good fortune to experience a wonderful musical act – Cahalen and Eli in the Spartan Art Project which is currently located at TwispWorks. How can I begin to describe all of this? Let’s see – TwispWorks is housed in a former US Forest Service complex that was surplused by the federal government and put out for auction. A group of civic minded folks decided it could be a great incubator to support arts and small businesses in our valley and they raised enough money ($1 million dollars!) to buy it and then they had to start refurbishing the old buildings. Now it is home to art studios, classrooms, a natural history center, teen center and more! The Spartan Art Project is a 1951 travel trailer transformed into a gallery space supporting artists both local and from far away. It is the brainchild of three local artists. Last night Donna Keyser’s studio on the TwispWorks campus hosted a reception for the musicians and the audience.

Cahalen and Eli are two fine acoustic musicians based in Seattle. In the last week they have been featured on NPR and Folk Alley and probably other media outlets as well. They write many of their own songs and play mandolins, banjo and guitar and their harmonies are wonderful We were lucky to have such a talented duo in our tiny town of Twisp. One of the ways that the Spartan Art Project supports artists is with their ‘Intimate Performances’. This is the third one. As you might imagine, an old travel trailer does not seat too many people. However, the acoustics are wonderful and the chance to see these men performing up close was particularly entertaining. We reserved two seats so we could be up close and personal with the show.

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