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How Playful Pastime Unleashes Creativity and Connection in DTLV

The blustery weather has me nestled into my jacket as I open the door to the local downtown hangout, “The Usual Place”. A gust of wind follows me in, as the visual projections on the wall turn into curly ques of color. Live music greets my eardrum as colors from visual artwork greet my sight. It's the second Wednesday of the month, which means the local art scene is hanging out at The Usual Place for the monthly production, “Playful Pastime.”

“Playful Pastime' just finished its third year in December at The Usual Place,” founder Stefano Kajatt says in between sets, in which he plays bass guitar. “We started it up during the pandemic, right when businesses were slowly starting to open up. People would come in to rehearse, practice a song they wrote, enjoy a jam session, play board games, dance or reconnect. It was a nice way for people to come together,” says Kajatt.

Playful Pastimes is every second Wednesday of the month from 8pm-midnight at The Usual Place. The last few months have been in collaboration with NYC jam session, THATHousePartyTHO, lead by talented transplant Simone Acosta. Musicians, lyricists and artists are encouraged to come check out the event and express their artistry.

Local artist, Nick Cantu, painted alongside Gingy Von Meijer and Mad Watson this month. It was his first time painting at the event and he enjoyed the different ways in which it catered to his creative process. “It's nice to be in a creative environment where we are not creating one thing but collectively creating the vibe,” Cantu said in between brushstrokes.

Gingy Von Meijer is the visual art coordinator for Playful Pastime. “Playful Pastime is creating a place for people to play, promoting the playfulness that comes from artists when we play together,” Von Meijer said with a smile. “It's important to be in the energy of people creating their art.” Gingy says that she is wanting new visual artists every month and to reach out to her at her instagram handle @gingvonmeijer to get involved.

After celebrating their third year, Stefano Kajatt and his business partner River Reichhoff decided that there was a need to bring another layer to the monthly event. Playful Pastime is known as a local jam session where any musician can come up and perform. They now are offering a Playful Sunday, the Sunday prior to Wednesday's event. “Playful Sunday" is a place for lyricists,  that don't have a band, to get their words out to the public. Playful Sunday is not open to the public but to musicians that come to Wednesday’s Playful Pastime. Through the help of Kajatt’s band “Trust in the Sun'' , lyricists get to come down to rehearsal on Sunday and turn their words into music. Kajatt says that their featured musicians are booked for the next two months. But, they are looking for featured musicians for upcoming Pastimes.

“All of the music that's played is completely improvised outside of the features.” Says Kajatt. He is hoping that this article will inspire more visual and musical artists to come check out Playful Pastime and contribute with their artistry.”It usually goes from 8 to midnight with the live music starting around 9:30.” says Kajatt.

If you are a visual artist or musical artist, Playful Pastime is a platform to express yourself. To get involved and learn more please reach out to @playfulpastime.

Tara Babette Shuttleworth

Writer @nothingtodolv

Owner and Event producer @babetteseventslv

Writer, Curator and Performing Artist @skylarskyeevans

I'm currently looking to produce a performance art piece and looking for performing artists - please reach out to me @skylarskyeevans

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Thank you for the write up! Great article!

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