Two parties celebrate longevity and the city different’s art of giving!

SANTA FE, NM – The first time I went through the Girard Collection at the Folk Art Museum, it was like the proverbial “I thought I died and went to heaven.”

I loved everything I saw, from the Venetian Canal Scene right as you walk in to the Teddy Bear’s Christmas Dinner to the talavera Mexican cocina … but best of all: heaven above and hell below, “just like I pictured it”* (*Stevie Wonder … me too, Stevie! Just like I pictured it, too! Just like the nuns told me!)

Well, I wanted everything in that Girard Wing and, ever since that day, have loved the Folk Art more than any other museum in the world. So naturally I joined “The Committee” when asked years ago and, when “Friends of Folk Art” was formed 22 years ago to offer fun and educational opportunities to members while supporting the museum at the same time, of course I joined that, too. Everybody leaped at the fantastic opportunities – visiting folk artists’ studios in small groups; touring the homes of discerning collectors; visiting well-kept secrets around the country that we dug up for great trips; and running out on really good day excursions around here, places definitely not on the tourist maps!

The “20+ Anniversary Party” celebrated FOFA and its many exhilarating, exciting, enticing, sometimes outrageous events, (thank goodness! We don’t need any more dull ones!), from the “Haute Flea” to “Fabled Tables” and the “Dia de Los Muertos” event.

It was a gathering of 200 “Friends of Folk Art,” old members from day one to new joiners. It was also the unveiling of the new booklet on the first 22 years of the “Friends of Folk Art,” showing it to be a very creative group of people who like to have elaborately staged theme parties, with fabulous decorations, delicious food, music that matches and a lot of revelry. Revelry is a key ingredient in Folk Art fundraising! Happy is the cheerful giver … very cheerful at the Folk Art!

Wine and Chile Fiesta Sponsors’ Party

The Governor’s Mansion sits on perhaps the prettiest lot in town, a 13-acre promontory in the middle of Santa Fe. It’s the best place for a garden party. Watching the sunset with the Sangres turning saffron on the eastern perimeter and, on the other side, the western sky turning apricot at the same time as the city lights below come on between them … and we’re sipping a little Chateauneuf du Pape on the lawn, just a soupçon!

The Wine and Chile Fiesta Sponsors’ Opening Night Welcome Party offers a microcosmic glimpse of the Grand Tasting, as The Man pours you enough for about two sips, a thimblefull, then you must try a different vineyard, another flavor, expand your horizons. (And have a tempura shrimp with a squiggle of chile/curry sauce with that Sancerre!) A chardonnay here, a rosé there, a cabernet, an old vine … they’re scrutinizing the nose, the bouquet, the tannins and a hundred other nuances. The REAL wine tasters do not swallow the wine, as you know. I will confide in you, I did not personally observe ONE real wine taster! Everyone I saw swallowed. Hmm.

The Wine and Chile Fiesta the next day brought together 4,000 guests to sample the fruits of 105 vineyards and samples from 80 restaurants. At $150 per wristband, it nets between $20,000 and $60,000 for cooking-related charities … (I know the math doesn’t seem to work out, but you must realize this is an elegant, high-expense event! The infrastructure – tents, entertainment, Reidel glasses, security – are pricey.)

For 24 years, the Fiesta has been funding educational programs for chefs and restaurants in Santa Fe, and currently it underwrites Cooking with Kids. The international event is designed to enhance our city’s standing as the culinary giant it is.

Wine and Chile brings a lot to our town: After the feasting, the women on my shuttle were heading right downtown to pick up where they had left off in the morning, shopping bags stuffed! Ka-ching! It’s hard to get a reservation in a restaurant, or you wait; the hotels are stuffed, too, heads on beds; people out and about relieving the galleries and boutiques of their goods, telling their friends back home and making reservations for next year! Hello, good ole days?

Ashley Margetson has a BA in English from UCLA, is a senior real estate broker with Sotheby’s International Realty and has a finger on the pulse of philanthropic activities in Santa Fe. To tell us about an upcoming event, email


WINE AND CHILE–Jewlery Maven Valerie Fairchild and Diane Veinveres at the Wine and Chile Fiesta.
WINE AND CHILE–Wine and Chile impresario Al Lucero.
FRIENDS OF FOLK ART–Keith Anderson and Barbara Munson are Friends of Folk Art.
FRIENDS OF FOLK ART–Folk Art old timers Elizabeth Alley and Andrea Fisher.
FRIENDS OF FOLK ART–Chris Vitagliano and Cheryl Busch at Friends of Folk Art.



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