A fundraiser, sponsored by Pueblo Community College, took place Thursday, Oct. 13, at The Downbeat blues bar in Pueblo.
The event sought to raise funds for PCC’s literary journal project, “The Final Note.” Supporters of the project paid $20 to enter and were provided with food and entertainment for the evening.
The food was provided by Mike Patti of GrillFella’s competition BBQ team. The entertainment involved music from The Fat Chance Blues Band, The Downbeat’s house band, and also included four poetry readings from PCC students.
Jamie Patti, who is the wife of Patti, hosted the event. She is an English and literature teacher at PCC, and helped to pioneer “The Final Note.” The very first volume won a national award, she said.
“We designed it three years ago,” Patti said. “It’s really meant to promote an interest in quality art and literature.”
Patti also hopes that the journal will help change the way people view the process of creating art and literature, she said.
“Instead of the concept that everybody can write a poem whenever the spirit moves them to do so, actually having people think of creative writing as a craft and as something that you’re disciplined with,” she said. “We wanted to really elevate how people think about art and literature and it’s not simply something you can whip out in five seconds.”
PCC students from the Durango, Cortez and Freemont locations, along with the Pueblo location, have all submitted pieces for inclusion in the “The Final Note,” she said.
“It’s exciting to see what a response there is from all four PCC campuses,” she said. “It helps build relationships across campuses.”
Patti has received pieces of literature from many students outside of the English department as well, she said. Students who are studying to become nurses and EMS workers have also submitted their literary works to her, she said.
“They might do less literary things for their careers but they know art and literature are important,” she said.
Patti expected many people to show up, but was very pleased with the final outcome, as part of proceeds help to cover publishing costs of the journal, she said.
“I honestly didn’t know what to expect,” she said. “It was phenomenal, this place was packed. I have no doubt that we indeed meet our goal.”
The Downbeat features live music from The Fat Chance Blues Band every Friday and Saturday night, and also has an open mic night every Thursday. The bar is open from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m., on these nights. The Downbeat is located at 1335 E. Evans Ave.