Friends —

I’m thrilled to announce that I’m joining the company Withfriends as a co-founder, stakeholder, and Chief Information Officer.

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Through the past eight years, Indexical has grown from a door-gig concert series into a self-sustaining nonprofit organization with a board and institutional funding. I’ve seen firsthand what a community of dedicated supporters can do for small businesses, organizations, and collectives.

Starting from a one-time grant of $1,000 from our local Arts Council of Santa Cruz County, we’ve presented over 60 events and directly paid over $35,000 to artists for performances over the last few years. This has only been possible because of the dedication of our audience, the creativity of the hundreds of artists who performed, and the work of the core organizing staff of the last few years — Madison Heying, David Kant, Laura Steenberge, and Mustafa Walker. …

A little over a decade ago, I bought a Fender Rhodes. A guy in my home town (“They call me when Herbie Hancock plays The Gorge”) overhauled the whole thing for the cost of parts, psyched that a high schooler was Craigslisting old keyboards with barista money. I learned to tune it, adjust the action, level the voicing, replace pickups, and just about everything else. …

Homeland Security / ICE agents conducted an operation at 4 am in my neighborhood of Live Oak and elsewhere around Santa Cruz County, centered on the arrest of members of the MS-13 gang. This operation was the culmination of an investigation ongoing since 2011. [Reported in the Santa Cruz Sentinel.]

Update: Adding clarity to reference that the “Gang Unit” is a division of Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) according to the FBI. This might not have been “immigration-related” but it was absolutely under the auspices of Immigrations and Customs Enforcement.

It does not matter that these raids took part as an operation against gang violence; the scare tactic of “bad hombres” is only an excuse to continue ICE’s operation in our community. Homeland Security / ICE has their own resources, and can do their own work without the involvement of our local Police Department. Residents of Santa Cruz County must be able to trust that their local law enforcement does not work with a federal department that is set to build a “deportation force” that will drastically increase the risks of individuals reporting crimes. …


Andrew C. Smith

(tuning is a function of time) co-organizes @anindexofmusic (, future md of music composition at ucsc.

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