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COMMUNITY PARTNERS

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COMMUNITY IMPACT 

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 Hello,

My name is Monty Stoakes and I returned to Lincoln as a resident about 2 and 1/2 years ago.  Within the first couple of months back in town, and employed at Open Harvest, I started to come into contact with the staff and artists at Live Yes Studio.  To say that these kind and talented people left an impression on my life would be a vast understatement!

As the Cheese Coordinator at this local co-op grocery, I shared cheese samples with the public on a daily basis.  It was a good draw and quickly made me a popular stop for our local clientele.  One member of the public that really enjoyed my cheese samples, was Jess, an artist at Live Yes.  The honest engagement that I found with Jess, and her usual companion, Tasha, spoke directly to my heart.  I wanted to know more about the studio and started attending different events that they hosted.  Through my engagement with their functions, and introductions from Jess & Tasha, I got to know more artists and more staff.  Developing many terrific relationships!

While still in my capacity as "Cheese Man," I was able to connect with my many new friends whenever they would stop by Open Harvest.  I have enriched my life by joining them at art shows, from the Tug Boat Gallery to the Live Yes Studio, enjoyed the Classic Car Show that Tony pulled together, won some awesome prints at their silent auction/street fair and joyously joined in for a couple of Friday Dance Parties.  I have connected with many of the these wonderful people, artists and staff, in many various ways, and appreciated each encounter.

I am happy to say that, while I am no longer the "Cheese Man," I still see my Live Yes friends all over town!  Also happy to add, that I still get to see Jess and Tasha on a regular basis.  We meet up for ice cream a couple times a month, to visit, connect and laugh.  I can not describe how much Jess's friendship means to me.  It is one of warmth and honesty, we both knew that we were supposed to be friends, and nothing can stop that.  Real people have a tendency to make real connections.  And the kindness and strength that I have witnessed from Tasha seems to know no limit.

I am a richer, happier and more healthy person for my interactions with this terrific organization.  The bonds of friendship that I have fostered with this interesting and unique group of folks, are some of the strongest bonds that I have felt since my return to my hometown.  I appreciate their art, sense of community and kindness.  Live Yes Rocks!

Monty Stoakes

Event Coordinator Indigo Bridge Books & Cafe