This Week's Curator: Caterer Anne Tegtmeier
Anne Tegtmeier is a single mom and small business owner, having started Fan Fare Theme Catering just over a year ago. She specializes in geeky events, of course, but enjoys the challenge of finding all kinds of different ways to celebrate people and their events through food. Anne’s first career was as a modern dancer, her second was as a massage therapist and later a lactation consultant (both of which are still her day jobs), and she just started her third act as a caterer, since theme parties and food have been her favorite extracurriculars all along. Anne still dances for the joy and sweat of it when she can, loves writing in a variety of genres, and is raising a gem of a visual artist, her 10 year-old daughter Lily.
Tell us about your neighborhood. What are the ups and downs of it?
I just moved to the Mt. Scott Arleta neighborhood (from further east) a little over 6 months ago and I absolutely love it. My previous neighborhoods (in Pleasant Valley and Powellhurst-Gilbert) weren't conducive to walking, so having small businesses to frequent within strolling distance and living on a block where we can trick-or-treat from our own front door gives us a whole new lease on life. On sidewalks, even!
What are your favorite East Portland things to do and places to go?
So. Much. Food. I mean for real, too many to list. To be detailed during my curating tenure! (Yes, this Is an excuse to eat out more during my curating week. What of it?)
What do you think people don’t know about East Portland that they should know?
There's so much east of 205 to explore! The culture, the culinary, the community.
What do you think would be most helpful for people in East Portland?
Much more public transportation, and accessible services for people experiencing homelessness. Our community centers are great, but I would love to see more performing arts spaces open up out here, so schlepping to the Schnitz or to Keller wasn't the most frequent option for plays, ballets, concerts, etc. Offering arts education and training connected to any such arts center would be equally valuable. Affordable housing, rent control, and other tenant rights issues are also crucial of course.
How do you think your Portland matches up with the Portland you’ve seen in media?
When I first started visiting Portland regularly (usually at least twice a year, as close friends and family lived here) in the mid-90's, there actually was quite a lot that matched up with the caricature, though I think Chuck Palahniuk's love letter/essay collection "Fugitives and Refugees" is more accurate than Portlandia. Since finally moving here 8 years ago, the transformation has been pretty striking, and the growing pains are no joke. For perspective, I've lived in 4 of the biggest cities in the country and enjoyed each, so I know that becoming a larger city will have its advantages. I just hope Portland can retain some of the unique charms that made it a draw in the first place.
What keeps you up at night worrying?
The personal: Money. Not being able to afford the home I rent (housesharing with another single mom), never being able to buy my own home, never being able to break out of the just-treading-water debt cycle. And spending so much time worrying about the above that I never grow my wee business the way I dream of, never get to spend nearly enough time on creative endeavors, and am unable to set my daughter up for success and happiness.
The political: Everything about the Trump administration itself, but even moreso, the fact that people supported him, and continue to support him. I've identified as a feminist since the first time I learned what the term meant, and I see not only the strides we’ve taken during my own life but the rights I assumed were settled for good on the verge of extinction.
What gives you hope?
Artists. Visual artists, writers, dancers, musicians, filmmakers, and more. Artists give me hope. Many aspects of the resistance, from invigorated local activism, to record numbers of women and other underrepresented groups running for office, also give me hope, but it's the vital creative reflection on our lives that continues to thrive despite (and in reaction to) the latest rise in fascism which helps remind me of the endurance of our human spirit.
Why did you agree to participate in this project?
Simply to boost the signal of a great project, and add another perspective by sharing a glimpse of life for a single mom and small creative-ish business owner in east Portland.