Los Alamos Flea Raises Funds and Showcases Sustainability
Katie Smith-Adair Hosts First-Ever Weekend Affair with Focus on Regenerative Wine
After years of building a nationwide events business called Place Invaders from their home in Brooklyn, Katie Smith-Adair and Hagan Blount moved to Los Alamos in 2016 and sought to become part of the small but stylishly surging scene.
“We really wanted to quickly get to know the community,” said Smith-Adair, who started hosting dinners and wine tastings at their home, just a block off of the main drag of Bell Street. “It was both of our first times living in such a small town.”
While parts of living in Los Alamos were “not hugely different than Brooklyn” — like the ability to walk a block to get half-and-half at the bodega — Smith-Adair recognized that the tiny population offered the opportunity to effect change. “This is a place where members of the community can make a difference and can be heard,” she explained.
They founded the IRL Arts Foundation (IRL stands for “in real life”), initially raising money to support the families who lost their homes in a July 2022 trailer park fire. With the broader mission to support agricultural families while promoting sustainable farming and responsible food consumption, the foundation provides scholarships to students while hosting educational programs for everyone to “inspire conscious consumerism.”
To make those goals better known, Smith-Adair is throwing the inaugural Los Alamos Flea May 5-7, bringing food, wine, vendors, and a film screening to the tiny town. “Los Alamos Flea is our annual tentpole fundraising event,” said Smith-Adair.
The three-day affair begins with an opening party on May 5 at the Maker’s Son that showcases 12 wineries and food from nearby ranches and farms prepared by Chef John McCarthy, a New York City veteran of WD-50 and The Crimson Sparrow. There’s a vendors market of vintage and sustainably made goods at the Los Alamos Antiques Depot & Bar on May 6, and then a screening of the regenerative farming documentary Living Wine on May 7 at the Los Alamos Valley Men’s Club, followed by a panel of winemakers.
As a self-proclaimed “huge sustainability nut,” Smith-Adair recognizes that asking people to shop for food more mindfully, buy used clothing, and make more ecologically sound choices across their lives is not always so simple. But, she explained, “It’s easier to do hard things if you’re doing them as part of a community and you’re supporting each other.”
She hopes Los Alamos Flea will become an annual tradition to foster that support network. But no matter what, Smith-Adair explained, “It will be a terrific weekend to be in Los Alamos.”
For more information or to purchase tickets, see losalamosflea.com.
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