Patron of the Week: Ken Newman
I love any opportunity to support the folks who support me, which is why I’m so excited to be doing this Patron of the Week series. From art to activism to non-profits, so many of the people who support Broke-Ass Stuart on Patreon do really wonderful things. And this is a chance to shine light on them. Wanna be featured as Patron of the Week? Become a supporter on Patreon right here.
Our Patron of the Week this time around is Ken Newman. Besides being a magician and a musician, he also does really great work helping the homeless folks in San Francisco. The organization he’s part of, Blanket the Homeless, is incredible. As he told me:
Blanket the Homeless is our grassroots effort to get some basic necessities into the hands of our homeless population. As a solo musician and with one of my two bands, we raise money from ticket sales, donations at the show and a percentage of the bar. We then take these funds and purchase emergency blankets, socks, hand warmers, antiseptic creams, condoms and other essential items. In addition to this, we include our recently produced “Blanket The Homeless” Resource Guide (This is a listing of free shelters and food throughout San Francisco).
Learn more about it and donate right here. Now let’s see what else he’s up to in the interview below:
Name: Ken Newman
Where do you live?: Glen Park Neighborhood of San Francisco
Occupation: I own a company, Magnet Productions, that produces trade shows and corporate events. I also am a professional magician and emcee. Happily, the success of those endeavors allows me to donate all of the money I make as a musician to a variety of homeless causes.
What’s a project you’re working on?: Blanket The Homeless is occupying most of my free time.
What is an accomplishment you’re really proud of?: Making a small but, I believe, meaningful difference in the lives of our friends and neighbors living on the streets of San Francisco. As ‘Blanket The Homeless” begins to pick up momentum, I am hearing from many local musicians who really want to be involved in what we’re doing. This is incredibly moving and fulfilling to me.
Best money saving tip: Find the small local Bodegas (many in the Mission) and buy your groceries THERE. Avoid the big chains and boutique food places. I save hundreds a month that way.
What do you refuse to spend money on?: A new car. I will happily drive my 12 year old very dependable ride until it disintegrates
Most expensive thing you’ve ever bought: The house I currently live in. Which I could never afford if I moved to San Francisco today.
How’d that feel?: Like the absolute LAST time I would ever spend that much money for a place to live …
Favorite cheap eat: A Carne Asada Burrito at La Corneta Taqueria in Glen Park. (keeps me fully sated for about 36 hours)
Favorite dive bar: The Saloon in North Beach – hands DOWN!!
Best deal you’ve ever gotten: Bought a practically new Scion TC from a young kid. Found the car on Craigslist. He just wanted me to take over the payments. The payoff was super low, so I did that instead. Most dependable car I’ve ever owned. Still driving it. (Can fit my entire PA system, two guitar amps and two guitars in it … with room to spare.)
Favorite free thing to do: Bicycling in the Dry Creek and Alexander Valley (and avoiding buying wine)
If you woke up a millionaire, what’s the first thing you’d buy?: I’d renovate my Mom and Sister’s house, pay off my other Sister’s mortgages. Make sure they all had safe, dependable cars, and give the rest to my 23 year old son to invest in crypto-currency.
One album that everyone should listen to: Mine. If I ever get the damn thing released. Or Pink Floyd, “Dark Side of the Moon.”
Best hangover cure: Ease into sobriety with a medium strength Bloody Mary (or three)