Faces of Kingston’s objective is to get chatty with a different person from the community every week, in hopes that we all get to know one another a little better. This week we talk to five-year resident Daniel Rhinier on making the best life you can out of where you are, uplifting the arts and more.
Morgan Y. Evans: How long have you lived in the area? Were you born here? Do you have plans to remain here in the future?
Daniel Rhinier: We moved here in 2014. I was born in Lancaster, Pa., but my in-laws have been in this area for quite awhile. My family and I will be here for awhile, I suppose.
Can you tell everyone more about yourself and what you do? How did your role with Kingston Artists Collective + Café come about? It is such a chill spot and a nice location downtown.
I am an artist. I also work at a restaurant. I started the KAC in 2016 to provide an alternative space that is flexible for artists and organizers, with a focus on performance and workshops. I think it’s important for there to be a place that’s available for all kinds of projects and performances, for all people. The performances and other events here are not happening off to the side, we exist for the event.
That is a good attitude, to have the art at the forefront in such a specific way. What have been some of the most rewarding aspects of being involved in the KAC+Café? You seem to bring a great eclectic mix to the place and offer some more left-of-field stuff and also some area talent who get semi-overlooked by other venues at times.
The reward is the event, and having people meet and appreciate each other. I would not suggest doing this type of work unless you really feel called because it’s a grind. But I really love to get it going, build excitement and confidence, see what happens and just learn from trying. I think that the reputation for being a place that is eclectic and left of center comes from always having been available. That being said, there is an equal portion of curation in the mix here too and I arrange things based on many different factors, not just a bottom line, so we are able to do the things we want to do. We hold the simple goal of sustainability for the purpose of creative freedom.
What can you tell me about Deep Tanks? I honestly only know a little about it so far. I know you did the Anti-Folk Festival, which seemed very cool. It is nice to have another performance space in the area, as I always lean towards the “more the merrier” side being good for different opportunities.
The Anti-Folk Fest was very cool! That is a genre near to my heart for sure. Deep Tanks (2) is the continuation of a DIY space that went for about six years on Staten Island.
Oh, I was unaware that it had previously existed elsewhere in another life.
The photographer, Kristopher Johnson, asked me to work with him on booking and other things. We started doing open mics and shows almost immediately starting in June, and it’s great because it allows KAC to take on any kind of band. Here at 63 Broadway it’s very limiting because of the room, but Deep Tanks is a real rock ’n’ roll venue: stage, lights, grill, an abandoned hospital boat to have your acid trip on, whistling bungholes, husker du’s, husker don’t, swizzle sticks and even a river to be baptized in on Sunday morning.
What do you love best about this time in your life living in this city? What are you most inspired by in terms of Kingston? Most people seem to agree that it’s an interesting time to be living here.
That’s a heavy question. I love raising my children in this city. It’s absolutely perfect. I am so glad we are able to give them such a lovely childhood. And there really is a strong community here and a lot of opportunities. I’m inspired by people that do good work.
What’s your earliest memory of the area? Is there a first impression, anything that stands out the most?
The only thing I ever knew was that Bob Dylan had been up here. He settled down, raised a family, started writing country songs and recording in a pink barn. I thought, “That sounds like the life for me.”