Nick Ramirez is a soft-spoken, humorous musician deeply entrenched in Reno’s music scene and community. As a personality on “The Worst Little Podcast,” a Reno-based weekly arts and entertainment show, he has built a long list of personal contacts. He uses those contacts and his skillsets to organize the Marianarchy fundraiser, a benefit concert for a family struggling with medical bills.
This year, Ramirez’s Marianarchy Winter Ball is Friday, Dec. 13 and Saturday Dec. 14 at Jub Jub’s Thirst Parlor.
The story behind Marianarchy is as heartwarming as the event itself.
The ball is held in memory of his partner, Marianne Psota, who passed away from encephalitis in 2004.
Ramirez described the bills and financial difficulty he and Psota faced while she was undergoing treatment for the rare disease which causes inflammation of the brain.
Psota loved music, and so while she was alive, Ramirez organized a concert featuring local musicians to help her pay off the hospital bills.
There’s so many people I want to help but we’re booked out sometimes a full year in advance.”
“[The first show] was a crazy great show…the Atomiks, like all her favorite bands were there and I think even Channel 4 news came down. [Marianne] was overwhelmed, she had to go outside … because there were so many people there,” Ramirez said.
After Psota’s passing Ramirez wanted to honor her, so he established an annual benefit concert, calling it Marianarchy (Psota’s nickname) and donating funds raised from the event to a person facing steep medical bills.
Ramirez’s voice filled with emotion as he described Psota, who he said threw herself wholeheartedly into Reno’s community and art scene and worked at the Brukä Theater and Sierra Arts.
“She was well-loved, you know, she was so loved by the community,” Ramirez said with a bittersweet but warm smile. “Her kind heart, her smile, and her laugh and you know, she was just good company, sharp, and she knew how to talk to anybody, from a guy on the street corner to some big wig rock star.”
Ramirez is passionate about music and enjoys the way it connects people, but emphasized how the event, which takes place on Psota’s birthday, is a wake of sorts as well as a way for him to honor a person who taught him about creativity, love, and selflessness.
“One thing [people] might not know [about losing someone] is that it changes you and you can either sink or swim from it. And I’ve been swimming, and being what Marianne deserved, that’s my swimming,” he said.
Never a shortage of those in need
Ramirez said he is never short of people needing financial help so he starts by selecting someone he views as part of his family which extends beyond blood relatives and includes his band members, podcast crew, and close friends.
If there is no one that immediately comes to mind, he then sends out a call to the community asking for names of people who need help.
Usually, Ramirez has a waiting list for people needing assistance. By the time the annual benefit comes around, though, sometimes the person he selected no longer needs the money, which is what happened this year.
“There’s so many people I want to help but we’re booked out sometimes a full year in advance. It was going to be for my friend, Sean Stryse, [who] is in my podcast family, and he got cancer.”
Ramirez made the decision to donate the money to Stryse back in May, but Stryse told Ramirez he no longer needed the funds. Now the money will go to Eric and Daisy Foreman who lost their baby, August Fox Foreman two days after August was born.
“[This event] really helps. We’ve done many cancers, some people don’t make it and some people get better, you know, the people that we give the money to and I’m just glad that it can continue. So come down and have fun. There’s a genuine loving vibe,” Ramirez said.
The ball includes a raffle and auction. One exciting item up for auction is a Matisse print with a certificate of authenticity.
In the past, performances have been open-mic style, but this year is Ramirez’s 50 birthday, so he curated the following list of musicians performing at the benefit.
- Weapons of Mass Creation
- Pink Awful
- The Saturday Knights
- Roxxy Collie
- Basement Tapes
- Gina Rose
- Nick Ramirez
- Eddie and the Subtitles
- The Shames
- Vague Choir
- The Lazy Universe
- One Ton Dually
- The Triflin’ Bitches
- Tenacious Double D
- Mister Vague
- Soft Summer
- Tom Plunkett
- Princess Bombs
Music starts at 5 p.m. each night and admission is a $10 suggested donation. All proceeds from the evening will go directly to the Foreman family.
Tabitha Mueller is a freelance writer and multimedia journalist based out of Reno, Nevada. She is fascinated by storytelling, place, and the intersection of narrative and data analysis and holds a bachelor’s degree in Geography and English and American Literatures from Middlebury College. When she is not tracking down a story or listening to podcasts, you can find her hiking Nevada’s gorgeous terrain, perusing local bookstores, playing Quidditch, and discovering Reno’s hidden stories.