Archive for Art & Culture
The blossoms are bursting sweetly and the greenery is rapidly revealing itself; the temperatures are mild and the sky is blue and clear to see. We are all appreciating this fine fresh weather, while hoping that the impending spring storms are fertile enough to moisten the soil and add to our water supply.
But it’s an odd time in history, wouldn’t you say? Do you feel it? And what do you do about it? I write to make sense of it all, for one. I also try to regularly converse with nature in order to relax and feel connected to something much larger than myself. I try to create a balanced lifestyle that includes healthfulness and harmony of thought, feeling and deed. And, I try to have as much fun as possible.
So speaking of fun and meaning, Mother Nature and Man… this is a good weekend to start envisioning, creating and framing the rest of your life. And a little bit of abandon is a great way to loosen tense muscles and minds.
How about supporting education, art and youth by attending the premier performance of SOURCE at the Natomas Charter School Performing and Fine Arts Academy. It visually tells the story of an artist (and his muse), who journeys through life’s ups and downs, discovering that his source of inspiration is always close at hand.
WHEN: Friday, March 9 & Saturday, March 10
One of Sacramento’s greatest inventions – the SECOND SATURDAY ARTWALK – is a free self-guided grid tour of Downtown and Midtown businesses, sidewalks, streets and creations. Whether visiting art galleries, other shops that feature art, or dining establishments serving mouthwatering works of art, it’s all at your fingertips. Along the way, notice the vibrant murals that pop up here and there, or the sculptures and street art ripe for public viewing pleasure.
WHEN: Saturday, March 10
(Find hotel information here too!)
Immerse, Enjoy, Rest ~
When I saw the altar in the middle of Sacramento’s popular Zocalo restaurant, and the lights dimly lit all around, I grew more curious than usual. What exactly was this Day of the Dead celebration? Resembling a miniature Tim Burton movie set, the table had shelves and curvaceous lines with gangly skeleton-like figures fully clothed and even fuller of life. With large hats, feathery boas and musical instruments, they made death seem like nothing to fear, perhaps just an after-hours party to celebrate the freedom from mortal existence and bad mortgage loans.
The celebration typically takes place on November 1st and 2nd – in conjunction with Catholic holidays All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day – although some in America (perhaps incorporating Halloween) begin celebrating on October 31st. Instilled with rich culture and long-standing history, el Dia de los Muertos is a traditional holiday in Mexico and other North, Central and South American countries.
Not to say there isn’t mourning for loved ones who’ve passed, but this is a celebration of their lives, their spirits, their transcendence, and their return as well. Marigolds, for instance, are often chosen because it is believed that their scent can lure the dead back to visit. And since “the path back to the living world must not be made slippery by tears,” this celebration has all the fixings of one hearty party.
People gather in cemeteries, cleaning and decorating gravesites, making offerings to the departed, enjoying picnics and socializing with others. There are large feasts – often in the early morning or evening hours – and town center gatherings with street vendors selling colorful decorations and treats like sugary skulls and sweet bread made with “bones of the dead”. The holiday can be traced back to the Aztecs, and according to Wiki, “similar observances occur elsewhere in Europe, and similarly themed celebrations appear in many Asian and African cultures.”
A great deal of art is inspired by el Dia de los Muertos and much respect is paid to this multi-faceted holiday. It makes me think about how often we speak of our dead in the past tense, and how it feels so untrue… Borrowing from other cultures, perhaps I can start a new tradition within my own family this year
This one’s for you, Dad.
For some related Sacramento area events, visit:
[Image from Wikipedia]
In the mood for something fresh, a bit different, perhaps eclectic, useful and entertaining? How about a Downtown boutique that sells vintage and second-hand clothing, jewelry and art… One that also has a mini café with treats, spirits and plenty of space in which to relax, read or ponder the state of your reality… A spacious outdoor patio with an almost other-worldly feel, straight from a whimsical dream… A creative venture-venue that hosts artists, Second Saturday parties and unique musical guests…
Bows & Arrows – It’s a one-stop-shop for things a little left of center and experiences akin to a slightly alternate dimension. Check them out for a pair of 80s jeans, a glass of Allagash White, an artist’s rendition of the atmosphere (this Friday), or a gaggle of musical groups you’ve never heard of (but likely won’t forget).
Tues – Sat, 11-11
1815 19th St., 916.822.5668
What wonderful weather we’ve been having in the greater Sacramento area! While I see back-to-school supplies and Halloween decorations in the stores, as long as it’s August, it’s still summer to me! So before school, Halloween and the nippier weather are actually upon us, here are a few things going on around town that you might like to check out:
August 17 (through the 21st) – Yolo County Fair Opens – It’s the last free fair in the state! Woodland, CA, http://www.yolocountyfair.net
Thursdays ‘til 9 – The Crocker Art Museum will remain open until 9PM on Thursdays through August and September. In addition, every third Thursday of the month the Crocker concert series continues through September 15. Sacramento, CA, http://www.crockerartmuseum.org
Mondays Added – Old Sacramento Underground Tours have added Mondays to their days of operation now through Labor Day. There’s still time to get a peek. Old Sacramento, CA, http://www.historicoldsac.org
If April showers bring May flowers, then what do May flowers bring?
FUN, of course~
Announcing the kick-off the 20th season of Friday Night Concerts in the Park.
May 6th and every Friday night, 5-9PM, through August 12.
Cesar Chavez Park, Downtown
ART & WINE AFFAIR
20 area wineries, artists, vendors, live entertainment.
Saturday & Sunday, May 7 & 8, 11-4PM
El Dorado Hills
Disney Fine Art by Collectors Editions presents the Pixar Collection worldwide debut — One Day Only!
Sunday, May 15, 11AM to 4PM
California State Railroad Museum, Old Sacramento State Historic Park
Delta Eco-Tours – Take a short or long nature and cultural history tour of California’s best and most breathtaking locations along the Sacramento Delta.
Saturday, May 21, 2-hour History & Riparian Cruise
Saturday, May 28, 4-1/2 hour Tule Wilderness Adventure
Delta Ecotours/Hartland Nursery
13737 Grand Island Road (P.O. Box 439), Walnut Grove, CA 95690
(916) 775-4545, http://www.DeltaEcoTours.com
Gold Rush Legacy Tours and Old Sacramento Architectural Tours begin in May and go all summer long.
Saturdays & Sundays at 11AM
And for more ongoing, engaging and special events check out http://www.Sacramento365.com!
Are you old enough to remember ‘9 to 5’ the movie? Have you ever heard Dolly Parton’s song ‘9 to 5’? Have you ever had to work a 9 to 5 job, Monday through Friday, or had a chauvinistic boss? Have you ever wanted to get revenge or just facilitate some level of justice in the world around you? Do you like to be entertained by good old-fashioned fun?
I know there’s a “yes” in there somewhere…
Before ‘The First Wives Club’ with Goldie, Bette and Diane, there was ‘9 to 5’ (1980) with Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin and Dolly Parton. So it only took about 30 years for this cute classic film to get its due recognition. I mean, you know you’ve made it when they make a musical about you.
‘So grab (well, don’t literally grab – have I learned nothing from this movie?!) your mothers, grandmothers, daughters, friends and any willing males because 9 to 5: The Musical’ is coming to Sacramento. Call it entertainment or call it education, but admit we’ve come a long way, Baby.
Brought to you by Broadway Sacramento, ‘9 to 5: The Musical’ is playing March 9 through the 20th at the Community Center Theater. For more information visit: http://sacramento365.com/event/detail/440912413/9_to_5_The_Musical
If I could just absorb all the vitamin C in this upcoming exhibit, I doubt I’d currently be home nursing a sore throat and chest cold. But lucky for me, there’s still time to recuperate and get myself to the California State Railroad Museum in Old Sacramento for the “Pick Me! Fruit Crate Art & the California Dream” exhibit. Starting March 5th (and running through March 30), we can view more than 80 iconic and whimsically designed fruit crate labels from the 1880s through the early 1950s that inspired many to “Go West” in search of the California Dream.
Gain an appreciation for an early art form that featured beautifully bold imagery, learn how California’s fresh produce was kept cool during transport before refrigerated cars, and discover why the railroad was the key to the early success of the California agriculture industry. Dripping with color, these labels depicted verdant fields and idyllic pastoral scenes, subtly suggesting that California was a magical place – a place where it was always sunny and the grass was somehow greener. To those of us who live here, we know there’s a certain magical aura around California, one usually best seen during dawn or twilight hours. Of course, we still have to deal with real-world stuff – just like everyone else. And no matter how much succulent fruit we produce here, we still get sick sometimes.
Widely regarded as North America’s finest and most popular railroad museum, the 100,000-square foot Railroad History Museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. except Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day.
More Information: http://www.californiastaterailroadmuseum.org or call (916) 445-6645
Cost: $9 adults; $4 youths ages 6-17; free for children ages 5 and under
Planes, trains and automobiles…
Settlers, science and space…
Art, history and education…
Gold, pottery and artifacts…
Lions, tigers and bears… Say it with me now…
It’s time for the 13th annual Sacramento Museum Day, and all it costs is your time in return!
When: Saturday, February 5, 2011
What: 26 local Museums
Where: Sacramento, CA
Why: Why not?!
Who: Find out at http://www.sacmuseums.org
How: Presented by Sacramento Association of Museums and sponsored by Umpqua Bank
And for the icing on the cake… free ice cream will be served at locations to be determined!
Movies on a Big Screen – mostly hosted at the historic Guild Theatre – is an ongoing film festival/microcinema that started in Sacramento in 2006. They show independent films, documentaries and shorts, host community-based special events, and on occasion have late night audience participation screenings. Many screenings include filmmakers and guest speakers in attendance for Q&A.
This Sunday, October 24th, Movies on a Big Screen is hosting ‘Ghost Bird’, along with the director Scott Crocker.
About the movie: Set in a murky swamp overrun with birders, scientists, and reporters, “Ghost Bird” explores the limits of certainty, the seductive power of hope, and how one phantom woodpecker changed a sleepy Southern town forever.
Extinction means that a species has ceased to exist forever. The term is meant to be definitive and final. But what happens if an extinct species isn’t really dead? In 2005, scientists announced that the Ivory-billed woodpecker, a species thought to be extinct for 60 years, had been found in the swamps of Eastern Arkansas. The story was celebrated around the world as the rediscovery of a lifetime. It prompted the largest recovery effort ever undertaken for a lost species. Millions of dollars poured in from the government as ornithologists and birders flooded the area. Along the way, the town of Brinkley, Arkansas – itself on the brink of extinction – was transformed by the hope, commerce and controversy surrounding the bird. But continued credible sightings by expert birders were coupled with a mysterious absence of evidence. And five years later, the Ivory-bill remains as elusive as ever. “Ghost Bird” brings the Ivory-bill’s blurry rediscovery into focus revealing our uneasy relationship with nature and the increasing uncertainty of our place within it.
“[Director Scott] Crocker has turned a bird-watching tale into a multilayered story that will fascinate practically everybody.” – The New York Times
“Beautifully crafted…heartbreaking, ironic and infuriating. It’s a stunner.” NPR
“‘Ghost Bird’ is a rare beast indeed — a matter-of-fact documentary about a seemingly innocuous subject that manages to become profoundly moving.” – IFC
Sunday, October 24, 2010
Movies on a Big Screen at The Guild
2828 35th St, Sacramento, CA
All movies shown at Movies on a Big Screen are $5 unless otherwise noted.
p.s. If you’re around for Halloween, check out their old school horror flick marathon.
Now in its 11th year, the SF&MF has grown quite colorfully to embrace and encourage new facets of filmmaking. Two programs for local filmmakers, both in their seventh year, encourage and support community engagement. Sac Music Seen is a program that matches local filmmakers to local musicians to make original music videos, with almost 150 completed projects to date. The 10×10 Filmmaker Challenge is SF&MF’s own answer to the guerilla filmmaking phenomenon, with teams being allowed ten days to make a ten minute movie.
The Festival also partners with other longstanding community events, such as the Sacramento International Gay & Lesbian Film Festival. This year, one evening includes a fascinating pair of documentaries about the dangers to senior citizens in the LGBT community who sometimes find themselves going back into the closet to avoid discrimination in settings like assisted living facilities, and a film about transgendered musicians and singers.
SF&MF’s ongoing relationships allows for further interesting partnerships, including Sony, Rubios, Sacramento News & Review, Capital Film Arts Alliance and Mayor Kevin Johnson’s Arts Initiative. “Our primary mission is to showcase the work of talented filmmakers, but we’re also very much a community arts event and we work closely with our partners…to promote local interest and involvement at all levels.”