by Wanda Sabir
Wanda’s Picks Radio Special June 9 featured George Cables
June 9 we had an up close and personal interview with the great pianist, George Cables. Visit http://georgecables.com/. He was at Yoshi’s in San Francisco through Wednesday, June 10, with his friends, Bobby Hutcherson and Charlie Haden. George is on to New York for a tribute to Freddie Hubbard later this week. If the radio station search engine gives you the wrong program, just look for the date and description. You will not be disappointed: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/Wandas-Picks/2009/06/09/Wandas-Picks-Special.
Wanda’s Picks Radio June 10
On Wednesday, June 10, we spoke to Freja Joslin, a middle school English Language Arts teacher at the Pioneer Valley Performing Arts Charter Public School in South Hadley, Massachusetts, and three of her students: Darren MacPherson, Rose Kendrick and Cole Payne, all 14 years old, who were inspired by the visit of Robert King of the Angola 3 to their school and his story, so much so, they decided to conduct a letter writing campaign to urge government leaders to free political prisoners in the U.S. and throughout the world. They believe it is important for all people, especially youth, to take action for social justice.
This interview was followed by a brief update on the San Francisco 8 case, and then Elaine Brown (“Taste of Power”), former leader in the Black Panther Party, joined us in the studio, speaking about Michael Lewis, known as “Little B,” sentenced as an adult to life in prison at 13 years old in Atlanta, Georgia, in 1997, and Romaine “Chip” Fitzgerald, a former member of the Black Panther Party in Los Angeles who has been incarcerated now for 40 years! Visit http://www.elainebrown.org/.
Mar, curator, talks about her current exhibit at the California African American Museum (CAAM): “Inside My Head.” She will be joined in the studio by some of the artists in the exhibit: Deidre Greene, Pat Boyd and Chukes.
We close with a wonderful reggae singer, Sheila Hylton, and maybe The Mighty Sparrow. Both of them will be in Oakland Sunday, June 14, 12 noon, at “Islands in the Park” at Woodminster Amphitheater, 3300 Joaquin Miller Rd. For park information, call (510) 531-9597. The event celebrates the rich cultural heritage of the Caribbean through the music of Third World, Mighty Sparrow, Collie Buddz, Sheila Hylton and the New Kingston Band. For ticket information, call (510) 832-5400. Prices are: $30-$250. Visit http://www.blogtalkradio.com/Wandas-Picks/2009/06/10/Wandas-Picks.
On the fly
The Harmony Festival in Santa Rosa looks good. Michael Franti and Spearhead will be there, along with India Irie, Charnett Moffet, Julia Butterfly, the Refugee All-Stars and a lot of others. Visit http://harmonyfestival.com/.
Don’t forget the Remembrance for the Ancestors Saturday, June 13, 9 a.m. PST, at Lake Merritt, East 18th at Lakeshore Avenue in Oakland. This ritual is a national and international simultaneous event, so wherever you are, join us and remember the Africans who were taken from Africa and transported throughout the Western World during the European slave trade.
This Friday, June 12, is the Honor the Basket event at the de Young Museum in Golden Gate Park. Saturday, June 13, at Pacific Film Archive there is a screening of a film by Japanese director Nagisa Oshima, “The Catch” (Japan, 1961,97 mins), at 6:30 p.m. It’s the story of the capture and eventual murder of a Black American pilot by a farming community in rural Japan. It is the last summer of the war. In this peasant village, conflicts between farmers and refugees from bombed-out cities are brought to a head with the arrival, by parachute, of a Black G.I. One more mouth to feed, be becomes a political bargaining tool in a variety of power struggles within the community. In a twist of logic, his elimination becomes a way to resolve their bickering. Oe’s contemporary folk tale was a cruel parable on xenophobia. See http://bampfa.berkeley.edu/filmseries. PFA is located at 2575 Bancroft Way at Bowditch in Berkeley. Advance tickets are available by calling (510) 642-5249 or by visiting http://bampfa.berkeley.edu/tickets. For information about this and other film and art programs, visit http://bampfa.berkeley.edu/filmseries.
Another Hole in the Head Film Festival is June 5-19 in San Francisco. Visit http://www.sfindie.com/. Don’t forget this is week two of the Ethnic Dance Festival at the Palace of Fine Arts, June 13-28, Saturdays at 2 and 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. Visit http://www.worldartswest.org/main/edf_index.asp. Start planning to attend “Fesman” in Dakar, Senegal, West Africa, Dec.1-14, 2009. The theme is “African Renaissance, Cultural Diversity and African Unity.” Visit http://www.fesman2009.com/en/fesman-conf-the-conferences/64/39.
Oakland Feather River Camp in Plumas National Forest, just outside Quincy, Calif., begins its summer season June 18 with Senior Camp June 18-23 and Family Camp Week 1: Space and Sky Week June 21-28. Adult Art Camp will be running concurrently as well June 21-28. Visit www.featherrivercamp.com or call (510) 336-CAMP (2267). There are also day and evening camping rentals available. Check out a special radio show featuring former camp director Michael Lange with Willard Barksdale, Friends of Feather River Camp, and Sara, camp program director: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/Wandas-Picks/2009/06/11/CampingNational-and-Regional-Parks.
GET OUT with Oakland Public Library’s Summer Teen Passport
The Oakland Public Library urges teens to GET OUT and see local sights this summer with a Teen Summer Passport. With prizes such as a laptop computer, an iPod Nano and a Flip camera, the Teen Summer Passport Program is sure to entice teens, ages 12 – 18, into the library and out to cultural venues around the Bay Area. The program begins June 13 and concludes Aug. 15.
Here’s how it works: Teens can pick up their Teen Summer Passport at any branch of the Oakland Public Library. They will also receive a list of recommended Bay Area Hot Spots to explore, including museums, farmers’ markets, skate parks and cemeteries. Each time a teen visits one of these cultural sights, they can get their passport stamped. In addition to visiting local attractions, teens can also collect passport stamps by reading and writing short reviews; attending library programs; producing a self-portrait for their passport (digital, photo or drawing); or volunteering. Three passport stamps will earn a raffle ticket. Each teen can accumulate a maximum of eight raffle tickets. The raffle will take place at a party at the TeenZone in the Main Library, 125 14th St., second floor, on Aug. 29, 3-5 p.m. The party will feature live music by the Bay Area Girls Rock Camp.
For more information about the program, please call (510) 238-7232 or 238-7234 or visit www.oaklandlibrary.org. Your branch can also provide you with a calendar of its events. The Oakland Public Library is a department of the City of Oakland.
Paths of Native Africa
A San Francisco based non-profit, Paths of Native Africa, has partnered with the San Francisco Main Public Library located at 100 Larkin St. at Grove to showcase an exciting collection of photos and cultural items from Tereli, Mali and Ikot Usen, Nigeria, in its African American Center located on the third level.
This exhibit will be in place June 13 through Aug. 6 and includes an exhibit and programs for young children in the Fisher Children’s Center. Through the efforts of Paths of Native Africa, issues of education and environmental challenges are being addressed in both countries. The first event celebrating this exhibit will take place on Sunday, June 14, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., in the San Francisco’s Main Public Library, in the Koret Auditorium and Latino Hispanic Room. Performing will be Yacine Kouyate from Mali; libation will be given and Malian refreshments will be served. Visit the website www.pathsofnativeafrica.org, email email@example.com or call (415) 864-3576.
The Marsh extends Don Reed’s ‘East 14th’ through July 18
Due to overwhelming ticket sales, The Marsh, a breeding ground for new performance, is pleased to extend Don Reed’s “East 14th: True Tales of a Reluctant Player” through July 18. This hilarious solo show chronicles the true tale of a young man raised by his mother and ultra-strict step-father as a middle class, straight A, God-fearing church boy. The boy, however, wanted to be just like his dear old Dad. Too bad he didn’t know dear old Dad was a pimp. Very funny, definitely poignant, it’s a ride down a street you won’t soon forget.
Weekend show times are Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 8:30 p.m. and a Sunday matinee at 3 p.m. The Marsh is located at 1062 Valencia St. near 22nd Street in the Mission District of San Francisco. Tickets are on sale by calling Brown Paper Tickets, a 24/7 ticketing hotline, at 1-800-838-3006, or by visiting www.themarsh.org. For more information, visit www.east14th.com.
Listen to an interview with Don Reed on Wanda’s Picks Radio http://www.blogtalkradio.com/Wandas-Picks/2009/05/20/Wandas-Picks.
East Bay Center for Performing Arts’ Iron Triangle Theater presents ‘John Henry’
Excerpts of scenes from “John Henry,” a new musical work in progress by Jordan Simmons on Monday, June 15, 6:30 p.m. The free performance will be held in the Richmond Library’s Madeline F. Whittlesey Community Room, 325 Civic Center Plaza in central Richmond. The building is wheelchair accessible. This program is a kick-off for the Adult Summer Reading Game. Call (510) 620-6561for more information.
Like other heroes of tall tales, John Henry is a cornerstone of American culture – a particularly special one built of bedrock race and working class struggles. There are many versions of the 19th century legend of John Henry. The African American folk hero was born with extraordinary strength and grew to become the greatest “steel-driver” in the land. John Henry constructs railroads across the mountains to the West. When the owner of the railroad buys a steam-powered hammer to do the work of his mostly Black crew, John Henry, hoping to save his job and the jobs of his men, challenges the owner to a contest: himself alone versus the steam hammer. Visit http://www.ci.richmond.ca.us/index.aspx?NID=105 for information about other programs for families and children in Richmond.
Organizers announced the exciting musical lineup that packs 15 bands on three stages, all within a six block radius in downtown Oakland’s new arts and entertainment area – The Uptown District. Some of the headliners include John Santos, The Kev Choice Ensemble, Miko Marks and Damon and the Heathens. From Latin Jazz to eclectic Rock to Carnival-flavored Latin music, revelers will have a plethora of live musical entertainment during Uptown Unveiled! a free street fair on Thursday, June 18, from 5 to 10 p.m. Uptown Unveiled! is the perfect way for foodies, families, fun-seekers and urban dwellers of all ages to celebrate the start of summer!
Jazz musician John Santos will headline on the Fox Square Stage, conveniently located on 19th Street between Telegraph and San Pablo avenues. Along with Santos, the Fox Square Stage welcomes African American country singer Miko Marks, the talented youth dancers from Destiny Arts Center, Oaktown Jazz Workshops’ Birth of the Cool ensemble directed by Khalil Shaheed and the Oakland Public Conservatory of Music (OPCM) under the musical direction of famed jazz trombonist Angela Wellman. All of the artists performing on the Fox stage are from Oakland.
A couple blocks away on Telegraph Avenue at 20th Street, the Uptown Stage features Oakland’s own The Kev Choice Ensemble. The stage will also jump with the scorching rhythms of Cuban timba new-wave by Fito Reinoso y Su Ritmo y Armonia and energetic West African song and dance by Sehkou Senegal.
The third stage, dubbed the Van Kleef Stage, will feature an eclectic Rock lineup. Damon and the Heathens mix it up with thrashes of punk rock while Annie Sampson delights with her rich voice and warm stage presence. The stage is part of a block party taking place on Telegraph Avenue near 16th Street hosted by Café Van Kleef.
Throughout the festival streets, guests can glimpse the colorful high jinks of Fogo Na Roupa, Blue Bone Express and Hot Pink Feathers Parade Core and All-Star Marching Band. Roaming entertainment will include Prescott Circus performers and members of the Vau de Vire Society. Youth Movement Records’ Erica Nelani and a cappella group Roshambo will perform as well.
Event participants are encouraged to explore the district’s many restaurants, bars, clubs, galleries and shops that stretch along the Telegraph and Broadway corridors from City Center to north of Grand Avenue. Participating restaurants will provide special offers for Uptown Unveiled! guests throughout the evening. Reservations are strongly encouraged at area restaurants, including Pican, Mua, Vo’s, Ozumo, Luka’s, Franklin Square Wine Bar and Flora. Throughout the evening, drink specials will be offered by clubs and nightspots such as Café Van Kleef, Somar, 2022 and The Den at The Fox. Several venues will also host special after-hours events.
A “Fashion Meets Photography” fashion show will be hosted by VJ London Studios, a fine art photography and multimedia gallery celebrating its grand opening on Telegraph Avenue. The Uptown Apartments’ RAW Art Gallery will open its doors from 5 to 8 p.m. on the corner of Telegraph Avenue and Thomas Berkley Way. The gallery’s exhibition will include artwork that complements a skateboarding contest near 18th Street and draws pieces from nearby Somar bar’s “Hood” art.
A Battle of the Bay Poetry Slam featuring teams from Oakland, San Jose, Berkeley and San Francisco will be hosted at 8:30 p.m. by Youth Movement Records in the Oakland School for the Arts’ Black Box 19th Street Theater.
Just steps away from the 19th Street BART station, Uptown Unveiled! is easily reached by several AC Transit lines. Parking is available in adjacent and nearby lots and garages. There will be free valet bike parking onsite. Produced by the City of Oakland in association with the Lake Merritt/Uptown Association and Downtown Oakland Association, Uptown Unveiled! is made possible through the generous support of the Friends of the Oakland Fox, Oaksterdam University, East Bay Express, Oakland Ice Center, Fox Court Residences, The Uptown Apartments, Another Planet Entertainment, Bank of America, Fusicology, Lake Merritt/Uptown Association, Downtown Oakland Association and the City’s Cultural Arts and Marketing Department. Admission to Uptown Unveiled! is free. For more information, visit www.MeetDowntownOAK.com.
Oakland Peace Camp
Oakland artist and educators join forces to provide a three-week summer camp that interweaves social justice, youth empowerment and the arts. The camp launches programming June 29. The program’s goal is to provide a hundred youth the opportunity to gain skills in their artistic disciplines, learn violence prevention skills, build community and solidarity amongst the youth as well as give the youth a safe space to make friends and have fun on their summer break. This camp also relieves some of the stress from working parents, providing their youth with something fun and educational ‘cause we all know that Oakland streets can get extra hot in the summer.
The camp includes a daily advisory that gives the youth a voice to talk about some of the problems they see in their community. They get to develop and implement community action projects where the youth take charge and do something to enhance their community. There are six different urban arts courses that will be provided at this year’s camp, including hip-hop dance facilitated by Rashidi Byrd of Destiny Arts and Company of Prophets, graffiti and mural arts facilitated by Refa 1 of TNS and TCB crew, basketball leadership facilitated by Freddy Mesa of Urban Arts Academy, spoken word facilitated by Rico Pabon of Prophets of Rage, hip-hop theater facilitated by Simon Hanukai of Destiny Arts, and DJ and music production facilitated by DJ Twelvz of Hungry Town Entertainment.
The camp will be taking place at Ascend School, 3709 E. 12th St., Oakland. The camp runs from June 29 through July 17, Monday-Friday 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. It is FREE to all youth, meals included! All youth take two classes and one advisory. The application deadline is June 1 or until the camp capacity of 100 is filled. For further information, go to https://www.oaklandleaf.org or call the Mother Garden at (510) 533-5989.
Jobs for Artists! A New Deal for the Arts
In the 1930s, the “New Deal” Works Progress Administration created jobs for tens of thousands of artists and writers, including such authors as John Cheever, Richard Wright, Zora Neale Hurston, radio journalist Studs Terkel, and painters like Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko and Rockwell Kent. In the 1970s, the CETA program funded artist-organizers who helped create the cultural centers that now exist in San Francisco’s neighborhoods.
Today a new movement is emerging to promote a 21st century New Deal for the arts. Jobs for Artists! will feature a panel discussion on the rich legacy of federal jobs programs for artists and writers and build support for a larger effort timed with the 75th anniversary of the WPA in 2010. It will feature New Deal historian Gray Brechin, cultural journalist Jeff Chang, and Arlene Goldbard, co-organizer of a May 2009 White House briefing on the arts, community, social justice and national recovery with short readings and original performances by local poets honoring the great work of WPA-sponsored artists and writers.
It’s Tuesday, July 7; doors open at 6:30 p.m., program at 7 p.m. in the Audre Lorde Room, Women’s Building, 3543 18th St., San Francisco, wheelchair accessible, $5-$10 donation requested, no one turned away for lack of funds. The venue is near 16th Street BART and Muni lines 33, 26, 14, 49. Call ( 415) 710-0187 for more information. This event is part of LaborFest, a month-long series of cultural events commemorating the 1934 San Francisco general strike. It’s co-sponsored by the CCSF Department of Labor and Community Studies Program and the Center for Political Education. Panelist Gray Brechin is a research fellow for the Living New Deal Project of the Department of Geography at UC Berkeley and the author of “Imperial San Francisco: Urban Power, Earthly Ruin.”
Jeff Chang is the author of “Can’t Stop Won’t Stop: A History of the Hip-Hop Generation.” His recent article in The Nation, “The Creativity Stimulus,” described the importance of public culture to social change.
Arlene Goldbard is a writer, speaker and consultant currently based in Berkeley. Information about her latest book, “New Creative Community: The Art of Cultural Development” and other writings is available at www.arlenegoldbard.com.
Families looking for shared wholesome experiences that are cost-conscious should look no further: The Alameda County Fair has something for everyone! Summer is fast approaching; school is over and the kids are ready for some fun! Parents on the hunt for cost-friendly summertime activities that will help their children beat the “boredom blues” are in luck, as the annual Alameda County Fair offers something for everyone. There are less than 30 days to go until the launch of this year’s fair, which runs from July 1 to July 19, closed on Mondays. For the first time, families can take advantage of a specially-priced season pass that can be purchased online for $30. Parents can also take advantage of Kids-Free Fridays, in which all kids 12 and under receive free admission.
This year’s fair offers a host of kid-friendly activities, including:
• AgVenture Park – This interactive and educational area features hands-on activities and crafts. Exhibits will include simulated cow milking, pony saddling, corn box, play area and more.
• Fido 500 Mini Dog Races – This event features 12 different puppy racers. The Puppy Party Play Pen is also a huge crowd-pleaser.
• Storytime Theater – Back by popular demand, story time at the Fair will feature “Curious George” and “Clifford the Big Red Dog.”
• Kids Park – Families will enjoy this fun place with kid-sized rides and games, face painting and Picasso’s Art Center.
• Great American Petting Zoo – This interactive area features hands-on petting and feeding of domestic animals. Children can learn about animals and birds found throughout North America.
• The Barnyard – Get up close and personal with baby lambs, pigs, chickens and calves. Some may even be born during the Fair!
• Jest in Time Circus of Fools – This is a wacky and fun show perfect for kids that includes juggling, dueling toilet paper blowers, dog tricks and much more.
The entire family will enjoy a cornucopia of culinary delights at the fair, from on-the-go favorites, such as corn dogs, cheese and sausage on a stick, funnel cakes and deep fried twinkies, to international fare celebrating the traditions of India, New Orleans and Mexico. Other amenities and attractions include animal husbandry education, livestock shows and judging, horse racing, food-eating contests, roller derby, cultural activities and more.
Music A-listers such as the Charlie Daniels Band, En Vogue, Night Ranger, Bowling For Soup, BJ Thomas, Solange Knowles and others will also be performing as part of the fair’s ever-popular free concert-series. For more information, visit www.AlamedaCountyFair.com or call (925) 426-7600.
‘New Muslim Cool’
“New Muslim Cool” takes an inside look at the fusion of Islam and hip-hop when P.O.V. kicks off its 22nd season on PBS Tuesday, June 23. Puerto Rican-American rapper Hamza Pérez pulled himself out of drug dealing and street life 12 years ago and became a Muslim. Now he’s moved to Pittsburgh’s tough North Side to start a new religious community, rebuild his shattered family and take his message of faith to other young people through hard-hitting hip-hop music. But when the FBI raids his mosque, Hamza must confront the realities of the post-9/11 world, and himself. New Muslim Cool takes viewers on Hamza’s ride through streets, slums and jail cells — following his spiritual journey to some surprising places in an America that never stops changing.
Jennifer Maytorena Taylor, producer-director, says: “‘New Muslim Cool’ came out of my long-standing interest in the power of pop music and culture to create social change and a deep feeling that we urgently need more nuanced and authentic images of young people like Hamza and his family and community. I’m committed to exploring people’s realities – with all the positives and the negatives – so that we can see each other as fully human.”
Jennifer and Hamza will be on Wanda’s Picks Radio, Wednesday, June 17, 6 a.m. PST. Call (347) 237-4610 or listen on line live or later to the archived show at http://www.wandaspicks.asmnetwork.org.
‘Ask Not’ airs
Johnny Symons’ acclaimed “Ask Not,” about the U.S. military’s controversial “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, will air nationally on the Emmy award-winning PBS series Independent Lens on Tuesday, June 16, at 10 p.m. Johnny will be a guest on Wanda’s Picks Radio Friday, June 12, 8:30 a.m. PST. Call (347) 237-4610 or listen live or online at http://www.wandaspicks.asmnetwork.org. Archived shows can be downloaded, listened to there, or forwarded in emails. We are a user friendly show and station.
“One of the primary reasons behind the intelligence failures leading to 9/11 was that the Department of Defense’s National Security Agency did not have enough Arabic linguists to translate the backlog of intelligence from Arabic into English before 9/11,” says Army veteran Alex Nicholson, discharged by Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. “And one of the ones that really struck me was a small phrase in Arabic which means, ‘Tomorrow is Zero Hour.’ Any one of the 54 Arabic linguists discharged under Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell could have easily translated that phrase. So the question we need to ask ourselves is: Do we really care any more if the person who translates the next piece of crucial intelligence is gay or straight as long as he or she gets the job done quickly and accurately and helps save American lives in the process?”
“Ask Not” explores the effects of the U.S. military’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy on gay and lesbian soldiers and service members as well as its effects on the military and national security. Since the implementation of the policy, more than 12,000 gay and lesbian service members have been discharged, including more than 300 gay service members with mission-critical language skills. “Ask Not” exposes the tangled political and cultural battles that led to the discriminatory law and examines the societal shifts that have occurred since its passage in 1993.
When the law was initially passed, only 16 percent of service members believed gays should openly serve as compared to more than 70 percent who, in a recent poll, said they were comfortable with the idea. Through interviews with current and veteran gay soldiers, we learn how Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell affects them during their tours of duty as they struggle to maintain a double life, uncertain of whom they can trust. “Ask Not” also follows gay veterans and youth organizers who are turning to forms of personal activism to overturn the policy. From a national speaking tour of conservative universities to protests at military recruitment offices, these public events question how the U.S. military can claim to represent democracy and freedom while denying one segment of the population the right to serve. Johnny Symons’ film “Daddy and Papa” aired on Independent Lens in 2003. Check local listings to confirm the broadcast time for “Ask Not.”
‘Estilo Hip Hop’
“Estilo Hip Hop,” a documentary on hip-hop social activists in Latin America, will air on the PBS World series Global Voices on June 28 at 10 p.m. Check local listings. Hip Hop music has the ability to give a voice to the disenfranchised in any country and, as music with a message, it is a form available to all societies worldwide.
Directed by New York based filmmakers Loira Limbal and Virgilio Bravo, “Estilo Hip Hop” chronicles the lives of three hip hop enthusiasts from Brazil, Chile and Cuba who firmly believe that hip hop can change the world. These three inspirational leaders mobilize young people to become politically active. However, as the stakes assume greater risks, the leaders are faced with challenges and have to make life-altering decisions that ultimately impact the course of their lives. The film’s trailer can be seen at http://www.pbs.org/itvs/globalvoices/estilohiphop.html. Here’s a recent interview on Chuck D’s program on Air America. The interview starts at 38:00 minutes: http://airamerica.com/node/105213.
On Sunday, June 21, the Society of Dance History Scholars (SDHS) and Dance Critics Association members will meet at ODC Dance Commons for roundtables and panels that address the histories, theories and practices of dance in relationship to “place.” The Bay Area is a landscape of diverse forms of geography and dance and has been deeply affected by that diversity. Because relocation, immigration and dislocation are themes in many of our lives and dances, the event will address both the location and movement within our shared place.
This one-day showcase, “Out-of-Site Sunday,” will be the highlight of the international SDHS conference, “Topographies: Sites, Bodies, Technologies” to be held at Stanford University, June 19-22. This is a rare collaboration between performers, presenters, critics and scholars, a chance to be part of the discussion at a national level about the significance of Bay Area dance, one of the most vital dance communities in the country.
The showcase includes performances by
• Brenda Way, artistic director and founder of ODC Dance
• Patrick Makuakane of Na Lei Hula I Ka Wekiu
• Lizz Roman and Dancers
• Kara Davis of Project Agora
• Judy Smith of Axis with choreography by Alex Ketley
• Yannis Adoniou of Kunst-Stoff
• Shinichi Iova Koga of InkBoat
• Della Davidson of Sideshow Physical Theater
• Sean Dorsey Dance
• Robert Moses’ Kin
• Jo Kreiter of Flyaway Productions
• Ledoh of SaltFarm
• Amara Tabor Smith and Sherwood Chen
• Joanna Haigood of Zaccho Dance Theater
• Amy Seiwert of im-ij’re
• Lisa Wymore of Sheldon Smith Disappearing Acts
• Jose Navarrete of Navarrete X Kajiyama Dance Theater
Showcase performances are Sunday, June 21, 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., and panels and delivery of scholarly papers is 1:30- 5:30 p.m.
The public is welcome to attend all or a part of this three-day conference. Registration is available on site each day or online by visiting the conference web site, which also has the full conference program. For more information, visit the conference web site: http://www.sdhs.org.
ODC Dance Commons is located at 351 Shotwell St., San Francisco. Tickets are $65 for the all day event, $45 for the afternoon only and $25 for the showcase performances only. A limited number of tickets are still available for the showcase.
‘Light, Shadow and the Quiet Song’
The de Young Museum hosts Meklit Hadero and Todd Brown’s “Light, Shadow and the Quiet Song Between” through June 27 as part of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco Artist-in-Residence Program in the Kimball Education Gallery. Hadero and Brown incorporate visual art and musical composition into a sculptural installation that is also a working music studio. The two artists hope to spark creativity in visitors and inspire them to think about their own personal surroundings.
The artistic centerpiece of the Kimball Education Gallery is a 9.5- by 33-foot painting started by Brown at the Red Poppy Art House. This enormous painting is set to be completed during their residency. Brown’s additional paintings-in-progress, painting tarps and working materials cover nearly every available wall and floor space in the gallery. The artwork is undergoing continuous change, thereby allowing visitors a rare look at the artistic process.
The Kimball Education Gallery is also transforming into a sonic journal. Hadero and Brown are writing and recording new compositions daily. Recordings are drawn from the natural soundscape of the de Young, as well as from visitors who stop in. As songs develop from recordings, the gallery becomes a composer’s workbook with lyric sheets, chord notations and ideas collaged onto the walls.
The Artist Studio Program is presented by Cultural Encounters at the de Young and is free to the public. Visitors are invited to spend time in the Kimball Education Gallery Wednesday through Sunday, 1-5 p.m., and Friday, 6-8:45 p.m. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (415) 750-3528. The Artist Studio program is supported by the Fleishhacker Foundation.
Ethiopia native Meklit Hadero is a singer, musician, cultural activist and previous director of the Red Poppy Art House in San Francisco. Meklit has lived in 12 cities on three continents, and her musical explorations span cultural influences and genres. In December of 2007, Meklit released her first recording, titled “Eight Songs.” She is the recipient of a 2008 Individual Grant from the Belle Foundation for Arts and Culture. Currently, she is organizing a group of Ethiopian Diaspora artists from across North America to return to Ethiopia for a festival of traditional music at the end of this year. Meklit was selected as a 2009 TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) Global Fellow. The TED conference is a large gathering of artists, scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs, and designers who are at the cutting edge of their fields. Along with Brown, she is a central composer, lyricist and co-founder of the musical ensemble Nefasha Ayer. You can listen to Meklit’s work at www.meklithadero.com.
Todd Brown is a painter, musician and cultural innovator and activist. Brown’s background represents an 18-year process of integrating the artistic initiatives within intercultural context of community development. His academic and artistic training spans a degree in fine arts, intensive studies (both in the U.S. and abroad) in flamenco and folkloric music and dance of the African Diaspora, with additional studies in political history. He has trained and worked as a facilitator in human resilience, with three years teaching in correctional facilities and centers for domestic violence education. In 2003, Brown synergized his diverse talents into founding the Red Poppy Art House in San Francisco, of which he remains the artistic director. Later that year, Brown initiated the MAPP (Mission Arts and Performance Project), a non-centralized bi-monthly intercultural neighborhood arts festival that has featured over 700 artists since its inception. Musically, Brown is a central composer and guitarist for 20Nefasha Ayer, the ensemble he founded with Meklit Hadero in 2007. You can view Todd’s work at www.artist-toddbrown.com.
Programs at the de Young in Wilsey Court: On Thursday, June 18, 3 p.m., a music demonstration will be led by Meklit Hadero and Todd Brown. On Friday, June 19, 6-8:30 p.m., Nefasha Ayer performs the composition, “The Space of In Between.” The music ensemble was created by Meklit Hadero and Todd Brown. On Thursday, June 25, 3 p.m., another music demonstration will be led by Meklit Hadero and Todd Brown. Finally, the closing reception will be Friday, June 26, 5-8:30 p.m., in the de Young’s Kimball Education Gallery.
The de Young, designed by Herzog and de Meuron, showcases American art from the 17th through the 21st centuries, international contemporary art, textiles and costumes, and art from the Americas, the Pacific and Africa. The museum is located in Golden Gate Park, 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive, in San Francisco. It is open Tuesday-Thursday, Saturday and Sunday 9:30 a.m.-5:15 p.m., and Friday 9:30 am-8:45 p.m. It is closed on Monday. Admission is $10 for adults, $7 for seniors, and $6 for youths 13-17 and students with college ID. Members and children 12 and under are free. The first Tuesday of every month is free for everyone. Tickets are required for admission into “Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs.” Visit www.deyoung.org/tut for information. More information can be found at www.deyoungmuseum.org or by calling (415) 750-3600. The de Young is accessible to wheelchair users. For information, contact the ADA coordinator: (415) 750-7645 (voice) or (415) 750-3509 (TTY).
LaborFest 2009, July 5-31
This year is the 75th anniversary of the San Francisco General Strike and the West Coast maritime workers strike. The ‘34 strike and maritime strike was an important point in strengthening organized labor and bringing hundreds of thousands of workers into our unions. In commemoration of this significant historical anniversary for San Francisco and Northern California labor, LaborFest will be having many special events, including an art exhibition, presentations, a labor jeopardy contest as well as a labor film festival that will include videos of the San Francisco general strike.
There are also plans for a commemoration march and concert in San Francisco and educational conference. LaborFest this year will also be honoring the workers who made the strike, the role of the San Francisco Labor Council and the workers who have build the Bay Area, including building the San Francisco Bay Bridge, Golden Gate Bridge and the newly constructed Al Zampa Bridge, which is the first major bridge named after an iron worker. Labor faces great challenges today as it did 75 years ago and the need to learn about our history and how we won victories in the past is vital for today.
LaborFest 2009 is in the planning stage. We expect the schedule and the booklet will be ready in June. To learn more, visit http://www.laborfest.net/.
Bay View Arts Editor Wanda Sabir can be reached at email@example.com. Visit her website at www.wandaspicks.com for an expanded version of Wanda’s Picks, her blog, photos and Wanda’s Picks Radio. Her shows are streamed live Wednesdays at 6-7 a.m. and Fridays at 8-10 a.m. and archived on the Afrikan Sistahs’ Media Network, http://www.WandasPicks.ASMNetwork.org.