The City

2017

Local graphic designer puts Sacramento neighborhoods on the map—literally

12/14/17

Local graphic designer puts Sacramento neighborhoods on the map—literally

Oak Park. Gardenland. Colonial Heights. Strawberry Manor. “Sacramento has some pretty awesomely named neighborhoods,” says local graphic designer Amber Witzke, who debuted a new artistic map of the city in early December. “And I didn’t realize how many [neighborhoods] there were until I really got into this project.” There are 130 to be exact. And Witzke—who herself lives in midtown and is a senior art director at Un/common advertising agency—became familiar with each of their borders over the past few weeks as she created the black-and-white map that pays homage to her hometown. Click here to zoom in on the map. “I have seen other cities—New York, Paris, San Francisco—with these types of maps calling...

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Your Complete Guide to the 2017 Holiday Season in the Sacramento region

12/11/17

Your Complete Guide to the 2017 Holiday Season in the Sacramento region

12 festive holiday events in and around Sacramento  Sactown's 2017 Holiday Gift Guide: Made in Sacramento Edition A holiday-themed pop-up bar comes to Sacramento this December Shop, drink and be merry during the 12 Days of Midtown Global Winter Wonderland sets Cal Expo aglow once again  Chill out at these five local ice rinks this holiday season Gift local at these 5 holiday maker markets around town Follow Sactown magazine on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook for more holiday moments.

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12 festive holiday events in and around Sacramento

12/07/17

12 festive holiday events in and around Sacramento

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas in Sacramento. Join in the spirit of the season at these holiday events—from a 17-acre light display at Cal Expo to a celebrated Victorian festival in Nevada City.  Elf the Musical Jr. Through Dec. 16 Young thespians for the Roseville Theatre Arts Academy will present this humorous, feel-good holiday musical, based on the 2003 film starring Will Ferrell as Buddy, an orphaned human raised as an elf in the North Pole. The show features songs like the peppy “World’s Greatest Dad,” the brassy “Sparklejollytwinklejingley” and the ballad “Never Fall in Love (with an Elf),” as Buddy finds his biological father in Manhattan, only to learn he’s on the naughty list. It’s up...

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Local artist creates stunning patterns using leaves at Sacramento State

12/06/17

Local artist creates stunning patterns using leaves at Sacramento State

As the fall season ushers in crisp weather, a curious artistic display of canary yellow labyrinths and gold honeycombs pops up below the gingko trees at Sacramento State University. The intricate leaf art is the handiwork of Sacramento native Joanna Hedrick, a counselor at the university’s Student Service Center and a prospective fall 2018 recipient of a Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy. As the golden leaves fall from the balding trees, Hedrick takes a rake around campus in the late afternoon to “carve” out complex designs—something she’s been doing since 2013 as an annual gift to students when final exams loom large. “[My art] is about taking something that’s already beautiful and making something unique—something...

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Sneak peek: The California Museum unveils its 2017 Hall of Fame exhibit

12/05/17

Sneak peek: The California Museum unveils its 2017 Hall of Fame exhibit

The California Museum’s 11th California Hall of Fame exhibit opens Dec. 6, featuring personal artifacts from the newest group of inductees, which includes filmmaker Steven Spielberg, two-time Super Bowl winner Jim Plunkett and the late Lucille Ball. The honorees (or, in the case of posthumous honorees, their families) will be awarded the Spirit of California medal by Gov. Jerry Brown and first lady Anne Gust Brown during a private ceremony at the California Museum on Dec. 5 at 7 p.m., preceded by a red carpet entrance at 6 p.m., which the public is welcome to attend or watch live on the museum's Facebook page. (The ceremony can be viewed live via webcast on the museum's website.) Here is a sneak peek at the items on display, from...

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Shop, drink and be merry during the 12 Days of Midtown

11/29/17

Shop, drink and be merry during the 12 Days of Midtown

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas in Sacramento with tree lightings, ice skating and even a pop-up holiday cocktail bar underway. The 12 Days of Midtown, the neighborhood’s annual marathon of spirited events, will add to the festivities from Dec. 1-12 with everything from horse-drawn carriage rides and a hot toddy competition to a doggie pub crawl. On Friday, Dec. 1, pop in to Ginger Elizabeth Chocolates for the boutique’s unveiling of its holiday macarons (including a peppermint version with pearl sprinkles and a frosted gingersnap flavor filled with vanilla buttercream), then celebrate the howl-idays with your four-legged friends on Saturday, Dec 2. when Der Biergarten hosts an ugly sweater social for canines and the Sacramento SPCA launches its...

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Gift local at these 5 holiday maker markets around town

11/27/17

Gift local at these 5 holiday maker markets around town

’Tis the season to be jolly while shopping local. Here are five upcoming maker markets where you can get in the spirit of gifting. Makers Mart Dec. 2 This popular market will pop up on Folsom Boulevard and feature over 50 Northern California artisans, most of whom hail from the Sacramento region. While you sip cranberry gin and tonics from North Sacramento artisanal soda shop Burly Beverages and local DJs Chic Fillet and Doofy Doo spin funk-infused tracks, you can browse for jewelry by Tinsel & Oak shop owner Lily Mills, botanical perfumes from Arabesque Aromas apothecary Kirsten Schilling and bespoke menswear and accessories by Samuel Rose. Free. 12 p.m.-6 p.m. 7300 Folsom Blvd. sacmakersmart.com Midtown Bizarre at Identity Coffees Dec. 9 Warm your insides with a...

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Kick off the holiday season at one of these 11 festive tree-lighting ceremonies

11/22/17

Kick off the holiday season at one of these 11 festive tree-lighting ceremonies

Not feeling the holiday spirit just yet? There's nothing like a good old-fashioned tree lighting ceremony and copious amounts of marshmallow-topped liquid chocolate to warm the cold hearts of even the sourest Scrooges. Behold our list of 11 of the region's most spirited celebrations. Old Sacramento Nov. 22 On the eve of Thanksgiving, Old Saint Nick will arrive at the historic district to light its 60-foot-tall Christmas tree. Sourced from Shasta County, the towering giant will sparkle with about 100,000 lights from Sacramento Theatrical Lighting, four 9-foot-long stockings, three decorative sugarplums and one 4-foot-tall mouse. Stick around after the tree lighting to watch the opening performance of Macy’s Theatre of Lights festival, featuring a...

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New interactive cycling facility to open downtown

11/17/17

New interactive cycling facility to open downtown

Sacramento, get ready to ride. A new cycling workout facility is launching at the 700 block of K Street in downtown Sacramento across from Golden 1 Center. All City Riders will offer an immersive workout experience featuring 30 stationary bikes set up in front of a 20-foot-wide by 8-foot-tall video wall that will play first-person footage of rides through the streets and trails of Sacramento, as well as through cities like San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles and Paris, and all the stages of the Tour de France with themed music fueling each energetic class.  “Imagine lights are flashing, music is loud; it’s going to give the rider an experience that is very similar to being outside riding in a particular environment,” says owner Bryan Washington, who also...

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Steven Spielberg, Lucille Ball among the latest California Hall of Fame inductees

11/15/17

Steven Spielberg, Lucille Ball among the latest California Hall of Fame inductees

Director Steven Spielberg leads the pack of nine new inductees into the California Hall of Fame's 11th class, which the California Museum and the office of Gov. Jerry Brown and first lady Anne Gust Brown announced Tuesday. Spielberg's major contributions to the Golden State's film industry, which began with his 1975 breakout blockbuster Jaws, earned him a seat on the Hall of Fame stage. His prolific four-decade career has included adventure films (Jurassic Park, The Indiana Jones franchise), sci-fi flicks (E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial and 2018's Ready Player One) and dramas, such as Schindler's List, which earned him two of his three Oscars, as well as the upcoming The Post, which stars Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks as the publisher and editor, respectively, of The...

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Chill out at these five local ice rinks this holiday season

11/02/17

Chill out at these five local ice rinks this holiday season

Now that there’s (finally) a chill in the Sacramento air, here are five fun ice rinks where you can play it cool and embrace the holiday spirit. Downtown Sacramento Ice Rink Nov. 3-Jan. 15 (except Dec. 25) For the 26th season in a row, the Downtown Sacramento Partnership will open its outdoor ice rink at St. Rose of Lima Park across from Golden 1 Center. Lit with twinkling bulbs strung from trees overhead, this festive rink will host several special events throughout its seasonal run, including “Princess and Superhero Day” (Nov. 4), which encourages skaters to dress up as their favorite Disney royal or comic book vigilante, and “Drag Queens on Ice” (Nov. 16), which will feature photo-ops with Sacramento drag personalities to benefit local...

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A downtown bus shelter transforms into "The World's Smallest Concert Hall"

10/13/17

A downtown bus shelter transforms into "The World's Smallest Concert Hall"

A new music venue opened this morning in downtown Sacramento—in a bus shelter. The partially enclosed bus stop at 14th and L streets—steps from the Sacramento Community Center Theater—has been converted into "The World's Smallest Concert Hall," and until the end of November, passersby and those waiting for public transit can sit in one of four red theater seats and listen to arias from operas like Don Giovanni and The Barber of Seville and symphonic pieces from composers such as Mozart, Brahms and Tchaikovsky. The classical masterpieces, which are piped into the bus shelter 24 hours a day via speakers and an iPod, represent the music patrons would hear at a concert by the Sacramento Philharmonic & Opera, whose season kicks off tomorrow...

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10 fang-tastic Halloween events for grown-ups in and around Sacramento

10/05/17

10 fang-tastic Halloween events for grown-ups in and around Sacramento

Too old to trick-or-treat? Too young to stay in? We’ve rounded up nine Halloween adventures—from spooktacular haunted houses and ghost tours to a vampire ball with fire dancers. Ultimate Terror Scream Park Through Nov. 4 Monstrous, corpse-like creatures lurk around every corner of this park, which fans voted the “scariest in California." Its three twisted haunted scenes, conceived in collaboration with Hollywood set designers, include the “Begrudge” haunted house, in which you stumble through an abandoned industrial building overrun by ominous string-haired demons. Try to evade a murderer thirsting for revenge at “Superstition Killer,” then attempt to escape the “Lobotomy Psycho Show,” where you and your group of friends...

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Tower Bridge Dinner 2017

09/25/17

Tower Bridge Dinner 2017

On Sept. 26, over 800 guests gathered for the fifth annual Tower Bridge dinner to feast on a multicourse family-style meal prepared by many of the region's top chefs using ingredients from local farms and purveyors. Click on each image to expand it and scroll through the slideshow.

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Tickets for Hillary Clinton's Mondavi Center appearance sell out in a few short hours

09/18/17

Tickets for Hillary Clinton's Mondavi Center appearance sell out in a few short hours

The upcoming Oct. 9 appearance of Hillary Clinton at the Mondavi Center spawned an unprecedented event sellout on Friday, Sept. 15. The presale tickets for the former Secretary of State's Davis engagement—which is part of the book tour for her new memoir What Happened, which was released Sept. 12—were offered to Mondavi Center donors and subscribers, as well as UC Davis faculty, staff and students, on Friday at noon. By 4:30 p.m. the same day, all of the available tickets were spoken for, according to the venue's marketing director, Rob Tocalino, leaving no tickets leftover for the general public. (Tickets were scheduled to go on sale to the public at noon on Thursday, Sept. 21.) This marks the first time a Mondavi Center event has sold out during presale, says...

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Sactown magazine nominated for national Folio awards

09/15/17

Sactown magazine nominated for national Folio awards

Exciting news over here at Sactown HQ: We've been nominated for two 2017 national Folio awards! (Folio is the magazine for the magazine industry.) One nod is for Best Photography for senior contributing photographer Max Whittaker’s poignant and powerful photo essay “Troubled Waters” in the April/May issue, which chronicled the crisis at the Oroville Dam in February. View the photo essay here. Sactown is also nominated for Best Illustration for Leif Jones’ extraordinary portrait of author Kim Stanley Robinson in “The Man Who Fell From Earth” (below) in the Feb/March issue. Link to the full story here. The winners will be announced at the Folio Awards on Oct. 11 in New York City. ...

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Glowing gourds will light up Auburn at the region’s inaugural Pumpkin Nights

09/08/17

Glowing gourds will light up Auburn at the region’s inaugural Pumpkin Nights

Something wickedly cool this way comes. From Oct. 13-29, the Gold Country Fairgrounds in Auburn will be alight with the spooky glow of over 3,000 hand-carved foam jack-o’-lanterns at the region’s first annual Pumpkin Nights festival. Revelers can meander through a half-mile of pathways in the Halloweentown, stopping at areas set to themed music, like the Great Pumpkin Reef with mermaids and illuminated blue pumpkins carved with shapes of underwater creatures like starfish and sea horses; the Día de los Muertos set with sugar skulls and a strumming pumpkin mariachi band; and Rum River Pirates with skeletal swashbucklers waving cutlasses and palm trees made from pumpkins. Harry Potter fans can take selfies at Pumpkin Passage, inspired by the Great Hall at Hogwarts...

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"Close Encounters of the Third Kind" returns to the silver screen for its 40th anniversary

08/31/17

"Close Encounters of the Third Kind" returns to the silver screen for its 40th anniversary

It’s been 40 years since Steven Spielberg released his science fiction film Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and movie theaters throughout the country are marking the milestone anniversary by hosting showings of a newly remastered, digitally restored version of the cult classic for a week-long run beginning the evening of Thursday, Aug. 31. In the Sacramento area, Close Encounters will appear at UA Arden Fair 6 (1739 Arden Way), Regal Natomas Marketplace 16 (3561 Truxel Rd.) and UA Laguna Village in Elk Grove (8755 Center Parkway Dr.) until Friday, Sept. 8. The timing may be serendipitous, because the Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District is suggesting folks stay inside this Labor Day weekend due to smoke from numerous fires burning in Northern...

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Park(ing) Day returns, with creative parklets sprouting downtown

08/30/17

Park(ing) Day returns, with creative parklets sprouting downtown

If you’re walking near Capitol Mall on the morning of Sept. 16, you might notice a rose garden that seemingly grew up overnight alongside a miniature music festival stage, a mod art bar and a lounge area filled with chairs made of logs beside a wall resembling a beehive. These whimsical installations are part of Sacramento United Park(ing) Day—a pop-up event that will transform parking spaces in front of the State Capitol between 9th and 10th streets into temporary parklets. Fourteen local groups comprising architects, art students, design firms and non-profits will participate in this year’s event—centered on the theme “Creative Capitol”—including American River College Art Club, Lionakis, Callander Associates and Stantec. Each...

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Cabo, Orlando and Austin, here we come! Sacramento International Airport adds nonstop service to major destinations

08/28/17

Cabo, Orlando and Austin, here we come! Sacramento International Airport adds nonstop service to major destinations

Sacramento International Airport just got a little bit more … international. It's adding nonstop service from the capital city to Cabo San Lucas, courtesy of Southwest Airlines, beginning in March 2018, with additional service via Alaska Airlines commencing in June. The Southwest flight will be the carrier’s first international route from Sacramento (other carriers currently serve Mexico City and Guadalajara, and Cabo seasonally). Southwest is also expanding its nonstop domestic service out of SMF, adding four new destinations, including New Orleans starting next March, Austin and St. Louis in April, and Orlando in May. Altogether, Southwest will be upping the number of daily nonstop flights out of the airport from 22 to 82. That will bring the number of nonstop...

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California Museum opens Unity Center with block party

08/24/17

California Museum opens Unity Center with block party

Stop a bully. Design a civil rights campaign T-shirt. Register to vote. Visitors to downtown Sacramento’s California Museum can learn how to do these things and more at the Unity Center, which opens inside the second floor of the museum Aug. 26. The permanent 4,000-square-foot exhibit celebrates the state’s diversity and civil rights history, featuring interactive stations like Facing Assumptions, which lets folks listen in on recorded video conversations among marginalized groups, from Muslim-Americans and undocumented immigrants to transgender people. Guests can also share their own stories via videos that will be compiled for the museum’s YouTube channel. Another station titled Courage to Act seeks to inspire visitors to take a stand against harassment and...

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Artist shows a colorful view of Sacramento in a new exhibit at the Elliott Fouts Gallery

08/24/17

Artist shows a colorful view of Sacramento in a new exhibit at the Elliott Fouts Gallery

To 38-year-old painter Andrew Patterson-Tutschka, the capital city is a muse. "I love Sacramento," he says. "I love the architecture. I love the light." For his first-ever solo exhibit at midtown's Elliott Fouts Gallery, which opens Sept. 2 and runs through Oct. 5, the former Boulevard Park resident (Patterson-Tutschka recently made the move to Redding after nearly a decade in the River City) will showcase a collection of older paintings and 30 new works, 20 of which depict downtown Sacramento. Patterson-Tutschka has become known around town for his mobile paint cart, which he transports by bike. He pedals to his desired street corner, sets up his easel and paints, capturing the city as it rushes by with bold, bright colors in a style he describes as...

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Global Winter Wonderland will set Cal Expo aglow once again this fall

08/17/17

Global Winter Wonderland will set Cal Expo aglow once again this fall

Get set to take a trip around the world when this year's Global Winter Wonderland lights up Cal Expo from Nov. 11 through Jan. 7. Produced by the Fremont-based International Culture Exchange Group (ICEG), this light-up spectacle made its Sacramento debut in 2014 and has quickly become a local holiday tradition. The new 80-lantern display that will inhabit 17 acres of Cal Expo for seven weeks this holiday season will feature the theme Holidays Around the World. It will spotlight LED statues of global landmarks like Mount Fuji, the Statue of Liberty, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, Big Ben and the Taj Mahal, as well as twinkling representations of Christmas merriment and Carnival celebrations in South America and Venice, with some pieces measuring up to 50...

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Johnny Cash Trail to open in Folsom this fall

08/16/17

Johnny Cash Trail to open in Folsom this fall

On Oct. 14, the city of Folsom will unveil the completed Johnny Cash Trail, nearly 50 years after the country singer’s legendary performance at the nearby state prison. The new stretch will double the length of the 1.25-mile bike, pedestrian and equestrian trail that opened in 2014, and will be the future path of an public art walk and a 3-acre park with a guitar-shaped plaza slated for completion within five years. The trail marks Folsom’s first formal tribute to Cash, a lifelong advocate of prison reform, who played “Folsom Prison Blues” during an iconic concert at the local facility on Jan. 13, 1968, during which he recorded the live album At Folsom Prison. “That song is why people around the world have heard of Folsom and Folsom [State]...

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5 artists to watch (literally) during the 2017 Wide Open Walls mural festival

08/03/17

5 artists to watch (literally) during the 2017 Wide Open Walls mural festival

Last year’s Sacramento Mural Festival was such an unexpected hit as a spectator sport that the event has relaunched this year as Wide Open Walls, a fully interactive art happening that will take over around 40 walls throughout the metropolitan area Aug. 10-20, with food trucks and buskers on hand at various sites (scroll down for a map). Below is a curated list of five of the artists we’re looking forward to seeing in action, from local painters on the rise to international art celebrities. Maren Conrad This Sacramento artist, whose 2016 exhibit put Barbie dolls in compromising positions, will bring a team of painters to help execute her first mural on the back wall of the MARRS building. Conrad is no stranger to public art installations, having designed murals and art...

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Find funnel cake, gold panning, deep-fried Snickers at four county fairs

07/27/17

Find funnel cake, gold panning, deep-fried Snickers at four county fairs

The California State Fair is wrapping up its run of extreme eats and high-flying thrills this weekend, but that doesn’t mean the fair fanfare stops there. Here are four fun county fairs in the Sacramento region to visit over the next several weeks. Yuba-Sutter Fair Aug. 3-6 Reach new heights in Yuba City, where you can hop on a Ferris wheel or lollipop-themed swing ride to scope out the sights below, including stilt-walking troupe Stilt Circus and food purveyors like Rosie’s Sno Biz, which will dole out Gunther’s ice cream and colorful snow cones in flavors like raspberry cheesecake. Wheatland chef Kuulei Moreno, who won a January episode of the Food Network reality competition show Cooks vs. Cons, will host the fair’s first-ever cooking expo, using produce...

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Jackie Greene releases new music video, hints at moving back to Sacramento

07/20/17

Jackie Greene releases new music video, hints at moving back to Sacramento

Singer-songwriter Jackie Greene, who grew up in Cameron Park and was a former lead guitarist for The Black Crowes, has released an animated music video for his new song “Modern Lives.” (Scroll down to watch the full video, which was released on Billboard.com Thursday morning.) This is the first track and video that Greene, currently based in Brooklyn, New York, has teased from his new self-recorded, six-song EP The Modern Lives–Vol. 1, which is set for release Oct. 13 via Blue Rose Music/The End Records. Vol. 2, Greene says, will come out sometime in the winter with a brand-new set of songs. Academy Award-nominated artist Bill Plympton—whose illustration and animation have appeared everywhere from The New York Times and Rolling Stone to the opening couch...

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13 concerts worth catching this summer

07/12/17

13 concerts worth catching this summer

Whether you want to relive the ’80s with Pat Benatar, get your groove on with Bruno Mars, or cozy up to an intimate jazz show under the stars at the Crocker, here are 13 concerts to catch in and around Sactown this summer. Bruno Mars July 18 In the seven short years since the pop superstar exploded onto the music scene in 2010 with the megahit “Just the Way You Are,” Bruno Mars has played the Super Bowl (twice) and created a slew of genre-jumping earworms like “When I Was Your Man,” “Treasure” and “Uptown Funk.” The 31-year-old Hawaii native will make his Golden 1 Center debut this summer during his global tour in support of his new album 24K Magic, which features songs like the titular single,...

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Mondavi Center to host Samantha Bee, David Sedaris and Andrew Bird

07/10/17

Mondavi Center to host Samantha Bee, David Sedaris and Andrew Bird

The Mondavi Center’s 2017-18 season just got a whole lot funnier (with a few new fiddle licks, too) with the happy news that Samantha Bee, David Sedaris and Andrew Bird will be joining its “Just Added” series. First up is Samantha Bee on Saturday, Oct. 7, making her Mondavi Center debut. Host of Full Frontal with Samantha Bee (which has been described by The Hollywood Reporter as “a tragicomic feminist primal scream”), Bee previously logged a 12-year stint as a correspondent on The Daily Show, talking about freedom of choice with Republican National Convention attendees and interviewing Occupy Wall Streeters. Named one of Time’s 100 Most Influential People of 2017, she will discuss the current state of democracy and her role as...

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After 7 years, Capitol fountain slated to make a splash once again

06/30/17

After 7 years, Capitol fountain slated to make a splash once again

If you made a wish at the dry, empty bowl that was once the Capitol fountain, and if that wish were that the state’s Department of General Services (DGS) would see fit to celebrate Gov. Brown’s April declaration of the end of the drought by turning said fountain back on—after seven long years—then your wish is about to come true. The state has begun testing the fountain’s mechanics, changing filters and testing lights and pumps, and if all goes well, the 1920s fountain could be gushing gleefully away by the end of July, something it hasn’t done since 2010. As Sactown wrote in 2014, “The reasons behind the capitol fountain’s closure are as squishy as a red-legged frog from the Sacramento Delta.” Previous claims that it...

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10 fun ways to ring in the Fourth of July

06/29/17

10 fun ways to ring in the Fourth of July

Happy 241st birthday to us! From a party in a ballpark to skydiving shows and glittering fireworks, here are 10 of our favorite ways to celebrate Independence Day around the region. Cal Expo July 4 The California State Fair—which is celebrating its 50th anniversary at Cal Expo this year (check out the awesome commemorative poster here)—doesn’t start until July 14, but Cal Expo will be abuzz with summertime activity during its Fourth of July celebration, which includes live music from Americana singer-songwriter Hannah Jane Kile and local pop-rock group National Lines. Grab a piña colada smoothie from Maui Wowi or nachos from Fiesta’s and settle in at 9:30 p.m. to watch the pyrotechnics, a 21-minute show that is one of the area’s longest...

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Six great new restaurant patios to check out this summer

06/28/17

Six great new restaurant patios to check out this summer

A hot summer night. A cool Delta breeze. Flowing conversation and wine (or beer). From a tropical oasis in midtown to a pastoral terrace in Sloughhouse, these six new restaurant patios have it all. Burgers & Brew If you think “Ring of Fire” is just a song by Johnny Cash, then you haven’t yet been to the new Burgers & Brew in West Sacramento’s hopping Broderick neighborhood. Located in a historic Art Deco firehouse at the foot of the I Street Bridge (just a short walk from Golden 1 Center across the river), the latest outpost in this local chain boasts a patio wall rimmed by the thinnest line of flickering orange flame. More a dancing linear candle than a roaring inferno, it’s a clever visual treat that will make your eyes light up but...

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Prominent local developer hopes to revitalize the chic “Mad Men”-era Clarion Hotel

06/22/17

Prominent local developer hopes to revitalize the chic “Mad Men”-era Clarion Hotel

“I think it’s unfortunate that Sacramento doesn't have that many old buildings from different eras that we can bring back,” says real estate developer Sotiris Kolokotronis, whose urban infill projects like the L Street Lofts, 1801 L Street and the Fremont Building helped turn midtown into the epicenter of our urban renaissance. He says this standing in front of his latest acquisition, the former Mansion Inn (later the Clarion Hotel), which he hopes to restore and reopen as an art-filled urban oasis—and the hippest boutique hotel in town. The two-story structure on the corner of 16th and H, right across from the street from the historic Governor’s Mansion and adjacent to the Wells Fargo Pavilion, is almost completely covered in a jungle of dense...

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Midtown’s Truitt Bark Park announces grand opening date

06/21/17

Midtown’s Truitt Bark Park announces grand opening date

Time to let the dogs out! Urban canines will soon have a new piece of glamorous real estate to call their own with the unveiling of midtown’s highly anticipated Truitt Bark Park, which will host its grand opening Saturday, July 29. Designed by local landscape architecture firm Quadriga, the .72-acre space at 19th and Q Streets is midtown’s first permanent dog park. It will feature separate off-leash sections for larger dogs and smaller pups, with California sycamores and Palo Verde trees providing a canopy of shade and drought-resistant plantings, as well as a public plaza and community garden. A collaboration between the City of Sacramento and the Capitol Area Development Authority (CADA), Truitt Bark Park, named after late midtown resident and civic watchdog...

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15 fun, completely free things to do in the Sacramento region this summer

06/20/17

15 fun, completely free things to do in the Sacramento region this summer

Want to join a hot block party on R Street, learn the art of silk screening or watch The Big Lebowski under the stars, all without paying a penny? Check out our annual list of fun ways to spend your free time—literally—in the Sacramento region this summer. Chalk it Up! Over 200 artists will use chalk to decorate the 248 sidewalk squares surrounding midtown’s Fremont Park, and the event will be chock-full of concerts by acts like Americana roots singer Jessica Malone and R&B-soul vocalist Lauren Wakefield. After browsing the art walk, let your own creative juices flow at workshops like sugar skull crafting and silk screening. This free festival has been taking art to the streets every Labor Day weekend for more than 25 years to raise funds for area youth arts...

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Catch rarely shown movies on the big screen at these 5 local film festivals

06/14/17

Catch rarely shown movies on the big screen at these 5 local film festivals

It's getting hot out there. Head inside, grab a bag of popcorn and cool down at these five upcoming film fests, featuring everything from old Westerns to French comedies and anime classics that will spirit you away. Sacramento French Film Festival June 16-25 Francophiles can head downtown for two weekends of French cinema for this 16th annual movie marathon. The 2017 lineup includes a showing of the 1972 comedy The Tall Blond Man with One Black Shoe, which inspired 1985’s The Man With One Red Shoe starring Tom Hanks; last year’s Ma Loute (Slack Bay), about an inlet on France’s northern coast in the early 1900s that’s at the heart of an investigation into the disappearance of a group of tourists; and director Stéphane Brizé’s...

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New documentary on the storied Alhambra Theatre is forthcoming

05/31/17

New documentary on the storied Alhambra Theatre is forthcoming

It's the stuff of local legend: The grandest movie palace of all, the Alhambra Theatre, reigned over Sacramento from the day it opened in 1927, back when black-and-white "talkies" were all the rage. A lavish, red-carpeted Moorish castle in East Sacramento, with a courtyard and a fountain, the architecturally striking building (think Arabian Nights) was surrounded by lush gardens where your grandparents may have strolled hand in hand after catching Errol Flynn in some swashbuckler. The Alhambra survived a scant 40 years, evolving into a concert venue before the storied venue was unceremoniously demolished in 1973 when a county ballot measure aiming at saving it failed to pass. Now, just in time for what would have been the theater's 90th birthday, local filmmaker...

Posted at 08:59 AM | Permalink | Comments

Your guide to the Sacramento region’s outdoor movie screenings

05/23/17

Your guide to the Sacramento region’s outdoor movie screenings

Hot days in Sacramento lead to cool evenings, perfect for stretching a blanket on the grass, grabbing some popcorn and watching Hollywood stars under the stars. Here are several places around the region hosting outdoor screenings of movies—from family-friendly flicks like Moana to a Coen Brothers film series just for grown-ups. Friday Moonlight Movies (Rancho Cordova) Indulge in freshly popped buttery treats from the Art of Popcorn and chill out with shaved ice from Sweet Treats before setting up a blanket and lawn chairs on Village Green Park’s large grassy field for an adventure-themed flick every Friday in June. June 2 Up June 9 Pirates of the Caribbean June 16 Guardians of the Galaxy June 23 Finding Dory June 30 Jurassic Park Free. 7:30 p.m....

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Dynamic video projection installation to open on K Street

05/16/17

Dynamic video projection installation to open on K Street

The capital city has been stepping up its public art game of late, with events like the Sacramento Mural Festival taking to the streets and collaborations like ArtStreet attracting thousands of visitors. Next up is a project called Beacon, where interactive video projections will enliven a building at the corner of 10th and K streets with works by over 50 local, national and international visual artists. Led by Sacramento placemaker and entrepreneur Tre Borden (who has managed projects like Bright Underbelly) and curated by local filmmaker and artist Jessa Ciel, Beacon will launch May 22 for a 10-week run ending July 29. Using a network of projectors, the video displays will rotate on a one-hour loop and focus on a different theme each week, reflecting trending...

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Oblivion Comics & Coffee opens downtown

05/11/17

Oblivion Comics & Coffee opens downtown

Oblivion Comics & Coffee had a brisk first day of business after it opened its doors Wednesday near the corner of 11th and K streets in downtown Sacramento. The sleek and stylish 2,600-square-foot venue has a coffee bar serving up brewed beverages from Chocolate Fish Coffee Roasters, a small selection of eats that a comic-loving kid of any age would love, like PB&J and cinnamon toast, and a large selection of comics curated by knowledgeable staff billed as the Guardians of Oblivion. The shop is located in the renovated three-story M.A.Y. Building, which was built in 1911 and is being transformed into a multi-use space with an event venue, luxury apartments and retail. Owners Laura Benson and Neil Estaris’ concept for an adult-oriented comic venue won the...

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Sneak peek: The California Museum presents a new exhibit featuring rare artifacts from Hollywood’s Golden Age

05/11/17

Sneak peek: The California Museum presents a new exhibit featuring rare artifacts from Hollywood’s Golden Age

Update: To correspond with the exhibit, the California Musuem and the Film Noir Foundation will host the Light & Noir Film Festival at the Crest Theatre on Saturday, July 22, from 5-9:30 p.m., featuring screenings of Double Indemnity (at 5 p.m.) and Sunset Boulevard (at 7:30 p.m.), along with a Q&A session with Film Noir Foundation founder Eddie Muller, a 1940s and '50s costume contest, and cocktails from Empress Tavern. Tickets are $10 for each showing or $25 for a film and museum exhibit pass. For more information, visit californiamuseum.org. The following weekend, the Crest will also be screening Casablanca on July 29 at 7:30 p.m. For tickets, go to crestsacramento.com. The California Museum is mounting a new exhibit that explores Hollywood’s Golden Age and...

Posted at 10:33 AM | Permalink | Comments

Big Day of Giving aims to raise millions for a record 600 local nonprofits this year

05/01/17

Big Day of Giving aims to raise millions for a record 600 local nonprofits this year

Open your hearts—and wallets, Sacramento. The cost of a single movie ticket can amount to a feel-good contribution during the 2017 Big Day of Giving, which will get underway starting at the stroke of midnight on Thursday, May 4, and end 24 hours later at 11:59 p.m. The fourth annual online fundraiser aims to raise millions for 600 regional nonprofits, including Capitol Ballet Company, Soil Born Farms, Save the American River Association, Sacramento SPCA, River City Food Bank, and many more. Last year, Big Day of Giving (BDOG)—which was part of the national Give Local America campaign—raised $7.1 million for 570 nonprofits throughout the four-county Sacramento region, despite a technological snafu that caused its site (and those of over 50 other communities around...

Posted at 09:42 AM | Permalink | Comments

Five fun ways to spin your wheels during National Bike Month

04/27/17

Five fun ways to spin your wheels during National Bike Month

Sacramento has party bikes, food and flower delivery by bicycle and last, but not least the incredible American River Bike Trail. May is the perfect time to celebrate the city’s growing cycling culture, as the 2017 Amgen Tour of California kicks off its big race at the Capitol this month and the weather turns just right for an epic bike ride. There are dozens of events taking place surrounding Sacramento's 12th annual "May is Bike Month" campaign, but we found a few highlights to kick you into gear, whether you’re an avid cyclist or haven’t ridden solo since your training wheel days. May is Bike Month Kick-Off Event May 1 Last year, over 10,000 people accepted the May is Bike Month challenge, which was created to encourage Sacramentans to swap...

Posted at 02:30 PM | Permalink | Comments

Downtown Sacramento Partnership announces its 2017 Calling All Dreamers semifinalists

04/20/17

Downtown Sacramento Partnership announces its 2017 Calling All Dreamers semifinalists

Pizza, churros and milkshakes, anyone? The Downtown Sacramento Partnership has announced the 10 business ideas that are up for the opportunity to become a part of Sacramento’s burgeoning downtown scene in the fifth annual Calling All Dreamers competition. The proposed businesses include five retail establishments: a fashion hub and design workshop called The showRHoom from Project Runway alum Richard Hallmarq that will feature trends from local designers; Miscellaneous, a concept shop with items from various purveyors; The Modern Doll Museum, which will showcase the craft of doll making; The Kitchen Table, a boutique that will carry locally made kitchen tools; and Vity, named after the all-natural skin-care line it will carry. Several other contestants have based their...

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The Sacramento Mural Festival will return with a splashy new name and grander plans

04/12/17

The Sacramento Mural Festival will return with a splashy new name and grander plans

Color us happy. Last year’s inaugural Sacramento Mural Festival is making good on its promise to become an annual event. Sporting the new title Wide Open Walls, this year’s fest will take place from Aug. 10-20, and will branch out of the grid to decorate neighborhoods throughout Sacramento, with more than 30 large-scale works. Wide Open Walls’ producer, David Sobon, who co-presented last year’s mural festival with Friends of Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission, is intent on creating more viewer experiences at the site of each mural to facilitate a grander festival atmosphere. “Last year, it was pretty cool when you drove by a blank wall on a Wednesday, and the painting happened over the weekend, and [then] there’s this insane piece of art...

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You can now play Ms. Pac-Man on the streets of Sacramento

03/31/17

You can now play Ms. Pac-Man on the streets of Sacramento

In a new epic April Fools' Day hoax, Google has created a Ms. Pac-Man version of Google Maps that allows smartphone users to play the classic arcade game on the streets of their city. Here’s how it works: open Google Maps on your smartphone, click the round Ms. Pac-Man icon above the location indicator and the map suddenly transforms into your own personal arcade screen, with the game’s signature ghosts aligned and ready to gobble up your five lives. Move Ms. Pac-Man around by swiping in any direction, and watch your score climb at the top of the screen. We’ve already tried it around Capitol Park, in midtown’s grid and through the Fab 40s in East Sacramento. And with only two ways to turn, the Tower Bridge’s span might be the most challenging...

Posted at 11:36 AM | Permalink | Comments

The Downtown Sacramento Partnership announces 2017 Concerts in the Park lineup

03/30/17

The Downtown Sacramento Partnership announces 2017 Concerts in the Park lineup

Whoa, listen to the music. Today, the Downtown Sacramento Partnership announced its lineup for Sacramento’s yearly free concert series, which will take place on Friday nights beginning in May and run through July. Concerts in the Park will kick off Friday, May 5, with Rituals of Mine, the female electronic duo made up of Terra Lopez and Dani Fernandez that was founded in Sacramento as Sister Crayon and recently signed a record deal with Warner Brothers. They will be joined by local acts Sol Peligro (a nine-piece Latin-reggae outfit), Lucid (a five-member electro-pop band) and DJ Eddie Z. Los Angeles-based alternative quintet Grizfolk will take the stage May 12, with Sacramento rock band Cemetery Sun (May 19) making its Concerts in the Park headlining debut. Other headliners...

Posted at 04:21 PM | Permalink | Comments

A new start-up incubator for game developers joins the burgeoning Sacramento tech scene

03/24/17

A new start-up incubator for game developers joins the burgeoning Sacramento tech scene

If you’ve always dreamed of whipping up your own Zelda, Mario or Duke Nukem, you may just get the chance to turn that fantasy into a profitable reality. Square One Club, a software and game developer business incubator, has launched in the capital city. The organization recently received a $50,000 RAILS (which stands for Rapid Acceleration Innovation & Leadership) grant from the City of Sacramento’s Innovation Fund to back its plan to establish a start-up accelerator for local game developers who want to found for-profit companies. According to president and CEO Nathan Allshouse, Square One Club is weeks away from signing a lease on a new space in the region and being able to provide start-ups with office space, conference rooms and a communal area with printers,...

Posted at 10:33 AM | Permalink | Comments

The Handle District to add new design-forward trash and recycling bins

03/16/17

The Handle District to add new design-forward trash and recycling bins

It’s a too-familiar scenario: you're walking down the street, empty coffee cup in hand, and block after block, there's not a trash or recycling bin in sight. The Handle District—a hip midtown neighborhood bounded by 18th, 19th and L Streets and Capitol Avenue—is on a mission to change that. In the next several weeks, the district will install 12 trash cans and six recycling bins whose sleek, modern design may just turn a few heads. These new receptacles, made with 30 percent recycled aluminum alloy and eco-friendly paint, were originally designed by San Francisco-based Landor Associates for the Central Park Conservancy in New York, which commissioned 700 of the trash and recycling cans in 2013. The design was inspired by the architectural vernacular of...

Posted at 04:13 PM | Permalink | Comments

Oak Park’s popular Gather event will launch in Rocklin this summer

03/14/17

Oak Park’s popular Gather event will launch in Rocklin this summer

Come together, right now, over in Rocklin. Unseen Heroes, the team behind Oak Park’s popular Gather nights, is exporting its warm-weather community event series to the Sacramento suburb beginning in June. Gather began in 2014 and has since grown into a happening outdoor affair with local food, music and art that brings an average of over 3,000 people to the streets of Oak Park’s Triangle District each time it’s held. Rocklin’s version of the family-friendly (and dog-friendly) event will be held every fourth Thursday from June to October at Quarry Park, which was redeveloped last year into a new 17-acre gathering place with nature trails and an amphitheater and now hosts events like Rocklin’s outdoor summer concert series and Shakespeare festival....

Posted at 10:49 AM | Permalink | Comments

A new party bike company with pub crawls and history tours rolls into town

02/28/17

A new party bike company with pub crawls and history tours rolls into town

SacTown Social Bikes, a new tour company based in downtown Sacramento, is bringing more pedal power to the capital city. Co-owners Ruben Amaya and his fiancée Lalena Nelson have been slowly rolling out bikes for tours since early February, and tentatively plan to officially launch March 3 to coincide with the opening of Cantina Alley— a new Mexican eatery in midtown, which will be one of the company’s two pickup locations, along with downtown’s Vallejo’s Restaurant. Like the other bike tour outfits in the region, Sac Brew Bike and Off the Chain, the new group offers a 15-seat party bike, but SacTown Social also curates tours on two smaller six-seat bikes, which are configured in a circular formation so that riders can easily engage with each other...

Posted at 09:15 AM | Permalink | Comments

Five festive Mardi Gras parades and parties

02/21/17

Five festive Mardi Gras parades and parties

This week, the Big Easy comes to the River City, so here are five festive ways to celebrate Mardi Gras, including second line parades, masquerades and dance parties where you can let the good times roll. Mardi Gras Parade & Masquerade Ball Feb. 25 The lights will dim as the music cranks up at the Miners Foundry Cultural Center’s fifth annual masquerade ball in historic downtown Nevada City. The Deadbeats, a Grateful Dead cover band, and Nevada City’s Sgt. Funky will keep the party rockin' while you sip drinks at the bar and nosh on salmon cakes, crawfish mac-and-cheese and other Cajun dishes provided by The Levee in Placerville. $25. 8-11:55 p.m. 325 Spring St. Nevada City. 530-265-5040. minersfoundry.org Mardi Gras at The Porch...

Posted at 01:39 PM | Permalink | Comments

Local group launching campaign to relight the Tower Bridge with LEDs

02/15/17

Local group launching campaign to relight the Tower Bridge with LEDs

Sandy Smoley, the indomitable doyenne of all things Sacramento, is at it again. The former County Supervisor, Health and Welfare Secretary under Governor Pete Wilson, and current “Queen of Midtown” (for the coveted who’s-who soirees she holds on her porch) is on a crusade to “Repower the Tower” by relighting the Tower Bridge in brighter, more energy-efficient and endlessly programmable LED lights. The idea came to the 80 year-old Smoley, who resembles a fairy godmother with her splashy outfits and outgoing persona (easy to imagine her keeping a wand in her handbag), while she was dining on the bridge during the 2015 Farm-to-Fork Gala Dinner. She thought the bridge looked “tired,” she says. So she put together a small, informal action...

Posted at 10:12 AM | Permalink | Comments

The curtain rises on a new Sacramento theater company's debut production

02/14/17

The curtain rises on a new Sacramento theater company's debut production

A new local theater company, coined The Actor’s Playpen, will take to the West Sacramento Community Center’s Black Box stage this weekend with its debut production, Lizzie: the Musical. The troupe is co-founded by Max Geide and Alexander Gomez (both longtime theater vets, the two met 10 years ago doing productions in the Bay Area), along with David Taylor (currently the Granite Bay High School musical director). “It has always been my dream to run my own theater company, but I just never had the proper support,” says Geide. “Eventually I let it slip out that I wanted to run my own company, and David and Alex were super excited and instantly wanted to jump on board. It made sense [here]. Sacramento has a lot of talent.” Talent like Jennifer...

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12 flirty ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day this year in and around Sacramento

02/08/17

12 flirty ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day this year in and around Sacramento

All you need is love—and this list of events—to celebrate this Valentine’s Day in style. From a screening of Casablanca to a ’90s prom-themed soirée, here are 11 swoon-worthy events that will set your hearts aflutter (and one for the anti-V-Day crowd).  Sex With Strangers Through Feb. 18 Just in time for Valentine's Day, EMH Productions stages the Sacramento premiere of Laura Eason’s witty, adults-only play, which debuted at Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre Company in 2009 and has been described by Variety as “an uncommonly satisfying two-person dramedy about relationships in the iAge.” Ethan is a 28-year-old blogger who has found success chronicling his myriad sexual encounters online; Olivia is a 40-ish teacher whose...

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Color and curiosity: A first look at the striking new ArtStreet exhibit

02/03/17

Color and curiosity: A first look at the striking new ArtStreet exhibit

ArtStreet—M5Arts’ highly anticipated follow-up to last year’s popular Art Hotel—opens Feb. 3 and runs through Feb. 25 at the Mill at Broadway (301 1st Ave). Before it opened to the public, Sactown previewed the 65,000-square-foot warehouse space, which contains the works of more than 100 artists in a gallery replete with murals and collages, rooms housing everything from sound sculptures to floor-to-ceiling architectural installations, and even a replica of a 1920s Sacramento jazz club that will host performances, speakers and film screenings. Here's a look at the collaborative project, which you can read more about in our Feb/Mar issue's story, Culture Club. For more information about ArtStreet and to reserve time slots, visit m5arts.com. Take a...

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Sacramento podcaster releases a new book that's a real conversation starter

01/31/17

Sacramento podcaster releases a new book that's a real conversation starter

What’s the first thing you do after work? What is your favorite childhood memory? Do you have a bucket list? West Sacramento-based freelance writer and podcast host Jennifer Snyder, who runs the weekly Creating Your Own Path (CYOP) interview series, has written the book on conversation starters—these and 97 more. Slated for release Feb. 3, Snyder’s self-published 100 Days of Discussion includes talk fodder ranging from casual dinner party icebreakers like “What are a few of your guilty pleasures?” to more thought-provoking prompts like “Do you feel free to be yourself?” The book provides plenty of white space for jotting down notes or workshopping questions with a group. The idea materialized in 2015, inspired by #The100DayProject on...

Posted at 10:16 AM | Permalink | Comments

Art Hotel creators release coffee-table book (plus, an update on ArtStreet)

01/24/17

Art Hotel creators release coffee-table book (plus, an update on ArtStreet)

On a recent Friday, the smell of sawdust and the steady beat of indie rock wafted through a massive warehouse off of Broadway, the home of the forthcoming group exhibit ArtStreet, which opens on Feb. 3. At this same time last year, ArtStreet’s organizers, who make up the M5Arts collective, were readying to debut Art Hotel in downtown Sacramento at the historic Jade Apartments, where 130 artists transformed the soon-to-be-demolished building into a larger-than-life exhibition, covering every surface—bathrooms, kitchens and stairwells—with paintings, sculptures, installations and other art forms. Those striking works are now splashed across 130 pages of a new hardcover book created by the Art Hotel team and set for release Feb. 8., with artist bios and statements...

Posted at 09:38 AM | Permalink | Comments

What to do around Sacramento on Inauguration Day (and the day after)

01/19/17

What to do around Sacramento on Inauguration Day (and the day after)

From a patriotic viewing party to an angst-filled interactive art show and "nonpartisan Buddhist-inspired meditation," here are eight diverse events to mark the inauguration of President Trump on Jan. 20; whatever your political persuasion, there's something here to help you heal, deal or celebrate. Inauguration Day Yoga 8 a.m. Say ommm at this hour-long morning class that Akasha Yoga in Davis has opened up specifically for the inauguration. Instructors Dion Wiedenhoefer and Wendi McCaskill will guide yogis of all experience levels through a mindful, peaceful practice that focuses on finding joy and calm within a supportive community. The class will be offered on a donation basis, with all proceeds going toward Woodland-based Empower Yolo, an organization that...

Posted at 04:04 PM | Permalink | Comments

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