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Spreading His Wings

Inspired by "Lady Bird," psych-pop artist Anton Barbeau is back home (at least for the time being) after a long spell in Europe. He chronicles his own coming-of-age, leaving-the-nest story in a new double album and music video filled with classic Sacramento iconography.

After the Fall

Tresa Honaker started 2012 on a high note. The local aerial artist and the troupe she founded were performing to sold-out audiences, creating mesmerizing vignettes with bodies wrapped in billowing ribbon up to 60 feet in the air. Then a terrible accident during practice left her paralyzed below her mid-spine, suddenly grounding the life-long dancer. But Honaker refused to stay down, and eight years later, her troupe is still going strong and so is she, having forged a new identity as a competitive athlete. This is the story of one woman’s life-changing fall and her life-affirming rise.

SF Giants Assistant Coach Alyssa Nakken

On the evening of July 20, San Francisco Giants assistant coach Alyssa Nakken coolly jogged out to first base in an exhibition game against the Oakland A’s. There were no fans in the stands to cheer her, but the world was watching as she became the first woman to coach on the field in a Major League Baseball matchup. The historic moment was the second, in fact, for the former Sacramento State softball star, who was anointed as the first full-time female coach in the major leagues in January. Here, the Woodland native talks about breaking down barriers, coaching in the age of the coronavirus, and trading the turf for the surf in her off time.

Sacramento Film Commissioner Jennifer West

As a one-time Hollywood studio accountant, Jennifer West used to routinely play one of the most important roles on a movie set: She was the one who made sure megastars like Julia Roberts, Anthony Hopkins and Val Kilmer got their paychecks. Today, after a two-decade industry break, West wields a new kind of celluloid influence as Sacramento’s first-ever full-time film commissioner. She talks about building the city’s film office from scratch, nurturing the next generation of local auteurs, and her bold vision for creating a mini Hollywood of the North.

Murders, She Wrote

Over the past decade, Granite Bay author Theresa Ragan—or T.R. Ragan, as she’s known on Amazon, where she has sold more than 3 million books—has been penning mysteries and thrillers in which female vigilantes exact not-so-sweet revenge on their male predators. Her latest page-turner stars a Sacramento crime reporter and a crew of femmes “fatal.” Get ready for a bloody good read.

Rob Archie

In the wake of George Floyd’s death at the hands of Minneapolis police on May 25 and subsequent protests, Sacramento restaurateur Rob Archie (Urban Roots Brewing & Smokehouse, Pangaea Bier Cafe, and Bawk) channeled his anger and sorrow into positive action, organizing We Stand with You, an unprecedented service-industry “walkout.” For three hours beginning at noon on June 4, over 200 restaurants, bars and breweries around the region—from Kru in East Sacramento to Crooked Lane Brewing Company in Auburn—closed for service and held staff discussions about workplace racism while also showing support for the Black community. Here, the Woodland native talks about his impromptu campaign, the problem with color-blind hiring, and the importance of listening.

Sacramento Public Library CEO Rivkah Sass

Since taking the helm of the Sacramento Public Library system in 2009, Rivkah Sass—who was named Librarian of the Year by the "Library Journal" in 2006 while serving as the executive director of the Omaha Public Library—has shepherded the 28-branch organization through the past decade with the introduction of services like digital access to more than 200,000 e-books and the ability to check out everything from an electric guitar to a GoPro camera. We spoke to the Manteca native about what’s new at the SPL, ways to keep the library relevant in 2020, and bringing big names—from best-selling author Neil Gaiman to rapper 50 Cent—to town.

In the Name of the Father

After graduating from UC Davis in 1967, Stephen Kaltenbach headed east and thrived in the heady New York art world, exhibiting alongside future greats like Richard Serra and Bruce Nauman, and inhabiting provocative alter egos à la Sacha Baron Cohen before Sacha Baron Cohen was even born. But it was his return to Davis that resulted in one of Sacramento’s most beloved paintings: a hauntingly evocative portrait of his dying father. With the launch of his first solo American museum show in over 40 years, the artist reflects on the man who inspired his masterwork and his own starring role as both father and son.

The Sketch Artist

Carmichael native Ian Hecox, co-founder of the YouTube sketch-comedy smash Smosh, returns home during the group’s first-ever live tour. He has just one request: Try not to laugh.

Food Literacy Center CEO Amber Stott

Despite its status as America’s Farm-to-Fork Capital, Sacramento has not escaped the growing childhood obesity crisis. In fact, a recent study of the city’s fifth, seventh and ninth graders found that more than 40 percent are either overweight or obese. Amber Stott is on a mission to change that stat. As CEO of the local nonprofit Food Literacy Center, she is spearheading a new 2.5-acre headquarters, farm and cooking school at Leataata Floyd Elementary in Upper Land Park. The org’s “chief food genius” talks about bringing the bounty of the region to underprivileged youth, tackling picky eaters, and why cooking and nutrition should be on the curriculum along with reading, writing and ’rithmetic.

True West

In his day job, Cornel West is a Harvard professor, a "New York Times" best-selling author, a national authority on race and a passionate advocate for the poor. In his spare time, he’s appeared in two of the three "Matrix" films (because, well, he helped inspire them), recorded three albums, and is taking meetings on the 2020 presidential campaign trail with Bernie Sanders and Cardi B. At a time when the country feels hopelessly divided, this nearly native son of Sacramento—and a “jazzman in the world of ideas”— has a message of love and compassion for all races, religions and political persuasions. And no matter how far he ventures from home, he carries with him a moral compass that unfailingly points west.

Funny Business

In his new B Street Theatre show about his long stand-up career, comedian Jack Gallagher plays for laughs while sharing professional highlights (his "Tonight Show" debut) and lowlights (his "Tonight Show" encore).

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