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Arts Q&A

Reel Talk

With his new seafood cookbook Hook, Line and Supper coming out on May 7, the Orangevale-based food blogger Hank Shaw shares some true fish tales.

Happy 101

Sacramento State’s first-ever professor of happiness unlocks the mysteries surrounding what is arguably the holy grail of human emotion. As Prof. Meliksah Demir explains, the path to joy is a winding road and the journey requires a bit of effort, but in the end, we all have the tools we need to find our happy place.

Q&A with Anne Stausboll

In 2018, Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg and then-West Sacramento Mayor Christopher Cabaldon launched the Mayors’ Commission on Climate Change to develop a comprehensive strategy for helping their cities achieve carbon neutrality by 2045. Anne Stausboll, the retired CEO of CalPERS (California Public Employees’ Retirement System), was tapped to lead the effort. In addition to heading up the largest public pension fund in the United States from 2009 to 2016, she served a decade as chair of the Boston-headquartered nonprofit Ceres, which seeks to combat climate change through financial markets. The 19-person climate commission presented its findings to the Sacramento City Council last August, unanimously adopting a report Stausboll calls “ambitious” in its recommendations.

Q&A: Sacramento's Creative Economy Manager Megan Van Voorhis

Growing up in Flint, Michigan, Megan Van Voorhis wanted to be a ballerina like the one she saw twirling on an episode of Sesame Street. It wasn’t until she took a business administration class in college that she realized her calling wasn’t to make art, but to make art possible. As the head of Arts Cleveland, she introduced innovative programs linking art with health care and helping creators access their inner entrepreneurs. As Sacramento’s freshly appointed Cultural and Creative Economy Manager, the former dancer takes the stage for her next act. Here the new 916 resident talks about the arts’ influence on the GDP, how to reopen venues safely in the age of Covid, and why the ability to create is a basic human right.

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.

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