El Cerrito Free Folk Festival 2016

It’s Folk Festival time again! This year the El Cerrito Free Folk Festival, produced by the San Francisco Folk Music Club, is on Saturday, October 8th, from noon to 9:00 pm at the El Cerrito High School, 540 Ashbury Avenue.

Free Folk Festival

The packed program, featuring world-renowned and local musicians, has something for everyone – whether you love to listen, to learn, or to play live music yourself! There’ll be two stages of music performances, plus music and dance workshops, a family program, and spaces for spontaneous jams.

Free Folk Festival

Click here for the schedule, including a link to download a copy for yourself!

Free Folk Festival

The San Francisco Folk Music Cluba non-profit organization, was founded in 1948 and is still going strong! All are welcome to become members. The Festival is run entirely by volunteers — from the individual members of the Club to the performance and workshop leaders. Get involved — volunteers are still needed — you can sign up through this link. And you can donate through this link. Follow the Festival’s Facebook page

Free Folk Festival

The Festival is co-sponsored by the El Cerrito Arts & Culture Commission. We hope to see you there!

 

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An Evening of Poetry and Jazz with Jack Marshall

Jack Marshall, nationally- recognized poet and a resident of El Cerrito, will give a reading of his work to inaugurate the City of El Cerrito’s new Poet Laureate Program and to celebrate National Poetry Month in April.

Jack Marshall

A live jazz performance will accompany Marshall’s reading, to be held Tuesday April 12th from 7 to 8 pm, at the El Cerrito Public Library, 6510 Stockton Ave.

Born in Brooklyn to Jewish parents who emigrated from Iraq and Syria, Marshall now lives in El Cerrito. He is the author of the memoir From Baghdad to Brooklyn and several poetry collections that have received the PEN Center USA Award, two Northern California Book Awards, and a nomination from the National Book Critics Circle.

EC Poet Laureate ButtonThe City’s first Poet Laureate will serve a two-year term from September 1, 2016 to August 31, 2018. The Poet Laureate Call will be released during national poetry month on April 1, 2016. Interested? Click here to get more information and to find out how to submit an application.

The Evening of Poetry & Jazz is sponsored by the El Cerrito Arts and Culture Commission and the Friends of the El Cerrito Library.

Arts Day Highlights

Celebrating local arts and artists, El Cerritans and neighbors enjoyed music, film, poetry, fine arts, hands-on crafting and more at the 2015 Arts Day Festival sponsored by the El Cerrito Arts & Culture Commission (ACC).

Arts Day Festival

Calligrapher and artist Douglas Jones showed his paper sculpture “Barrett Bob,” which won the ACC ribbon at the El Cerrito Art Association annual art show.

Douglas Jones

String trio Florian Altvater on violin, Milda Martisius on viola, and Andrew Ritchie on cello, performers with the Kensington Symphony Orchestra, filled the antechamber with lovely classical music.

Arts Day Festival classical music

Outside, the Del Mars played rousing surf music for an enthusiastic crowd.

Del Mars surf music

We even had food art in the form of delicious and beautiful cupcakes by local gourmet cake and cupcake bakery Encorecake.

Encorecake local gourmet cake and cupcake bakery

WhipOut! Food Truck , a favorite at El Cerrito’s Off The Grid on Wednesday evenings, fed the hungry artists and audience.

Whipout! food truck at Arts Day

Chalk artists drew masterpieces on the sidewalk in front of City Hall.

Arts Day sidewalk chalk art

ACC member Deb Danziger delivered an artist’s talk about her current exhibit in the City Hall Gallery Space, “Beyond & Below.” If you were wondering about the ACC’s banner (the first photo in this blog post), yes, Deb designed it!

Deb Danziger exhibit in Gallery Space

For a hands-on activity, we reprised the upcycling creative reuse booth that was so popular at the July 4th Festival. We filled three tables with materials I scavenged from the El Cerrito Recycling Center and tools to upcycle the old books, fabric and other discarded or well-loved but no longer useable ephemera into unique treasures.

Upcycling at Arts Day

With a bit of glue, crafty hocus-pocus, and unlimited imagination, discards were transformed into stickers, envelopes, postcards, magnets, bookmarks, and more!

Upcycling at Arts Day

ACC member Paul Fadelli, who was on the sub-committee that planned Arts Day, admired creations made by his daughter and her friend.

Arts Day upcycling crafts

For those who despair about the demise of books, I happily report that bookmarks were the most popular project by far.

Upcycling crafts at Arts Day

Community Development Director Melanie Mintz helped a young friend sew an old button onto her bookmark, while Melanie’s daughter (at left) and Pinole Artisan Nan Yarborough (at right) worked hard on their collages.

Arts Day upcycling crafts

A budding artist perused the offerings while her younger sister enjoyed a cupcake.

Upcycled art

Deb’s son gave her a bookmark-treasure as an early birthday gift.

Upcycling crafts at Arts Day Fetitival: Deg Danziger and son

Local actor George McRae, an early advocate for the creation of the Arts & Culture Commission, discussed orchids and cephalopods with Richmond artist/crafter/chef Paula Shiu.

Local actor George McRae and chef-artist Paula Shiu

El Cerrito poet and spoken word artist Kirk Lumpkin entranced with a variety of poems in styles ranging from rap to lyrical which touched on local and global environmental and social issues.
Poet Kirk Lumpkin at Arts Day

ACC member Christopher Sterba introduced Kirk. Chris, a lecturer in the San Francisco State University Humanities Department, is working hard to develop a Poet Laureate program sponsored by the ACC. Stay tuned!

ACC commissioner Christopher Sterba

I missed a lot of the action, including film shorts by Les Blank, puppet show by the Puppet Company of Children’s Fairylanda street photography workshop by Dale Mead, chamber music by the JCT Trio, and exhibits for El Cerrito’s Playland Not-At-The-Beach, The Arts & Culture Commission of Contra Costa County, the El Cerrito Historical Society, the Shadi Holiday Display Committee. and Contra Costa Civic Theatre. And throughout, the head of Arts Day planning sub-committee and ACC Chair Ruth Cazden eloquently introduced acts, performers and artists.

Thanks to my wonderful husband George for his help and this photo of me at the upcycling nook, still neat before the tornado of creativity descended.

Heidi Rand at Arts Day

Hope to see you next year!

 

El Cerrito Free Folk Festival 2015

Folkies get out your fiddles and polish your dancing shoes, for the 2015 El Cerrito Free Folk Festival is coming up fast! This year the Festival is on Saturday, September 26th, from noon to 9:30 pm at El Cerrito High School, 540 Ashbury Avenue.

Free Folk Festival 2015

The packed program has something for everyone, whether you love to listen, or to learn, or to play live music yourself. With featured performances and workshops from world-renowned musicians and local favorites, the Festival also includes open mics and jam sessions for musicians of all abilities, so bring your instruments!

To get you in the mood, here are some highlights from last year’s Festival: Erik Hoffman led a workshop on Beginning Fiddle Repertoire.

Erik Hoffman

Natasha Haugnes rocked out on the washboard with the Quake City Jug Band.

Quake City Jug Band : Natasha Haugnes

Quake City Jug Band : Natasha Haugnes

And Northern California favorites Euphonia played American roots party music.

Euphonia

Euphonia

Click here for the Festival’s webpage, which includes links to this year’s performers and will be updated as more are added. This link will take you to the schedule.

New this year: an all-day dance program in the High School’s dance studio, followed by two dance parties with live music. Here’s the dance schedule:

DANCE WORKSHOPS:
Noon – Bollywood – a Warm-up Class with Style – Lahlah Habib (Lois Davis)
1 pm –The Laendler Waltz – Cathleen Myers & Alex Lerman with the Transit of Earth band
2 pm – Jane Austen’s Dances (English Regency Country Dancing) – Alan Winston with Transit of Earth
3 pm – Irish Ceili Dancing – Bob Carragher & Alex Lerman
4 pm –Scottish Country Dance – Tom Winter & the Dunsmuir Scottish Dancers (and musicians)
5 pm – Classic Waltz Mixers & Sequence Dances – Alan Winston with Transit of Earth

EVENING DANCE PARTIES:
6:30 to 8:00 with Da! Mozhem – An International Folk Dance Party. All dances will be briefly taught or called by dance mistress Ginny Snyder

8:00 to 9:30 with – Transit of Earth – A Dickens Dance Party (with dance masters Cathleen Myers and Alex Lerman, and the Fezziwig Warehouse Dancers from the Great Dickens Fair of London) Waltzes, polkas, schottisches, mazurka waltzes (or “hambos”), mixers, English, Irish, Scottish country dances, the grand march Sir Roger de Coverley, the Congress of Vienna Waltz – all the delightful couple and set dances we do at the annual Dickens Christmas Fair of London! All set dances will be briefly taught and called.

The City’s Arts & Culture Commission is proud to co-sponsor this annual event with the San Francisco Folk Music Club. Check out the Festival’s Facebook page for more information. And volunteers are still needed — you can sign up through this link.

 

Upcycling Arts and Crafts

A different kind of Fourth of July parade marched through the El Cerrito Arts & Culture Commission (ACC) booth at the City & worldOne Festival: fair-goers of all ages and types stepped into our booth and walked out with the wondrous artworks and crafts they created from the discarded fabric, sad old messed-up books, and donated ephemera I gathered at the El Cerrito Recycling Center Exchange Zone.

Creative ReUse crafting

Glue sticks swiped, scissors snipped, and our trusty li’l craft machine was busy laminating bookmarks and churning out magnets and stickers.

Creative ReUse crafting

Postcards, envelopes, stickers, magnets, bookmarks, and collage masterpieces transformed by endless imagination rose from what most people would label as junk. Creativity flowed.

Creative ReUse

Smiles and pride in making new treasures from old discards abounded.

Creative ReUse crafting

Some will be gifts.

Creative ReUse crafting

And some will be kept as treasures.

Creative ReUse crafting

Kathleen Glenn, the biggest booster of the arts in El Cerrito and owner of Glenn Custom Framing on Stockton Avenue, created a special bookmark.

Upcycled bookmark

Several generous people crafted postcards that the ACC will mail to Blue Star Moms, a group that puts the cards into care packages going to military service-members. These are some:

Upcycled postcards for Blue Star Moms

What materials are you using in your artwork and crafts that would otherwise go into landfill?
Click here to see last week’s blog post to advertise the event.

Creative ReUse Crafting on July 4th

Headed to the fantabulous City of El Cerrito & worldOne 4th of July Festival? You will not want to miss the El Cerrito Arts & Culture Commission booth on Pomona Avenue, where we’re gonna get seriously hands-on to make a slew of different mail art and other creative reuse projects. image

Using fabric, old discarded books, ephemera and other fun stuff I’ve gathered from the El Cerrito Recycling Center Exchange Zone, we’ll snip, tear, glue, tape, stamp, and collage to create stickers, magnets, bookmarks, collage masterpieces, and all sorts of unique mail art!

Upcycled map envelopes

I’ll show you how easy it is to make upcycled envelopes, postcards and greeting cards at home using old magazines, calendars, maps, fabric, etc.
Upcycled fabric postcard

You can make postcards to take home and keep, mail to a friend, or we’ll cover the postage to send them to Blue Star Moms, a group that puts the cards into care packages going to military service-members. We’ll also have the address so you can mail your postcards to sick children

Declare your independence from buying new art supplies – learn how to give new life to materials that would otherwise be sent to landfill or recycled! And beside saving you money, creative reuse is great for the environment!

BooksI hope to see you on the Fourth!

Celebrate California Arts Day

Do-It-Yourself Arts Fair

El Cerrito Community Center

Saturday, October 15, 2011 – 2 to 5:30pm

The El Cerrito Arts & Culture Commission will host an Arts Fair on October 15th at 7007 Moeser Lane. The Fair will celebrate arts and culture by showcasing local artists and providing fun, hands-on workshops for kids and adults.  The event will also include free demonstrations, displays, and opportunities for all to learn about local artists and art resources.

Garden Delights display

Garden Delights display

I’ll be there with an assortment of my original nature-based artwork and crafts, to demonstrate the many different kinds of things you can make with your own photos, drawings, or designs. 

Pillow made with inkjet printed fabric

Pillow made with inkjet printed fabric

I’ll also have my laptop, and can demonstrate how to use Photoshop Elements and other programs to enhance and transform photographs.

Egret allium blended collage

Egret allium blended collage

For more information, visit the City’s website.  You can also find out more about California Arts Day at the California Arts Council website.