Arts Month Kick-Off Celebration!

Save the date! October is National Arts & Humanities Month, and to get it started in high style, the City of El Cerrito Arts & Culture Commission is sponsoring a free Arts Month Kick-Off Celebration on Saturday October 1st from 2 to 5 pm at the El Cerrito Community Center,  7007 Moeser Lane.

Arts Day flyer

ACT ONE  …. Cast members of the Contra Costa Civic Theatre’s fall production of “My Fair Lady” sing a medley of beloved songs from the classic Lerner and Loewe musical.

CCCT

ACT TWO … Chinese Traditional Dance and Folk Dance – Ah-Lan Dance Studio presents an exciting dance and arts performance by students of Ah-Lan, who has been teaching Chinese dance, ballet, and modern dance in El Cerrito and Albany for over 15 years. Students will perform a wide variety of cultural forms, including Tibetan, Mongolian, Uighur, and traditional Tai-Chi dance and Han dance.

Ah-Lan Dance Studio

And (drum roll please) … ACT THREE … guaranteed to get you out of your chair onto the dance floor, Guarandinga plays original, high energy music propelled by Afro-Caribbean beats from the central coast of Venezuela.

Guarandinga

Perfectly blended with gritty East Bay funk that runs deep from Oakland to Richmond, Guarandinga’s unique take on Latin Afro Pop makes this band’s original music provocative and infectious!

Guarandinga

But wait, there’s more! El Cerrito’s first Poet Laureate Maw Shein Win reads from her new chapbook on Nomadic Press, Score and Bone, accompanied by El Cerrito musicians Dan Plonsey and Thomas Scandura.

Maw Shein Win

Throughout the Celebration “Recycling Queen” origami artist Nga Trinh will teach kids and adults how to fold a Samurai Hat, a Glider, a fan, and more, using recycled paper.

Nga Trinh origami

And actor George McRae will get us in the mood for Halloween with a staged reading of Edgar Allan Poe’s The Tell-Tale Heart.

George McRae

Local arts and cultural groups will have information about their ongoing programs. All performances and activities are free, and local gourmet bakery EncoreCake will provide their delicious and artistically decorated cupcakes!

Encorecake

Check out the list of arts and cultural events, film showings, performances and exhibits in October in El Cerrito on the City of El Cerrito Arts & Culture Commission’s Arts Month web page.

Do you have an arts event that’ll take place in El Cerrito during October? Or do you want to get involved with or volunteer to help out at the Kick-Off Celebration? Call City staff liaison Suzanne Iarla at 510.215-4318.

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!

 

Arts Day Festival in El Cerrito

Save the date! October is National Arts & Humanities Month, and to celebrate, the El Cerrito Arts & Culture Commission is sponsoring a free Arts Day Festival on Saturday October 17th from 1 pm to 5 pm at El Cerrito City Hall, 10890 San Pablo Ave. We’ve packed the day with a slew of fun indoor/outdoor activities for kids (of all ages) and adults.Arts Day 2015 poster

The final schedule is here!

“The Puppet Circus” shows at 2 pm & 4 pm;
Les Blank short films at 2 pm;
Poetry reading with Kirk Lumpkin at 4 pm;
Artist’s talk with Deb Danziger at 3:30 pm / “Beyond & Below” exhibit by Deb Danziger – all day;
Photography workshop with Dale Mead at 2:30 pm, repeated at 4 pm (bring your own camera or smartphone);
Popular light classical music (string trio) at 1:30 pm;
JCT Trio (chamber music) at 3 pm;
The Del Mars (surf music) – all day;
Up-cycling craft activity – all day;
Chalk art activity – all day;
El Cerrito Historical Society: History Room Open – all day

Who can resist a puppet show by the Puppet Company of Children’s Fairyland (2 to 2:30 pm & 4 to 4:30 pm), the chance to get down and make chalk art on the sidewalk, and croonin’ surf music by the Del Mars (1 to 1:30; 3:30 to 4; 4:30 to 5 pm).

And there’s more! Film shorts by Les Blank, a poetry reading by Kirk Lumpkin, street photography workshops, light classical music by string trio Florian Altvater,violin, Milda Martisius, viola, and  Andrew Ritchie, cello, and chamber music by the JCT Trio.

Painter, muralist and art teacher Deb Danziger will give an artist’s talk from 3:30 to 4 pm about her solo exhibition in the City Hall Gallery, entitled Beyond & Below.

Jellyfish in Eagle Nebula, Oil on Canvas, 36"x12", © Deb Danziger

Jellyfish in Eagle Nebula.  Oil on Canvas, 36″x 12″.  © Deb Danziger

Visit me all day at our creative reuse “Make ‘n Take” booth, where we’ll get crafty turning discarded or well-loved but no longer wanted fabric, books, ephemera and scads of other fun stuff into unique treasures. If you missed the ACC booth at the July 4th Festival, or if you came by and loved it, here’s another chance for you to make stickers, magnets, bookmarks, collage masterpieces, garlands, mail art, and much more. Also, free books while they last!

Creative ReUse crafting

Local arts and cultural groups with exhibits at the Festival will include El Cerrito’s Playland Not-At-The-Beach, The Arts & Culture Commission of Contra Costa County, the El Cerrito Historical Society, and the Shadi Holiday Display Committee.

All performances and activities are free, and there’s free parking across the street in the DMV lot. For sustenance while you’re enjoying the Festival, two excellent local companies will provide food for purchase. WhipOut! Food Truck has a great variety of American Food, and local gourmet bakery Encorecake will have their delicious cupcakes for snacking and dessert.

Want to get involved with or volunteer to help out at the Arts Day Festival? Or are you hosting an arts event, performance or exhibit in October in El Cerrito that you’d like to have included on the Arts Month web page? Other questions? Call Suzanne Iarla at 510-215-4318