Entries categorized "Art"

Artists, organizations relay impact of city arts grants

Justine Villanueva performs in “Gynecologos” on March 18 at the Davis Branch Library. Other Davis Repertory Theatre performers shown are Jasmine Washington, left, Lolita Echeverria-Greco and Annie Velez. The theatre company was one of many arts organizations and artists receiving American Rescue Plan grant funds. (Hanna Nakano/Courtesy photo)

By Wendy Weitzel

Davis artists and nonprofit arts organizations benefited from more than half a million in American Rescue Plan funds distributed in recent months.

The largest amount – $500,000 – went to stabilize the city’s nonprofit arts and culture sector, which saw substantial economic impacts during the pandemic. The Yolo Community Foundation administered and selected those 20 winners, with organizations receiving between $5,000 and $45,000 each. In addition, the city chose 50 individual Davis-based arts and culture applicants to receive grants of $1,000 each.

Rachel Hartsough, the city’s Arts and Culture manager, said, “We can’t overstate how important this support is to the work of local artists. Their collective efforts improve our quality of life in so many ways. The arts and culture sector strengthens our local economy, provides an important tool for gathering in times of celebration and mourning, creates individual and civic pride, builds community within neighborhoods, attracts out-of-town visitors, amplifies the voices and faces of marginalized members of our community, and supports initiatives that promote health and wellness. And, of course, the arts bring joy and beauty into our lives.”

That echoes an October 2021 op-ed printed in The Davis Enterprise, written by Autumn Labbé-Renault, then-Arts Alliance Davis chair, who is executive director of Davis Media Access. Signed by 22 members of the Alliance, it argued that arts and culture were essential to local economic vitality yet were often overlooked in pandemic relief funding. Besides providing jobs, local events boost the coffers of hotels, restaurants, bars, shops and cities, it said.

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Updated theater gets the spotlight

Joseph Fletcher, manager at the Veterans Memorial Theatre leads members of the arts community on a tour of the upgraded facility at the Feb. 16 Arts Alliance Davis meeting. (Wendy Weitzel/Courtesy photo)


By Wendy Weitzel

More than 20 members of the arts community gathered Feb. 16 to see the newly improved Veterans Memorial Theatre and collaborate about their work.

The occasion was the Arts Alliance Davis meeting, open to anyone interested in or involved with local arts.

Joseph Fletcher, manager at the city’s Veterans Memorial Theatre, explained the recent upgrades to the city’s aging theater technology in the 1974-built facility. They include updated computer, video, lighting, and other electronics systems and technology.

Fletcher was hired in October 2019 – shortly before the pandemic mandated closure of theater operations for nearly two years – and led the improvements at the facility. Rachel Hartsough, the city of Davis’ arts and culture manager, said, “Fletcher was incredible about using this down time that we unfortunately had from COVID to apply for and receive multiple grants. Nearly $100,000 of upgrades to the theater came from Shuttered Venue Operators grants, and it’s really transformed the usability of the theater.”

That grant money went almost all into materials. Fletcher said he and his staff did much of the setup, saving the city what would have cost an additional 25 to 50 percent. Separately, the theater will get a much-needed new roof starting in March.

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Leadership change for Arts Alliance Davis

Autumn Labbé-Renault of Davis Media Access, left, ended her four-year term as Arts Alliance Davis chair on Sept. 20. Shelly Gilbride of International House Davis took the reins. (Wendy Weitzel/Courtesy photo)

By Wendy Weitzel

Members of the arts community met on Sept. 20 for the first in-person gathering of Arts Alliance Davis since the pandemic started. They shared details on how their organizations are regrouping, and the work they are doing to help Davis and Yolo County community members recover.

It was an occasion of transition for the group’s leadership as well. Shelly Gilbride, executive director of International House Davis is the new chair, filling a role held for four years by Autumn Labbé-Renault, executive director of Davis Media Access.

Arts Alliance Davis was formed a few years ago as a grassroots effort to give artists and their supporters the opportunity to gather, share ideas and create meaningful impact. Meetings, held at least quarterly at local arts-related establishments, are open to anyone. Gilbride plans to survey members about meeting times, then set a schedule for the next year.

Rachel Hartsough, the City of Davis’ arts and culture manager, said she was grateful for Labbé-Renault’s leadership during the pandemic. She helped orchestrate an Arts Alliance advocacy effort that ultimately led the City Council to allocate federal recovery funds to the local nonprofit arts and culture sector.

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Sunday Jams

IMG_5703_smlr"Sunday Jams” at Lutheran Church of the Incarnation (LCI)

On Sunday, May 1 at 11:30 am, nine people came together to make some folk music at Lutheran Church of the Incarnation (LCI) shortly after its 9:30am worship service and 10:30 education and coffee hour.  Many brought instruments: guitars and ukuleles could be seen, there was a piano and many voices.  Each brought their own favorite folk songs to share with the others, and the group quickly caught on, singing Irish folk tunes, classics like “Shenandoah”, “This Land is your Land”, “Blowin’ in the Wind”, “If I had a Hammer” and many others.  
It was a moment to share something deeply needed among this fellowship of friends, and perhaps in our world today: unity through the healing power of the arts.  “Sunday Jams” is a tradition that will continue at LCI: the next jam session will be Sunday May 22 at 12:00 noon, playing the music of the Beatles.  All are welcome!  LCI is at 1701 Russell Blvd. Davis, 95616 (corner of Russell & Arthur, just west of 113).  

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Mural helps neighborhood branch out, connect

A drone image shows volunteers finishing the Elmwood Street Mural on May 1. (Brian Bennett/Courtesy photo)

By Wendy Weitzel

In 2017, Joy Klineberg thought it would be fun to help another Davis neighborhood paint a street mural. Once she did, she was hooked.

She remembered thinking, “This is so cool, Elmwood should do it too,” referring to her Central Davis neighborhood near the Church of Latter-day Saints. “Little did I understand what an undertaking it is to do such a large and public project.”

She and Judy Catambay, one of the artists who was involved in the 2017 East Davis pavement painting, got to work. In 2018, they applied for and received a $5,000 City Arts Grant. Through many setbacks and delays ­– including COVID – the project was finally completed on May 1.

The Elmwood Street Mural was designed with neighbors’ input in mind and included their labor, and $3,000 in cash and supply donations. The Grant funded the lead artist. The painting features an elm tree surrounded by a hexagon shape. It pays homage to Elmwood Drive’s zelkova trees, which are in the same family as the elm.

The hexagon shape evokes a stop sign. “Our street is very wide at the entry because it was originally planned as a high school site. … We often have people turn onto it speeding, thinking they are going down a throughfare, so the neighbors wanted a mural that would both welcome people into our community but also get them to stop,” Klineberg said.

They also have lots of pedestrian and bike traffic, and “we wanted to give people both a destination and a pause in their journey.”

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Davis Pride Festival set for June

Festival goers enjoy the Davis Pride Festival on June 13, 2021. (Robin Fadtke/Courtesy photo)

(From press release) The rainbows return to Davis’ Central Park in June for the Davis Pride Festival. Events include skating, a fun run, live music, drag queens, vendors and more – June 11 and 12.

The weekend of events, produced by the Davis Phoenix Coalition, begins with the Diva Disco Skate Night, starting at 7 p.m. on Saturday, June 11 under the Davis Farmers Market Pavilion. The night will include music, lights and food trucks.

Sunday, June 12 begins at 8 a.m. with the Run for Equality, a 5K run or walk from Central Park, and a 1K Rainbow Run for children. At 11 a.m., the Davis Pride Festival begins at the park and pavilion, with local and international bands, a drag queen revue, educational booths, food, drink, and vendors in partnership with the Davis Craft and Vintage Market.

Other events include the rainbow painting of the crosswalks around Central Park early on May 29; a Drink with Pride Night at Sudwerk Brewing Company (date to be determined); and possibly a Bike Party Davis Ride with Pride.

June is International LGBTQ+ Month. Davis Pride is produced by Davis Phoenix Coalition, a nonprofit that works to foster diversity, eliminate intolerance, prevent hate-motivated violence and support LGBTQ+ youths. The coalition was founded in the aftermath of a 2013 anti-gay attack on Davis resident “Mikey” Partida. Proceeds from Davis Pride support the coalition’s anti-racism and anti-bullying campaigns, support to LGBTQ+ youths and their families, and outreach with area police departments, churches and schools. To donate, go to https://davisphoenixco.org/donate.

To support the event, be a vendor, volunteer, visit https://www.davispride.org/. To learn more details as they unfold, follow Davis Pride on Facebook and Instagram.

Letter to the City Council about G St Re-Opening

The City Council will address the G Street Closure / Re-Opening tonight. It’s item 8 on the agenda if anyone is interested to chime in.  https://www.cityofdavis.org/city-hall/city-council/city-council-meetings/agendas

G st closure

Dear Mayor Partida, Davis City Council members, Liaisons and Managers,

Thank you for your attention and consideration to re-open G Street to traffic.

The city staff has published their recommendation for only a partial re-opening of G St, only one lane of traffic but the data from the DDBA’s survey contradicts their recommendation.  To their point of rescuing restaurants from failing during the Pandemic, they succeeded. It is a fact that a handful of restaurants are profiting with increased seating capacities that exceed the their TUP proposed usage. While still, retail and locally owned businesses are still teetering on closing. We’re wondering why the deadline for the street closure over shot the August 5th deadline without a word from the City. We were never asked about the street closure in the first place. I hope the City will try to help all businesses downtown from the economic effects of the pandemic to keep a diversified culture and serve the entire community. This should align with your goals for a vibrant downtown and thriving neighborhoods.

I would kindly ask the City Council review this statistical information on the advantages, disadvantages and effectiveness of full and partial street closures adapted from www.trafficcalming.org

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Please Re-Open G Street

Davis10 copy

By Adele Shaw

I’m sharing this letter with people in Davis who might not be aware that retail businesses on G Street are suffering from the street closure.

I’m an artist and one of 65 local artist/owners of The Artery Gallery located at 207 G Street. When the City issued “Temporary Use Permits” (TUP) and closed G Street, we supported it. But as an unsupervised, unkempt bacchanal unfolded we began to look forward to G Street’s re-opening.

The original re-opening date of August 5th came and went. No information came from the City of Davis as the closure was extended without a word to affected businesses. Today, our customers continue to rant with frustration over the street closure’s unkempt conditions and filth.

A permanent closure of the street will likely cause the death of many of the non-restaurant businesses on G Street.  The city issued TUP’s during “emergency” times but they’ve created another emergency all together- an inequitable restaurant takeover on G Street. It may look like a party when you’re picking up a pizza or having a beer, but it’s not an equitable, harmonious party.

Non-restaurant businesses on the 200 block of G Street outnumber the restaurants more than 2:1 (24 retail, consulting or other businesses to 11 restaurants). Yet the retail, consulting and other businesses on G Street continue to suffer. We’re experiencing diminished income and are losing customers because of the street closure. I expect this will get worse as the winter comes.

I wonder what’s the purpose of closing G Street?

Is it a thoroughfare for pedestrians from one place to another? No.

Does it provide pedestrian access a particular destination? No.

Is it part of a multi-modal urban network to develop and foster a downtown core with flourishing businesses of all kinds? No.

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A rare compilation of photographs and images of the historic Davis Arch

Davis Arch image

(From press release) Enjoy a rare compilation of photographs and images of the historic Davis Arch. When scrolling through the images, please pay attention to the captions for each.

Included below is a brief history of the creation and ultimately the destruction of the Davis Arch that includes the establishment of the Chamber of Commerce and the Women's Improvement Club. It is interesting to note that the Chamber still puts on occasional cleanup days, a tradition as old as the chamber itself.

See the individual photo captions to learn more about the rise and fall of the arch as well as its revival in multiple murals and other media.

An excerpt from "Davisville '68 The History and Heritage of the City of Davis":

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Rainbows will be ready for Davis Pride

Davis Pride volunteers move stencils on May 10, 2019, while painting temporary chalk on a Fifth Street crosswalk in Davis. (Wendy Weitzel/Courtesy photo)

(From press release) Rainbow crosswalks, live music, drag queens and skating are all on the calendar as Davis celebrates June is Pride Month.

The Davis Pride Festival will be Sunday, June 13 in Central Park, 401 C St., Davis. Several activities lead up to and follow that celebration:

On Thursday, May 27, Davis Phoenix Coalition representatives will speak at the virtual Davis Chamber of Commerce meeting. The presentation will offer practical tips on how businesses can be welcoming to LGBTQ+ individuals. Participants will receive a rainbow poster to hang in store windows that show their support of Pride Month.

The popular rainbow crosswalks will be painted around Central Park on Sunday, May 30. Volunteers will begin spraying the temporary chalk paint at 6 a.m., and continue until about 11 a.m. To volunteer, go to http://bit.ly/rainbowcrosswalks.

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Mother Nurture Art at the Episcopal Church St. Martin’s in Davis, California

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Photo of "Mother Nurture" by Ann Liu

(From press releatse) As part of the Episcopal Church of St. Martin’s theme of healthy soil, healthy plants, and healthy community, the church has accepted an offer to host an art installation from the Arts, Cultures, and Designs of Remediation research cluster at UC Davis.

The Arts, Cultures, and Designs of Remediation cluster is a working group of faculty and graduate students from the performing arts, environmental design, and soil sciences. Their mission is to challenge us to think about how we can remediate and heal our soil, and tell our stories by doing so.

They have invited St. Martin’s to display a beautiful and creative art piece named Mother Nurture in its developing garden space outside of the Parish Hall facing Hawthorn Lane. It was recently shown at the International House in Davis and is now at St. Martin’s from May 14, 2021 to June 14, 2021.

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Yolo SPCA now has kids face masks as well as new fabric designs in adult sizes for fundraiser

Spring kids and adult mask sizes
Children’s and Adult’s Mask Patterns: (Note: only children’s masks have adjustable elastic)
Small child’s masks (3-4 year old or small 5-year old) (top row) #17 Rainbow hearts and paws; #20 - Happy kitties; #23 - Happy dogs
Medium child’s masks (5-12 year olds) (center row) #18 - Rainbow hearts and paws; #21 - Happy kitties; #24 - Happy dogs
Adult masks (bottom row) #19 - hearts and paws; #22 - Happy kitties; #25 - Happy dogs

Yolo County SPCA now has masks for the entire family in our “Spring-has-Sprung” fundraiser for the Community Cat Kindness Fund. There are also some new fabric patterns! The children’s sizes come in 3 fabric designs have adjustable elastic (via beads) and come in a small size for a 3-4 year old (or a small 5 year old), or a medium child’s size for 5-12 year olds. We also have the matching adults’ sizes in these 3 newest fabrics (see photos). These masks make wonderful gifts as well, particularly if you need to mail a gift since they are so easy and inexpensive to mail.

#19 Rainbow hearts and paws adult mask
#19 - Rainbow hearts and paws - adult (close-up)

We encourage ordering early for the best selection and since some of the original fabric designs are in limited supply. To cover its costs, we ask for a minimum donation of $15 per mask. These masks make great gifts and are easily mailed to gift recipients inexpensively. All of the masks have bendable nose bands and are made of quality materials, including the Cali Fabrics elastic and made with 100% cotton fabrics, including a very soft tea-dyed muslin for the inner fabric.

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Connections increase impact of Davis arts sector

Supporter Bill Roe, left, artist Susan Shelton, Shelton’s husband John Mott-Smith and supporter Nancy Roe surround the Davis Centennial Seal as it neared completion on March 25 at the Frostad Atelier foundry in Sacramento. Rachel Hartsough/Courtesy photo

By Wendy Weitzel

Local artists continue connecting and sharing their craft, knowing their voice is amplified when they work together. That was the message April 8 at a virtual meeting of Arts Alliance Davis.

The 18 attendees heard first about the newly formed Sacramento Alliance for Regional Arts. The nonprofit promotes and advocates for arts, art education and cultural equity in the greater Sacramento region. Bill Blake of AMS Planning and Research, a Sacramento consulting firm specializing in the arts, said SARA “came about because of COVID and all of the things that have happened,” in the arts community.

While there are state and national arts organizations, artists and related groups needed a regional voice with organized, sustained advocacy. If a concert hall closes in Folsom, he said, the impact is felt far beyond that city’s borders. Musicians or employees may live in Davis or Roseville, for example.

“You don’t need to follow the jurisdictional boundaries for it to have an impact in the area,” Blake said, calling it “a cultural ecosystem.” By creating a regional coalition, “if something’s happening in Placer County, those elected leaders are hearing from other surrounding counties that it impacts. … Elected officials can easily dismiss the arts if we don’t speak with one voice.”

He urged Alliance attendees to become involved in SARA as it’s being built. “We need more representation from your community,” he said, referring to Yolo County. Visit https://www.artsforsac.org/.

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Area arts organizations confront racism

By Wendy Weitzel

Members of the local arts community met virtually on Oct. 7 to support each other and share how they are reimagining their work in the time of COVID-19.

Arts Alliance Davis was formed a few years ago as a grassroots effort to give artists and their supporters the opportunity to gather, collaborate and create meaningful impact. Meetings, typically every other month, are open to anyone. The October meeting, via videoconference, included 17 artists or representatives or arts organizations.

Much of the discussion focused on anti-racism. Davis resident NJ Mvondo, a self-described Black artist and community organizer, recently launched the interactive Healing Art Project to provide a positive platform for dialogue about systemic racism. Mvondo runs Multiculturalism Rocks!, an organization celebrating cultural diversity in the arts. The Healing Art Project is a treasure hunt for two-dimensional art – displayed in merchant windows in downtown Davis and beyond – encouraging patronage to local businesses.

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Honu and Moa: Hawaiian Storytime in the Park with Edna Cabcabin Moran

An invitation from Multiculturalism Rocks! and Sol Summer Camp Davis

Image0(From press release)

Date: Friday, July 31, 2020
Time: from 10 am - 1 pm
Location: Central Park, Davis, CA (We will be at the carousel and picnic tables).
Please wear a mask, bring a hand sanitizer (extra will be provided). The 6-feet rule will be enforced.

Be treated this Friday to a Hawaiian Storytelling & Hula Dancing Lesson by author/educator Edna Cabcabin Moran! Edna (https://kidlitedna.com/) is an author, illustrator, educator and climate change activist based in the Bay Area. This Friday she will:

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Arts organizations work together to create good

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Artist Danielle Fodor created stencils to print in “places we can’t gather.” This one, talking about the importance of hand washing, uses mud as paint. (Danielle Fodor/Courtesy photo)

By Wendy Weitzel

The arts community is one of the hardest hit by the pandemic. With shows, concerts, galleries and all public work halted, local artists are looking for other ways to connect with the community. That was the focus at the May 21 Arts Alliance Davis meeting, where artists from all mediums gathered virtually to collaborate and brainstorm.

Arts Alliance Davis typically meets every other month. This one was via Zoom. The group unites artists, civic and arts organizations, businesses, patrons and other community arts supporters. Meetings are open to anyone.

Many artists and organizations rely on grants as an income source. Rachel Hartsough, the city’s arts and culture manager, said the city of Davis will be extending the terms of its Community Arts grants, and allowing flexibility for artists to postpone or reinvent their projects.

But budget-wise, Davis – like most government bodies – is eyeing cuts. “It’s looking really tough.” She said to expect a substantial reduction in the arts budget.

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Davis Cherry Blossom Festival postponed

(From press release) The Davis Cherry Blossom Festival, originally scheduled for April 4-5, has been postponed, likely till October.

The annual free, all-ages weekend includes music, food, art, culture and beer, presented by the nonprofit Davis Cherry Blossom Festival, Bakuhatsu Taiko Dan, and Sudwerk Brewing Co. Like many events in Yolo County, it draws a substantial crowd. The Yolo County Health Department is asking organizers to hold off on gatherings of 150 people or more, to increase “social distancing” and thwart community spread of the coronavirus.

The Japanese hanami tradition celebrates spring’s flower blooms, especially the cherry (sakura) trees. By moving it to October, the festival will celebrate another Japanese observance, tsukimi: viewing and honoring of the autumn moon.

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Artists share ideas on ‘artivism,’ tips on AB5

And upcoming art events

Autumn Labbé-Renault, chair of Arts Alliance Davis, speaks at the Jan. 16 meeting at the Davis Arts Center. Photo credit: Wendy Weitzel/Courtesy photo

By Wendy Weitzel

Since 2015, Arts Alliance Davis has united area artists and arts lovers, offering a forum for collaboration and sharing. That networking has evolved into a vibrant support community, clearly on display at its Jan. 16 meeting.

This gathering of nearly 30 joined forces at Davis Arts Center. Arts Alliance Davis meets every other month, at rotating venues. It unites artists, civic and arts organizations, businesses, patrons and other community arts supporters. The meetings are open to anyone.

This time, the group discussed two main issues: using art for activism, and a new state law’s impact on artists as independent contractors.

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Imagine A More Beautiful World

Jessica Perlstein Art, https://jessicaperlstein.com/

Davis residents are invited to help imagine "A More Beautiful World" at an art happening on Saturday, January 11 between 1 and 3:30 pm at the Dos Pinos Community Room, 2550 Sycamore Lane. Through music, art, and conversation, attendees will play together to develop the vision for a community-driven Local Green New Deal.

The event will hosted by artist Danielle Fodor and David Abramson for Yolo County Supervisor.

Organizers ask, "Imagine that we are in the year 2040. We have achieved a vision of climate-positive and equitable society in Yolo County. What will we see? What will we hear? What will we smell, taste, and feel as we walk around our neighborhoods and as we visit other parts of Yolo County?"

Help envision a county transformed, as artists turn words into drawings, a visual representation of a vision for a More Beautiful World.

For more information, please contact Danielle Fodor at [email protected].

Artists share news on holiday events, art venues

Dylan Wright of Third Space waves his hand in reaction to a student’s artwork based on a prompt to 3- to 5-year-olds: “What does your world look like?” Wright was among the Arts Alliance Davis participants who toured Peregrine School on Nov. 21. (Wendy Weitzel/Courtesy photo)

By Wendy Weitzel

Davis artists and arts allies met Nov. 21 to collaborate about their holiday events and programs, and learn about an unlikely arts event space in town.

Arts Alliance Davis meets every other month, at rotating venues. It unites artists, civic and arts organizations, businesses, patrons and other community arts supporters. The meetings are open to anyone.

This gathering of nearly 30 members of the local creative community was at Peregrine School, 2650 Lillard Drive. School Director Lorie Hammond led a tour, offering information about its potential as a performance and meeting space. The 1-acre campus near Cowell Drive in South Davis has an outdoor stage, garden and grassy area.

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