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Feb 01st
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A&E

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Drumming a Dream

Drumming a Dream

Watsonville Taiko breathes new life into ancient Japanese tradition

When Ikuyo Conant was growing up near Mount Fuji in Japan, she never imagined she would play the Taiko drums. Every summer, her family and neighbors used the instrument to celebrate the Obon, a festival which she compares to Christmas in terms of importance. But as a child and a female, the drums were forbidden to her.

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Viva Los Mejicas

Viva Los Mejicas

Mexican folkloric dance group celebrates its 40th anniversary at UCSC

once a Mejica, Always a Mejica,” reads the motto for Grupo Folklórico Los Mejicas; it’s a tagline that holds both literal and symbolic meaning, one that represents more than the simple association of having once participated in the group. It indicates something deeper, an acknowledgement of where one has come from, and the promise to take that knowledge into the future. And now at the impressively ripe age of 40, the group has certainly accumulated a substantial amount of members who will always consider themselves as such.

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Renewing Pride

Renewing Pride

Annual Santa Cruz Pride Parade returns—with a twist

When the Diversity Center of Santa Cruz was thinking about a slogan for this year’s Pride Parade and Festival, its organizers immediately thought of Dan Savage’s “It Gets Better” campaign and the Gay Straight Alliance’s “Make it Better” campaign. “We wanted to riff on that theme,” says Jim Brown, executive director at the Diversity Center. “Some teens can’t wait for life to get better—they need to do something now.”

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Beauty and the Scientist

Beauty and the Scientist

Upcoming exhibit features inspired collaborations between scientists and local artists

It’s not hard to find art that makes you think. It’s much less common to find art that actually requires scientific collaboration—a seemingly counterintuitive pairing. But, the upcoming show “earth • science • art / sixteen collaborative explorations,” at the R. Blitzer Gallery, does just that.

Featuring the work of 16 artists from the Central Coast and the greater San Francisco Bay Area working in collaboration with 16 research scientists from the Santa Cruz-based U.S. Geological Survey’s Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center, the exhibit opens on June 1, with two evening panel discussions on June 7 and 14.

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Art in Action

Art in Action

Middle school art students make colorful mark on the city

When Kathleen Crocetti’s Mission Hill Middle School art students installed mosaics on the Water Street Bridge last year, the City of Santa Cruz helped pay for the art supplies. But this year, when she approached the City with a plan to place 93 mosaics depicting the agricultural products of Santa Cruz County onto the Soquel Avenue Bridge, she learned the chances for funding were slim.

“I wrote to the art commission, a proposal for doing the Soquel bridge, and they said, ‘Yes, yes, we love it, we want to do it—if we have funding,’” says Crocetti. “Well, of course, the redevelopment agency closed and everything is a mess financially in our state. And so I could see the writing on the wall that the City wasn’t going to be able to pay for this, but I’m sort of driven and I really wanted it to happen anyway.”

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Live, Work, Create

Live, Work, Create

Tannery Arts Center announces Grand Opening of new art studios complex

In phase two of the Tannery Arts Center’s three-part project, the City of Santa Cruz is close to becoming a model living-working-performing artistic community.

“I call this phase the ‘open the Tannery to the public phase,’” says Rachel Anne Goodman, Tannery Arts Center executive director, about the unveiling of the Tannery’s new Digital Media and Creative Arts Center. More than 70 working artists currently rent space in this 25,000-square-foot art studios complex, where the public can take classes, purchase art, and watch masters at work.

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Blues Brother

Blues Brother

Pat Simmons hits the Blues Fest. In a GT interview, The Doobie Brothers’ guitarist/vocalist waxes nostalgic about Santa Cruz, opens up about the band’s origins and ponders the road ahead.

Who knew that the Santa Cruz Blues Festival, which began in 1993 as a one-day Chicago and Texas blues celebration in Aptos Village Park, would be alive and kicking 20 years later? And who could have predicted that the festival would boast a list of past performers that includes B.B. King, Ray Charles, John Lee Hooker, Joe Cocker, Etta James, Bonnie Raitt, Buddy Guy, Bobby “Blues” Bland and Albert Collins?

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Wave of Change

Wave of Change

Documentary about local nonprofit challenges stereotypes concerning the disabled and surf culture

Special education teacher/videographer Julie Pollack, remembers filming from West Cliff in 2000 as one of her students, Brandon Arthur, went surfing for the first time.

“He was a little guy in a wheelchair, not able to sit up on his own, talk, or really hold himself up in the water,” she says. “His parents told me about this woman who wanted to take him surfing, so I held my breath from the cliff and watched them paddle this little guy out on the water. We all kind of got hooked on it from there because you could tell he was just so thrilled.”

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Senior Miss Sunshine

Senior Miss Sunshine

Flamboyant seniors help redefine beauty in Walter Matteson’s documentary ‘Pretty Old’

Walter Matteson was in Copenhagen, Denmark to visit his then-girlfriend (and now wife) when he first saw the photograph that sparked it all. The photo, hanging at the 2007 World Press Photo Exhibit, displayed three senior women in a backstage setting. “I had just seen sports photography and war photography, and I was like, ‘What in the world is that?’” remembers Matteson. “It almost looked something like a David Lynch painting to me; it was a large print—it was giant—that I saw from across the room and it didn’t look real.” The caption was simple: “Ms. Senior Sweetheart Beauty Pageant, Fall River, Massachusetts.”

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Roll ’Em

Roll ’Em

Gamblers, and ukuleles, and hippies! Oh my! The 11th annual Santa Cruz Film Festival unveils an eclectic round of cinema.

Navigating a film festival is not unlike finding your way through a foreign city for the first time—it’s difficult to know what’s worth checking out. Fortunately, the Santa Cruz Film Festival, now in its 11th year, manages to spread out its  creative offerings enough so that attendees can plan ahead. Diversity is key in this year’s fest—from the opening night film, California State of Mind: The Legacy of Pat Brown (May 10) to more eclectic fare, such as EarthVision’s “shorts” program, Active Planet (May 16). Take note of the following 10 films that caught our eye; a fine mix of local and non-local films, narrative and documentary, domestic and international, short- and feature-length works. See you at the movies.

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Throwing It All Away

Everybody’s for recycling, right? So why are we all doing it wrong? Our reporter gets down and dirty to uncover 10 secrets that will finally make the recycling process make sense

 

Aquarius Calling, Humanity Rising

Aquarius (11th sign after Aries) is the sign of service—serving one another, building community. Aquarius is fixed air, stabilizing new ideas in the world. When new ideas reach the masses the ideas become ideals within the hearts and minds of humanity. Air signs (Gemini, Libra and Aquarius) are mental. They think, ponder, study, research, gather and distribute information. For air signs, education and learning, communicating, writing, being social, tending to money, participating in groups and creating sustainable communities are most important. One of the present messages Aquarius is putting forth to the New Group of World Servers is the creation of the New Education (thus thinking) for humanity—one based not on commodities (banking/corporate values) but on virtues. Humanity and Aquarius Aquarius is the sign of humanity itself. We are now at the beginnings of the Age of Aquarius, the Age of Humanity (rising). The “rising” is the Aquarian vision of equality, unity, the distribution and sharing of all resources and of individual (Leo) creative gifts for the purpose of humanity’s (Aquarius) uplifting. This is the message in the Solar Festival of Aquarius (at the full moon) on Tuesday, Feb. 3. We join in these visions by reciting the World Prayer of Direction, the Great Invocation.Tuesday’s solar festival follows Monday’s Groundhog Day, or Imbolc (ancient Celtic fire festival) the halfway mark between winter solstice and spring Equinox). The New Group of World Servers (NGWS) during these two days are preparing for the upcoming Three Spring Solar Festivals: 1. Aries Resurrection/Easter Festival (April); 2. Taurus Buddha/Wesak Festival (May); and 3. Gemini’s Festival of Humanity (June). Aquarius and the new and full moons together are the primary astrological influences behind all of humanity’s endeavors. The NGWS are to teach these things, calling and uplifting humanity. Join us everyone. (301)

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Job Insecurity

Woman fights for her job in thoughtful, life-sized ‘Two Days One Night’
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