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Aug 02nd
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A&E

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Toy Story

Toy Story

Santa Cruz Toymakers celebrates 25 years with library exhibits

The story goes that Al Raboff, a Santa Cruz local, loved to fashion wooden roosters, helicopters, puzzles, trucks, and critters of any kind for his grandchildren to play with. But as the children grew up, Raboff never did.

He expanded his woodworking project to include friends. The group began meeting once a month at (the now defunct) Tiny’s Restaurant in Capitola to swap ideas, and show off the toys they had created. The collective began donating their toys to local kids via nonprofit daycare centers recommended by the County Board of Education.

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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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Health Screening

Santa Cruz wellness expert releases app to improve workplace well-being

 

Leo Sun; Full Moon, Venus Retro in Leo; Saturn Direct

It’s a complex week of planetary movements, challenges, demands and callings. We’re in the time of the Leo Sun. Leo—fixed fire, gold, the heart, generous, strong, noble, the king/queen—needs appreciation and praise from everyone in order to move forward. During Leo we gain a greater sense of self-identification by recognizing our creativity. It’s therefore a perfect time for Venus retrograding in Leo. In Venus retrograde we review and re-assess values. Venus retro in Leo concerns our self as valuable, acknowledging talents, gifts, abilities and offerings. Friday, Venus re-enters Leo (29 degrees, a critical degree) continuing the retrograde to 14 degrees Leo on Sept. 6. Friday (Full Moon) is also the (8 degrees) Leo solar festival, Festival of the Future. Leo is the heart of the sun, the heart of all that matters. When attuned to this heart, we have understanding and inclusivity. The heart of the Lion is Mitra (think “Maitreya,” the coming World Teacher). Leo prepares humanity to receive divine love from subtle sources and later to radiate that love to the kingdoms. Sirius, Ray 2, where love originates, streams through Regulus (heart of Leo), into the heart of the sun (Ray 2) and into all hearts. The heart of Leo is Regulus. Joining Venus, the love underlying all of creation appears. Saturday is Sun/Neptune (confusion or devotion) with late night Saturn turning stationary direct. Ideas, plans and structures held long in abeyance (since March 14) slowly move forward. (Read more on Leo and the week at nightlightnews.org and Risa D’Angeles’ Facebook page, accessed through my website.)

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of July 31

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
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Holy Cannoli

New bakery opens in Ben Lomond, plus Randall Grahm’s quest to grow 10,000 new grape varieties, and Mexican cooking classes

 

Is Santa Cruz turning into Malibu North?

It's got a ways to go before it gets wrecked like Malibu, but I think we need to be very careful about growth. Maria Mattioli, Santa Cruz, Psychotherapist

 

Bargetto Winery

A much-anticipated annual event at Bargetto Winery is the release of their very special La Vita red wine. June 7 was the day to be heralded this year, and I happily squeezed my car into their overloaded car park in eager anticipation of tasting the new La Vita nectar.

 

Margaritaville

Popular Capitola spot gets new owner and complete makeover