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Apr 25th
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A&E

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The Fabrica

The Fabrica

At the end of Pacific Avenue sits a DIY fashionista’s gathering place

Surrounded by used sewing machines, heaps of scrap fabric, spools of thread and buttons, Elaina Ramer instructs a visitor on how to mend the hem of her shirt in the middle of The Fabrica: a hole-in-the-wall sewing and textile arts workshop that opened in March of last year. Ramer, Ann Altstatt and Stefanie Wolf are the founders of The Fabrica, where locals can take sewing classes for free (though donations are welcome), and bring in sewing projects to work on, like a visitor in the early days—a man who wanted to sew a yurt, a portable, canvas-covered, wood lattice-framed dwelling structure traditionally used by Mongolian nomads.

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Manufacturing Hysteria

Manufacturing Hysteria

Author Jay Feldman sheds light on the darker side of American history
He compares it to the urban legend of frogs in boiling water. The story goes that if you put a frog into a pot of boiling water, it will immediately jump out. But if you introduce the frog into a pot of cold water and then heat the water by degrees, the frog won’t perceive the incremental increase in temperature. It will stay in there and boil to death.

True or not, the parallel between this analogy and Jay Feldman’s newly released book, “Manufacturing Hysteria,” is clear. Feldman’s comprehensive history of America’s political climate of scapegoating and surveillance starting with World War I and leading up through the 20th century gives a compelling account of how incremental encroachment of civil liberties has led us up to where we are today in post-9/11 America.

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Moving in Concert with Art at MAH

Moving in Concert with Art at MAH

The tears in this piece are rough, fast, vertical, stacked close together; surfaces are shiny skins on flat fields of naked paper. The blue comes in from the top left, seeming to drip down in sinewy strands of indigo, cerulean and ultramarine—different blue colors: the tears sometimes bulge into tear-shaped strips, a little fuzzy in the edges as if abraded by a too-wide passing frenzy. There are radical divergences, but for the most part the direction is all down, down until stopped by that whisper of scarlet.

Trying to let the body tell that story of movement—those tears, and the strips, and the edges and the dripping down and the act of tearing and the act of holding onto the paper … that what I was invited to do as I joined artist Andrew Purchin in preparation for his upcoming residency in one of the Museum of Art & History’s new programs, “Makers at the MAH.”  Purchin is a painter of movement and an avid dancer.  When MAH Executive Director Nina Simon invited him to spend a day painting in the lobby as a way to connect art making with art viewing, Purchin devised a way to make it all flow.

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Craftacular

Craftacular

Hart’s Fabric hosts a craft fair

They’re crafty, smart, savvy seamstresses. Meet the youthful trio that’s behind what will surely be a magnetic and rather spectacular upcoming event hosted by Hart’s Fabric—Craftacular Wonder Fair. They are: Megan Werdmuller von Elgg, Chelsea Gurnoe and Dana Harris, all Hart’s employees and part-time crafters. Decked out in handmade clothing, they meet up with me for a serious conversation about handmade goods and the upcoming Craftacular Wonder Fair that they are curating. The event will be held from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 28 in the back parking lot of Hart’s. There, 17 local vendors will sell their wares—clothing, jewelry, knit projects, sewn goods, print pieces and paintings. For crafty types, it’s definitely going to be craftactular.

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Complex Fashionista

Complex Fashionista

Do fashion-savvy moms dopplegang their daughters?
Mimicry is powerful—it activates neurons involved in perception and behavior. It strengthens bonds when babies light up to a parent’s smile. And according to consumer behavior research, it drives women to buy those too-tight jeans and ankle-breaking stilettos worn by fashion icons.

Yet unlike family and friends—who compliment, borrow and sometimes steal our favorite clothes—celebrity role models don’t mimic in return. In fact, the actors who grace best dressed lists probably wouldn’t say “hi” if they passed you on the street, much less “nice jeans, where did you get them?”

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Rivendell Revived

Rivendell Revived

Diversity, expert touch is the key to its success
I can mend anything,” says Patricia Moore. She holds a small weaving into the light streaming through a door behind her. The weaving is old, from Thailand. Moore is the proprietress of Rivendell, a store and gallery that spills onto an artful patio in front of the Santa Cruz Art Center at 1001 Center St.  Her back door opens onto Squid Row, the colorful alley in Downtown Santa Cruz where, in the 164-year old Enterprise Iron Works building, Moore and her business partner, Wayne Brennan, established Rivendell more than 18 years ago.

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Take One: A Screenwriting Competition

Take One: A Screenwriting Competition


Spread the word—GT has teamed up with *IMPACT (a local production company) and the Santa Cruz Film Festival to host Take One: A Screenwriting Competition.

 

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Sir Mix-A-Lot

Sir Mix-A-Lot

The king of controversy, Gregg Gillis (a.k.a. Girl Talk), schools Cruzans on copyright law, sex onstage, and living a double life

Gregg Gillis is an awful lot like Clark Kent. Back when he first took on the alias, Girl Talk—long before he became one of the biggest (and most controversial) names in the electropop music scene—he was living a double life.

A mild-mannered biomedical engineering graduate student, Gillis went to school and later held a 9 to 5 job as an engineer. What his classmates and coworkers didn’t know, however, was that he was booking tours over the summer and during winter break, and later hopping on red-eye flights to Europe for the weekend to perform, then returning to reality Monday morning.

“By the time I got a job, I didn’t tell anyone about Girl Talk. It’s hard to explain. Most of the people I was working with were 10-15 years older than me. And I don’t really consider myself a DJ—I jump on top of people. So it never really came up,” says Gillis. “By the time I was getting booked all the time and wanted to bring it up, I couldn’t, because it would seem like I was a compulsive liar or something.”

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An Afternoon at the Smart Museum

An Afternoon at the Smart Museum

A legion of dark-haired, jeans-clad, slender teenaged people with attentive attitudes walked past me as I stood over the “Touch Table,” pulling apart and re-attaching objects using miter, dovetail and lap joints.

A few of the young visitors from Nigata, Japan, took my place around the “Touch Table” after I moved on, and, laughing, attached the objects in unintended ways. Meanwhile, I listened to a video of woodworker Michael Singer explaining his technique for joining irregular shapes while I perused a case of tools displayed below. An unfinished chair, a prototype by Om Anand, held a small sign explaining what a prototype is, challenging the viewer to find the finished chair and to notice the changes.

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Perfect Blends

Perfect Blends

First Friday Art venues pair with local wineries for August Wine Walk
Art and wine. Has a nice ring to it, doesn't it? The folks at the First Friday Art Walk think so, too. To spice up this month's midsummer edition of the popular event (taking place this Friday, Aug. 5), FFAW joins forces with a slate of Santa Cruz vintners to present the August Wine Walk, where art patrons will be able to sample local wines at select FFAW venues around town.

It's a perfect blend, according to First Friday spokesman (and tireless local arts advocate) Chip. Citing our "extraordinary arts community and community of arts supporters," and our region's "unique ... winegrowers and wine enthusiasts," Chip calls the event "exciting in that it is pairing our great art venues with these amazing wineries."

As usual, you'll find work by local artists (painting, sculpture, photography, fabric, ceramics, woodworking), in a staggering variety of venues countywide—cafes, beauty salons, banks, shops and boutiques, from the Eastside to the Westside, Louden Nelson Center to Squid Row Alley, Pleasure Point to Davenport. Designated art galleries, like the Santa Cruz Art League, Felix Kulpa, MichaelAngelo, Artisans, and the Museum of Art & History also participate in the festivities. All venues are open to the public from 5 to 9 p.m., and admission to the Art Walk venues, as always, is free.In addition, this month, more than 20 local wineries will be pouring samples of their finest varieties at select Art Walk venues. The Wine Walk venues are concentrated downtown and on the Westside for easy pedestrian access. Free shuttle service will be available from The Santa Cruz Experience to ferry participants between the two neighborhoods.

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We Can Rebuild You

A look back at how downtown Santa Cruz recovered from the 1989 earthquake

 

International Earth Day—Mother Earth Day

Every April 22, humanity celebrates International Mother Earth Day and Earth Day. As more than a billion people participate in Earth Day activities every year, Earth Day has become the world’s largest civic observance. The massive concern to build right relations between humanity and the living being we call Earth is evidence of humanity’s love of the Mother. In 2009, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed April 22 International Mother Earth Day, with a significant resolution affirming “the interdependence existing among human beings, other living species (the kingdoms—mineral, plant, animal and human) and the planet itself, the Earth which we all inhabit.” The Earth is our home. Celebrating Earth Day helps us define new emerging processes (economic, social, political) focused on the well-being of the kingdoms. Through these, humanity seeks to raise the quality of life, foster equality and begin to establish right relations with the Earth. We dedicate ourselves to bringing forth balance and a relationship of harmony with all of nature. Learn about planting a billion trees (the Canopy Project); participate in 1.5 billion acts of green. Disassociation (toward Earth) is no longer viable. We lose our connection to life itself. Participation is viable—an anchor, refuge and service for all of life on Earth. Visit earthday.org; harmonywithnatureun.org; and un.org/en/events/motherearthday for more information. From Farmers Almanac, “On Earth Day, enjoy the tonic of fresh air, contact with the soil, companionship with nature! Go barefooted. Walk through woods, find wildflowers and green moss. Remain outside, no matter the weather!” Nature, Earth’s most balanced kingdom, heals us. The New Group of World Servers is preparing for the May 3 Wesak Buddha Taurus solar festival. We prepare through asking for and offering forgiveness. Forgiveness purifies and like nature, heals.

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Mission Critical

How reading Lisa Jensen’s reviews taught me to love film
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Sarah’s Vineyard

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Munch

East Coast meets West Coast in new meat lover’s paradise