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Apr 20th
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CultureBeat

Blogs - CultureBeat

Jazz Royalty

Jazz Royalty

55th annual Monterey Jazz Festival wows, leaves enthusiasts craving more

Festivals come and go, but for 55 years the Monterey Jazz Festival has maintained a level of excellence that sets the bar for all others. What makes MJF so unique is that from top-down—from organizers to the people guarding the gate—everyone is incredibly positive, sunny and happy to be there. Maestro Timothy Orr runs the event with the slightly manic energy one can expect from someone with so much on his plate—and yet, he always takes the time to make patrons feel like they’re getting special treatment. This overall upbeat tone creates an incomparable ambience of camaraderie and fellowship.

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Blogs - CultureBeat

Getting Pumped

Getting Pumped

The Radical Reels Tour heads for the Rio

With summer coming to a close, and school nearly back in session, the UC Santa Cruz Recreation department is getting its game face on with its annual screening of National Geographic’s Radical Reels Tour. The featured short films allow us to bear witness to some of the world’s most serious adrenaline seekers as they bike tough trails, paddle wild waters, and ski treacherously steep slopes. The film screening will take place on Saturday, Sept. 22 at 7 p.m. at the Rio Theatre, and will highlight some of the most outrageous mountain sport films from the 36th Annual Banff Mountain Film Festival, which, of course, aim to thrill and inspire with mind-blowing big-screen adventures.   

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Blogs - CultureBeat

The Price Of Art

The Price Of Art

A generous donation takes the Tannery’s performing arts center one step closer to becoming a reality

“Our goal is for the Tannery to be, essentially, a cultural magnet as well as an arts center for the whole Central Coast,” says Tannery Art Center Executive Director Rachel Goodman.    

The local arts hub is celebrating a recent donation of $100,000 from Santa Cruz-based Plantronics that will go directly toward building a brand new performing arts theater and plaza.

The grant allows the Tannery, which is currently two-thirds of the way complete, to maintain its momentum and move closer to fulfilling its overall plan for a vibrant community cultural center where visitors will be able to enjoy plays and music, work in art studios, and get in touch with their own artistic side through art and dance classes.

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Blogs - CultureBeat

An Endangered Adventure

An Endangered Adventure

New educational iPad game features endangered Santa Cruz species

Curious gamers of all ages can learn about some of Santa Cruz’s endangered critters in a new, educational iPad game titled “Isopod: The Roly Poly Science Game.”

Mike Parisi, the owner of Xylem and Pholem LLC, recently released the Isopod iPad app, which synthesizes arcade-quality gameplay and the scientific encyclopedia. His intention, he tells GT, is to inspire in the game’s users a fascination with insects and their relationship to a variety of life science subjects. Designed for gamers and learners ages "10 through 110," Isopod explores 24 scientific topics with a deep focus on the world of entomology and insects.  

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Blogs - CultureBeat

Mumford's The Word

Mumford's The Word

London’s own folk-rock dynamo Mumford & Sons enchants Monterey 

Huddled underneath a canopy of hanging light bulbs Saturday night, thousands of loyal followers stood in silence as the main stage at the Monterey County Fairgrounds went as dark as the sky. Then, after what felt like hours of excruciating anticipation (which was, in reality, only a couple of seconds), Mumford & Sons exploded on to the platform.

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Blogs - CultureBeat

Story Time

Story Time

Storytellers, poets and musicians perform in the Santa Cruz Mountains

Storytelling is much more than a method for putting children to sleep at night. A group of Santa Cruzan storytellers want to remind people that storytelling invites us to sit back with open ears, minds and hearts, and simply listen, letting the voices of others enthrall our imaginations and take us on a journey within our own minds.

“There are treasures hidden inside [stories], such as how to live a meaningful life,” says Sirena Andrea.

Andrea, a local storyteller and dancer, is most recently known for her presentation of the classic Russian fairytale “The Firebird” at the Santa Cruz Fringe Festival in July. She will be one of the headlining storytellers at the upcoming Santa Cruz Storytelling Festival on Saturday, Aug. 18, where she will be performing Martin Prechtel’s story “Disobedience of the Daughter of the Sun: A Mayan Tale of Ecstasy, Time, and Finding One's True Form.”

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Blogs - CultureBeat

Space-Age Entertainment

Space-Age Entertainment

Dancetronauts and Dancetrohotties hit the Cocoanut Grove

Ever seen a spaceship in Santa Cruz? How about one with a fuzzy white interior, fully equipped with a booming sound system, LED lights, DJs dressed like spacemen, and futuristic GoGo dancers?

The collaboration of CEOs Philip Plastina (Captain Philthy Phil) and Travis Richards (Captain Trav Nasty), the Dancetronauts are now a group of 30 members whose mission is to “live, love, laugh, and dance.” Together, the group has created a mobile entertainment unit that is a combination of fire, light, and the ultimate sound experience.

The Strip Ship, as this Burning Man-ready vehicle is called, will roll back into their hometown of Surf City on Thursday, July 26 to co-host a large, bright, electro space showdown with Bounce Camp for BOOM!, a show at Cocoanut Grove. Proceeds go to the Dancetronauts Burning Man camp, which will aid the Dancetronauts’ mission to inspire and support self-expression through music, dance, art, and an all-around good time.

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Blogs - CultureBeat

Calling All Extras

Calling All Extras

'Sizzle reel' to be filmed at the Capitola Book Cafe

Written by a local-gone-screenwriter and set in Santa Cruz, the film Jane is Santa Cruzan through and through.

Deborah Allen, who was born in Santa Cruz, wrote the screenplay for Jane after spending the first half of her career in theater. Inspired by traumatic events in her own life and formed with the help of film production companies in Monterey and Los Angeles, Allen’s vision of creating a movie about real, brave, “smart women” is now becoming realized.

This coming Tuesday, July 10, Allen and her crew will be filming a “sizzle reel” for Jane at the Capitola Book Cafe. A sizzle reel resembles a film trailer and is meant to entice potential investors to get involved with the project, or, as the film’s website says, “to show possible backers, financial people, and friends what our visual story can look like.” Allen hopes that the reel will bring to fruition her story of Jane, a 15-year-old who embarks on journey of self-discovery and healing after a traumatic sexual experience.

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Blogs - CultureBeat

Summer Reading

Summer Reading

Not sure what to read this summer? The staff at Capitola Book Café and Bookshop Santa Cruz reveal their favorite book picks of the season

Capitola Book Café:

“This is How” by Augusten Burroughs: The kind of wry, observational self help book that might have been written by a 21st century Mark Twain. Snarky hope for cynical optimists.

“Turn Right at Machu Picchu” by Mark Adams: This is armchair travel at its best, with all the exotic locales, physical challenges, off-beat humor and grand history anyone could ask for. Read it and look south. The mountains of Peru are waiting.

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Blogs - CultureBeat

Foodshed Kickoff

Foodshed Kickoff

USDA funds summer food awareness program

A five-month food awareness program kicked off on Wednesday, June 6 at the Downtown Farmers’ Market in Santa Cruz. In an effort to expand producer-to-consumer market opportunities in the county, the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service has provided funding to help launch food-centric programs throughout the area.  

The program, called the Foodshed Project, will put on celebrations on the first Wednesday of each month between June and October at the Downtown Farmers’ Market. The events will consist of activities such as “mini-classes, storytelling, and tastings facilitated by the Santa Cruz Community Farmers’ Market (SCCFM) farmers and food artisans,” and are meant to engage the community firsthand.  

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Cardinal Grand Cross in the Sky

Following Holy Week (passion, death and burial of the Pisces World Teacher) and Easter Sunday (Resurrection Festival), from April 19 to the 23, the long-awaited and discussed Cardinal Cross of Change appears in the sky, composed of Cardinal signs Aries, Libra, Cancer, and Capricorn, with planets (13-14 degrees) Uranus (in Aries), Jupiter (in Cancer), Mars (in Libra) and Pluto (in Capricorn), an actual geometrical square or cross configuration. Cardinal signs mark the seasons of change, initiating new realities.

 

Sugar: The New Tobacco?

Proposed bill would require warning labels on sugary drinks Will soda and other saccharine libations soon come with a health warning? They will if it’s up to our state senator, Bill Monning (D-Carmel). On Feb. 27, Monning proposed first-of-its-kind legislation that would require a consumer warning label be placed on sugar-sweetened beverages sold in California. SB 1000, also known as the Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Safety Warning Act, was proposed to provide vital information to consumers about the harmful effects of consuming sugary drinks, such as sodas, sports drinks, energy drinks, and sweetened teas.

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of April 17

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >

 

Growing Hope

Campos Seguros combats sexual assault in the Watsonville farmworker community Farm work was a way of life for Rocio Camargo, who grew up in Watsonville as the daughter of Mexican immigrants. Her parents met while working the fields 30 years ago, and her father went on to run Fuentes Berry Farms.
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Foodie File: Red Apple Cafe

Breakfast takes center stage at Gracia Krakauer's Red Apple Cafe Before they moved to Aptos, Gracia and her husband Dan Krakauer would visit friends in Santa Cruz County and eat at the Red Apple Café all the time. Then they moved up here from Santa Monica five years ago, and bought the Aptos location (there’s a separate one in Watsonville) from the family who owned it for two decades.

 

How would you feel about a tech industry boom in Santa Cruz?

I feel like it would ruin the small old-town feeling of Santa Cruz. It wouldn’t be the same Surf City kind of vacation town that it is. Antoinette BennettSanta Cruz | Construction Management

 

Trout Gulch Vineyards

Cinsault 2012—la grande plage diurne The most popular wines on store shelves are those most generally known and available—Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, which are all superb for sure. But when you come across a more unusual varietal, like Trout Gulch Vineyards’ Cinsault ($18), it opens up a whole new world.

 

Waddell Creek, Al Fresco

Route One Summer Farm Dinner You’ve been buying their insanely fresh produce for years now at farmers’ markets. Right? So now why not become more familiar with the gorgeous Waddell Creek farmlands of Route One Farms?