Following the success of their 2012 co-production, When We Fall Apart, Z Space and Joe Goode Performance Group (JGPG) are proud to present the world premiere of Hush. A dance theater collaboration with sound effects artist Sudhu Tewari and musician/composer Ben Juodvalkis, Hush dramatizes the stories of six interlocking characters who are alternately silenced and silencer. Hush runs from Thursday, September 26 to Saturday, October 5, 2013 at Z Space in San Francisco.
Choreographer Joe Goode drew inspiration for Hush from personal stories gathered from members of his audience and community. The search for one’s individual voice as a figure of self-discovery and self-empowerment stood out as a recurring theme, and Goode chose six of the stories as material for his latest work.
The theme of finding one’s voice takes on atmospheric depth in a sound installation by Sudhu Tewari and Ben Juodvalkis. Tewari specializes in creating electro-acoustic sound art from the remains of discarded stereo equipment, kinetic sculptures, and other devices. For Hush he uses techniques from the world of movie sound effects – techniques known as Foley art – to create a many-textured ambient environment for the performers.
Hush is Juodvalkis’ second musical commission for JGPG; he composed and performed original music for Goode’s When We Fall Apart. A member of San Francisco’s rock band Battlehooch, Juodvalkis has composed original music for a number of dance companies including Alonzo King LINES Ballet, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Company C Contemporary Ballet and Oklahoma City Ballet. Both Tewari and Juodvalkis will perform live each evening.
Tewari and Juodvalkis’ technologically produced sound creates a lush backdrop for Goode’s organic movement style and the performers’ narratives, both spoken and sung. Hush also features an original set design by Erik Flatmo.
JGPG company dancers performing in Hush are Felipe Barrueto-Cabello, Melecio Estrella, Damara Vita Ganley, Jessica Swanson, Andrew Ward and Alexander Zendzian.
About the Joe Goode Performance Group JGPG’s innovative form of dance-theater is accessible, personal, and explores unabashed emotional terrain with humor and honesty. Using text, voice, and high velocity movement, JGPG blurs the line between theater and dance to make work that is thoughtful, groundbreaking, and deeply felt. JGPG believes in the power of theater to create a transformational experience. The work touches on social issues-including gender, race and sexuality-with the idea of illuminating and investigating in order to stimulate questions and conversations. And perhaps remind the viewer of his/her own humanity, however flailing or imperfect that might be.
Where a piece like The Maverick Strain uses both camp and poetry to illuminate the resilience of the outsider, their much-lauded collaboration with avant-garde puppeteer Basil Twist in Wonderboy tells a tale of searching for love and belonging by using a “queer” puppet-boy in the central role. Their installation work, Traveling Light, muses on the necessity of shedding the confines of excess in order to move forward, while the award-winning dance/play, Deeply There, examines the havoc brought on by the AIDS crisis. The company has made over 25 works since its inception and has a devoted following in its home city of San Francisco. While maintaining a robust touring schedule domestically, the company has also performed in Europe, Canada, Africa and the Middle East.
The Joe Goode Performance Group has received multiple awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, SF Arts Commission, and the California Arts Council, as well as receiving the Isadora Duncan Dance Award (“Izzie”) for both choreography and performance and the New York Dance and Performance Award (“Bessie”) for choreography.
About Z Space
Founded in 1993, Z Space is a hub for artists and audiences to revel in the creation, development, and production of outstanding new work. Z Space commissions, develops, and produces a full season of new works from a variety of disciplines including theater, dance, music, performance art, and new media. Z Space fosters opportunities around the nation for these works and for their Bay Area artists. The organization engages diverse audiences through direct interactions with the process, the projects, and the artists. Since 2009 Z Space has managed and operated a 13,000 sq/ft, 229-seat performing arts venue and gallery: home to more than 40 weeks of public multidisciplinary arts programming annually. In March 2013 Z Space opened Z Below, a 2,100 sq/ft 88-seat second stage ideal for the development of new work that will allow the organization to provide more rehearsal and performance options for its companies in residence. www.zspace.org.
Film Archive (BAM/PFA) proudly presents Beauty Revealed: Images of Women in Qing Dynasty Chinese Painting, on view September 25 through December 22, 2013. Featuring nearly thirty works, this exhibition is the first to bring together a genre of Chinese painting known as meiren hua, or paintings of beautiful women. Situating the works within the social and economic contexts of the High Qing period (mid-seventeenth to the late eighteenth century), the exhibition challenges the prevailing opinion that these subjects are high status women—either members of the court or other privileged women. By reading the visual codes embedded in the images,Beauty Revealed instead makes the case that these women are courtesans.
Borrowing seldom-before-utilized techniques from the West, including one-point perspective and heavy opaque colors, the artists, many of them unknown professional painters who painted on demand and for a fee, pursue a realism not previously seen in Chinese painting. Rather than the willowy beauty shown in a garden setting or surrounded by family among luxurious furnishings typical of earlier periods, these paintings generally feature a single, near life-size figure, often in a brazenly unladylike posture. Their garments tend to be low cut and transparent, and their bound feet exposed. For example, the direct gaze of the woman in Putting out the Lamp, addressed to the (presumably male) intended viewer, offers a suggestive undercurrent of greater intimacy, one of the hallmarks of this genre. Other codes of accessibility include the woman’s relaxed posture with right leg drawn up under left, the open sleeves that reveal her arms, and the highly stylized extension of her right hand in a controlled gesture reaching to snuff out the light. Her expression engages the audience in a way never before seen in Chinese figure painting.
The backdrops further draw viewers into the women’s world, conveying significant information about their wealth, taste, learning, and accomplishments. The women are depicted surrounded by everyday objects packed with erotic symbolism. The art has an immediate impact, inviting viewers to enter and enjoy another world, one perhaps longed for and unattainable.
In addition to several paintings from BAM/PFA’s own collection, Beauty Revealedfeatures loans from institutions and private collections from around the U.S. and Europe. It is organized into distinct sections that explore the intimate life of women within the garden, home, bath, and brothel. Curated by Senior Curator for Asian Art Julia M. White in collaboration with UC Berkeley Professor Emeritus James Cahill, the exhibition is accompanied by an exquisitely illustrated catalog with essays by Cahill, White, and noted historian Sarah Handler. The catalog entries are by Chen Fongfong, with contributions by Nancy Berliner and White.
Tours in both Mandarin and English, an illustrated talk by Cahill, a conversation between by Judith Zeitlin (University of Chicago) and Margaret Francesca Rosenthal (University of Southern California) about courtesan cultures in China and Italy, a presentation by Handler on furnishings depicted in the meiren paintings, a performance by internationally renowned musician Wang Fei on the qin instrument, and other related events will provide visitors with additional opportunities to explore and re-evaluate this previously misunderstood genre of Chinese painting.
The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) presents a statewide tour of two exhibitions drawn from its internationally acclaimed photography collection that will travel to six cities throughout California. Venues include Bakersfield, Riverside, Sacramento, Santa Rosa, and Stockton, with an additional location to be announced. Launching in September 2013, an exhibition tour of this scale within California is unprecedented in the museum’s history, providing greater access to its collection and enabling SFMOMA to collaborate with museums throughout the state.
“It is a tremendous privilege to make these photographs available to a wide range of new audiences and forge fruitful relationships with institutions throughout the state,” says Corey Keller, SFMOMA curator of photography, who is organizing the tour. “We are truly grateful to our sponsors, particularly The James Irvine Foundation, for their generosity and foresight in making this extraordinary opportunity possible.” Each venue’s exhibition costs are generously funded by a grant from The James Irvine Foundation and by Bank of America.
The tour’s exhibitions—Photography in Mexico from the Collection of SFMOMA and The Provoke Era: Japanese Photography from the Collection of SFMOMA—are a part of the museum’s extensive array of off-site programming taking place while its building is temporarily closed for expansion construction from the summer of 2013 until early 2016. Featuring the photographic traditions of Mexico and Japan, the exhibitions highlight particular strengths of SFMOMA’s holdings and explore themes resonant with California’s diverse communities. The tour’s first exhibition, Photography in Mexico, opens at the Sonoma County Museum in Santa Rosa on September 28, 2013.
SFMOMA is distinguished as one of the first museums in the United States to recognize photography as an art form, and for more than 75 years, it has been home to innovative scholarship about the medium as well as in-depth exhibitions of the practice. Drawn from SFMOMA’s collection of more than 16,000 photographs—its largest collection of objects—this statewide tour of exhibitions expands opportunities for the public to encounter and understand the history of photography.
Photography in Mexico from the Collection of SFMOMA
SFMOMA has a longstanding commitment to collecting and presenting works of Latin American modernism. Featuring approximately 100 photographs, Photography in Mexico reveals a distinctively rich and diverse tradition of photography in Mexico. The show begins with works from the medium’s first artistic flowering in the wake of the Mexican Revolution (1910–20) and goes on to explore the explosion of the illustrated press at midcentury; the documentary investigations of cultural traditions and urban politics that emerged in the 1970s and 1980s; and more recent considerations of urban life and globalization. Photography in Mexico includes work by Lola Álvarez Bravo, Manuel Álvarez Bravo, Manuel Carrillo, Alejandro Cartagena, Graciela Iturbide, Elsa Medina, Pablo Ortiz Monasterio, Edward Weston, and Mariana Yampolsky, among others. Many of the photographs in the exhibition are recent gifts from Los Angeles collectors Dan Greenberg and Susan Steinhauser.
Photography in Mexico will travel to the Sonoma County Museum, Santa Rosa (September 28, 2013–January 12, 2014); Bakersfield Museum of Art (September 11, 2014–January 4, 2015); and the Haggin Museum, Stockton (dates TBD).
The Provoke Era: Japanese Photography from the Collection of SFMOMA
SFMOMA is home to the largest collection of Japanese photography in the United States and has been actively acquiring the work of internationally recognized artists including Masahisa Fukase, Eikoh Hosoe, Daido Moriyama, and Shōmei Tōmatsu since the 1970s. The Provoke Era begins with the avant-garde tradition that emerged in Tokyo in the 1960s and 1970s, and explores its influence on the diverse photographic practice that continues today. The tumultuous period following World War II proved fertile ground for a generation of Japanese photographers who responded to societal upheaval by creating a new visual language dubbed “Are, Bure, Boke”—rough, blurred, and out of focus. Named for the magazine Provoke, which sought to break the rules of traditional photography, this exhibition traces how Japanese photographers responded to their country’s shifting social and political atmosphere.
The Provoke Era will travel to the Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento (October 12, 2014–February 1, 2015) and the California Museum of Photography, UC Riverside (March 28–August 15, 2015).
The California tour of Photography in Mexico and The Provoke Era is organized by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. The presentation of these exhibitions is made possible by a grant from The James Irvine Foundation. Major support is provided by Bank of America.
Photography at SFMOMA
SFMOMA’s renowned photography program traces the medium’s transformation from a scientific development in the 1930s to one of today’s most publicly accessible art forms. Creating a dynamic forum for photography, SFMOMA leads the field with groundbreaking publications, collection stewardship, and landmark exhibitions. The museum has continually collected and presented important artists in great depth and context, highlighting its strengths related to California and the West, the European avant-garde, postwar Japan, and American Modernism.
Earlier this year, SFMOMA premiered the most comprehensive retrospective of Garry Winogrand, featuring more than 300 photographs—many of which have never been seen or printed before. In addition, the museum recently announced promised gifts of 473 photographs, amplifying its holdings of such major photographers as Diane Arbus, Lee Friedlander, Nan Goldin, Andreas Gursky, Daido Moriyama, and Shōmei Tōmatsu. As SFMOMA undergoes its current expansion program, the museum continues to invest in its photography resources with plans to establish one of the largest and most sophisticated photographic destinations of any museum in the world.
Free outdoor movies on September 27 and October 4!
The University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAM/PFA) has announced that it will host a pair of free outdoor movies adjacent to the site of BAM/PFA’s future home in Downtown Berkeley on consecutive Fridays in late September/early October. Copresented by the Downtown Berkeley Association, Endless Summer Cinema will feature a pair of seventies cult classics set in the Bay Area—Berkeley-based director Philip Kaufman’s intelligently creepy allegory of Watergate-era paranoia, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, and Hal Ashby’s darkly funny, but tender tale of an unlikely cross-generational romance, Harold and Maude.
Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978) will have audiences squirming on September 27. A remake of the 1956 film about the perils of mass conformity, it follows a health inspector (Donald Sutherland) who uncovers the existence of a growing species of “pod people” inhabiting the bodies of human clones hiding among us in plain sight. Audiences will seek the embrace of their dearest neighbors not out of fear, but tenderness during our October 4 program, Harold and Maude (1971). The story of a death-obsessed teen (Bud Cort) and his romantic devotion to a fun-loving septuagenarian (Ruth Gordon) is a touching black comedy that only gets better with age.
“We ‘re excited to present another series of free outdoor screenings across the street from our future home, especially with construction now fully underway,“ says BAM/PFA Director Lawrence Rinder. “In just a couple of years, engaging events like this will be an almost daily opportunity in our new downtown location.”
”We are delighted to be partnering with BAM/PFA,” adds DBA CEO John Caner. “And we think the Crescent lawn overlooking the new downtown BAM/PFA site will be a marvelous setting. And what better timing than during our wonderful extended Bay Area summer?”
Endless Summer Cinema events will take place on the Crescent lawn at the West Gate of the UC Berkeley campus, where Oxford and Center Streets meet. Shorts and other surprises begin at 7:30 p.m. for each event, with the feature films screening at 8 p.m. Patrons are encouraged to bring their own blankets and chairs, and arrive early and eat at one of the many downtown restaurants. Also, Bittersweet Cafe (www.bittersweetcafe.com) and Cakes and Purls (www.cakesandpurls.com) will be offering tasty treats and drinks on the Crescent prior to and during each screening.
Endless Summer Cinema Calendar
Friday, September 27, 7:30 p.m.
Invasion of the Body Snatchers Philip Kaufman (U.S., 1978)
Bay Area paranoia abounds in this remake of the 1956 classic cloner, where extraterrestrial “pod people” are breeding conformity in a culture immersed in the unconventional. Filmed in San Francisco, with Donald Sutherland, Brooke Adams, Leonard Nimoy, and Jeff Goldblum. Preceded by Hardware Wars, a riotous mock movie trailer, featuring the galactic antics of Fluke Starbucker, Ham Salad, Darph Nader, Princess Anne Droid, and Augie “Ben” Doggie.
Friday, October 4, 7:30 p.m.
Harold and Maude Hal Ashby (U.S., 1971)
This cult favorite, a dark comedy from the counter-culture (shot in the Bay Area) with music by Cat Stevens, follows death-obsessed Bud Cort, a twenty-year-old who falls for the ageless charms of seventy-nine-year-old Ruth Gordon, a quirky anarchist who has thrown inhibition to the wind. Preceded by Quasi at the Quackadero, an award-winning psychedelic hand-drawn animation about a slightly demented duck who visits a zany amusement park.
Don Reed’s autobiographical journey CAN YOU DIG IT? The ‘60s – Back Down East 14th will move to The Marsh Berkeley, where is will start a limited engagement September 14 through October 27, 2013. From the Beatles to the Black Panthers, James Brown to The Jerk, and MLK to JFK to the KKK – CAN YOU DIG IT? The ‘60s – Back Down East 14th offers a view of the 1960s through the eyes of an awkward kid who’s just trying to fit in. Reed, an Oakland-born comedian, is currently the opening act/warm-up comedian for The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. The third installment in Reed’s hilarious coming-of-age trilogy, CAN YOU DIG IT? Performs Saturdays at 8:30pm and Sundays at 7pm in the The Marsh Berkeley Theater Stage, 2120 Allston Way, Berkeley. For tickets, the public may visit www.themarsh.org or call 415-282-3055 between 1:00 pm and 4:00 pm, Monday through Friday.
Called “Flat out hilarious!” by KQED and “Remarkable. Terrific. Very funny,” as well as “Unexpectedly touching” by the San Francisco Chronicle, CAN YOU DIG IT? The ‘60s – Back Down East 14th rewinds to the ‘60s, going back to young Reed’s formative years in Oakland grammar school when the family was whole – that is before his father became a pimp and his mother reluctantly became a Jehovah’s Witness. As the plot unfolds, a series of wild, wonderful, scary, amazing, unnecessary, cool, moving, unbelievably true stories are revealed.
The first installment in Reed’s trilogy, East 14th, traced the actor-comedian’s irregular teen years through the ‘70s (his stepfather forced him to become a Jehovah’s Witness, and his biological father was a pimp). East 14th went on to become one of the Bay Area’s longest running solo shows, and also ran Off-Broadway. The second installment, The Kipling Hotel, followed Reed’s collegiate years at UCLA through the ‘80s, as he struggled to supplement a partial scholarship by working as a live-in waiter at an unforgettable retirement hotel.
Reed, a San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Nominee and NAACP Double Nominee for Best Actor and Best Playwright, has performed, written, and directed in film, television, and theatre all over the country. His 1991 segment on HBO’s Robert Townsend & His Partners in Crime, which featured a variety of up-and-coming comedians, was well-received and led to many recurring and guest starring roles on various television programs. In addition to performing as the opening act/warm-up comedian for The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Reed has opened for Tony Award winner Tommy Tune, and has worked on programs including Spiderman, The Flintstones, ER, Frasier, Friends, Scrubs, Will & Grace, Law & Order, and Saturday Night Live. Reed has written promos for the Golden Globes, the Academy Awards and the Olympics. Additionally, he has written and developed screenplays for Spike Lee’s 40 Acres and a Mule and Maverick Filmworks. Reed is currently a board member of the thriving 51Oakland foundation keeping music and the arts alive in Oakland Public Schools.
Buoyed by record-breaking crowds every year and ever-increasing corporate support, this year’s 18th Annual Kaiser Permanente San Francisco International Dragon Boat Festival (www.sfdragonboat.com) on Saturday & Sunday, September 14 & 15 takes place in the midst of an unprecedented focus on San Francisco Bay. Occurring during the final week of America’s Cup sail boat racing and in the shadow of the newly completed Bay Bridge eastern span, this year’s Festival, also caps a successful fundraising effort including new major sponsorship from Raytheon Corporation (www.raytheon.com).
“This Festival is the largest family friendly event in Northern California,” said Linda Cheu, Festival Director of the California Dragon Boat Association that sponsors the event. “Raytheon’s support this year is a perfect compliment to an event so focused on youth participation, especially with Raytheon’s commitment to math and science education.”
Raytheon will be sponsoring the Raytheon Math Moves U area within Dragon Land, the children’s pavilion at the Festival, featuring a series of interactive math-oriented activities for kids.
“Raytheon is supporting this year’s festival to excite San Francisco area youth about science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) careers,” said Christine Shimizu, Vice President of Information Technology for Raytheon Intelligence, Information and Services business. “We are keenly aware that investing in math and science education is critically important for a strong economy.”
Raytheon Company, with 2012 sales of $24 billion and 68,000 employees worldwide, is a technology and innovation leader specializing in defense, security and civil markets throughout the world. With a history of innovation spanning 91 years, Raytheon provides state-of-the-art electronics, mission systems integration and other capabilities in the areas of sensing; effects; and command, control, communications and intelligence systems; as well as a broad range of mission support services. Raytheon is headquartered in Waltham, Massachusetts.
This year’s Festival features several an unprecedented number of novice teams, representing a wide range of corporations such as Google, Wells Fargo, KPMG, AT&T, and PG&E, hospitals such as Kaiser Permanente, Sutter Health’s Palo Alto Medical Foundation, San Francisco General, St. Mary’s Medical Center, and Chinese Hospital, and an array of community serving organizations including schools, labor unions, and other non-profits. There will also be dozens of visiting teams from around the United States and Canada.
San Francisco Mayor Edwin M. Lee will help kick-off the event on Saturday as he visits the teams, including one, “the Golden Serpents,” representing City Hall and ChinaSF, the Mayor’s China business initiative. Both days of the Festival feature racing from 8am – 5pm, and an on-land Festival of Dragon Boat cultural and related activities from 10am – 5pm. Entrance to the Festival is free and open to the public, as is viewing of the races. The festival provides an exciting array of activities off the water as well, from food trucks to entertainment to children’s activities and is a very family friendly event.
Cheu notes that dragon boating has continued to grow in popularity throughout the country – and world — citing as evidence the growing number of international competitors.
“The California Dragon Boat Association again expects record attendance in all divisions this year,” said Dave Chen, President of the California Dragon Boat Association and also a longtime dragon boat paddler. “It’s going to be another great weekend of good, hard racing, excellent entertainment and food, and great times on and off the water!”
In 1996 a handful of paddlers came together with the vision to build an organization to foster the growth and development of dragon boating in the San Francisco Bay Area. Each had little experience in starting up a non-profit organization most were relatively new to the sport themselves. With only commitment and their faith in dragon boating becoming a great activity for the community they moved forward to promote a sport people knew little about in an area already saturated with team sports.
So, what exactly is Dragon Boating?
For those unfamiliar with the sport, dragon boating simply put, is a boat of 20 paddlers, a drummer and a steers person paddling to cross the finish faster than their competition. It’s a team sport in its purest form that encompasses the elements of power, speed, synchronization and endurance.
With its beginnings in Southern China, dragon boating today is the fastest growing international team water sport. Each year, race festivals are held around the world in Asia, Australia, Canada, Europe and the United States, one of the largest festivals in the North America is held right here in the San Francisco Bay Area.
“The appeal to dragon boating is mainly contributed to the sport’s ability to accommodate a wide spectrum of skill levels ranging from novice to competitive,” Chen explains. “At the novice and recreational level, teams often form as a means of social outlet, team building and an alternative means of exercise. For the spectator, the true display of the sport’s intensity and skill is witnessed in the competitive ranks.”
Dragon boat racing is one of the earliest known forms of aquatic competition and is celebrated at festivals and races throughout the world. This mythical celebration is a symbol of Chinese culture and spirit and is one of the three largest festivals in that country, with its roots going back over 2,000 years.
Legend has it that Qu Yuan, a scholar and advisor to the emperor of the Chu Kingdom, jumped into the Mei Lo (Mi Luo) River in despair and protest against government corruption. Local fishermen raced out in their boats to save him. They beat drums and pounded their paddles on the river’s waters and threw rice dumplings wrapped in silk into the river to distract the water dragons and keep them from eating from Qu Yuan’s body. Dragon boating evolved from the re-enactment of this legend at annual festivals.
After 18 years, the California Dragon Boat Association is now the largest dragon boating organization in the Bay Area and organizes one of the largest competitive dragon boat festivals in the United States. In addition, the Association oversees the largest high school and college dragon boat program in the nation.
“No one who has discovered dragon boating – either on the water or as an on land volunteer leaves unchanged,” says Cheu. “Only recently are people outside of Asia beginning to see and experience the magic team and community building aspects of this ancient sport.”
An international jury has levied the harshest penalties in the 162-year history of the America’s Cup, docking defending champion Oracle Team USA two points in the finals against Emirates Team Zealand and expelling a key sailor.
The penalties announced against the syndicate Tuesday are for illegally modifying prototype boats in warmup regattas last year and earlier this year.
Oracle Team USA must win 11 races to retain the silver trophy. Team New Zealand must still win nine races in the series, which starts Saturday on San Francisco Bay.
Dirk de Ridder, who trims the wing sail, is barred from sailing in the regatta, and two shore crew members also have been expelled. Grinder Matt Mitchell has been barred from the first four races.
Oracle Team USA also was fined $250,000.
“The rules infractions involved only a few of our 130 team members, and were done without the knowledge of either our team’s management or the skippers who were driving the boats,” said team CEO Russell Coutts in a statement. “While we disagree with the unprecedented penalties imposed by the Jury, we have no choice but to make the necessary changes to personnel on our race boat and do our best to use the next four days for the new team to practice and get ready for the start of the 34th America’s Cup.”
The scenario creates the most hotly contested America’s Cup race in the storied history of the sport, clearly placing the Oracle Team USA as the underdog in the series against Emirates Team Zealand. Despite the stupidity of Team USA members for participating in the boat weighting affair, the hard lesson learned has created a more than healthy rivalry with the Kiwi team.
The Kiwi team and the New Zealand media may have overplayed their hand and protested too much, creating an animosity with the American team. American’s fight best when they are down, and they are assuredly down now, having lost three members of their team and two match points.
The New Zealander team has been together for four years and now the Oracle Team USA has only been selected and together for four days. That’s quite a contrast, and, combined with the jury’s penalties, puts them in a fight, win or die position. And, it also adds excitement and a new angle to what has been, up until now, a rather lackluster sporting event in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Hand it to Larry Ellison. Even when his team screws up, they make the best and most exciting things out of it.
SEPTEMBER 11 & 14 AT DAVIES SYMPHONY HALL
SEPTEMBER 12 AT GREEN MUSIC CENTER, SONOMA STATE UNIVERSITY
Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas (MTT) will conduct the San Francisco Symphony (SFS) in the West Coast premiere of Zosha Di Castri’s New Voices commission Lineage and Prokofiev’s Symphony No. 3 September 11 and 14 at Davies Symphony Hall and September 12 in Weill Hall at the Green Music Center at Sonoma State University. Yefim Bronfman joins the Orchestra for performances of Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1 at these concerts.
Composer Zosha Di Castri
New Voices is a new creative partnership between MTT, the San Francisco Symphony, the New World Symphony, and music publisher Boosey & Hawkes that commissions an emerging composer annually and offers them further development of these new works at the New World Symphony as well as guidance in publishing from Boosey & Hawkes. New Voices commissions are premiered by Michael Tilson Thomas with the New World Symphony and the San Francisco Symphony. The New Voices project began in May 2012 and Zosha Di Castri is the inaugural recipient. Her work Lineage had its world premiere at the New World Symphony in Miami Beach on April 20, 2013.
Zosha Di Castri is a Canadian composer and pianist. She is currently finishing her doctoral studies in composition at Columbia University, where she also teaches composition, electronic music, and music history. Her work has been performed in Canada, the US, and Europe by the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, the Internationale Ensemble Modern Akademie, L’Orchestre de la Francophonie, the NEM, JACK Quartet, L’Orchestre national de Lorraine, members of the L.A. Philharmonic and Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and Talea Ensemble. Di Castri has participated in residencies at the Banff Center, Domaine Forget, the Nouvel Ensemble Moderne’s Forum, and the National Arts Centre’s summer program. She was named a laureate of the 3rd International Composer’s Competition for the Hamburger Klangwerktage Festival, won two SOCAN Foundation awards for her chamber music in 2011, and in 2012, tied for the John Weinzweig Grand Prize for her first orchestra piece Alba, commissioned by John Adams and Deborah O’Grady and premiered at the Cabrillo Festival in 2011. Recently, her work Cortège garnered her the Jules Léger Prize for New Chamber Music. Di Castri’s work includes interdisciplinary collaborations in the realms of electronic music, sound installation, video, performance art, and contemporary dance. Her latest mixed-media works include Akkord I for flute, piano, electronics, and large sculpture, and a collaboration with choreographer Thomas Hauert of the ZOO Contemporary Dance Company on a new piece for electronics and dance at Ircam in Paris. She is also creating a new evening-length work for ICE in collaboration with David Adamcyk for ICElab 2014.
Di Castri described her inspiration for Lineage on video explaining, “In Lineage, I was interested in exploring the idea of what is passed down. As a kid, I loved listening to my grandparents tell stories about “the old country” or of life in the village or on the farm. These tales were at once so real through their repetition, and yet at the same time were so foreign and removed from my own personal experience. Thinking of this, I hoped to create a piece in which certain elements are kept constant while others are continually altered, adopted, or are added on, creating an ever-evolving narrative.” DiCastri’s eleven-minute Lineage is her second work for orchestra. Later this season the SFS percussion section will perform the West Coast premiere of her second New Voices commission, Manif, a chamber work for percussion quartet.
Pianist Yefim Bronfman, affectionately known as Fima, has been a frequent guest of the San Francisco Symphony since 1984. He last performed with MTT and the Orchestra at Davies Symphony Hall and the Green Music Center at Sonoma State University in December 2012 in concerts of Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5. Among his recent recordings is one of Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No.1 with Mariss Jansons and the Bayerischer Rundfunk (2007) on Sony. He performed Magnus Lindberg’s Piano Concerto No. 2, commissioned for him, with Alan Gilbert and the New York Philharmonic and released on the Da Capo label. This year The Wall Street Journal praised Bronfman as “a fearless pianist for whom no score is too demanding,” and added, “…a more poetic touch has lately complemented his brawny prowess.” He talks about Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1 in this video.
America’s Cup: Jury Rigged?
The level of glee by the Emirates New Zealand team and news media over foibles of Oracle Team USA has taken such a decidedly nasty turn that members of the International Jury have delayed their decision over what penalties, if any, should be given to defending America’s Cup champion team in the “weighting scandal.”
Clearly, Oracle Team USA made a serious mistake. Who in Hell puts weights on a ship to make it go faster? And, who in Hell does it in “pre-season” matches when it doesn’t matter in scoring America’s Cup races?
It was a stupid move by someone/s on Team USA, but it shouldn’t impact the most sought after silver trophy in the World, The America’s Cup.
But the New Zealand team, and the media down-under, have gone “John Bull Mad” over the alleged scandal and created such an ugly scene they have brought disrepute on themselves as much as Team USA. It’s embarrassing to read the ‘homer” news copy from the Kiwis.
The N.Z. media’s fawning stories about the “cheating scandal” and how it has harmed the sport are hogwash. The America’s Cup is always controversial and the Kiwi’s namby-pamby media patter has made the entire sport look amateurish, low-class and soft.
The jury should make its decision and it should be fair and square–something that has not been so far with leaks from the Jury and other questionable allegations making their way into the media.
The Jury’s pending decision should not be delayed any longer and the decision must be commensurate with the alleged wrong doing: if no harm and no impact was had on the America’s Cup race itself, why should any of the sailors or Team USA be penalized? Really?
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 7, at 8:00 P.M.
with Guest Sopranos Angel Joy Blue and Micäela Oeste
and Guest Conductor Eugene Kohn
Plácido Domingo will perform a very special evening of music at UC Berkeley’s historic Greek Theatre on Saturday, September 7,at 8:00 p.m. Joined by guest sopranos Angel Joy Blue and Micäela Oeste and guest conductor Eugene Kohn, this will be Plácido Domingo’s first appearance at the Greek Theatre and his first evening-length solo performance in the Bay Area since 1995. This concert is presented by Another Planet Entertainment in association with Cal Performances.
Plácido Domingo is a world-renowned, multifaceted artist, recognized not only as one of the finest and most influential singing actors in the history of opera but also as a respected conductor. Domingo’s vocal repertoire encompasses 140 stage roles, a number unmatched by any other celebrated tenor in history. His more than 100 recordings of complete operas, compilations of arias and duets, and crossover discs have earned him eleven Grammy Awards and two Latin Grammy Awards, as well as two Emmy Awards for the television film Homage to Seville and for the Met’s “Silver Gala” program. He was the Latin Recording Academy’s Person of the Year in 2010. He celebrated his 70th birthday in January 2011, but his gifts and energy remain undiminished. Newsweek and other international publications have fittingly described Plácido Domingo as “the King of Opera,” “a true renaissance man in music,” and “the greatest operatic artist of modern times.”
Performance and Electronic Music Artist, Peaches, makes Castro Street Fair Debut
The Castro Street Fair Board of Directors announced today that they have signed Peaches, world renowned and sexually progressive pop-star, to perform at the 40th anniversary of the Castro Street Fair on October 6th.
Peaches, along with her Peachettes, will be headlining the Castro Street Fair Main Stage. Her performance will include a never-before-seen tribute to disco legend Sylvester, who performed at the second annual Castro Street Fair in 1975. The Peachettes are a group of local performers produced by Midnight Mass choreographer, Rory Davis
“The Castro Street Fair is beyond thrilled to have Peaches as part of our Ruby Anniversary celebration,” said Executive Director George Ridgely. “She will undoubtedly deliver a show stopping performance,” he said.
Since the release of her debut album in 2000, Peaches has spread her smart and progressive lyrics to the pop culture landscape, harnessing a worldwide audience and, along with the countless followers, shaped the mainstream into a more inclusive and sexually progressive surrounding. 2013 saw the release of Peaches’ critically acclaimed feature film debut, Peaches Does Herself. Of the film, The Hollywood Reporter stated that it was, “A loosely biographical rock opera featuring outlandish costumes, transsexual dancers, lashing of smutty humor and simulated hardcore sex, this self-directed carnival of carnal excess feels like The Rocky Horror Picture Show with a postgrad doctorate in Queer Theory.” Over the years, she’s built a reputation for her suggestive and intelligent lyrics, her amalgamation of rock and electro sounds, and her balls-out performances; while continuing to outdo herself with each brash step.
“I am so proud to be part of Castro Street Fair, especially because it was started by the fearless Harvey Milk. This year, being the 40th anniversary, I will help honor another fearless incredible San Fran LGBT Legend, Sylvester. I can’t wait to be a part of this! Yes!!!!”
Entertainment at this year’s fair will pay homage to the 40 years of music and entertainment that has been the fabric of the Castro Street Fair since its inception. A full line-up of performers and set times will be published on the Castro Street Fair website (www.castrostreetfair.org) in the weeks prior to the event.
The Castro Street Fair is a not-for-profit community street celebration that was founded by Harvey Milk in 1974. Hundreds of local artists, vendors, craftspeople, and organizations line the streets and celebrate the diversity of the neighborhood. Stages with live entertainment and dance stages can be found throughout the fairgrounds. The Castro Street Fair is held the first Sunday of October every year and this year will be held on October 6th from 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. at Market and Castro Streets.
Proceeds from the Fair, including gate donations, will be shared with these beneficiaries in 2013: AIDS Emergency Fund/Breast Cancer Emergency Fund, AIDS Housing Alliance, AIDS Legal Referral Panel, Asian & Pacific Islander Wellness Center, Bay Positives, Castro Community On Patrol, Community United Against Violence (CUAV), Castro/Eureka Valley Neighborhood Association, Castro Country Club, Ducal Council of San Francisco, The Family Link, Harvey Milk Civil Rights Academy, Haight Ashbury Community Nursery School, Hartford Street Zen Center, Imperial Council of San Francisco, Instituto Familiar de la Raza, Metropolitan Community Church-San Francisco, McKinley Elementary School – Parent-Teacher Association, Most Holy Redeemer – AIDS Support Group, Project Open Hand, Queer Life Space, and the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus.
Sponsors of the 2013 Castro Street Fair include Miller Brands, Chevron, US Bank, the GLBT Historical Society, The Bay Area Reporter, Whole Foods, Via Media and Recology; along with additional funding and support from Grants for the Arts and the SOMArts Cultural Center’s Technical Services Program.
To learn more about Peaches, please visit her website at: www.PeachesDoesHerself.com
To learn more about the Castro Street Fair, please visit our website at: http://www.castrostreetfair.org.
To follow the Castro Street Fair on Facebook, please visit the following page: https://www.facebook.com/CASTROSTREETFAIR
The Marsh announces that Will Durst’s hit one-man show, BOOMERAGING: FROM LSD TO OMG will extend its run at The Marsh San Francisco through October 29, 2013. A tribute to the joys, achievements, and looming terrors that accompany being a member of the Baby Boom Generation, this rollicking show assesses that group’s vibrant role in today’s youth-obsessed society. Durst’s hilarious romp celebrates Boomers for refusing to grow old in the face of changing times, gravity, and the reflection that greets them daily in the mirror. BOOMERAGING: FROM LSD TO OMG continues at The Marsh San Francisco now through October 29, with shows on Tuesdays at 8pm. For tickets, the public may visit www.themarsh.org or call 415-282-3055 between 1:00 pm and 4:00 pm, Monday through Friday.
Bay Area comedian Will Durst was called “quite possibly the best political comedian working in the country today,” by The New York Times. In BOOMERAGING: FROM LSD TO OMG, utilizing technology specifically designed not to spook the target audience (overhead projector), Durst explores the Boomer revolutions and evolutions, while detailing how to lose the fear of aging and embrace the wrinkles. He shamelessly strokes the egos and pats the hands of the self-described “Most Important Generation” through segments entitled “Hey You Punks, Get Off My Wireless Router,” “The Blinking VCR,” “Still Doing Drugs, Only Now There’s a Co- Pay,” “The Brightside of Extreme Maturity” and “Hope I Die Before I… Oops, Too Late.”
Acknowledged by peers and press alike as one of the premier political comedians in the country, Durst has built a stellar comedy career, weaving together columns, books, commentaries, acting, and stand-up comedy into a hilarious fulcrum of outraged and outrageous common sense. He is currently a nationally syndicated humor columnist, and his writings have appeared in Esquire, the San Francisco Chronicle, National Lampoon, The New York Times and many others. He is a five-time Emmy nominee; has been fired by PBS three times; told jokes in 14 countries and his over 800 television appearances include Letterman, HBO, Showtime, CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox News and the BBC. The critically acclaimed Off-Broadway run of his one-man show, The All American Sport of Bipartisan Bashing was subsequently turned into a book by Ulysses Press and Elect to Laugh is available on Amazon as an e-book or as a trade paper published by Hyperink, and an audio version will soon be released via Stand Up Records. Durst’s performances are made possible by the 1st Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.
SPECIAL NOTE: Due to the graphic nature of some images and the startlingly archaic technology involved, children under the age of 40 will not be admitted unless accompanied by a grown-up or a note from their guardian. We apologize for any inconvenience.
(l-r): Edgar Meyer, Yo-Yo Ma, Stuart Duncan and Chris Thile
Legendary cellist Yo-Yo Ma is known for his superb musicianship and his driving curiosity which sends him searching for new musical traditions in which to participate. In 2011, Ma joined forces with four bluegrass virtuosos: Stuart Duncan (fiddle), Edgar Meyer (bassist), Chris Thile (mandolin), and guest vocalist Aoife O’Donovan to create a new brand of string ensemble. While each artist is a prominent figure in his own musical sphere, they came together as a unified band on a remarkable cross-genre project and in the process created a Grammy Award-winning album, The Goat Rodeo Sessions, a testimony to the success of the collaboration. The ensemble reunites on Saturday, August 24 at 8:00 p.m. at Cal Performances’ Greek Theater to perform works from the album. The music feels both new and familiar—it is composed and improvised, uptown and down home, funky and pastoral and above all, uniquely American.
The four string musicians had played together in various combinations but never all together. One of the frequently asked questions is how the ensemble came up with the humorous title. Many of their songs had working titles using the word “rodeo.” One of the definitions of a goat rodeo is a chaotic situation, often one that involves several people, each with a different agenda/vision/perception of what’s going on. The group thought that described their collaborative style. “Everybody could be a leader or everybody could be a follower at various times,” Ma says. “How can we ever get any work done when we’re laughing all of the time…for me, that’s the goat rodeo part…” (All Things Considered, NPR).
Yo-Yo Ma was born in Paris in 1955 to Chinese parents and began studying the cello with his father at age four. One year later his family moved to New York so he could study at the Juilliard School with Leonard Rose. Ma graduated from Harvard University in 1976. He is known for maintaining a balance between his engagements as a recitalist, leading small ensembles, performing with premier orchestras, and a prodigious recording output. Ma created the Silk Road Project in 1998 to promote the study of cultural, artistic and intellectual traditions along the ancient Silk Road trade route. More than 60 works have been commissioned for the Silk Road Ensemble, which tours annually and was most recently at Cal Performances in 2011 and will return to Zellerbach Hall as part of the 2013/14 season on Sunday, October 27.
Ma has received numerous awards, including the Avery Fisher Prize (1978), Glenn Gould Prize (1999), National Medal of the Arts (2001), World Economic Forum’s Crystal Award (2008), Presidential Medal of Freedom (2010), and the Kennedy Center Honors (2011). He also serves as a U.N. Messenger of Peace. Ma has released over 80 albums and has won 16 Grammy Awards in six different categories. His records often cross genres, and he has collaborated with such music giants as Emanuel Ax, Itzhak Perlman, and Joshua Redman. His most recent album, The Goat Rodeo Sessions, was released in 2011. Ma currently plays on two instruments, a 1733 Montagnana cello and a 1712 “Davidoff” Stradivarius.
Multi-instrumentalist Stuart Duncan has built upon his bluegrass roots to become an artist that defies categorization. The consummate sideman, Duncan has lent his particular taste and tone to countless artists and projects. Whether trading instrumental licks with the likes of Béla Fleck and Jerry Douglas, or adding complimentary fills for vocalists Alan Jackson and Barbara Streisand, Dunan has found a professional home both in the studio and on tour. From Robert Plant to Panic at the Disco, Duncan’s playing and influence can be heard among many of today’s top hit-makers.
In demand as both a performer and a composer, Edgar Meyer was hailed by The New Yorker as “…the most remarkable virtuoso in the relatively unchronicled history of his instrument.” Meyer is comfortable in a broad range of genres, including classical, bluegrass, newgrass, and jazz. His collaborators illustrate this range: Joshua Bell, Jerry Douglas, Béla Fleck, Zakir Hussain, Sam Bush, James Taylor, Chris Thile, Mike Marshall, Mark O’Connor, Alison Krauss, Mary Chapin Carpenter, and the trio Nickel Creek. In 2000, he won the Avery Fisher Prize, given once every few years to classical instrumentalists for outstanding achievement. In 2002, he was named a MacArthur Fellow. Meyer’s collaboration with Yo-Yo Ma and Mark O’Connor on the acclaimed Appalachia Waltz reached the top of the United States pop charts. Their second collaboration, Appalachian Journey, earned a Grammy Award for Best Classical Crossover Album.
The 31-year-old multi-instrumentalist Chris Thile has been playing music his entire life. His earliest memories of music are listening to Stan Getz’s recording of “The Girl from Ipanema” before he even turned one-year-old. He began playing in his family’s band Nickel Creek at age 8, and at 12 won an international mandolin championship. In 2004, Thile released Deceiver, an experimental album on which he recorded every track himself, including electric guitar, piano, drums, violin, viola, cello, and bass. He is best known for his work with Punch Brothers that released its first album in 2008. He has performed with a cross-section of musicians from Yo Yo Ma to Béla Fleck and Dolly Parton. In 2009, Thile completed a mandolin concerto entitled Ad astra per alas porci that was commissioned by a consortium of orchestras and had its premiere with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra.
Singer/songwriter/guitarist Aoife O’Donovan is known for her work as lead singer for Crooked Still and the folk trio Sometymes Why. She attended the New York Conservatory of Music and comes from a musical family: both parents are musicians. Her “Lay My Burden Down” was a hit record for Alison Krauss in 2011 and her first solo album, Fossils, is being released June 11. Her summer tour schedule includes performances at the Grand Ole Opry, Ottawa Jazz Festival, and Bonnaroo, joining Garrison Keillor on tour, and re-uniting with Ma, Duncan, Meyer, and Thile for The Goat Rodeo Sessions at Tanglewood before coming to Cal Performances.
Tickets for The Goat Rodeo Sessions with Yo-Yo Ma, Stuart Duncan, Edgar Meyer, Chris Thile, and Aoife O’Donovan on Saturday, August 24, at 8:00 p.m. at the Greek Theatre range from $35.00-$125.00 and are available for sale to the public on Monday, June 18 through the Ticket Office at Zellerbach Hall; at (510) 642-9988; at www.calperformances.org; and at the door. Half-price tickets are available for UC Berkeley students. UC faculty and staff, senior citizens, other students and UC Alumni Association members receive a $5.00 discount (Special Events excluded). For select performances, Cal Performances offers UCB student, faculty and staff, senior, and community rush tickets. For more information about discounts, go to http://calperformances.org/buy/discounts.php or call (510) 642-9988.
The Marsh Berkeley is delighted to present famed comedian Will Durst in three benefit performances of his hit one-man show, BOOMERAGING: FROM LSD TO OMG. Come and howl with both laughter and chagrin as Durst pays tribute to the joys, achievements and looming terrors that accompany being a member of the Baby Boom Generation. The show assesses their still vibrant role in today’s youth-obsessed society and celebrates them for refusing to grow old in the face of changing times, gravity and the reflection that greets them daily in the mirror. All proceeds benefit The Marsh.
BOOMERAGING will play on Friday, August 9 and Saturday, August 10 at 8:00 pm and on Sunday August 11 at 3:00 pm on the TheaterStage at The Marsh Berkeley, 2120 Allston Way near Shattuck The public may visit www.themarsh.org or call 415-282-3055.
Utilizing technology specifically designed not to spook the target audience (overhead projector), Durst explores the Boomer revolutions, evolutions and still vibrant role in today’s youth obsessed society (which we invented, for crum’s sake). He shamelessly strokes the egos and pats the hands of the Love Generation through segments entitled “Racing From The Shadow Of A Mushroom Cloud,” “The Blinking VCR,” “Still Doing Drugs, Only Now There’s a Co- Pay,” “The Brightsides of Extreme Adulthood” and “Hope I Die Before I… Ooops, Too Late.”
Acknowledged by peers and press alike as one of the premier political comedians in the country, Will Durst has patched together a quilt of a comedy career, weaving together columns, books, commentaries, acting and stand-up comedy into a hilarious patchwork of outraged and outrageous common sense. He currently writes a nationally syndicated humor column, and his scribblings, have appeared in Esquire, George, the SF Chronicle, National Lampoon, New York Times and scads of other periodicals. He is a five-time Emmy nominee; has been fired by PBS three times; told jokes in 14 countries and his 800+ television appearances include Letterman, HBO, Showtime, CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox News and the BBC. The critically acclaimed Off-Broadway run of his one-man show: “The All American Sport of Bipartisan Bashing,” was subsequently turned into a book by Ulysses Press and “Elect to Laugh” is available on Amazon as an e-book or as a trade paper published by Hyperink and will soon become a CD released by Stand Up Records. Durst’s performances are made possible by the 1st Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.
SPECIAL NOTE: Due to the graphic nature of some images and the startlingly archaic technology involved, children under the age of 40 will not be admitted unless accompanied by a grown-up or a note from their guardian. We apologize for any inconvenience.
Asian Art Museum presents the Cyrus Cylinder—sometimes called the first bill of human rights—in U.S. tour
Modest in size and appearance and made more than 2,500 years ago, the Cyrus Cylinder continues to be hailed as an international symbol of tolerance and justice. In its first U.S. tour on loan from the British Museum, the Cylinder will travel to the Asian Art Museum (along with four other venues) as part of the intimate exhibition The Cyrus Cylinder and Ancient Persia: A New Beginning. On view Aug. 9–Sept. 22, 2013, the exhibition also includes 16 rare artworks from ancient Persia (Iran) during the Achaemenid period (550–330 BCE), providing a context for understanding the Cylinder’s cultural and historical significance.
Dating to 539 BCE, the Cyrus Cylinder—one of the most famous surviving icons from the ancient world—was uncovered in 1879 at Babylon (in modern Iraq) during a British Museum excavation. The Cylinder was inscribed in Babylonian cuneiform script on the orders of the Persian king, Cyrus the Great (ruled 559–530 BCE), after he captured Babylon in 539 BCE. It is often referred to as the first bill of human rights, as it mentions Cyrus’s return from Babylon of deported peoples to their homelands and his encouragement of freedom of religious practice.
The Cyrus Cylinder is truly an object of world heritage, produced for a Persian king in Iraq and seen and studied for more than 130 years in the British Museum. The values of freedom from captivity and freedom of religious practice proclaimed by Cyrus the Great are the enduring ideas underlying ethical governance that have made the Cylinder a universal icon. Today, a copy of the Cylinder is on display in the United Nations building in New York City. The Cylinder appears on postage stamps issued by the Islamic Republic of Iran, and it was seen firsthand by about half a million people at the 2010–2011 exhibition in Tehran.
More information on the exhibition can be found here: www.cyruscylinder2013.com
The work of four Bay Area artists will appear in unexpected places from September 14 through November 17, 2013, as the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) presents site-responsive projects by the 2012 winners of its signature SECA Art Award: Zarouhie Abdalian, Josh Faught, Jonn Herschend, and David Wilson. For the first time in the history of the museum’s biennial award program honoring up-and-coming Bay Area artists, SFMOMA has commissioned all four recipients to create new work and to present it outside of the traditional gallery context. Encompassing a wide range of media, these diverse projects will be installed in various non-art spaces of the artists’ choosing in San Francisco and Oakland and will be on view for free to the public for two months this fall.
Established to recognize Bay Area artists of exceptional talent with an exhibition, accompanying catalogue, and an honorarium, the biennial award is supported by SECA (Society for the Encouragement of Contemporary Art), an SFMOMA art interest group. The art award has been at the center of SECA’s multifaceted activities over the past half century, offering an inside look at the most noteworthy art being made right here in the Bay Area.
During the SECA exhibition, Abdalian activates downtown Oakland with a sound installation of bells; Faught responds to the Neptune Society Columbarium in San Francisco’s Inner Richmond neighborhood with textile-based sculptures; Herschend investigates SFMOMA’s temporary art and office relocation through a film shot on site at the museum and presented online; and Wilson organizes a series of self-guided tours that lead to sites throughout San Francisco, starting from a trailhead at the front of the SFMOMA’s currently closed Third Street building.
This unique multi-location presentation of the SECA Art Award exhibition is organized by Jenny Gheith, assistant curator of painting and sculpture, and Tanya Zimbardo, assistant curator of media arts. Gheith and Zimbardo announced the four award winners on December 13, 2012; the selection process included a review of over 250 applications from nominated artists. Fifteen finalists were chosen by the award curators for studio visits and also asked to submit a proposal for a solo commission at a potential location. The four award winners were selected based on the strengths of their previous artistic work and their new proposals.
“This off-site iteration provided us with an incredible opportunity to rethink and reimagine the exhibition model for this long-standing award,” says Gheith. “By presenting four solo commissions sited at locations of the artist’s choosing, we are able to realize projects that highlight their distinct visions and share their work more broadly.”
Zimbardo adds, “There is a dynamic range of art being presented now in the Bay Area outside of the gallery context in the urban environment. This is the perfect moment for SFMOMA to be able to directly contribute to this dialogue around contemporary art in the public sphere through this exhibition and other upcoming off-site projects.”
Location: Downtown Oakland; played once daily during daytime hours; full schedule available at sfmoma.org/secaaward beginning September 3, 2013
Zarouhie Abdalian works with the specifics of a site to create subtle interventions into everyday perception. Often bordering on the edge of invisibility, her minimal installations address the dynamics between visitors and a given site by staging small shifts in sight or sound. Through her research into the history and physical features of a location, she arrives at simple adjustments such as making a window flutter with Mylar or illuminating an abandoned building with lights set on timers. Her refined modifications transform a viewer’s physical or emotional understanding of a specific environment.
For her SECA project, the Oakland-based artist has created a sound installation consisting of brass bells that are programmed to ring simultaneously at a different designated time each day from rooftops in and around Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, at 14th Street and Broadway. For several minutes, each bell will play a randomized rhythmic structure of accelerandi and ritardandos that will sound differently every time. Abdalian is interested in the way that “bells regulate the activities of social spaces—announcing the passing of hours, shift changes, festivals, calls to service, and emergencies—and become powerful mechanisms by which the listener is situated in space.” This experiential piece shifts the listener’s attention and awareness of the city center, a historic place associated with community gathering, performance, and protest. Abdalian first noticed the potential for this site in 2010 through gatherings in support of Oscar Grant’s family that were held in the plaza during the Johannes Mehserle trial. Since the bells are out of view from those who hear them, their sound has no visual anchor, an absence accentuated by the empty bell tower atop city hall. Seven days a week, the bells will play for several minutes during daytime hours.
Abdalian (born 1982, New Orleans, Louisiana) earned her BA at Tulane University and her MFA from California College of the Arts. Her work has been included in numerous national and international exhibitions including Zarouhie Abdalian / MATRIX 249 (August 2–September 29, 2013), currently on view at the Berkeley Art Museum; the 9th Shanghai Biennial (2012), the 3rd Moscow International Biennale for Young Art (2012); and the 12th Istanbul Biennial (2011). In 2014 Abdalian will participate in Prospect 3, New Orleans.
Location: Neptune Society Columbarium, 1 Loraine Court, San Francisco; public hours: Mon–Fri, 8 a.m.–5 p.m.; Sat–Sun, 10 a.m.–3 p.m. Free admission.
Josh Faught’s work mines the rich histories of craft in sculpture, pairing traditional textiles and homespun techniques such as loom-weaving, knitting, and crocheting with everyday objects that reference domesticity, political slogans, or kitsch. His assemblages typically start with raw fibers that are hand dyed with organic materials such as ground-up cochineal bugs or covered in spray paint or nail polish. These labor-intensive sculptures draw on histories of gender and sexual politics, and precariously balance an urgent sense of anxiety with a nostalgic view of the present.
For his SFMOMA commission, titled Be Bold for What You Stand For, Be Careful for What You Fall For (2013), Faught creates a constellation of hand-woven, fiber-based sculptures that respond to the architecture and history of the Neptune Society Columbarium, a repository for cremation urns located in the Inner Richmond neighborhood of San Francisco. The only nondenominational cemetery in the city, this 19th-century neoclassical treasure houses more than 8,000 inurnment niches that memorialize everyday people as well as cultural figures, artists, and other notable San Franciscans. Faught’s installation is inspired by the visual language of these personalized tributes, and takes the form of two freestanding works of crocheted and woven yarn on wooden armatures and one large, suspended woven sculpture—his largest work to date—that engage with the space’s central rotunda, stairwell, and smaller rooms. His color palette is restricted to hues that artist and designer William Morris articulated in the early 20th-century Arts and Crafts movement—cochineal pink, indigo blue, walnut brown, and weld yellow. “Each of these natural dyes has a somewhat fugitive quality, which extends to some of the thematic narratives in the content of the work around transition and time,” explains Faught. The San Francisco–based artist’s first solo exhibition in the Bay Area also furthers his investigation of emotional support structures and various histories of craft, the queer community, and activism.
Faught (born 1979, St. Louis, Missouri) lives and work in San Francisco. He earned his BA at Oberlin College and his MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. This summer Faught’s work is currently on view at the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis in Josh Faught: Snacks, Supports, and Something to Rally Around (July 10–August 11, 2013). Faught has had solo exhibitions at Lisa Cooley Gallery, New York; and the Seattle Art Museum, among others. In 2012 he won a Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award, and he received the Betty Bowen Award from the Seattle Art Museum in 2009.
Location: sfmoma.org/stories; premiering September 14; trailer now viewable here.
Jonn Herschend investigates emotional truth, confusion, and absurdity in everyday life through video, film, installation, and performance. His work often humorously questions how we interpret the validity of information, utilizing the formats of corporate messaging tools such as PowerPoint and informational videos. A recurring theme in his work is the literary device of the unreliable narrator who turns what Herschend refers to as “site-specific fictions” into personal and confused dramas that reveal multiple interpretations of a given situation.
For his SECA presentation, Herschend has a created new film that that will premiere on SFMOMA’s website at sfmoma.org/stories. Shot on location at SFMOMA this past spring, Stories from the Evacuation (2013) takes the museum’s temporary building closure as the point of departure for a behind-the-scenes look at its temporary art and administrative relocation during expansion construction, exploring narratives of risk and personal transition, as well as public and private roles. Herschend interviewed several museum staff members about their perspectives on this time of significant change. “With all stories there is a front-of-the-house and back-of-the-house,” the artist says. “There are stories we present to the world and there is the complicated and sometimes messy reality of how these things happen.” Herschend’s view of the tremendous collaborative effort and planning involved in the museum’s transition phase becomes increasingly focused on one interview subject’s personal backstory.
Herschend (born 1967, Branson, Missouri) lives and works in San Francisco. He received his BA from Boston University and his MFA from the University of California at Berkeley. Recent short films have been commissioned for exhibitions at SITE Santa Fe; Minneapolis Institute for the Arts; the Oakland Museum of California Art; and Den Frie Centre of Contemporary Art, Copenhagen. His work has been included in numerous exhibitions and film screenings, including solo presentations at Steven Wolf Fine Arts, San Francisco; Invisible Venue, Oakland; and in the group triennial Bay Area Now 5 (2008) at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco. Since 2007, he has co-edited the object-based publication THE THING Quarterly (which recently partnered with Levi’s Made and Crafted to launch Moment to Moment) with former SECA award recipient Will Rogan.
Locations: Around San Francisco; visitors can pick up maps at SFMOMA’s closed 151 Third Street building entrance; first map will be available starting Sept. 14.
Wilson’s works on paper and performance-based pieces have explored what he describes as “the many lost corners and in-between stretches of natural and developed space” in the Bay Area, including locations such as Angel Island, Bolinas Beach, and the Marin Headlands. He often announces his participatory gatherings and site-specific installations through invitations that include folded maps with directions and sketches meant to guide attendees to carefully composed situations.
Over the course of his SECA exhibition, Wilson will develop a series of self-guided journeys to six outdoor sites throughout San Francisco titled Arrivals (2013). Each journey begins at a central trailhead located at the main entrance of SFMOMA’s Third Street building where visitors can pick up hand-drawn maps with instructions for the experience. The first map will lead to a eucalyptus grove at the Presidio, where the artist has installed an elaborate, 16-foot-high ink drawing spread over twenty sheets of paper. “I was looking for a spot in San Francisco where there would be a sense of outdoor, natural architecture—a gallery in the forest—and see what happens when a drawing is placed in a living environment,” he says. The drawing depicts another natural landmark in Northern California—Frog Woman Rock, a distinctive rock formation in the Russian River Canyon recreational area that, for Wilson, evokes expectation and the excitement of arrival on his frequent trips to the area. Whether working in large groups or one-on-one exchanges, Wilson’s ephemeral projects often involve collaboration with a rich community of musicians, filmmakers, and other artists. His Arrivals series will continue this interest, featuring tape recordings of song, music, or sound-based performances previously made at each location by Wilson with guest collaborators such as Andy Cabic (of Vetiver), Danny Paul Grody (of Tarentel and The Drift), Colter Jacobsen (of Coconut), Holly Herndon, Sonny Smith (of Sonny & The Sunsets), and Sarah Simon and Kate Sweeney (of Magic Magic Roses).
Documentation of Wilson’s piece will be regularly updated on SFMOMA’s website throughout the exhibition. In addition to the six journey maps, he will use the timeframe of his SFMOMA exhibition as a residency to generate new drawings during his daily exploration of the city, and add them to the trailhead throughout the run of the show.
Oakland-based Wilson (born 1982, Framingham, Massachusetts) received his BA in visual art from Wesleyan University, Connecticut. He was included in the 2010 California Biennial at the Orange County Museum of Art and has held solo exhibitions at the Berkeley Art Museum (David Wilson: Gatherings MATRIX 233) and Eleanor Harwood Gallery, San Francisco, among others. Wilson organizes the interdisciplinary CLASS sessions (2012–ongoing), a project led with other artistic collaborators, and is currently co-curator with Lawrence Rinder of the upcoming group exhibition The Possible at the Berkeley Art Museum in winter of 2014.
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
Featuring the world premiere of Two If By Sea by Kimi Okada; Triangulating Euclid, the critically acclaimed collaboration between Brenda Way, KT Nelson and Kate Weare; and The Light Has Not the Arms to Carry Us, a three-part work by Kate Weare
August 2-3, 2013, 8pm ODC Theater
3153 Seventeenth Street, San Francisco
Tickets: $30-$45, 415.863.9834
ODC/Dance, San Francisco’s internationally acclaimed contemporary dance company, presents its popular annual summer event, Summer Sampler, August 2-3, 2013. The three works on this summer’s program include Triangulating Euclid, the 2013 collaboration between Brenda Way, KT Nelson and New York-based choreographer Kate Weare; Two if By Sea, a world premiere duet by ODC Associate Choreographer Kimi Okada; and Weare’s celebrated work, The Light Has Not the Arms to Carry Us.
Summer Sampler also marks the retirement of ODC dancer Vanessa Thiessen, who joined ODC in 2008.
Thiessen is featured in the world premiere of Okada’s Two If By Sea, a duet with dancer Jeremy Smith, that explores the mystery of signs a couple uses to communicate, as intimates and as compatriots signaling to an outside world. Using code languages as diverse as base coaching, semaphore signals and aural transmissions, this rhythmic, physical work unveils the power of hidden or overt signals in our lives.
Triangulating Euclid, the 2013 work by Way, Nelson and Weare, was inspired by a rare original edition of Euclid’s Elements, one of the most influential works in the history of mathematics. This highly physical and emotive piece was celebrated as “beautifully enigmatic” (Huffington Post) and “an exuberant celebration of the way dancers inscribe themselves into space” (San Francisco Bay Guardian) and premiered to sold-out audiences at ODC/Dance Downtown earlier this year. The first-ever collaboration between Way, Nelson and Weare, and the beginning of bi-coastal collaboration between the three artists, Triangulating Euclid provided the choreographers an opportunity to disrupt their processes and explore new artistic territory.
ODC partners with Weare once again when the ODC dancers perform The Light Has Not the Arms to Carry Us. An abstract exploration into primitive states, The Light Has Not The Arms To Carry Us delves into abasement, wariness, sensuality and tenderness.
Summer Sampler is an intimate event designed to clear the summer fog and satisfy your appetite for art. Choreographers Way, Nelson and Okada will also be on hand after the performances to shed some light on the dancing in a talkback session with the audience.
ODC is known throughout the world for its athleticism, passion and intellectual depth. Among the many awards ODC’s three resident choreographers–Brenda Way, KT Nelson and Kimi Okada–have received are a Guggenheim, six Isadora Duncan Dance Awards — including two lifetime achievement awards — a San Francisco Examiner Golden Slipper Award, and a Tony nomination. Brenda Way was selected as the first choreographer to serve as Resident of the Arts at the American Academy in Rome for 2009/10 and recently received a prestigious leadership award from the San Francisco Foundation. ODC has been hailed as “Best Dance Company” in the San Francisco Bay Guardian’s Best of the Bay 2002, 2005, 2006, 2009 and 2012 editions. In 2009 ODC was selected by BAM as one of three dance companies to tour internationally under the aegis of the U.S. State Department’s inaugural DanceMotion USA tour.
Founded in 1971 by Artistic Director Brenda Way, ODC (Oberlin Dance Collective, named after its place of origin, Oberlin College in Ohio) loaded up a yellow school bus and relocated to San Francisco in 1976. Her goal was to ground the company in a dynamic, pluralistic setting. ODC was the first modern dance company in America to build its own home facility in 1979, from which it operates a school, a theater, a gallery, and a health clinic for dancers. In September 2005, under Way’s leadership, ODC opened a second performing arts facility, the ODC Dance Commons. And in the fall of 2010 ODC unveiled its newly renovated and expanded Theater. Through its dozens of programs ODC strives to inspire audiences, cultivate artists, engage community, and foster diversity and inclusion through dance performance, training, and mentorship.
Middle-school participants in the tuition-free six-week dance program demonstrate
their new skills in a free and open-to-the-public performance on the UC, Berkeley Campus
Celebrating its twelfth summer, the Berkeley/Oakland AileyCamp at Cal Performances will culminate in a 50-camper strong finale performance titled Listen… on Thursday, August 1 at 7:00 p.m. at Zellerbach Playhouse. Complete with professional staging, lights, costumes and live music, the 2013 session of the nationally acclaimed program showcases the youths’ training in ballet, jazz, modern and African dance. The camp was conceived by Alvin Ailey, founder of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, and is locally produced by Cal Performances under the direction of David McCauley. “AileyCamp is arts education at its very best,” says Cal Performances’ Director Matías Tarnopolsky. “It has a transformative effect on every single participant’s life. They take back to their families, their schools and to their communities the essential values they have learned.” Comprised of 10 boys and 40 girls this summer, campers participate in a curriculum that includes dance instruction in addition to personal development, creative communications classes and field trips. The tuition-free camp admits underserved middle-school students from the Berkeley, Oakland, Richmond and Albany Unified School districts. Subject to availability, tickets for the performance of Listen… are free and available to the public at the Zellerbach Playhouse ticket office.
David McCauley, who has served as Director of the camp since its beginning in the 2001-2002 season, has titled this year’s end-of-camp performance Listen…. “As AileyCampers begin to create art this summer, we want to hear the their voices, to listen to stories about life from their perspective.” He continues, “I’m also thinking of all the ways we use the word listen. Parents admonishing their child, “You’ve got to listen to what I tell you!” Or the command, “Listen!” The warning, “Hey, Listen….” And the start of a story, “Listen to the tale I have to tell you.” So many ways to listen, and so many things to listen to.”
The Thursday, August 1 performance is free and open to the public. Tickets may be obtained in person at Cal Performances’ Ticket Office at Zellerbach Playhouse on the UC Berkeley campus starting Tuesday, July 23; remaining tickets may be available at the door, depending on demand.
BERKELEY/OAKLAND AILEYCAMP AT CAL PERFORMANCES
The first AileyCamp was founded in 1989 by Alvin Ailey and the Kansas City Friends of Alvin Ailey; there are now ten camps throughout the country. Berkeley/Oakland AileyCamp at Cal Performances opened its doors in June 2002; it is the only AileyCamp on the West Coast and on a major university campus. The campers receive two meals each day, a camp uniform and dance clothes. They participate in a curriculum that includes daily technique classes in ballet, Horton-based modern dance, jazz and West African dance. Dance and creative communications classes deepen the students’ awareness of their potential for self-expression; personal development classes provide counseling in nutrition, conflict resolution, drug abuse prevention, personal hygiene, decision-making and goal-setting. “I will not use the word can’t to define my possibilities,” is just one of the affirmations repeated daily to reinforce their goals, build self-confidence, and guide them on a path to becoming a productive and motivated individual. AileyCamp is not a training ground for professional dancers but instead uses dance as a vehicle for developing self-esteem and critical thinking skills in underserved 6th, 7th and 8thgrade students. An important aspect of the program’s success is providing positive adult and peer role models. “When camp is finished, students will leave with valuable life skills and a sense of accomplishment that will help them navigate through the challenging years ahead,” McCauley says.
David W. McCauley began his dance training while a student, first at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan, and later at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. He has trained in ballet, modern, jazz, and ethnic dancing. As a dancer based in New York City, McCauley spent 15 years with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, as student, instructor and performer. He also performed with the Pearl Primus Dance Company and Omega Liturgical Dance Company. Since 1990, he has been a resident of San Francisco, and has performed with Wing It! Performance Ensemble and Omega West Dance Company. Recently, McCauley became an adjunct faculty member of the Center for Art, Religion, and Education, an affiliated center of the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley and was awarded the AileyCamp Award of Excellence from the AileyCamp Foundation in recognition of his exemplary leadership and commitment, 2002-2011. The AileyCamp Award of Excellence was the first award of its kind from the AileyCamp Foundation and McCauley was the first one to receive it. A full time staff member at Cal Performances who also serves as a teaching artist, he has directed Berkeley/Oakland AileyCamp at Cal Performances since its inauguration.
Rica Anderson is the Education and Programs Manager and a Teaching Artist for Cal Performances and the AileyCamp Administrator. Prior to Cal Performances, she worked for Kaiser Permanente’s Educational Theater programs; was School Liaison and a Teaching Artist at the Julia Morgan Center for the Arts; created educator guides for KQED’s Spark program; and participated in Harvard’s Project Zero Classroom.
Kenny Wang, a UC Berkeley junior double majoring in Theater and Performance Studies and Media Studies joins AileyCamp as the Administrative Assistant.
The whole teaching staff from last Summer is returning: Naomi Johnson Diouf (African dance), West African dance and culture teacher at Berkeley High School and Artistic Director of Diamano Coura West African Dance Company in Oakland; Derrick Minter (modern dance), longtime AileyCamp teacher and dance professor at the University of Oklahoma; Priya Shah (ballet), a former faculty member of Ballet Pacifica Academy with a MFA in Dance and a BA in Psychology; Zari Le’on (jazz dance), dance instructor at Grand Canyon University, Middlebury College, Mills College and Scripps College and founder and creative director of Zari Le’on Dance Theater; Shawn Nealy (personal development), a percussionist with a Masters of Education from UCLA and a teacher with multiple years in the classroom in the Los Angeles, Oakland and Fremont Unified School Districts and Erika Padilla-Morales (creative communications), MFAs in Screenwriting and Creative Writing, previously a Media Arts Coach with Streetside Stories supporting educators and young people through video. Bronwyn Wrobel (guidance counselor), is a new member to the team, earned her Masters in Integral Counseling Psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies and has counseled children and their families for three years with a focus on art, play, and movement therapy. Returning musicians include pianist Frederick Harris and percussionists Madiou Sao Diouf and Darian LaFoucade.
Returning AileyCamp group leaders include LaKiesha Golden and former AileyCampers Tamara McCree (2002 alum) and Spencer Pulu (2005 alum). Newcomers Beth Ellis Dickson and Christine Velez join the AileyCamp team this year. Providing strong leadership, consistent support and guidance to each camper within their group, AileyCamp group leaders oversee AileyCampers throughout their camp day.
AileyCamp Diary, a webpage on Cal Performances’ website, will feature writings and images by staff and campers updated throughout the six-week camp. Go to www.calperformances.org/aileycampdiary.
The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) may be on the go with off-site programming throughout the city while its building is closed for expansion, but the SFMOMA MuseumStore is staying in the same neighborhood, aiming to keep shoppers and a presence for the museum in the immediate area until SFMOMA’s new building opens in early 2016.
Today the museum announced further details about the store’s new temporary space in San Francisco’s South of Market district—a 2,500-square-foot leased property at 51 Yerba Buena Lane, located between Market and Mission Streets near Third Street, next to the Contemporary Jewish Museum—as well as the date of its grand reopening, set for Wednesday, August 7, 2013.
“We’re thrilled to continue serving both our loyal MuseumStore customers and the amazing local artists and designers we collaborate with to develop store products during this interim period,” says MuseumStore Director Jana Machin. “The store will also be a crucial platform for informing potential museum visitors about our expansion in close proximity to the actual construction site, with a portion of the store space dedicated to presenting the latest news about the project.”
The MuseumStore’s newly renovated, more-streamlined space is designed by Napa-based commercial interior design firm Shopworks, and features dramatic structural columns painted in grey-and-black stripes as a nod to the iconic striped-marble motif of SFMOMA’s existing Haas Atrium. The store fixtures, with various wood finishes and a sleek design, are composed of largely reused materials from the original store, along with new environmentally sustainable materials such as bamboo and cork.
The merchandise mix focuses primarily on contemporary design, highlighting the same carefully curated selection of items for the home, unique gifts for children, artisan jewelry, accessories, and the city’s best selection of art books—all of which has made the store so popular with both locals and out-of-towners since its establishment in 1995.
Other highlights of the new store include a continued emphasis on exclusive, limited-edition items developed by SFMOMA with artists, including Michael Murphy, Jason Munn, and Andrew Holder; print-on-demand reproductions of works from SFMOMA’s collection; and a special section devoted to products designed and manufactured in San Francisco, such as the introduction of a new line of homewares that reinvents old fire hoses retired from firehouses across the nation—including Firehouse Station 1, formerly located behind the museum at the current expansion site—and gives them a second life as smart and stylish floor mats, chairs, and accessories.
MuseumStore hours are Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. The store also has a location at the departure level at the SFO International Terminal. The airport space will continue normal operations during expansion construction, and shoppers may also visit sfmoma.org to shop online. When SFMOMA’s new home reopens in 2016, the store will relocate once again to continue operation inside the expanded museum at 151 Third Street.
Proceeds from SFMOMA’s MuseumStore support the museum’s exhibitions and educational programs.
Special Introduction: Oxgut Hose Co.
As one of the first retailers to carry this line, the MuseumStore is pleased to introduce Oxgut Hose Co. products. Designed and made locally, Oxgut’s indoor and outdoor furniture and accessories are creatively handcrafted using retired fire hoses salvaged from U.S. fire departments, including many from SF Fire Department stations. Store shoppers can select from various Oxgut items, including floor mats, chairs, slippers, and tech accessories. The Fire Hose Mats ($235–$320) are uniquely pieced together from recycled hose colors and textures, adding a splash of character to any space. Great for the home and garden, and even the beach, the durable, weather-resistant floor mat is a favorite amongst surfers and campers who love to roll it up for the outdoors.
Jewelry and Accessories
Featuring local and global designers, the MuseumStore offers an exceptional array of jewelry, including the beautifully geometric Iacoli + McAllister necklaces ($78–$320), made in Seattle. From Australia and exclusive to SFMOMA, the Rachel Wightman necklace ($58) is a little piece of wearable art, exuding a bold simplicity of color, shape, and texture. Locally designed, Susan Hoff bags ($180–$240) are inspired by the designer’s time spent at the sea and handcrafted from reclaimed sailcloth and leather. Also locally created in San Francisco’s Mission District, Vanessa Gade jewelry ($108–$278) makes a contemporary statement balanced with a timeless wearability and are inspired by local landmarks, including SFMOMA’s building.
The MuseumStore provides a wide selection of high-quality, thoughtfully designed pieces to add an artful touch to every home. From its Portland-based studio, the Ekko Workshop Desktop Mobile ($50) brightens the desk with its colorful, precision-crafted shapes. Stig Ahlström’s Leaf Tray ($55) makes a stunning setting for a still life with fruit or bread, while the Leitmotiv’s Orbit Table ($178) is the ideal minimal piece that is perfectly on-trend with color blocking of stylish white, grey, or orange against natural wood. Charley Harper wood and felt birds ($40–$65) and ceramic mugs and trays ($14; $42) illustrate the exquisite detail of Harper’s nature-inspired illustrations and make a graphically vibrant addition to any space.
For the Kids
Equally modern and fun, the MuseumStore’s children’s section carries high-quality, durable products for kids of all ages. A mesmerizing alternative to the classic rocking horse, the Newmaker Rocking Zebra ($180) is a design award winner and super durable for the playroom. Lili Chen and Khrass Feng Handmade Sock Dolls ($20 each) provide handsomely crafted, adorable playmates. Clean in design and material, and made in Southern California, Manny and Simon Wooden Trucks ($40 each) take the classic fire, loader, and tow trucks and transform them into contemporary eco-friendly essentials for playtime.
San Francisco Made
The MuseumStore highlights the best of San Francisco–made products, including the Wood Thumb bow tie ($35) crafted from reclaimed redwood for those who want to stand out in a classy way. Capital Eyewear Sunglasses ($180–$240) are inspired by iconic designs and updated by smooth lines and a wooden frame created with sustainably harvested cherry hardwood. Rickshaw Bagworks bags ($39–$99) channel the creative, active, and design-forward energy of the city, serving as the ideal travel and tech accessories. Michael Murphy’s Limited Edition Signed Prints and T-shirts ($150; $28) showcase San Francisco’s modernist architecture with bold colors and stylized graphics; his SFMOMA-inspired designs are exclusive to the MuseumStore.
Exhibition Products and Art Books
In conjunction with SFMOMA’s current off-site exhibition Mark di Suvero at Crissy Field, the MuseumStore offers artist-related products, including Mark di Suvero: Dreambook ($58), a celebration of di Suvero’s long, distinguished career, featuring more than 200 images of his most important works. Art book lovers can select from a remarkable variety of interests, such as The Prints of Ellsworth Kelly ($150) that gathers the artist’s entire oeuvre of prints into a two-volume catalogue raisonné; William Christenberry ($65), the largest overview published surveying the contemporary American master photographer’s half-century-long career; and OVERS!ZE ($42), which profiles 40 artists known for their monumental sculptures and installations around the world.
For more information about products, the public may contact the MuseumStore at 415.357.4035 or visit sfmoma.org, where many items are also available for purchase online.
Prince William’s wife Kate gave birth to a boy on Monday, the couple’s first child and the third in line to the British throne, heralding celebrations in London and messages of goodwill from across the world.
“We could not be happier,” Prince William said in a brief statement, after he witnessed the birth of his son at 4:24 p.m. (11:24 a.m. ET), an event that sparked an international media frenzy and the illumination of London landmarks in blue.
His office said Kate and the baby, weighing 8 lbs 6 oz (3.8 kg) and to be publicly named at a later date, were both doing well and would stay in hospital overnight.
Prince William phoned his grandmother the queen to give her the news, and also contacted his father Prince Charles and brother Prince Harry, all of whom were said to be delighted. The addition to the family is third in line to the throne after Prince Charles and William.
It might take some time for the name to emerge however. The announcement of William’s name took more than a week, but bookmakers make George the favorite, followed by James.
As the birth of the queen’s third great-grandchild was announced, a loud cheer went up from the well-wishers and media gathered outside St. Mary’s Hospital in west London, where William was also born to the late Princess Diana in 1982.
“It is an incredibly special moment for William and Catherine and we are so thrilled for them on the birth of their baby boy,” said Prince Charles, the heir to the throne.
Within minutes, messages of congratulations began flooding in, while crowds gathered outside the queen’s London residence Buckingham Palace where an official notice was placed on a gold-colored easel at the main gates.
U.S. President Barack Obama was one of the first world leaders to welcome the birth.
“Michelle and I are so pleased to congratulate The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on the joyous occasion of the birth of their first child,” he said. “We wish them all the happiness and blessings parenthood brings.”
The royal couple, officially known as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, had arrived at the hospital shortly before 6 a.m. and entered through a back door to avoid massed ranks of British and international media camped outside the main entrance.
Kate and William, both aged 31, met when they were students at St. Andrews University and were married in April 2011 in a spectacular wedding broadcast around the world.
The royal birth has provoked a similar frenzy, with media keeping up a deluge of speculative reports for days beforehand and particularly throughout Monday.
“Right across the country and indeed right across the Commonwealth people will be celebrating and wishing the royal couple well,” Prime Minister David Cameron told waiting reporters in Downing Street.
“It is an important moment in the life of our nation but I suppose above all it’s a wonderful moment for a warm and loving couple who got a brand new baby boy.”
Outside Buckingham Palace, there was a party atmosphere with well-wishers laying flowers and teddy bears, singing “God Save the Queen” and “Happy Birthday”, and children waving flags.
“The build up to the birth has been so big I’m just happy it’s finally come. I’m pleased it’s a boy, you always want a boy really,” said Alice Durrans, who rushed from a nearby restaurant after hearing the news.
Deborah Beeson, a banker from the United States, was ecstatic.
“It’s wonderful. I got chills. I cried,” she said. “You know America loves Kate. She’s just beautiful, she has dignity.”
There will be a 41-gun salute at London’s Hyde Park and 62 rounds fired at the Tower of London on Tuesday to herald news of the birth.
The baby arrives at a time when the royal family is riding a wave of popularity. An Ipsos Mori poll last week showed 77 percent of Britons were in favor of remaining a monarchy over a republic, close to its best-ever level of support.
The dark days for the House of Windsor after the death of William’s mother Princess Diana in 1997, which led to public anger at the royals, have been replaced with outpourings of support for William and Kate’s wedding and the Diamond Jubilee for the queen last summer.
“It’s been a remarkable few years for our royal family,” Cameron said.
The couple, who have been living in a cottage in north Wales where William is based as a Royal Air Force helicopter pilot, will eventually take up residence with their baby at Apartment 1A at London’s Kensington Palace when a 1 million pound refurbishment is completed later this year.
The palace was also William’s childhood home.
The young royal couple have become global stars after some 2 billion people tuned in to watch their glittering marriage ceremony in 2011, while Kate is seen as a fashion icon.
(Additional reporting by Belinda Goldsmith, Sarah Young, Limei Hoang and Mark Anderson; Editing by Angus MacSwan, Michael Roddy and Eric Beech)
Pre-concert costume contest and Guitar Hero competition; Guitar Hero winner plays with San Francisco Symphony on stage
Open, free meet and greet with game luminaries follows concert experience
VIDEO GAMES LIVE, a complete celebration and multimedia concert experience featuring music and scenes from the most popular video games of all time, comes to San Francisco for two new shows with the San Francisco Symphony and Chorus July 25 and 26 at 7:30 at Davies Symphony Hall. The Orchestra performs music to scenes from games including Final Fantasy, Skyrim, Chrono Cross, Shadow of the Colossus, Super Mario Brothers, a special 25th anniversary Zelda celebration, and more.
VIDEO GAMES LIVE features the best music and exclusive synchronized video clips from the best-loved games, from the beginning of video gaming to the present. The show combines exclusive video footage and music arrangements with synchronized lighting, solo performers, stage show production, special FX, electronic percussionists, and unique interactive segments. The power and emotion of a symphony orchestra is mixed with the excitement and energy of a rock concert and the technology, fun, and interactivity of a video game, all synchronized into an amazing cutting-edge audience experience.
The show has scenes and music from the more recent blockbuster games as well as a segment dedicated to the old retro arcade classics, with both modern music and older, memorable pieces never heard played live. Legendary video game composer and industry icon Tommy Tallarico created and produces the show, and he will be on stage for each performance as emcee and guitarist. The live show features special interactive segments where audience members come up and compete, while the Orchestra plays the game music in perfect synchronization with the visuals on screen.
All ticket holders are invited to participate in a Guitar Hero competition beginning one hour prior to the concert, a pre-concert costume contest. The winner of the Guitar Hero competition will play a song on stage with the Orchestra, and the winner of the costume contest will be selected from the stage just prior to the show. Other prizes will also be given away. Post-show activities open to all ticket holders include a meet and greet with game industry luminaries. Tickets for an “Ultimate Gamer” VIP experience at Davies Symphony Hall prior to the concert are sold separately through Video Games Live!
Tickets for VIDEO GAMES LIVE are on sale now at www.sfsymphony.org or 415-864-6000, and at the Davies Symphony Hall Box Office, on Grove Street between Van Ness Avenue and Franklin Street in San Francisco.
SIX NEW WORKS IGNITE THE 2013 BAY AREA PLAYWRIGHTS FESTIVAL (BAPF) NEW PLAYS BY
LAURA SCHELLHARDT, PRINCE GOMOLVILAS,
JIEHAE PARK, ERIN BREGMAN, KIMBER LEE, AND JOAN HOLDEN
July 19-21, 26-28
Thick House Theater
1695 18th Street, SF
The Playwrights Foundation’s 36th Annual Bay Area Playwrights Festival (BAPF) will take place July 19-28, 2013 at the Thick House Theater in San Francisco. BAPF 2013 is a diverse and eclectic cycle of work that builds on the past three plus decades of new plays at BAPF, highlighting a range of voices that span cultures and generations, from emerging playwrights to honored veterans. The six selected plays are by playwrights Laura Schellhardt, Prince Gomolvilas, Jiehae Park, Erin Bregman, Kimber Lee, and Joan Holden. The plays range from the mysterious to the metaphysical; from wittily deconstructing the current political crisis on the Korean Peninsula to a play celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Free Speech Movement.
”The creative capacity and artistic range of this group of writers is extraordinary. And, they are asking very important questions about our world – abandoning conventions of time and space, utilizing language, rhythm and theatrical device in excitingly innovative ways.” remarks Amy Mueller, Playwrights Foundation’s Artistic Director. “These writers span decades – from exceptional young voices, just breaking into the field, to proven veterans exploring new territory – this year is a choose-your-own-experience kind of festival.”
BAPF 2013′s six full-length works, chosen from over 500 submissions explore the American experience both historically and today. Laura Schellhardt’s The Comparables is a ballsy satire between three women at the top of their game; The Brothers Paranormal by Prince Gomolvilas real and imagined Ghosts, in a Thai style sci-fi mystery; Hannah and the Dread Gazebo by emerging playwright Jiehae Park – North vs South Korea can’t stop the wild beasts of the DMZ; Erin Bregman’s play Before & After grapples with memory, afterlife, a metaphysical journey; brownsville song (b-side for tray) by recent PONY Award winner Kimber Lee- Poetic, dreamlike, tragic – the cost of inner city violence; FSM by legendary, Bay Area playwright Joan Holden, is a musical about the Free Speech Movement at UC Berkeley. A producing partnership with Oakland’s Stagebridge Theatre.
All 2013 Bay Area Playwrights Festival performances take place at the Thick House Theater,1695 18th Street. .In addition to readings BAPF includes the New Play Institute playwriting classes, interactive dialogue with playwrights and directors, a Playwrights Panel, and the annual Symposium.
For tickets and more information, visit www.playwrightsfoundation.org.
Bay Area Playwrights Festival – Recent Plays Go National & International
Playwrights Foundation’s Summer 2012 BAPF featured The Hundred Flowers Project by Christopher Chen, recent winner of the 2012 Glickman Award. Grounded by George Brandt, (2012 BAP) is a recipient of a NNPN 3-City Rolling World Premiere beginning at the SF Playhouse in September 2013, to play 5 additional cities in the US and UK. In May of 2012 Playwrights Foundation in partnership with the French Consulate General of San Francisco launched the wildly successful Des Voix… Found in Translation Festival which celebrated and translated the work of three contemporary French playwrights. As well as a collaborative French and American playwriting/dance event, a “Bal Littéraire” at Z Space, which has resulted in multiple production commitments in the US. Residencies and co-productions are bearing fruit as in our collaboration with Resident Playwright Chris Chen on the Glickman award-winning The Hundred Flowers Project with San Francisco’s risk taking Crowded Fire Theater Company, and the most recent with StageBridge on The FSM Project (Free Speech Movement) by treasured playwright Joan Holden.
Bay Area Playwrights Festival was founded by legendary director Robert Woodruff and for more than three decades has identified young playwrights who have gone on to shape the landscape of American theater and win every award in the theater world. Based in San Francisco, BAPF is a program of Playwrights Foundation, now recognized as one of the top tier of new play development centers in the country, the only one of its size and scope on the West Coast. Among the most recent of the hundreds of writers and plays that BAPF has supported over the last 37 years are: Katori Hall (The Mountaintop BAPF 08’); Marcus Gardley (…and Jesus Moonwalks the Mississippi ’04; every tongue confess BAPF 08’ among others); Sheila Callaghan (Port Out, Starboard Home BAPF ’10), Lascivious Something, BAPF ‘06); Rajiv Joseph (Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo, ‘05); Sam Hunter (I Am Montana ’06; A Bright New Boise ‘07); Annie Baker (Body Awareness BAPF ‘07). Clarence Coo ‘s play Beautiful Province, which was worked on BAPF 2011, was picked out of a 1000 plays to win 2012 Yale Drama Series Award, in large part, because of the work he did on it at the BAPF, according to the playwright. Lauren Yee’s Samsara, which was worked on at the most recent BAPF 2012, was just selected for the Eugene O’Neil Theater Center’s 2013 National Playwrights Conference; Aaron Loeb’s Ideation (BAPF 2012) will premiere at SF Playhouse next season; and Aditi Brennan Kapil’s Brahman/I (BAPF 2012) opens next month in Minneapolis at Mixed Blood Theater. The annual Bay Area Playwrights Festival is the place to experience exceptional plays as they are being created. PF has won two Horty Glickman Producer Awards for Best New Play (2005 & 2012).
The BAPF 2013 Plays-
Laura Schellhardt – The Comparables, Three women vie for power in the cutthroat world of high-end real estate Who, if anyone, will survive the ordeal, and to what lengths will they go to ensure success? A neo-feminist satire that begs the question: for women in the competitive world, is there more than one way to do business?
Prince Gomolvilas – The Brothers Paranormal, Two Thai-American brothers launch a ghost-hunting business in order to capitalize on the nationwide increase in sightings of Asian-looking ghosts. When the siblings end up investigating the home of a couple that claims to be haunted by one very terrifying spirit, everyone’s notions of reality, fantasy, and sanity clash against the shocking truth.
Jiehae Park – Hannah and the Dread Gazebo, Inside the FedEx box are two things: a 100% bona-fide-heart’s-desire-level wish and a suicide note. Hannah tracks the package back to Seoul, where her grandmother recently jumped from the roof of her retirement home onto the wrong side of the Demilitarized Zone. They’ll need North Korea’s permission to retrieve the body, but Kim Jong Il just kicked the bucket, and things in the DMZ are even stranger than they seem.
Erin Bregman – Before & After, An experiment in form, the play follows the journey of a single soul who grapples with a metaphysical dilemma: shift forward to a new phase of life and forget what was before or, remember, and remain in the ever-after. Without memory, what remains of your life after you’ve lived?
Kimber Lee – brownsville song (b-side for tray), In a Brooklyn neighborhood housing project, time moves in scattered rhythms, pivoting unpredictably between before and after. As members of Tray’s family struggle with his untimely death, they stumble through loss, find each other, and fight their way toward hope.
Joan Holden – FSM, Half a century ago, thousands of the best and brightest students in California rose up in a mass nonviolent protest that put Berkeley on the world map. They resisted weeks of divide-and-conquer tactics, performed miracles of self-organization, closed down the campus with a strike, and won. Formally, they demanded freedom for political speech; just under the surface, they were demanding it for themselves, from the grey-flannel life that was being prepared for them by authority, parents’ expectations, the hypocrisy and rigidity of the 1950’s.
Laura Schellhardt’s original works include THE COMPARABLES, UPRIGHT GRAND, AIR GUITAR HIGH, AUCTIONING THE AINSLEYS, HOW TO REMOVE BLOOD FROM A CARPET, THE K OF D, COURTING VAMPIRES, and SHAPESHIFTER. Adaptations include THE PHANTOM TOLLBOOTH, THE MYSTERIES OF HARRIS BURDICK and THE OUTFIT. She is also the author of Screenwriting for Dummies. Laura is a recipient of the TCG National Playwriting Residency, the Jerome Fellowship, ACT’s New Play Award, an AATE Distinguished Play Award, and a Dramatist Guild Playwriting Fellowship. She has participated in the SoHo Rep. Writer/Director Lab, the Women Playwrights Festival at SRT, The Kennedy Center New Voices/New Vision Festival, The Bonderman Symposium, and the O’Neill National Playwrights Festival. Laura received her MFA in playwriting from Brown under the direction of Paula Vogel. She currently directs the undergraduate playwriting program at Northwestern University.
Prince Gomolvilas’ plays include Big Hunk o’ Burnin’ Love, The Theory of Everything, and the stage adaptation of the Scott Heim novel, Mysterious Skin, which have been produced around United States, in the U.K., and in Singapore. He received the PEN Center USA Literary Award for Drama; Julie Harris/Janet and Maxwell Salter Playwright Award; International Herald Tribune/SRT Playwriting Award; East West Players’ Made in America Award for Outstanding Artistic Achievement for the Asian Pacific Islander Community; and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and Wallace Alexander Gerbode Foundation. He is the Associate Director of the Master of Professional Writing Program at the University of Southern California, where he also teaches writing for stage and screen. He received his MFA in Playwriting from San Francisco State University.
Jiehae Park is a playwright and actor in NYC. Her second full-length, HANNAH AND THE DREAD GAZEBO, won the 2013 Leah Ryan Prize for Emerging Women Writers and will be developed at the Bay Area Playwrights Festival and Ojai Playwrights Conference this summer. The script was also a finalist for the O’Neill Playwrights Conference and Abingdon’s Chris Wolk Award, as well as a semifinalist for the Premiere Stages Festival. She is a proud member of the Ma-Yi Writers Lab and served two years as co-artistic director of title3(LA). As an actor: NYTW, La Jolla Playhouse, Collection of Shiny Objects, Studio Theatre(DC), REDCAT(LA), STEP UP, AMATEURS(2013). MFA (acting), UCSD/LJP; BA (general theater shenanigans), Amherst College.
Erin Bregman has been a finalist for the Princess Grace Award, the Jerome Fellowship, Aurora’s Global Age Project, and the Bay Area Playwrights Festival. Erin has had work produced or developed with Just Theatre, The Lark, the Playwrights Foundation, FuryFactory, Actors Theatre of Santa Cruz, UCSB New Plays Festival, and PlayGround, and has received commissions from the Magic Theatre/Sloan Foundation (2006), Just Theater (2008), and PlayGround (2009, 2010). Her short work has been published in Best of Playground 2009 & 2010, Spectrum Literary Journal, and Muse(d) Magazine. During the day she works as a teaching artist for the San Francisco Opera, and runs Little Opera, an all-kids opera company.
Kimber Lee’s plays include fight, different words for the same thing, and brownsville song (b-side for tray), and her work has been produced and developed by Page 73 Productions (Page 2 Workshop), Hedgebrook Women Playwrights Festival, Seven Devils Playwrights Conference, Dramatists Guild Fellows Program, Represent Playwrights Festival at ACT/Seattle, Playwrights’ Center Core Apprentice Program, Theatre of the 1st Amendment/1st Light Program, Great Plains Theatre Conference (Mainstage), Southern Rep, and Mo`olelo Performing Arts Company. Her play fight received the 2010 Holland New Voices Award, and she has been a Finalist for the O’Neill National Playwrights Conference, the Ruby Prize, Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab, and Premiere Stages Play Festival. Kimber is currently a 2012-2013 Playwrights’ Workshop Fellow at the Lark Play Development Center, a member of the Ma-Yi Writers Lab, and she is honored to be the 2013-2014 recipient of the PoNY Fellowship. MFA: UT Austin.
Joan Holden As playwright for the Tony Award-winning San Francisco Mime Troupe, l970-2000, Joan wrote or co-wrote many of the company’s best-remembered plays, including THE INDEPENDENT FEMALE, THE DRAGON LADY’S REVENGE; FALSE PROMISES; THE HOTEL UNIVERSE; FACTWINO; RIPPED VAN WINKLE; STEELTOWN, SEEING DOUBLE, OFFSHORE and CITY FOR SALE. She has translated and adapted works of Beaumarchais, Fo, Jonson and Moliere for ACT, Berkeley Rep and others, and participated in many international collaborations. Holden is best-known nationally as for the widely produced stage adaptation of Barbara Ehrenreich’s NICKEL AND DIMED. She will with composers/lyricists Bruce Barthol and Daniel Savio on the final version of FSM to be co-produced by Stagebridge and Playwrights Foundation in the fall of 2014.
Bay Area Playwrights Festival – The Play Development Process at BAPF
The annual BAPF brings together a select group of playwrights and professional directors, dramaturgs, the Bay Area’s top actors, and new this year, designers, to engage in an in-depth development process of six new plays over three weeks, including a three-day artists retreat outside the city, and two weeks of rehearsals during which artistic teams support the playwright’s dramaturgical investigations. The work leads to two public staged readings of each play, with a week for rehearsal and rewriting in between the readings. We value the studio work as much as we value the public presentations. Audiences provide playwrights with important feedback as these works develop into finished scripts, while gaining an insider’s experience of new work as it is created.
Playwrights Foundation is dedicated to discovering and supporting local and national American playwrights across a broad spectrum of artistic and career positions, in the inception and development of new plays that speak to and from an increasingly diverse society. Founded on a deeply held belief that the relevance and vitality of American theater depends upon a continual infusion of new work, Playwrights Foundation sustains a commitment to the playwright, who we regard as the creative wellspring of theater.
Thick House – Art Space Development Corporation (ArtsDeco) presents contemporary new theater that reflects and engages the San Francisco Bay Area’s racially and culturally diverse audience community. We believe that when art is relevant and accessible it can transform the world, so our work rises naturally out of connecting to our local community, to popular culture, and to events of the day. To that end, we operate our venue, the Thick House, as a performing arts/community center ‐‐ presenting world‐class professional theater, hosting neighborhood events, collaborating on community projects, and partnering with local businesses.
One of the most prestigious and longest running sponsors of the America’s Cup wants some of its money back, according to the San Francisco Business Times.
Louis Vuitton, the posh French retailer that has been a primary financial backer of the competition, wants $3 million refunded because so few teams have entered.
Louis Vuitton’s initial sponsorship was for $10 million, according to an America’s Cup source. Its contract was based on at least eight teams taking part in the Louis Vuitton Cup, a round-robin playoff to determine which team will ultimately sail against Oracle Team USA in the America’s Cup championship.
There are three teams entered in the Louis Vuitton Cup: Italy’s Luna Rossa, Sweden’s Artemis Racing and Emirates Team New Zealand.
Since the 1980s, there have been anywhere from 7 to 13 teams taking part in the competition. Several potential challengers — from Korea, France, Australia, Spain and Italy — pulled out of the America’s Cup, many citing the financial burden of competing at sailing’s highest level.
Louis Vuitton can get a $1 million rebate for each team less than six that participate, the Cup source said. That would mean the company is entitled to get $3 million back.
Should any of the remaining teams pull out of the competition — which they have hinted they might do — Louis Vuitton would be entitled to even more money back.
A spokesman for the America’s Cup, which began this week and runs until September, was not immediately available for comment.
A Louis Vuitton spokesman was not immediately available for comment. But a Louis Vuitton representative told a New Zealand newspaper that the company was “not happy” with the Louis Vuitton Cup so far.
MAYACAMAS MOUNTAINS, Calif. — A group of California families are accusing the National Audubon Society of whiting out parts of maps to swindle them out of their best land. This is property that in some cases has been in the families’ hands since the 1920s.
The Cervieres brothers, immigrants from France, came to California in 1895. By 1924 they had money to buy beautiful plots of land high up in the Mayacamas Mountains, towering over Sonoma wine country in northern California.
They wanted a place of retreat and refuge for what they hoped would someday be a large and extended family of Cervieres. Their descendants became five families who bought even more land in the Pine Flat area of these mountains.
And they did form a tradition across the decades of enjoying almost every major family occasion, summers and holidays in this mountain paradise. They built five homes they collectively dubbed “the ranch.”
“The ranch was like the lifeblood, the glue that held the family together,” said Lea Raynal, now one of the extended family’s matriarchs.
But a fire swept through in 2004 and burned down three of the houses.
“Torched this whole thing,” Lea’s son Mike Raynal said, looking up at a bare chimney that’s all that’s left of one home. “We lost everything.”
Family members felt horrible but fanned hope by deciding to rebuild as quickly as possible.
Then came another devastating blow from a surprising source. A neighbor had bequeathed thousands of acres next door to the National Audubon Society, best known for its love of birds and conservation.
To rebuild, the families would need to upgrade the roads leading across Audubon land to accommodate their heavy construction equipment.
But after decades of everyone sharing these roads, Audubon said no and then hit the families with yet another bombshell: It said it had proof their very best acres, the flat ones where their houses had been, were actually Audubon land.
“It was like being hit in the stomach, the wind knocked out of you,” Lea recalled.
Audubon representatives showed the family survey maps that appeared to bolster Audubon’s claim, maps that years later family members would find had parts whited out by Audubon.
According to the family’s lawyer Peter Prows, the reps gave them an ultimatum: “We’re not going to let you rebuild your homes unless you agree to the boundary as we’re claiming it to be on our drawings.”
Mike’s brother, Phil Raynal, said that would have pushed family members’ new houses “approximately 300 yards up the hill, way up in an upper meadow – virtually impossible to build on.”
“This is the only flat area,” he said, pointing to the area around him where their houses had been.
Prows said Audubon then informed the families, “If you don’t agree, we’re going to go out and build a fence on that line, and if you try to interfere, we’re going to call the police.”
Legal Battle Begins
In court documents later, Audubon insisted it believed its claim that it truly owned the best acres of its next-door neighbors.
And since it was legally bound to preserve the wilderness acres bequeathed it, the company said it couldn’t just hand those acres back to the families if it really owned them.
Audubon said it held meetings and bent over backwards to work out a deal with the families.
But here’s what Phil heard from an Audubon representative at one of those meetings: “This property has never, ever been yours. Get over it.”
“That haunts me. I tell you what, that haunts me every day,” he said.
Phil and his family accuse Audubon of simply coveting their land.
“It really bothers me that they’d come up here and try to take something that’s ours,” Phil’s young son Ryan said.
So the families decided to fight, with Mike and Phil Raynal leading the way. They threw themselves into a years-long effort to prove the ancient boundaries were correct and their land was indeed theirs, not Audubon’s.
A Costly Fight
Their efforts cost them and their families hundreds of thousands of dollars across several years, and much more than just money but “thousands and thousands and countless hours,” Phil said, shaking his head.
The brothers for years cut their way through rugged brush to find the original surveyors’ landmarks, facing rattlesnakes, ticks, poison ivy, and exhaustion.
They both already had full-time jobs. This fight became another one. Mike’s daughter Danielle feels it cost her her father.
“I’ve lost a father pretty much,” she said. “Me and my dad were very close, and it’s been hard. We’ve all drifted apart.”
Some family members were not only spending every spare hour fighting to prove Audubon wrong. But while all this was working its way through the legal system, the families couldn’t rebuild and were cut off from their piece of paradise and all those family gatherings like they’d had for decades.
“You have family reunions. You’re always having holidays,” Danielle remembered as she recalled how the five families would spend months of each year together on the ranch.
“And then it’s just an abrupt stop,” she said.
“Everybody getting together. It was just absolutely amazing,” Danielle’s mother Carin Raynal recalled. “And this whole debacle has just torn all of it apart.”
Another family member, Bruce Young, testified in a sworn declaration.
“There’s no doubt in my mind whatsoever that the emotional stress and aggravation to which Audubon subjected me is the cause and underlying reason for the three strokes I have suffered and survived,” he said.
‘White Out’ Gate
Then another stunning surprise in 2010 after years of legal wrangling: Audubon caved and said it would accept the original property lines and let the families use the roads unimpeded.
“They completely capitulated,” Prows stated.
No one outside of Audubon knows why this capitulation, but one more shock was ahead. In 2012, the families’ lawyers discovered with a subpoena that at the start of all this, Audubon had held back from family members some of the surveying maps it had commissioned.
They had also altered the maps they presented to prove Audubon’s claim.
“Audubon had actually doctored the drawings that it showed to our clients,” Prows said. “It took white out, and we have emails from Audubon’s very top people talking about putting white-out on the maps – removing the lines that its surveyors had put on the maps that Audubon didn’t like, showing that the boundary really was in the right place all along.”
This screamed lies and coverup to the families.
“We actually call it ‘White Out Gate’ now,” Phil said.
He still gets mad thinking of those thousands of hours he and Mike spent researching, gathering documents, combing through the thick brush on their land.
“Really what sunk in was all those years – seven, eight years of hard work when they knew from day one this was never their property. Ever! They knew it,” Phil fumed.
“I couldn’t believe anybody would do that,” Mike Raynal said. “I wouldn’t do that to another human being, period.”
A Bid for Restitution
Now the families are suing for fraud. Audubon admitted in court documents it didn’t give them all the surveyor’s maps but said that was because not all were relevant. It said it did white out lines on the maps but only lines it said were extraneous.
Audubon calls this lawsuit frivolous, demanding the families pay its legal bills.
Family members refuse to give an inch because all these years of legal war have certainly cost them.
“It’s affected everybody mentally, physically, emotionally,” Carin Raynal said.
When CBN News asked repeatedly for an interview or written comments, Audubon suggested researching the court documents and would only give the following mission statement:
“Audubon is fully committed to its mission as a non-profit organization dedicated to faithful care of the earth. We believe that every person on earth is a steward of land, air, water and wildlife. We believe that safeguarding America’s great natural heritage builds a better world for future generations, preserves our shared quality of life, and fosters a healthier environment for all of us.”
Lea Raynal summed up her family’s feelings about Audubon: “They came in and stirred up all this mess, and we’re left with nothing.”
From a CBN News Report