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Kodo Drumming Ensemble Returns to Zellberbach Hall on February 3

Photo: Taro Nishita

Internationally acclaimed Japanese drumming ensemble, Kodo, returns to Cal Performances’ Zellerbach Hall on Sunday, February 3 at 7:00 p.m.  The athletic and energetic group performs in the taiko, or traditional Japanese percussion, style and includes traditional dancers, singers, musicians along with its percussionist. Kodo will bring along its landmark o-daiko drum, a 900-pound instrument carved from the trunk of a single tree and is played by two men. Kodo returns as part of its One Earth Tour: Legend, a program designed to spread the sound of the Japanese drum while underlying a need for respect between diverse cultures in an ever connected world.  The New York Times applauded Kodo as a “celebration of music, of physicality, of life.”

The name Kodo comes from two Japanese characters for child and play, conveying its desire to play with the “heart of a child.” Kodo is also a homonym for heartbeat, the most primal of all rhythms. The company, a group of over 70 people, is comprised of both performers and staff and is based off of Sado Island, off the northwest coast of Japan. Members not only practice but often live on 13.2 hectares of land, named Kodo Village, a community training ground that includes facilities such as Kodo Apprentice Centre and the Old Rehearsal Hall. Older members live in the surrounding villages.  Many enter this semi-isolated community as apprentices hoping, after a few years of training, to be selected to join the performing aspect. In addition to the musical lessons, physical conditioning is an important part of Kodo’s training as strength is needed not only to play the drums but also loads, unloads and sets up the instruments including the o-daiko drum that require eight people to lift and set into place.  Despite its physical isolation and tradition, Kodo has an open -minded mission on “living, learning and creating” and are often leaders in fusion music, especially with it recent increase in smaller small group performances.

Kodo has given more than 3,500 performances on all five continents, touring up to eight months a year and is recognized as the leading voice on the taiko style.  In 2011, Kodo released an album titled Akatsuki.  This 11-track disk was recorded at Kodo Village and includes new compositions as well as never-before-recorded stage pieces.  Kodo is also heavily involved with “Earth Celebration” an annual music festival produce with Sado City.  This festival, the longest in Japans history, has just celebrated its 25th anniversary, and has been hailed as “Japan’s leading music event” (New York Times). Kodo was last seen here at Cal Performances in 2011. For more information about Kodo, go to kodo.or.jp/news/index_en.html

TICKET INFORMATION

 Tickets for the Kodo on February 3rd at 7:00 p.m. in Zellerbach Hall range from $22.00 – $58.00 and are subject to change. Tickets are available 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.

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Joffrey Ballet Returns To Cal Performances 
With Two Recent Works And One 20th-Century Classic 
Saturday & Sunday, January 26 & 27 At Zellerbach Hall


Chicago’s renowned Joffrey Ballet brings two compelling recent works and an 80-year-old classic to Cal Performances, Saturday, January 26 at 8:00 p.m. and Sunday, January 27 at 3:00 p.m. at Zellerbach Hall. The Joffrey Ballet has a rich history of presenting both timeless dance classics and cutting-edge, socially relevant ballet, all while balancing technical excellence with emotional punch. Its 2013 visit marks the company’s first appearance at Cal Performances since Ashley Wheater became Artistic Director in 2007. “Anyone who has seen the Joffrey Ballet perform in recent seasons knows that it is dancing better than ever,” cheered the Chicago Sun-Times in October 2012.

A Sightlines pre-performance talk with dance specialist Kathryn Roszak and the artists will take place Saturday, January 26 from 7:00–7:30 p.m. at Zellerbach Hall. This event is free to all ticket holders.

The Joffrey Ballet’s appearance at Cal Performances features two 21st-century works and one compelling and controversial 20th-century classic. Age of Innocence, a 2008 Joffrey commission by Edwaard Liang, was inspired by Jane Austen novels. Set to a heartbeat of music by Philip Glass and Thomas Newman, Age of Innocence depicts sexual tension and the human desire for self-expression in a repressive culture. The second piece on the program, Christopher Wheeldon’s 2005 After the Rain, presents three bold, sensual duets on a spare yet emotion-packed score by Estonian composer Arvo Pärt. After the Rain features a stunning pas de deux in “Spiegel im Spiegel” (“mirror in mirror”), its second movement. The final work on the Joffrey Ballet program, German dancer-choreographer Kurt Jooss’s pacifist masterpiece, The Green Table, was created in 1932 but not presented in the United States until 1967 when the Joffrey Ballet revived it. Set to music by F.A. Cohen, The Green Table dramatizes the human impulse for destruction and the omnipresence of death, even in the midst of peace negotiations. The Joffrey Ballet danced The Green Table on the PBS television series Dance in America in 1992 and revived its production in 2007 for the work’s 40th anniversary in the United States.

The Joffrey Ballet has been one of the best known and most respected independent dance organizations in the United States for more than 50 years. Founded in 1956 by Robert Joffrey (1930–1988) and Gerald Arpino (1923–2008) as an ensemble of American dancers, the company today embodies an inclusive perspective on dance, proudly reflecting the diversity of America with its artists, audiences, and repertoire. The company’s body of work includes numerous commissions and premieres, major story ballets, reconstructions of masterpieces and contemporary works. Noted for its many “firsts,” the Joffrey Ballet was the first American ballet company to appear on television, to visit Russia, and the first and only dance company to appear on the cover of Time magazine. The troupe was also the subject of Robert Altman’s 2003 film, The Company. The Joffrey Ballet is based in Chicago where the company performs in the historic Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University, operates the Joffrey Academy of Dance and has inaugurated a close working relationship with the Chicago Philharmonic for its 2012–2013 home season. Its official website is joffrey.com.

Since 2007 the Joffrey Ballet has been led by artistic director Ashley Wheater. Only the third artistic director in company history (after Joffrey and Arpino), Wheater is known for inviting world-renowned choreographers and fresh young talent alike to create new works for the company while keeping classics, such as the annual audience favorite Nutcracker, vital and available. A native of Scotland, Wheater trained at the Royal Ballet School in England and has danced and choreographed in the United Kingdom, Australia, and the United States including stints as a Joffrey Ballet dancer and as ballet master and assistant to the artistic director of the San Francisco Ballet.

TICKET INFORMATION
Tickets for the Joffrey Ballet on Saturday, January 26 at 8:00 p.m. and Sunday, January 27 at 3:00 p.m. in Zellerbach Hall range from $30.00- $92.00  and are subject to change. Tickets are available 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.

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First Solo Museum Show In The United States Of The Late Artist Rudolf De Crignis Showcases The Artist’s Experiential Minimalist Works

I use the art of painting to represent color as the transparent appearance of light.—Rudolf de Crignis 

Though the Swiss-born Rudolf de Crignis (1948–2006) suffered an untimely death at the age of fifty-eight, the artist left behind a large and magnificent body of work, including a vast collection of the meditative paintings for which he is renowned. He began his career as a performance and video artist, but a series of trips to New York in the early 1980s forever changed the course of his pursuits. Exhilarated by the Minimalist abstract works of Ad Reinhardt, Brice Marden, Blinky Palermo, Robert Ryman, and Agnes Martin he saw there, de Crignis made New York his primary residence in 1985, and soon began producing a series of seemingly monochromatic paintings that explore relationships among color, light, space, and viewer.

The University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAM/PFA) presentation of Rudolf de Crignis / MATRIX 245 is the artist’s first solo museum exhibition in the United States. The show brings together fourteen of the artist’s signature blue-and-gray oil paintings, as well as eight graphite works on paper, produced between 1991 and 2006. At first viewing, de Crignis’s paintings appear to be deeply saturated monochromes, but then they reveal themselves to be the result of layers upon layers of thin oil washes (sometimes as many as forty) with resonant tints of other hues. His exquisitely blue-and-gray paintings—no two alike—actually comprise an array of pigments—including ultramarine, cobalt blue, royal blue, Scheveningen Warm Gray, and Persian red. Displayed in natural light, the works are exercises in slow looking, unfolding as one views them from different vantage points. In his studio, de Crignis would often move his paintings from one wall to the next to capture the shifting light.

While de Crignis’s oil paintings are the end result of a slow accumulation of materials, his delicate works on paper, which he called “paintings” are the culmination of a process of reduction. Using hard pencils, de Crignis covered the paper with horizontal and vertical lines, then erased them—a process that he repeated several times with each work. The partially erased graphite lines create a slight vibration, an optical pulse that can resemble the brushwork in his canvas works.

In 2005 de Crignis wrote about his paintings as works in progress, one decision leading to the next without a preordained plan. Above all, though, his goal was for his painting to be perceived as an experience. As Ken Johnson of the New York Times wrote, “At once formally severe and materially luxurious, Mr. de Crignis’s paintings bridge the gap between the perceptual and the transcendental.”

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ACID TEST: THE MANY INCARNATIONS OF RAM DASS, Extends Through Feburary 17

The Marsh Berkeley is delighted to extend Lynne Kaufman’s critically acclaimed new play, ACID TEST: The Many Incarnations Of Ram Dass, through February 17, 2013 on the TheaterStage at The Marsh Berkeley, 2120 Allston Way near Shattuck.

Through January 5, the show will continue to play on Thursday and Friday at 8:00 pm and on Saturday at 5:00 pm. Then, starting on January 12 through February 17, the show will play on Saturdays at 8:00 pm and Sundays at 5:00 pm. For Tickets, the public may visit or call 415-282-3055.

Performed by Warren David Keith and directed by Joel Mullennix, this is the true story of Richard Alpert, aka Ram Dass, the famous Harvard psychology professor and spiritual seeker, who, along with Timothy Leary, started the psychedelic revolution and then, in the third of three life transformations, went on to become an international teacher on enlightenment. The production is travelling  to Hawaii this weekend  to perform the play for Ram Dass who has taken a keen interest in the play but is too frail to travel.

Lynne Kaufman’s twenty full-length plays have been produced all over the country, including Actors Theatre of Louisville, Magic Theatre, Theatreworks, The Fountain Theatre and The Abingodon. Warren David Keith has appeared at theatres throughout the Bay Area, including the Aurora, Marin Theatre Company, Word For Word and the California Shakespeare Theater. Joel Mullennix most recently directed the highly successful productions of Olive Kitteridge, More Stories by Tobias Wolff and Which is More Than I Can Say About Some People for Word For Word.

 

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Pianst Nicholas Hodges Gives the West Coast Premiere of GIGUE MACHINE

HARRISON BIRTWISTLE’S GIGUE MACHINE WAS CO-COMISSIONED BY
CAL PERFORMANCES AND CARNEGIE HALL


“With an energy that sometimes defies belief,” (The Guardian) pianist Nicolas Hodges comes to Hertz Hall on Sunday, January 27 at 3:00 p.m. His program features the West Coast premiere of Harrison Birtwistle’s Gigue Machine (2011), which was written for Hodges. The concert will also include Claude Debussy’s cool and virtuosic Etudes, Books I and II (1915), Ferruccio Busoni’s Giga, Bolero e Variazione (Study after Mozart – Book 3 of An die Jugend) (1909), and Igor Stravinsky’s tour de force, Three Movements from Pétrouchka (1921).“Hodges is a refreshing artist: he plays the classics as if they were written yesterday, and what was written yesterday as if it were already a classic” (Tempo).

Pianist Nicolas Hodges was born in London in 1970. He studied piano at Cambridge University with Robert Bottone, and other teachers have included Susan Bradshaw and Sulamita Aronovsky. Hodges has developed into an adventurous recitalist; “Hodges played this difficult music…with uncanny confidence,” said the Los Angeles Times of a typically varied Hodges recital. Hodges’ discography is similarly broad and challenging. In addition to recital performance and recording, Hodges has performed with the Chicago Symphony, the BBC Symphony, the Stockholm Philharmonic, the Tokyo Philharmonic, and many more. He has performed under the baton of today’s leading conductors including Daniel Barenboim, James Levine, Leonard Slatkin and James Levine.

Contemporary composers including Elliott Carter, Beat Furrer, Wolfgang Rihm, Salvatore Sciarrino and Birtwistle have written works for Hodges; he has also worked closely with composers including John Adams, Oliver Knussen, Olga Neuwirth and Stockhausen. Hodges is professor of piano at the Musikhochschule in Stuttgart, Germany, where he educates young pianists on the relationship between performance of standard repertoire and contemporary works. One of his stated goals is to help young composers demystify the complexities of writing for the piano. For additional information, visit nicolashodges.com.

TICKET INFORMATION
Tickets for Nicolas Hodges, piano, on Sunday, January 27 at 3:00 p.m. in Hertz Hall are priced at $42.00, subject to change.  Tickets are available 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.

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Funded by the Koret Foundation, this performance is part of Cal Performances’ 2012/13 Koret Recital Series, which brings world-class artists to our

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San Francisco-Based Company Leases Entire New Construction Downtown Office Tower at 350 Mission; Space for Thousands of New Employees in Transbay District; Also Signs 100,000 Square Foot Expansion at 50 Fremont


Salesforce.com has leased approximately 450,000 square feet of office space in a new office tower to be built at 350 Mission Street. The largest San Francisco lease transaction of 2012 to date, the building will break ground in January 2013 with anticipated occupancy in 2015. Salesforce.com also announced a 100,000 square foot expansion at 50 Fremont Street. This comes less than a year after salesforce.com’s January 2012 announcement of a 400,000 square foot lease in the same building.

“Salesforce.com’s major expansion downtown proves once again that investor confidence is driving San Francisco’s economic recovery,” said Mayor Lee. “This will bring thousands of new jobs and anchor the City’s Transbay District as a leading destination for innovative companies. Salesforce.com started in San Francisco, and I want to thank Marc Benioff and salesforce.com for their commitment to grow and add jobs in the City.”

“I’d like to thank Mayor Lee and his team for their continued support of Salesforce.com’s expanding downtown San Francisco campus,” said salesforce.com COO George Hu. “We are proud to have our global headquarters in San Francisco and are committed to continuing to grow and add jobs in the City.”

Owned by Kilroy Realty, the 27-story office building at 350 Mission is set to break ground in January 2013 becoming the first new high-rise building built in San Francisco since 2008 and will be the first new LEED Platinum office tower in San Francisco.

“Eight weeks from purchase to full pre-lease is a new record for Kilroy Realty Corporation” said Kilroy Realty CEO John Kilroy. “It’s an incredible outcome that couldn’t have been achieved without a phenomenal tenant in salesforce.com and the support of the Mayor’s office. We are so thrilled to have salesforce.com occupy this iconic tower in the heart of the South Financial District.

50 Fremont Street is owned by TIAA-CREF.

Today’s announced leases total more than half a million square feet and will provide space for thousands of new employees in San Francisco.  This move expands salesforce.com’s “downtown campus” and is adjacent to the new Transbay Terminal under construction.   Salesforce.com will have 1.6 million square feet of office space in San Francisco by 2016, reinforcing their status as one of the City’s largest employers. 

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Cal Performances Presents Yo-Yo Ma And Kathryn Stott At Zellerbach Hall Thursday, January 24 At 7:00 P.M.


“There is hardly any virtuoso of any instrument who is as complete, profound, passionate, and humane a musician as Ma” (Boston Globe). Perhaps the only household name in classical music, cellist Yo-Yo Ma will perform in recital with longtime collaborator, pianist Kathyrn Stott, at Zellerbach Hall on Thursday, Jan 24 at 7:00 p.m. Stott, “an excellent soul mate for Ma” (New York Times), has performed with him for decades, both in recital and on recordings. This program is a testament to their exploration of wp music, regardless of instrument or tradition. In true form with Ma’s previous appearances at Berkeley, this performance is sold-out.

The night starts off with Igor Stravinsky’s Suite Italienne, which is based on several movements of his 1919 ballet, Pulcinella. They will next perform three pieces inspired by South America: Heitor Villa-Lobos’s Alma Brasileira (arr. Jorge Calandrelli), Astor Piazzolla’s Oblivion (arr. by Kyoko Yamamoto) and Camargo Guarnieri’s Dansa Negra (arr. Calandrelli). The program’s repertoire moves back to Europe with the Spanish composer Manuel de Falla’s 7 Conciones Populares Españolas G. 40. Olivier Messiaen’s Louange à l’Éternité de Jésus, taken from the fifth movement of his Quatuor pour la fin du temps, follows. The concert will finish with Johannes Brahms’ Sonata No. 3 in D minor, Op. 108 for violin. Only the Stravinsky and Messiaen pieces were originally written for the cello, the rest of the works have either been adapted or arranged for Ma and Stott.

Stott first met Ma in 1978 when she “discovered a Chinese man in his underpants playing the cello” in her apartment after Ma had rented it without realizing it was shared. They have worked together ever since and have made several recordings, including the Grammy-winning Soul of Tango (Sony).

British pianist Kathryn Stott performs as a recitalist, concerto soloist and chamber musician. She started playing the piano at the age of five and later studied at the Yehudi Menuhin School and then the Royal College of Music with Kendall Taylor.  Stott first gained prominence by winning the Leeds International Piano Competition in 1978. She is known for her wide taste in music and has performed and recorded in English, French, contemporary and Latin genres. Stott has served as Artistic Director for several music festivals, including the Manchester Chamber Concerts Society (2008), and Guest Artistic Director of the chamber festival Incontri in Terra di Siena (2010, 2011). She received a prestigious Order of Arts and Letter by the French government for her successful direction of a music festival that celebrated the anniversary of Gabriel Fauré. In addition to Ma, Stott has long-term collaborations with Truls Mørk, Christian Poltera, Natalie Clein and Janine Jansen. More information can be found at kathrynstott.com.

Yo-Yo Ma was born in Paris in 1955 to Chinese parents and began studying the cello with his father at 4. 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, including a recent performance presented by Cal Performances in 2011.

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), the Kennedy Center Honors (2011).  He also serves as a UN Messenger of Peace. Ma is an exclusive Sony Classical artist and 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 other music giants like Emanuel Ax, Itzhak Perlman and Joshua Redman. His most recent album “The Goat Rodeo Session”, released in 2011, was made with Edgar Meyer, Chris Thile and Stuart Duncan. This is the second performance of the Ma/Stott duo at Cal Performances, the first of which was in 2007. Ma currently plays on two instruments, a 1733 Montagnana cello and a 1712 “Davidoff” Stradivarius. More information can be found at yo-yoma.com.

TICKET INFORMATION
This performance is sold out. Tickets for Yo-Yo Ma and Kathryn Stott in recital on Thursday at 7:00 p.m. in Zellerbach Hall range from $30.00—$175.00 and may become available due to last-minute returns.  Tickets may be available 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.

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Eco Ensemble, Dedicated To Contemporary Music
 And Led By David Milnes, Performs Theatrical Works,
Tech-Aided Music And Two World Premieres In Two Distinct Concerts 
On January 26 And February 23 In Hertz Hall


Cal Performances has added two distinct concerts of contemporary music by UC Berkeley’s in-residence Eco Ensemble to its calendar on Saturday, January 26 and Saturday, February 23, both at 8:00 p.m. in Hertz Hall. The Eco Ensemble, “a dream team of local musicians who embody a new high point in the Bay Area’s vibrant contemporary music scene” (New York Times), is led by David Milnes, who also serves as music director of the UC Berkeley Symphony Orchestra.  Eco Ensemble, which takes its name from the vibrant artistic ecology within which it works, is closely connected with the UC Berkeley Center for New Music & Audio Technologies (CNMAT), an interdisciplinary research center at the university focused on the creative interaction between music and technology.

The January 26 program highlights two works that share a theatrical angle. The concert will open with Sir Harrison Birtwistle’s (b. 1934) Secret Theatre, written in 1984 for 14-piece chamber ensemble. Called by its British composer a work of “instrumental role-playing,” Secret Theatre alternates between solo instruments presenting monologues and multiple instruments simultaneously playing conflicting voices. It will be followed by La Chute de la Maison Usher, written in 1995 by Italian composer Ivan Fedele (b. 1953) as a soundtrack to French filmmaker Jean Epstein’s landmark 1928 silent film of the same name. The Eco Ensemble will play the work live as Epstein’s film is shown, and Fedele will be in attendance. The composer will be on the UC Berkeley campus as a 2013 Regents’ Lecturer.

On February 23, Eco Ensemble will open a technology-infused concert with a world premiere of a new piano concerto by pianist and UC Berkeley composition professor Cindy Cox (b. 1961). Cox’s post-tonal musical language is derived from acoustics, technological innovations, harmonic resonance and poetic allusion. The concerto will feature Grammy-winning pianist, UCLA faculty member, and 2012 UC Berkeley Regents’ Lecturer Gloria Cheng. Next is a second world premiere, by UC Berkeley doctoral graduate and former CNMAT musical systems designer John MacCallum (b. 1976). MacCallum’s works rely on technology in both composition and performance; they often employ carefully constrained algorithms that evolve differently yet predictably. Staub – Assonance IIIb by Swiss composer Michael Jarrell (born 1958) follows; written for seven musicians and video (though the video will not be shown for this performance), the 2009 composition’s reliance on electronics will demonstrate the relationship between Eco Ensemble and CNMAT. The final work of the concert, Ikons 14’ by trombonist, composer and Columbia University professor George Lewis (born 1952), was created with Canadian artist Eric Metcalfe in 2009 for a sculptural-sonic installation and premiered at the 2010 Vancouver Cultural Olympiad. Lewis, who will be in attendance for the performance, is the Spring 2013 visiting Bloch Professor in the UC Berkeley Department of Music.

Eco Ensemble is a dynamic group of high-caliber professional and academic musicians. The group itself is built to expand and contract in size based on the works it performs. With a mission to bring exciting contemporary music both to experienced audiences and new listeners, the Eco Ensemble performs concerts, gives public lectures, and provides demonstrations and workshops. The ensemble’s work is informed and inspired by its relationships with CNMAT and the UC Berkeley Department of Music. David Milnes, conductor of the UC Berkeley Symphony Orchestra and professor in the department of music, serves as the Eco Ensemble’s conductor and is on its artistic advisory committee with composer Edmund Campion and Cal Performances Director Matías Tarnopolsky. More about the ensemble can be found at ecoensemble.org.



TICKET INFORMATION
Tickets for Eco Ensemble on Saturday, January 26 and Saturday, February 23 at 8:00 p.m. in Hertz Hall are priced at $30.00 and are subject to change. Tickets are available 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.

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Michael Tilson Thomas Leads Renée Fleming And The San Francisco Symphony In World Premiere Of New Arrangement Of Debussy’s C’est L’extase (Settings Of Paul Verlaine) By Robin Holloway January 10, 12 And 13 At Davies Symphony Hall

Fleming also performs duo recital with Susan Graham on January 16

Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas   (MTT) leads the San Francisco  (SFS) and soprano Renée Fleming  in the world premiere of Robin Holloway’s arrangement, commissioned by the SFS, of Debussy’s C’est l’extase.  Fleming also performs selections from Canteloube’s Chants d’Auvergne, and the Orchestra performs Debussy’s Jeux, La Plus que lente, and La Mer. Fleming returns to Davies Symphony Hall on January 16 to perform a duo recital of works by Chausson, Debussy, and Fauré with mezzo-soprano Susan Graham and pianist Bradley Moore.

C’est l’extase is a new orchestration by Robin Holloway of Debussy’s settings of the poems of Paul Verlaine; the cycle includes the six Debussy titled Ariettes oubliées. An SFS commission, the work receives its world premiere in these performances. Previously, the San Francisco Symphony and Michael Tilson Thomas have commissioned and premiered three works by composer Robin Holloway, including Clarissa Sequence (1998), the Fourth Concerto for Orchestra (2007), and 2004’s En blanc et noir, an orchestration of a Debussy work for two pianos that the Orchestra performed on tour in the US and Europe. Holloway taught music at Cambridge University for 32 years, and his students included Judith Weir and Thomas Adès.

Photo courtesty of Decca/Andrew Eccles

One of the foremost sopranos of her time, Renée Fleming has appeared in all of the major opera houses around the world. In 2012, she was named Singer of the Year by Germany’s Echo awards, and sang at the inaugural concert for President Barack Obama at the Lincoln Memorial. On December 5, she was nominated for a Grammy award for Best Classical Vocal Solo for her album Poèmes, released in March 2012.  Featuring music by Dutilleux, Ravel, and Messiaen, the album was recorded with Alan Gilbert and the Orchestra Philharmonique de Radio France and Seiji Ozawa and the Orchestre National de France.

Mezzo-soprano Susan Graham is featured on SFS Media’s 2010 release Mahler Songs with Orchestra, singing selections from Mahler’s Rückert-Lieder.  In October 2012, Graham released her first solo album since 2008, a compilation on Onyx titled Virgins, Vixens & Viragos, featuring music by Purcell, Berlioz, and Poulenc, among others. This duo recital with Fleming, part of a month-long tour, is Graham’s only Bay Area performance in the 2012-2013 season.

 

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Cal Performances’ Third Annual Ojai North! Features World Premiere Of New Mark Morris Choreography For Rite Of Spring


Ojai North!, A Collaboration With The Ojai Music Festival,
Runs Thursday–Saturday, June 13–15, At Hertz Hall And Features Nine Concerts With Works By Lou Harrison, John Cage, Henry Cowell, Charles Ives And
John Luther Adams, Employing Ethan Iverson, Colin Fowler And
The American String Quartet


Cal Performances’ third annual Ojai North!, a multi-year partnership with the esteemed Ojai Music Festival, opens with the world premiere of new choreography to Igor Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring by the 2013 Ojai Music Director and choreographer Mark Morris on June 13-15, 2013. Set to The Bad Plus’s rescoring of the explosive masterpiece for piano, bass and drums, Rite of Spring will be performed by the jazz trio and the Mark Morris Dance Group (MMDG). Highlighted by works that Morris champions, the festival programming also includes compositions by Lou Harrison, John Cage, Henry Cowell, Charles Ives and John Luther Adams. Joining Morris in Berkeley will be his MMDG Music Ensemble as well as long-time collaborators Ethan Iverson of The Bad Plus, recognized by Rolling Stone magazine as “about as badass as highbrow can get,” pianist/organist Colin Fowler, the American String Quartet, percussion ensemble red fish blue fish and Gamelan Sari Raras from the University of California, Berkeley. All performances will be at Hertz Hall unless otherwise noted.

Each summer the Ojai Music Festival (June 6-9, 2013), explores the musical interests of its Music Director, a position that is held for the first time this year by a choreographer. “The Bay Area understands the genius of Mark Morris and his talents as a dancer, choregrapher and musician, perhaps better than anywhere else in the world,” said Cal Performances’ Director Matías Tarnopolsky. “We are proud to support Mark as Music Director of Ojai North! and introduce his fans here to this new endeavor.” Morris, who considers Cal Performances his West Coast home, has partnered with the institution since 1987, presenting numerous world, United States and West Coast premieres.

A series of education and community events to compliment Ojai North! programming, including film screenings and talks with the artists, are being planned, and will be announce at a later date.

This season’s Ojai North! marks the third year of a residency partnership between Cal Performances and the Ojai Music Festival; the Festival will continue in Berkeley at the end of every annual music festival in Ojai Valley. This collaborative effort makes possible annual reprises of Ojai concerts in Berkeley, as well as co-commissions and co-productions. More than just a sharing of resources, Ojai North! represents a joining of artistic ideals and aspirations. The combined efforts of Ojai’s legacy of artistic innovation and Cal Performances’ tradition of groundbreaking productions create a joint force that allows artists to achieve more than would be possible by each organization separately.

THE PROGRAM
Ojai North! kicks off on Thursday, June 13 at 5:00 p.m. with an outdoor performance of John Luther Adams’ A Strange and Sacred Noise with red fish blue fish; this free and open to the public event will be held on the Faculty Glade. At 8:00 p.m., the world premiere takes place of Mark Morris’s newest work Rite of Spring, set to Stravinsky’s masterwork, reinterpreted and performed by The Bad Plus and danced by MMDG. His company will also dance Mosaic and United (1993) set to Henry Cowell’s Quartets No. 3 and No. 4, performed by the American String Quartet. Closing out the day is a late night jam session with The Bad Plus at 10:00 p.m.

Two concerts on Friday, June 14 at 5:00 p.m. and at 8:00 p.m. showcase Lou Harrison’s work and those inspired by the legendary American maverick composer. At 5:00 p. m. Gamelan Sari Raras from UC Berkeley will perform Lou Harrison’s Music for Gamelan and solo instruments.  That evening at 8:00 p.m. members of the MMDG Music Ensemble will perform Harrison’s Suite for Symphonic Strings under the baton of Joshua Gersen, conducting assistant to Michael Tilson Thomas at the New World Symphony. The American String Quartet along with pianists Colin Fowler and Yegor Shevtsov will counter with John Luther Adams’s haunting work For Lou Harrison. Day two concludes at 10:00 p.m. with a second John Luther Adams work, staged outdoors, titled Songbirdsongs with red fish blue fish.

Saturday, June 15, is a full day of adventurous repertoire starting at noon with John Cage’s Four Walls which will be performed by pianist Ethan Iverson and soprano Yulia Van Doren. At 2:00 p.m., the American String Quartet will offer Charles Ives’s String Quartet No. 2 followed by a selection of songs by Ruth Crawford Seeger, Henry Cowell, Lou Harrison and John Cage with Doren, Jamie Van Eyck, mezzo-soprano and Douglas Williams, baritone performing. The audience joins in with the performers for the final song, Carl Ruggles’ great hymn, Exaltation, conducted by Mark Morris.

At 7:30 p.m., Joshua Gersen conducts Lou Harrison’s Concerto for Organ and Percussion with Colin Fowler and red fish blue fish. The final concert of Ojai North! at 9:00 p.m. begins with a pair of works by Henry Cowell performed by MMDG Music Ensemble: Heroic Dance, written for Martha Graham, and his cantata Atlantis with vocalists Doren, Van Eyck and Williams. The short Fugue for Percussion by Lou Harrison, one of his most fiendishly difficult pieces, and his Concerto for Piano and Gamelan with Colin Fowler and Gamelan Sari Raras round out the concert.

OJAI MUSIC FESTIVAL
The Ojai Music Festival is an annual four-day immersion experience of concerts, symposia and auxiliary events set in the picturesque Ojai Valley, just north of Los Angeles.  Founded in 1947 by John Bauer, the Festival receives a constant stream of innovative programming and fresh ideas as the Music Director changes each year.  Administratively, Thomas W. Morris celebrates his ninth year with the Festival that turns 66 this season.  Acclaimed conductors, composers and artists who have led the Festival in the past include Aaron Copland, Igor Stravinsky, Ingolf Dahl, Pierre Boulez, Robert Craft, Michael Tilson Thomas, Calvin Simmons, Kent Nagano and John Adams, among many others. Pianist Jeremy Denk assumes the leadership for the 2014 season. For further information go to ojaifestival.org.

TICKET INFORMATION
Tickets for Ojai North!, Thursday-Saturday, June 13-15, at Zellerbach Playhouse range from $20.00-$110.00 and are subject to change; single tickets will go on sale February 1, 2013. Tickets are available through the Cal Performances’ Ticket Office at Zellerbach Hall; at (510) 642-9988; at www.calperformances.org; and at the door.  Half-price tickets are available for purchase by 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.  Rush tickets are announced three hours prior to a performance on Cal Performances’ Facebook page and at 510-642-9988 and are available in person only at the Ticket Office beginning one hour before the performance; one ticket per person; all sales are cash only. For more information, call Cal Performances at (510) 642-9988, or visit www.calperformances.org <http://www.calperformances.org> .

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SFMOMA Announces 2012 SECA Art Award Winners

Artists Commissioned to Present Work Outside of Gallery Context



The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) today announced that Zarouhie Abdalian, Josh Faught, Jonn Herschend, and David Wilson are the recipients of the 2012 SECA Art Award. Established in 1967, this biennial award honors individual achievements of Bay Area artists through an exhibition, an accompanying publication, and an honorarium.

The award is sponsored by the Society for the Encouragement of Contemporary Art (SECA), an SFMOMA art interest group, and is intended to support artists who are working at a high level but have not yet received substantial museum recognition. The SECA Art Award has been a cornerstone of SFMOMA’s commitment to Bay Area artists, often introducing local talents to the museum’s wide audience, and offering a focused look at contemporary art being made in the region.

The exhibition for this year’s awardees will take place beyond the walls of the museum in the fall of 2013, during the construction period for SFMOMA’s major expansion project, which is slated for completion in 2016. For this unique iteration of the award, the museum will commission new work to be presented at various locations in the Bay Area—a first in the history of the award program—as part of SFMOMA’s extensive off-site programming. SFMOMA assistant curator of painting and sculpture Jenny Gheith and SFMOMA assistant curator of media arts Tanya Zimbardo considered more than 250 artists working in a broad range of media who were nominated by Bay Area art professionals, including curators, critics, professors, gallery owners, SECA members, and former recipients of the SECA Art Award.

Fifteen finalists received studio visits and were asked to submit a proposal for a solo commission that included a potential location. The four winners were selected by Gheith and Zimbardo; the projects will be on view as part of an exhibition at various locations to be announced at a later date. Documentation of the projects will be featured both on the museum’s website and in an accompanying award exhibition catalogue.

“Each of the finalists offered a strong background of thought-provoking work and an inspired proposal to consider,” says Zimbardo. “We feel honored to have had the opportunity to learn more about their practices through the process.”

Gheith adds, “The four winning artists proposed commissions that further and expand upon ideas that they have already been investigating. We’re thrilled to be able to foreground their work through the off-site solo presentations, which will make these projects available to an even broader audience.”

While the award program has traditionally been focused on presenting work at the museum in a gallery setting, there have been key moments in the award history when recipients engaged the public sphere. From Bonnie Sherk and Howard Levine’s Portable Parks I-III (1970 SECA Vernal Equinox Special Award) to Amy Franceschini’s planting parties as part of Victory Gardens 2007+ (2006 SECA Art Award), off-site projects have been an important catalyst for SECA artists.

The finalists for the 2012 SECA Art Award were Zarouhie Abdalian, Elisheva Biernoff, Nate Boyce, Tammy Rae Carland, Anthony Discenza, Liam Everett, Josh Faught, Chris Fraser, Jonn Herschend, Cybele Lyle, Jonathan Runcio, Jesse Schlesinger, Chris Sollars, Lindsey White, and David Wilson.

ZAROUHIE ABDALIAN

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 alter understanding through small shifts in sight or sound. Through her research into the history and physical features of a location, she focuses on simple adjustments such as measuring the sonic vibrations of bass shakers in the walls of an exhibition space with a plumb bob, 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 resonance of space. Abdalian explains, “A successful work might act a bit like a speed bump: It may not change your path, but it registers, and for a moment, you move differently.”

The Oakland-based artist (born 1982, New Orleans, Louisiana) earned her BA at Tulane University in 2003 and her MFA from California College of the Arts in 2010. Abdalian’s work has been included in numerous national and international exhibitions including the 9th Shanghai Biennial (2012), the 3rd Moscow International Biennale for Young Art (2012); and the 12th Istanbul Biennial (2011).

JOSH FAUGHT

Josh Faught’s work mines the rich histories of craft in sculptures that pair 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. Collaged together in a patchwork-like fashion, fabrics such as hemp or recreations of the AIDS quilt are situated next to shiny sequins or campy buttons. 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. He explains, “These mythologized reconfigurations respond to ongoing interests surrounding possibilities in narrative between object, ornamentation, sexual difference, desire, and the site of domestic dysfunction.”

San Francisco–based Faught (born 1979, St. Louis, Missouri) earned his BA at Oberlin College in 2001 and his MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2006. He has had solo exhibitions at Lisa Cooley Gallery, New York, and the Seattle Art Museum among others. In 2012 he won the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award, and he received the Betty Bowen Award from the Seattle Art Museum in 2009.

JONN HERSCHEND

Jonn Herschend is an interdisciplinary artist and filmmaker who investigates emotional truth, confusion, and absurdity in everyday life. His videos, installations, and performances humorously question how we interpret the validity of information by utilizing the formats of corporate messaging such as PowerPoint presentations, infomercials, and educational videos. A recurring theme in his work is the literary device of the unreliable narrator who turns Herschend’s site-specific fictions into personal and confused dramas that implicate the viewer in seeking to find the reality of a situation. The artist explains, “I allow the messiness of reality to eventually collapse the whole piece.” Raised in a midwestern amusement park, Herschend points to the fantasies and expectations placed around entertainment experiences, including art institutions. Several recently commissioned videos have taken the framework of institutional messaging and identity as the point of departure, while offering alternate museum experiences.

Herschend (born 1967, Branson, Missouri) lives and works in San Francisco. He received his MFA from the University of California at Berkeley in 2006 and his BA from Boston University in 1990. Recent short films have been produced for exhibitions at SITE Santa Fe, the Oakland Museum of California Art, and Den Frie Centre of Contemporary Art, Copenhagen, Denmark. His work has been included in numerous exhibitions and film screenings, including solo presentations at Steven Wolf Fine Arts, San Francisco; and Invisible Venue, Oakland, and in the group triennial Bay Area Now 5 (2008) at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco. Since 2007, he has co-edited the object-based publication THE THING Quarterly with artist Will Rogan.

DAVID WILSON

For the past seven years, David Wilson has been known for orchestrating large site-specific gatherings at locations such as Angel Island, Bolinas Beach, and the Marin Headlands. Under the moniker “Ribbons,” he often announces these events through hand-delivered invitations that include folded maps with hand-written directions and elaborate sketches that are used to guide attendees to intimately composed situations and interventions. From his large-scale performance-based events to his one-on-one exchanges with readers/visitors, Wilson often synthesizes the talents of his wide community of musicians, filmmakers, and chefs. These collaborative and participatory actions achieve a certain resonance in the format of ceremonies or healing gestures. This performative and socially engaged aspect of his work stems from the long periods of his solitary and on-going explorations of “the many lost corners and in-between stretches of natural and developed space,” reflected in his meticulously rendered plein air studies in drawing and watercolor on found paper.

Oakland-based Wilson (born 1982, Framingham, Massachusetts) received his BA in visual art from Wesleyan University, Connecticut, in 2005. Wilson was included in the 2010 California Biennial at the Orange County Museum of Art and has held solo exhibitions at the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, Eleanor Harwood Gallery, San Francisco, and Hatch Gallery, Oakland.


About SECA

Distinguished as one of the longest-standing award programs dedicated to local artists at a modern art museum in the United States, the SECA Art Award program has honored over 60 winning artists and has been an important vehicle for building relationships with artists that often continues through SFMOMA acquisitions and future presentations.

Recent SECA Art Award recipients include Mauricio Ancalmo, Colter Jacobsen, Ruth Laskey, and Kamau Amu Patton (2010); Tauba Auerbach, Desirée Holman, Jordan Kantor, and Trevor Paglen (2008); Sarah Cain, Kota Ezawa, Amy Franceschini, Mitzi Pederson, and Leslie Shows (2006); Rosana Castrillo Díaz, Simon Evans, Shaun O’Dell, and Josephine Taylor (2004); John Bankston, Andrea Higgins, Chris Johanson, and Will Rogan (2002); Rachael Neubauer and Kathryn VanDyke (2000); Chris Finley, Gay Outlaw, Laurie Reid, and Rigo 98 (1998); and D-L Alvarez, Anne Appleby, and Barry McGee (1996).

Founded in 1961, SECA brings together art enthusiasts, collectors, curators, and arts professionals through a variety of events that strengthen members’ knowledge of contemporary art. The Art Award program offers SECA members an exciting educational opportunity to learn firsthand about new directions in contemporary art and directly support talented Bay Area artists at a relatively early stage in their careers. Throughout the year the program includes a range of activities for participants, including artist and curator talks and exclusive visits to galleries, nonprofit spaces, private collections, and artist studios. More information about the SECA and the award process is available online at sfmoma.org/pages/interest_seca.

SECA is the beneficiary of the opening night preview party for ArtPad SF 2013, a boutique art fair at the Phoenix Hotel in San Francisco that focuses on emerging and contemporary art from the Bay Area and beyond. More detail about the event, to be held on May 16, 2013, are available at artpadsf.com.

About SFMOMA’s Off-Site Programming

During the construction of SFMOMA’s building for its major expansion project, the museum will go beyond its walls and directly into the community with extensive off-site programming. An array of collaborative and traveling museum exhibitions, site-specific installations, and programs and events will unfold throughout the Bay Area, from the summer of 2013 to early 2016. During this two-and-a-half-year period, SFMOMA will experiment with new ideas, engage in dialogue with a range of cultural partners, and create innovative ways to experience the museum’s collection, bringing the best of these ideas and initiatives back into its newly expanded home.

The 2012 SECA Art Award exhibition will launch in the fall of 2013, overlapping with SFMOMA collection-based presentations at the Contemporary Jewish Museum and the Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University. Other public and site-responsive presentations of contemporary artists organized by SFMOMA during this period will include an outdoor exhibition of Mark di Suvero’s iconic large-scale sculptures at Crissy Field and a citywide exhibition of newly commissioned artworks in Los Altos.

 

 

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Mayor Lee Launches “Peace At Home” Campaign To End Domestic Violence

Public Awareness Campaign Launches During Holidays, City Increases Services for Domestic Violence Victim

Today Mayor Edwin M. Lee joined by Board of Supervisors President David Chiu, District Attorney George Gascón, the San Francisco Department on the Status of Women and anti-domestic violence advocates launched San Francisco’s “Peace at Home” campaign to raise awareness about domestic violence.

“With this concerted effort to get the word out about domestic violence hotlines and services, we are striving to create peace in every San Francisco home, making sure we reach our immigrant communities,” said Mayor Lee. “After ten years of reforms and partnership with community agencies, San Francisco has finally had a year without a single case of domestic violence homicide. Now, more than ever, we need to continue this important work.”

“I’m pleased that my colleagues on the Board of Supervisors have expressed support for $750,000 in additional funding for legal services for immigrants who are victims of this crime, additional public outreach, and expanded policy work to advance our citywide effort to end domestic violence,” said Board President Chiu.

“Domestic violence is a serious and dangerous crime that knows no economic, racial, sexual or ethnic boundaries,” said District Attorney Gascón. “San Francisco is certainly not an exception. Over the last two years my office has seen a 98 percent increase in domestic violence cases. We want people in the community to know that domestic violence will not be tolerated and we are working together to stop the cycle of violence.”

The “Peace at Home” campaign is the first in a year-long series of actions to heighten public awareness about services for victims of domestic violence. In January, the campaign continues through ads in English, Spanish, and Chinese in high-traffic MUNI and walking routes throughout San Francisco. The ads feature a diverse array of women and with a message that “Domestic Violence is a crime, and no one deserves to be abused. You have options. San Francisco Responds 24 Hours A Day.”

Anti-domestic violence advocates also unfurled a flag and artwork of images, words, and symbols from the 24 anti-domestic violence agencies funded by the City. Printed cards bearing the artwork and hotline numbers in multiple languages will be distributed to schools, libraries and recreation centers.

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The Amazing Bubble Man Brings THE WORLD’S FUNNIEST BUBBLE SHOW Back to the Bay Area

The Amazing Bubble man blew his first bubble on the Marsh stage on November 27, 2009, more than three years ago! That was in San Francisco. In May, 2010 he moved to the Berkeley Marsh where he continued to enthrall families for two and half more sold-out years! And now he is returning to San Francisco where a whole new generation of children who have come of bubble age during his absence eagerly await him, not to mention the slightly older ones have been hankering for his return. I think it’s fair to say that the Bubble man (aka Louis Pearl) has become something of a Sunday institution on both sides of the bay.

Packed with fun stuff and lots of audience participation the show makes a perfect and amazingly inexpensive family outing. Spellbinding bubble tricks will keep every child and adult mesmerized, with flying saucer bubbles, square bubbles, bubbles inside bubbles, fog-filled bubbles, giant bubbles, bubble volcanoes, tornados and trampolines, not to mention people inside bubbles. Warning: expect lots of excitement and laughter.

Pearl, a resident of Sebastopol, has been bubbling professionally since 1980. For more information, visit www.amazingbubbleman.com.

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Yearlong Waterfront Display near Golden Gate Bridge Presented by SFMOMA in Partnership with the National Park Service and Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy

Next spring (May 2013 to May 2014), the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) in partnership with the National Park Service (NPS) and Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy will present a major outdoor exhibition of sculptor Mark di Suvero’s works near the Golden Gate Bridge. Eight large-scale steel sculptures will be installed at historic Crissy Field, a former airfield and military base that is now one of the most-visited national park sites within the Golden Gate National Parks. Curated by SFMOMA Director Neal Benezra, Mark di Suvero at Crissy Field surveys five decades of the artist’s work including a recent sculpture that has never before been on public view. The temporary exhibition will be the largest display of di Suvero’s work ever shown on the West Coast, and free for all visitors, extending the programs celebrating the Golden Gate Bridge’s 75th anniversary.

Coinciding with di Suvero’s 80th birthday, the exhibition holds particular significance for the artist who emigrated from Shanghai to San Francisco at the age of seven. His passage beneath the Golden Gate Bridge—which opened a few years before his arrival—proved to be a lasting inspiration, as the scale and color of the structure have inspired di Suvero throughout his life. di Suvero notes, “It was like a rainbow, a bridge coming to the New World starting a new life. The woman who chose the color of the bridge, Malo Lowell, taught me how to work wood as a teenager and from there, all was freedom.”

Mark di Suvero at Crissy Field will kick off SFMOMA’s extensive slate of off-site exhibitions and programming as part of the next phase of the museum’s expansion project. The exhibition opens just prior to when SFMOMA will temporarily close its building for construction and begin its two-and-a-half-year off-site phase beginning in June 2013.

“We could not be more thrilled to embark on the museum’s new phase by celebrating one of the greatest artists to come from San Francisco, in a setting beside an iconic and beloved Bay Area landmark,” notes Benezra. “We are incredibly excited about this unique collaboration between SFMOMA and the NPS and Parks Conservancy to present these extraordinary works of art to the widest audience possible, against such a fitting, historic, and striking backdrop.”

Mark di Suvero at Crissy Field continues the NPS and Parks Conservancy’s ongoing commitment and deep relationship with the city that is home to the Golden Gate National Parks. “Just like di Suvero’s exhibition earlier this year at Governors Island, an NPS site in New York Harbor, this exhibition will give us an opportunity to further explore how art can create a new understanding and appreciation for a historic landmark like Crissy Field,” said Golden Gate National Recreation Area Superintendent, Frank Dean. “The fact that di Suvero is a sculptor with local roots and influences adds another dimension to the story,” he noted.

Greg Moore, President and CEO of the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, added, “We are grateful to partner with a world-class museum that is bringing the work of an internationally renowned artist to an extraordinary national park. We all take inspiration from the Golden Gate Bridge and the beauty of the park lands surrounding this beloved landmark; di Suvero’s work joins us in that uplifting emotion.”


The Exhibition at Crissy Field

Raised in the Bay Area, di Suvero is an internationally acclaimed sculptor whose unique bold physical style has made him one of the most influential sculptors of our time. He uses a variety of industrial materials to build dynamic works that create an active dialogue with their outdoor settings. Despite the monumentality of these sculptures, they imbue a sense of peace, beauty, and order also found in their natural surroundings. Spanning up to 50 feet high and 40 feet wide, di Suvero’s works will especially resonate at Crissy Field, with its immediate views of the Golden Gate Bridge, from which the artist has long taken inspiration. His monumental steel sculptures convey powerful emotion, while also revealing the artist’s masterful sense of form, composition, and movement.

Mark di Suvero at Crissy Field will activate the outdoor space in a new and engaging way while drawing connections to the area’s rich history and distinctive waterfront presence. Through this exhibition, the unique account of Crissy Field and the San Francisco Bay as a gateway to immigration will be told in the personal story of di Suvero’s experience. In addition, these massive sculptures made predominantly of industrial steel I-beams serve as a reminder of the impact of steel production on industry, technology, and the military, which greatly influenced the landscape of Crissy Field from its previous use as an airfield and military base. Abstract in nature, the works offer viewers an opportunity to draw more subtle connections to the surrounding environment, as with Dreamcatcher (2005–12), whose angular top will spin when activated by the winds at Crissy Field.

Most sculptures featured in the exhibition will be lent by the artist, including Magma (2008), which will be publicly on view for the first time. Other works include key local and national loans, including one from the private collection of Mrs. Donald Fisher and others from the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C., and Storm King Art Center, Mountainville, New York.

SFMOMA, the NPS, and the Parks Conservancy are also planning to develop joint educational programming and interpretative content in conjunction with the exhibition.


About Mark di Suvero  

Born in Shanghai, China in 1933, Mark di Suvero emigrated to the U.S. in 1941 and settled in San Francisco. He graduated with a degree in philosophy from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1957. In 1960, early in his artistic career, di Suvero was paralyzed in a near fatal accident while working part-time for a construction company. While in a wheelchair, he mastered a welding technique that allowed him to begin making sculptures in steel.

While the artist has lived and worked in New York since 1957, he has never lost sight of his connection to the Bay Area, maintaining a second studio in Petaluma. Local institutions, including the City of San Francisco, Fine Arts Museums, Oakland Museum of California, and SFMOMA, have collected his work. At SFMOMA, di Suvero’s Ferro (1978–82) is in the permanent collection and currently on view in the museum’s Rooftop Garden; four di Suvero sculptures are also a part of the Fisher Collection. Other works currently on view in the Bay Area include Pax Jerusalem (1999), installed at the Legion of Honor; Sea Change (1995) at South Beach Park near the AT&T Stadium; and Miwok (1981–82) at Stanford University’s School of Medicine Dean’s Lawn.

di Suvero’s works have been shown in many galleries and museums in the U.S., Europe, Asia, and Australia since the 1960s.  His work has also been featured in a series of major outdoor exhibitions in cities since the early 1970s, including in 1975 the first exhibition of a living artist at the Tuilleries in Paris and then a citywide exhibition presenting work in all five boroughs in New York City. Later shows were presented in Stuttgart, Germany; Valence, France; Nice, France; Venice, Italy; Paris, France; and most recently on Governors Island in New York City, presented by the Storm King Art Center. In the U.S., cities with permanent installations of di Suvero sculptures include Baltimore, Dallas, Grand Rapids, Houston, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, St. Louis, San Francisco, South Bend, and Toledo.

di Suvero has also largely been active in public art projects and supporting the cultural community. He was one of the co-founders of the Park Place Gallery, which opened in 1963 as a cooperative space where works of emerging artists were shown, and in 1977 he founded the Athena Foundation, helping artists achieve their creative goals. In 1986, he created the Socrates Sculpture Park, where he and a coalition of community members and artists transformed an abandoned landfill in Queens into an exhibition space and studio for artists, as well as a park for community residents. In 2006, di Suvero received the Heinz Award in the Arts and Humanities for his contributions to American culture through his artwork, his commitment to helping other artists, and his creation of new venues for the visual arts. In 2011, President Obama honored di Suvero with the 2010 National Medal of the Arts; the president commended his work for its ability to portray both social and political vision.


About SFMOMA’s Off-Site Programming

During the construction of SFMOMA’s building for its major expansion project, the museum will go beyond its walls and directly into the community with extensive off-site programming. An array of collaborative and traveling museum exhibitions, site-specific installations, and neighborhood festivals will unfold throughout the Bay Area, from the summer of 2013 to early 2016. In addition to Mark di Suvero at Crissy Field, other site-specific projects during this period will include a city-wide exhibition including newly commissioned, site-responsive artworks at Los Altos in fall of 2013; a multi-location display of Doug Aitken’s Empire trilogy (2008–14) in 2014, showing all three video installations simultaneously for the first time; and off-site presentations of the museum’s ongoing SECA Award shows and New Work series.

Throughout this two-and-a-half-year period, SFMOMA will experiment with new ideas, engage in dialogue with a range of cultural partners, and create innovative ways to experience the museum’s collection, bringing the best of these ideas and initiatives back into its newly expanded home. Additional off-site programs are currently in development; as plans evolve, more details will be announced.

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About SFMOMA

Founded in 1935, SFMOMA was the first museum on the West Coast devoted to modern and contemporary art. From the outset, SFMOMA has championed the most innovative and challenging art of its time, and continues to exhibit and collect work by both modern masters and younger, less-established artists. The museum’s internationally recognized collection includes some 30,000 works, featuring strong holdings in photography, painting and sculpture, architecture and design, and media arts.

About the National Park Service
The National Park Service (NPS) is a federal agency within the U.S. Department of the Interior charged with managing the preservation and public use of America’s most significant natural, scenic, historic, and cultural treasures. The NPS manages the Golden Gate National Parks, as well as 397 other park sites across the U.S. For more information, visitwww.nps.gov/goga or call (415) 561-4700.

About the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy
The Parks Conservancy is the nonprofit membership organization created to preserve the Golden Gate National Parks, enhance the experiences of park visitors, and build a community dedicated to conserving the parks for the future. The Conservancy is an authorized “cooperating association” of the National Park Service, and is one of more than 70 such nonprofit organizations working with national parks around the country. To learn more, please visit www.parksconservancy.org or call (415) 561-3000.

 

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Julia Fischer Withdraws SF Symphony Appearances; Hadelich To Perform Beethoven Violin Concerto April 17-20 at Davies In SF/Mondavi Center At UC Davis

 

 

 

German violinist Augustin Hadelich will replace Julia Fischer in concerts with the San Francisco Symphony led by Herbert Blomstedt April 17- 20, performing Beethoven’s Violin Concerto. Fischer has withdrawn for personal reasons. This is Hadelich’s debut with the San Francisco Symphony. Blomstedt also leads the Orchestra in Nielsen’s Symphony No. 5. The program is unchanged.

Augustin Hadelich, 28, is the winner of the 2006 International Violin Competition of Indianapolis. He gave his first concert at 7. After receiving a diploma from the Istituto Mascagni conservatory in Livorno, Italy, Hadelich studied composition at the Hanns-Eisler Academy of Music in Berlin and graduated from Juilliard, where he studied with Joel Smirnoff. He has performed with the New York Philharmonic and The Cleveland Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the Atlanta and Houston Symphony Orchestras, among others, and has given solo recitals at Carnegie Hall and Washington D.C.,’s Kennedy Center. He has recorded four solo CDs, including a highly acclaimed disk of masterworks for solo violin. Augustin Hadelich plays on the 1723 “Ex-Kiesewetter” Stradivari violin.

 

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Gary Soto’s IN AND OUT OF SHADOWS February 2 – 17, 2013


It is estimated that 65,000 undocumented teenagers graduate from US high schools each year.

IN AND OUT OF SHADOWS, a new play by famed Chicano writer Gary Soto, is about the lives and experiences of a group of undocumented teenagers from Richmond and Pinole, California. Very funny, in a format loosely based on the Canterbury Tales, members of Marsh Youth Theater’s (MYT’s) talented Teen Troupe not only perform the play, but also gathered the oral histories from around the Bay Area on which it is based, and which Soto has transformed into this vibrant, musical theater production. Above everything, Soto wants to give his audience, many of who may never have been to a play before, a really good time. So it’s loud and colorful, with an exuberant original score, inspired by Mexican Mariachi, jazz and hip hop.

Directed by Cliff Mayotte (The Wave), with music by MYT Director Emily Klion and Bay Area luminary George Brooks, the show plays from February 2 – 17, 2013 at The Marsh Studio Theater, 1062 Valencia Street in San Francisco. For exact days and times, see the Calendar Items below. For tickets the public may visit www.themarsh.org or call 282-3055.

The teens are preparing their personal statements for an AB 540 conference at UC Berkeley (AB 540 allows DREAMers, as they are known, to attend school at in-state tuition rates.) We meet Angel, who arrived in the US alone via a sewer when he was 13. And Juan who, as a determined six-year-old, had to be doused asleep with cough syrup during the crossing because he adamantly refused to give his cousin’s name as his own. We watch a newly urbanized vaco loco teaching an undocumented Chinese friend how to speak street Spanish. 

Running through everything is the fear of deportation. Many families in the show have mixed status – undocumented parents whose documented children were born here, for example – who live in constant fear of separation. Even under AB 540 or President Obama’s recent two-year deportation deferral for certain undocumented youth, students who get to stay may suddenly be left alone with nobody to take care of them. The diverse group of young actors, many whom are directly affected by the issue, mix English, Spanish, Tagalog, Spanglish and other languages as they unfold the unwieldy human effects of this messy political issue.

Gary Soto is a nationally acclaimed poet and novelist of young adult fiction. Born and raised in Fresno, the son of Mexican-American farm workers in the San Joaquin Valley, he has a keen personal interest in Latino youth and first-hand knowledge of the challenges facing low-income immigrant populations, from whose lives he draws extensively in his stories. The blend of humor and Spanglish vernacular in his fiction has captured the largest readership of Latino youth in the nation. His books have been translated into five languages and sold nearly four million copies, with 48 million textbooks featuring his writings. He currently lives in Berkeley.

MYT’s Teen Troupe has performed critically acclaimed productions of Kim Epifano’s Fears of Your Life, Ron Jones’ The Wave, and Emily Klion, Lisa Quoresimo and Danny Duncan’s Siddhartha.  It is extremely diverse in race, class, ability, national origin, sexual orientation and, most significantly to this project, immigration status. MYT has provided musical theater education and performance opportunities for youth without regard to financial circumstance or past experience for the last decade.

In 2009, Soto attended a rehearsal of MYT’s Novio Boy, one of Soto’s two humorous short plays. Aware of MYT’s neighboring Mission District, with its low-income, largely Latino population, many of whom surely come from undocumented families, he and MYT Director, Emily Klion, developed the idea for IN AND OUT OF SHADOWS. This piece is supported by the Creative Work Fund and NALAC (National Association of Latino Arts and Culture.)

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Choreographer Anna Halprin to Retire ‘Parades and Changes’:: Final Three Performances at BAM/PFA February 15-17, 2013

As part of the University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive’s MATRIX program, dancer and choreographer Anna Halprin performs and directs a three-night engagement of her seminal work Parades and Changes February 15, 16, and 17, 2013. The production will serve as the final performances of a work that announced the arrival of postmodern choreography when it was first performed in 1965. A special gallery exhibition, on view from February 15 through April 21, 2013, features scores, photographs, and documentation of the piece from the past forty-seven years.

Parades and Changes is an ensemble piece that exposes the process of creating the performance. The dance revolves around a special set of instructions called a “score,” which include a series of everyday tasks and rituals—unrolling giant sheets of plastic, audience interaction, tearing paper, dressing and undressing. Though nudity is a fairly common sight on dance stages today, the first New York City performance of Parades and Changes in 1967 resulted in a summons for Halprin’s arrest. More recently, when dancers removed their clothes as part of a performance for Performa 09, onlookers barely batted their eyelashes.

This “ceremony of trust,” as Halprin calls it, utilizes dance as a medium for testing modes of collaboration. The elements of change, reflected in the title, extend beyond the dance to the lighting, score, and props, which also vary with each performance. This fundamental malleability of the dance has allowed it to be restaged multiple times in the past forty-seven years yet still remain relevant within the various societal, political, artistic, and physical contexts it has been performed.

Halprin’s Parades and Changes opened the current BAM/PFA facility in 1970, and this final presentation of the work celebrates the history and architecture of the building as the institution prepares to move to a downtown location in late 2015. Joining Halprin for the BAM/PFA performances will be original composer, electronic music pioneer Morton Subotnick, who will perform a live score, and a team of dancers from around the world.

 

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THE LISTENER Short Stories on Stage A Cycle Of 5 Original Comic Stories presented in 2 parts


“Three-dimensional characters… urgent human situations… complex ideas… a writer of real substance.”
—Tamim Ansary, author of ‘West of Kabul, East of New York’

Award-winning playwright and performer Charlie Varon returns to The Marsh this January to read a cycle of five comic short stories called The Listener. Developed with and directed by David Ford, the stories will be read in two parts during the month of January on The Marsh MainStage at 1062 Valencia Street. Performances are Saturdays at 8:00 pm and Sundays at 5:00 pm, except for Sunday January 27, when there will be shows at 3pm and 7pm. The full schedule of Parts 1 and 2 of the cycle can be found below. The two parts can be enjoyed independently from one another and in any order.

Varon is best known for his hit solo shows, including Rush Limbaugh in Night School and Rabbi Sam, but he has also had work published over the years in The New Yorker, The Atlantic and Salon. The Listener brings together the dramatic and literary strands of Varon’s work, as he delivers these five original short stories with a solo performer’s craft and gusto.

The stories in The Listener are comic, poignant, and – as Varon’s fans have come to expect – brimming with ideas. The cycle follows half a dozen residents of a retirement home in San Francisco. Selma Cohen wonders whether there is a next life and, if so, what should she pack for it? Bernie Schein asks himself why, after all the Nazis did, he still wants to seduce that German teenager. And Ben Rosenau, who’s 91, regularly upsets his daughter by telling her, “No one should live past eighty.”

These short stories are my love letter to my parents’ generation,” Varon says, “and an exploration of all they’ve lived through. They came of age when radio was the hot new technology and now they have to figure out how to use cellphones.

The SF Chronicle has credited Charlie Varon with “redefining the art form” of solo performance. His hit shows – all created in collaboration with David Ford – include Rush Limbaugh in Night School (1994; revived 2004), The People’s Violin (2000), and Rabbi Sam (2009), which the Chronicle named one of the year’s 10 best plays and which Rabbi Dan Goldblatt calls “the most important Jewish play of our time.” In 2012, Charlie collaborated with David Ford and Jeri Lynn Cohen on the 2-actor comedy Fwd: Life Gone Viral, which enjoyed critical acclaim and an extended run at The Marsh. As collaborator/director, Charlie has worked with Dan Hoyle since 2004, on his award-winning solo shows Circumnavigator, Tings Dey Happen and The Real Americans.

Along with his work with Varon, David Ford has collaborated on much new and unusual theater, including Brian Copeland’s new and critically acclaimed The Waiting Period as well as Copeland’s previous show, Not a Genuine Black Man, which currently holds the record for longest running solo performance in Bay Area history and has been performed more than 500 times in San Francisco, LA and NY. Other work of note includes: Geoff Hoyle’s Geezer; Marilyn Pittman’s It’s All the Rage; and Say Ray, with storyteller-holy-man Ron Jones and Michael Rice, a mentally disabled performer. He also worked with Bill Talen on the original creation of Reverend Billy, the Obie award-winning theater/political action piece. Ford’s work has been seen regionally at the Public Theatre, Second Stage, Dixon’s Place, One Dream Theatre and Theatre for the New City (NY), Highways (LA) and Woolly Mammoth (Washington DC) as well as at theaters around the Bay Area including the Magic Theatre and Marin Theatre Company. A successful writer, his play, The Interrogation of Nathan Hale, premiered at South Coast Rep.

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Vima Ballroom’s Holiday Dance Boasts A Favroite Christmas Character Costume Contest

“This is our first Christmas in our new space,” says Vima owner, Photis Pishiaras.  “Now that we have the space – over 5,000 square feet — we want this to be the center for holiday dances and activities.”  Hosts for the party are instructors Ron Jenkins and Sandra Junoz.  There will be a costume contest for people dressed like their favorite holiday character, and performances by the Vima Vice Squad and several guest dancers.

The party begins with a Festive Fox Trot lesson at 8:10 followed by the evening’s activities, which includes a social dance, performances and costume contest.

Music includes Foxtrot, Waltz, Tango, Salsa, Rumba, Cha-Cha, Swing, Country and more.

WHO:                Bay Area Ballroom Dancers and their fans

WHAT:              Vima Dance Holiday Party

WHERE:            Vima Dance Studio  
                         820 26th St. (At Third)

WHEN:             Thursday, December 13

                         8:10p.m – Fox Trot classes  ($15)

                         9:00p.m – dance, performance, costumes ($10)

 

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Stanford’s Hoover Pavilion Gets a Beautiful Rennovation and Update

After more than half a century, the rooftop of the Hoover Pavilion is once again graced with a finial, an architectural ornament akin to the cherry on a sundae. On a cold and overcast morning in late November, a crane hoisted the 500-pound aluminum sculpture more than 105 feet off the ground. It was then lowered onto a kind of pedestal — a cube-shaped concrete stack, sheathed in copper, that sits atop the Hoover Pavilion’s tower — and bolted into place by construction workers.

The undertaking capped a 14-month, $50-million renovation of the Art Deco building, which stands at the corner of Quarry and Palo roads on the Stanford campus. The Hoover Pavilion will house several community physicians, a medical pharmacy, the Stanford Neurology Clinic, Stanford Internal Medicine, Stanford Family Medicine, the Stanford Center for Integrative Medicine, the Stanford Coordinated Care Clinic, the main branch of the Stanford Health Library and a café.

“This was Palo Alto’s skyscraper in 1931,” said Laura Jones, PhD, director of heritage services and university archeologist at Stanford, referring to the year the building first opened. She stood in the parking lot watching the crane, her hands stuffed into the pockets of a brown leather jacket. “It’s such a great building,” she said. “I think it’s pretty exciting that it’s been revitalized and will be reopening soon. People will have a chance to see how fabulous it is.”

The edifice, which has a 105-foot-tall tower and 50-foot-tall wings, had become dilapidated over the decades. Before renovation work began last year, the façade was faded and dirty, with air-conditioning units protruding from windows. Now the roughly 82,000-square-foot building has been restored to its former glory on the outside and refurbished to accommodate modern medicine on the inside. (Those AC units are gone, too, thanks to the installation of centralized heating and cooling.)

The building is scheduled to reopen Dec. 17. Originally constructed as the Palo Alto Hospital, the building was designed in the style of a ziggurat — a terraced pyramid built by Babylonians and other denizens of ancient Mesopotamia. Its south and east wing, which was added in 1939, are each four stories and connect to a five-story tower, atop of which sits a sixth-story penthouse. The ziggurat form can be seen in many Art Deco skyscrapers and large structures constructed in the early 20th century.

An iron finial once stood atop the tower of this old hospital: The adornment consisted of a spherical object, resembling a cross between a gyroscope and an armillary sundial, on a pole supported by a four-prong base. But then the finial was removed, possibly for use as scrap metal during World War II. Nobody knows for sure.

In any case, the new finial is an exact replica, except that it is made of aluminum. “Fortunately, on this project we had significant documentation to show what it originally looked like,” said Erin Ouborg, a designer and materials conservation specialist at Page & Turnbull, the architectural firm in charge of restoring the building’s historic façade. “We had the original construction drawings with all the details.”

“It’s an interesting building without the finial,” Jones added. “But with the finial, it’s just superb.”

The original, decorative terra-cotta paneling that covers portions of the building’s facade was in remarkably good shape, said Rachel DeGuzman, a senior project manager at Stanford Hospital & Clinics who oversaw the renovation project. The same couldn’t be said of the steel-reinforced concrete making up the building’s floors; decades of remodeling had left a motley array of boreholes in many of the slabs, and they needed extensive patching, she said.

Some repair work also was needed to decorative relief panels in the façade, and hundreds of repairs had to be made to the exterior walls, Ouborg said. In addition, the clay tiles on the sloping roof of the tower were replaced. Original Art Deco grillwork and other embellishments, such as a rectangular metal angel above the entrance to what is now the health library, remain intact.

But the interior of the building has been largely reconfigured to support the clinics that will be there. The building appears to be eligible for the National Register of Historic Places and the California Register of Historical Resources, according to Architectural Resources Group Inc., a San Francisco-based firm. The Hoover Pavilion renovation is part of the Stanford University Medical Center Renewal Project.

 

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The Supreme Court and Gay Marriage: Fearing Fear Itself

It’s an understatement to say that there’s some apprehension among many gays and lesbians about the Supreme Court’s decision to take up the Prop 8 case. Forget what you’ve heard from gay leaders: They’re showing a unified front, particularly because it was Chad Griffin, now the president of the largest group, the Human Rights Campaign, who spearheaded the challenge to Prop 8 as co-founder of the American Foundation for Equal Rights. Gay leaders aired their public disagreements about the case back in 2009, when it was first launched, sometimes bitterly. The case has gone great, and that has melted away much of the tension. Still, though on the record they’re all on the same page now, and no one wants to cross the biggest and most influential gay group, privately the fear is palpable.

Legal experts expected that the court would hear a challenge to the rulings that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional, and most LGBT activists have been relatively comfortable that they’ll prevail on that case. However, few legal experts thought that the court would hear the Prop 8 case. The Ninth Circuit Court had narrowed the ruling to apply solely to California, giving the Supreme Court a perfect out to leave the issue of whether marriage is a constitutional right or not to another day, when there would be more acceptance of marriage equality and the court wouldn’t be getting too far out front. But the court defied the experts yet again.

Is the fear warranted? That’s a tricky question and depends on what it is you’re afraid of. Is it quite possible that the court will hand down a sweeping decision upholding marriage bans in over 30 other states, ruling that marriage is not a fundamental right for gays? Absolutely, and if that’s what you’re afraid of, then be very afraid. Such a ruling could have a broad and enduring impact.

From everything I’ve read, it seems more likely that the Supreme Court would hand down a sweeping decision in that direction than in the other direction: throwing out marriage bans across the country. Many experts seem to think that the court will do something more restrained: affirming the Ninth Circuit’s ruling, which would make it apply only to California, a state that had granted marriage rights to gays and lesbians and then took them away at the ballot. Alternatively, there’s the issue of standing, which the Supreme Court is taking up again. Do the Prop 8 proponents even have legal standing to challenge Judge Walker’s ruling that Prop 8 is unconstitutional, given that the attorney general and the governor didn’t file a challenge? If the Supreme Court thinks not, then the case goes back to Walker’s ruling and would not apply beyond California.

But none of us has any idea why the Supreme Court took up this case. It only takes four justices to decide to take a case. Did the four most conservative justices believe they could get Justice Kennedy’s swing vote? Or did the four liberal-leaning justices decide to take it up, thinking they’d in fact get Kennedy? Or did all nine justices believe they needed to take up the case for various reasons? We don’t know, and the legal experts have been wrong on this issue and many others, so don’t put much stock in speculation.

But I’m not afraid of the Supreme Court, and I am completely prepared for the worst possible outcome while hoping for the best. The court can’t hold us back, nor can it stop a movement, even if it becomes an ugly impediment. Public opinion is shifting rapidly, and the movement for LGBT equality has come very far in such a short period of time. Few imagined it would happen so fast, and if there’s a chance it may take longer by taking some risks that could bring full equality, I’m all ready for that. The alternative is to do nothing and continue without rights, perhaps indefinitely. Our current president supports full equality, and a previous great president, FDR, once wisely told Americans that “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” That and the latest polling showing that Americans are with us should be enough for us to boldly move forward.

(From Michelangelo Signorili, via the Huffington Post)

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Estate of Thomas M. Dross Makes Major Long Term Gift to AIDS Emergency Fund

The estate of San Francisco resident Thomas M. Dross intends to donate $1 million to the AIDS Emergency Fund (www.aef-sf.org) to be used over several years including for the solicitation of ongoing challenge grants. The gift was announced today in San Francisco as part of the 30th Anniversary gala benefiting the acclaimed nonprofit that provides ongoing support to the AIDS/HIV population.

“The AIDS pandemic has been with us for more than 30 years, and those living with the disease continue to need care, funding and support, especially as they age,” said AIDS Emergency Fund Executive Director Mike Smith. “This bequest, while the largest single donation ever made to AEF, does not eliminate the continuing and growing need for funding. In light of the continuing financial crisis and the challenge faced by the AIDS/HIV community to raise vital funds, we are especially grateful for the incredible generosity of the Dross estate, and the message it will send: AIDS is not over, and we still need your help in the ongoing fight.”

Dross, of Palm Springs and San Francisco, died following a sudden heart attack on January 7, 2012. Originally from Conshohocken, Pennsylvania, Dross moved to San Francisco in the 1970s where he became a well-known advertising and marketing professional, working for such prestigious firms as Pritikin & Associates. Later, he was the founder and owner of one of San Francisco’s most popular financial district restaurants, “Upstairs, Downstairs.” He attended Widner College in Chester Pennsylvania and received his degree from the University of Pennsylvania. As a youth, He went to St. Mary’s Parochial school, St. Matthew’s High School and was a member of St. Mary’s Church all in Conshohocken. Dross is survived by a family of friends in both Palm Springs and San Francisco and family in Pennsylvania.

“Tom was one of the kindest and most generous people we ever met,” said a joint statement from Alfredo Casuso and David Perry, co-executors of the Dross will. “His will stipulated that the main beneficiaries of his will would be AIDS charities. There is no greater example of the ‘San Francisco Model’ of AIDS care than the AIDS Emergency Fund. We look forward, over the next few years, to working with AEF to make sure these funds get put to good use.”

The AIDS Emergency Fund responds compassionately to the AIDS crisis by providing immediate, short-term financial assistance to help people disabled by HIV/AIDS to cover their basic human needs and stabilize their living situations. The AIDS Emergency Fund operates with low overhead to raise and distribute funding to those most in need who are experiencing genuine emergencies or have an opportunity to permanently stabilize their living situation. Short-term financial assistance from AEF is a key element of San Francisco’s continuum of care, and AEF collaborates with other service providers to insure that clients access all available resources and assistance.

Through compassionate intervention by AEF, people living with HIV/AIDS can maintain access to medical care and drug therapies, avoid eviction and homelessness, and live with greater stability and dignity during their illness. For more information go to www.aef-sf.org

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A Christmas Carol Now starring Mark Anderson Phillips as Scrooge Back for it’s 15th smash year!

Just in time to celebrate the season, Center REPertory Company is pleased to present Charles Dickens’s holiday classic, A Christmas Carol. Hailed by critics as “…THE Christmas Carol to see in the Bay Area,” this REP favorite is celebrating its fifteen year, and first with the award winning, Bay Area favorite Mark Anderson Phillips debuting in the role of the miserly, joyless Ebenezer Scrooge. With only 16 performances, tickets are expected to sell fast. The show opens Saturday, December 8th at 7:30 p.m. Center REP Managing Director Scott Denison directs the ensemble of new faces and old pros, from the tragically doomed Jacob Marley to the incurably optimistic Tiny Tim. Ticket prices starting at $41 and can be purchased by calling 925.943.SHOW.

A Christmas Carol is made possible by the generous support of Chevron, The Contra Costa Times, Diablo Regional Arts Association and Wells Fargo.A Christmas Carol is the enduring and inspiring tale of redemption that follows Ebenezer Scrooge’s transformation after meeting a series of ghosts one evening. Theatregoers of all ages will enjoy this traditional holiday treat. Returning patrons will remember fondly the outlandish antics of Michael Ray Wisely as Christmas Present and the daunting specter of Jacob Marley, played by Jeff Draper, but more than a few changes and surprises keep the annual production fresh and exciting. Director Scott Denison says “the advantage of doing this year after year is that on opening night, I’m sitting in the back of the house and thinking “next year, I want to add this, and next year, I want to add that.”

Placed at the helm of one of the most popular and retold Christmas tales, director Scott Denison focuses on keeping his version fresh and familiar simultaneously. The freshness comes from out-of-this world special effects, and familiarity comes through the story and the recurring cast of characters that audiences from around the Bay Area have come to know and love each holiday season.

Joining the cast this year, Director Scott Denison is proud to introduce Mark Anderson Phillips in the role of Ebenezer Scrooge. This will be Phillips 8th production with Center REP. “Mark will bring a new dynamic to this production,” Denison continues, “When you change a lead it affects all the other characters and will bring a fresh new outlook in telling this wonderful story.”

“It’s not the crotchety mean guy who is hard to portray,” Denison insists, “it’s the reborn man. It’s so important to the storytelling. Mark will bring honesty and sincerity.” I think he’s going to excel at it: he’s a workhorse and a brilliant actor.”

“We have all lost our way at some point, have closed down and shut ourselves off. Dickens reminds us how amazing and essential it is to open our hearts,” says Phillips, a recipient of three Bay Area Drama Critics’ Circle Awards and a favorite artist at Center REP .

“The audiences leave here ready to give each other a hug.” Denison claims, noting that special effects and other theatre magic enhance Dickens’ classic story. “It snows in the Hofmann Theater, after all!” he says, laughing.

Director Scott Denison has directed and created lighting designs for over 200 productions, including Center REP’s acclaimed The Wizard of Oz, A Christmas Carol, Shirley Valentine and Dear Liar. Denison serves as Managing Director of Center REPertory Company, is the director and co-founder of Fantasy Forum Actors Ensemble, and created the Contra Costa County Shellie Awards. He has directed A Christmas Carol every year for the past eight years. “This story is a joy to return to every year for the actors, designers, and staff of Center REP. In the somber days of winter, this timeless tale of moving from darkness to light is certainly worth retelling,” remarks Denison. “The warmth and laughter are infectious.”

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California Center for Sustainable Energy Appoints Rear Adm. Len Hering as Executive Director

Brings strategic leadership, business acumen and innovation in sustainability             

The California Center for Sustainable Energy (CCSE) announced today, Thursday, Dec. 6, 2012, the appointment of retired Rear Adm. Len Hering Sr., a prominent military and civilian sustainability leader, as its new executive director.

Alan Ball, an energy consultant and chair of CCSE’s board of directors, said Hering was selected after a nationwide search to succeed long-time CCSE executive director Irene M. Stillings who served as the center’s executive director from 2002 to 2012. CCSE is a San Diego-based nonprofit organization that works with stakeholders throughout the state’s energy sector to meet California’s aggressive energy goals and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

“CCSE’s entire board of directors is very excited to have an individual with Admiral Hering’s sustainability credentials take over leadership of our organization,” Ball said. “We are confident that Hering, working with CCSE’s talented staff, can provide the knowledge, skills and direction to take the organization to higher levels, offering its energy services statewide and beyond.”

“After extensive outreach and search, Len Hering’s outstanding leadership skills and proven track record in delivering renewable energy projects rose to the top from a group of very talented applicants,” said San Diego attorney John Moot, CCSE board member and search committee chairman. “CCSE is indeed fortunate to have someone of Hering’s skills follow in the steps of Irene Stillings.”

“Len Hering is an excellent choice to lead CCSE because of his broad experience and leadership role in planning and implementing a wide range of sustainable initiatives in both the government and private sectors,” Stillings said. “His passion and focus on saving the environment, becoming oil independent and reducing greenhouse gas emissions will serve well CCSE’s goals and will no doubt influence the business community and government agencies to move forward with programs and policies leading to a more sustainable energy future.”

Hering, a resident of Chula Vista, Calif., served 32 years in the U.S. Navy, retiring in 2009, and was noted as one of the Navy’s top experts in base operations and facility support with an emphasis on sustainability and the environment. He received several state, local and federal awards for efforts ensuring the Navy’s environmental responsibilities with fiscally sound practices, including the creation of the Federal Sustainability Network in the Pacific Northwest and Southern California.

Hering has also been recognized with awards for instituting numerous sustainable measures, including solar energy, water conservation and waste reduction, while vice president for business services and administration at the University of San Diego during 2009-2012.

Most recently, Hering has been an advisor to a number of boards and companies on matters of sustainability, energy use and water conservation. He was selected as one of San Diego’s Top 100 Influentials in 2006-7, 2008 San Diego’s Deal Maker of the Year, 2008 winner of the Spirit of San Diego Award and 2010 American Lung Association Climate Champion Award. He founded the San Diego Regional Sustainability Partnership, a consortium of business, government, academic and community organizations promoting practices that support a sustainable future for the region.

While in the Navy, Hering was responsible for building a team recognized throughout the Department of Defense as the best in environmental protection and sustainable innovation. Within three years, the team reduced energy consumption by nearly 42%, diverted 75% of Navy waste from landfills and reduced water consumption by more than one billion gallons, saving tens of millions of taxpayer dollars. Hering instigated wind, thermal, photovoltaic and conversion technology at all levels in Navy facilities. President Bush awarded Hering a 2005 Presidential Award for Leadership in Federal Energy Management for recognition of efforts reducing oil spills and for recycling.

CCSE has almost 90 employees and closed 2011 with more than $75 million in revenue. During 2011, CCSE awarded about $62 million in direct incentive payments to Californians who made investments in sustainable energy by purchasing solar electric, solar water heating systems, fuels cells and electric vehicles. For more information, visit www.energycenter.org <http://www.energycenter.org> .

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The California Center for Sustainable Energy is an independent, nonprofit organization that accelerates the adoption of clean and efficient energy solutions via consumer education, market facilitation and policy innovation. For more information and workshop listings, visit www.energycenter.org <http://www.energycenter.org>  or call 866-733-6374.

 

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“NOT A GENUINE BLACK MAN” Returns To The Marsh San Francisco For Limited Engagement February 1- 23 In Celebration of Black History Month

The Marsh is delighted to welcome back Brian Copeland’s hit show, NOT A GENUINE BLACK MAN, for a limited engagement at The Marsh San Francisco in celebration of Black History Month.  The Marsh is very proud to be the theatrical producer of what became the longest running solo show in San Francisco history. Its next incarnation, currently in the planning stages, will be a performance film for DVD and cable television to be shot next fall.

Directed by David Ford, the show plays on Fridays at 8:00 pm and Saturdays at 5:00 pm (except Saturday, February 2 at 8:00 pm) from February 1 – 23, 2013 on The Marsh MainStage, 1062 Valencia Street in San Francisco. For tickets, the public may visit www.themarsh.org <http://www.themarsh.org/> or call 415-282-3055.

In 1972, the National Committee Against Discrimination in Housing Called San Leandro, California ‘a racist bastion of white supremacy’. It was named one of the most racist suburbs in America. CBS News and Newsweek covered the story. The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights conducted hearings. And then, we moved to town.” So writes Brian Copeland in his first solo show, NOT A GENUINE BLACK MAN, revealing a little-known chapter of Bay Area history. In a monologue that’s both funny and poignant, Copeland explores how surroundings make us who we are.

Copeland’s memoir based on the show is now available nationwide. It received high critical acclaim from, among others, Publisher’s Weekly, People, Ebony and The Boston Globe while reader reviewers on Amazon.com are calling it “The best book I’ve ever read.” It was chosen as the 2009 selection for Silicon Valley Reads, a library sponsored program that encourages all Silicon Valley residents to read one book at the same time and engage in community wide discussions on its relevance. It is widely used in school and college courses. For more information on Copeland, please visit his website at www.briancopeland.com <http://www.briancopeland.com/> .

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