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Arts/Culture/Weekend: Gutai, Bluegrass, and Cartoon Jazz

You may just want to stay home this weekend, after last Sunday’s Super Bowl party. But in case you change your mind, here are some ideas that don’t cost much (if anything), and will keep you informed musically, physically, philanthropically, artistically, and historically. 

Here's your Arts/Culture/Weekend:


Tilden Regional Park // Many people have a “bucket list” of things they eventually want to do. The California Dept. of Parks and Recreation has a pint-sized version, that lists activities "every child in California should, by the end of their 14th year, have the opportunity to experience.” The idea is to encourage children to get outdoors, exercise, and learn something about the area where they live. Tilden Park, part of the extensive East Bay Regional Park District, has developed a Kids Challenge as part of this effort. // DETAILS: Click on link, above, then plan a visit to Tilden Regional Park; Entrances off Wildcat Canyon Road and Grizzly Peak Boulevard in Berkeley, CA. Cost: FREE. 

Slim’s // Hey! We can get you into Slim’s for free! Well, you can get yourself in for free, too, for that matter, because Thursday is “Fletcher Palooza.” Forrest Day, who has been a Crosscurrents local music pick, is the headliner. // DETAILS: February 7, 7pm, 333 11th St., SF. Cost: FREE – but donations are welcome to benefit The Fletcher Fund.


San Francisco Art Institute // “Do something no one’s ever done before.” That was the directive for Gutai, a Japanese avant-garde arts movement and collective (1954 – 1972). There was a lot of physicality to the creation of this art, including smashing bottles filled with paint and wrestling in mud and cement. There’s a free reception on Friday, 6 – 9 pm, as well as other events throughout the exhibition. // DETAILS: February 8 – March 30, 800 Chestnut St., SF. Cost: FREE. 


(Making Wave Ed. Pgm.) //  “Romeo & Juliet” is a timeless love story. But below the surface it’s also a story of two teens from rival warring families who end up committing suicide, making it a sadly contemporary tale. RAW Talent, the creative arts department at Ella Baker Center in Richmond, has taken Shakespeare’s story and transplanted it to the streets of Richmond. Current local slang mixes with classic verse, causing the audience to look at the city’s violence in a new way, perhaps leading to thoughts of love. DETAILS: Saturday, February 9, 6pm, El Cerrito High School Theater, $8-15.

SF Live Arts // Fans of old-timey music know that the San Francisco Bluegrass & Old-Time Festival is underway, at 18 locations throughout the area. SF Live Arts (formerly Noe Valley Music Series) is hosting an evening of Dynamic Duos: Anne & Peter Sibley, Misner & Smith, Melody Walker & Jacob Groopman. // DETAILS: February 9, 8pm, 2097 Turk St., SF. Cost: $12 adv., $15 at the door, & free parking! 


Cartoon Jazz Orchestra // We all like cartoon music, whether it’s from ancient Warner Brothers cartoons or “Spongebob Squarepants.” There’s a chance to hear that style of bouncy music performed live when the Cartoon Jazz Orchestra plays an afternoon house party. Be sure to say hi to KALW engineer Eric Wayne, who plays in the band! // DETAILS: February 10, 2:30pm, sliding scale admission ($10-20). [We won’t list the address here, since it’s a house party, but you can find that on the Orchestra’s website.]

African American Genealogical Society // Personal genealogy searches can be challenging for African Americans, for obvious reasons. But searching your family tree is possible, with the help of The African American Genealogical Society of Northern California. They have a workshop this Sunday at the Oakland Family Search Library. // DETAILS: OFSL, 4766 Lincoln Ave., Oakland, February 10, 1-5pm. COST: FREE, with advance registration. Register for the event here.

Arts/Culture/Weekend is a roundup of our favorite events coming up around the Bay Area. Please do let us know if you have an event coming up in your neighborhood, and we'll try to include it.