Arts | KALW

Arts

San Francisco-based singer-songwriter Anna Hillburg has played in countless bands over the past 20 years. In this edition of Bay Area Beats, Anna shares how her experiences in the city contributed influenced her latest album, "Really Real."

Toni Morrison once said that in chaotic times is when artists must go to work. Theaters, concert halls, and other event venues are shut down. But that isn't stopping Bay Area artists from shining on the virtual stage.

Magic Magic Roses' Meditations On Nature

Mar 25, 2020
Courtesy of Magic Magic Roses

Sarah Simon and Kate Sweeney met over ten years ago through boyfriends at a dinner party. They first began playing Jimmie Rodgers covers in Sarah's living room and eventually made their first album there too, experimenting with at-home recording. Inspired by California's landscape, the duo makes meditative folk music, refencing blades of grass, beaches, canyons and valleys. 

Courtesy of Vanessa Rochelle

Vanessa Rochelle Lewis was bullied for her appearance and sexuality. She redefined ugly to mean Uplift Glorify Love Yourself. Vanessa is the founder of Reclaim UGLY, a movement that helps people heal from “uglification” and celebrate their beauty.

Courtesy of Mary Ellen Donald

When Mary Ellen Donald was eight years old, she fell in love with the piano. Around that same time, she was also diagnosed with macular degeneration, which means she would gradually lose her eyesight. That didn’t stop her ambition. 

Lynn Lane

In 1611, Nur Jahan was 34, widowed, and a single mother when she married the Mughal emperor. She rose to power in India, but years later story faded from people’s memories. Farah Yasmeen Shaikh is telling her legacy in the show "The Forgotten Empress."

Jeremy Fish

Once upon a time in Gold Rush-era San Francisco a businessman amassed a fortune, then lost it all and went insane. His next move? He declared himself Emperor of the United States. 

Fernando Gambaroni

  

Sara Moore gives people the gift of laughter through the art of clowning. And clowning has been self-empowering for them when it comes to gender. Sara’s character is out of this world in "The Supers: A Science-Fiction Magical Realism Human Cartoon Opera."

Courtesy of Carina Ho

In this edition of Bay Area Beats, we hear from Oakland musician Carina Ho. Carina studied ballet and played in bands for most of her life but never considered a serious career in the arts. A traumatic accident in 2014 changed that and set her on a brand new path. 

Courtesy of Helkina

San Francisco drag queen Heklina is ending “Mother,” the long-running weekly show that she hosts at Oasis. 

Courtesy of Lisa D. Gray

Lisa D. Gray could barely read when she became fascinated with books. Now she’s penning award-winning stories about race and class. Lisa is the founder of Our Voices Our Stories SF, a literary event where women writers of color and the community engage.

Elisheva Biernoff centers people on her canvas, who are sidelined in society. She talks about her growth as an artist from New Mexico to the Bay Area. Her work is featured in the celebration of Fraenkel Gallery’s 40th anniversary.

Courtesy of Freddie Hughes

When you walk into the dimly lit Royal Cuckoo Organ Lounge on Mission Street, you might hear the familiar voice of a man serenading the dive bar’s mostly millennial crowd. It’s soul singer Freddie Hughes, a veteran of the Bay Area music scene for more than six decades and the vocalist on several hit records from the 1960s. In this edition of Bay Area Beats, Freddie shares his story. 

Markus Mollenberg

When Kelsey Custard was a kid in Sacramento, she didn’t go to the circus or see clowns. Now she’s clowning for Cirque du Soleil and making people laugh all over the world. Her latest show is Amaluna.

Courtesy of Carly Bond

Carly Bond is a songwriter and guitar player. Her band, Meernaa, released their first full-length record this summer titled Heart Hunger. She began writing songs for it after she discovered a family secret. Through processing her family’s history, she’s crafted a synth-driven, dreamy landscape.

Magnolia McKay / KALW

Jules Indelicato is a Bay Area musician. They recently took part in the durational performance art project "Romantic Songs of the Patriarchy." For eight hours a day, three days in a row, 30 women and non-binary musicians played popular love songs on repeat.

Andria Lo

Mimi Lok is the executive director of the human-rights organization Voice of Witness, whose mission is to amplify unheard voices. Mimi carries the passion over her day job over to the world she imagines.

David Allen

Magician Namigoro Sumidagawa brought Japanese magic shows to America in 1866, making the artform popular. Then western magicians appropriated his act. Actor David Hirata tells this story through monologue and magic in "A Box Without a Bottom: Soko-Nashi Bako."

Courtesy of DJ Lamont

For nearly 20 years DJ Lamont has been teaching spinning skills through his business Fingersnaps Media Arts. But he’s also known for getting the party started around the Bay Area. He shares his journey to music and San Francisco.

There’s a saying that “a woman’s work is never done.” Studies show that women put 11 more hours weekly into unpaid labor than men. Artist Sawyer Rose depicts this inequality through large sculptures in her exhibit Counting the Hours.

Courtesy of Legion M

The entertainment startup Legion M is taking fan power to another level and giving them the opportunity to financially invest in film, TV and digital projects. The founders are based in Emeryville, and making big changes in Hollywood.

Porfirio Rangel / KALW

With Hallow’s Eve just around the corner, it's time to bring out the ghosts and ghouls that make the celebration fun. But drag performer, Hollow Eve, takes it a step further and leaves a crowd at the edge of their seat. Hollow pushes the limits of what their body can do.

Josh Egel

The Onyx is a diverse collective of six black female artists, based in Oakland, who have audiences grooving to a range of sounds from R&B and rock to Latin music. In this interview, singer Dane’elle Emerson and drummer Genesis Valentine talk about empowering black women through music.

The Onyx self-titled EP is available now. See them perform this Saturday, Oct. 12 at the Life is Living Festival in West Oakland’s Bobby Hutton Park. 

Click the play button above to listen to the interview.

Uncuffed

Deondre Hudson always wanted to be like Superman. In prison, he got his wish. He leads a group of men who follow the teachings of Superman and the mythology of the planet Krypton.

ARAN JOHNSON / WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

Last year, Oakland became Hollywood north. The Town was featured prominently in three mainstream movies: "Blindspotting," "Sorry to Bother You," and, of course, "Black Panther."

Timothy Greenfield-Sanders / Courtesy of Magnolia Pictures

Readers worldwide are still grieving the loss of Toni Morrison. We reflect on the late author’s legacy and speak to some of her fans at the Museum of the African Diaspora in San Francisco. 

Is There Room For Craftsmanship In The Modern World?

Aug 13, 2019
Courtesy of Todd Oppenheimer

 


In light of the closure of the Haight Ashbury Music Center, our news team started wondering about the current state of craftsmanship in the Bay Area, and beyond. That led us to Todd Oppenheimer.

Haight Ashbury Music Center's Last Dance

Aug 13, 2019
Sean Murdock / Haight Ashbury Music Center

The Haight Ashbury Music Center is selling off its gear. The store’s been around for some 40 years — it was opened by the brother of Janis Joplin’s bassist. And it’s been a centerpiece of the Haight Street experience ever since. So what happens when a place known for culture and counterculture loses its music?

Peter Merts

Dameion Brown thought his theater career was over when he left prison. But three years later, he still performs with Marin Shakespeare Company, the group that first introduced him to acting at Solano State Prison. He also teaches with their programs in youth prisons.

Shakespeare Gives Actors Choices, Even in Prison

Jul 29, 2019
Uncuffed

From the series Uncuffed:

I found acting in prison, and Steve Drown had acted most of his life through high school and college. One actor from the desert and the other from the city.

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