Arts | KALW

Arts

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.

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.

Photo by John Orvis

 

On this edition of Your Call, we’ll talk about cultural responses to exclusion.

Jenee Darden / KALW

In this edition of Bay Area Beats Brittany Tanner, Felicia Gangloff-Bailey, Lauren Adams, and, Karega Bailey of SOL (Source of Light) Development explain using their music as a form of activism and healing.

Courtesy of Kimbery Acebo Arteche

Growing up in Maryland, cultural worker and interdisciplinary artist Kimberley Acebo Arteche didn’t see a lot of other Filipinos in the predominately white schools she attended. Traditional values were passed down from her family, but there weren’t a lot of other resources to help Kim learn more about her heritage.

Courtesy SFIAF

 


 

On this edition of Your Call, we’ll speak with artists performing at the San Francisco International Arts Festival and hear how the Trump administration's hardline immigration policies are impacting the festival.

Muralist Juana Alicia on making art inspired by poetry

May 22, 2019
Courtesy of Juana Alicia

Muralist and activist Juana Alicia grew up in Detroit inspired by the work of Mexican artist Diego Rivera. In the 1970s, Juana was making posters for the United Farm Workers’ grape boycotts, when she was recruited by civil rights activist Cesar Chavez.

Courtesy of Gabby Rivera

While growing up in the Bronx, writer Gabby Rivera would sit at her grandmother’s dining table listening to stories from her “sheroes” — the women in her family. Gabby infused elements from her own life into America Chavez, Marvel Comics’ first queer Latina superhero with her very own series. 

Courtesy of James Cagney

Poet James Cagney was 19 when he found out he was adopted. A few years later, both of his parents passed away, and Cagney was left homeless. He reflects on this heavy time in his collection "Black Steel Magnolias in the Hour of Chaos Theory.

Jody Colley

This weekend Downtown Berkeley will transform into a literary paradise for the Bay Area Book Festival. Cherilyn Parsons started the event in 2015 after being inspired by the LA Times book festival

 


 

On this edition of Your Call we’ll speak with homeless and low-income artists about how art has changed their lives and their communities.

Nina Sparling / KALW

San Franciscans have an opportunity to experience the city as it was more than 80 years ago. Thanks to a collaboration between San Francisco MOMA and the San Francisco Public Library, an architectural model of the city’s neighborhoods from 1938 is on display at libraries throughout San Francisco. 

Michael Orange on creating community through storytelling

Apr 17, 2019

Oakland artist Michael Orange grew up hearing stories of how his grandfather, a college librarian, hosted distinguished artists in his home. Orange is continuing that legacy in his work as founder and curator of arts events including MATATU Nomadic Cinema which features black creatives from the Bay Area and around the world.

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