Out & About

By Jessica Laskey
January 2022

Bringing Back Brubeck

Concert celebrates centennial of jazz great

In honor of the late great jazz giant Dave Brubeck’s 100th birthday, the Brubeck Brothers Quartet will present a concert Wednesday, Feb. 2, at 7:30 p.m. at the Crest Theatre on K Street. Proceeds benefit Friends of Sacramento Arts.
Prior to the concert, nearly 1,000 high school jazz musicians from local schools will participate in a workshop with quartet members Dan and Chris Brubeck (Dave Brubeck’s sons), guitarist Mike DeMicco and pianist Chuck Lamb. The workshop will be followed by the concert featuring stories and music that celebrate Brubeck’s extraordinary life and career.

Funds raised will benefit arts education programming for K–12 schoolchildren in Sacramento County through Friends of Sacramento Arts, a consortium of education, arts and community leaders founded to support the city’s Creative Edge plan.

Tickets to the Brubeck Jazz Music Celebration are $10 for students and $45 for the general public. For tickets and more information, visit friendsofsacramentoarts.org/brubeck-brothers-quartet-concert.


The community is invited to join the McKinley Park Volunteer Corps on Saturday, Jan. 8, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. for the annual “prune-a-thon” in the McKinley Rose Garden.

Dedicated rose lovers—or rosarians—gather each year to ready the more than 1,200 rose bushes for spring blooms. Everyone is welcome, no experience is required. Expert rosarians will teach volunteers how to prune. Help is also needed to remove rose bush trimmings and rake in the garden.

“We have more than 30 dedicated deadheading volunteers who worked hard to remove the spent blooms each week,” says Nisa Hayden, who oversees care of the garden for the nonprofit. “This kept the new blooms coming all summer long. But each year, we need more neighbors to help with this vital volunteer job.”

While some equipment and garden supplies will be provided, volunteers are asked to bring a pair of garden gloves, buckets and bypass pruning shears if they have them. Be sure to wear a hat and bring water. Following the prune-a-thon, workers will enjoy a hot soup lunch by Chef Jill Zenti.

Because the majority of the park’s roses are newer cultivars with patent protection, rose cuttings will not be available this year. Volunteers may collect rose petals after the prune-a-thon.

The garden, a popular wedding spot, was renovated in 2012 and is managed by Friends of East Sacramento and maintained by volunteers.

The prune-a-thon will be held rain or shine at the corner of H and 33rd streets. To RSVP or for more information, call (916) 452-8011 or email mckinleyrosegarden@gmail.com.


Carmichael second-grader Yahya Dadras has won the national Ordinary Kids Change the World Challenge organized by Penguin Young Readers and iCivics. Students submitted ideas on how to change the world for the better.

The challenge was inspired by the best-selling picture book series, “Ordinary People Change the World” by Brad Meltzer and illustrated by Christopher Eliopoulos. Winning in the individual student category, Dadras received $2,500 to help make his idea a reality. Another $2,500 prize was awarded to a K–3 classroom. Each winner also received a meeting with a mentor and a library of “Ordinary People Change the World” books.

A panel of judges selected Dadras’ idea for an app—called Feeding Heals—that connects people who need food to those who have food to give. “We were talking about hunger and feeling terrible for these people out in the streets who don’t have food,” says Dadras’ mother, Hanan Dadras.

“We thought about how in a household pantry, you sometimes don’t touch certain things for a year or more, so the idea became how to get this food to people who don’t have it. It’s about neighbors helping neighbors.”

The Feeding Heals app will allow users to list extra food they have and match with other users who’ve listed their needs. Dadras is helping her son develop the app by taking coding classes and getting help from friends in the tech industry with the goal of releasing the app early this year.

For more information, email feedingheals@gmail.com or follow on Twitter: @Feedingheals.


The award-winning literary performance series Stories on Stage Sacramento is returning to in-person performances after two seasons of virtual programming.

The 2022 season will be presented at the CLARA auditorium at 2420 N St., and will include authors Jess Walter, Steph Cha, Steve Almond, Gina Frangello, Kate Milliken and others, with professional local actors reading their work aloud.
The season kicks off with a welcome-back party on Friday, Jan. 28, from 7–8:30 p.m. at CLARA to celebrate the Sacramento literary community and thank SOSS patrons who stuck by the nonprofit during the pandemic. The event will feature author talks, food and drink. Proceeds from the event will go toward author and actor stipends.

For those interested in securing admission to the entire season in advance, SOSS is now offering subscriptions—live, literary, professional art for less than the cost of a movie ticket. Admission at the door is still only $10, but you can purchase the entire season of 10 events for $90.

Subscribers will also receive a free e-book of SOSS’ recently released anthology “Twenty Twenty: 43 Stories from a Year Like No Other,” edited by SOSS Co-Director Dorothy Rice, as well as 20 drawing tickets for a chance to win a featured book at each performance. For more information, visit storiesonstagesacramento.com.


The Sacramento Children’s Chorus is holding auditions for singers in fifth through 12th grade on Tuesday, Jan. 11, for its current season under new Artistic Director David Vanderbout.

“This is an organization with such a rich and vibrant legacy, and I truly look forward to advancing the mission of bringing exceptional music education and performance experiences to our singers,” Vanderbout says.

“As we return to singing together in person, I am confident that the 2021-2022 season will hold many opportunities to create beautiful choral music, grow together in the never-ending journey to become better singers and musicians, and foster a community like only choir can.”

Vanderbout is the choral director at El Camino Fundamental High School where he has expanded the choral program into multiple award-winning ensembles. He also directs the choral program at Arden Middle School and River City Chorale. For more information, visit sacramentochildrenschorus.org.


Registration is now open for Girls on the Run of Greater Sacramento’s 2022 season of inspiring programming that focuses on confidence building through physical fitness.

Founded in 2002, Girls on the Run of Greater Sacramento is an independent council of Girls on the Run International, which has more than 200 councils across the U.S. The program’s trained coaches use physical activity and dynamic discussions to build social, emotional and physical skills in every girl while encouraging healthy habits for life.

“The past year and a half has been hard on Sacramento’s girls,” says Board Chair Kara Greene. “Girls face social pressures and conflicting messages about how they should act and who they should be.

“Studies show that by adolescence, girls’ confidence drops about twice as much as boys’. Stressors related to COVID-19 have undoubtedly affected girls, between social isolation, anxiety and more limited opportunities for physical activity. Girls need us now more than ever.”

In 2019, Girls on the Run registered 600 girls and created 45 community-impact projects, providing financial assistance to 42% of program participants. For more information, visit gotrsac.org.


The first phase of construction at Airfield Park in North Natomas is now complete with 4.4 acres available for public use.

The park boasts a compass-rose central plaza surrounded by a children’s aeronautical-themed playground with an airplane and 60-foot track ride. There’s also a picnic area with seating for 60 that includes shade structures, a grill, table tennis, corn hole and more.

Master planned in 2006, the park was put on hold during the 2008 recession until the city of Sacramento secured $1.7 million to fund phase one in 2020. Future improvements will include developing an additional 5 acres of parkland, more shade canopies, a multipurpose sports court, turf volleyball courts and horseshoe courts. Phase two construction, which will be funded with $1.5 million in Park Impact fees, is expected to be completed by this summer.


After more than six years of hard work, Food Literacy Center’s new home at Floyd Farms, located at Leataata Floyd Elementary School on McClatchy Way, is finally open.

The 4,500-square-foot facility is owned by Sacramento City Unified School District, but will be operated by the nonprofit Food Literacy Center as its new headquarters.

Situated on 2.5 acres, the center features a cooking classroom for 30-plus students, a commercial kitchen to prep food for literacy programs in Title 1 elementary schools across the district and student gardens for hands-on learning.
The facility will serve the 330 elementary school students enrolled at Leataata Floyd Elementary, their families, students throughout the district and community members. For more information, visit foodliteracycenter.org.


Giuliano Kornberg, the Sacramento Philharmonic & Opera’s chief revenue and development officer, will succeed Alice Sauro as executive director beginning Feb. 1.

“I am honored to have been selected as the next executive director and I thank the board for entrusting me with this responsibility,” says Kornberg, a Minnesota native and Stanford University alumnus.

“I am particularly grateful to Alice, to whom I owe so much of my professional growth and leadership development. I have fallen in love with Sacramento in the five years that I’ve been here and I look forward to continue serving this community through great music.”

Kornberg’s work with the organization has focused on developing donor and community relationships to secure the organization’s fiscal stability under the mentorship of Sauro, who will stay on as a senior adviser. During Sauro’s six-year tenure, concerts were sold to near capacity and fundraising more than tripled.

The Sacramento Philharmonic & Opera will present “Beethoven’s Emperor Concerto” on Jan. 22, “Opera Favorites” on Feb. 12, “Romantic Rachmaninoff” on March 5 and “The Barber of Seville” on May 7, conducted by Christoph Campestrini. For tickets and more information, visit sacphilopera.org.


The Sacramento Hispanic Chamber of Commerce recently presented its annual Latina Estrella Awards honoring the work of local Latina advocates, business owners and community leaders.

The 2021 Rising Estrella Award went to Paula Villescaz who serves on the San Juan Unified School District Board. The Inspiration Estrella Award was given to Shayne Corriea-Fernandez from Shayne Corriea Financial Group. The Champion Estrella Award went to West Sacramento Mayor Martha Guerrero. The Legacy Estrella Award was presented to Assemblymember Cecilia Aguiar-Curry from the 4th California Assembly District.

“We are embracing our power in a shifting America,” says Cathy Rodriguez Aguirre, Sacramento Hispanic Chamber of Commerce president/CEO. “Latinas are a moving force in our communities and an inspiration for future generations. We are proud of this cohort of Latina leaders and invite everyone to celebrate their accomplishments.”
For more information, visit sachcc.org/estrella.


Sacramento County’s Superior Court is seeking new jurors to serve on the 2022-2023 Sacramento County Grand Jury. Nineteen Sacramento County residents and 11 alternates will be selected to serve from July 1 to June 30, 2023.
The Grand Jury is the independent watchdog over county government agencies and services. Jurors investigate the performance of county, city and local governing entities, such as school districts, criminal justice, health and welfare agencies. The Grand Jury is also authorized to hear criminal indictments.

“The Grand Jury is entrusted by the public to investigate and report on local government operations and to ensure responsibilities are being fulfilled honestly and with integrity,” explains Grand Jury Foreperson Deanna Hanson.
Last year, the Grand Jury issued a report on COVID-19 vaccine mandates for K–12 public schools and a report regarding serious safety concerns facing the Del Paso Manor Water District.

Anyone may file a complaint against a county government entity with the Grand Jury. All Grand Jury activities are conducted in secrecy. Jurors act as volunteers and receive a small stipend for their work.

The deadline to apply is Jan. 28. Applicants must live in Sacramento County and be over 18. For more information and to apply, visit sacgrandjury.org.


Washington Commons, an innovative cohousing condominium community, recently broke ground in West Sacramento at 4th and G streets. The site is walking distance to Sutter Health Park, Tower Bridge, Crocker Art Museum, and the Sacramento River’s bike and pedestrian paths.

The project was started by a group of local community members who sought the benefits of urban living with collaborative neighbors. They formed an LLC to develop the property and engaged the services of a professional team that includes Urban Development + Partners, CoHousing Solutions, Mahlum Architects, MFA Architecture and Planning, and Harrison Construction, with a construction loan from Five Star Bank.

“We think this is perfect for people who want to live near their work and for others who are looking to downsize and live in a walkable urban location,” co-founder Anne Geraghty says.

The community will consist of 35 single-level, private one- and two-bedroom condominiums, as well as a communal great room for gatherings and workshops, guest rooms, a large terrace and other shared spaces designed to promote and support social connection. For more information, visit washington-commons.org.


Many Sacramento area museums have resumed group and student tours, in addition to virtual educational offerings.

Aerospace Museum of California has STEM-focused school tours featuring historic aircraft in the 4-acre outdoor Air Park. California Museum offers seven onsite and three online learning programs highlighting a variety of California topics for grades second through 12.

California State Railroad Museum holds daily group tours included with admission. Crocker Art Museum now offers 50-minute in-person school tours with themes for grades K–12.

Locke Boarding House Museum has docent-led tours of the quaint historic town of Locke. Maidu Museum & Historic Site in Roseville features California Indian exhibits and walking trails. For more museums and information, visit sacmuseums.org.


Five regional organizations have joined forces to form The Prosperity Partnership to implement a strategic framework and action plan of economic initiatives in the six-county Sacramento region.

Joining forces are the Greater Sacramento Economic Council, Sacramento Asian Pacific Chamber of Commerce, Sacramento Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, Sacramento Area Council of Governments and Valley Vision.

“Our Path Forward: The Prosperity Strategy,” released in May 2020, parallels the goals and strategies of the region’s “Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy” and includes initiatives over the next five years that focus on a cluster-based economy, infrastructure investments and a sector-based workforce.

The Prosperity Partnership had two recent legislative victories that will amount to millions in investment for inclusive economic development. Up to $38 million in funding was approved for Green Means Go, a multi-year pilot to lower greenhouse gas emissions through infill development, increased mobility options and accelerated electric vehicle deployment.

A one-time federal allocation of $600 million through the American Rescue Plan Act for the Community Economic Resilience Fund will support regional collaboratives in planning and implementing inclusive economic strategies. For more information, visit theprosperitystrategy.org.


La Familia Counseling Center and HealthImpact have teamed up to bring Ask a Nurse LIVE to Hispanic/Latino communities and help individuals make informed decisions about the COVID-19 vaccine. Bilingual volunteer registered nurses are available Monday through Saturday from 4–7 p.m.

The rollout of COVID-19 vaccinations for elementary schoolchildren has created barriers for some Latino families who often do not have transportation to get children to and from appointments. Lack of paid family leave and inflexible work schedules also contribute to vaccination delays. Many parents do not have designated health care providers or convenient access to health information from medical professionals.

“Culturally responsive information is a critical step in creating vaccine confidence and improving vaccination rates in our community,” says Rachel Rios, executive director of La Familia Counseling Center.

Using a customized telehealth platform, Ask a Nurse LIVE connects volunteer registered nurses via face-to-face video chats and is available for both English and Spanish speakers. For more information, visit askanurse.live.


Local water providers are offering up to $15,000 for water-wise landscape upgrades at commercial, industrial and institutional properties, such as schools, churches and businesses located within five miles of the Lower American River.

“Our goal is to make it easy for business and institutional customers to reduce their water use while also improving water quality,” says Amy Talbot, water efficiency program manager for the Regional Water Authority, which administers the program.

In the Sacramento region, most of the water used daily goes on lawns and landscaping, and about a third is lost due to overwatering and evaporation. “This program is designed to prevent the overwatering and runoff that carries fertilizers and pesticides from landscapes into the storm drain and directly into our rivers, streams and creeks,” Talbot says.
Qualifying properties can receive funding to replace lawns with low-water plants and trees, and to upgrade irrigation with high-efficiency sprinkler heads, weather-based controllers, drip irrigation and more. Rebate funding covers both equipment and professional installation.

The program is available on a first-come, first-served basis until funding is gone. For more information, email rwaciiprogram@gmail.com or call (916) 967-7653.

Jessica Laskey can be reached at jessrlaskey@gmail.com. Submissions are due six weeks prior to the publication month. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram: @insidesacramento.

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