Out & About
By Jessica Laskey
Photography Month Sacramento returns to region
Photography Month Sacramento, an annual celebration of the art of photography, returns this month led by Viewpoint Photographic Art Center in Midtown. This annual event showcases the photographic arts by offering events and activities that reach across communities and bring people together.
Participating museums, galleries, schools, libraries, businesses and more have created their own exhibits, lectures, workshops and other events at venues throughout Sacramento, Placer, Nevada and Yolo counties.
A few highlights include two juried exhibits April 6 to May 7 at Viewpoint Photographic Art Center; a photo display at Casa de Español of a coffee grower in Veracruz, Mexico; and the ongoing “Planet or Plastic?” exhibit at the California Museum of 70 images organized by the National Geographic Society.
Consumnes River College will present a photo exhibit, “Creatures of Light and Form: Topographical Exploration,” April 7 to 28 in the college’s art gallery, with an artist reception Thursday, April 7, from 4-8 p.m.
For a complete list of events, visit photomonthsacramento.org.
The Sacramento SPCA held a private ceremony earlier this year for shelter staff and volunteers to celebrate the life and contributions of 25-year volunteer Kate Tibbitts who was murdered in her Land Park home last year.
The ceremony was held behind the shelter’s adoption center in a garden dedicated to rest and relaxation intended as “a space where each of you could take a moment for yourself,” SSPCA CEO Kenn Altine said.
A memorial water fountain was unveiled to “honor what Kate exemplified and what all of our volunteers give of themselves.”
The Food Literacy Center is celebrating 10 years of advocating for student health through hands-on, health-focused programs.
In recognition of the milestone, the center received a resolution from Mayor Darrell Steinberg and the Sacramento City Council to “express our sincere appreciation for their dedication to enriching lives and diets of students throughout the Sacramento region.”
The Food Literacy Center began offering classes in cooking, nutrition, gardening and active play to 120 low-income elementary school kids in Oak Park in 2012. Today, founder/CEO/Chief Food Genius Amber Stott says they are “plum proud” to be serving 11,909 students in two school districts (the center added Robla School District in North Sacramento this spring).
For more information, visit foodliteracycenter.org.
Federico Garcia of Gusto Gaucho has won this year’s Downtown Sacramento Foundation’s Calling All Dreamers retail competition. The winning concept features flavors, including empanadas, pastries and chimichurri sauce, from Garcia’s native Argentina.
“Opening a café in Downtown Sacramento will be a dream come true for me and confirmation of all the hard work I’ve put into the project over the years,” Garcia says.
“Operating at various farmers markets in 2019, my customers really encouraged me to keep going because once they try my products, they keep coming back for more. I believe if you work hard, then little by little, amazing opportunities will follow.”
Gusto Gaucho is looking for a permanent storefront. In the meantime, order delectable Argentine treats at gustogaucho.com.
A Best Buddies Friendship Walk: Sacramento will be held Saturday, April 30, at North Natomas Regional Park. Best Buddies International is a nonprofit that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment, leadership development and inclusive living for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Since 2009, more than 250,000 participants have walked in more than 60 cities and raised more than $24 million for Best Buddies.
“Our Friendship Walks are one of Best Buddies’ most celebrated events, bringing communities together where they can experience our mission in action and engage with our program participants,” says Anthony Shriver, founder/chair/CEO of Best Buddies International.
Best Buddies Friendship Walk: Sacramento aims to meet—or surpass—the 2022 fundraising goal of $30,000 to support programming that reaches more than 350,000 people each year.
Registration begins at 8 a.m. and the walk starts at 9 a.m. Following the walk, stick around for a day of fun, family, wellness and friendship. To register, visit bestbuddiesfriendshipwalk.org/sacramento.
RAILROAD MUSEUM FOUNDATION CEO
The California State Railroad Museum Foundation has named Tim Schroepfer as its new president/CEO.
The foundation hired Schroepfer in 2019 as director of events and marketing. He then moved into the role of interim chief operating officer in 2021 and now replaces Cheryl Marcell as president/CEO to oversee a staff of 26.
“Even as the pandemic still ruled much of our lives, Tim engineered the return of a sold-out Polar Express train after a two-year hiatus and quickly mastered the demands of running a fundraising and support organization for a world-class museum,” says Jim Houpt, foundation board chair. “Our board of directors expressed unanimous support for Tim’s advancement to his new role.”
Sacramento native, Elk Grove resident and lifetime train enthusiast Schroepfer says, “With the museum entering its 41st year and Railtown entering its 51st year as a tourist railway, it is an incredibly exciting time to be with the foundation. It is an absolute honor and privilege to return home and help support our parks partners.”
The $1 billion Aggie Square innovation campus at Stockton Boulevard and Second Avenue has broken ground. The project includes office and lab space for UC Davis researchers and private-sector tenants, student housing, community spaces, classrooms and the Alice Waters Institute for Edible Education.
Mayor Darrell Steinberg and Councilmembers Eric Guerra and Jay Schenirer worked with the community, UC Davis leadership and project developer Wexford Science + Technology to create a Community Benefits Partnership Agreement to protect nearby residents with $50 million promised for affordable housing, including $10 million specifically to help residents stay in their homes. At least 20 percent of the 3,600 permanent jobs at Aggie Square will be filled by residents of surrounding ZIP codes who also will be offered job training.
UC Davis Chancellor Gary S. May says construction of all five buildings on the campus will begin in spring, with a completion date of late 2024.
Appointments are available again for household junk pickup through the city of Sacramento Solid Waste and Recycling department.
Residential customers are eligible for two free junk pickups a year for anything too large to fit in the curbside container. Extra appointments are available for an additional fee.
Jesa David, the department’s media and communications specialist, encourages residents to plan ahead, citing a “wait of about two to three weeks.” To make an appointment, call City Customer Service at 311, use the free 311 app or go online at sac311.org.
In addition to household junk, customers can make an appliance or e-waste appointment for up to four e-waste items and two household appliances. For more information, visit cityofsacramento.org/public-works/rsw/collection-services/garbage/household-junk.
MUSEUM OF ART
The Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art on the UC Davis campus has been named one of the 25 best museum buildings of the past 100 years by prestigious industry publication ARTnews.
The Manetti Shrem Museum is one of just four museums in the United States, as well as the only California museum and only public university museum, selected to appear on a list that includes other revered museums such as the Louvre, Guggenheim and Centre Pompidou.
The museum was designed to be “neither isolated nor exclusive, but open and permeable; not a static shrine, but a constantly evolving public event,” as described by lead architect Florian Idenburg at the museum’s opening in 2016.
“We’re so proud the museum has been recognized not only for its exhibitions and programs but also for its magnificent architecture,” says Founding Director Rachel Teagle. “The Manetti Shrem Museum is quintessentially of its place and time: an integration of the indoors and outdoors that is horizontal, light-filled, porous and flexible.”
For more information, visit manettishremmuseum.ucdavis.edu.
Sacramento County Supervisor Rich Desmond is seeking to recognize outstanding District 3 community members who go above and beyond in helping to make Sacramento County a better place to live, work and play.
To nominate a Community Hero of the Month, who will be featured in the district newsletter, email email@example.com or call (916) 874-5471.
The Sacramento County Department of Health Services Division of Behavioral Health Services’ “Mental Illness: It’s Not Always What You Think” project is celebrating 10 years of helping reduce stigma and discrimination surrounding mental illness.
Funded by the Mental Health Services Act, the project provides mental health information, resources and support to individuals and families in Sacramento County. By educating the community, the project aims to eliminate barriers for people living with mental illness and provide a deeper understanding of mental health.
Since launching in 2012, the project’s Stop Stigma Speakers Bureau has gained almost 200 volunteers who share their experiences living with mental illness in media interviews or at events. The project has also partnered with more than 120 community-based organizations.
“We estimate that nearly 355,000 Sacramento County residents live with a mental illness, but only a third will seek professional help due to stigma and discrimination,” says Dr. Ryan Quist, director of behavioral health services. “Mental illness is a treatable and manageable condition that is unfairly stigmatized.”
For more information, visit stopstigmasacramento.org.
Look up the next time you’re walking in Lavender Heights—the Midtown Association has installed 10 vibrant new banners on 20th Street between J and K streets in partnership with the Sacramento Rainbow Chamber of Commerce to celebrate Midtown Love, acceptance and inclusion.
But that’s not all. “Love is in our roots” art wraps, part of Midtown’s continuing “Art in Unexpected Places” efforts, are on display on 21st Street at the intersections of J, K and L streets to showcase Midtown’s commitment to providing ongoing access to fresh food and locally made products at the Midtown Farmers Market and Wednesdays at Winn.
Plus, 37 “I Love” banners will be installed along J Street between 20th and 27th streets. The banners will highlight the area’s various activities and amenities, including biking, fitness classes, coffee shops, retail stores and more.
Jay Boatwright has been appointed to fill a vacant seat on the five-member Sacramento Suburban Water District Board of Directors.
The 40-year district resident and recent retiree brings extensive experience as a project manager and executive in the commercial construction industry. He also served on the Arden-Arcade Community Planning Advisory Council and San Juan Unified School District’s facilities, transportation and finance committees. He’s a longtime member, past president and current treasurer of the Rotary Club of Carmichael.
“I look forward to contributing my experience and knowledge to guiding SSWD over the coming years,” Boatwright says.
LA FAMILIA GRANT
La Familia Counseling Center has received a grant to help fund the Cultura de Salud program, which trains youth and community members in culturally responsive principles of community health and wellness.
The grant is from Direct Relief’s Fund for Health Equity, which mobilizes financial resources for organizations focused on nonclinical interventions that affect “social determinants of health,” including a person’s physical, social, political, cultural and economic environment.
“The inequities and unequal access to health care have played a significant role in why communities of color have been so significantly impacted by COVID,” says Rachel Rios, La Familia’s executive director. “As a result of this generous support, La Familia will be able to meet our community where they are at.”
One of 49 awardees, La Familia is located in a Promise Zone in South Sacramento and has some of the region’s highest health disparities. For more information, visit lafcc.org.
The Sacramento Police Department has promoted three of its employees to serve as public information officers for a two-year term to manage communications with the public and act as media liaisons.
“Clear communication is critical to keeping our communities safe and informed,” says Sgt. Zach Eaton, who’ll be assisted by Officer Chad Lewis and Officer Ryan Woo. “It is an honor to serve the city of Sacramento and its residents in this capacity.”
Eaton has been with the department for 11 years, and has worked in patrol and served as a Gang Enforcement Team officer, Major Crimes detective, Criminal Intelligence Unit detective, patrol supervisor and Gang Enforcement Team supervisor.
Lewis has worked in multiple positions, including as an officer on the North Gang Enforcement Team and a detective assigned to the Homicide Investigations Unit. Woo has worked for the department’s Mental Health Unit, Crisis Negotiation Team and Impact Team.
The Sacramento County Board of Supervisors has appointed longtime public servant David Defanti as the director of community development, which ensures all development is consistent with state law.
Defanti has 20 years of senior-level experience leading community initiatives in Sacramento, El Dorado and Placer counties. He started his public service career as a Sacramento County senior planner, moved to El Dorado County to serve as the community development agency assistant director and served as the deputy county executive officer for Placer County where he oversaw multiple departments.
He was instrumental in creating a first-ever, five-year Capital Improvement Plan, merging multiple departments into a newly created agency, and serving as a lead negotiator for tax-sharing agreements.
SAC METRO CHAIR
The Sacramento Metro Chamber of Commerce has named Bob Swanson of Boutin Jones Inc., one of Sacramento’s largest business law firms, as chair of the 2022 board of directors.
During his prestigious 30-year legal career, Swanson has served on the boards of several nonprofits, including the YMCA of Greater Sacramento, Mission Aviation Fellowship (an international relief organization) and Elk Grove Rotary.
As board chair, Swanson will work closely with chamber President/CEO Amanda Blackwood to support initiatives such as identifying workable solutions for businesses navigating issues related to the homeless crisis, continuing to assist businesses to start and/or grow their operations, and expanding talent pipelines with a focus on recruitment and retention of the local workforce.
FOOD BANK DONATION
Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services recently received a $50,000 donation from Bank of America to address food insecurity in the region, which reached an unprecedented high during the pandemic. For every $1 donated, the organization can provide five meals to the community.
Since March 2020, the food bank has seen a 90% increase in people needing food and services. “Pre-COVID, we were feeding about 150,000 people per month,” says Blake Young, president/CEO of Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services. “Now, we’re feeding up to 280,000 people a month.”
In addition to the cash donation, Bank of America donated more than 100,000 PPEs to the food bank to distribute to those in need. For more information or to donate, visit sacramentofoodbank.org.
Jessica Laskey can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Submissions are due six weeks prior to the publication month. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram: @insidesacramento.