Out & About

By Jessica Laskey
December 2022

Real Art For Real Change

Garibaldi painting benefits program for women and children

A colorful portrait of tennis legend Serena Williams, created by performance painter David Garibaldi, recently brought in $4,500 to benefit Saint John’s Program for Real Change.

The nonprofit organization, which supports formerly homeless women and their children, auctioned off the artwork at this year’s Party for Change fundraiser. The event raised nearly $900,000.

SAFE Credit Union commissioned Garibaldi to create the painting at its annual Impact employee event earlier this year, and donated the artwork to Saint John’s Program for Real Change.

Carmichael resident Garibaldi says his work has raised more than $7 million for charity worldwide and he’s performed 100-plus shows around the world.

“A program like Saint John’s needs all the support we can give,” Garibaldi says. “There are too many women and children who do not have a system of support, and they are overlooked far too often.”

For more information, visit saintjohnsprogram.org and garibaldiarts.com.


Maria Harrington, owner and founder of local Spanish language school and cultural center Casa de Español, recently received a $5,000 Inclusive Banking grant from American Express.

The grant program has awarded a total of $600,000 to 120 small business owners who identify as Native or Indigenous, Hispanic or Latinx, LGBTQ+, or as immigrants, refugees or forcibly displaced.

Founded in 2011, Casa de Español shares the Spanish language and cultures of Latin America and Spain in a holistic and immersive way. The school serves more than 300 students each quarter and frequently partners with local organizations, such as La Familia Counseling Center, Crocker Art Museum and Mexican Cultural Center of Northern California, to give back to the community.

Casa de Español is at 1101 R St. For more information, visit casadeespanol.org or call (916) 346-4535.


Metro EDGE, a program of the Sacramento Metro Chamber Foundation, has launched a new board development opportunity for young professionals.

BoardLink focuses on placing under-40 professionals on regionally recognized business boards to increase board diversity and address regional workforce demands.

“By dedicating a young professional seat at the table, this program seeks to empower the next generation of leaders and create belonging for their voice in regional conversations,” says Liz Lorand Williams, Metro EDGE’s board development chair.

Participating organizations include Metro PAC, Sacramento Metro Chamber of Commerce, Metro Chamber Foundation, Sacramento Steps Forward, Sacramento Metro Advocates for Rail and Transit, Valley Vision, Visit Sacramento and Downtown Sacramento Partnership.

Interested businesses with available board positions are encouraged to email Williams at llorandwilliams@downtownsac.org. Metro EDGE member candidates can learn more at metro-edge.org/get-involved/join-a-board.


Applications are open for the 38th cohort of Leadership Sacramento, a program of the Sacramento Metro Chamber Foundation.

Founded in 1985, Leadership Sacramento is an interactive, yearlong program designed to inform and educate community-minded business and civic leaders on issues that impact the region’s economy. The program offers personal and professional development and networking opportunities, and ends with the completion of a community project benefitting a local nonprofit.

“Leadership Sacramento unites like-minded individuals working towards a common goal of positively impacting our region,” says Kyla Bryant, executive director of the Metro Chamber Foundation. “This program aims to cultivate tomorrow’s leaders and regional changemakers through inspired learning.”

The deadline to apply is Dec. 12. Applications can be found at metrochamber.org/foundation/programs/leadership-sacramento.


The fourth round of grant funding for microbusiness owners in Sacramento County is now open through Dec. 20. Microbusinesses can receive $2,500 grants.

The program is funded by the California Office of the Small Business Advocate and administered by Sacramento County to assist microbusinesses impacted by the pandemic.

To qualify, applicants must receive less than $50,000 in gross revenue annually, have fewer than five full-time employees and have been in operation by the end of 2019. For more information, visit sac4micro.org.


Sacramento native Kerry Wood has been selected to head the Sacramento Region Community Foundation.

Wood previously served as the foundation’s chief marketing and donor engagement officer. Former CEO Linda Beech Cutler will serve as an adviser through the end of the year.

Wood’s “stellar experience building philanthropic resources—grounded in trust and authentic relationships with diverse stakeholders—extensive community foundation knowledge, deep understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing our region, passion for serving the capital area and the nonprofit community, and her strategic and collaborative leadership style reflect an ideal combination to elevate the foundation in every way,” says foundation board Chair Kate Stille.

Since 1983, the Sacramento Region Community Foundation has awarded more than $200 million in grants and scholarships in Sacramento, El Dorado, Placer and Yolo counties. For more information, visit sacregcf.org.


More than 800 new affordable housing units will be built in the city thanks to $35 million in funding recently approved by the City Council.

Four of the six planned projects will include units specifically for people experiencing homelessness, and one will provide transitional housing beds for homeless individuals through a contract with The Salvation Army.

The city will partner with affordable housing developers CADA, Mutual Housing, BRIDGE Housing and Eden Housing; private developers Fulcrum Properties, Urban Elements and College Town International; and local partners Paratransit, Habitat for Humanity, and Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency.

The projects are expected to open in late 2023 through the end of 2024, and will be located at 7141 Woodbine Ave., 440 Arden Way, 805 R St., 4501 9th Ave., 3400 Stockton Blvd. and various lots in Oak Park.


Arden Park residents Sally Giancanelli and Ryan Tracy have collaborated on a new series of children’s books full of heartwarming messages, tales of bravery—and dogs!

“I knew early on that there was always something special between my boys and our dogs,” says Giancanelli, an Inside Sacramento account representative. “This bond planted the seed for me to one day write a children’s book.”

When yellow lab Nala came into her life, Giancanelli knew she’d found her muse. She connected with neighbor and “dog friend” Tracy, who was eager to partner with her on this new endeavor.

After months of trading drafts back and forth, and enlisting the talents of Spanish illustrator Irene De Prada, the first book, “Nala and the Color of Love,” was released.

“We’re so blessed to be starting out on this journey and we look forward to the idea of sharing our positive messages with so many young parents and all of their precious little ones,” Giancanelli says.

For more information or to order, visit nalasbooks.com.


A group of 10 avid quilters, known as Sew What Sisters, are helping those in need.

Leader Debra King-Abraham says the group has been around for more than 20 years and includes members from Sacramento, San Francisco, Contra Costa and Solano counties.

“Our goal is to have fun and give back to others,” she says. “We’re not a program, just quilters that care.”

This month, the group will present approximately 20 quilts to Wind Youth Services in Sacramento and much-needed supplies to the Veterans Home of California in Yountville.


Sacramento State has unveiled a series of murals created in partnership with Wide Open Walls as the first part of a multi-year project highlighting the university’s Antiracism and Inclusive Campus Plan.

Eight artists hailing from diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds were paid $1,000 each to paint the murals on the south side of Santa Clara Hall. The murals represent the project’s theme: “Believe, Becoming and Being.”

“I want to be able to say something in my art,” says Sac State alumnus and muralist Erik Oliver, who immigrated to the U.S. from Mexico at age 12. “I had to learn the language and it was a different kind of transition and a new experience for me, which came with a lot of unexpected challenges, and I want to be able to share that through my art.”

Other mural artists are Phillip Altstatt, alumnus/staff; Luis Garcia, faculty; Emma Montalbano, student; Jane Simeon, student; Anastasia Sullivan, student; Wood Farguheson “Tsumnu,” guest artist; and Beth Consetta Rubel, WOW artist.


The Crocker Art Museum has launched the Mel and Leta Ramos Family Virtual Education Center, a comprehensive resource for teachers, parents, homeschoolers and other educators looking to integrate art into their classroom, home or community.

The platform, funded by the Mel and Leta Ramos Family Foundation, includes lesson plans for every subject and grade level, engaging video content, art education coaching, curriculum reviews, professional development and more. All resources on the site are free to access.

“The Education Center transforms Crocker resources, as well as community-made content submitted through the site, into a flexible, on-demand format to better serve educators working in a post-COVID classroom,” says Mallorie J. Marsh, the Crocker’s associate director of education.


The Sacramento LGBT Community Center is in need of safe and affirming host homes for young LGBTQ+ people experiencing homelessness.

The center’s Host Homes program provides bridge housing for individuals 18 to 24. The length of stay is flexible, averaging four to six months. Stable housing, meals, social/emotional support and case management are provided—at no cost—while individuals make progress toward their life goals.

For information on becoming a host home, visit saccenter.org/housing.


Do you have a budding young filmmaker at home? The Regional Water Authority and local water providers are looking for submissions for their annual Water Spots Video Contest from local high school and middle school filmmakers.

The contest challenges entrants to make a 30-second public service video that educates and motivates the community to stop water waste. The 2023 Water Spots theme is “Do Your Part To Be Water Smart.”

Videos will be judged by a panel of water experts and community leaders, and online voting. The top-scoring video from each school will win a $50 Amazon gift card. The video that receives the most online votes (People’s Choice) or top scores from the panel (Judge’s Choice) will receive a cash prize.

Judge’s Choice and People’s Choice winners will be eligible to win the Grand Prize, which includes showing the video for one month at a local movie theater.

The deadline to enter is March 10, 2023. For more information, visit bewatersmart.info/waterspots.


The Sacramento Blues Society has made its first contribution to the Little Charlie Baty Memorial Music Scholarship for students at Sacramento State’s College of Music.

The scholarship was developed to support current music students in honor of local musician Charlie Baty, who died in 2020, and his commitment and support of the Sacramento Blues Society and Blues in the Schools program.

To donate to the Little Charlie Baty Memorial Music Scholarship, visit sacblues.org.


Although The Salvation Army is busy year-round, December is a big month for the organization. The Salvation Army Del Oro Division has plenty of ways for locals to pitch in.

For the Tis the Season Food Drive, drop off nonperishable food Dec. 13 at 3250 Arena Blvd., Dec. 14 at 5159 Fair Oaks Blvd. or Dec. 15 at 1915 Douglas Blvd. All drop-offs are 3–7 p.m.

The Adopt-A-Family holiday program assists families in crisis with food, clothing and gifts through individual sponsors. Distribution takes place Dec. 20 at Cal Expo from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The Army will distribute gifts through its Angel Giving Tree program Dec. 21 at Cal Expo from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
To donate to area families in need, visit deloro.salvationarmy.org.


Buy See’s Candy for your holiday gatherings and gifting, while supporting Soroptimists International of Sacramento.

The club’s store features a broad selection of See’s prepackaged candy with profits funding programs and community services to assist underserved women and girls.

The store is open Dec. 1–24, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., in Loehmann’s Plaza on Fair Oaks Boulevard. For more information, visit soroptimistsacramento.org.


From now through Feb. 28, residents in Sacramento County—including the cities of Citrus Heights, Elk Grove, Folsom, Galt, Isleton, Rancho Cordova and Sacramento—must check projected air-quality levels before using their fireplaces or wood stoves.

No-burn days are called when weather conditions trap wood smoke near the ground. This fine particle pollution poses a serious health threat and causes more than 50 percent of the winter air pollution in the county, according to Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District.

To check before you burn, visit airquality.org, call (877) NO-BURN-5, download the free Sacramento Region Air Quality mobile app, follow @AQMD on Twitter or sign up to get daily burn status emails at sparetheair.com.


Leaf season is upon us. This means city residents can pile excess yard waste in the street for collection by “the claw.”

Wondering how this fits in with the new organic material recycling? Not much has changed. Simply continue to fill your yard waste container with food scraps and food-soiled paper along with leaves, branches, grass clippings and other organic yard waste. Additional yard waste that doesn’t fit in the bin may be left on the street for collection.

Don’t put food waste in the street yard waste pile. Make sure there is space between the curb and yard waste pile for water to flow to storm drains. Organic waste and recycling should not be placed in plastic bags. Christmas trees can be added to yard waste piles. For more information, visit sacleafsmart.org.

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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