Out and About

By Jessica Laskey
July 2020


The Sacramento Master Singers has announced the winners of its Scholarship for Young Choral Singers. Launched in 2003, the scholarships support the musical growth of local singing students.

First place for ages 14 to 16 went to Sophia LaPerle of Davis Senior High School. First place for ages 17 to 22 was awarded to Nicole Young of Sac State. For more information, visit mastersingers.org.


Women’s Empowerment has received $26,500 from U.S. Bank and $12,600 from Union Pacific Foundation to support the nonprofit’s job-readiness program. Under the program, women experiencing homelessness are given support through career skills workshops, paid job training, transportation assistance and mentoring to help them re-enter the workforce.

To date, the organization has graduated 1,635 homeless women and their 3,726 children. Last year, 70 percent of graduates found homes and secured 186 job placements. For more information, visit womens-empowerment.org.


Small business owners and organizations in Midtown are offering unique online experiences in lieu of in-person activities.
Many are either free or low cost, and focus on entertainment, fitness and education. For example, there are DIY jewelry-making tutorials, live music broadcasts and online comedy shows. Fitness activities include virtual 5K, 10K and half marathons, online yoga, biking and Pilates classes.

For teaching programs, Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park offers children’s how-to videos and SMUD has online energy-focused lessons for kindergarten through 12th grade. For more information, visit exploremidtown.org.


Story Time Sacramento, an online video library of popular children’s books read by community leaders, is now live. The project was spearheaded by Councilmember Angelique Ashby.

“This online library was inspired by all of the teachers and parents at home doing such amazing work to continue educating Sacramento’s littlest ones,” Ashby says.

The library contains approximately a dozen new and well-loved titles, such as “Green Eggs and Ham,” read by Chad Augustin, deputy chief of the Sacramento Fire Department. Other local luminaries include KFBK afternoon host Kitty O’Neal, Sacramento Police Department chief Daniel Hahn and Sacramento Kings announcer Scott Moak. For more information, visit angeliqueashby.com/story-time-sacramento.


Stage Nine Entertainment Inc. is the first retailer in Sacramento to offer the CleanKey, a small keychain tool with a pointed edge that can be used to touch keypads at places such as grocery stores and ATMs.

CleanKey, made from antimicrobial copper alloy, also has a handy hook that can help open doors, press buttons and pull levers.
Stage Nine has five retail stores in Old Sacramento: Stage Nine Entertainment Store, G. Willikers Toy Emporium, The Vault, Old Fashioned Candy and Confectionery Store, and California Clothiers.

The stores are back open for walk-in business, but still offering hundreds of unique items in their online stores for those who prefer to shop from home. For more information, visit stagenine.com.


This has not been an easy time for those suffering from mental health issues. Sacramento County is offering several services for those in need.

Sacramento County residents on Medi-Cal can contact the Sacramento County Behavioral Health Services Division at (916) 875-1055 for over-the-phone assessments and referrals to mental health service providers, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Youth, parents and caregivers of youth can call or text (916) SUPPORT (787-7678) or visit thesourcesacramento.com for an online chat. Support is available 24/7.

For those who need guidance on how to approach a loved one about seeking mental health services, Sacramento County’s Community Support Team can be reached at (916) 874-6015, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Staff support individuals with navigating mental health services, providing field-based assessments and giving referrals to other community resources.

For immediate mental health and/or co-occurring substance-abuse services, call the Mental Health Urgent Care Clinic at (916) 520-2460.
If you’re struggling and need to talk, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at (800) 273-TALK (8255). The Hope Cooperative Peer Support Line is also available at (855) 502-3224, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For more COVID-19 resources, visit saccounty.net.


Wi-Fi Buses will be rolling through the city to provide free wireless hotspots to communities with limited high-speed internet access, thanks to a partnership among the city of Sacramento, Sacramento Regional Transit District and California State Transportation Agency.

Gov. Gavin Newsom announced the project in April as part of the state’s efforts to support distance learning and close the digital divide during the pandemic. Approximately one in five students in California lack high-speed internet access and nearly half of all low-income households in the state do not have broadband service at home.

The repurposed Wi-Fi Buses—outfitted with equipment provided free of charge by partners AT&T, Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile, Cradlepoint, Sierra Wireless and Aruba—will provide three and a half hours of wireless broadband service at two locations each day, with updated schedules available at thewifibus.com. Sacramento-based Symsoft Solutions also developed a free mobile app that provides real-time updates on the location and availability of Wi-Fi Buses.

To download the free app, visit the Apple App Store or Google Play Store and search “WiFi Bus Sacramento.”


Just in time for summer weather—and socially distant fun—the urban master planned community The Mill at Broadway has opened its new Olympian’s Park.

The 3 1/2-acre city-owned and -maintained park features a large game court, picnic area, walking and biking trails (which will eventually connect to the American River Bike Trail at the Miller Park marina via an I-5 underpass), community center and amphitheater. For more information, visit millatbroadway.com/community-park.


The California Arts Council recently awarded the Sacramento Ballet a $32,778 grant to help fund the ballet’s ongoing programs in Arts Education and Youth Arts Action.

Arts Education–Artists in Schools brings ballet to local public schools as part of the daily curriculum. Arts Education–Exposure provides free tickets to “The Nutcracker” to four schools each year. Youth Arts Action provides after-school dance training.

“These opportunities have an enormous impact on children in our local community,” says Amy Seiwert, the ballet’s artistic director. “With these grants, Sacramento youth will have the opportunity to learn ballet, experience live performance, and participate in something that is good for both their physical and mental health.”

To that end, the Sacramento Ballet is offering virtual summer programs on Zoom in the Children’s Division, Student Division, Pre-Professional Division and Trainee Program. For more information, visit sacballet.org/sb-at-home.


Square Root Academy is celebrating four years of providing free STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) programs for youth. The academy has also launched the online learning platform Scholars Playground with community partners to increase its reach during the pandemic.

The platform features live tutoring and education segments for kindergarten through 12th grade students hosted by community educators on topics such as STEM, language arts, mindfulness and more. The classes are available in 30-, 60- and 90-minute increments.

Courses include performance poetry writing workshops with Sacramento Area Youth Speaks, African-American art history classes with the Crocker Art Museum, creative writing workshops with 916ink, Kemetic Yoga with Afro Yoga, and classes with Square Root educators on block coding, 3D modeling and more. For more information, visit scholarsplayground.org and squarerootacademy.com.


The McKinley Water Vault’s build phase is approximately 60 percent done and on track for completion by early fall. Be on the lookout for temporary sidewalk and street closures, and pedestrian and jogging path detours over the next three months.

The water vault, located in McKinley Park, is an underground storage tank that will hold storm water and wastewater during significant rainfalls when the sewer system is at capacity. This will reduce street flooding and sewer system outflows. The project also includes $1 million in park enhancements, such as new shade structures, trees and bathrooms.

For more information or to sign up for construction email updates, visit cityofsacramento.org/mckinleywatervault.


The Sacramento Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Leadership Sacramento Class of 2020 has selected the local nonprofit Sacramento Regional Conservation Corps as its class project.

SRCC is Sacramento’s largest education and workforce training program for young adults ages 18 to 25 from high-risk environments. Leadership Sacramento’s improvement projects with SRCC will include beautifying its campus; designing, installing and cultivating a vegetable garden for SRCC Corps members; and funding for personal protective equipment, including hand sanitizer, masks, protective eyewear and disposable gloves.

Founded in 1985, Leadership Sacramento is a yearlong interactive program of workshops, meetings and community-betterment projects designed to address issues that impact the region’s economy. For more information, visit metrochamber.org/foundation/programs/leadership-sacramento.


Archival Gallery has unveiled a new mural—“Spirit of California” by Miles Hermann—on its building at 3223 Folsom Blvd.
The mural “depicts the promise California has to offer,” Hermann says. “A place where countless people from around the globe have sought the potential for prosperity and reinvention.”

This is Archival Gallery’s third mural along with “Sting” by Robert Bowen (featured in Wide Open Walls 2019) and “Providence” by Davy Fiveash.

Limited-edition prints of Hermann’s mural will be available for purchase with proceeds benefiting Mercy Pedalers, which reaches out via bicycle to men and women experiencing homelessness.

Hermann’s new landscape and still-life paintings will also be on display inside the gallery July 8 to Aug. 1, alongside the sculpture and painting installation “31 Days” by Debra Kreck-Harnish and Leslie McCarron. Information on visiting hours is at archivalgallery.com.


Sacramento State will offer a new hospitality and tourism management degree beginning this fall to train students to work in the tourism and restaurant industries—and, hopefully, help those businesses recover from the pandemic-spurred downturn.

The bachelor of science degree will focus on hotel management, tourism-destination marketing, convention and meeting planning, the basics of entrepreneurial businesses, and the skills needed to work with for-profit and “experience industry” agencies like resorts, theme parks, travel agencies and more. Local industry professionals from the Sacramento Hotel Association and Visit Sacramento (Sacramento Convention & Visitors Bureau) will work closely with department faculty to provide internships and job experience.

“These industries can absolutely make a difference in how we cope with and recover from global health emergencies,” says Tony Sheppard, program coordinator and professor in Sac State’s Department of Recreation, Parks and Tourism Administration.


United Ways of California and the California Department of Social Services recently rolled out a new website, KinshipCareCA.org, a free compendium of information to help kinship caregivers and foster parents access local resources, benefits and support.

Approximately one-third of California’s formal child welfare system—59,156 children—are living with extended family members or other relatives. However, records show that in California, more than 285,000 children are being raised by relatives outside the child welfare system. Studies have shown that kinship care can lead to better emotional health, fewer placements and better outcomes.

The new website offers location-based resources in 53 of California’s 58 counties for respite care, childcare, health care, education and more, as well as resources on utility, housing and food assistance. Call specialists are available 24 /7 and a live chat function will be added in coming months.


Painter Kathy Dana’s solo exhibition “Road Trip” will be on display at Sparrow Gallery July 10–31.

Two years in the making, the show’s acrylic-on-canvas and wood-panel work features scenes of highways, bridges, small towns and back country roads seen through a car window.

Sparrow Gallery is at 1021 R St. For more information, visit sparrowgallery.com and kathydanaart.com/gallery#/road-trip.


Artist Al Farrow’s iconic 2018 art piece “The White House” will be on display July 26 to Nov. 15 at the Crocker Art Museum. Using guns and ammunition as his materials, Farrow transforms tools of destruction into intricate sculptures of architectural monuments.

The Crocker exhibition, composed of just one sculpture, is intended to “remind all of us of the importance of this building and what it stands for,” explains Scott Shields, associate director and chief curator. “It is also meant to jolt us out of complacency, no matter on which side of the political divide we stand.” For more information, visit crockerart.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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