Out And About November 2020

Find out what is happening in Sacramento this month!

By Jessica Laskey
November 2020

The Run Lives On

Thanksgiving Day tradition goes virtual

Even though Run to Feed the Hungry, the country’s largest annual Thanksgiving Day fun run, can’t be held in person this year, the event will still be “run” online.

Run to Feed the Hungry brings in nearly $1 million each year for Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services, which is being hit particularly hard this year. The nonprofit organization is currently feeding more than 300,000 hungry people per month—a 100-percent increase since the pandemic began. Every $1 raised purchases five meals for a family in need.

Virtual participants can run the race anytime and will receive an official T-shirt and bib number. Avid runners can even submit their 5K or 10K time results through an official results webpage. This year, families and friends are encouraged to work together to create virtual teams for fundraising.

Packet pickup will be held at Fremont Presbyterian Church at 5770 Carlson Drive from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 21, Sunday, Nov. 22, and Wednesday, Nov. 25. At the time of registration, participants will select a 30-minute pickup time slot.

Adults are $35 and youth (17 and younger) are $20. Those who make a donation of $50 or more at the time of registration (and while supplies last) will received a Run to Feed the Hungry facemask. For more information or to register, visit runtofeedthehungry.com.


Dr. Denny Anspach, beloved member of the California State Railroad Museum Foundation Board of Directors, passed away at age 86 on Sept. 20.

The passionate rail enthusiast was instrumental in the creation of the California State Railroad Museum, which opened in 1981. After graduating from medical school at Stanford University, Anspach eventually relocated to Sacramento and served as chief of radiology at Sutter General Hospital. In 1970, he helped convince then-California Gov. Ronald Reagan to support the plan for what would one day become the museum.

“There is no question that we would not have the California State Railroad Museum without Dr. Denny Anspach—he was truly the ‘Founding Father,’” says Cheryl Marcell, president and CEO of the museum’s foundation. “He was my guide, my historian and my counselor in all things as I stepped into my (current) role.”

Anspach was also the founding president of the Sacramento Trust for Historic Preservation and was the primary author of the nearly 200-page master plan for the museum. In 2014, he was presented with the Railway & Locomotive Historical Society’s prestigious Gerald M. Best Senior Achievement Award. Anspach remained active on the museum foundation’s board of directors until his death.


Nearly 300 arts and culture organizations and individual artists have been selected to receive reimbursement grants from Sacramento’s Creative Economy Recovery program (funded by the $89 million the city received from the federal CARES Act).

“I’m thrilled that these arts organizations and creatives will be able to breathe a little easier because of the help we’re providing,” Mayor Darrell Steinberg says. “The COVID-19 shutdown has hit the creative economy hard, and we recognize that our city will not thrive unless arts and culture does as well.”

Awardees were scored and selected by the Arts, Culture, and Creative Economy Commission, part of the city’s Office of Arts and Culture. Scores were based on a proof of impact and loss from the pandemic.

One of the 300 organizations that received funding is the Brazilian Center for Cultural Exchange of Sacramento, which runs a senior and homeless food service program called Lean on Me. The program provides pre-portioned healthy meals to identified senior housing and homeless encampments on a regular schedule. With support from the CARES grant, the Brazilian Center expects to serve 400 meals per week. Learn more at braziliancentersac.org.


Sacramento foodie Paulette Bruce has reinvented her popular in-person Good Eats Cooking Classes (which she’s taught for more than 30 years) in an online format to help home chefs learn their way around the kitchen.

The one-hour classes are offered as part of a monthly $29 membership, which includes two live interactive classes via Zoom, two recorded classes, access to a private Facebook page, and weekly blogs with tips, techniques, recipes and more.

“I love to bring people together and teach them something they never thought possible to do on their own,” Bruce says. “I’m invested in creating more confident and better cooks, and during this challenging time, members can achieve that in the safety of their own homes.”

For more information, visit goodeatscookingclasses.com.


Sacramento State was recently recognized by Money.com as one of the best universities in the nation.

The publication’s annual “Best Colleges for Your Money” study analyzes more than 730 four-year colleges nationwide and ranks them based on their value to students and their families.

Sac State placed in the top 10 percent of Best Colleges (overall value), No. 9 in the nation for Most Transformative Colleges and in the top 50 for Best Public Colleges. In fact, 15 of California State University’s 23 campuses landed in the top 100.

Sac State’s fall 2020 classes are 95-percent virtual, with the remainder being held face-to-face in socially distanced classroom settings. For more information, visit csus.edu.


The College-Focused Rapid Rehousing Program—the $2.61 million state-funded community partnership among Sacramento State, California State University, Lutheran Social Services and Sacramento Self-Help Housing—is offering students facing homelessness affordable housing to be able to continue pursuing their education.

Seven CSU campuses will receive funding for the program using money set aside in the state budget. The Sac State partnership will receive $870,000 annually for three years, which will go toward providing as many as 50 qualifying Sac State students with secure, nine-month leases of no more than $500 per month in apartments or homes close to campus secured by community partners.


Jump e-bikes and e-scooters have come back to Sacramento after shared-rideable companies voluntarily suspended their services in the city at the onset of the pandemic.

Lime (the new owner of Jump bikes) has launched 200 bikes in Sacramento and West Sacramento, and plans to increase up to 600 bikes based on demand. Jump bikes are available to ride through Lime and Uber apps. E-scooter companies Bird and Spin also have relaunched their services.

All shared-rideable operators have agreed to the city’s new increased sanitation requirements, which include enhanced disinfecting protocols. They also encourage all riders to use sanitation wipes and hand sanitizer, and follow social-distancing and mask requirements.


Frustrated or confused by online distance learning? City community centers are now offering free structured academic support and enrichment programs through the Sac Childcare Learning and Student Support program using $1.46 million in CARES Act funding.

The program aims to support vulnerable children struggling with online learning by providing Wi-Fi access, additional academic support and childcare.

Students from area school districts are referred to the CLASS program based on need. A waitlist is now available and will open on a first-come, first-served basis to targeted populations, including low-income, English language learners and students with disabilities.

The program will operate Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., at Joe Mims, Jr. Hagginwood Community Center (3271 Marysville Blvd.); Oak Park Community Center (3425 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.); George Sim Community Center (6207 Logan St.); and Sam & Bonnie Pannell Community Center (2450 Meadowview Road). To sign up for the waitlist, email Scott Jensen at sjensen@cityofsacramento.org.


Social entrepreneur and accomplished executive Scott Syphax was recently awarded the prestigious Mort Friedman Civic Leadership Award in recognition of his exemplary public service.

Named for the late prominent local businessman Mort Friedman, the award honors outstanding individuals who demonstrate a strong commitment to public service through their work and community leadership.

Syphax is president of Syphax Strategic Solutions, and producer and host of KVIE’s “Studio Sacramento.” He also is former chair and CEO of Nehemiah Companies, a social enterprise and real estate development firm, as well as founder of the Nehemiah Emerging Leaders Program, which aims to develop a diverse leadership pipeline in the capital region. The award allowed Syphax to direct a grant from the Mort Friedman Civic Leadership Endowment at the Sacramento Region Community Foundation to NELP.

“I am honored and humbled to receive the Friedman award,” Syphax says. “Mort Friedman’s legacy and contribution to Sacramento’s civic life continue to inspire those seeking the betterment of our region.”


Saint John’s Program for Real Change, Sacramento’s largest residential program for formerly homeless women and children, has selected Molly Wiese as its 2020 Community Mother of the Year.

“Each year, we thoughtfully and carefully select the community member that we feel best exemplifies the seven core values that we instill in our clients: community, courage, effort, gratitude, growth, love and respect,” says Sasha Wirth, Saint John’s vice president and chief development officer. “Molly is the personification of these values, as a woman, as a community leader, and most importantly, as a mother.”

An experienced attorney and mother of three, Wiese has supported Saint John’s for years and served on multiple event committees. The lifelong Sacramentan’s philanthropic contributions have also included support for Jesuit High School, St. Francis High School, Sacred Heart, American Cancer Society and Society for the Blind.


Over the past few months, the Sacramento Zoo has welcomed several new animals, including a group of squirrel monkeys, newborn Wolf’s guenon and baby giraffe.

The three male squirrel monkeys—Blaze, Taco and Arlo—were added to the zoo’s bachelor troop as part of the zoo’s work with the Association of Zoos & Aquariums’ Squirrel Monkey Species Survival Program.

The zoo also welcomed a baby Wolf’s guenon, born to five-time parents Mimi and Eddie. Wolf’s guenons are listed as a vulnerable species and are not commonly found at zoological parks.

The zoo also announced that Shani, a 10-year-old Masai giraffe, gave birth in September to a female calf, the 12th calf born at the Sacramento Zoo since the species was first housed at the park in 1964.


The second annual Sacramento SPCA Benefit Auction will be held live online from 9 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 19, to 9 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 3.
Local auction house Witherell’s will run the online auction featuring a diverse array of collectibles, fine art, jewelry and decorative arts to raise money for SSPCA. All net proceeds from the sale will benefit the nonprofit, full-service animal welfare organization. For more information, visit sspca.org.


Día de Los Muertos California, a new project from Sol Collective and other cultural groups, connects community members to local Day of the Dead festivities across the state.

“Día de los Muertos is not a celebration of death, nor something to fear, but rather a celebration of life, an occasion to remember our loved ones who have passed away,” says Sol Collective founder Estella Sanchez. “As long as there is someone who remembers them, they remain amongst the living. With the pandemic, we thought it was important to provide a way for people to safely continue this important and meaningful tradition.”

The project features a new user-generated statewide digital ofrenda (or altar) to provide a COVID-19-free space. Californians can find local events and upload a photo of a loved one on the new digital ofrenda at diadelosmuertosca.com.


Though there are fewer students around this fall, Peak Adventures—the outdoor recreation program of Associated Students, Inc. housed on the Sacramento State campus—is still open for business.

Featuring a full-service bike shop, equipment rentals, on-campus ropes course and array of adventure outings, Peak Adventures provides year-round entertainment in the great outdoors. On Saturday, Nov. 21, take the hands-on bike maintenance class to learn how to give your bike a tune-up before hitting the trails. For more information, visit peakadventures.org.


Get a bird’s eye view of the Old Sacramento waterfront from the new 65-foot Waterfront Wheel, now open through Jan. 31 in front of Rio City Café at the newly activated Waterfront Park.

Hours of operation are Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., with special holiday hours from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. (Nov. 25–29, Dec. 20–Jan. 3 and Jan. 15–18). Lines will be physically distanced, carts will be sanitized regularly, and contactless payment and admission will be available. The cost is $6 per rider.

To add to the festive spirit, the 60-foot holiday tree will return to Front and K streets with a special Holiday Tree Lighting ceremony, which will be live-streamed on the Old Sacramento Waterfront Facebook page on Thanksgiving Eve, Nov. 25, at 6 p.m. The tree will remain in place through the New Year. For more information, visit oldsacramento.com.


Imagery, the contemporary ballet company by former Sacramento Ballet artistic director Amy Seiwert, will present SKETCH FILMS: Red Thread, a new documentary dance project in celebration of SKETCH’s 10th anniversary.

Featuring world premieres by SKETCH alumni, the series seeks to foster innovation in ballet-based choreography with commissioned works by women, dance makers with disabilities and choreographers of color. The dance pieces, usually performed in intimate live venues, have been filmed this year due to the pandemic and will be released online through Eventbrite.

Stephanie Martinez’s film will premiere Thursday, Nov. 5, at 6:30 p.m. Ben Needham-Wood’s film will premiere Friday, Nov. 20, at 5 p.m. For tickets, visit sketchfilm-seiwert.eventbrite.com. For more information, visit asimagery.org/sketchfilms.


The virtual fall programs at UC Davis’ Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art will include prominent artists, writers and curators whose works illuminate issues of race, identity and representation.

On Wednesday, Nov. 4, from 4–5:30 p.m., UCD professors will discuss Claudia Rankine’s new book “Just Us: An American Conversation.” On Thursday, Nov. 12, from 4:30–6 p.m., artist Njideka Akunyili Crosby will give a Betty Jean and Wayne Thiebaud Endowed Lecture on how her collage and photo transfer-based paintings negotiate the cultural terrain between her adopted home in America and her native Nigeria.

Nov. 12–24, the DHI Human Rights Film Festival will screen five films about local and global human rights issues, followed by Q&A sessions with filmmakers and scholars.

On Thursday, Nov. 19, from 4:30–6 p.m., museum founding director Rachel Teagle will provide an inside look at the upcoming Wayne Thiebaud exhibit and the artists he inspired in “Wayne Thiebaud Influencer: A New Generation.”
For more information, visit manettishrem.org.


United Way’s Young Leaders Society is hosting REMIX, a virtual speaker series meant to inspire and connect young professionals during the pandemic.

Members of the Young Leaders Society volunteer and fundraise for United Way’s Square One Project, which seeks to significantly increase the number of students in the region who graduate from high school.

The group’s annual REMIX speaker series will culminate Tuesday, Nov. 17, with a virtual presentation by Isaac Serwanga, a TEDx-featured speaker, best-selling author and founder of Inform & Inspire. Tickets are $15 for general admission and $10 for Young Leaders Society members. For tickets and more information, visit youngleadersuwccr.org.


Archival Gallery in East Sacramento will present Corey Okada and Laureen Landau with Marilyn Kuksht and Linda Nunes from Nov. 5 to Dec. 5.

Okada will present solo works and collaborative pieces with the late Landau in “News From Home,” which will share gallery space with sculptures by Kuksht and encaustic works by Nunes.

There will be no public Second Saturday reception. Visitors are welcome during normal business hours with no appointment needed. Masks are required at all times. For more information, visit archivalgallery.com.


Yolo Basin Foundation’s 30th annual Bucks for Ducks Fundraising Gala will be held virtually from Nov. 9–15. The weeklong event raises funds to support Yolo Basin Foundation’s education programs and activities to improve and sustain the Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area.

On Monday, Nov. 9, an online auction featuring art and photography celebrating California nature and agriculture opens at 9 a.m. and runs through Nov. 15 at 5 p.m. On Tuesday, Nov. 10, watch a series of videos about the wetlands. On Wednesday, Nov. 11, learn about the foundation’s education programs with Yolo Basin staff and volunteers. On Thursday, Nov. 12, and Friday, Nov. 13, hear from Bucks for Ducks artists and photographers.

On Saturday, Nov. 14, log on to the live showcase event from 5:30–7 p.m. to hear highlights from the past 30 years and bid on live auction items. For more information, visit yolobasin.org/bucksforducks.

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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