Out & About Sacramento

By Jessica Laskey

September 2020


The 30th annual Chalk It Up! festival will take a different form this year due to COVID-19 restrictions. In lieu of the annual three-day event at Fremont Park, Chalk It Up! Around Town!, set for Labor Day weekend Sept. 5–7, will dispatch volunteer artists to locations throughout the region.
Sponsored chalk artists will be matched with sponsors to create chalk art squares in front of businesses, residences and parks. Independent chalk artists will participate from their homes and neighborhoods on driveways and sidewalks. Sacramento musicians also will live stream from their quarantine locations via the event website.
Chalk It Up! has supported K-12 classrooms and youth art programs throughout the Sacramento region through its youth grant program since 1994. To participate, sponsor or donate, or for an interactive map, visit chalkitup.org.

Online Art

Sac Open Studios goes virtual this year

This year’s Sac Open Studios—the annual celebration of more than 100 local artists hosted by Verge Center for the Arts—will go virtual due to COVID-19.

Join Verge online for the Sac Open Studios Virtual Launch Party on Thursday, Sept. 10, followed by two weekends—Sept. 12–13 and Sept. 19–20—of virtual events featuring webinars, live-streamed tours, demonstrations, talks, panel discussions and workshops. A preview exhibition of selected pieces will be held Sept. 10–30 at Verge.

Due to this year’s online format, participating artists don’t need a studio—since no one will be visiting in person! Verge is providing technical training and support to all artists. A new online Sac Open Studios Artist Directory will supplement the printed Sac Open Studios Guide, a free full-color magazine that includes artwork and contact information for all participating artists. Also included are event listings, artist profiles and ads to help tour-goers plan their experience.

“We hope these changes will ensure our ability to present the program and continue to serve artists, advertisers, sponsors, community partners and tour-goers during these uncertain times,” Verge reports. “This was not an easy decision to make, and the health and safety of our community is our top priority.”

For more information, visit vergeart.com/open-studios/attend-sac-open-studios.


Nearly 900 donors have helped the iconic Crest Theatre raise more than $35,000 on GoFundMe for much-needed repairs and maintenance following vandalism in July.

With an initial goal of $20,000, Crest management explains on the GoFundMe page that the repairs would have been easier to complete if they were open to the public and making money, but COVID-19 restrictions have made it difficult.
“These funds will help us make sure that when the time comes, whether this fall, or into 2021, we will be able to reopen and give Sacramento the great entertainment venue it deserves,” general manager Robert Alvis says. “If we make it through this, it will be because of you.”

To donate, search Help The Crest Theatre on gofundme.com.


The Cal Expo September 11 Memorial Plaza will be open to the public on Friday, Sept. 11, for its annual Memorial Ceremony.

Construction of the memorial—which includes a fountain inscribed with the names of the victims—began a year after the attack, when Cal Expo board member Larry Davis personally acquired and donated 125,000 pounds of wreckage from the World Trade Centers.

The exhibit is open to the public Sept. 11 each year during the California State Fair and upon request. The Memorial Ceremony will be hosted by Brotherhood American Combat Veterans and California Mexican American Veterans Memorial, Inc. Admission and parking are free. For more information, visit calexpostatefair.com/attractions/september-11-memorial-plaza.


Taggart Neal, local Navy veteran and CEO of TAGCarts, has invented HEROCart, the first-ever single-use patient bedside medical cart to hold personal protective equipment for nurses on the frontlines.

The recyclable, pop-up, multi-drawer bedside carts are made of corrugated cardboard, and assembled and shipped by PRIDE Industries, which employs veterans and people with disabilities.

“We responded to Gov. Newsom’s call for California’s health care companies to innovate in the face of COVID-19,” Neal says. “I knew our young Sacramento company, which focuses on values of sustainability and social responsibility, could be of service in a meaningful way.”

The Sacramento HEROCart Project started in mid-April and has been supported by several local organizations, including PRIDE and the Sacramento Kings Foundation, which has set up an online donation fund to offset the cost of the carts. Hundreds of HEROCarts have already been sent to the field hospital at Sleep Train Arena, as well as Los Angeles County and the Navajo Nation.


For those whose jobs have been affected by the pandemic, the city of Sacramento, Sacramento Central Labor Council and Center for Workers’ Rights recently established the Coronavirus Job Protection Helpline at (916) 905-1625.

Call the hotline for questions related to unemployment, paid family leave, disability insurance, paid sick leave, workers’ compensation and other workplace issues. The helpline, which is funded by the CARES Act, is available to all workers in the Sacramento region.


Need some fresh air and new scenery? Try out these scenic walks, both local and slightly farther afield to stretch your legs and enjoy the beauty of our region.

In Sacramento, the levee-top River Walk Trail in West Sacramento offers great views of the Sacramento skyline and Old Sacramento. Across the way, the Riverfront Promenade connects Old Sacramento with the Sacramento River Bike Trail.
The American River Parkway, stretching from Old Sacramento to Folsom, offers plenty of sightseeing, especially near Guy West Bridge in East Sacramento and Sunrise Recreation Area, which has views of the Fair Oaks bluffs.

Up for a drive? The Miners Ravine Trail in Roseville runs from downtown Roseville to Sierra College Boulevard and offers views of oak groves and Native American grinding stones. Stone Lakes National Wildlife Refuge in Elk Grove provides miles of walking trails through protected wetlands—home to thousands of migratory birds.

Auburn’s Hidden Falls Regional Park offers more than 30 miles of trails through open grasslands, plus observation decks for views of Sacramento Valley and Sutter Buttes. The UC Davis Arboretum Trail boasts three interconnected loops through a stunning collection of trees and plants from around the world.


Landscape painter Timothy Mulligan’s solo show “A Slice of California” will be on display Sept. 5 through Oct. 1 at Elliott Fouts Gallery at 1831 P St.

The show will feature paintings of Lake Tahoe, Sacramento and San Francisco. For more information, visit efgallery.com.


Though comedy clubs are closed, Laughs Unlimited co-owner Jennifer Canfield has found a way to keep the laughter alive. “Inside Jokes Outside Laughs” is an outdoor comedy experience every Thursday through Saturday in Old Sacramento.

Audience members watch the show with headphones—reminiscent of a silent disco—to decrease distractions from being outside, while remaining socially distant under the stars.

“Laughs Unlimited has been bringing (the healing power of laughter) to Sacramento for 40 years,” Canfield says. The club celebrated its 40th anniversary Aug. 6. “I wanted to find a way to continue to do so safely and still have fun!” For ticket information, visit laughsunlimited.com.


Nancy Pearl—best-selling author, literary critic, American librarian and former executive director of the Washington Center for the Book—will speak virtually Tuesday, Sept. 22, as part of the Sacramento Public Library’s Authors Uncovered series.

During the one-hour event, hosted by CapRadio’s Donna Apidone, Pearl will discuss her work and latest release “The Writer’s Library: The Authors You Love on the Books That Changed Their Lives.” To register and purchase a signed copy of the book, visit saclibrary.org/event/special-events/authors-uncovered.


Nicholas Alexander Tidwell, a senior at C.K. McClatchy High School, has been awarded a National Security Language Initiative for Youth Virtual Summer Intensive scholarship to study the Indonesian language for five weeks.

A program of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, the NSLI-Y scholarship provides opportunities for American youth to develop linguistic skills and cultural knowledge to communicate internationally. Due to COVID-19, this summer’s intensive is an online alternative to the usual overseas immersion program.

“Nick has always had an interest in studying the Southeast Asian region in his spare time because he is half-Filipino through me,” says his mother, Sylvia Isaac Tidwell. “One of Nick’s favorite parts of the program is learning about the similarities and differences between Bahasa Indonesia and various Philippine languages. Every night after class, he comes to me and we compare the words he learned. He is also learning to cook Indonesian dishes and make Indonesian crafts.”

Tidwell was selected from 3,000 applicants from across the country and is one of 500 students studying Arabic, Chinese, Hindi, Indonesian, Korean, Persian, Russian and Turkish as part of the virtual exchange that connects participants with teachers, international peers, cultural organizations and communities where the target language is spoken. For more information, visit nsliforyouth.org.


Four local high school students have been selected for paid summer internships through the Bank of America Student Leaders program in partnership with Boys and Girls Club of Greater Sacramento.

The students are Tyus Carey of Foothill High School, Emelia-Rose Engel of McClatchy High School, Alaza Flores of Sacramento High School and Julia Zara of St. Francis Catholic High School. They will gain experience in leadership, civic engagement and workforce skills-building through virtual sessions with mentors and 300 other Student Leaders across the country. They also will each receive a $5,000 stipend.

“Creating opportunities for our youth to gain skills and build a network is a powerful investment in the future of our community,” says Matt McCormack, Sacramento market president for Bank of America. For more information, visit bankofamerica.com/studentleaders.


As local businesses struggle to stay afloat, our support is needed more than ever through curbside pick-up, takeout, delivery and online gift cards.

Let these businesses know you appreciate them by tagging them on social media in a positive note with hashtag #SacLoveNotes as part of the Downtown Sacramento Partnership’s #SacLoveNotes campaign.

Download or print one of the pre-made notes at downtownsac.org or create your own message and snap, tag and share with your favorite Downtown businesses.


The year’s Sacramento Play Summit, presented by Fairytale Town and Sacramento Public Library, will be held online Saturday, Sept. 12, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The eighth annual event highlights the importance of play in early childhood development with keynote speakers Dr. Olivia Kasirye, Sacramento County’s public health officer, and Dr. Stuart Brown, author, medical administrator, producer and scientific consultant.

Registration is $25 per person. For more information, visit fairytaletown.org/play-summit.


Archival Gallery in East Sacramento will present the group show RIVER/CITY and new works by Jonathan Lowe on the front wall Sept. 3 through Oct. 3.

RIVER/CITY is a celebration of the unique landscapes, cities and architecture of Northern California in all mediums with featured artists Richard Stein, Miles Hermann, Janet Weidel, Marie Gonzales, Stephanie Taylor, Jadelle Andrews, Jill Estroff and more, as well as works by Jian Wang and the late Laureen Landau.

There will be no Second Saturday reception, but visitors are welcome during normal business hours with no appointment needed. Face masks must be worn at all times. For more information, visit archivalgallery.com.


Sacramento State nursing professor Dina Baker was recently awarded the 2020 Award for Research Excellence from the Association of Professionals in Disease Control for her work as the lead researcher on a nationally recognized study that identified poor oral hygiene as a leading cause of life-threatening pneumonia in hospital patients.

In 2012, Baker teamed up with Barbara Quinn, a clinical nurse specialist at Sutter General Hospital, to launch the study that ultimately discovered the connection. As a result, an increasing number of hospitals are implementing oral-care improvements with the help of new protocols and an oral hygiene toolkit designed by Baker.


Tai Chi for Arthritis and Falls Prevention is now offered on the front lawn of Sierra 2 Center in Curtis Park every Monday at 9 a.m.

Developed by a team of medical and Tai Chi experts lead by Dr. Paul Lam, the program is endorsed by the U.S. Arthritis Foundation and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as a proven safe and effective way to relieve pain and improve balance. A $5 donation is requested. For more information, call (530) 400-3013.


Sacramento County has been awarded $14.5 million by the California Department of Housing and Community Development for a proposed 127-unit housing development on Stockton Boulevard. The No Place Like Home program provides grant funding for critically needed housing for chronically homeless individuals who are also struggling with mental illness.

The new apartment complex will consist of seven residential buildings. Thirteen units will be ADA accessible, five will be wired for audio and visual devices, and 67 units will be designated through project-based vouchers for people experiencing homelessness. Of these, 50 will be designated for NPLH clients who also require treatment for mental illness.

“This represents Sacramento County’s ongoing commitment to develop permanent supportive housing for homeless individuals and provide community-based support for individuals with behavioral health challenges,” says Ryan Quist, Sacramento County behavioral health director.


Arden-Arcade artist and curator Peter Foucault has launched Shelter In Studio, a website repository of stories from 100 California artists discussing their experiences navigating the COVID-19 crisis.

“When these terrible times pass, we can look back at a collective document of how hard-working, resilient and adaptive California artists were in response to a really tough situation,” Foucault says. “Your work and your voice are important.”

To read their stories—or if you’re an artist interested in participating—visit shelterinstudio.org.


Former Inside Sacramento columnist Kelli Wheeler is offering memoir writing classes on Zoom through the Mission Oaks Recreation and Park District starting Tuesday, Sept. 1.

Through guided journaling and writing exercises, Wheeler helps novice writers craft something of value for themselves, their family and future readers. For more information, visit morpd.com.


Re-Imagine is B Street Theatre’s weekly social justice web series that amplifies the voices of Black artists and other people of color through play readings, poetry, music and more. The series is available on Zoom every Tuesday at 7 p.m.
Re-Imagine is under the direction of executive producer Jerry Montoya and Latrice Madkins, the company’s newly minted equity, diversity and community inclusion director.

The series will give voice to thoughts, feelings and experiences of BIPOC artists through the performance of personal and historical narratives. For more information, visit bstreettheatre.org/reimagine.


The James B. McClatchy Foundation has awarded its inaugural LIFT Grant Initiative to six Central Valley organizations, including Sacramento Area Congregations Together. Awardees exemplify the pilot program’s goals of championing the First Amendment by uniting diverse groups of people in civic engagement, promoting local journalism in the home language of their residents and empowering traditionally underserved populations.

Each organization was awarded a one-year grant averaging $50,000 to continue its work addressing issues in underserved communities.

“We’ve identified a cohort of civic engagement leaders and partnerships across a compelling spectrum, from grassroots organizations, to community media, to education,” says Misty Avila, JBMF program officer for civic engagement. “It’s a network of local partnerships that are building traction and can be scaled and modeled in other communities. This is creating critical, real-world impact throughout the Central Valley.”

For more information, visit jbmcclatchyfoundation.org.


The city of Sacramento has appointed licensed clinical social worker Bridgette Dean as the interim director of the newly created Community Response Office.

The initiative is funded with $5 million over the next two years from the current budget to transfer calls that don’t require a law enforcement response to alternative first responders.

In addition, the city of Sacramento has appointed employee/labor-relations negotiator Dr. Nicole Clavo as manager of its Office of Violence Prevention.

“The city’s Office of Violence Prevention plays a critical role in keeping our kids and communities safe, stable and secure,” Clavo says.

For more information, visit cityofsacramento.org.


Keep the kids busy and creative with Verge Center for the Arts’ DIY Kids Packs, designed for children 6 and older.
By signing up for a weekly or bi-weekly subscription, you’ll get art activities developed by Verge’s education staff emailed directly to your inbox. The projects are specifically designed to utilize supplies you already have at home. For more information, visit patreon.com/vergeart.


Due to COVID-19, the deadline to respond to the 2020 Census—online, by phone or by mail—has been extended to Oct. 31.
Why is the census so important, you might ask? This once-a-decade count determines congressional representation, informs hundreds of billions in federal funding for critical services and provides data that helps business owners make decisions about where to open new stores and recruit employees—which affects the community for decades. For more information, visit 2020census.gov.

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