Let’s start with something positive! And then some more things positive! We deserve it. Except those of you joggers still cutting me off on the sidewalk. (For general arts resources and to help individual artists and workers, please see our article here.)
WE LOVE BOOKSTORES is a community effort to help save Bay Area indie bookstores, which are suffering mightily during the shutdown, even as people are longing for more to read (and Amazon is screwing its workers, as usual). The site lists ways you can help individual bookstores, from Adobe to Wolfman, and promotes online local author events that raise funds and awareness—including an April 8 reading with Michael Chabon and Ayelet Waldman to benefit Pegasus Books and an April 15 one with Carl Zimmer and Apoorva Mandavilli benefiting Green Apple.
Find out more at www.welovebookstores.org, don’t forget to get great reading recommendations from Indiebound, and, if you’re looking for an alternative to lining Jeff Bezos’ deep pockets, check out the new online book ordering service Bookshop, which works with local bookstores to get you under the covers.
DRAG QUEENS have always been larger than life—that’s the schtick—but can they swallow the internet? Aside from streaming DJ sets and impromptu karaoke numbers from my friends, it’s been drag queens who have been filling all my windows lately, both virtually and IRL. It’s given new life to a club scene that disappeared overnight. The Stud launches an online version of weekly drag show Drag Alive! Sat/4, 6:30pm at www.twitch.tv/dragalive ($10 donation suggested) featuring bigwigs Peaches Christ Christeene, Honey Mahogany, VivvyAnne ForeverMore, and more. (Don’t miss a trio of absolute genius weirdos close to my heart, Toxic Waste Face, as they bring their arty antics just beforehand with a short film at 5:30pm here).
Local behemoth of drag Heklina is “coming at you live from her Palm Springs quarantine” with her new online TV show “Live From the Apocalypse“—don’t miss her croaking out some tunes! She’ll be performing Mon/6 as part of the sprawling Digital Drag Fest. Oasis is putting up its raucous “Three’s Company,” “Golden Girls,” and other parodies on Youtube for a limited time (more info here.) And The Monster Show, launched by beloved late queen Cookie Dough, is still going strong, now online Sun/5 with a cavalcade of gender clowns at www.twitch.tv/monstershowsf.
I’ve been loving the Facebook live performances of crooning contessa Katya Smirnoff-Skye, who regales us regularly on Facebook Live with tales of her royal Russian upbringing and wonderfully sung piano tunes (with her own fabulous spin, of course.) Watch her accent disappear and then reappear! Click here to peruse. But for sheer drag art brilliance that should surely win an Oscarina, check out Scarlett Letters‘ awesome tribute to diva dramas—both enduring and endurance based—as she waits for almost an hour for her man to come home and enjoy the dinner she prepared. It’s Chantal Ackerman meets John Cassavetes in a wig and heels.
—–MORE ARTS HAPPENINGS—
LITQUAKE is in the midst of broadcasting a virtual series of author readings and Q&As, every night through April 10. Tons of great writers involved—it is Litquake—and also me, interviewing Alia Volz Sat/4, 7:30pm, about her forthcoming book Home Baked (her parents ran Sticky Fingers Brownies, an underground bakery that delivered more than 10,000 marijuana edibles each month in San Francisco through the ’70s and ’80s.) You can check out the lineup and how to watch here!
FRAMELINE FILM FEST, the oldest LGBTQ film fest in the world, has announced that is is postponing its giant June event until fall. (Can Pride be far behind?) It’s launched a Frameline2020 fund to help staff weather the shutdown, and will still be streaming some programming and special events, so stay tuned.
GOLDEN GATE PARK’S 150TH ANNIVERSARY party this Saturday has obviously been postponed in real life. (I want to ride the giant Ferris Wheel!) But “the celebration is coming to you with a digital concert series, hidden treasures, unknown stories and more”—including a big virtual event Sat/4 that will celebrate music. Visit www.goldengatepark150.com for info.
FRESH MEAT Productions, the fantastic local arts company, is putting on “an evening of trans/nonbinary POC music and storytelling” Sat/4, 6pm, free (donations accepted). The event will be broadcast on Facebook Live and Zoom, more info here.
OAKLAND MUSEUM OF CALIFORNIA has posted an online visual arts treat—a treasure trove of work in their collection by women artists, since Women’s History Month celebrations were interrupted. From Dorothea Lange and Mine Okubo to absolutely wonderful photographer photographer Joanne Leonard, “who documented everyday life in one of California’s oldest African American neighborhoods in the 1960s.” View more details about exploring the collection here.
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Furniture edition! RAWdance has been fortunate to have had many incredible experiences fulfilling childhood dreams of dancing on furniture professionally. From restaurants to gorgeous interior design galleries (missing you @dzinegallery!), we thought this was a perfect choreographic prompt for our dancers to explore in their own homes. Check out Nick's (@nicholaserick) creation! #creativeprocessathome #furnituredances #RAWdanceGoesDigital #socialdisDancing #7x7bayarea #kqedarts . . . . @dancing.alone.together @socialdistancingfestival @kqed_arts @7x7bayarea @48hillssf @dancersgroupsf @danceusaorg @apap365
RAWDANCE will bring a little motion into your self-isolated life: The company is posting “digital gifts,” aka short videos, of performances, rehearsals, workouts, and, my favorite, moments of dancing on furniture, on its social media accounts. Quite cool snippets and more!
CAL SHAKES had to cancel its season—booooo—but they are rising a-bard it all (sorry, I am going bonkers cooped up here lol) by pointing you in the direction of all sorts of streaming goodies. Check out Hamlet, Gloria, Slava’s Snow Show, and more via its site.
UHAUL SF has been one of SF’s hottest lesbian clubs forever. And despite the name, it’s moving anywhere, bringing oodles of DJ talent online to support awesome bar Jolene’s. Fri/3, 9pm-midnight, UHAUL will be broadcasting live on Instagram, featuring DJs Von Kiss, Val G, 5000 Watts and more—plus go-go girls! Check out the UHAUL Instagram here, and Jolene’s Support Fund here.
SAN FRANCISCO CONSERVATORY OF MUSIC has launched a Tiny Dorm Concert series on Youtube through April 11, full of neat performances from students and alumni. Here’s the deal: “A new 90-minute live stream will begin each evening at 5pm, featuring three expertly curated 25-minute sets hosted by a rotating cast of emcees. Audiences tuning in will enjoy live performances by pre-college and conservatory stars, top-tier faculty from the San Francisco Symphony, Ballet, Opera, and SFJAZZ Collective, and alumni fresh from the world’s biggest stages.” Check them out here.
Finally, hare’s a way to take some daily inspiration in these weird, dark times. The BRAVE SIS project has been launched by local arts mover-and-shaker Rozella Kennedy to “promote inner wellness and more authentic relationship with oneself, as well as among women collectively, through reflection and learning.” The keystone is a journey-journal, launching in 2021, that acts as an inspirational daily planner, focusing on wisdom of Black foremothers (and even JLo). You can get a taste of the work with the free Brave Weeks Together sample edition that Kennedy released for April—it’s really neat. Check it out here!