Do you have a talent, and want to show it off? Enter your arts and crafts, best apple pie, photography, painting, cut flower, or largest home grown tomato. Imagine the thrill of winning a blue ribbon at the Fair for your special talent.
Be sure to enter the Contra Costa County Fair’s competitive exhibits – and join the thousands of Contra Costa County residents who enter exhibits each year in the Fair. There are hundreds of categories and specialty contests for adults and children.
The Contra Costa County Fair’s Exhibit Handbook, which includes all the information you need to enter exhibits, is now available on the Fair’s website at www.ContraCostaFair.com. Online entries are currently being accepted until April 14th.
Simply log-on to the Fair’s website at www.ContraCostaFair.com to complete the entry process.
Contra Costa County Fair
“Honoring the Past…Celebrating the Future”
May 18th – May 21st
If you’re interested in receiving a copy of the Fair’s free electronic newsletter, visit the Fair’s website to sign up.
By Allen Payton
A film shot in Antioch, last fall by Antioch High School graduate and director Anthony C. Ferrante – of Sharknado fame – will premier on Lifetime’s LMN TV channel, this Sunday night at 8:00 p.m.
Entitled, “Forgotten Evil” the movie was filmed in various locations in Antioch for a few weeks in August, including Antioch High School and the historic El Campanil Theatre in downtown Rivertown and included Antioch residents as extras. (See related Herald article.)
The movie synopsis is, as follows: Renee awakens, sinking underwater inside a tightly tied sack. Struggling, she somehow breaks out from her underwater coffin. When she awakens again, she remembers nothing. Without a past, she is released from the hospital and forced to start a life anew. Amongst the new faces that enter her life, there is an old one, one that she does not recognize–her husband. As he grows closer and closer, those around her fall victim to deadly accidents. Now Renee must remember her past if she is to have a future.”
Kiara Chatman advances to state finals in competition that emphasizes language skill and public speaking
In a remarkable achievement, Kiara Chatman, a senior at Deer Valley High in Antioch, took first place in the Contra Costa County “Poetry Out Loud” competition for the second year in a row. The event was held in the lovely Las Lomas High School Theatre in Walnut Creek on February 11th. The Runner-up position went to senior Camila Morales-Jimenez from El Cerrito High in El Cerrito, and Third Place to sophomore Wesley Little from Monte Vista High in Danville.
The three were among thousands of students across the state to participate in the national recitation contest, a program started by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and run by the California Arts Council and locally by the Arts & Culture Commission of Contra Costa County (AC5) to engage high-school students in the presentation of poetry through memorization and performance. Chatman advances to the California state finals in Sacramento on March 12 & 13. At stake are hundreds of dollars on the state competition level and thousands at the national finals of Poetry Out Loud.
This is Contra Costa’s tenth year of Poetry Out Loud competition, and many attendees commented that the recitations just keep getting better and better. Among the many fine recitations, Ms. Chatman’s “The Gaffe” by C.K. Williams, Ms. Morales-Jimenez’s “One Hundred Love Sonnets: XVII” by Pablo Neruda and Mr. Little’s “Cartoon Physics, part 1” by Nick Flynn helped secure the final outcome.
The very competitive pool of finalists included students from eleven county high schools: College Park High in Pleasant Hill, Deer Valley High in Antioch, El Cerrito High in El Cerrito, Independence High in Brentwood, Las Lomas High in Walnut Creek, Monte Vista High in Danville, Northgate High in Walnut Creek, Pinole Valley High in Pinole, Truthtrackers Co-Op in Walnut Creek and Making Waves Academy and Salesian College Preparatory, both in Richmond. Countywide, over 2500 students memorized a poem for the program this year.
“To learn a great poem by heart is to make a friend for life,” said John Barr, president of the Poetry Foundation. “The national recitation program brings fresh energy to an ancient art form by returning it to the classrooms of America.”
The Poetry Out Loud program seeks to foster the next generation of literary readers by capitalizing on the latest trends in poetry: recitation and performance. Poetry Out Loud competitions start in the classroom, then at the school, region, state, and national finals, similar to the structure of the spelling bee. The national initiative is part of an attempt to bring literary arts to students, a critical need in U.S. schools, according to a 2004 NEA report Reading at Risk that found a dramatic decline in literary reading, especially among younger readers.
Cake sells for $2,000 during live auction
By Allen Payton
Hundreds of supporters of the Contra Costa County Fair came out for the 3rd Annual Heritage Foundation Membership Dinner on Saturday night, January 28, 2017 and contributed thousands of dollars toward a new, digital livestock scale and operations for the year. The scale is used during the fair for the animal auctions and the current one is 30 years old.
Folks enjoyed a dinner of tri-tip, beef brisket, tasty chili and baked potatoes with all the fixings, cooked by Tom Hartrick and a team of volunteers and served by young people who are members of Contra Costa County 4H clubs and Brentwood Future Farmers of America (FFA).
The foundation’s goal has been to raise $7,000 by March 1, 2017 for the new scale and they more than met their goal with $16,695 raised, that night alone.
The most generous supporters of the fundraiser were the folks at the table hosted by Les Schwab Tires of Martinez. They not only outbid many others during the lively cake auction led by auctioneer and Fair Board Member Steve Limrite, but one of them donated back the $520 he won during one of the 50-50 playing card raffles. Plus, they donated a set of four tires as an auction item, which was won for a price of $800 by outgoing Foundation Board President Jeff Warrenburg.
But, the most generous, individual contributor of the night was Bob Sherwood who out bid the competition in the most exciting part of the cake auction, spending $2,000 for a peanut butter cup cake. Other cakes, like a gluten free cake with the Heritage Foundation logo on it sold for $90 and the carrot cake, also with the Heritage Foundation logo on it donated by Warrenburg, went for $200.
Another $1,500 was raised when one of the Platinum Tables for next year’s dinner was auctioned off to a guest sitting at one of those special table, at this year’s dinner. Platinum Table guests get to served appetizers, unlimited drinks and dinner service without standing in line.
Warrenburg thanked his officers and board members for their service over the past year, including Vice President Bill Chivers, Secretary Tami Daniels, Treasurer Laurie Limrite and Board Members Tom Hartrick, Laura Glass and Felicia Cursi.
He then introduced Cursi as the new Board President for 2017, handing her an oversized gavel to help her in running the meetings. Warrenburg also introduced Joe Brengle, the new Chief Executive Officer for the County Fair.
Also announced was the winner of the winner of the Heritage Foundation’s 2017 Scholarship award, Bailey Newlin of Tassajara Valley 4H. She has been an active member of 4H since she was nine years old and this year marks her ninth year involved in horse, market lamb, market goat, market hog, CCC Camp leadership and finance, with the organization.
Next year Newlin will use her scholarship funds to attend the University of Tennessee at Martin where she will be studying veteran science. She plans to specialize in large animal care and nutrition. Newlin is also excited that she will be a member of the NCAA Equestrian team and competing in western horsemanship and reining, against top, Division 1 schools in the country.
Membership in the foundation is available for as little as $125 per year. Download the form, here. For more information about the foundation, visit www.ccheritage.net. For more information about the Contra Costa County Fair, visit www.contracostafair.com. This year’s fair will be held May 18-21.
Former child star Gavin Stone (Brett Dalton) must perform 200 hours of community service after trashing a hotel in his Illinois hometown. Temptation strikes when Stone learns that the church he’s assigned to clean is staging a lavish religious production. After landing the lead role of Jesus Christ, Gavin finds himself drawn to the show’s director (Anjelah Johnson-Reyes), a young woman who also happens to be the daughter of the affable pastor (D.B. Sweeney).
Directed by Dallas Jenkins, who produced the independent feature Hometown Legend at the age of 25 and shepherded it to distribution by Warner Brothers. He made his directing debut with the short film Cliché, and his next short film, Midnight Clear, starring Stephen Baldwin, won a Crystal Heart Award from the Heartland Film Festival and was the opening night selection of the San Diego Film Festival. He is the co-executive producer of Though None Go With Me, a Hallmark Channel feature that aired in April 2006.
In 2007 Jenkins directed and produced Midnight Clear, based on the short, which won awards in festivals all over the country, including the San Jose Cinequest Film Festival’s Special Jury Prize for “Best First Feature,” and the “Audience Favorite” award at the Kansas International Film Festival. It’s currently available on DVD from Lionsgate. His latest feature What If…, starring Kevin Sorbo, Kristy Swanson, Debby Ryan, and John Ratzenberger released in theaters in 2010 and is currently available on DVD.
The film is distributed by Walden Media who brought you the Chronicles of Narnia movies. It’s currently showing at Maya Cinemas in Pittsburg and AMC Theaters in Brentwood. Check movie times and buy tickets on Fandango.
View the official trailer by clicking here.
Mike Wolfe, Frank Fritz, and their team are excited to return to CALIFORNIA! They plan to film episodes of the hit series AMERICAN PICKERS throughout the region in Spring 2017. AMERICAN PICKERS is a documentary series that explores the fascinating world of antique ‘picking’ on the History channel. The hit show follows Mike and Frank, two of the most skilled pickers in the business, as they hunt for America’s most valuable antiques.
They are always excited to find sizeable, unique collections and learn the interesting stories behind them.
As they hit the back roads from coast to coast, Mike and Frank are on a mission to recycle and rescue forgotten relics. Along the way, the Pickers want to meet characters with remarkable and exceptional items.
The pair hopes to give historically significant objects a new lease on life, while learning a thing or two about America’s past along the way.
Mike and Frank have seen a lot of rusty gold over the years and are always looking to discover something they’ve never seen before. They are ready to find extraordinary items and hear fascinating tales about them.
AMERICAN PICKERS is looking for leads and would love to explore your hidden treasure. If you or someone you know has a large, private collection or accumulation of antiques that the Pickers can spend the better part of the day looking through, send us your name, phone number, location and description of the collection with photos to: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 855-OLD-RUST (653-7878).
Tonight – Don’t let the Rain stop ART
Join us for an Exciting Arts Café
What Would Art Look Like in Pittsburg?
at Croskey Real Estate in Pittsburg
Wednesday, January 18, 2017
Guest Speaker Sculptor Jason Griego
What kinds of events would enhance living in Pittsburg – Arts- Music-Street performers – Community gardens? Join other community members at an Arts Cafe’ on January 18 to share your ideas for community activities to enhance life in Pittsburg.
Meet Pittsburg resident, artist, and internationally known sculptor, Jason Griego who will share some of his graceful, thought-provoking sculptures of resin, bone and bronze. Organized by Creative Pittsburg, the event will introduce a new grassroots community organization with the goal of encouraging and organizing fun arts and culture activities for Pittsburg. www.creativepittsburg.org
Thank you to Croskey Real Estate, host of the evening event.
Who Should Go?
Creative Pittsburg is a cooperative intended to harness innovative thoughts about how to create a quality sense of community and place. We also supports the role of the arts in developing a vibrant community that embraces innovation, creativity and action to help transform Pittsburg into a place where residents are proud to live, work and play. Everyone is invited to bring their ideas, make new friends to collaborate and envision the future of the community.
Tonight -January 18th
Free to the public
AC5 Arts Cafe – 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm
Croskey Real Estate, 745 Railroad Avenue, Pittsburg
For the 19th year the Arts & Culture Commission of Contra Costa County (AC5) will be honoring those who have made a significant artistic or philanthropic contribution to Contra Costa’s arts and culture, during the Board of Supervisors meeting, Tuesday, October 25th at 9:30 a.m.
Contra Costa County demonstrates a wealth of artistic expression in every corner of the county. This year the commission will present five Arts Recognition Awards to honor outstanding achievements in the Arts to:
Richmond RYSE Center. Works with youth from distressed parts of the City of Richmond. The youth have written, directed and performed multi-media plays dealing with violence, drugs and crime creating platforms for youth to share their own stories and dreams.
Sylvia Amorino and Solo Opera. Sylvia Amorino is the Founder and Artistic Director of Solo Opera. Ms Amorino also works with Cantabella Children’s Chorus and Contra Costa Children’s chorus to perform operas that include children and teens that help teach audience, adults and children alike about social aspects of living.
Michael and Shannon Demers. Shannon and Mike have shared their talents and skills to Productions Teams, casts and crews for a collective 70 years; with many of the Performing Arts organizations throughout the area; including Contra Costa Musical Theater, Diablo Theatre Company, and Fantasy Forum Actors Ensemble.
Jay Bedecarre. Mr. Bedecarre has been involved in the Contra Costa County Art Scene since 1974. He was the Marketing Director for the Concord Pavilion for the first 12 years, Oakland and SF Ballets, and world famous acts such as NY Philharmonic with Leonard Bernstein.
Lawrence Kohl. Lawrence Kohl was president of the Orinda Art Council as well as music director and conductor of the Pacific Chamber Symphony. Lawrence recently led the expansion of the Orinda Art Council to become the Lamorinda Arts Council.
The Supervisors meetings are held in the County Administration building at 651 Pine Street
in Martinez. For more information about the 5AC, visit www.AC5.org.
The Mt. Diablo Unified School District’s (MDUSD) new Visual and Performing Arts Steering Committee is beginning a series of meetings to engage the MDUSD community in planning a framework for sustained growth of visual and performing arts in district schools as part of the District’s core belief that all students in MDUSD deserve a high quality and robust arts education.
The committee was formed in spring 2016 as a leadership and advocacy group composed of District teachers and central office staff focusing on equitable access to high-quality visual and performing arts programs from Transitional Kindergarten (TK) through Grade 12. The committee also includes a student leadership component – Student Leaders Within the Performing Arts. Students will meet throughout the year for special sessions on a variety of arts-related topics. Their first meeting on September 7, featured a motivational speaker talking about student leadership and break outs for students in band, orchestra and vocal music.
“A strong arts education promotes the skills our students need to be successful in school and in life,” said Meyer. “We know from our experiences and from years of research that experiences in the arts have direct connections to positive student outcomes. Arts education levels the playing field among students, regardless of income, race or ethnicity, and other demographics.”
Decades of research compiled by the Arts Education Partnership (AEP), a national network of organizations dedicated to advancing the arts in education, show time and again that students highly involved in the arts outperform students with little or no arts involvement, particularly in school settings. They receive better grades, have more positive attitudes about school, and are less likely to drop out of school. An AEP study also noted that, more importantly, the differences are most significant for economically disadvantaged students.
This year’s National Arts in Education Week will be observed September 11 – 17, as part of House Resolution #275 designating the second week of September as National Arts in Education Week. The resolution expresses congressional support for arts education, stipulating that “arts education, comprising a rich array of disciplines including dance, music, theatre, media arts, literature, design, and visual arts, is a core academic subject and an essential element of a complete and balanced education for all students.”
“Arts education is a priority of the MDUSD as a key tool for developing capacity for creativity, problem solving, collaboration and communication, and leadership,” added Meyer. “More and more, these qualities are essential to being successful in the 21st century workforce.”
California leads the United States in the creative economy with the largest number of creative jobs. Additionally, California has two of the top five regions leading the creative economy; the Los Angeles region and the San Francisco Bay Area. MDUSD visual arts teachers have demonstrated success at preparing students to participate in this flourishing creative economy. Some MDUSD arts alumni are working in California’s creative economy in major companies such as like Laika, FitBit, Playstation, the DeYoung Museum, and Yelp.
“From photography to ceramics, and culinary arts to designing layouts for the yearbook, the courses I took in high school enabled me to think creatively and critically, and were crucial to my decision to study art history and design in college,” said Ryan Printer, an administrator with the Department of Strategic Projects at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco and an MDUSD alumnus. “The arts education I received in the Mount Diablo Unified School District inspired me to pursue the career I have today,”
Key to MDUSD’s success is the expertise of the MDUSD visual arts teachers. “Our MDUSD visual arts team includes teachers with multiple degrees in Art and education, several National Board Certified teachers, and many teachers who are also practicing professional artists,” said Meyer.
MDUSD has four approved AP courses of study in the visual arts (AP 2-D, AP Drawing, AP 3-D, and AP Art History) offering students college-level coursework in high school. MDUSD offers numerous CTE courses in arts, media, and entertainment providing students with opportunities to be college and career ready.
MDUSD’s art students were selected by the Bedford Gallery in Walnut Creek to exhibit work from around the district in the Walnut Creek library during April 2017. This exhibition will represent the first district-wide art show in over 10 years. Meadow Homes Elementary has also been chosen as a Turnaround Arts School and recognized by the President’s Committee on Arts and Humanities.
In April 2016, the US Department of Education issued a letter to State Educational agencies and school districts discussing how to maximize Federal funds to support and enhance humanities-based educational strategies under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA.) MDUSD has recently added a specific goal in the 2016 LCAP that targets visual and performing arts (Goal 1.21.)
To learn more check out the following, additional resources:
California’s creative economy: http://www.otis.edu/sites/default/files/2015-CA-Region-Creative-Economy-Report-WEB-FINAL.pdf