Faces and Places: California Middle School through the decades

Be true to your school. That’s Macy’s slogan they’ve shared with schools nationwide, as the department store is currently looking for America’s most spirited and talented lip-dubbin’ student body to wow their judges with their most amazing one-take video. Stakes are high and competition is fierce. Top prize is $25,000, with $15,000 for second place and $10,000 for third! The submission period is currently closed. Winners will be announced on YouTube on or around Oct. 30.
The only song allowed was the Macy’s Back to School Lip Dub version of “Be True to Your School.” It cannot be edited in any way or mashed up with other songs. Students had to use the whole song and loop the song as long as they stay within the 10 minute time limit. Videos will be judged based on school spirit and participation (50 percent), creativity (30 percent), and execution (20 percent).
On Friday, Oct. 17, as “Be True to Your School” played on intercoms through the entire campus, students at California Middle School represented the school through the ages, dressing in period attire, donning outfits from each decade since the school opened in 1938.

Faces and Places: Global Local at McClatchy Park

Curated by Land Park art activism center, Sol Collective, Global Local, a co-created celebration of art, culture, activism and healthy living was held at McClathcy Park on Friday, Aug. 29. The event was co-created by Sol Collective, The California Endowment, City Council member Jay Schenirer, On Native Ground, Cleo Cleo Cartel, Sacramento Native American Health Center, Upper Cloud Media, Brick House, Spanglish Arte, Unseen Heroes, Yisreal Farms, Foreign Native, Gorilla Knitting Crew, Hacker Lab, Brown Berets, Sacras Aztlan, Soil Born Farms/Harvest, ARTober Sacramento, Alchemist CDCD, Oak Park, Neighborworks (Oak Park FM and Oak Park Crop Swap), ZFG, Stephani Bouzard Portraits.

Small Wonders of Africa

Opened on Friday, Sept. 28, Small Wonders of Africa is home to new species at the Sacramento Zoo. Small Wonders houses Straw-colored Fruit Bats, Aardvark, Wolf’s Guenons, Red-billed Hornbill and Crested Guineafowl.

Each of these species help tell the story of East Africa, presenting the challenges of conserving wildlife in this unique corner of the world. The Sacramento Zoo has been an active participant in many East African conservation programs to educate the African people who share the landscape with native wildlife.

Small Wonders has expanded and improved an existing structure – both on-and off-exhibit animal facilities. It replaced the existing mesh with modern, finer-grade stainless steel and glass to allow for greater visibility. The previous parrot, owl, porcupine and lemur habitats (six exhibits in all) were combined to form three large spaces. The renovation also includes an artificial termite mound where guests will be able to observe nocturnal Aardvarks even as they sleep.

So, without further ado, here’s a bit about the animals themselves.

The Aardvark, Zawadi, is a 3-year-old male. He loves to sleep so much that the zoo employees now say he sleeps like an Aardvark instead of sleep like a baby.

There is a colony of 20 straw-colored fruit bats that came to the Sacramento Zoo from the Portland Zoo in Oregon.

Crested Guineafowl are a male and female pair.

Red-billed Hornbill are a male and female pair. Red-billed Hornbills are the bird that Zazu from the movie, The Lion King, represented.

Wolf’s Guenon – Female (Mimi), Male (Eddie). The youngster is a female (Zuri) who was born at the Zoo in January of last year. Zuri does not like taking a bath but it is the one thing mom forces her to do. Zuri has the run of the place and is very curious. She and Mimi can often be found watching the birds and bats in the exhibit next door while eating their breakfast.

Thanks to presenting sponsor The Ron & Shirley Watkins Family as well as many additional donors, over $600,000 was raised to make this project possible.

Come see Small Wonders of Africa.

Faces and Places: Capital Artists Studio Tour in the Pocket

The Capital Artists Studio Tour highlighted Pocket area artists over the weekend of Saturday, Sept. 13 and Sunday, Sept. 14. Pocket’s stop on the CAST was a fun destination for all art lovers, as great artists demonstrated their works and live music entertained visitors on Mast Court near Gloria Drive, across from John F. Kennedy High School.


Faces and Places: Upark (UP+Park) featured garden party and free Sacramento Ballet performance

The Rooftop Alliance for the second year in a row transformed a Midtown parking garage into a pop-up urban park for an unforgettable garden party. In addition to showcasing Parking Day displays, event organizers had free yoga classes, corn-hole competitions, and a performance by the Sacramento Ballet. Rooftop Alliance is a team of green space loving Sacramentans who are working to make rooftop gardens more common and more accessible right here in our urban backyard. Come on out and help be part of creating a one-of-a-kind public park! For information about the group, visit www.rooftopalliance.com


Faces and Places: Hot August Nights at Greenhaven Estates

Hot August Nights Car Show on Friday, Aug. 22 featured classic cars and hot rods as well as an Elvis Impersonator who impressed visitors and residents with the rock star’s hits.


Faces and Places: Sweating for McKinley

A good ol’ fashioned Sweat-a-thon was held on Saturday, Sept. 13 to raise money for the McKinley Rose Garden and Clunie Community Center. The event included a health fair, yoga, Thai Chi, Kettle Bell Boot Camp action as well as nutrition tips and ‘Blood Pressure Basics with Nurse Bubbles.’

Hundreds flocked to the 30th annual Ice Cream Safari at the Sacramento Zoo

Hungry animal lovers frolicked from ice cream booth to ice cream booth at the 30th annual Ice Cream Safari for all-you-can-eat Baskin Robbins Ice Cream on Saturday, Aug. 14. There were ice cream booths around every corner. There was entertainment for the kids and fun for everyone, including face painting, an ice cream dance party, and live entertainment. All proceeds benefited the general maintenance and animal care at the Sacramento Zoo.

This year’s Banana Festival was the biggest yet

Offering programs and events for the entire family, the 2014 Banana Festival wowed visitors on the weekend of Aug. 9 and 10 attracting the largest attendance in its five-year history, as well as more exhibitors than ever before.

The weather was perfect this year, warm but not too hot, as Velocity Circus entertained folks with their high-flying stunts and acrobatics several times on both Saturday and Sunday. Latin Magic Band, which celebrated its 25th anniversary during the festival, also attracted a big crowd to the main stage. Many families purchased the bargain wristband for the kids’ jumpers, and those were popular with the young set.

And, of course, everyone was looking for banana cuisine—the banana popcorn and fried bananas, which undoubtedly were big hits.

One of the exhibitors at Sacramento Banana Festival was Stacy Anderson, Individual & Family Plans Outreach Manager for Blue Shield of California. She was at the festival on behalf of Blue Shield of California to provide information and educate members of the community on the Affordable Care Act. She said she enjoyed the festival because, “it is a great event to bring everyone together to share resources that will empower the community.” Anderson said the banana pancakes, served by the Laguna Creek Lion’s Club, were delicious.

The Banana Festival was produced by National Youth Academic Corps and the Sojourner Truth Museum, which provides year-round arts, educational and health and wellness programming serving more than 15,000 at-risk youth from all communities in the Greater Sacramento area.

Other featured acts included: Texas Blues Band, Compañía Mazatlán Bellas Artes de Sacramento (CMBA), Pan West Caribbean Steelpan Music by Harry Best; Urban Fire; Soma Sila Polynesian Dance; Latin Magic Band; College Fund Band; Umoja African Dance Interactive Show; Paul Ryan Band and more. Featured attractions included: a Chef’s Challenge, banana pancake breakfast provided by the Laguna Creek Lions Club, Banana Split-Eating Contest, fashion show, youth chess tournament, teen talent competition, community line-dancing, Banana Salsa Dance Competition, kiddie carnival rides, and lots of banana cuisine, from banana pudding to banana salsa to banana bread.
The festival was drug- and alcohol-free and offered a wide variety of health and wellness and environmentally themed activities for families. The Power Soul Stroll for Health, a fun walk-run produced by the County of Sacramento Infant Health Program, was held on Saturday morning, along with 1-, 2- and 3-mile routes and a half-mile kids’ route.

The Sojourner Truth Museum and its parent organization, National Academic Youth Corps, produces arts education programming through the year, including after-school arts education and cultural awareness programs that have alcohol and drug prevention and anti-crime components. Currently the museum has an exhibit of youth art inspired by the Harlem Renaissance showing at the Crocker.

Photos by Stephen Crowley
Shown here are photos from this year’s Banana Festival, held at William Land Park on the weekend of Aug. 9 and 10.

Faces and Places: Hollywood Park Neighborhood 4th of July Parade

The annual 4th of July Hollywood Park Neighborhood Parade featured a vintage 1920s fire truck, which led the parade through the streets. Dressed in red, white and blue, some residents and their families marched the parade route, while neighbors cheered them on from their front yards. Along the parade route, there was a lemonade stand, a mimosa stop, and a World War II veteran who waved the flag at the parade goers. Like every year, snacks and refreshments were served at the end of the parade at Leonardi DaVinci School.