Arts Feature

Chez Panisse at 50: Alice Waters, ‘We Are What...

Created with fly-by-the-seat-of-your-soil 1960s-style radicalism, the Chez Panisse menu has long emphasized simple presentations, the meal as a multi-sensory experience and the highly respectable use of sustainable, organic and seasonal ingredients obtained from local farmers, ranchers and dairies. Waters’ formative years in France inspired the restaurant’s name that pays tribute to Honoré Panisse, a character in French novelist and filmmaker Marcel Pagnol’s 1930s movie trilogy about everyday life in Marseille.

Pure Forms: David Huffman honors his mother in Berkeley...

“My mind jets off, and logic is super slow—so I have to just go with what happens and think a lot less when I’m making art. It’s just bringing ingredients together. It’s like a movie director who picks the actors, the script, everything, then lets them all have at it,” Huffman says in a generous, 100-minute interview.

Perfect Timing: Oakland Symphony Director Michael Morgan on music,...

"Michael Morgan is effusive and enthusiastic about music-making that serves the community. He’s also circumspect and immensely practical when it comes to his outlook on volatile or complex topics like race, diversity, equity, inclusion—and leading an arts organization prior to and during a pandemic. And then there’s just his good, old-fashioned luck," writes Lou Fancher in this week's Arts Feature.

The BAMPFA feminist artist retrospective both inspires and vindicates...

"Opportunities to appreciate the pivotal role of women artists continue in several of five other current, or upcoming, exhibits," writes Lou Fancher. "The major new exhibits include 'Ulrike Ottinger / MATRIX 276', with photography by the German filmmaker, visual artist, 'Present Tense: Five Centuries of Colonialism in Latin American and Caribbean Art' a student-curated group exhibition of Latin American art drawn from the collection that explores colonialism in Central and South America, and 'Beyond Boundaries: Buddhist Art of Gandhara' which presents rare Buddhist artifacts from the ancient civilization of Gandhara."

Radical Visions

Lou Fancher covers the 17th annual International Queer Women of Color Film Festival, speaking with the festival's Executive/Artistic Director and founder Madeleine Lim. “After a year of pandemic distancing, connections are even more important,” Lim says.

Screen Time

Lou Fancher covers the 20th San Francisco Documentary Film Festival, featuring Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson’s 'Summer of Soul' and sits down with Berkeley film maker, Jennifer Steinman Sternin, to discuss her heart-warming entry, 'Gramma and Ginga: The Movie'.

Play on the Moon

Lou Fancher sits down with performer Lisa Ramirez to discuss adapting T. S. Eliot's famous poem, 'The Wasteland', for the post-pandemic stage.

Hope in the Harvest

Lou Fancher sits down with 'Queen Sugar' author, Natalie Baszile, to discuss her latest book on America's Black farmers, 'We Are Each Other's Harvest'.

Mailbox Militants

Janis Hashe’s piece on the vitality of protest artists meeting the necessity of the United States Postal service opens up dialogue in topics ranging from voter suppression and election tampering to wheat-paste posters and ’80s Xerox art to protest murals in the streets of Oakland—and all around the globe—today.

Lifting Language

Lou Fancher’s piece on Aurora Theatre Company’s adaptation of Toni Morrison’s Bluest Eye sparks conversations of the late writer’s works—like Beloved, Jazz and Song Of Solomon—and how rich a legacy and how lasting an impact she created in worlds of words and history.

Looking Back

Lou Fancher speaks with author/activist, Roberto Lovato on trauma, recovery and migration in his latest book, "Unforgetting: A Memoir of Family, Migration, Gangs, and Revolution in the Americas".

Play On

Shotgun Players celebrate 30 years with innovative program Scary, challenging, cosy, open, hard, easier, pressured,...


Lou Fancher covers the historic milestones taking place at San Francisco's Lorraine Hansberry Theatre and their latest work with Erika Dickerson-Despenza.

Focus on Theater

“Virtual theater opens up access to many more people,” Co-creator Carol Lashof said, noting that Those Women’s usual performing space, La Val’s Subterranean Theatre in Berkeley, is limited in both number and type of audience members it can accommodate. “With Hindsight 2020, people will be able to see it regardless of their ability to get [to Berkeley].”

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