Next Week: Creative Writing, Design Lectures Round Out the New Year

head shot Zambello
Francesca Zambello, a nationally recognized director of opera, will moderate an online discussion about opera with UC Davis faculty next week. (Courtesy photo)

It's a new year, so for this week's "Weekender," we decided to let you know about some great events next week and preview some for the weekend after.  And, we are letting you know about some virtual programs that can be enjoyed anytime, as well as some art grants up for grabs. B Street Theatre is starting an outdoor performance series starting this weekend.

This blog compiled by Michelle Villagomez, UC Davis Media Relations Intern.

Lecturers read and perform their work Tuesday

Tuesday, Jan. 12, 4:30 p.m. to 5:45 p.m., free, via Zoom. Register

“They Live!”  features English faculty Val Brelinski, Rae Gouriand, Andre Naffis-Saheley, and Greg Glazne. They will be reading and performing sections of their fiction and poetry. This event is sponsored by the Creative Writing Program, the Department of English and UC Davis Library.

For more information on their works, go here.

Writing series illustration
"They Live!" writing lecturer series starts Tuesday.

Sparking innovation and creativity: human-centered design presentation is Wednesday

Wednesday, Jan. 13, 4 p.m. to 5 p.m., free, via Zoom. Register

The UC Davis Department of Design has a very ambitious mission: to change this world for the better. As the only comprehensive design program in the UC system, faculty and students seek to accomplish this goal in everything they do – from promoting sustainability, to solving real-world problems and addressing inequality in the industry.

This virtual event will be moderated by Ari Kelman, Interim Dean of the College of Letters and Science and will feature three esteemed faculty members in the Design department — Brett Snyder, Gozde Goncu-Berk, and Thomas Maiorana — as they showcase their ground-breaking work in the field. From developing wearable products for people with disabilities or chronic diseases to reimagining shipping containers as housing for lower-income families, the discussion will tackle the broader issues of waste, the human experience and climate change.

For more details, go here

2021 California Arts Council announces grants

State arts grants will support organizational operations, individuals, and project-based activities; prioritizing relief and recovery for organizations and individuals impacted by COVID-19

The California Arts Council announced the opening of its 2021 grant season with applications now being accepted for all six of its funding opportunities, responding to the current and urgent needs of the state’s arts workforce and businesses.

The California Arts Council is a state agency with a mission of strengthening arts, culture, and creative expression as the tools to cultivate a better California for all. The Arts Council is California’s only public arts grants provider with funding that is accessible to all 58 California counties. As a state agency, the Arts Council prioritizes racial equity and has a broad geographic reach into communities of all sizes. California’s arts sector is large and diverse, and its businesses and workforce are a significant contributor to our state economy and identity.

“The arts are an essential part of the California ecosystem, and we are made all the more aware of their importance during these troubled times,” said Nashormeh Lindo, Chair of the California Arts Council. “As we open another grant season, we hope to help center our communities’ healing and resilience by carefully considering what the Council and the agency can do to best support the creative practices of artists and arts organizations in those communities, to help them survive this upheaval and uncertainty and to creatively thrive in the future.”

The Arts Council’s 2021 grant funding has been streamlined, allocating funding to meet the greatest needs of the field during this challenging time. Funding is aligned with three categories and six specific grant offerings, including general operating support for organizations and fellowships to support the creative practice of individual artists, as well as continued support for project-based activities. This year’s grants have been informed and developed by public input and data in alignment with the Arts Council’s Strategic Framework Decision Support Tool. 

New for the 2021 grant season, applicant organizations are required to submit a racial equity statement. As the Arts Council has been evolving its own racial equity practices, the agency invites applicants to start, continue, or strengthen their racial equity practices as a part of the arts community. The racial equity statement requirement is an opportunity for applicant organizations to explain their commitment and tangible efforts to advancing the leadership of and service to Indigenous people, communities of color, racially and ethnically diverse individuals, tribal communities, immigrant and refugee communities, and communities whose principal languages are not English.

In October, the Arts Council offered a public webinar, titled Why Race? A Learning Journey to Achieve Racial Equity, to share the history and background of the agency’s relationship with racial equity and to support a community-based learning practice. The recorded webinar is available online as a resource for prospective applicants.

2021 California Arts Council 3 category grants include:

  • Project-based support

  • General operating support 

  • Individual artists support

Read the full story here

Sacramento’s the B Street Theatre holds virtual concerts 

As part of their “Six Feet Apart” series, B Street Theatre is hosting virtual concerts featuring local, national and international musicians create an intimate, virtual concert just for you. Following the concert, there will be a Q&A with the artist. Register here.

Dates and artists include:

Jan. 8 — Jeremiah Johnson. Blending Texas style blues with the voice of Mississippi River blues leaves with you with the sound of Jeremiah Johnson, three time winner of the Houston Regional Blues Challenge. 

Jeremiah Johnson
Jeremiah Johnson performs virtually Friday. 

Jan. 15 — Laurie Rubin. Classical singer. Author. Educator. Advocate. A young mezzo-soprano whose voice is darkly complex and mysteriously soulful, and of whose memoir “Do You Dream in Color? Insights from a Girl Without Sight” it has been said “should be required reading in that it underscores the triumph of the human spirit."

Jan. 22 — Samuel James. Roots music. Storytelling. The Blues. I am not sure what you can label Samuel James. Rare. Special. Let's leave it at that.

Jan. 29 — Artist to be announced!

Feb. 5 — RATBOYS. Pop. Punk. Poetic. Powerful. Hear Chicago's critically acclaimed Ratboys' re-imagining of Americana on Six Feet Apart.

Find out more about their series on B Street Theatre’s website

UC Davis music next Thursday: MFA performances and opera panel discussion

'New Words and Music with voice'

Worlds collide as UC Davis graduate students in music and the creative writing program come together to bring us a performance. This concert will showcase collaborative works among five creative writing MFA students and four doctoral students in music composition and theory. The noon concert will also include music, theatre and dance students performing, as well as music faculty. The prerecorded concert will be shown on the Department of Music Youtube channel and available for viewing after its premiere on Thursday, Jan. 14, 12:05 p.m to 1 p.m. This is the third year of the collaboration. Originally scheduled for spring 2020, the concert was delayed due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Performances include: 

Next week: UC Davis discussion of opera's future

'Opera 2021: Hopes and Challenges' 

Thursday, Jan. 14, 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., free, via Zoom. Register

Opera companies around the world have shuttered their doors during the COVID-19 pandemic. In order to better understand challenges and hopes for the world of opera and hopes in the present crisis and in the foreseeable future, Pierpaolo Polzonetti, professor of music at UC Davis, will interview the internationally recognized director of opera Francesca Zambello, and moderate a roundtable discussion including orchestra conductor and UC Davis Professor Christian Baldini, and two professional opera singers: Malcolm MacKenzie, who also teaches at UC Davis, and Brett Polegato. This event is co-sponsored by the Jan and Beta Popper endowed professorship in opera.

To learn more about the event, go here

Geographies I

for soprano and piano

words by Jen Soong (MFA student, Creative Writing)

music by Daniel Godsil (PhD student, music composition)

— Anushka Kulkarni, soprano (PhD student, musicology)

— Courtney Fiduccia, mezzo-soprano (undergraduate, Theatre and Dance)

— Kate Campbell, piano


a musical drama

story by Mangai Arumugam (MFA, Creative Writing ‘20)

music by Emily Joy Sullivan (PhD student, music composition)

lyrics by Mangai Arumugam and Emily Joy Sullivan

— Kurt Rohde, viola and Professor of Music at UC Davis

—  Kate Campbell, piano and celesta

can you hear me? 

words by Anna Tuchin (MFA student, Creative Writing)

music by Orkun Akyol (PhD student, music composition)

— Sarah Miller, solo voice (PhD student, musicology)

— Orkun Akyol and Reuben de Lautour, electronics

Spaceman / Watchman

text by Sawyer Elms and Jordan Dahlen (MFA, Creative Writing)

music by Trey Makler (PhD student, music composition)

— Leanny Muñoz, soprano (PhD student, musicology)

— Sawyer Elms, speaking role 1 (MFA, Creative Writing)

— Jordan Dahlen, speaking role 2 (MFA, Creative Writing)

For more information, click here

UC Davis Basement Gallery starts a podcast, art call, and collaborative playlist 

As UC Davis continues with remote instruction, the Basement Gallery is finding new ways to engage with their community of artists and those interested in art. The campus gallery recently started a new segment, The Basement Gallery Podcast. In the first episode, team members discussed the upcoming quarter and their feelings towards being students and artists during the COVID-19 quarantine. The episode can be listened to here

If you would like to be part of these conversations or are interested in being interviewed you can email or direct message the Basement Gallery on Instagram.

The Basement Gallery has an art call for their upcoming virtual art show, Making Changes. The artists selected will have the option to be featured on the Basement Gallery’s Instagram as well in their podcast. Artists are also allowed to remain anonymous and all majors/mediums are welcome to apply including short stories, poems, and music. The deadline for submissions is Friday, Jan. 8. For more information about the art call and how to submit work, go here.

If you are looking for new tunes to listen to, the Basement Gallery has your back! 

The team at the Basement Gallery created a collaborative playlist, that rainy winter quarter aesthetic. Listen to it on Spotify.


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