Experience Sacramento’s diversity at the International Celebration

Fairytale Town is honoring the diversity of Sacramento through a series of performances by local groups during the International Celebration on Saturday, July 6. Local artists and organizations will present music and performances from various countries and cultures. Folklorico Aztlan de Sacramento, a nonprofit organization, will perform traditional Mexican dance. Kyla Groeschel’s School of Highland Dance, also set to perform, teaches students of all ages and skill levels the high-energy art of Scottish dance. The Henna and Kohl Bellydance Company represents Middle Eastern and South Asian cultures through their mystical cabaret-style belly dancing. Their advanced students will be performing at the International Celebration. A full list of performers can be found here. Guests can catch the performances on the Mother Goose stage, free with the purchase of Fairytale Town admission. The celebration begins at 11:00 a.m. and ends at 3:00 p.m., with performances taking place every half-hour. Editor’s note: Every Thursday we deliver a local event guide straight to your inbox, right on time to make your weekend plans. Sign me up.  

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Lights, Camera, Fashion: The Evolution of Sacramento Fashion Week

Lights, camera, fashion is all the buzz to be heard around the Emerald City as it kicked off its seventh annual Sacramento Fashion Week http://sacfashionweek.com/, February 24 – March 2. Growing in attendance each year since its launch in 2006, we have been able to watch fashion in Sacramento transition from adopted trends from nearby cities and magazines to developing designers and fashionistas with inimitable style. SACFW Editor in Chief, Bridgett Rex explained that SACFW allows us to educate our community about fashion and style, creating a demand for people to become more interested and eager to engage in fashion. “With events like Sacramento Fashion Week, the community becomes more educated about fashion and more knowledgeable and curious to learn the business; they begin applying everything they see during SACFW to their own style and business,” Rex said. “I think having SACFW mixers, our Fashion Affairs, every third Wednesday of the month, helps to create a discussion about fashion and style, which in turn slowly changes our wardrobe.” This year marked the third consecutive year the designer showcase sold-out of tickets. Even more exciting, this is the first year SACFW made strides connecting with the community with increasing demand from local media, bloggers, stylist and supporting businesses to attend. “Our biggest improvement this year was media coverage and community support. With the development of new alliances […]

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Precious cargo – snapshots of the light rail culture

Dubbed the "Emerald City" by Mayor Kevin Johnson, Sacramento is known as one of the most diverse metropolitan cities in Northern California, fostering an estimated population of 472,178, according to the latest Census data recorded in April 2010. Much like the capitol’s reputation to host diversity, in terms of culture, as does our Regional Transit Light Rail system, carrying diverse subcultures as its precious cargo.     Currently, RT Light Rail offers three service lines that travel across the greater Sacramento region. The Gold Line, which services travelers between downtown and historic Folsom, the Blue Line, which services between Watt/I-80 to Meadowview and the more recently implemented Green Line, servicing travelers of the River District. According to Regional Transit 2011 Key Performance Report for Fiscal Year 2012, for the month of November 2011 compared to the same period in 2010, light rail ridership increased by 19.4 percent. The 2012 Key Performance Report for Fiscal Year 2013 – the most recent report – shows an increase in ridership of 3.7 percent for the month of December 2012 compared to the same period in 2011.  What this data tells us is that RT Light Rail has seen consecutive increases in ridership over the last three years. "Ridership is tied directly to the economy. As unemployment rises, ridership tends to decrease; in turn, as our economy improves, ridership increases," said Regional Transit General Manager and CEO, Mike Wiley. “When we experience financial difficulties, we are forced to reduce services," Wiley said. […]

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SacWorldFest 2012 Performance Schedule Unveiled

With more than 40 lively and inspiring  performances planned on six stage areas throughout Old Sacramento on October 6 & 7, 2012, the complete SacWorldFest 2012 schedule is now available online at www.SacWorldFest.org.  Designed to embrace the region’s rich and remarkable cultural diversity, the annual event offers an impressive and eclectic line-up of live musical performances, visually-exciting ethnic dance, engaging storytellers, a dynamic Global Village and much, much more. In fact, since the inaugural festival in 2008, SacWorldFest has hosted more than 120 performances from more than 500 performers reflecting more than 40 ethnicities, cultures and nations. SacWorldFest 2012 kicks off the first Saturday evening in October with a very special international headliner performance by Band H’sao during a high-energy “Spotlight On: AFRICA!” outdoor event.   Band H’sao draws from gospel, traditional African music, as well as their Chadian roots for a unique sound that displays clear soul, pop, and R&B influences. Then on Sunday, Old Sacramento is transformed into an elaborate and sprawling multi-cultural center complete with multiple stage areas offering free public shows by talented performers, a sampling of which includes the following:   Z’Amico — Brazilian and Afro-Caribbean beats, soulful songwriting and inter-community action for social change; Halau ‘o Keikiali’i of Sacramento & San Francisco — Traditional Hawaiian hula kahiko (or ancient dance) performances with chants, songs, stories and more; Rasa Vitalia — a […]

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Cultural Diversity Takes Center Stage at SacWorldFest 2012!

Sacramento gets its musical groove on for the 5th Annual SacWorldFest in Old Sacramento coming October 6-7, 2012, with an impressive line-up of live musical performances, visually-exciting ethnic dance, engaging storytellers, a dynamic Global Village and much, much more. The annual SacWorldFest extravaganza is designed to celebrate and share the region’s rich and remarkable cultural diversity.  In fact, since the inaugural festival in 2008, SacWorldFest has hosted more than 120 performances from more than 500 performers reflecting more than 40 ethnicities, cultures and nations. SacWorldFest 2012 kicks off the first Saturday evening in October with a very special international headliner performance by Band H’sao during a high-energy “Spotlight On: AFRICA!” outdoor event.   Band H’sao draws from gospel, traditional African music, as well as their Chadian roots for a unique sound that displays clear soul, pop, and R&B influences. Then on Sunday, Old Sacramento is transformed into an elaborate and sprawling multi-cultural center complete with multiple stage areas offering free public shows by talented performers that include the following: Z’Amico — Brazilian and Afro-Caribbean beats, soulful songwriting and inter-community action for social change; Halau ‘o Keikiali’i of Sacramento & San Francisco – Traditional Hawaiian hula kahiko (or ancient dance) performances with chants, songs, stories and more; Rasa Vitalia – a powerful multi-disciplinary artist, professional music & dance performer focused on celebrating life through art; Charged Particles […]

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News Release: SMUD to host Sacramento Regional Inclusion and Diversity Conference

Join your peers at the Sacramento Regional Inclusion and Diversity Conference "Building Bridges" scheduled for Thursday, January 26, 2012. The event is sponsored by VSP Global, Anthem Blue Cross, CalPERS, America at Work, Kaiser Permanente, My Sister’s House, Wells Fargo, Delta Dental, Microsoft and the City of Elk Grove. The conference provides businesses the opportunity to exchange ideas and learn from Northern California inclusion leaders and innovators. Keynote speaker, Dr. Steve L. Robbins, is a powerful communicator, insightful facilitator and inspiring motivator who can simultaneously challenge and encourage people with a dynamic use of story-telling, humor and extensive knowledge of pertinent issues and concepts. His life experiences as a Vietnamese immigrant growing up in poverty to a passionate advocate of justice and inclusion create a rich foundation of insight and inspiration. "Building Bridges" will be held at Arden Hills Resort Club and Spa in Sacramento from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.. Admission for the daylong event is $150 per person and includes a continental breakfast and lunch. Group discounts are available. For additional information or to register, visit sactoid.com.   Disclosure: Disclosure: Becky Repka is employed by SMUD in Corporate Communications.

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Getting Out: A Sacramento Man’s Journey to Independence

The journey of Ed Etter Jr. to a home of his own is a telling documentary of the evolution of developmental disability services in California. In 1943, Ed Jr. was born in Missouri while his father, a Navy man, was bravely fighting in World War II.  When Mr. Etter came home from the war, his wife was missing, and so was his newborn son. According to Mr. Etter, Mrs. Etter took everything (even the light bulbs) and moved to California.  Eventually she placed an eight-year-old Ed into Sonoma State Hospital. Mr. Etter diligently searched for his son, finally tracking him down in 1954. What happened next boggles our enlightened minds – Sonoma State Hospital refused to release Ed to his father. On October 5, 1954, a well-meaning social worker at Sonoma State Hospital wrote to Mr. Etter, “We feel that since he seems to be so happy here, it might be best to let well enough alone.” Mr. Etter sent many letters, and spent many years appealing to have Ed live with him to no avail. In 1971 Ronald Reagan, then Governor of California, began closing mental health facilities and pulling community aid.  After 20 years at Sonoma State Hospital, Ed was transferred to the DeWitt Center in Auburn, where he continued to move from one care home to the next. In 1994, Ed was […]

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Changing Stereotypes about People with Developmental Disabilities One City at a Time

There’s something unusual happening at the Orangevale Recreation and Park District. It’s not ballet classes or a magic show—although those things are happening. It’s something that has grown behind the scenes and yet is a key part of the parks we enjoy. For almost 13 years, Orangevale parks have benefitted from a crew that does everything from waxing the slide at the pool, to chalking the baseball diamond. What’s unique about this crew is that it consists of three individuals who have a range of developmental disabilities. You might not normally think that people with developmental disabilities would be shredding almond branches through a wood chipper, or driving giant lawn mowers across fields, but these guys do that and much more. The crew was originally hired by Orangevale parks through a work and life skills program run by the nonprofit organization called InAlliance. Since 1952, InAlliance has partnered with local businesses to fully integrate and include people with developmental disabilities in their communities through work. What would cause a large public agency like Orangevale Recreation and Park District to hire a crew of people with disabilities? According to Park Superintendent, Chuck West, he was hesitant at first for a variety of reasons. He had no knowledge of what developmental disabilities looked like, and was concerned what it would cost the parks in terms of additional […]

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You Don’t Know…

How do you remember your high school years? Some of us, myself included, would not go back even if our lives depended on it. I recently had the opportunity to sit down with a group of current high school students. I walked away feeling a mixture of exhilaration and inspiration. Despite the gloomy headlines, I felt a glimmer of hope for our nation’s future. The impetus for this little sit-down was a conversation I recently had with my seventeen year-old son and his girlfriend Ebony. I had been fishing for good ideas for an article. In response to my question they both immediately replied, “You need to come to Sac High.” When I asked why, Ebony responded “Because they’re always writing articles about our school, but no one comes and talks to us, the students, to see what we think and feel.” Since my son is a man of few words, Ebony continued to elaborate why she felt so strongly about this issue. By the end of this conversation they had me convinced, this was a great idea. So after a few confused attempts on my part, I sat down with Ebony and a few of her classmates on an overcast Friday afternoon. All of them seniors, each came to attend Sac High for a number of different reasons. Chris, 18, chose Sac High, after […]

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History of Oak Park told through new walking tour brochure

On Thursday, October 21st, the Center for Sacramento History (CSH) and California State University, Sacramento (CSUS) will unveil a new self-guided walking tour of Central Oak Park. The brochure highlights the community’s architectural and historical significance. The evening will include an address by the brochure’s author, Dr. Robin Datel, a professor in CSUS’ Geography Department. The lecture will be held at the historic Guild Theater in Oak Park (2828 35th Street at Broadway); doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the presentation begins at 7:00 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. The 32-page walking tour brochure includes historic photographs of nearly forty selected locations with interpretation of their change over time. The tour highlights the development of an early suburb with its own Main Street (“smart growth” long before the label existed); racial transitions; the civil rights movement; cycles of investment and disinvestment; nurturing of the arts; redevelopment; and neighborhood activism. These themes are embodied in such buildings and places as the 40 Acres Building, the Guild Theater, the Citizens’ and US Banks, the old Post Office/Observer Building, Joyland/McClatchy Park, the Women’s Civic Improvement Club, and more. Dr. Datel’s lecture, “Local Places Tell Big Stories: A Walking Tour of Sacramento’s Central Oak Park,” will address how she acquired the walking tour content, the key themes of the tour, and details of the […]

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