Culture Crush: Virtual Events Persist in May

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GREEN ROOM Green Music Center hosts a virtual concert experience from the renowned St. Lawrence String Quartet as part of the venue’s Spring 2021 Season of online events on Sunday, May 9, at 3pm. Photo: Marco Borggreve

Fourteen months into the Covid-19 pandemic, the North Bay remains in the Orange Tier, designated by California’s “Blueprint for a Safer Economy.”

As venues and business slowly open up for in-person events, several groups keep the distancing going with virtual event offerings this weekend. Here’s a roundup of what’s coming up.

Virtual Reading

Pioneering scientist Dr. Suzanne Simard has changed the way we understand forest ecosystems, and her work in studying plant communication and intelligence is often compared to the works of Rachel Carson. Now, in her debut book, Finding The Mother Tree,  Simard illuminates the intimate world of the trees, and the complicated underground networks by which trees communicate. Simard reads from FindingThe Mother Tree and speaks with Pulitzer Prize–finalist David Haskell, author of The Songs of Trees, in an online event hosted by Point Reyes Books and co-sponsored by Emergence Magazine on Friday, May 7, at noon. Registration required at ptreyesbooks.com.

Virtual Event

Bay Area–based nonprofit organization California Trout works to ensure resilient wild fish thrive in healthy waters throughout the state. This week, the group marks a milestone in conservation with the 2021 Trout Camp Gala, which celebrates 50 years of action and success. The gala boasts a high-energy virtual showcase hosted by CalTrout Executive Director Curtis Knight, and CalTrout board member and owner of Lost Coast Outfitters George Revel. Tune in to see the innovative conservation work across the state, cameos from CalTrout staff and more on Friday, May 7, at 6:30pm. Free; RSVP required at caltrout.org.

Virtual Talk

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and this month is also the 60th anniversary of the first time that Peanuts comic-strip character Lucy put “The Doctor Is In” sign on her psychiatry booth—from a Peanuts strip first published on May 4, 1961. In that context, the Charles M. Schulz Museum is hosting a virtual panel discussion, “The Doctor Is In: Exploring Mental Health Through Comics,” moderated by cartoonist and medical professional Dr. Ian Williams and featuring cartoonists Brick—a.k.a. John Stuart Clark— Gemma Correll and Ellen Forney on Saturday, May 8, at noon. Free; pre-registration required at schulzmuseum.org.

Virtual Class

The Sonoma County chapter of nationwide nonprofit group Cake4Kids launched in August of 2020 to provide underserved children and at-risk youth with a cake on their birthday as a memorable and impactful positive experience. This weekend, Cake4Kids offers everyone a positive experience with a virtual Family Bake-A-Long led by Sonoma County pastry chef Mimo Ahmed. Born in Ethiopia, Ahmed is best known in the North Bay for her blog, The Empty Plate, and she teaches participants how to make classic chocolate-chunk cookies and snickerdoodle cookies from scratch while raising money for Cake4Kids on Sunday, May 9, at 11am. $25. Register at cake4kids.org.

Virtual Concert

Beginning last fall, the Green Music Center–Sonoma State University’s world-class live music venue–has offered two semesters’ worth of online shows in lieu of live events. Dubbed ‘The Green Room,’ this virtual program of events comes to a close this weekend when Green Music Center hosts a virtual concert experience from the renowned St. Lawrence String Quartet on Sunday, May 9, at 3pm. $10. Get tickets at gmc.sonoma.edu.