.Culture Crush: Virtual Gatherings and At-Home Events Continue

As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to halt in-person gatherings in 2021, several North Bay organizations are hosting online events boasting music, art, theater and other family-friendly delights this week. Here’s a round up of what’s worth looking forward to.

Virtual Lecture

Marin County native Carl Hungerford was an intellectually engaged and socially conscious individual, and The Carl Hungerford Lecture Series—presented in collaboration with the Marin Art & Garden Center—honors his memory by hosting notable speakers in lectures that cover a wide range of topics. Now in its second year, the Carl Hungerford Lecture Series opens 2021 with a timely examination of the facts, and the myths, about what makes us happy. Harvard University psychology professor Daniel Gilbert will dissect and discuss the “The Science of Happiness” and the theories of how we achieve good vibrations on Thursday, Jan. 21, at 5pm. Free. Maringarden.org.

Virtual Theater

Like many North Bay theater companies, Petaluma’s award-winning Cinnabar Theater is moving to video productions as the pandemic keeps social gatherings unsafe. This week, Cinnabar digitally opens a stirring one-man-show, “The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey,” in which accomplished North Bay actor Mike Pavone embodies nine characters from a small town dealing with the disappearance of 14-year-old Leonard Pelkey. Written by Academy Award–winner and playwright James Lecesne, and directed by Cinnabar’s Education and Associate Artistic Director Nathan Cummings, the who-dun-it is both inspiring and startling, and audiences can stream it safely from home beginning Friday, Jan. 22. $25. Cinnabartheater.org.

Virtual Concert

Back when social gatherings were possible, the Luther Burbank Center for the Arts in Santa Rosa hosted world-class performers and artists as well as nationally-recognized education programs and popular community events such as the Clover Sonoma Family Fun Series. This year, as Luther Burbank Center for the Arts continues to host events online, the Clover Sonoma Family Fun Series presents five free virtual performances that kicks off with “Pete The Cat.” The musical adventure is based on the book series by Eric Litwin and produced by TheaterWorksUSA, which brings beloved productions to venues across the country–and now online–for schooltime performances. The family-friendly show is available to view Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 23–24. Free. Lutherburbankcenter.org.

Virtual Exhibit

While it follows all health and safety protocols due to Covid-19, Gallery Route One in Point Reyes Station continues to present exciting and wide-ranging art in socially-distant and online settings. This month, Marin curator and gallery owner Donna Seager, of Seager Gray Gallery in Mill Valley, juries Gallery Route One’s annual juried exhibition, “Crossing the Divide,” in which more than 50 local and regional artists interpret the disparities and divisions of 2020 as well as the shared ideas and realities that can be achieved through the creative process. The exhibition opens with a virtual art reception and artist talks on Sunday, Jan. 24, at 3pm. Free. Galleryrouteone.org.

Virtual Lecture

Oakland artist and author Jenny Odell, best known for her book How to Do Nothing, is an expert on living in the moment. One of the ways she does so is through the practice of birdwatching, or “bird-noticing” as she calls it. This month, Odell and the Laguna de Santa Rosa Foundation engage in an online conversation on “Bird-Noticing & the Power of Attention,” which kicks off the foundation’s “Birding to Beat the Winter Blues” event series. Odell appears in a candid Q&A on listening and observing the natural world on Tuesday, Jan. 26, at 2:30pm. Pre-registration required. Free; $5–$15 donation requested. Lagunafoundation.org.

Charlie Swanson
Charlie Swanson is a North Bay native and an arts and music writer and editor who has covered the local scene since 2014.
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