As California and the West Coast continues to burn, air quality is forecast to be very unhealthy for the entire weekend throughout the Bay Area, and experts advise residents to stay indoors with windows and doors closed and to minimize outdoor activity.
By now, staying indoors is nothing new for locals who’ve remained socially distant due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and several organizations in the North Bay are offering virtual versions of events ranging from readings to art exhibits to online auctions.
One such group is Marin Open Studios. For 27 years, Marin Open Studios has increased awareness of local artists through annual self-guided tours of the artists’ studios and galleries. This year’s pandemic canceled the tours this past May, though MOS has kept busy with online versions of their art tours. This week, MOS hosts a live-streaming art reception for “The Human Spirit,” the premiere exhibition in its new virtual gallery. This show, curated on the theme of portraying different aspects of the human spirit, features several participating Marin Open Studios artists, many of whom share their art and their stories on Saturday, Sept. 12, at 5pm. Free. Marinopenstudios2020.org.
For theater lovers, Transcendence Theatre Company has spent the summer reliving the best moments from it’s annual “Broadway Under the Stars” festival by presenting online showcases of the family friendly performances and song-and-dance shows that have been captured on video. Now, the company is pulling out all the virtual stops for the season-ending Annual Gala Musical Fundraiser, featuring never-before-seen footage of Broadway stars from smash hits such as “School of Rock,” and “Frozen” from the last eight seasons of “Broadway Under the Stars” performances. The virtual Gala’s video compilation of “the best of the best” musical performances runs Friday through Sunday, Sept. 11–13. Times vary. Free to watch, donations welcome. Transcendencetheatre.org.
In Napa Valley, The long-running Festival for Brain Health has raised nearly $500 million to build awareness for brain-related disorders and to develop new therapies. The event normally gathers at Staglin Family Vineyard in the Napa Valley, though due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it won’t be possible this summer to hold the event in-person. Instead, the significant brain health event is occurring virtually this year, with a daylong program featuring an online scientific symposium and Q&A with leaders in brain health, followed by an exclusive, live-stream concert by 10-time Grammy Award–winning musician Arturo Sandoval and his ensemble band on Saturday, Sept. 12. Registration required. Music-festival.org.
There are several chances for local literature this weekend as well, as local figures go online to read from very different kinds of books. First, Book Passage co-owner Bill Petrocelli argues that the Electoral College has lost its way in his new political book, “Electoral Bait & Switch.” Petrocelli engages with Constitutional law professor Joel Paul online Saturday, Sept. 12, at 4pm (Bookpassage.com). The next day, award-winning poet and recently retired Santa Rosa Junior College professor and clinical social worker Donna Emerson reads from her new poetry collection, “Beside the Well,” in Occidental Center for the Arts’ first virtual book launch via Zoom on Sunday, Sept. 13, at 4pm (Occidentalcenterforthearts.org).
North Bay residents looking to give back to beloved local cultural purveyors have a few online auctions that they can turn to, with fine art and at-home experiences available for bidding. First, the Sausalito Art Festival, which was forced to cancel its live event earlier this month, decided to do something to help artists financially. With that in mind, the 2020 Sausalito Art Festival Silent Auction is open now, featuring art from over 80 participating artistic masters in varied mediums. That auction will end Sunday, September 13 (Sausalitoartfestival.org). That same day, another online auction opens, as the Children’s Museum of Sonoma County invites patrons to dream big in the “Time to Wonder” online auction, running Sept. 13 to Sept. 22. This newly virtual auction features over 45 locally-sourced items such as at-home adventures and experiences, food and collectible wines, books and gourmet baskets. Additionally, participants can support the Fund-A-Need, which will be used to refurbish existing beloved exhibits and build new gems at the Children’s Museum (cmosc.org).