February isn’t just about all things heart-shaped. Around the Bay Area, there’s plenty of happenings unrelated to Valentine’s Day (though there is a chocolate-making class that caught our attention!). This week, a new immersive art exhibition opens and a big book fair returns to the East Bay. The Lunar New Year was rung in at the start of the month and the celebrations continue — most notably with the Chinese New Year Festival & Parade in San Francisco. Keep reading for more activities and events to add to your calendar.
Immerse Yourself in Masterpieces
Imagine Picasso offers an immersive experience that includes more than 200 Pablo Picasso works. In its U.S. premiere, step into the modern master’s world by making your way through rooms at San Francisco’s Skylight at The Armory that are outfitted with screens upon which his art is projected.
Wednesday, February 9–Sunday, March 27.
Celebrate the Written Word
If rare books and manuscripts are your love language, don’t miss the 54th California International Antiquarian Book Fair, taking place once again at the Oakland Marriott City Center. Check out collections and sought-after troves covering an array of subjects from 120 booksellers worldwide. The fair also includes exhibitions, among them a major showcase on wine and viticulture, courtesy of the UC Davis Library.
Friday, February 11–Sunday, February 13.
Take a Chocolate-Making Class
Learn how to create your own exquisite heart-shaped box, composed of Valrhona dark chocolate. Just in time for Valentine’s Day, Paris-trained chocolatier Pooneh Yamini of Mon Rêve Chocolate Art Studio is teaching two classes this week at the Mill Valley Lumber Yard. Aspiring confiseurs will decorate a box and fill it with sweets — all of their own making.
Friday, February 11, and Saturday, February 12; 10:30 a.m.–12:45 p.m.
Jazz Up Your Weeknight
As part of San Jose Jazz Winter Fest 2022, the Tiffany Austin Trio takes the stage in a performance that can be enjoyed in-person or virtually. KQED Arts described powerful vocalist Tiffany Austin as “one of the country’s best jazz singers.” Guests can expect an intimate show, with the Hammer Theatre concert space turned into a cabaret with four-top table seating.
Thursday, February 17, 7 p.m.
Enjoy a Music & Movie Experience
Listen up, Mozart fans: Symphony San Jose’s two presentations of the Oscar-winning 1984 film Amadeus — both at the San Jose Center for the Performing Arts — are taken up a notch with the score performed by a live orchestra and chorale.
Saturday, February 12, 8 p.m.; Sunday, February 13, 2 p.m.
Hear from a Best-Selling Author
San Francisco’s Commonwealth Club welcomes Shaka Senghor. In his new book, Letters to the Sons of Society — the follow-up to his best seller, Writing My Wrongs — he examines life after incarceration, including fatherhood and the perception of Black men in America today. The in-person discussion will also be available online.
Thursday, February 17, 6 p.m.
Delight in a Melodious Debut
A trio of conductors will make their SF Symphony orchestral series debut with Simon, Price & Brahms, a tribute to the late Oakland Symphony Music Director Michael Morgan. Morgan conceived and had been slated to conduct the program, which will now be led by Akiko Fujimoto, Earl Lee and Daniel Bartholomew-Poyser at Davies Symphony Hall. Mezzo-soprano Melody Wilson will also make her debut.
Thursday, February 17–Saturday, February 19.
Get Ready for Game Night
Join KQED writer Rae Alexandra and producer Carly Severn for Rebel Girls Bingo, billed as “a badass history Bingo night and mixer … to celebrate the unsung women who helped shape today’s Bay Area.” The fun and games take place on KQED’s terrace in the City.
Friday, February 18, 7 p.m.
Have a Roaring Good Time
Come out and celebrate the Year of the Tiger at the 2022 Chinese New Year Festival & Parade. Watch floats, entertainers, the newly crowned Miss Chinatown U.S.A. and more traverse the 1.3-mile route. The 280-foot Golden Dragon (“Gum Lung”) — carried by more than 180 men and women from the martial arts group White Crane — is always a crowd favorite. While the event is free to attend, tickets are available for bleacher seats.
Saturday, February 19, 5–9 p.m.
Go to a Show
As part of the Noise Pop Music & Arts Festival, now in its 29th year, enjoy indie films, art and music at venues in San Francisco and the East Bay. Azealia Banks, Jeff Tweedy and Kamaal Williams, as well as the Bay Area’s own King Woman and Papercuts, are among those scheduled to perform.
Monday, February 21–Sunday, February 27.