It’s shaping up to be a sizzling summer in the Bay Area (and the weather’s not too bad, either). If you haven’t started partaking in all the celebrations, festivals, events and exhibits making their triumphant return this season, it’s time to start filling up your calendar. Take a look at this week’s roundup of can’t-miss listings.
Explore the virtual world
In this collaboration with City Lights Theater’s The Next Stage, the San José Museum of Art is offering two free events: Coded, a play about female video game creators revolutionizing the virtual-reality world, and the video installation Factory of the Sun, by German artist Hito Steyerl. Coded playwright and director, Kirsten Brandt, and assistant curator Kathryn Wade will lead a discussion about video games, corporate culture, surveillance and more.
Thursday, July 15, 8 p.m.
Celebrate summer with an array of talented performers
Festival Napa Valley is back with an all-outdoor lineup of events. The 10-day program includes performances from new and emerging artists, films, dance, concerts for kids and more. Bouchaine Vineyards is one venue highlighting talented young musicians, with performances from pianist Audrey Vardanega and saxophonist Steven Banks. The festival will also include a variety of luncheons, dinner events and a special tribute to Tony Bennett with a lineup of artists.
Friday, July 16, through Sunday, July 25.
Dance with somebody
Arguably the most iconic cover band to conquer the Bay Area, Tainted Love makes its triumphant return to Redwood City as part of the town’s free eight-week Music on the Square series. Every Friday evening, local and national musicians will take the stage to perform everything from rock and pop to salsa. Tainted Love will perform a full roster of 1980s hits for fans of all ages. And chances are, you’ll know all the lyrics.
Friday, July 16, 6–8 p.m.
Kick back and enjoy a free Friday outdoor concert
Ferry Fridays are here with free music at the Ferry Building’s back plaza, every week through the end of September. Whether you’re coming back from a long day at the office or just feel the need to bask in some late afternoon sunshine, grab a refreshment and snag a spot in the outdoor dining area between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. This Friday, catch Bay Area Jazz Mobile’s BAJM Quartet featuring Omar Aran on the main stage.
Friday, July 16, 3–6 p.m.
Downward dog with a view
If you’re looking for a sunny, scenic way to zen out, head over to the Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco. The hotel is teaming up with Outdoor Yoga SF to offer silent disco yoga classes on the private courtyard overlooking the downtown skyline and the Bay. From the serene Nob Hill spot, you can roll out your mat and flow for over an hour, all while enjoying a playlist of soulful sounds through your headphones.
Saturday, July 17, 9 a.m.; Sunday, July 18, 10 a.m.
Discover the inspiration behind Olympic fashions
As the world gears up for this year’s Olympic games, learn how American athletes have historically expressed their national identity through iconic looks from designers like Halston, Ralph Lauren, and Levi Strauss & Co. In this free virtual event hosted by the Contemporary Jewish Museum, attendees will learn how creative minds have shaped the American aesthetic over the years to reflect strength, stamina and — of course — victory.
Sunday, July 18, 10 a.m.
Explore an underappreciated piece of the Bay Area
Get to know Southwest Berkeley in a whole new way with a walking tour that covers all the innovations that were born in that particular part of the Bay. Did you know the miniature world from Honey, I Shrunk the Kids was built in a warehouse on Tenth Street? You can learn more about that, plus what inspired Bobby McFerrin to dream up Don’t Worry, Be Happy in an impromptu recording session on Parker Street, and a ton of other cool facts during this 2-hour Movies, Music & Mai Tais tour.
Sunday, July 18, 1–3 p.m.
Leap into a joyful ballet experience
Oceánica Ballet of San Carlos presents its inaugural production, Blue Skies, a showcase featuring five world premiere ballets exploring themes of joy, resilience and hope. The troupe of dancers, including Constanza Murphy, Jessica Woodman and Matthew Ebert, will perform at both the Bay Area Ballet Conservatory and the Hiller Aviation Museum, inviting audiences to join them for an in-person and immersive experience.
Saturday, July 17, and Sunday, July 18
Admire artistic activism in action
Through the end of the month, Bay Area artist Christy Chan will lead a grassroots mobile public art project called Dear America, in response to the growing epidemic of violence against Asian Americans. Projecting the art of Asian American artists on the walls of high-rise buildings throughout the Bay Area, the exhibition includes images and messages of resilience in English and eight different Asian languages, including Chinese, Taiwanese, Japanese and Thai. The projections are largely unsanctioned and installed without permission — a choice Chan says “is about Asian Americans unapologetically taking up space, celebrating each other’s presence, and not asking permission to do so.”
Now through Sunday, August 1.
Learn more about the past and present of American labor
San Francisco’s annual LaborFest takes a hard look at issues facing working people, including racism and discrimination. This year’s event kicks off with the theatrical opening of Howard Pflanzer’s new play The Murals, about the controversy surrounding the Arnautoff murals at George Washington High School. The monthlong program will also feature musical events, a film and video festival, educational tours, virtual talks and more.
Through Saturday, July 31