Whoever originally uttered the words about a San Francisco summer being the coldest winter they’d ever experienced (it wasn’t Mark Twain!) clearly didn’t know how heated the Bay Area arts and culture scene can get this time of year. This season is on fire with concerts, exhibits, performances and so much more. Grab your sunglasses and get ready for this week’s hot ticket items.
Learn about plants on a whole new level
Legendary Bay Area–based author (and this Nob Hill Gazette writer’s journalism school mentor), Michael Pollan, joins gardener and broadcaster Monty Don to talk about his new book, This Is Your Mind On Plants. Pollan’s latest work explores the profound relationships humans have cultivated over time with the three plants that produce opium, caffeine and mescaline. The author will discuss his work — and engage with Don in an in-depth discussion about the regulation of these plants and how they may benefit our bodies and minds.
Hear the latest curated sounds from SF Symphony’s SoundBox
The newest online program curated and performed by San Francisco Symphony Collaborative Partners premieres this week featuring curated pieces from Claire Chase, a flutist, educator and creator of new and experimental music. In this latest edition of the SoundBox program, Chase introduces audiences to performances of Kaija Saariaho’s Terrestre, conducted by Vimbayi Kaziboni; Pauchi Sasaki’s Sanagi; and excerpts from Marcos Balter’s Pan with members of the San Francisco Girls Chorus.
Thursday, July 8
Take in an array of eclectic musical performances
This weekend’s jam-packed calendar at Stanford Live is filled with a variety of eclectic performances you won’t want to miss. Fantastic Negrito takes the stage on Thursday with soulful messages channeled through black roots music; East L.A.’s Las Cafeteras deliver Afro-Mexican beats on Friday; and San Francisco Symphony composer and new music director, Esa-Pekka Salonen, leads a concert of Bach, Mozart and Sibelius on Saturday, featuring clarinetist Carey Bellfeature on Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto.
Thursday, July 8–Sunday, July 10
Experience a cathartic dance homage to hectic times
Reflect on the chaos of our last year and a half with an inspired performance from Tara Pilbrow Dance, presented by West End Arts District at The Healing Garden/ Alfresco Dining Park in Alameda. Breathe, created by Bay Area dance artists Julie Crothers, Colin Epstein and Hannah Westbrook and featuring a sound score by SF composer Ben Juodvalkis, is a celebration of community support, movement and resilience.
Thursday, July 8, 7 p.m.
Pull up a lawn chair for some outdoor cinema
The annual outdoor Sunset Cinema film series is back, starting with a heartfelt family-friendly screening of Pixar’s Soul. Taking place on the lawn of the Charles Krug Winery, this summer’s Napa Valley Film Festival screenings are presented by Cinema Napa Valley (CNV) in conjunction with Cameo Cinema. The movies start at dusk, with plenty of food and beverages available for purchase, courtesy of Heritage Eats (the avocado fries sound epic). Be sure to pack your blankets or lawn chairs and arrive early to get situated.
Friday, July 9, Doors open at 6:30 p.m.; movie starts at 8:30 p.m.
Get to know members of the LGBTQ+ community who are revolutionizing the sciences
The California Academy of Sciences just debuted its latest exhibit, New Science, featuring 23 first-person stories from individuals from the LGBTQ+ community working in STEMM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine) fields. The personal accounts are meant to shine a light on the significant contribution of historically underrepresented groups in the sciences. Get to know a variety of people from different backgrounds and careers who overcame obstacles to create new opportunities for themselves and others in the LGBTQ+ community. This customizable exhibit will be made available for other institutions to recreate and display in the future, and while 11 of the profiles can be viewed in person at the Academy, all 23 profiles are available to explore digitally through the virtual Google Arts & Culture exhibit on the Academy’s website.
Now through the summer.
Rediscover live music on Tiburon’s Main Street
Live music is back in a big way and the Tiburon Peninsula Chamber of Commerce is making sure locals and visitors get in on the action with Main Street performances every weekend through the summer. On July 10, Americana and country band Nineteen Hand Horse takes the stage for a midday show; and July 11, French duo Amour de Seine will serenade the audience.
Saturday, July 10, and Sunday, July 11
Celebrate a San Francisco legend
If you’ve lived in San Francisco long enough, you’ve surely seen Joseph Amster walking through town regally clad in his Civil War–era U.S. Army coat and feather-festooned top hat. Amster is celebrating a decade of leading walking tours with Emperor Norton’s Fantastic San Francisco Time Machine with a spirited parade down the sidewalks of Market Street. The festivities start at Embarcadero Plaza, and Amster will be dressed to impress during the free event that culminates in a picnic at St. Mary’s Park.
Embrace the summer of love vibe with a street party
Haight Street’s iconic shop Love on Haight is celebrating the unveiling of a newly refreshed mural and a new chapter this weekend with a massive party for all ages. The building’s artwork has been spruced up with new additions from Brandi Young, Hannah Bunzey, Becca Tindol and Ethan Strickland, and the shop owners want to show it off with artist prints and signings, face painting, food, dancing and more. MJ Brass Boppers and Scott Guberman will provide the music for the event, which also marks the relaunch of the free paper The Haight Street Voice.
Saturday, July 10, 1 p.m.
Find your new favorite author
Renowned writer Charlie Jane Anders hosts Authors on the Street, featuring Bonnie Tsui, Dr. Jen Gunter, Andrea Stewart, Julie Serano and Juli Delgado Lopera. The in-person outdoor event will take place at the Inner Sunset Flea and features readings from the authors. Tsui’s latest book, Why We Swim, received critical praise last year; Lopera is the author of The New York Times-acclaimed novel Fiebre Tropical; Gunter recently penned The Menopause Manifesto: Own Your Health with Facts and Feminism; Serrano just made her first foray into full-length fiction with 99 Erics: a Kat Cataclysm Faux Novel; and Stewart is the author of The Bone Shard Daughter and its upcoming sequel.