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What To Do This Week: September 15 – 20

By Michelle Konstantinovsky

As we transition into the time warp that rushes us from Labor Day to New Year’s Eve, let’s take a moment to appreciate the array of artistic and cultural celebrations occurring throughout the Bay. This week, be sure to take advantage of the talks, exhibits, performances and more from some of our favorite institutions and organizations.


Celebrate Latinx heritage with a pair of cultural events

The San Francisco Library presents ¡VIVA! Latinx Hispanic Heritage Month, an annual celebration of Latinx heritage, cultures and traditions. On Wednesday, catch a lunchtime poetry performance on the Larkin Street Steps with Josiah Luis Alderete, Alan Chazaro, Florencia Milito and Susana Praver-Pérez. Then tune in that evening as Michael Nava curates a panel of Latinx mystery and crime writers featuring Alex Segura, Raquel V. Reyes, Richie Narvaez and Lucha Corpi.

Wednesday, September 15, 12–1 p.m. and 7–8 p.m.


Enjoy an expertly created cocktail

Oakland’s awesome new American brasserie, Tribune, will be hosting a series of weekly guest bartenders every Thursday in September. The event kicked off last week with Elmer Mejicanos of Red Window, but don’t worry — you still have plenty of chances to enjoy creative takes from talented mixologists, including Nora Furst of the forthcoming Buddy Bar in San Francisco and beverage consultant with West Bev who will create low-ABV cocktails on September 16. The restaurant will also serve up light snacks along with its signature Tribune Burger, which comes with Lolla Rosa lettuce and caramelized red onion “schmear” atop a toasted, sweet potato Firebrand bun.

Thursday, September 16, 5 p.m.


Rob Snyder Hand Cast Glass Nest, 8 x 8 x 16

Take in an exhibition inspired by California’s natural beauty

Starting this week, Wine Country marketplace Cornerstone Sonoma will be presenting Elements of Nature in collaboration with SLATE Contemporary Gallery. The partnership is the second in a series of three art exhibitions at Cornerstone’s SBHG Gallery that will run approximately eight weeks each through December 2021. The featured artists for this show were inspired by the natural beauty of California and the main wall will showcase camera-less photography by Montara-based Robert Buelteman.

Thursday, September 16, through Sunday, November 7


Hear excerpts from brand-new books by celebrated authors

The Asian Art Museum celebrates the publication of two new books with readings by Jaime Cortez and Claire Light, moderated by artist and author Joel Tan. Cortez will read from his debut collection of short stories, Gordo, set in a 1970s migrant workers camp near Watsonville, while Light will read from her debut urban fantasy novel, Monkey Around. The action-filled tale inspired by the myth of the Monkey King is set in San Francisco and written under the pen name Jadie Jang. This in-person event will also include a Q&A.

Thursday, September 16, 6 p.m.


Appreciate this energetic form of traditional Indian dance

Don’t miss Leela Dance Collective’s ReSound, a three-day celebration of kathak dance. Free street performances will take place all over the Bay Area, in locations such as Union Square, Japantown Peace Plaza, UC Berkeley and Lake Merritt. Kathak dance — one of the eight major forms of Indian classical dance — is known for its inclusion of percussive footwork, quick pirouettes, heart-pumping music and more. If you want to try your hand, there will be plenty of workshops for aspiring dancers (with a fee of $10).


Friday, September 17, through Sunday, September 19


Claire Huangci photo by Maike Helbig

Kick off a new season of music with an evening of Beethoven

American pianist Claire Huangci will open San Jose’s Steinway Society’s concert hall series this month with a program including Beethoven’s Sonata No. 14 in C-Sharp Minor, Quasi una fantasia, Op. 27, No. 2 (“Moonlight Sonata”). Huangci began her international career at age 9 and earned first prizes at the Chopin competitions in Darmstadt, Germany, and Miami in 2009 and 2010. She has performed solo as well as with international orchestras across Europe, Asia and North America.

Friday, September 17, through Monday, September 20


Tickle the ivories in the park

After a year-long hiatus, the San Francisco Botanical Garden and Sunset Piano are excited to present their unique and innovative Flower Piano once again in Golden Gate Park. With open access to music and pianos in nature, participants are encouraged to explore the garden’s living plant collections as they seek out the musical instruments. There will be scheduled professional performances, open play time for anyone and community partner shows.

Friday, September 17, through Tuesday, September 21


Support an iconic Silicon Valley art institution

The San José Museum of Art presents its virtual Gala + Auction this weekend, celebrating art and philanthropy and honoring patrons Mary Mocas and Marv Tseu, as well as artist Rina Banerjee. The event is also dedicated to the memory of Hung Liu, who served as the gala’s co-chair along with fellow SJMA Trustee Tammy A. Kiely. Funds raised from the evening will support the museum, and 10 percent of the auction proceeds donated to the Asian Pacific Fund. The event is free to watch online and will be broadcasted live.

Saturday, September 18, 6 p.m.


Listen to the sweet sounds of a world-renowned classical artist

Award-winning pianist Adam Golka headlines California Symphony’s season opener this week, performing Beethoven’s The Emperor Concerto. Director Donato Cabrera planned the program during the pandemic as a way to bring comfort to Bay Area music fans. The event will also feature Vaughan Williams’ rarely performed Symphony No. 5 and Marianna Martines’ Sinfonia.

Saturday, September 18, 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, September 19, 4 p.m.


Appreciate the work of a cultural legend

Purchase a ticket to the Contemporary Jewish Museum and score a free ticket to the outdoor community celebration commemorating the recent opening of Experience Leonard Cohen. The day of music and poetry in Jessie Square Plaza will include stories from Sylvie Simmons, author of I’m Your Man: The Life of Leonard Cohen; performances by nonprofit acapella Cohen choir Conspiracy of Beards; and poetry readings by James Cagney, Lee Herrick, Renny Pritikin and Alia Volz. The exhibition itself is definitely worth a visit — it explores the legendary singer, poet and author’s commitment to questions of spirituality through the lens of other great artists.

Sunday, September 19, 11 a.m.–2 p.m.

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