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What to do this Weekend: July 16-19

by Cristina Schreil

This weekend’s curated events roundup unites happenings from across the diverse Bay Area, from easy morning meditations to Sonoma streamed performances and Afro-Cuban grooves.

  1. Sink into the weekend with Bay Area voices.

Writer, educator and performance artist Darius Simpson is the featured artist at the next Open Mic Night presented by the Museum of the African Diaspora. 

Due to the coronavirus, Open Mic at MoAD continues virtually. Once again, hosting this week is poet Nia McAllister.

Thursday, July 16, 6–8 p.m. on Zoom. Free. Interested speakers should sign up to perform; audience members don’t need to RSVP. 


  1. Celebrate Disneyland’s 65th birthday

Disneyland may be 400 miles away, but our hometown Walt Disney Family Museum is keeping the magic close with celebrations all Friday afternoon. “We want to bring some of your favorite Disneyland memories to life — virtually!” programmers write. This includes sharing Disneyland memories (viewers can submit their own for Disney voiceover artists to read aloud), rare home videos from Disneyland’s opening day in 1955, a Q&A, and other special talks and announcements.

Friday, July 17, from noon to 5 p.m. on Facebook Live and YouTube Live. Free.

Info and submission form here:

  1. Bottlerock from home.

Napa’s beloved autumn festival presents “(re)LIVE bottleRock,” a weekly YouTube Live series every Friday. Expect past performances, new musical programs and more.

This week promises live-from-home acoustic performances by mega bands Jimmy Eat World, The Naked and Famous and Mondo Cozmo.

Friday, July 17, at 5 p.m. on YouTube Live. 

Stream it here: 

  1. Get technical with the Exploratorium.

The Exploratorium has moved its hallmark After Dark programming (for ages 18 and older) online due to the coronavirus. The next event centers on an issue central to our increasingly technology-fueled world: the ways algorithmic decision-making and facial recognition technologies reinforce human bias and racism.

Programming includes the short film AI, Ain’t I A Woman (by Joy Buolamwini) and insights from Timnit Gebru, a computer scientist and the technical co-lead of Google’s Ethical Artificial Intelligence Team.  

Thursday, July 16, at 7 p.m. on YouTube or Facebook. Free.


  1. Celebrate Afro-Cuban All Stars

Afro-Cuban All Stars and legendary Buena Vista Social Club founder Juan de Marcos take the virtual stage at this week’s Fridays at Five programming at SFJAZZ.

The replay of their May 2019 performance is more than a concert — it’s also noted as a “sensational showcase for Cuba’s most prodigious young musicians.”

Friday, July 17, at 5 p.m. Digital memberships are $5 a month. 

Watch here:

  1. Help kick off a chamber music music festival.

The [email protected] chamber music festival on the Peninsula lives on in the age of coronavirus. It’s now “Intermezzo,” an online suite of musical content curated by artistic directors Wu Han and David Finckel. Spanning live recitals to interviews and past concerts, the online series runs from July 17 through August 8. 

Jump starting it all is a virtual opening night where Han and Finckel introduce the season to come. Also expect musical performances.

Friday, July 17, at 5 p.m. online. Free.


  1. Learn to meditate.

Yearning to feel more centered in your body and mind? (We can’t imagine what might be stressing you out …) This virtual Saturday morning session — led by the San Francisco Zen Meditation Center and presented by the Asian Art Museum — is geared toward those new to meditation. 

Wear loose, comfortable clothing. 

Saturday, July 18, at 10:30 a.m. online. $0–$25. 


  1. Don’t Stop Believin’ (in musical theater).

Sonoma County’s Transcendence Theatre Company brings its musical theater pizzazz online in a virtual 2020 season.

This weekend sees its first virtual 2020 show, “Don’t Stop Believin,’” featuring Transcendence’s Broadway artists performing songs from Hamilton, Les Miserables, Carousel, Chicago, Wicked, Rock of Ages and more. The performances are more than nine years in the making.

Showtimes run from Friday, July 17, at 7 p.m. through Saturday and Sunday online. Free. 

Tickets, info and showtimes here:

  1. Watch Rossini’s Cinderella.

As part of its new Opera Is ON programming, San Francisco Opera regularly presents performances each weekend, streaming on its website. The next streamed performance from San Francisco Opera archives is Rossini’s dramatic interpretation of folk tale favorite Cinderella.

Streaming Saturday, July 18, and Sunday, July 19. Free.   


  1. Wrap up the weekend with wine and music.

As the season’s customs remain disrupted by the coronavirus, Robert Mondavi Winery is intent on streaming summer into your living room. Bi-weekly virtual events supporting Napa Valley Student music programs and other nonprofits include concerts and even offer a wine package.

This week’s Summer Sundays sees San Francisco-born singer-songwriter Matt Nathanson return to the Mondavi stage. He’ll perform and chat with host Liam Mayclem.

Sunday, July 19, at 4 p.m. on YouTube and online. Free.


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