ArtsCalendarPartiesThis Week

What to do this Weekend: July 30-Aug 2

by Cristina Schreil

Our latest curated roundup of happenings across the Bay Area offers plenty of chances to escape from your surroundings. Peer inside a landscape artist’s studio and process; catch a glimpse of how a pianist is making music at home; enjoy a lineup of multiple at-home live-streamed performances, or momentarily leave this entire pandemic-saddled world behind and blast off beyond our solar system. 

Find even more events below.

1. Explore a virtual art exhibition.

It’s the last weekend to take in Figure 8, a virtual exhibition presented by the San Francisco Art Institute.  

The nine featured artists explore, via different materials and practices, the ways art and the written word can attempt to “unravel the systematic knot of oppression,” using a theory by scholar bell hooks as a jumping-off point. 

On view online through July 31. Free. 

Start the guided tour here:


2. Brush with nature via a landscape painter’s process and works in progress.

Landscape painter Adam Wolpert chats with Museum of Sonoma County Executive Director Jeff Nathanson about his art — from plein air landscape painting to studio work — and natural inspiration. Wolpert’s work is currently in the museum’s exhibition “Landscape: Awe to Activism.” 

Wolpert virtually invites you into his Occidental home studio to chat about his close relationship with his stunning subject matter. 

Thursday, July 30, 7 p.m. online. Free. 



3. Go to space, sipping a cocktail or two.

The team at the California Academy of Sciences’ Morrison Planetarium presents a star-studded fête for this week’s Virtual NightLife. 

The celestial event spans talks about baby exoplanets and a galactic archaeology dig to a constellation tour. Don’t miss the chance to “face the truth about your astrology sign.” A cosmo might help with the new weight of your cosmic destiny. 

Thursday, July 30, 7 p.m. on YouTube Live and Facebook Live. Free. 



4. Connect with composers and creators at the Cabrillo music festival.

The Santa Cruz-based Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music is virtual this year, and there are plenty of performances and events taking place through Sunday, August 9.  

This weekend features a rich lineup: reflections on the festival’s roots, a conversation with Marin Alsop and a performance of Anna Clyne’s RIFT: symphonic ballet; Kristin Kuster’s 2019 work, When There Are Nine; a family concert (with a tour of the orchestra); and a performance by Grammy–nominated Quartet San Francisco. 

Content streams on the festival’s website Friday, July 31, at 5 p.m., Saturday, August 1, at 11 a.m., Saturday, August 1, at 5 p.m., Sunday, August 2, at 11 a.m. and Sunday, August 2, at 5 p.m. Free. 

Info on the entire festival lineup:


5. Pay tribute to Wayne Shorter (again and again). 

This week’s SFJAZZ Fridays at Five features Part 3 of a multi-concert celebration for saxophone legend and composer Wayne Shorter. This segment features Branford Marsalis, Terence Blanchard, Danilo Pérez, John Patitucci and Brian Blade.

If you’re unfamiliar with the backstory: Shorter was set to perform at SF JAZZ in January 2019, but couldn’t travel due to illness. Cue an all-star roster of jazz legends (organized by Herbie Hancock) taking the stage over four nights to perform and celebrate Shorter’s works. 

This performance was recorded January 4, 2019. More broadcasts of this series will occur in August and September. 

Friday, July 31, at 5 p.m. Digital memberships are $5 a month. 

Watch here:


6. Stream the Petaluma Music Festival. 

Another regular festival that’s morphed into a virtual presentation is the Petaluma Music Festival. It kicks off Saturday and includes live-streamed performances by several headline artists who were part of this year’s original (canceled) concert lineup. Among the mix of new sets from musicians’ homes and past Petaluma Music Festival sets, expect surprise guests and concerts by Bay Area talents who unite in support of the festival’s goal of keeping music in local schools. 

Saturday, August 1, online. Free. 



7. Meet pianist Gloria Chien with [email protected] 

This week kicks off the [email protected] Digital Artist Series, four programs from the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center that spotlight a different [email protected] artist. Hosting are artistic co-directors David Finckel and Wu Han. Expect HD concert recordings and a focus on how each artist is creating and adapting during the coronavirus pandemic.

The inaugural performance this week features pianist Gloria Chien and a program of John Field, Franz Liszt and Felix Mendelssohn.

Saturday, August 1, 5 p.m. on [email protected]’s home page. Free. 



8. Delve into a photographic retrospective of San Francisco’s African-American Community.

The San Francisco Public Library presents historic images — including many unpublished —  by local photographer Steve Jackson, Jr., who was resident photographer at Jimbo’s Bop City from 1951 to 1965. Jackson’s work is currently on exhibit at the Smithsonian’s African-American Museum of History & Culture. 

Leading us on this journey is Jackson’s daughter, Linda A. Jackson, a writer, historian, photographer and food artist.

Sunday, August 2, 2 p.m. on Zoom. Free. 



9. Learn how opera lets freedom sing. 

This week’s online lecture with San Francisco Opera feels especially on point with our activism-fueled summer: The theme is operas about liberation.  

Sadly, we know this struggle is nothing new — especially in opera. Dramaturg Emeritus Kip Cranna shares ideas about how liberty and freedom from oppression have fueled opera composers for centuries. Join in and explore “the many varied ways that operas have expressed in drama and song our basic human aspirations to be free.” 

Sunday, August 2, 1 p.m. on Zoom. $20.  



10. Celebrate World Music.

Stern Grove’s retrospective collections of past performances, available on TV and online, continue into August. The next lineup features the best of their world music performances over the years. 

Watch on KPIX-TV/Channel 5 with host Liam Mayclem. The festival’s website, Facebook and YouTube promise extended content.

Tune in Sunday, August 2, at 4:30 p.m.  


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