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What to do this Weekend: Nov 18-22

by Cristina Schreil

Take a break from tinkering with your turkey recipe, worrying about Senate runoffs and all other stresses in between — it’s time for the weekend roundup. Bay Area arts and cultural institutions have plenty of offerings to keep you sane as we speed toward a very different holiday season.

This week, delve into the City’s storied past with the California Historical Society. Or, get your glow on at the Oakland Zoo. You could also sink into an enchanting evening of Italian cinema, complete with culinary treats and jazz.

Check out our full curated roundup below.

Stream films made by women artists in a new SFMOMA exhibition.

SFMOMA’s No Time to Rest! exhibition — a five-part program of films by women — is now open and accessible online. Dive into films that “foreground the possibilities of resistance and activism as it critiques power structures, reclaims historical narratives, seeks bodily autonomy and reframes the act of representation in direct confrontation with patriarchal, racist, and capitalist legacies.”

This week, program two of the series features a compilation of three works by Bay Area artist Jeanne C. Finley. Don’t miss 1986’s Common Mistakes, wherein “Finley uses documentary and found footage and photography to illustrate four synonyms for the word “‘mistake.’” Through Nov. 24 online. Free. Info:

Survey San Francisco’s past.

The California Historical Society presents a new in-person exhibition spotlighting a selection of gelatin silver prints by Minor White, capturing WWII-era San Francisco.

Visit and view 60 images taken from 1948 to 1953. “Combining sophisticated abstract composition with socially astute observations, the photographs reveal a growing, rapidly modernizing, and more ethnically diverse San Francisco,” read the exhibition notes.

Opening Nov. 18. 678 Mission Street, San Francisco. $5–$10.

Delve into contemporary dance with PUSH’s festival finale.

Every Wednesday since early October, PUSH Dance Company has showcased dynamic performances and conversations about dance and activism in its eclectic festival PUSHfest Global. The finale is on Wednesday — tune in for a program moderated by Farah Yasmeen Shaikh and featuring Peri Trono & John Paul Alejandro, Joan Lazarus and Mariella Morales.

Wednesday, Nov. 18, 6 p.m. online. $10.


Embark on a Glowfari at Oakland Zoo.

Marvel at a giant multicolor bear, enormous butterflies, a herd of illuminated zebras and brightly hued dinosaurs at Oakland Zoo, where the Glowfari lantern festival is here to brighten your holiday season.

Grab a hot chocolate, ride the zoo gondola and visit the radiant menagerie now throughout the holiday season.

Nov. 20–30; Dec. 1–31; Jan. 1-17 at the Oakland Zoo. $20 adults, $18 children and seniors.


Celebrate Member Premiere Weekend at OMCA.

Oakland Museum of California presents its member premiere weekend, where the museum’s new garden and renovated Galleries of California Art, History and Natural Sciences are on display after many months of closure due to the pandemic.

Consider supporting the museum with a membership and gaining early access before the museum opens to the public next weekend. Members need to reserve a spot due to COVID-19 capacity constraints.

Friday, Nov. 20, 11 a.m.–5 p.m. 1000 Oak Street, Oakland. Annual memberships start at $55–$75.


Welcome the weekend with SFJAZZ.

The Anat Cohen Tentet made its West Coast debut at SFJAZZ in December 2017. Watch the vitalizing performance of this ensemble, led by Israeli clarinetist/tenor saxophonist Cohen — who SFJAZZ describes as “at the leading edge of a wave of brilliant Israeli improvisers who have energized the New York jazz scene over the past two decades.” Tenant’s love of Brazilian music and orchestral influences is on full display in this performance.

Also performing are trumpeter Nadje Noordhuis, Brazilian pianist/accordionist Vitor Gonçalves, vibraphonist James Shipp and guitarist Sheryl Bailey.

Friday, Nov. 20, 5 p.m. online. Monthly memberships are $5.


Learn about generations of Native American activism.

November is Native American Heritage Month. The San Francisco Public Library presents an important dialogue about Native American activism between Asha Nordwall and Benayshe-Ba-Equay Titus — the daughter and granddaughter of Adam Fortunate Eagle Nordwall, a member of the Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians and Native American activist.

The focus of the talk is on the movements sculpting new generations of Native American activism. It’s something the speakers know intimately — Nordwall spent time on Alcatraz during the occupation.

Saturday, Nov. 21, 11 a.m. on Zoom and YouTube. Free.


Feast your eyes on Italian cinema at the drive-in.

Drive-in movies, such as those showing at Fort Mason, have become a staple of the pandemic. This week, the Italian Cultural Institute and the Consulate General of Italy in San Francisco team up with the Academy of Italian Cuisine and Fort Mason Flix for a special evening of Italian cinema. Watch Sergio Leone’s inaugural spaghetti western, A Fistful of Dollars, and An American in Rome.

Rounding out the evening at the City’s first Italian drive-in are a musical tribute by jazz ensemble Sonamó honoring Ennio Morricone and a menu of Italian dishes and ice cream on sale.

Saturday, Nov. 21, 6 p.m. and Saturday, Nov. 21, 9 p.m. Fort Mason, 2 Marina Boulevard, San Francisco. $35 per car.


Channel Rockwell with the CJM’s look at the mid-century modern Thanksgiving.

The Contemporary Jewish Museum’s next installment of its Sunday Stories programming centers on the Thanksgiving aesthetic from the 1930s through the 1950s, with a close look at how “émigré architects and designers assimilated into creative communities throughout the United States.” As organizers remind, the era was also a bounty of Thanksgiving food and design that still informs traditions today.

Sunday, Nov. 22, 10 a.m. on Facebook. Free.


Enjoy piano treasures with Merola Opera Program.

Piano works are the showcase of the latest concert from Merola Opera. Merola alumni pianist Tamara Sanikidze and pianist/vocalist Edoardo Barsotti promise a delightful afternoon of works by Brahms, Chopin, Liszt, Ravel and Morricone.

VIP tickets include a virtual reception with Sanikidze.

Sunday, Nov. 22, 4 p.m. online. $25–$80.


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