Hello and welcome to the UT Arts & Culture newsletter.
I am David L. Coddon, and here’s your guide to all the essentials in San Diego arts and culture this week.
The minting of a 25 cent coin representing Maya Angelou last month is a tribute to the woman whose contributions to poetry and social activism are invaluable. In her famous autobiography “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings”, Angelou wrote that “in the struggle lies the joy” – enduring words of faith, courage and perseverance as powerful today as they are today. were when the book was published in 1969.
Angelou passed away in 2014, but we remember her this Black History Month for well over a quarter illustrating her likeness. The Presidential Medal of Freedom winner continues to inspire and empower millions of people of all races. This includes musical artists, whose original works written to accompany Angelou’s poetry and prose can be heard on the official website Maya Angelou website.
They are moving and sincere compositions. Sadly, most are half-minute snippets, barely enough time to engage us. (Tip: if you Google some of the titles, you might find full YouTube versions.) Speaking of YouTube, scroll down to the bottom of the website’s music page and you’ll see a link to non-musical videos that include memorial speeches celebrating Angelou’s life as well as readings and interviews with Angelou herself.
You can spend hours with the Maya Angelou site, but even a few minutes can be a joy.
No lens focused on the fight for civil rights was more revealing than that of the photojournalist Gordon Parks. To celebrate Black History Month, the Oceanside Art Museum on Sunday at 2 p.m. will screen the documentary “A Choice of Weapons: Inspired by Gordon Parks.”
The film directed by John Maggio is a co-production of HBO and Kunhardt Films. The film directed by John Maggio is a co-production of HBO and Kunhardt Films. Among those interviewed are Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and New Yorker writer Jelani Cobb. “A Choice of Weapons” is named after Parks’ autobiography of the same name.
That screening is sold out, but two more events related to Parks’ autobiography are scheduled for later this month at Oceanside: On February 23, a book club discussion of “A Choice of Weapons” will take place at 5:30 p.m. Civic Center Library; and on Feb. 26 at 2 p.m. at the Star Theater on the N. Coast Highway, a Parks-inspired “Art in Conversation” program will be hosted by dancer/choreographer Alyssa Junious and educator/performer BJ Robinson.
The Floating Concert Series “Haydn Voyages: Music at the Maritime” kicks off its seventh season at the Embarcadero on Sunday at 2:30 p.m. Hausmann Quartet, whose members are San Diego State Faculty Artists-in-Residence and the Mainly Mozart Ensemble-in-Residence, will present aboard the Berkeley Steam Ferry a program called “Stars Align” featuring two works by Joseph Haydn and works by the early 20th-century French composer Germaine Taillefaire and contemporary composer Leila Adu-Gilmore.
Tickets for the two-hour show on the Berkeley range from $10 to $55.
A few closing notes on Haydn that are worth knowing: he was once the instructor of a young Beethoven and is often called “the father of the symphony”.
Lucy the anteater is one of the San Diego Zoo’s most prolific eaters. It is said to gobble up 30,000 ants a day. Lucy is also a stunning bronze sculpture by artist Jacquelyn Giuffre and is part of the National Sculpture Society California Exhibition.
This exhibition, which opens on Saturday and will continue until March 5 at Bonita Museum and Cultural Center on Bonita Road features the works of 38 Californian sculptors, including Giuffre. Also among the distinguished group are James Nelson of Encinitas with his sculpted “Carlos” portrait and Marsha Brooks of San Marcos’ bas-relief of Vice President Kamala Harris.
An exhibition reception will take place on Saturday from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
February is still San Diego Museum Month, with the San Diego Museum Council announcing half-price admission to over 45 museums and attractions. This year, after a year in 2021 where most of the programming was virtual, admissions are done in person.
Learn more about Museum Month in this story from my colleague Karla Peterson: San Diego Museum Month gives us 45 reasons — and more — why this is the perfect ticket to a hometown adventure
For his moving and beautifully composed portrayal of a river town in Alabama that is home to descendants of slaves, JR Moehringer of the Los Angeles Times received the 2000 Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing. If you ever get the chance to read his “Crossing Over” article, by all means do.
Five years later, Moehringer published a coming-of-age memoir titled “The Tender Bar”, which among other personal dramas recounted his childhood with a mostly absent asshole father. “The Tender Bar” is now a feature streaming movies on amazon prime which rarely rises above the level of the soap opera.
That’s disappointing considering the screenwriter (William Monahan, “The Departed”) and the film’s director-producer (George Clooney). Perhaps if Moehringer himself had done the writing, “The Tender Bar” would have had more depth. Yet it somehow survives an overload of ’70s music that encroaches on storytelling and Ben Affleck’s swaggering, philosophical portrayal of JR’s Uncle Charlie.
After decades of too-often-scorned female artists, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame is looking to make up for lost time for the second year in a row. The list of 2022 nominees, announced Wednesday morning, includes Dolly Parton and Carly Simon, both on the ballot for the first time, plus repeat nominees Dionne Warwick, Kate Bush, Pat Benatar and Eurythmics, the late British duo long led by vocal powerhouse Annie Lennox.
Read more about this year’s nominees in this article by George Varga of the Union-Tribune: 2022 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame nominees include Dolly Parton, Eminem, Lionel Richie, Carly Simon, Beck
University of California Television invites you to take advantage of this special selection of programs from across the University of California. Descriptions courtesy of and text written by UCTV staff:
“Tattooed Trucks of Nepal”: Throughout Nepal, large cargo trucks painted by artists provide special visual entertainment for travelers along the treacherous Himalayan highways and mountain roads. These creatively painted scenes and sayings can be clever, witty and even profound, providing food for thought to the viewer. Former Peace Corps volunteer and UC San Diego Distinguished Lecturer Ron Ranson along with filmmaker Sudarson Karki document the Nepalese custom of painting trucks with icons of their country, spiritual life, sports teams European films and even great films like “Titanic”.
“Script on screen: ‘I’m your man'”: Moderator Matt Ryan spoke to Maria Schrader about her film ‘I’m Your Man,’ which she directed and co-wrote and which is now Germany’s submission for the international film category for the 2022 Oscars The film centers on Alma, a researcher chosen to test a humanoid robot named Tom who is programmed to be the perfect partner for her. Schrader discussed the thrilling and challenging aspects of writing such an unconventional love story, as well as the process of directing lead actors Maren Eggert and Dan Stevens through the film’s comedic, intimate, and emotional scenes.
“Technology for Seniors”: Technology has become invaluable to many seniors. In addition to social media apps that can help us stay in touch with family and friends around the world, technology can be used to improve health and wellbeing, express creativity, and monitor serious mental illness. Ramesh Rao hosts Tom Kamber and Eric Granholm to discuss how we can harness the power of technology to change the way we age with the use of smartphone apps, virtual reality, neurofeedback, robotics and more . They also feature free programs and organizations to train seniors in using and accessing technology, as well as interacting with other seniors.
And finally… The best events of the weekend
Here are the main events taking place in San Diego from Thursday, February 3 through Sunday, February 6.