North Bay Organizations Present Fresh Perspectives in Upcoming Virtual Events

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THE MUSE HOUR Grammy and Latin Grammy Award winner Lila Downs performs and discusses Latinx issues in a virtual event hosted by Luther Burbank Center for the Arts on Sunday, Nov 8. - MARCELA TABOADA
  • Marcela Taboada
  • THE MUSE HOUR Grammy and Latin Grammy Award winner Lila Downs performs and discusses Latinx issues in a virtual event hosted by Luther Burbank Center for the Arts on Sunday, Nov 8.

If you are able to break from the political news coverage dominating this week's airwaves and social media, there are several upcoming online events from North Bay groups that will be celebrating the arts and motivating virtual audiences to see things in a new light.

The Marin Art and Garden Center is currently hosting an online art exhibit, “The Mt. Tamalpais Florilegium,” featuring paintings and drawings by members of the Northern California Society of Botanical Artists that depict Mt Tam’s varied flora. In addition to displaying the botanical artworks, the center is hosting a series of online art classes, including this week’s introductory class, “Fall Leaves.” Led by artist Sally Petru, the two-hour workshop is aimed at artists of any skill level and offers basic instruction on painting plants with watercolor and demonstrations and exercises meant to bolster each artist’s botanical knowledge. The online class takes place Friday, Nov. 6. 1pm. $45. Maringarden.org.

Facing his middle-aged crisis head on, Anthony Lee Head gave up a career as a trial lawyer in San Francisco to travel 3,500 miles to Mexico, where he and his wife ran a small hotel and a margarita bar for a decade. Now living in San Rafael, Head collected and wrote his favorite tales from that time in his debut book, Driftwood: Stories from the Margarita Road. Head reads from the book and tells more stories about Mexico in conversation with author, actor and activist Peter Coyote in a virtual event hosted by Book Passage on Saturday, Nov. 7, at 4pm. Free. Bookpassage.com.

With its annual summer festival canceled, Healdsburg Jazz became one the first North Bay arts organizations to take its programming online with music history classes and virtual concerts. Now, the organization goes all out online for the Healdsburg Jazz Gala this weekend. The event features the group’s new artistic director, Marcus Shelby, laying out his vision for the future, as well as performances by several popular artists and words from other honorees and community leaders. The event also boasts an online auction that is live online now, and the Gala takes place on Saturday, Nov. 7. 6pm. $15 minimum donation. Healdsburgjazz.org.

For nearly 40 years, the nonprofit dance school and pre-professional dance company North Coast Ballet California has performed for Sonoma County audiences and students, with concerts ranging from holiday Nutcracker performances to original pieces that delight and inspire. This weekend, the company goes virtual for a fundraising event, “Dancing in the Moment,” which features appearances by alumni members revisiting works from the company’s archive as well as performances by current company members at all levels. North Coast is also partnering with Petaluma’s Beyond the Glory Sports Bar & Grill for a takeout dinner special to go along with the virtual show, happening Saturday, Nov. 7. 6pm. $35. Northcoastballet.org.

Grammy and Latin Grammy Award winner Lila Downs (pictured) is both a compelling stage presence and poignant storyteller. The bilingual star is also a fierce advocate for social justice, and she often incorporates her activist streak into her lyrics, highlighting issues that face the Latinex community. This weekend, the Luther Burbank Center for the Arts welcomes Downs in a virtual conversation in "The Muse Hour." Downs will several topics that serve as social-justice muses for her artistry, and she will perform some of her music, which ranges from Mexican and South American folk and ranchera music to North American folk, jazz, blues and hip-hop. "The Muse Hour" commences on Sunday, Nov. 8, at 7:30pm. $10. Lutherburbankcenter.org.

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