“If the children of the rainbow can speak to us of the woods in winter, of the rains and snows, of the sadness of autumn, of the chilly winds in Harlem, of the smell of plum sauce dripping from the old in Chinatown, of the old Filipino men whose bodies smell like a hundred water buffaloes soaked in the Kearny Street mud, then we should a lend an ear and listen to them.”


—Al Robles, Filipino-American poet and community activist from San Francisco (1930-2009)

Winter’s here. As rain clouds swelled, fava beans were planted between velour-topped amaranth and climbing berry vines at All in Common Community Garden. Its resident bee hive hummed with the street traffic, working rain or shine.

Inside the 24th Street mini-park, the playful feathered serpent mosaic sculpture stopped spewing water at laughing children. Graying skies underscored the brilliant street art blanketing playgrounds and streets. Take a tour to see mosaic murals by young artists working with Kid Serve and Precita Eyes Mural Arts.

Children, families and passersby are welcome to paint outdoors at Red Poppy Art House every Saturday afternoon. If life imitates art, then art is messy. Umbra Fisk at Grist.com gives advice to an aunt regarding children’s art supplies. Check out the art workshops for children and youth at Precita Eyes Mural Arts and Parque Niños Unidos. Paint the town in these crackerjack galoshes.

An exhibition of family portraits created by artists from Root Division’s Youth Education Program is showing at SFO Airport. Middle schoolers recreated family photographs using drawing, painting and collage. Third graders from Buena Vista Child Care made family portraits using oil pastel and watercolor paint. The exhibit runs through November at San Francisco Airport Museums and is free to all visitors.

Sin muerte no hay vida
There can be no life without death ...

This Thursday the veil between worlds lifts at “Bring Back the Dead: Dia de Los Muertos/Day of the Dead 2009” at Mission Cultural Center for the Arts. Featuring “The Grand Cemetery of J.G. Posada and M. Manilla Calaveras: A Memorium for the Dead,” curated by James Nikas. Come see a rarely seen sampling of the many calaveras, or skeleton images, in the original “penny press” broadsides illustrated by Mexican printmakers Posada and Manilla. These inspired generations of artists, including muralists Diego Rivera and Jose Clemente Orozco.

The Chicano art movement in the USA as well as much modern art throughout the Americas, even rock-‘n’-roll’s Grateful Dead all carry the influence of Posada and Manilla’s work. Also showcasing decorated altars and spirited installations by dozens of artists and students. Visit website for more info on exhibition, workshops and upcoming gala reception.Opens Thurs., Oct. 15 and runs through Sat., Nov. 21. Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts, 2868 Mission St.

BeyondChron article discusses classroom diversity and academic standards.  This week’s El Tecolote newspaper has interesting articles addressing ethnic studies in education, from grade school through college. Mission Loc@l’s Rosa Ramirez reports on the “Teachers 4 Social Justice” conference, and Sade McDougal captures the All Queens Life Strategies Panel at the Hip-Hop Chess Federation.

Hoy, hoy!  October is Filipino American Heritage Month. Two hundred fifty years ago, Filipinos first settled in New Orleans. The Manilamen jumped off Spanish ships during the Galleon Trade and established the small fishing village of Saint Malo. Jump aboard a bouncy jeepney with explorers Marissa and Jordan (Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Program) to learn more about Fil-Am history. Relief efforts are still underway in the Philippines, where more than 700,000 people were displaced by last month’s typhoon.

Upcoming Events:

Between the Folds (2008) Film Screening
(56 minutes)
Sat., Oct. 17, 4:45pm. $11. Roxie Theater, 3117 16th St.
Directed by Vaneesa Gould (US). A star of the festival circuit, with tons of awards and sizeable buzz, this paean to the craft of paper folding is a best bet for science geeks and art lovers alike. Called ‘a rare delight for the senses,’ and ‘filmmaking at its most wondrous,’ Between the Folds chronicles the stories of 10 fine artists and theoretical scientists who have abandoned careers and scoffed at hard-earned graduate degrees to forge unconventional lives as modern-day paper folders. Together, they reinterpret the world in paper, creating a wild mix of art, science, creativity, and meaning. Presented by Exploratorium and SF Doc Fest.

826 Valencia Presents … Young Voices
Sat., Oct. 17, 7:15-8:15pm. 826 Valencia Writing Center

Local student authors from 826 Valencia Writing Center and 826 Quarterly serve up hardboiled diction to dine-and-Dashiell Hammetts during LitCrawl, the leggy culmination of LitQuake literary festival. If it’s too loud, yer too old.

SUKAY Carnaval de Bolivia
Sat., Oct. 17, 8pm. $21. Brava Theater Center, 2781 24th St.

SUKAY presents a celebratory evening of music and dance from the Andes. Performances feature the great Bolivian virtuosos Eddy & Gabriel Navia, SUKAY, Cuban sonero Fito Reinoso, and dance troupe Renacer Folklorico de Bolivia.  Following the dance and music there is a screening by ARTAINMENT of the short film Transmissions from the Galactic Center: Hunab Ku.

Sugar Skull Making Workshop
Sat., Oct. 17, 1-3pm. $25. Ages 10+. Galería de la Raza, 2857 24th St.

Learn how to make sugar skulls for Day of the Dead! In this two-hour workshop, you will be taken through the sugar-skull-making process step by step, and then create your very own sugar skull art. A fun and festive event with music and traditional holiday snacks. With the materials provided, you will be able to decorate sugar skulls in a traditional manner or get really creative. Taught by artist Michele Simons.

Papel Picado Workshop (Mexican Paper Cutting)
Sat., Oct. 17, 1-4pm. $5. Ages 12+. Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts, 2868 Mission St. (at 25th St.)

The art of papel picado, creating intricately designed paper cuttings that are used for Dia de los Muertos and other special occasions, is taught by master artist and altarista Herminia Albarran Romero. Her work has been featured at University of California, Berkeley Art Museum, Oakland Art Museum, Heard Museum, and Museum of Modern Art. Romero is an NEA awardee for National Heritage Fellowships in Folk and Traditional Arts, the highest award for Folk Arts in the U.S.

Festival de los Volcanes
Sun., Oct. 18, 10am-5pm. Free. Horace Mann Middle School, 3351 23rd St

This second annual festival honors Central American culture through food, arts, crafts, music and dance. Performances by local musicians, poets and rap artists, including Los Ramblers, Marianao, Los Rakas, Duci Lips, Belleza de Panama, and others. Aura Beteta, a prominent leader in the Nicaraguan community, and Supervisor David Campos, a Guatemalan immigrant and civic leader, will be honored with the Festival de Los Volcanes Leadership Award.

Between the Folds (2008) Film Screening
Mon., Oct. 19, 7pm. $11. Roxie Theater, 3117 16th St.

Be there, origami be squared. See above for details; view trailer.

First Cry (2007) Video Screening
Mon., Oct. 19, 6:30pm. Free, donations welcome. Natural Resources, 1367 Valencia St. (at 25th St.)

San Francisco premiere screening of First Cry (Le Premier Cri), directed by Gilles de Maistr, soundtrack by Armand Amar. Pregnancy and birth are documented around the globe, in the countries of U.S., Mexico, Brazil, France, Niger, India, Russia, Japan, and Vietnam. The film opens in Mexico with a dolphin “midwifing” a baby into the world. Breathtaking and gorgeous, First Cry was nominated for the Cesar Award for Best Documentary Film. Brought by Sage Femme, Inc., the nonprofit normal and safe birth advocacy organization. Free event; donations gratefully welcomed to help fund the Childbirth Education Scholarship. In French with English subtitles. (60 min.) View trailer.

And more …  nonsense!  Is that your gut talking or is your other brain a ventriloquist? Get smart reading Kafka while juggling. Think globally, act lovingly and creatively. Wild rumpus raises over $400,000 for 826 Valencia, and in the end, all is love.

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  1. thank god i’m wrong as the day is long. winter’s not here, hello sun!

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