A celebration of the arts, the world’s largest peach, illustrious book illustrations, award-winning jazz, and the silver anniversary of a trailblazing dance company – it’s all happening at Sacramento State this spring as part of the University’s Arts Experience.

Sunday FundaySunday Funday has attractions for the entire family. (Sacramento State/Craig Koscho)

Festival of the Arts

This year’s campus-wide celebration of all things arts (aka FoTA) runs April 5-9 and covers a multitude of disciplines and art forms – from dance to theater to exhibits to music, and even film, writing, and philosophy.

The popular U-Create! returns Thursday, April 6. Located at Seventh and S streets, this combination street faire and arts showcase features live music, dance performances, and interactive offerings created by teams of students and faculty. There’s plenty to eat from SactoMoFo food trucks, and venues include the Verge Center for the Arts, the Axis Gallery, Beatnik Studios, and Insight Coffee Roasters. The fun runs from 5 to 9 p.m. Entrance to U-Create! and the galleries is free.

Family Sunday Funday continues its tradition of offering activities for all ages from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, April 9. Attractions include games, entertainment, and hands-on art projects spread out across the campus.

Other FoTA activities include:

  • A screening of Finding Cleveland, a short film by Baldwin Chiu, a Sacramento State alumnus who is an engineer, actor, and rapper; 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, April 5, Terrace Suite, The WELL.
  • “The Art of Executions and the Spectacle of Empire”: A presentation by Kim Wagner from Queen Mary University of London on the weaponization of cultural knowledge; 3 to 4:30 p.m. Thursday, April 6, Library 1001.
  • Plus performances of James and the Giant Peach, presentations from the directors of Northern California’s newest art museums, and a contemporary dance buffet served up by the region’s top professional dance companies.

For more information and a complete schedule of events, visit csus.edu/festival.

S/BADS/BAD celebrates its silver anniversary this year. (Photo: Tony Nguyen)

Theatre and Dance

The University’s Sacramento/Black Art of Dance was formed by Dance Professor Linda Goodrich to explore the movement culture of the African diaspora in the tradition of Black Concert dance originated by Katherine Dunham. This semester, S/BAD marks its 25th anniversary and its final concert under the leadership of Goodrich, who is retiring. To honor both occasions, a special concert will be presented Feb. 22-26 on the main stage of the University Theatre. Featuring pieces choreographed by faculty and local guest artists, with special guests the Afro-Cuban music and dance ensemble Ebo Okokan. Performances are at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 22-23; 8 p.m. Feb. 24-25; and 2 p.m. Feb. 25-26.

The ebb and flow of people caught in a struggle to economically survive in our postmodern civilization is the subject of Stories To Be Told by Argentine playwright Osvaldo Dragun. Directed by Professor Roberto Pomo and Lisa Ross, Stories To Be Told has been staged worldwide and translated into many languages. Performances are at Playwrights’ Theatre at 8 p.m. March 8-11 and 17-18; 6:30 p.m. March 15-16; and 2 p.m. March 12 and 19.

Roald Dahl’s children’s stories aren’t just for children, and all ages will enjoy James and the Giant Peach, adapted by Richard R. George from Dahl’s critically acclaimed book. It tells the story of James’ adventures inside a giant peach, accompanied by a family of seven oversized insects. Professor Emeritus Richard Bay returns to direct this presentation featuring actors, large-scale puppets, and dancers. Performances are on the main stage of the University Theatre at 8 p.m. April 5-8 and 14-15; 6:30 p.m. April 12-13; and 2 p.m. April 9 and 16.

The seventh annual Dance Sampler will be an “unplugged” version. The dance concert brings together professional dance companies from throughout Northern California to present samplings of their works. This year’s presentations are at 2 and 7 p.m. April 8-9 in Solano Hall Dancespace 1010. Tickets are $12 general admission.

The season concludes with Senior Dance Concert 2017, the annual performance that serves as the senior dance students’ finals. The choreographers are responsible for every facet of their individual pieces – from auditions to staging to set design. Performances are at Solano Hall Dancespace 1010 at 6:30 p.m. May 4 and 11; 8 p.m. May 5, 6, 12, and 13; and 2 p.m. May 6 and 13. Tickets for all 6:30 p.m. performances are $8 general admission and $5 for children. All other performances, except where noted, are $12 general, $10 students and seniors, and $8 for children. Tickets are available at the University Ticket Office, csus.edu/hornettickets or (916) 278-4323.

For more information about Theatre and Dance Department events and programs, visit csus.edu/dram or call (916) 278-6368.

ZukermanPinchas Zukerman will perform as part of the New Millennium Concert Series. (Photo: Cheryl Mazak)


The New Millennium Concert Series again will bring acclaimed classical music groups to Sacramento State.

The Mexico City Woodwind Quintet performs at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 1. Considered Mexico’s most distinguished wind ensemble, the quintet will perform a rich array of music, including Astor Piazzolla’s Tema de Maria. Tickets are $20 general, $15 seniors, and $10 for students.

Multiple Grammy-winning violinist Pinchas Zukerman takes the stage at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 28, joined by acclaimed pianist Angela Cheng. The pair will perform Mozart’s G Major Sonata, K. 301; Beethoven’s E-flat Major Sonata, Op. 12, No. 3; and Brahms’ D Minor Sonata, Op. 108. Tickets are $50 general, $40 for seniors and $20 for students.

The annual Faculty, Alumni and Friends Gala will be held at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 5. This year’s event includes alumnus Jia-mo Chen, cellist, and French hornist Sadie Glass. Pianist Eric Zivian teams up with faculty members Anna Presler, violin, and cellist Andrew Luchansky for a performance of Mendelssohn’s masterpiece, the Trio in D Minor, Op. 49. Tickets are $20 general admission, $15 for seniors, and $10 students.

The series closes with the Ying Quartet at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 11. The Grammy-winning quartet will present a varied program that includes Borodin’s D Major Quartet; Prokofiev’s F Major Quartet; and Beethoven’s masterpiece, Op. 59, No. 3 in C Major “Rasumofsky.” Tickets are $30 general admission, $20 for seniors, and $10 for students.


Enjoy a day full of New Orleans jazz when Sac State hosts the Traditional Jazz Youth Band Festival, 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 11, at Capistrano Hall. The non-competitive fest features a daylong series of clinics, jam sessions, and performances by musicians from middle school through college. It concludes with the Clinicians Concert featuring trumpeter Jon-Erik Kellso at 7 p.m. Daylong tickets are $12 at the door.


There’s more great classical music on tap with the Piano Series of concerts.

A first-prize winner in several competitions and a performer at venues such as the Berlin Symphoniker, Helsinki Philharmonic, and the Juilliard PC Orchestra, Yoonie Han will perform at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 18. Han will perform the complete “Goyescas” of Enrique Granados during her program.

The series concludes with Sacramento State’s own Professor Richard Cionco at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 22. A Steinway Artist, Cionco is a graduate of The Juilliard School and has performed at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and the Chicago Cultural Center, among many others; and The New York Times has praised his “sensitive pianism.”

The program includes Liszt’s Sonata in B Minor. Tickets for each concert are $20 general and $15 for students and seniors.


A couple of guest artists will stop by the School of Music this semester.

Percussionist Boyce Jeffries will present a free concert at 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 27, in Capistrano Hall 151. A recent master’s graduate of the University’s School of Music, Jeffries has appeared at the Mondavi Center for the Arts and served as a guest artist with Citywater, Sacramento’s new music ensemble.

Saxophonist Lucas Hopkins visits the campus at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 7. A classical and jazz performer, Hopkins has studied under saxophonist virtuoso Timothy McAllister, performed at the International Navy Band Saxophone Symposium, and is a Yamaha Young Performing Artist winner. Tickets are $10 general admission, $7 seniors, and $5 students.


World Music concerts continue this spring with the Gyani Indo-Jazz Ensemble performing at 8 p.m. Tuesday, March 28. Indian raga, jazz, Arabic melodies, and global rhythms are blended into a unique blend of Hindustani forms and improvisation played on the saxophone, harmonium, keyboards, and tabla.

The Chinyakare Ensemble is next up at 8 p.m. Tuesday, April 4. A family of musicians, dancers, and teachers will perform music and dance that weave colorful stories providing a glimpse of the excitement and spirit of traditional African culture.

South Indian vocalist S. Aishwarya will perform Carnatic music at 7 p.m. Sunday, April 23. Aishwarya has performed more than 400 concerts in India and internationally, and last spring performed 30 concerts across the United States.

Tickets for each concert are $15 general admission, $12 seniors, and $8 students.


Pianist and School of Music Professor Kirsten Smith presents a faculty recital at 7 p.m. Sunday, May 7, in Capistrano Hall 151. Winner of numerous awards, Smith has performed at music festivals such as Aspen, Interlochen, and the Cliburn Institute. She often premieres new music by modern composers and has several recordings under the Centaur label. Smith will be joined by faculty members Sandra McPherson, clarinet, and Tim Stanley on cello, as well as Cathie Apple, flute.

Tickets are $10 general admission, $7 seniors, and $5 students.


Members of the Opera Theatre company will present Kirke Mechem’s Tartuffe on the University Theatre’s main stage. Based on Moliere’s famous comedy of the same name, the production is a modern comic opera about the title character, a pious fraud who has made himself an unwelcome guest in a family’s household. Performed in English, Tartuffe will be presented at 8 p.m. May 5 and 6, and 2 p.m. May 7. Tickets are $15 general admission, $12 seniors, and $8 students.


The School of Music’s student groups have a full schedule of concerts covering a variety of musical genres.

The Symphonic Wind Ensemble performs at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 1, and again at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 10, in a double concert with the University’s Concert Band.

In addition to the May 10 concert, the Concert Band will perform at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 15.

The Latin Jazz Ensemble will present its salsa-seasoned sound at 8 p.m. Tuesday, March 7, and again at 8 p.m. Tuesday, May 2.

Winners of Downbeat magazine’s Outstanding Performance award, the Jazz Ensembles will perform at 8 p.m. Thursday, March 9, with special guest the Marine Corps All-Star Jazz Band. The University’s jazz bands return at 8 p.m. Thursday, April 20.

The University’s Vocal Jazz Ensembles were recognized last year as best in the nation by both Downbeat and the Monterey Next Generation Jazz Festival. They’ll perform at 7 p.m. Friday, April 7, and again at 7 p.m. Friday, May 12.

The School of Music’s three choruses will present their annual spring Choralfest at 8 p.m. Saturday, March 11, and return in concert at 8 p.m. Saturday, May 13. Both concerts are at Sacred Heart Church, 39th and J streets.

Great classical music will be presented when the Symphony Orchestra performs at 8 p.m. Tuesday, March 14, and 8 p.m. Tuesday, May 9.


You provide the lunch, and the School of Music provides the music. The Opera Company returns with a free opera to enjoy during the midday meal. Opera for Lunch presents Signor Deluso by Thomas Pasatieri at noon Friday, May 12. Bring your sandwich and juice box to Capistrano Hall 143 for this special offering.


The University’s premier Baroque ensemble, Camerata Capistrano, will perform at 4 p.m. Sunday, May 14.

The spring semester closes with Sac State’s youngest musicians – those in the String Project. That program provides affordable lessons in violin and cello to local young people from the fourth grade through high school, taught by the University’s music students. They present their annual free spring concert at 7 p.m. Monday, May 15.

All of the student group performances are $10 general admission, $7 seniors, and $5 students, except where noted.

All School of Music presentations are at the Capistrano Concert Hall except where noted. Tickets are available at the University Ticket Office, csus.edu/hornettickets or (916) 278-4323.

For more information about the School of Music’s concerts or programs, visit csus.edu/music or call (916) 278-5155.


“The Golden Age of Book Illustration” kicks off the Library Gallery’s spring semester. Curated by Gary Kurutz, principal librarian emeritus, Special Collections, California State Library, the free exhibit runs Feb. 17-May 19 and is drawn from the California State Library collections. The works trace the evolution of printing technology from the 19th century on, from John James Audubon to Thomas Moran. Examples of the various illustration processes include woodcuts, engravings, etchings, aquatints, and lithographs. A reception will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 17, at the gallery. Regular gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

Photographer Flo Razowsky combines photos with installation pieces for “Up Against the Wall,” a free exhibit that re-creates border structures around the world, from a 500-mile wall along the West Bank of Palestine to structures erected along the U.S. border with Mexico. Razowsky observes that refugees, immigration, and walls have become some of the great issues of our time. The exhibit runs April 1-29 at the Library Gallery Annex. A reception will be held from 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday, April 1. Regular gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.


ConstantinoValerie Constantino’s exhibit “Crossing Sublime (After After Nature)” is in the Else Gallery through Feb. 22. (Photo: Valerie Constantino)

Artist Valerie Constantino presents “Crossing Sublime (After After Nature) at Kadema Hall’s Robert Else Gallery. The free exhibit runs now through Feb. 22, with a reception from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 27, and an artist talk from 4 to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 7. Gallery hours are noon to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. A lecturer at Sac State and American River College, Constantino's interdisciplinary reading of W.G. Sebald’s narrative poem After Nature considers the fluid crossings of time, matter, and being.

The gallery will host the annual Awards Show March 5-April 7. This exhibit features select student works and identifies the Art Department’s scholarship and award winners.

The annual Senior Show takes over the space April 17-May 12, featuring works from the department’s graduating class.

On Friday, May 12, the department presents its annual Art Ball, the culminating event celebrating student work with exhibits, receptions, and other attractions scattered about the campus from 5 to 8 p.m. The celebration includes the reception for the Master of Arts in Studio Art show at the Library Annex Gallery.


This year’s Art History talks during the Festival of the Arts will be presented by the directors of Northern California’s newest university art museums. Rachel Teale is the founding director of the Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art at UC Davis. Lawrence Rinder is the director of the UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive. The directors will discuss the role of their museums, which generally are viewed as more independent and cutting-edge than other museums. The free presentations run 1-2:30 p.m. Saturday, April 8, in Mendocino Hall 2005.

Kadema Hall’s R.W. Witt Gallery will present individual student shows weekly. Regular gallery hours for the Robert Else and R.W. Witt galleries are noon-4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday.

For more information about the Library galleries, visit al.csus.edu/sota/ulg or call (916) 278-4189. For information on the Art Department’s exhibits or programs, visit al.csus.edu/art or call (916) 278-6166.

For media assistance on any arts programs or events, contact the University’s Public Affairs office at (916) 278-6156. – Craig Koscho