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ISSUE 11.0 Jan / Feb 2019


Silicon Valley’s Innovative and Creative Culture


SEAN BOYLES Pow! Wow! Mural


Featuring Pow! Wow! San Jose | Muralist Sean Boyles | Orchard City Kitchen | DJ Eternal

Arthur Ku adv2.pdf











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C CONTENT ISSUE 11.0 “Discover” Jan / Feb 2019

Cultivator Daniel Garcia Editors Elizabeth Sullivan, Justin Sun Samantha Tack, Grace Olivieri Linnea Lukatch, Katherine Hypes Rah Riley Circulation/Distribution Elle Mitchell Community Partnerships Kristen Pfund

Photographers Arabela Espinoza, Avni Levy Brian Rampas, Sannie Celeridad Ian Lundie, Lanny Nguyen Writers Brandon E. Roos, Demone Carter, Michelle Runde, Nathan Zanon Johanna Hickle, Gillian Claus Tad Malone, Kunal Sampat Daniel Codella, Brad Sanzenbacher Marissa Ahmadkhani, Esther Young Allen Johnson, Taran Escobar-Ausman Hannah Duchesne, DJ Enano, Jeff Brummet

Publisher SVCreates As we enter our ninth year, we embark with our traditional focus of discovering some new or unfamiliar aspect of our region: like the recently opened specialty ice company that is providing clear cubes for craft cocktails or the newly developed program from the City of San Jose Office of Cultural Affairs which has commissioned four local artists as ambassadors to spark creativity and reach out to the community through some special art projects. In addition, I am excited to add a couple of new features to our magazine. Though we will continue to focus on profiles—and telling the stories of our creative people—we are adding a few pieces intended to educate. The first piece highlights our partnership with SPUR in which we will present their reports and studies on Bay Area planning and development. Our hope is that you will continue to explore the great work they are doing to help our communities be mindful and responsible in the future planning of our cities and neighborhoods. The second new feature, a series on Branding in partnership with Duchesne Communications, is intended to help us think through and build our entrepreneurial projects—whether it be for a product or as an artist—and to develop some tools in ways that can help us grow our voice and enhance our effectiveness. Lastly, it is always an honor to feature locals, and without the support of you, the subscriber, it would not be possible to pay the writers, editors, photographers, and designers that sustain the creative production of CONTENT and our mission to be a catalyst for our art and design ecosystem. Thank you! Enjoy. Daniel Garcia THE CULTIVATOR

IN THIS ISSUE Sean Boyles / 3Below / Orchard City Kitchen / Pow! Wow! / 1 Oz Coffee To participate in CONTENT MAGAZINE: Subscription & advertising information available by contacting

CONTENT MAGAZINE is a bimonthly publication about the innovative and creative culture of Silicon Valley, published by




Jan / Feb 2019 San Jose, California

ART & CULTURE 08 Four Scenarios, SPUR 18 Branding Series: Marty Neumeier, Hannah Duchesne 22 Creative Agency, Katie Otis 26 PiĂąatera, Patty Botello 30 Artist, Sean Boyles 34 Artist, Sarah Williams 40 The Art Cave, Danielle Peters and Leigh Erickson 46 Pow! Wow! San Jose 54 Creative License Ambassadors PROFILES 60 SOMOS Mayfair, Camille Llanes-Fontanilla 64 3Below, Scott and Shannon Guggenheim

Pow! Wow! 2018, pg. 46

FOOD & DRINK 68 1 Oz Coffee, Yulia Kolchanova 70 The Clear Ice Company, Kyle Stewart-Franz 76 Orchard City Kitchen, Chef Jeffrey Stout WORDS/MUSIC 80 DJ Eternal, Roel Garcia 84 Musician/Writer, Joseph Jason Santiago LaCour 88 Zinemaker/Artist, Ivy Atoms 94 Album Picks, Needle to the Groove 96 Calendar 98 Contributors

Camille Llanes-Fontanilla, pg. 60

All materials in CONTENT MAGAZINE are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published, broadcast, or modified in any way without the prior written consent of Silicon Valley Creates, or in the case of third party materials, the owner of that content. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of this content. For further information, or to participate in the production or distribution, please contact us at

ON COVER: A section of Sean Boyle and Roan Victor mural commissioned by Pow! Wow! San Jose.

Joseph Jason Santiago LaCour, pg. 84

The Clear Ice Company, pg. 70






SnS 10.2 11.0 Discover




Written by Gabriel Metcalf Contributors: Ratna Amin, Benjamin Grant, Sarah Jo Szambelan, Laura Tam, Egon Terplan, Laura Tolkoff This paper was developed from ideas generated by the SPUR Board of Directors at the 2017 annual board retreat. Strategic Advisor: Peter Schwartz Thank you to: Nicole Boyer, Salesforce, Metropolitan Transportation Commission, ConnectSF Edited by Karen Steen Designed by Shawn Hazen Illustrations by Michael Byers Copy edited by Valerie Sinzdak Compiled by Linnea Lukatch


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Four Scenarios for the Bay Area

CONTENT MAGAZINE admires the dreams, innovations, and social consciousness of the people who make the Bay Area one of the most progressive and exciting places to live and grow. Our communities thrive and develop because of the creativity and ingenuity of the everyday people who fill our pages with their stories of tradition and change. At the present moment, you can go to any number of Bay Area neighborhoods to see the results of diverse minds coming together to forge more authentic, urban cultural identities. These local pioneers and entrepreneurs in art, music, fashion, food, and technology make a difference in helping the Bay Area overcome challenges to promote social inclusiveness, individual prosperity, gender and ethnic equality, and empathy. Serious problems stemming from economic inequality, inadequate infrastructure, and failure to plan for the rapid growth

of our cities, however, continue to cast a dark shadow over the Bay Area. We grapple with some of the highest housing prices in the country, soul-draining commutes, and unsatisfactory transportation systems; meanwhile, challenges are intensely magnified for those who struggle to find their footing financially, with some pushed into homelessness or forced to leave the region they call home. The future is up in the air, and we are curious about what shape and direction our rising communities will take as we debate and consciously make important economic, political, social, and environmental decisions. With an eye toward planning and problem solving, SPUR—a nonprofit organization whose mission is to develop solutions for urban problems in the San Francisco Bay Area—is currently developing the SPUR Regional Strategy, a multi-year initiative that aims to tackle the intractable prob-

lems the region faces. As part of that effort, SPUR has experimented with a scenario-planning process to explore four critical uncertainties that the Bay Area will contend with over the next 50 years: the economy, housing, transportation, and the physical form that growth takes. CONTENT has partnered with SPUR to showcase its report on four possible scenarios, or “myths of the future,” that illustrate how the critical uncertainties and long-term outcomes could interplay with the decisions we go forward with as a society. There’s no way to predict how the future will unfold, but SPUR—whose final goal is to turn vision into strategy and implementation— believes there are ways to plan for and shape the possibilities. Will the Bay Area of 2070 be a Gated Utopia, Bunker Bay Area, Rust Belt West, or a New Social Compact? The answer will depend on the choices we make as a region today. C


GATED UTOPIA Economic Prosperity + Social Exclusion

The Bay Area of 2070 has continued to be an innovation center. A great lifestyle is available—but only for those who can afford it.

In this scenario, life in the Bay Area is good. But our collective choice not to expand the housing supply or to make investments in other public forms of social support has pushed everyone except the wealthy out of the region. The core of the region is an international metropolis that appeals to the global elite. Many service jobs have been automated, so there are fewer service workers than there once were and most of the working-class population has moved elsewhere to find work. As a result, the Bay Area has become a racially, economically, and culturally homogeneous region, having lost its African-American population and most immigrant communities. It is not a place for working- and middle-class families to find housing they can afford. Public transit is high-quality in urban downtowns, but most residents still take private transit, usually in the form of small, autonomous vehicles summoned with an app. Travel is expensive because of permanent congestion pricing, but congestion has largely been solved in the core of the region. Bay Area schools are good, with the distinction between public and private schools having blurred long ago. Everyone here can get a great education, but everyone who is educated here is already well-off. Outside the core of the region, it’s a different story. Service workers endure long, crowded commutes from a sprawling supercity in the northern San Joaquin Valley that encompasses the formerly separate cities of Tracy, Stockton, Manteca, and

Modesto. Among its neighborhoods of inexpensive single-family homes, the supercity includes a number of shantytowns and tent cities. When a severe earthquake hits, the wealthy cities in the core of the region are prepared and rebound, but damage and loss of life hit hard at the urban edge. Core locations are similarly protected from sea level rise, but the impacts of climate change have a long reach: continually flooded infrastructure at the periphery prevents service workers from accessing jobs, further driving up labor costs in the core. HOW WE GOT HERE The Gated Utopia did not emerge easily. It took great effort to clean up our cities, preserve older buildings, and overcome resistance to high taxes in order to finance pristine parks and public spaces. Our civic and business leaders take justifiable pride in the investments we made in public spaces, schools, and museums. The most important decision we made was to allow a minority of people with influence and money to simply take care of themselves. They said, “How can we be expected to solve poverty and inequality when the problems are so great? Our job is to make this place the best it can be for the people like us who live here. We cannot do more than that.” A generation of middle-class people became multimillionaires simply through their luck in having bought houses at the right time. To make sure they hung onto their wealth, they exercised their power to prevent new housing from being built, and they elected leaders who opposed new housing construction.


BUNKER BAY AREA Economic Decline + Social Exclusion

The Bay Area of 2070 has balkanized into factions marked by extreme inequality and segregation. Trust between people is low and resources are scarce, making this a high-stress, low-satisfaction way of life for all.

The Bay Area has become a place of declining economic opportunity. Small pockets of wealth in highly manicured, highly protected neighborhoods are surrounded by slums—a pattern of extremes previously seen most often in developing nations. There is little to no social trust or cohesion. Most people do not know anyone who is of a different class. There are virtually no pathways leading out of poverty. Many low-income people work in the informal economy of illegal products and services. A large private-security industry protects the wealthy; others must fend for themselves. Underfunded police forces can’t keep up with crime and civil unrest. Corruption is common, as are violent crackdowns in restive districts. Teachers are armed. The dominant architectural form is the gated community. New construction includes fortress-like features by default, and those who live in older neighborhoods retrofit the existing urban fabric with walls, gates, and barred windows. Parks have become shantytowns, and public services are either nonexistent or highly dysfunctional. An extreme digital divide has created separate transportation systems. Elevated autonomous transit lines that run along converted freeways are carefully protected and expensive to use. Electric passenger drones move constantly overhead, carrying the wealthiest residents. Meanwhile, the poorest residents rely on outdated technologies, including


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gasoline-powered “ad buses” covered in billboards and video screens, which help fund their operation. People compare the Bay Area to São Paulo, Mexico City, and other major Latin American cities where the poorest and the richest inhabit distinct worlds right on top of one another. HOW WE GOT HERE Our gradual slide into Bunker Bay Area stemmed from a cultural and political shift away from collective problem solving toward an emphasis on personal liberty. The first signs of this change emerged when our cities were overwhelmed by homelessness. When our systems for providing help failed to keep up with the need, we eventually gave up. As our focus turned inward, inequality metastasized. More and more of the region’s wealth ended up in a small number of hands. The shift was masked for a time by overall economic growth, but eventually there were simply many more people in poverty than not. We began to lose faith that everyone was in it together. Without a sense of shared fate, we abandoned the public realm. We allowed those with money to control politics, which led to lower taxes and reduced the capacity of the public sector. We didn’t retrain people for new jobs or create the social safety net needed to keep up with the pace of economic restructuring. We came to believe that the pie was not big enough for everyone. We accepted fear as a way of life.

RUST BELT WEST Economic Decline + Social Inclusion

Antibusiness sentiment has gained ascendency in the Bay Area of 2070, causing companies to leave and the economy to founder. Those who remain fashion an alternative economy but struggle to get their basic needs met. With the admirable goals of supporting low-income workers and building inclusion, our activist communities took on big business—and won. This significant cultural shift has resulted in a strong sense of social solidarity, but as a result, resources have dwindled and quality of life has suffered. Many residents experience an internal conflict: they support the values underlying the new policies but have grown cynical about the realities entailed in living with less. While the Bay Area actively restricted businesses, other regions were courting them. Silicon Valley firms have moved to Seattle, New York, Austin, Shanghai, Toronto, and Berlin. We have high unemployment and little to no new job creation. The Bay Area is no longer where the most highly educated workers choose to make a living; we’ve become somewhat of an economic backwater. As in Italy, our population grows older as younger people leave to find opportunity elsewhere. A shrinking tax base has led to continual failures of the pension system and ongoing layoffs. Public-sector labor unions spend most of their time fighting a rearguard action against further job loss. Our scarce public resources are pulled toward an overburdened and politically untouchable social safety net. This means people pay very high taxes but don’t get very much in exchange. We are unable to support high levels of investment in transit, education, infrastructure, services, and the public realm. Classrooms are overcrowded, BART has stopped running, and garbage collection happens every three weeks. In the absence of capital, we have to get creative. Without new computers and textbooks, teachers have developed hands-on curriculum around urban farming and carpentry. People don’t need to travel as far or as often as they used to, so transportation services have become more local: co-ops run so-

lar-powered jitneys and provide rides on hand-built bikes, scooters, and pedicabs. Other needs can’t be met as easily. Hospitals are understaffed, and expensive medications are hard to come by. There’s a waiting list for non-emergency surgeries. The physical form of the Bay Area hasn’t changed much. There’s very little new building, but it’s not needed because our jobs and population are not growing. There are a lot of vacant buildings, and even some of our most valuable historic resources are starting to deteriorate. The desire to prepare for disaster is strong, but funding is never adequate. After an earthquake, even major infrastructure goes unrepaired: abandoned buildings, freeways, and bridges become prominent features of the regional landscape. As sea levels rise and the population declines, chronically flooded areas are abandoned. HOW WE GOT HERE As the home of the American left, the Bay Area became increasingly radicalized. Over time, a series of new regulations made it increasingly difficult for businesses to function. A tax on stock options was so significant that startups had to leave the region before they could go public. Affordable housing requirements became so onerous that developers could no longer raise the investment capital needed to build. As elected leaders competed with each other to show who was the most progressive, important protections for workers were taken too far: minimum wage eventually grew to $75 per hour. Local hire laws made it hard to bring in workers from around the world, eventually regulating wages and restricting who could get fired. The result was a vicious cycle: as companies left, there were no business leaders to contest the policy choices, which over time became more and more extreme.


A NEW SOCIAL COMPACT Economic Prosperity + Social Inclusion

An emphasis on economic growth coupled with a renewed faith in our ability to address collective challenges has driven significant progress toward making the Bay Area of 2070 a place of opportunity for everyone.

In this scenario, the Bay Area has embraced the belief that we can grow the pie and divide it more equally. This principle of shared prosperity has led to high levels of investment in social housing, public transit, education, and other foundations of an equitable society. Fast and reliable transit, managed regionwide by a single rail and transit authority, provides the backbone of our transportation system, connecting to the lower-density parts of the region via shared autonomous vehicles, ebikes, and new forms of personal transportation. Because we worked to bridge the digital divide, these services are available to everyone. Our communities are designed to encourage walking and biking. Many neighborhoods have car-free commercial blocks like those found in European cities. Autonomous vehicles and drones deliver some of our goods, but the sidewalks are for people. We welcome new people and new ideas, which has allowed a dynamic economy to prosper. Over time, some industries have gone away, but new jobs keep emerging as we continue inventing new things. We have eliminated fossil fuels from our homes, vehicles, and industries. Innovation in this area generates a significant export industry; we teach other cities and regions around the world how to build high-performance energy and transportation systems, the same way the Dutch export their water management expertise. We’ve embraced infill housing and smaller living spaces, both of which allow more people to afford life in their neighborhoods of choice. We’ve also pioneered innovations in factory-built housing, making new homes faster and less expensive to build.

Housing in new places has avoided the pitfalls of traditional suburban sprawl: transit has expanded to support well-planned, walkable, bikeable new cities. The Bay Area is known as a place of upward social mobility and opportunity. There are lots of jobs, and we fill many of them locally through our high-quality public schools and tech training programs. A region-wide minimum wage means people who work in local-serving industries earn enough to live on. Anyone with a full-time job can afford life in the Bay, even if it’s not always luxurious. HOW WE GOT HERE The residents of the Bay Area had to make some real sacrifices to bring about this outcome. Realizing that immigration politics were deeply related to housing politics, voters changed course on housing policy, reversing 30 years of neighborhood protectionism and allowing significant new construction. Residents also voted to raise taxes on themselves repeatedly in order to fund social housing, public schools, public transit, and other programs that helped bring about a high quality of life for people regardless of their income level. People who had become wealthy in business were generous as philanthropists and invested heavily in the region. And businesses worked to develop a new employment bargain that translated the worker protections of the post-World War II era into a modern, flexible form with portable benefits, high investment in training, and high wages. As a result, the Bay Area population is much larger than people ever imagined was possible. It serves as a model of what a sustainable, prosperous, socially just metropolis can look like.

To access the full report, visit


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Discover 11.0


Exploring Who You Are, What You Do, and Why It Should Matter to Anyone


MARTY NEUMEIER Written by Hannah Duchesne


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rands are designed with us in mind, whether we know it or not. In reality, it is us that are the primary focus of brand builders. As members of a brand’s target market, it is our perception of a brand’s identity that chiefly impacts the brand. To reach and influence us, brand teams bring together the disciplines of art, philosophy, history, psychology, sociology, communication, and marketing to create an identity and architect an experience. To understand the philosophy upon which the discipline of branding exists, we must understand three things and their relationship with each other: perception, identity, and design. Foundationally, we acknowledge as truth that the identity of a brand is inextricably linked to the perception of that brand. We further affirm that we can design brand experience in such a way as to affect brand perception. How do we design brand experience? By creating a brand identity which simultaneously communicates truth and value directly to the humans it matters most to. Critically, that brand identity must “align with the reality of the situation,” offers Marty Neumeier, commonly thought of within the industry as the Silicon Valley godfather of branding. Further, he cautions, “Reality


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and perception have to match.” He is careful to emphasize that an absence of truth in branding is ineffective, at best. As perception is the difference maker in branding, ensuring customers have the desired perception of the brand is paramount. This is foundational in creating a brand identity— reflecting on the desired perception and reverse engineering from that end goal. This reverse engineering is the design portion of the branding journey. It all begins with perception, however. PERCEPTION “Brands,” Neumeier points out, “live in people’s minds.” They live in our minds when we’re thinking about making any purchasing decision in our lives. Great brands understand this. These “gut feelings,” as Neumeier refers to them, are what determine the true identity of the brand. Standout, status-quo-shifting brands are created that way, knowing that people view companies and products through their own lenses, created over time through experience and tribal connection. Now, in the age of social media, instant feedback and infinite communication loops between brands and their customers provide valuable feedback. “Your customers are running your company,” states Neumeier matter-of-factly. “Lis-


ten to what they have to say.” What customers perceive a brand to be is the reality the brand has to work with. Consistency is key. Risky and costly in the long run is promising a brand experience divergent from the actual truth. Branding experts contend this begins with internal brand culture. That means looking inward first—is the inside of a company reflective of the things their brand exists to promote? “You’ve told everyone that you’re ‘this’ but really you’re ‘that.’ Eventually they’ll find out, and then you’re done,” Neumeier warns. It is true that a tremendous amount of the art and science of branding comes in making the distinctions between “this” and “that” and acknowledging the irrefutable truth that “this” is not “that,” nor shall it ever be. Let that statement settle, and introspection becomes the next logical step on the quest for actualized identity. Appreciation for and acceptance of the subtle nuances existing in the space between “this” and “that” and staking out your unique address on that spectrum is the first step on the journey to a better brand. IDENTITY Understanding what a brand is, what value it provides, and why it should matter to anyone is pivotal in developing an identity. The work is not finished with identifying these three data points, however. Instead, the strategic differentiator, the key difference maker, must be identified, packaged, and integrated into the brand identity. What makes the brand so different and consequently so much more relevant than its competition? In the words of Neumeier, “When everyone else zigs, you zag!” When we’re thinking about brand identity, we must also always be thinking about its singularity and its uniqueness. “Embrace uncomfortable ways of thinking, for a while at least, because they might lead to something no one’s ever thought of before,” Neumeier edifies. Thought exercises outside of the box are not always without growing pains. What a brand or an industry has “always done” is exactly what we’re trying not to repeat. This can be uncomfortable, but only temporarily, until it’s wildly successful. Powerful brands need to stake out a unique, definable territory and achieve the illusive status of “only-ness.” When considering


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the concept of “only-ness,” we’re locating the GPS coordinates for the sweet spot of “good” and “different” and laying claim to the acreage. “You can be too different. You can be different without being compelling. You could be compelling without being different, maybe, but probably not,” Neumeier quips. The goal is to hit the sweet spot without hitting a nerve. People are looking for something to be really different, but only as long as it’s a really good kind of different. Give the people what they want. “Is it different enough to make the competition irrelevant?” Neumeier offers as a good barometer for the size of a brand’s “zag” factor. Standing alone in an industry, easily able to finish the statement, “We are the only <insert product> that <insert unique value proposition>” is the desired destination in any branding journey. The goal is to get the universal nod of approval and agreement that the brand promise is the truth and the perception simultaneously. However, brands can’t get comfortable resting on their laurels, status quo, and general truth telling. Neumeier acknowledges that companies “tend to get really good at one thing, and they’re kind of blind to what’s happening on the outside.” Once a brand stakes out its personal sliver of innovation, the innovation machine cannot rest. Further, Neumeier reminds with gravitas, “If you keep doing the same thing over and over again but just keep getting better at it, you’re ripe for disruption.” Innovation—no surprise to anyone in the Silicon Valley of hustle—happens by design. Design a brand identity to grow with the innovation of the future. Calibrate thinking hats. DESIGN It is in the design portion of the branding journey that action is taken. We know we can design a brand experience to influence perception and provide value to its target humans. A fundamental understanding of perception and identity (and only-ness) and their intersection is required to begin to create a better brand. Without a thorough understanding of the relationship between perception, identity, and customer, designing the brand is premature. The design of a brand can be divided into two intersecting hemispheres: internal brand culture and customer brand experience.

“You’ve told everyone that you’re ‘this’ but really you’re ‘that.’ Eventually they’ll find out, and then you’re done.” – Marty Neumeier


Director of CEO Branding at Liquid Agency and author of best selling brand strategy and innovation books including, The Brand Gap and Zag. His latest, Scramble, is a fictional account of a CEO who learns and applies design thinking and basic principles of agile strategy to save his job and the company. Twitter: martyneumeier


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A brand culture reflects how the company behaves, and therein lies the foundational truth for the brand. “It starts on the inside,” but from the inside “you’ve kind of got to look at it from the outside first,” explains Neumeier. First, understand how a brand fits into the lives of its human tribe and how it’s making the world a better place and manifest that within the four walls of the company. Then, a culture can be built around and in support of those very things. On how we can transition the “Brand” to the “Human” or the “Habit” Neumeier advises, “Design the culture to support the ‘only-ness.’ Be deliberate about putting in the habits of the internal tribe...and rewarding people for doing things in ways that support the actual brand.” Design a brand experience to begin inside the company and expand outward to meet the customer in their life.

figuratively speaking, of course. There is a lot of power in that and in a brand.

Understanding the tribe mentality of humanity and its implications for purchasing decisions is key in informing how to design a brand around the beliefs, values, and mores of a tribe to influence the desired perception of a brand. Brand experience and culture must be designed, prototyped, and refined—all while keeping the human factor front and center of consciousness. It is in this space, art, science, field, and world that brand builders have grown their art, talent, skill, and craft. It is on this spectrum that a company can exist, grow, thrive, struggle, compete, and launch into the stratosphere,

Neumeier underscores his point, reminding companies to remember the humans in their target demographic and how their brand exists to serve them and improve the world around them. The human factor in branding is the cornerstone of the work. The idea is to create brands that matter, that demonstrate the ability to help people become who they want to be, that fit seamlessly into the picture with their human tribe. Go forth to create the kind of innovative, disrupting brands we need for healthier, happier humans, and a better world. C

SILICON VALLEY Neumeier offers his branding advice for the Silicon Valley innovative community. “Remember that you have responsibility when you have power,” he offers seriously. The potential power in a brand is undeniable. The difference between potential and realized is in the strategy and design of the brand identity. Our lives are dramatically affected by brands. We can all point to brands that have affected the course of our lives, decisions, identities, and futures. The influence of a brand is limited only by the level of connection it has with its tribe. Leveraging knowledge of perception and identity and designing a brand experience to amplify the story and value proposition, the sky is the proverbial limit for a brand’s impact.


KATIE OTIS Written by Michelle Runde Photography by Daniel Garcia

115 East Santa Clara Street San Jose, CA 95113 Instagram designinmind

design in mind A cornerstone to any successful business is a well-designed brand. Be it a restaurant, a tech startup, or nonprofit, the logo and marketing strategy can make or break a company. No one knows this better than Katie Otis, founder and creative director of Design in Mind, a full-service creative agency in San Jose. Design in Mind offers everything from website design to event branding to marketing consultation. Over the past 16 years, Otis has grown the company from a one-woman show in a spare bedroom to a staff of nine. Growing up in Oakland, Otis always had a creative streak but didn’t know it would make such an impact on her life someday. “Everything that I gravitated toward was in the creative realm, even as a kid, but I didn’t know what to do with it,” recalled Otis. “My parents weren’t the type to map out my future for me, and I was very independent.” She took a graphic design class in high school and learned there were practical applications for her passion. “That’s when I realized there was this whole other side to art, that it could be commercial, and there were specific career paths for that,” said Otis. Otis attended San Jose State University and completed her degree in graphic design with a minor in photography. Fresh out of college, she landed an internal branding job at Yahoo that lasted for two years, until she was let go as part of a massive company layoff. This inspired her to set out on her own. “I knew I had an entrepreneurial spirit and that I was a hard worker without anyone overseeing me,” said Otis. “So I decided ‘You know what? I don’t want to play this game. I don’t want to work 12 hours a day for someone, and then they drop you, or you’re at their mercy.’ I’d had enough corporate experience.” In late 2002, Otis founded Design in Mind as a one-woman business. She rented a spare bedroom in the house she lived in, working with whatever clients she could find. “For the first year or so, it was just me in my sweats working around the clock,” recalled Otis. “When I started Design in Mind, I didn’t have a long-term plan at the time. I was really just looking at the next year or so in front of me.” Otis built up her company’s reputation by producing


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“I knew I had an entrepreneurial spirit and that I was a hard worker without anyone overseeing me.” – Katie Otis

exceptional work. “It’s always been about quality for me and exceeding the expectations of my clients. Even when I was doing small projects, I would stay up all night just to give an extra design composition,” said Otis. Otis soon moved into a shared office space with two other design agencies. “That’s where everything took off. The workload really became too much for only me. I would say yes to everything, and if I couldn’t figure it out myself, I would hire vendors,” said Otis. Eventually she hired contractors and later full-time employees to manage Design in Mind’s growing portfolio. As her company matured, her role also evolved: “I went from doing handson designing to creative direction and designing, to then also doing sales, designing, and creative direction,” said Otis. “Now I’m really focusing on my team and their career paths as well as client relations.” Otis’s success was hard-earned after so many years of running her business alone. There was a time when she even toyed with the idea of partnering with a male friend who also ran a small design agency. “We discussed it and I did think, ‘Maybe I need a man as a partner so when we go into pitches, they would take me more seriously,’ ” said Otis. “But I had mentors who assured me I didn’t need that, and I’d heard of experiences where partnerships got messy. So I stepped away from it, and realized I didn’t need a male counterpart to be successful.” Today, Otis and her team specialize in branding: “We’ll work on branding a new startup, refreshing a brand that’s already been established, extending brands, rebuilding them—anything they need.” Otis’s team looks at every component of a company to find how they can advance and grow. “A brand image is everything, from your voice and tone, visual language, colors, and copy,” explained Otis. “It’s not just a logo, it’s everything your brand represents—it’s your promise and how you treat your customers.” With Otis at the helm, there’s no telling how far Design in Mind will expand in the years to come. C



Written by Tad Malone

BOTELLO Piñatera

Photography by Brian Rampas

Fuzzy Lollipop Instagram pbotelloart

When most people see piñatas, they see a silly party favor, guaranteed to bring some laughs. For artist and sculptor Patty Botello, nothing could be farther from the truth. Born and raised in Los Angeles, Botello was always into art, even as a young kid. And as a kid, Botello was often babysat by a nanny who ran a side business making and selling piñatas. The process transfixed Botello. “I remember being three years old and watching her make piñatas, helping her stir the paste on the stove and watching her work,” Botello recalls. As she grew up, that experience faded. Botello moved on with her life and eventually studied art and sculpture in school. Then a decade ago, fate stepped in. Botello’s sister was throwing a birthday party for her son but couldn’t find any piñatas she liked, so she asked Botello to make one. “I took what I remembered from being a kid watching my nanny make piñatas as well as the sculpture classes I was taking at the time and decided to take a crack at it,” Botello says. The rest, as they say, is history. Botello began building a piñata business—taking custom orders, scavenging for materials, and constantly learning the craft. At first, she was making them for family and friends of the family, but soon, with the help of an online Etsy shop, she was shipping orders all over the country—particularly the East Coast. “I do a lot of local custom orders, but even now I ship most of them to the East Coast,” Botello remarks. There’s a reason Botello has no problem getting orders. One look at her Etsy or Instagram pages is a peek into a stunning world of cardboard and papier-mâché creations. Composing everything from unicorns to fruits such as bananas or oranges and even Optimus Prime, Botello creates amazingly detailed sculptures that easily defy the conventions of the piñata.


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Patty Botello is on a mission to change the reputation of piĂąatas from kitschy party gags to stunning works of art. 27


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“I decided to push the limits of what could be done. I wanted to get people to appreciate how much work it takes to make [a piñata], to really get people to see it more as an art.” –Patty Botello

Using materials almost entirely sourced from recycling, donations, and other found resources, Botello takes what most people see as trash and transforms it into colorful, intricately-textured, and even life-like art objects. Starting from a sketch, Botello usually works with the client to create a piñata to their liking. Some of her creations, like Hedwig the owl from Harry Potter and an anatomically correct cross-section of a tooth, are so complex and striking that one has trouble associating these impressive art objects with the word piñata. For a while the commissions were nice, but as an artist, Botello couldn’t help but push the boundaries of what constituted a piñata. “I decided to push the limits of what could be done,” Botello says, adding: “I wanted to get people to appreciate how much work it takes to make one piece, to really get people to see it more as an art.” Botello admits that it’s a bit of a hard sell. People associate piñatas with tacky party stores and as a cheap party game. Though, as Botello notes, “One piece can take anywhere from three to 24 hours to make, from beginning to end.” But Botello hasn’t faltered in her mission. Besides exposing the world to her stunning creations on social media like Etsy or Instagram, Botello just put on a full exhibition of her piñata work at the School of Arts and Culture at the Mexican Heritage Plaza last May. For the show—and more generally her work transforming the piñata’s reputation—Botello received a grant from the City of San Jose Office of Cultural Affairs’ Creative Industries Incentive Fund. Her work has been featured at events all around the South Bay, including San Jose’s SubZERO Festival and a Sonido Clash music festival. “I love showing my work because it allows people to bring their kids and teach them about art in a way they understand,” Botello says. Ultimately, Botello plans to continue pushing the limits of the piñata, always hoping to change how people see an object with the sole purpose of being destroyed. But with her enchanting and meticulously crafted creations, that isn’t too difficult. “People will send me emails and say, ‘It’s crazy, it’s far too beautiful to be destroyed, so we couldn’t,’ ” Botello remarks, adding: “At that point, I feel like I’ve done my job.” C



He would never admit it, but artist and shop-owner Sean Boyles is a defining force in the San Jose art scene. 30

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Written by Tad Malone Photography by Arabela Espinoza Mural POW! WOW! â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;18 Instagram: seanboyles38th thearsenalsj

MURAL: Pow! Wow! San Jose 2018 LOCATION: Fabers 702 S 1st Street


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Artist Sean Boyles would never admit it, but he’s an instrumental force in the San Jose art scene. Born in San Jose and raised and schooled in Oakland, Boyles has been an art fanatic since elementary school—he can remember always carrying and filling sketchbooks with early ideas. When it came time for high school, Boyles attended an art magnet school, which allowed him to take two or three art classes in a row. “I had a two- to three-hour block to draw and paint, Monday to Friday,” Boyles recalls fondly. He also credits one of his art teachers who, he says, “was the first professional artist I ever met,” with showing him how to get into art school as well as secure art scholarships.

After college he struck out on his own—getting his work out there, moving up in the South Bay art scene while simultaneously refining his skills. Boyles began teaching art at Santa Clara University, but the pay wasn’t great, and he wanted an extra source of income and inspiration. Along with his wife, fellow artist Roan Victor, Boyles decided to open up a retail art supply store. Victor grew up with a sari-sari bodega store attached to her home, so she was game for the life transformation. “We just grabbed hands and jumped off that cliff together into the sea of selling art supplies, teaching art classes, curating art shows, printing shirts, and getting corporate jobs to destroy walls,” Boyles says.

In college, Boyles met a “group of savages who were all super talented.” They hit it off, and all moved into a tiny three-bedroom house on 38th Street in Oakland. It was a heady, exciting time for Boyles, and one that was foundational for his path as an artist. “To be that age, with all that energy, surrounded by that much talent all the time,” Boyles recalls, “I feel like that was a huge factor in influencing the type of artist I would become.”

And thus, the Arsenal was born. Truly a one-stopshop for all things art, Boyles and Victor have been providing a unique service and fostering environment for South Bay artists. One can go buy art supplies, learn how to use them through classes and workshops, and eventually exhibit a show in their gallery space. These days, the retail part of the business has taken a backseat to their workshops and gallery shows, but the Arsenal is still going strong. Recently they moved to a bigger and brighter space in Japantown.

Boyles’ art is a bold, intoxicating, expressionist trip through pop culture and society. Influenced by everything from Darth Vader to the culture around the Sega Genesis console, Boyles creates fascinating, if not garishly beautiful portraits of his mind at any given time. Working in a variety of mediums, including spray paint and oil paint—really anything that marks a surface, except pastels—Boyles can render a stunning piece in an incredibly short amount of time. His process is sporadic, with his paintings starting off as a big mess before being refined into something more concrete and fixed. “I try to let [my art] be what it wants to be,” Boyles says. “But I dedicate the time and effort to exploring processes and subjects.” Boyles had dreamed of making a career out of art since high school, planning his dreams with romantic notions—but as Boyles says, “it was really just a constant grind, building up incrementally, meeting goals and setting up new ones.”


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Another one of Boyles’s passions is the Cyclorilla. A series of works defined by the looming, if not frightening, figure of a cyclops gorilla, the Cyclorilla can be found peeking over fences and splayed against walls all over the South Bay. “I first started painting the Cyclorilla because I was trying to get away from painting strictly figurative pieces,” Boyles says. “I was painting monsters as a compromise to not paint people but still have a figurative element.” Since moving to Japantown, the subject has taken on the role of a guardian. Boyles has seen the San Jose art scene transform over the years from a small group of artists to a full, vibrant community. Boyles himself has gone from an amateur artist to a professional artist, community leader, and tastemaker. But characteristically modest, Boyles plans on continuing what he’s been doing. “My main goal is just to keep making stuff and try to make work that is hard to do, work that I can be proud of.” C

“I think my natural gift is the ability to take people on a journey through a story—the ups and downs of the story, the rhythm of the story, the pauses of the story.” – Anjelah Johnson

“I try to let [my art] be what it wants to be. But I dedicate the time and effort to exploring processes and subjects.” – Sean Boyles 33

Dine 10.5



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Sarah Williams Artist and designer Sarah Williams evokes the nostalgia of the everyday with her sharp but expressive linework. As far back as she can remember, Sarah Williams has been fascinated by art, both making and experiencing it. Born and raised in Vallejo, California, Williams had always drawn, but it wasn’t until a high school art class opened her eyes that she really started pursuing art. She also credits the class with giving her social cachet, if not a way to sidestep her otherwise bookish and teacher’spet personality and discover an otherwise hidden world. “I was very academic and a bit of a goodygoody in school,” Williams recalls. “But through art, I was able to gain the respect and friendship of a few graffiti artists in my class. I was exposed to this whole creative community.” Soon she was going on graffiti missions with the boys, learning about the etiquette, hierarchy, and canon of the street art/graffiti world, as well as making her own mark. Williams credits the experience with supercharging her ideas about art, saying, “This was the first time I felt community, as well as competition, through art, and it was all wrapped up in this adrenaline rush.” As high school transitioned into college, Williams followed the art that had enthralled her as a teenager, albeit in a bit more formal, structured environment. She attended the University of California Santa Cruz, where she earned a bachelor of arts, specializing in printmaking, as well as english literature. “I changed my major too many times trying to convince myself to do something more practical than graduate with a degree in art. But I couldn’t resist,” Williams remembers. It was

then she realized that she wanted to take a shot at surviving in a creative industry. College also gave Williams her first professional art gig. During her senior year, she won a competition to design a wine label for Bonny Doon Vineyard. “Designing wine labels or labels for microbrews had always been a goal of mine,” she says, adding, “I showed up with about a dozen hand-illustrated designs, determined to win, which I did.” The reward? Three months of work with the vineyard’s creative team and her first experience with the digital medium.

Written by Tad Malone Photography by Daniel Garcia Instagram axewoundsally

After graduation, Williams stayed in Santa Cruz and Bonny Doon Vineyard took her on as a design intern. This, along with a gig at Broprints, a printmaking shop in Santa Cruz, gave Williams outlets for refining her style and aesthetic. Williams’ current work finds a subtle spot between cartoons and impressionism. Rendering objects she sees around her—like buildings, streets, and trees—with a structured but equally loose linework, she evokes a vivid but hard-to-place nostalgia for the simple harmony found in the forms that make up the everyday. Composing things like Victorian houses or city streets, Williams expresses the familiar with an illustrative style that is both elegant and casual. Her work is divided into different themes, like “California” or “Black-andWhite,” each with a unique but cohesive style. To create her work, Williams often sketches by hand, usually in her kitchen next to a “fluff-ball dog” or



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“It feels like I’m finally starting to carve out a niche for myself. This is rewarding even in my tiny little beach community.” – Sarah Williams in bed, then cleans the drawing up in Illustrator. Later, she runs to Kinkos, where she gets a high-res scan to “digitally develop the piece with color using Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator.” As for what she’s trying to say with her work, Williams points to the little things, the physical mundanity that makes up all of our lives. A front yard with a car, a random street with an apartment complex, a fading Victorian; Williams takes all of these otherwise ignored dynamics and infuses them with the beauty they’ve always had. On a deeper level, Williams says, “The work attempts to discuss the sacrifices we make in order to live in this paradise [of California].”

Currently, Williams works three jobs, including her art practice, which only allows her to squeeze in art at night or on days off; but she’s not discouraged. “It feels like I’m finally starting to carve out a niche for myself,” she says. “This is rewarding even in my tiny little beach community.” As for the future, Williams shows no sign of slowing her creative output. Her dream is to design for beverage or alcohol companies, but she shares, “Regardless of success or failure, I’ll never stop creating.” C



THE AR Leigh Erickson


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RT CAVE Written by Johanna Hickle Photography by Daniel Garcia

The Art Cave 2801 Mission Street, #2883 Santa Cruz, CA 95060 Instagram theartcavesc

RT CAVE Danielle Peters

“I started finding myself really missing the nitty gritty of painting— you know, having a brush in my hand versus a mouse.” – Leigh Erickson

The Art Cave is a cozy gallery and studio tucked away in a renovated warehouse in Santa Cruz. Previously a chewing gum factory, currently an oasis for local makers, creators, owners, and innovators, the building is eclectically embellished. To reach your destination, weave through passageways adorned with schools of metal fish, abstract paintings, motorcycle models, colorful doors, and stickercoated water fountains. On arrival, you’ll meet Danielle Peters and Leigh Erickson, resident artists and gallery curators of the Art Cave. Though the space was initially only used as a studio, Danielle and Leigh’s uncurbed enthusiasm spilled over into numerous creative adventures, including a drawing workshop and a fundraiser yoga lesson, followed by a series of group art shows. As local artists caught word of their endeavors and started introducing themselves, they matured into solo shows. “We have more surprises now,” Danielle laughs, noting they never know what intriguing human being might pop up in their inbox next. Besides the shows being, as Leigh playfully puts it, an excellent excuse to meet their “art crushes,” it gives the partners an opportunity to cultivate the Santa


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Cruz art scene. The two aspire to familiarize everyone (including themselves) more intimately with the latest local art happenings. “We’re about connecting people together who might not necessarily have found each other,” Danielle says, joking that they’re a little like art matchmakers. Both relatively new to the area, Danielle and Leigh were each other’s solitary art friend for years. On arrival in Santa Cruz, Danielle recalls being disappointed at finding mostly idyllic beach scenes in pastel colors. But after the opening of the gallery, contemporary artists emerged in waves. “From the outside, it could look like just touristy beach art and skate art, but then there are cool interesting in-betweens,” Danielle says. “I love it when things are regional, but also specific to a time and place. Beach art has been around forever—but you want to be a little bit more specific or topical or aesthetic in your approach to art.” To elaborate, she motions at the currently displayed paintings of pop surrealist Caia Koopman. A mysterious raven-haired girl swims with eerie deep-sea fish, bewitching underwater scenes Danielle lightheartedly describes as of a “dark Little Mermaid.”


“We really want to be in the physical world and make physical things.” – Danielle Peters

One intriguing strategy the partners have discussed for reaching new residents is displaying local art in homes on the market, an idea suggested by a friend in the real estate business. “There are so many new people coming to Santa Cruz, and we want them to be an art audience,” Danielle says. This service would provide new homeowners a hassle-free way of buying local art—or, at the very least, expose them to local artists. Apparently, the real estate idea is one of many enthusiastic suggestions shared by fans of the Art Cave. The duo’s eagerness to take ideas and dance with them seems to sweep up everyone around them. Perhaps the magnetism surrounding the gallery is also inspired by the human interaction. “It’s a dying art,” Leigh notes. Beyond the galleries, the two have even started hosting dinners to introduce the artist. “We have artist friends who were following each other for years but would never have met in real life if it wasn’t for us!” Leigh smiles. “We really want to be in the physical world and make physical things,” mentions Danielle, who left architecture for art school when the industry


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replaced tangible rulers and Micron pens with computer-aided design and drafting software. She now enjoys layering paper in ways that resemble feathers or scales to achieve an ephemeral, ghostly air. She also designs dioramas with portals and holes, representing passages between realms. Leigh made a similar transition when she realized she wasn’t built for the amount of screen time required of a full-time graphic designer. “I started finding myself really missing the nitty gritty of painting—you know, having a brush in my hand versus a mouse.” Inspired by the liberating movement of freestyle skiing, her abstract technique allows her to paint an instinct-fueled first layer, adding quirky details in ink or pencil afterwards. “It’s kind of a mental release for me,” she explains. Though the friends certainly diverge in mediums and styles, their shared affinity for contemporary art, their unflagging pursuit of new ideas, and their proclivity for connection fosters a compelling shared vision. Keep them on your radar. Whatever they bend their hearts and minds toward in days to come is bound to be worth taking note of. C


Written by Universal Grammar Photography by Ian Lundie & Lanny Nguyen Pow! Wow! San Jose Instagram powwowsanjose

P OW ! WOW! On Wednesday, October 17th artists arrived in San Jose to begin an unforgettable journey, leaving in their wake an indelible mark on our beloved city. In just 11 days, seventeen new murals and public artworks have been woven into the fabric of our community: a new backdrop for celebrating the completion of year two of POW! WOW! San Jose.

POW! It’s the impact that art has on a person. WOW! It’s the reaction that art has on a viewer. Together they form POW WOW, a Native American term used to describe a gathering that celebrates culture, music, and art. 46

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Prior to the painting of walls and installations as well as music and speaking events that drove the week, the PWSJ family made it a responsibility to showcase our city’s cultural and natural history to the participating artists—including local artists and ones who’ve traveled from abroad. We began with a flag raising and proclamation at City Hall, and then introduced the Tommie Smith and John Carlos Black Power Salute monument. The exciting event ended with United Farm on the top of Mount Umunhum with a powerful and enlightening speech by Amah Workers monument and a hike at the Coyote Valley

ARTIST: Spenser Little LOCATION: Various Locations

Open Space Preserve—it was a pleasure to share with Mutsun tribal leader Valentino Lopez our beautiful, innovative natural and cultural history. We received a proper copal blessing from leaders of Kalpulli Tonaleque at Empire Seven Studios before unleashing these artists, establishing a call to our ancestral artists that were here before us, asking them to join us and provide protection and support for our street art festival. We are proud that PWSJ is the first and only mural and culture festival in Silicon Valley. Our curation team highlights local, domestic, and international artists, elevating San Jose’s profile as an arts and culture hub on a global platform. We strategically activate overlooked and underserved neighborhoods, creating public art and partnering with local businesses to plan pop up events that highlight these urban settings. After the festival, our murals serve as a positive catalyst and source of pride to our unique communities. The POW! WOW! platform has now been presented in over 15 cities worldwide. POW! WOW! San Jose is a production made possible by three entities that include Empire Seven Studios, Universal Grammar, and Mighty. Over the years, all three groups have shared an ideology in providing space for worldclass emerging talent both locally and abroad. Together we now form an entente to continue this mission on the worldwide platform known as POW! WOW!

ARTIST: Sixcoin LOCATION: Brazilian Blowout Bar 477 S Market Street

ARTIST: Abel Gonzalez LOCATION: World of Sports Memorabilia 82 S Montgomery Street


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140 Jackson Street 10.011.0 48 SEEK Discover

LOCATION: 251 E Empire Street

(Nichi Bei Bussan) ARTIST: Shrine LOCATION: San Jose Learning Center 490 W San Carlos Street

ARTIST: 123Klan LOCATION: Premium Cutz Barber shop 785 S 1st Street

ARTIST: Knits for Life LOCATION: Various locations


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ARTIST: t.w.5 LOCATION: Circle-A 108 Paseo De San Antonio

ARTIST: Drew Flores LOCATION: La Penita 601 S 1st Street


ARTIST: Skinner and UrbanAztec LOCATION: AG Appliances (back alley) 748 S 1st Street

ARTIST: Felicia Gabaldon LOCATION: VTA Eastridge Transit Center


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ARTIST: Harumo Sato LOCATION: Dac Phuc 194 W Santa Clara Street

ARTIST: How & Nosm LOCATION: SOFA District 300 S 1st Street


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ARTIST: Cory Taum LOCATION: 724 S 1st Street

ARTIST: J.Duh LOCATION: The Alameda Artworks 1068 The Alameda


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ARTIST: Apexer LOCATION: VTA 25 N 1st Street

ARTIST: Ivan Gonzalez LOCATION: Downtown Dogs (back alley) 734 S 1st Street

ARTIST: Frances Marin LOCATION: The Alameda Artworks 1068 The Alameda

ARTIST: Sean Boyles and Roan Victor LOCATION: Fabers 702 S 1st Street

ARTIST: Dragon76 and Woes LOCATION: AG Appliances 748 S 1st Street



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ARTIST: Nikkea Takagi LOCATION: Auzerais and Woz Way


AMBASSADORS Written by Johanna Hickle Illustrations by Ben Henderson Photography by Daniel Garcia Social Media sjculture

To be human is to be creative. It’s as intrinsic as blinking. Many confine this word to the work of paid artists—but creativity isn’t merely wielding a paintbrush or crooning a melody. Creativity can be as simple an act as inventing an engaging icebreaker or spinning an elaborate bedtime story. Recognizing art’s role in everyday life, the San Jose Office of Cultural Affairs has formed the Creative License Ambassador program to celebrate and promote everyday creativity. The ambassadors selected for the program’s first year are Corinne Okada Takara of Okada Design, Franco Imperial of San Jose Taiko, Barbara Day Turner of the San Jose Chamber Orchestra, and Rodrigo García of Teatro Visión. Each artist holds a deep appreciation for projects that dialogue with the community. “It’s not the artist’s voice,” Takara enthuses. “It’s really trying to tease out the voice of the public and getting people confident with their creative voices.” Similarly, García expresses a desire to “help shed light on creative activities that we don’t regard as being an art form” (like carefully crafted tacos from a street vendor or hand-embroidered clothes at the Mexican market). An application of San Jose–specific creativity wouldn’t be complete without addressing our city’s ethnic diversity and encouraging cross-cultural connections. “[There’s a] ripple effect that happens beyond the borders of our community,” Imperial says of cultural celebration. “It’s what we share. It’s our gift to the world.” Maestra Turner adds, “It is a platform from which to encourage the inclusion of artistic and musical expression of all sorts, for all members of the community.” So here’s to activating our community’s creativity, to crossing new cultural bridges, and to celebrating unassuming art forms.


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CORINNE OKADA TA K A R A Artist and Arts Educator Fall 2018

“I think it’s important we play together in our public spaces.” A mixed-media artist and the first Creative License Ambassador in the program’s pilot year, Corinne Okada Takara composes technology-integrated projects and crafts sculptural work out of elegant yet mundane materials, like silk, food wrappers, newspapers, and plastic produce netting. “The sculptures explore the pulling apart and reassembling of modern-day artifacts,” she explains on her website, Okada Design. “I am fascinated by the resulting textures and colliding and merging stories.” Increasingly, this creative has found her art extending beyond self-expression and toward interactive engagement. Her workshops for museums, libraries, and classrooms act as a bridge ushering others into the realm of creativity. She describes her job as “giving people a canvas to work on,” adding that it equips them with “confidence in their own creative voices.” Takara’s project, Layers of SJ, revolved around stickers—a medium she finds both “playful and inviting.” Each sticker contained an image of an artifact representing the San Jose community, past and present, and the public was encouraged to incorporate these into collages. Though Takara gathered a number of images from library and museum collections, as well as with her camera, she also enlisted community involvement by welcoming anyone to submit pictures. The Layers of SJ booth sparked conversations between strangers who couldn’t help discussing (or puzzling) over images, swapping stories, or pondering possibilities for symbolic objects from their own neighborhoods. “I think it’s important we play together in our public spaces,” Takara shares. C


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“We can help people understand (or own up to) the fact that we are all artists.”

Artistic Director of San José Taiko Winter 2019

Like most taiko drummers, Franco Imperial knew he wanted to learn this enchanting blend of music, dance, and martial arts after attending his first performance. His current position as artistic director of San Jose Taiko allows him to direct, produce, compose, promote, and share the taiko spirit with the world. A ceaselessly curious soul, Imperial appreciates that taiko is less concerned with knowing the answer (or final product) and more focused on “the journey and the people you meet along the way.” He enjoys considering new ways to extend the artform beyond festival or theater settings. One such opportunity was Inspiration by Discovery, an exploration of how composing the music and action of taiko might be inspired by San Jose–specific locations such as Circle of Palms Plaza or San Jose City Hall. The project was so wellreceived, viewers contributed their own location suggestions for future performances. Imperial’s project will be built on the previous “Japantown Immersive,” an open-street celebration partnering San Jose Taiko with the Japantown community to share the area’s art and culture. Among the participatory experiences at the last event were learning dance moves combining taiko and swing music, playing Hanafuda, a classic Japanese card game, capturing photo booth pictures in traditional kimonos, and creating LED uchiwa fans. “We can help people understand (or own up to) the fact that we are all artists,” Imperial says. “I see my job as outing artists where and whenever possible.” Another hope is that participants will join him as fellow ambassadors of his beloved Japantown. “It belongs to all of us,” he insists. C 57

BARBARA DAY TURNER Founder and Music Director of the San Jose Chamber Orchestra Spring 2019

“Art should be a part of everyday life for everyone in whatever form they choose.” Nearly three decades ago, Barbara Day Turner opened her newspaper to find an announcement about her new chamber orchestra. The problem was, she hadn’t founded one yet. When she called the columnist, he told her plenty of local musicians were interested in expanding their options—and he thought she could use a little push starting the administrative process. Today, Maestra Turner has grown the San Jose Chamber Orchestra to a series of seven-plus programs per season as well as premiered over 170 works. She continues to be fascinated with exploring “this alternate way to express oneself without necessarily using words.” Her other conducting experience includes 18 years at Opera San Jose as well as numerous guest opportunities in the States and abroad. She is also a harpsichordist. “I was intrigued with how you learned to interpret music when you didn’t have the complete range of expression that later instruments had,” she explains. Maestra Turner has yet to finalize the specifics of her project, but she knows the main takeaways she wants it to inspire: “that everybody is a creative being, that in their lives they have ways they use creativity to express themselves, and that art should be a part of everyday life for everyone in whatever form they choose.” She understands that performing in communal spaces is more than fun—it’s also beneficial for mental and physical health as well as an opportunity for connection. “I would really like to urge people to get out the instruments that are sitting in their closets that they haven’t played or to go join some kind of choir,” she explains. C


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“We need to have spaces where we’re able to hear each other.”

Artistic Director of Teatro Visión Summer 2019

As a boy, Rodrigo García was told that performing arts made a good hobby, not a career. This assumption was flipped on its head, however, after he moved from Mexico City to the States and encountered Teatro Visión, a theater that inspires, empowers, and dignifies Latino voices while also exploring the social and psychological experiences of Latinos. As its current artistic director, García oversees the development of works performed by the theater, including original pieces developed with community feedback, and ensures that artistic excellence is brought to the stage. He is captivated by the directing process—of taking a plain paper script and raising the words off the page. “Little by little, I start imagining the possibilities, the color, the forms, the movement,” he explains, using words like “magical” and “spiritual” to describe the end product. García’s project—focusing on theater, possibly expanding into spoken word, music, and dance—is still in its developmental stage, but he knows it will allow LGBTQ artists of color the opportunity to share through performance. He doesn’t necessarily expect viewers to agree with voices different than their own, but he does hope it will result in deeper compassion for other points of view. “We need to have spaces where we’re able to hear each other,” he observes, “where we’re able to share our stories to create mutual understanding.” Not only does this honor the ambassadorship, but it exemplifies Teatro Visión as a place seeking to replace passive contemplation with “sparkling conversations between people.” C 59

SOMOS m a y f a i r

Written by Gillian Claus Photography by Arabela Espinoza















SOMOS Mayfair 370-B South King Road San Jose, CA 95116 Social Media somosmayfair



When something is broken, you fix it. Without tools, most of us would struggle to improve anything. But give us a hammer and nails, and we can start putting things right. Camille LlanesFontanilla learned that repair lesson early in life. Because she had some critical thoughts about what was happening on her school campus, she ran for class president at Mt. Pleasant High School and again as a senior at UC Berkeley, successful both times. “I decided that if I am going to talk about it, then I should roll up my sleeves and do something about it.” She credits her ethnic studies professor, David Maldonado, with encouraging her life of service. He spoke about students of color not getting into UC Berkeley at the rates that they should, and with a far smaller percentage of students actually graduating on time. Just before graduation, the professor asked his students how they would each go back and serve the community that had helped get them there. That night, Llanes-Fontanilla started looking at nonprofit jobs. Her first position was as a special projects assistant with Kidango, a large early education child development agency. She left five years later, having served as their director of development and communications, and credits the job with teaching her the value of investing in early childhood education. However, even though the agency served low-income communities, it still wasn’t accessible to everyone. That was what drew her to SOMOS Mayfair—accessibility. Their core directive is to 62

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uplift the voice and leadership of the people in the most marginalized communities. Immigrants often feel like their voices aren’t heard, so the nonprofit identifies and supports them. They can then be given the tools to address whatever issues they are facing in their own lives—from individual parents talking to their children’s teachers to neighbors taking collective action to move policy at the city of San Jose. But following the community’s voice can be challenging, and SOMOS Mayfair’s nationally acclaimed model is uncommon. The organization has spent a lot of time aligning systems of care to ensure children have access to early education. Parents also have pushed for financial oversight in the K through 8 system, seeding a lot of service and community organizing work in the Alum Rock School District. It can be difficult for the staff to help everyone with all of their needs. “A lot of us feel like we are generalists,” said Llanes-Fontanilla. “We don’t have a grasp of one issue area to the degree that we need to, but all of us are community organizers either by training or by heart, so we know how to support and uplift other people.” That support comes from a codified leadership development program and pipeline, amalgamating best practices from other organizations with approaches SOMOS has developed over the years. The training centers on skill building and understanding systems analysis, marrying the historical connection to the current issues. Then, after completing practice, they can become

“I thought I was going to go be an anchor or a journalist, but essentially I came back full circle. And it feels really good to be doing that.” – Camille Llanes-Fontanilla certified promotora peer educators, serving as coaches and mentors for community leaders. Once the community has those tools, they can begin their dialogue. Leaders from Mayfair have been working on facilitating Spanish conversation groups on the vision for Diridon Station. Others were nominated at the District 5 Heroes event because of their work on educational community organizing in Alum Rock School District. More team members also led events at the School of Arts and Culture talking about affordable housing. Because of the similarities of their clientele to the populations in emerging countries, SOMOS studies models from around the world. In developing one of Llanes-Fontanilla’s favorite successes—a workerowned cooperative of 17 women in the community who are running their own businesses—they researched initiatives in New York and the Mondragon federation in the Basque region of Spain. Their work on literacy and early education was inspired by the Cuban Literacy Project. More recently, the SOMOS focus has shifted toward affordable housing and the issue of gentrification. The Mayfair community served by SOMOS is in the east side of San Jose. Over 85 percent of the people who fill out SOMOS intake forms make less than $20,000 a year, many living with multiple families in one house. The sale of a single family home by a landlord in Mayfair could displace between 16 to 20 people. Llanes-Fontanilla wants to make gentrification a part of the conversation. The potentially city-wide impact is the increasing of the number of people served by SOMOS from 2,500 people to over 10,000, via the Alum Rock School District. By pushing an anti-displacement policy at the city of San Jose, the organization hopes to ensure that, as affordable housing projects are built, the people who live and work in San Jose get additional preferences. “We don’t want to build affordable housing so that other people who haven’t been struggling here already get to come into the community,” said Llanes-Fontanilla. Struggling families have traditionally had limited access to early education, so SOMOS leverages partnerships with agencies to get children into

programs based on eligibility and age. Adults without a high literacy level or language fluency can feel powerless to help their children. By bridging together resources primarily funded by FIRST 5 Santa Clara County, three-day parent workshops with peer educators can be combined with a concurrent program for children. In summer, SOMOS partners with Alum Rock School District on a three-week program called Bridge to Kinder, increasing kindergarten readiness scores from 5 percent to 43 percent. “I feel very blessed to be able to lead this organization,” said Llanes-Fontanilla. And she is proud of the robust team she has built over the last five years. While the majority of the staff and peer educators are women, a fatherhood engagement group has also started. SOMOS is trying to set a different tone for young boys to see men contributing in a positive way. Llanes-Fontanilla identifies as a hometown, San Jose girl, born and raised in East San Jose. Her grandparents lived on the main Alum Rock corridor, with her grandfather helping with senior citizen programming at the Mayfair center while she was growing up. Her family lives nearby and provides support after school for her six year old son. Her husband, Ryan, her high school sweetheart, manages a Starbucks in East San Jose. “I thought I was going to go be an anchor or a journalist, but essentially I came back full circle,” said Llanes-Fontanilla. “And it feels really good to be doing that.” Looking to the future, she wants to see policies and infrastructure investments for Mayfair created. She hopes that immigrants can still find housing within historic Mayfair, a neighborhood that dates back 100 years—home to Caesar Chavez—despite the encroaching pressures of gentrification. Shifts in income levels may prevent lower-paid working people from finding a place to live anywhere in San Jose. Llanes-Fontanilla acknowledges the inherent divisiveness of the current conversation and resists the innate urge to escalate. “For me and my leadership style, it is about having different voices at the table to try and spur new solutions that we haven’t tried before.” C 63


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3Below A RENOVATED THEATER is easy to miss on the outside, but 3Below promises multifaceted entertainment for those who come in search of adventure. Like locking puzzle pieces, Scott and Shannon Guggenheim—or “Stannon” as they are fittingly known by their staff—are the producing entity and owners of 3Below, the new home of Guggenheim Entertainment since the closing of the Retro Dome, San Jose’s previous realm of movie and sing-along fun. At 3Below, expect top-quality surround sound as you view an indie film or enjoy a classic flick in the cozy Theater 2. Participate in a ComedySportz show or take an acting class in Theater 1. Sing along to The Rocky Horror Picture Show or see a play in Theater 3 for a family night out. No matter what you come for, your experience is curated by creators driven by the need to provide entertainment that promotes joy.

Written by Esther Young Photography by Daniel Garcia

3Below 288 South Second Street San Jose, CA Social Media 3belowtheaters

You used to be the Retro Dome in West San Jose. How is this downtown location treating you? SHANNON: The audience we’ve grown in Saratoga hasn’t really followed us down here. I don’t know if they just haven’t caught on that there’s something family friendly out here to do. Usually, we announce Sound of Music and sell out a thousand seats in a weekend. We’re really trying to explain that we have this lovely little bubble you can just pull into. It’s tricky being a movie theater. With other businesses—restaurants, salons—you see the hustle and bustle of activity through the front windows. When we’re busy, everybody’s in here. SCOTT: We’re a safe place, too. Here, we have validated parking. You can just park in our garage, walk downstairs; it’s lit, there’s security in the building, and afterward you can walk right back out to your car. How have you applied your artistic backgrounds to the challenges you face every day as a business? SHANNON: If there’s any testament to art’s importance in schools, it’s that when you learn anything relative to being a performer, you immediately have a skillset you can take with you your entire life. You can’t be in a show without multitasking: you need to be a good communicator, understand conflict resolution and give-and-take. Being tenacious and not wanting to give up are the traits of a performer. Who but a performer will subject themselves to rejection after rejection?

Left: Scott and Shannon Guggenheim


One of our bread and butter concepts throughout the ‘90s was doing kids club programming for shopping centers. We had fashion shows with jeans that the kids in the audience decorated; we did Retail Star, a competition to see which storefront was going to be occupied by a new tenant. That was all well and good, frankly, until 9/11 happened. As the climate changed in America relative to what your third place could be, people didn’t feel safe in those environments the way they did the day before. So marketing managers in shopping centers completely changed their focus. They weren’t hosting events or fun things for crowds anymore. All that money was reallocated to security. So we had to adapt really quickly. SCOTT: For seven or eight years, we exclusively did the Christmas rollouts at Stanford and Bay Street in Emeryville, at Montgomery Village, and Pier 39. So when you see elves or soldiers or bands performing or carolers out there, most of the time it’s us doing that. SHANNON: There were definitely things you did because they paid the bills, and there were things you did for your artist soul. Very often our Christmas events were paying for the Hanukkah show we wrote. As that trend changed, we had to find other ways to survive. Our synagogue employed us to create a theatrical program for their school or synagogue. That let us keep paying the bills, while enjoying some aspect of our own selves. Not everyone gets to start a theater company with their best friend and stay married for 30 years. Through all the co-writing and co-directing, marketing and administrative work, how have you managed to keep the family together? SCOTT: We’ve been very lucky in that we found each other when we were young. Shannon and I met doing children’s theater in the late ’80s. We ran a children’s theater for nearly a decade, and our exit from that was producing Schoolhouse Rock Live. We have the same sensibility. We’re both really good event planners. That’s probably our biggest strength. SHANNON: For everything I’m not good at, Scott is. And vice versa. We’re very lucky in that way. And we know each other’s weaknesses, too. It’s possible that having Ally in our life was a big reason for that. SCOTT: Our second-born, Ally, has been in and out of a hospital her whole life. She’s 100 percent dependent on us. SHANNON: With Ally’s severe disabilities, what’s the alternative? We can’t just say never mind, I’m not going to be the adult today.


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The strong get stronger, and the weak get weaker. Whatever you have in your life that’s already strong, it’s going to be crystallized as a result of having to get through it. We’re here to create. It’s just some sort of knowledge that we’re here for a purpose. And if we have the opportunity in our lives to figure out what it is and go do it, well how lucky are we? What do you want the South Bay to know about 3Below? SCOTT: If you want to come experience a show and know the quality of entertainment will be top bar, this is one thing I say because it’s true: both Shannon and I are director and choreographer, and we find the best way to get the best performance out of our actors. My brother Stephen is able to find the means to get the best vocals from the performers as well. SHANNON: We love the idea of having creative control over everything, but we would love a couple other people to share this with. People are moving away because they can’t afford to live here. It’s been hard to cast actors, fill slots behind cash registers, or find set builders. Every industry that supports what we’re creating seems to have ebbed off as far as abundance of talent. We’re talking to other theaters, the opera, and symphony—and they agree; it’s just really lean out there. We’re all using the same wig mistress. Our designers are fantastic, but we’re afraid we’ll lose them. If people don’t support the arts, they will go away. You can’t let the convenience of insular entertainment change you completely. No filmmaker ever said, “I can’t wait for you to see it on this little screen!” They want you to see it on a massive screen with great sound with other people. Technology makes what we do even better, but if you let it bleed you of any enjoyment found in other ways, those ways won’t exist. Through all the turmoil we experience in our news, why are you rebuilding? When you’re done rebuilding, then what are you going to do? Just because we can get to the moon, what are we going to do when we get there? SCOTT: We create new programming to keep us going, but also to make sure we’re meeting our basic needs of building better people, creating a better world. We choose things that promote joy. C


“We try to show that there is an art and science behind each cup of coffee.” -Yulia Kolchanova

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Oz Coffee

Authenticity in Every Drop We are well into coffee’s third wave here in the US. The first wave was led by brands like Folgers, Yuban, and Maxwell House. They made coffee convenient and got the American public drinking their daily cup of joe. Second wave coffee consisted of chains like Starbucks and Peet’s. They got us familiar with the basics, teaching us terms like “barista” and helping us learn the difference between a latte and cappuccino. But the American palate has grown more refined, and we’re starting to look twice at the sugar content of our afternoon pick-me-ups. One could say that third-wave coffee is a direct reaction to the big, soulless coffee chains that dominate the urban landscape. People now crave a higher quality brew and a more authentic experience. Third wave coffee is comprised of independent roasters, artisan methods, and handcrafted cups delivered in intimate settings. Perfectly embodying the spirit of the movement is 1 Oz Coffee. Walk into either the Mountain View or Santa Clara location, and you’ll find that the interior design is minimal in order to showcase only the coffee itself. In an effort to give the flavors a chance to speak for themselves, guests are even discouraged from adding condiments like extra sugar or milk without tasting their drinks first.

Written by Daniel Codella Photography by Arabela Espinoza

1 Oz Coffee

Santa Clara 3051 Tasman Drive Santa Clara CA 95054 Mountain View 650 Castro Street Mountain View, CA 94041 Instagram 1oz_coffee

“I couldn’t drink coffee for the first two years in the US because everything tasted wrong—either bitter or too sugary,” says 1 Oz Coffee’s cofounder Yulia Kolchanova. Yulia learned the ins and outs of coffee in Tomsk, Russia, working for one of the region’s strictest coffee houses, Bulange. Coming to the United States, Yulia was surprised to find barely any specialty coffee shops. Most served what she calls “caffeinated desserts,” sugary concoctions masquerading as coffee. Determined to bring authentic coffee to the area, Yulia and her husband Alexey Gavrilov created 1 Oz Coffee, a coffee house that would honor the natural flavors of the beans. “We try to show that there is an art and science behind each cup of coffee. It starts with the farmers who grow the beans with love and care, to the roaster who tries to open up the best and the finest of what the beans could provide, to the baristas who bring the final touch and let the coffee in your cup bloom,” says Yulia.

Left: Cofounder Yulia Kolchanova



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Despite deeply entrenched competition, 1 Oz Coffee’s obsession with the purity of flavors and their relentless effort to eliminate any and all distractions from the experience have earned them a growing fanbase amongst coffee connoisseurs. In fact, their Mountain View location is right next to a Starbucks, but Yulia doesn’t consider them to be competition. “Our guests have developed a finer taste by comparing beans to the beans, not sugar to sugar. Our customers don’t go to big coffee chains because they find the taste of their drinks too artificial or just burnt. And their clients don’t come to our shop because they go for the ‘caffeinated desserts’ or the working environment. I think there is room for everyone,” says Yulia. In addition to putting coffee front and center, education and storytelling are big factors behind 1 Oz Coffee’s success. The staff is eager to talk about the beans, their preparation and tastes with their customers. They work with micro roasters from around the Bay Area and beyond to bring their guests beans with unique flavors and origins. They even provides coffee classes, tastings, and catering where they “share their love, passion, and knowledge” with their customers. While they have no problem being compared to other specialty coffee shops in the movement, 1 Oz Coffee has their sights set well beyond the third wave. Not only do Yulia and Alexey dream of growing the 1 Oz brand, they’re thinking of ways to transform the Bay Area’s coffee culture. “We really want to open an actual coffee house, a home with front and back yards and rooms where people can enjoy their coffee, have conversations, play games, or maybe even read books [while] swinging in hammocks,” explains Yulia. We’ve changed a lot here in the States. Convenience is no longer king. People now crave and seek out authenticity and honesty above all else. And that is exactly what 1 Oz Coffee delivers in every drop. C


The Clear Ice Company San Jose entrepreneur finds crystal-clear solution to areaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s cocktail shortcomings.

Written by Brad Sanzenbacher

Photography by Daniel Garcia

The Clear Ice Company 460 Lincoln Avenue, Suite 70 San Jose, CA 95126

Left: Founder Kyle Stewart-Franz

Social Media theclearicecompany


“If a cocktail at a bar isn’t beautifully presented, that tells me all I need to know about the place.” – Kyle Stewart-Franz To sit down and talk with Kyle Stewart-Franz is to spend some time skimming the surface of his broad range of interests. As a self-trained coder, he currently works as a security developer for a well-known Silicon Valley brand. At home, he dives deeply into experimental DIY projects. Last year he built voice-activated smart shades for his home and an animated E Ink picture frame, reminiscent of the newspapers from the Harry Potter universe. He dreams of opening a restaurant with a killer rooftop bar, but you’ll notice his eyes open the widest when he starts talking about cocktails. “Drinking a cocktail is about being present and enjoying the moment,” Kyle explains. “If a cocktail at a bar isn’t beautifully presented, that tells me all I need to know about the place.” Kyle’s first venture, the Clear Ice Company, is a testament to his belief in the importance of pure ingredients and aesthetics in cocktails. In a small commercial space off Lincoln Avenue, he uses a simple slow-freezing process to turn distilled water into crystal-clear ice. Then, with a custom drill press and a selection of other tools, he can turn the ice into flawless spheres, shot glasses, or any number of shapes. It’s a small operation, but thanks to his inquisitive nature and knack for self-teaching, he’s quickly learned to scale his output, making large volumes of beautiful ice worthy of a first-rate cocktail. Kyle was first exposed to clear ice at cocktail bars while living in Chicago, where he says it’s pretty common. After moving to Silicon Valley, he was disappointed to see that even at high-end bars, the trend hadn’t caught on here. He started making clear ice himself at home using a simple technique of freezing water in a cooler and ultimately decided he could turn his passion into a business serving the Bay Area. Since then, he’s figured out everything about starting a business on his own—from finding commercial real estate to financing. He even built

his own walk-in freezer, capable of storing ice at minus twenty-five degrees Fahrenheit. “I like learning, building, and drinking,” he explains, sipping a beer at Hapas Brewing, his neighbor next door to his Clear Ice Company retail space. Now, with the help of two employees, he’s putting in long hours to keep the business growing. He balances a full-time job in tech with putting in another 40 hours or so per week at Clear Ice, where he oversees ice production and develops new products. Bright red strawberries and fresh sprigs of rosemary hang in the cold water of his freeze tank. Soon, he explains, they’ll be embedded deep inside a crystal-clear block of ice. Currently, you can pick up some of the Clear Ice Company’s ice at their retail location. He takes orders for events, as well, with a wide range of customizations available. He’s also forging relationships with local bars and restaurants, with the hopes that the next cocktail you get downtown will be chilled by a nearly invisible piece of clear ice, so you can slow down and fully enjoy the moment with a beautiful drink. As the company grows, there’s no doubt Kyle will keep learning and pushing himself outside of his comfort zone. “I actually hate the cold,” he says, a surprising sentiment from someone who spends hours each day in an industrial freezer. “I get in. I do the work. I get out.” To Kyle, the beauty of his product at Clear Ice goes beyond its crystalline appearance and into the simplicity. Regular ice is cloudy because of its impurities and bubbles of oxygen or nitrogen introduced while the ice is forming. Clear ice, however, is pure water. “I’m a simplicity guy,” he says. “Most people would choose the loaf of bread that has just four or five ingredients. Why wouldn’t we do the same with ice?” C

Written by Kunal Sampat Photography by Avni Levy

Orchard City Kitchen 1875 South Bascom Avenue, #190 Campbell, CA 95008 Instagram orchardcitykitchen

Orchard City Kitchen Unpretentious and feel-good dining with Chef Stout Ready for a weekend brunch with family, an afternoon glass of wine with your girlfriends, or an outdoor patio dinner with friends? Chef Jeffrey Stout and his team at Orchard City Kitchen are there to make the magic happen. The ambiance, combined with the unpretentious and feel-good seasonal dining experience, make this Campbell, California, restaurant a local favorite. Chef Stout has earned many accolades for his cooking, including receiving a Michelin Star three years in a row. How would you describe your cooking style to someone who is unfamiliar with your restaurant? As far as my cooking style for this restaurant, it’s very casual. It is an American restaurant, which means we play into all cultures. We can grasp from any country that we want. We are using a hyperseasonal menu. I’m looking at the calendars, seeing what’s coming in, what’s going out, and always adjusting our menus. We don’t like to overplay with the food or work it too much. We really keep it simple, with small plates so when the diner comes in, they can choose to make their own tasting menu. Is there a certain aspect of your style or your cooking process that you are very meticulous about, where you feel there should never be any compromises? My former restaurant was very uptight and a bit more stuffy. At this restaurant, it really opened up to be much more accessible. We don’t really want to tell people how to eat or which fork to use or that they should start on the left and


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move to the right. It’s only food, and it’s there for your enjoyment. It brings a smile to your face today, and it’s gone tomorrow. I do have my definite belief of what food should be and how it should look and how it should taste and balance out. But I have no specific rules at all. The only rule that really counts is whether it tastes good. Are there any aspects of your childhood that have influenced the way you work in your craft? My father was a dentist in the US Navy, and we moved around a lot. My mother was a Navy wife from Japan, and she did not work. They hosted a lot of parties. Growing up on Betty Crocker recipes, my mother would always vary it, whether she was making cannelloni or ravioli this week or a traditional Japanese dinner the next week. She did a lot of experimenting as far as her cooking goes to be able to entertain the American wives. That had an influence on my appreciation for food. I started cooking at an early age, making wontons and ravioli. Soup was always something that I made a lot of during my early youth. If you were to train someone for 12 weeks for a cooking show competition, and we had a million dollars at stake, what would the training look like? Training would mainly involve shadowing me. I was at a bookstore the other day, and I saw a great title of a book. I didn’t think much of the book, but the title of the book was really great, How to Cook without a Cookbook, and I thought about what that meant. That’s really more important than anything.

“The only rule that really counts is whether it tastes good.” – Chef Jeffrey Stout



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We would taste together. I would ask you questions. Does it have enough salt? Does it fall flat? Is there a balance there? If it’s too sharp and acid, how do you correct that? There would be no training on specific dishes, per se, but more or less a training on the techniques of how to think like a chef. I once had a cook here, and I asked him what his goal was for the next year. He said, “I want to cook every recipe in the cookbook.” I thought that was useless. You’ll learn absolutely nothing. Anybody can follow a recipe. It’s more important to be able to understand the recipe. What does caramelizing of the meat do? What happens when you stick the meat into a 500 degrees Fahrenheit oven in comparison to a 250 degrees Fahrenheit oven? Why are you cooking that tri-tip at 400 degrees Fahrenheit or that prime rib at 225 degrees Fahrenheit? It is more important to understand what you are doing and be able to ask yourself the questions of what is right and wrong and be able to develop your own beliefs. Do you have a favorite instructional book or resource on cooking? If someone wants to teach themselves how to cook, what would you suggest? As silly as it sounds, I’ve been quoted before for liking Martha Stewart. There are still aspects of Martha Stewart that I like. Another recommendation would be Donna Hay from Australia. We have a number of her books on our shelves up there. Everything is just very simple. If you can cook in that style of fresh and now, that means a lot. Where do you get inspiration for your dishes? I copy everybody. With cooking, they say that everything has been done before and that there is no original dish. Even if you think it is original, somebody else has done it. I am inspired by my peers, looking at their cookbooks, looking at their websites, and Instagram. You always want to try and be different. You always think about high tech, about disruptive innovation,

and what you can do differently than the other guy. But it is very difficult. Only once in a blue moon does someone actually come up with something that nobody has ever done before and it actually tastes good. There are a lot of young chefs out trying to just create for the sake of creating, for the sake of being different. And there are a lot of misses. What is it that you do that others don’t know about that has been the key to your success? Probably just being a good student to my cooks and to my team. I try to stay humble and come off as the everyman and even maybe the village idiot to some extent, because people aren’t threatened by you. If you walk in here and people are afraid of you, you really can’t get much done. But if you walk in and they’re like, “Hey, there’s chef,” now you have an open line of communication. They always say cooking is only 50 percent of it and the other 50 percent is people skills and how you manage your team. I’m one person here in this restaurant with 100 employees and 40 of those employees are in the kitchen. It is not about how well I can cook. It is about how well they can cook. If people were to come out and try a meal at your restaurant, what dishes would you recommend? There are a couple of staple dishes on our menu. Somebody told me that the difference between a three-star restaurant and a four-star restaurant is that a four-star restaurant has something that is craveable. Every restaurant tries to identify itself with one item that people can’t live without and are going to keep coming back for more. For us, everybody talks about our “Triple B,” which is biscuits, bacon, and butter. We have one person in the restaurant devoted to the service of that one item in the restaurant at nighttime. The other dish is the Korean fried chicken that has been here since day one and remains a staple on our menu as well....C


THE CROWD UPLIFTER Growing up on the east side of San Jose, Roel Garcia dreamed of one day cutting it up just like his idols. Twenty years later, DJ ETERNAL is now inspiring San Jose’s next generation of aspiring DJs. DJ Eternal may not tower over a crowd physically, but his charisma in person and on mic shows that he certainly knows how to command a room. His joy is infectious, especially in his promo videos on YouTube, which show him playfully thanking the camera for hosting your grandma’s 90th birthday and your mother’s retirement party. Getting your mom to ghost ride the whip on the dance floor? That’s just another day in the life of the Crowd Uplifter. Eternal, born Roel Pawid Garcia, grew up the youngest of three on San Jose’s East Side. His love for music started at Eastridge Mall, where he’d purchase cassettes from Sam Goody then head into RadioShack to examine the mixers and large speakers needed to help a set of hands preside over a party. But well before his mom bought him two turntables and a mixer out of Source Magazine, the album art on one of his sister’s cassettes caught his eye. “I thought, ‘What is this leaf right here?’ So I popped in the tape,” he shares, recalling the first time he encountered hip-hop, by way of Dr. Dre. “I think The Chronic was my first musical memory— being five years old, sneaking in my sister’s room and going through her tape collection.” His next revelation came while a student at Quimby Oak Middle School. He caught wind of “Best of the Best,” a compilation video of b-boy battles held nearby at Hank Lopez Community Center. The video inspired him to break dance, but he also took note of someone else whose handiwork popped in

and out of frame. “You see a DJ in the background with his hat to the back, just spinning and mixing,” he notes. “This event wouldn’t even exist without him. He’s the guy really running the show. I was just in awe.”

Written by Brandon E. Roos Photography by Sannie Celeridad Social Media itsdjeternal

Eternal was soon setting the mood at house parties. Back then, he was called Earitate, a tongue-in-cheek tribute to his mom’s continual complaints about the noise emanating from his room. He’d practice up to 10 hours a day—sometimes long enough to overheat his mixer—building blends or practicing scratches to emulate idols like DJ Qbert or D-Styles, members of the legendary turntablist crew Invisibl Skratch Piklz. He’s since turned 20 years of house parties, mobile gigs, and independent mixtapes into a busy business venture, entertaining at weddings and corporate events. “My parents didn’t stop me from DJ’ing. Of course, my mom always wanted me to do something better with my life. She comes from the Philippines, so all she knows is working hard to provide for your family—real job, real education, and stuff,” Eternal says. “But hey, she never stopped supporting me and driving me to the record stores. I’m still thankful for all of that.” In 2014, he chose to expand his skill set into radio, the last milestone he’d yet to conquer. After studying radio broadcasting at Ohlone College, he landed an internship with the new station Q102. “I was just at the right place at the right time—new



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radio station, new radio shows. There were people that were working years prior, trying to get into that seat I was in,” he recalls. Thanks to his tireless work ethic, six months of commuting to record radio drops and making promo appearances earned him a spot hosting a mix show. Nowadays, he’s moved to KBLX, where he hosts the Friday Night Mixtape weekly from 10pm until midnight. This year has brought his career full circle. In the back of Street Set University Barbershop at Eastridge, he teaches Learn the Turns, a mentorship program to teach those who want to learn about DJ’ing. It’s been a fulfilling experience for Eternal.

“Every person I’ve taught has amazed me. I never knew I had that kind of power as a DJ or mentor,” he says. “I guess that’s what I’m put on this earth for: to help make an impact on people that want to learn.” In recent years, his role may have shifted from upstart to OG (at least that’s what his younger fans call him on Instagram), but he’s grateful for the opportunity to give back. “One time, a young homie was like, ‘Man, you know what? You save the hood one party at a time, man,’ ” he shares with a laugh. “I never thought of it like that.” C


Written by Marissa Ahmadkhani Photography by Daniel Garcia Social Media dopepoetlove

DopePoetLove Joseph Jason Santiago LaCour Joseph Jason Santiago LaCour first fell in love with the spoken word at the age of 13. Born in Chicago and raised in Dallas, Texas, LaCour has held on to this passion through all of life’s ups and downs. He currently resides in Santa Cruz, California, and has channeled his intense love of both hip-hop and poetry into a dedicated exploration of his craft. Co-curator of the Santa Cruz Word Church and a part of the Legendary Collective, LaCour meets with fellow artists weekly to cultivate the local creative community. While music and writing are a main focus in his life currently, this wasn’t always the case. For 15 years, LaCour worked in the tech industry, dedicating himself to providing for his wife and two daughters and only dabbling in art in his very limited free time. “I had to put things on hold when we got pregnant in college, put life on hold in general. Dropped out and got three jobs, thinking that that was the thing to do,” he muses. “And I love being a dad. I’ll always love being a dad. But art became a point of contention in my marriage, so I kept it to myself, and in doing so, it kind of became a sanctuary for me.” Following his divorce, and, with his two daughters now grown, LaCour has spent the last two years resetting his life and reacquainting himself with his writing, music, and modes of self-expression. “I totally departed from all of the tech jobs and all the stuff that I needed to do to feed my kids. And I just spent time with myself. Working on myself.” Having done so, LaCour found love and settled down in the Tannery, an artist community in Santa Cruz. Since then, he has released two poetry collections, the first, Ledditgo, and the second, Dope Poet Love. When compiling his first book, Ledditgo, a collection of poems spanning the past twenty years of his life, LaCour intentionally did everything from choosing the paper and stapling the pages together, to creating the written and visual artwork found within its pages. He states, “It was important for me to do that. I didn’t want anybody else’s hands on it, and so whatever comes as a result, whether it’s critique or applause, it’s all me.”


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“Rhythm. Rhythm is where it all is for me. My dad plays the congas, so I grew up with all kinds of musical influences. I think that’s what inspires me most about poetry. The play on words.” In terms of his own work, LaCour says “Right now, I’m embarking on new things. Getting back into hip-hop and music, trying to really combine my love of poetry and hip-hop. They always seem divided in terms of actual events and end-products, and I’m putting them together.” For LaCour, writing is all about rhythm and sound. “I think the most important thing about poetry is that we listen. I personally feel that most poetry is written to be spoken. It’s important to read it, but when you hear it, you add another sense to it, and it creates a whole other thing. A new relationship. Because somebody who maybe wouldn’t normally pick up a book of poetry is now hearing it.” Heavily influenced by hip-hop, which he discovered and fell in love with at the age of 11, LaCour writes from the point of an emcee. For him, it’s all about the sound and performance of poetry. “Rhythm. Rhythm is where it all is for me. My dad plays the congas, so I grew up with all kinds of musical influences. I think that’s what inspires me most about poetry. The play on words. You know? Putting together words that you normally wouldn’t see being combined and being able to be like, ‘ooh. I like that.’ And to say something meaningful and something relevant with that play? That’s the art.” Currently, LaCour is branching out from his usual writing topics and starting to explore issues of social justice. With his music, LaCour is looking to collaborate with other artists and musicians in order to connect and gain new perspectives. Overall, LaCour is excited for what’s to come, always “hoping for all the good things.” C


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Creative Play

Ivy Atoms is an artist of many mediums. From zines and comic books to painting, animation, and ceramics, Atoms uses her many modes of creativity in order to explore complex and sometimes difficult subject matters. Born and raised in San Jose, Atoms shares her work as an artist, author, zine maker, and teacher. While she has always had a passion for art, it wasn’t until she moved to Portland and learned how to self-publish and print her own work that she began her foray into actually producing her own zines and comic books.

Written by Marissa Ahmadkhani Photography by Daniel Garcia Instagram ivyatoms

Though she was enrolled in art school for two years, Atoms ultimately found that it wasn’t an environment she wanted to be a part of. Instead, she is mostly self-taught and continually explores and picks up different creative modes and materials as vehicles for her art. Upon moving back to the San Jose area in 2016, Atoms focused on creating and producing her own work, as well as sharing her skills and know-how with the San Jose community. In addition to teaching art at an after-school program, Atoms also works with downtown San Jose’s LGBTQ Youth Space. In 2017, Atoms founded the San Jose ZineCon along with Poliana Irizarry and Li Patron. When speaking about what inspired the founding of this festival, Atoms shares,“There are so many people here in San Jose making awesome zines and awesome art, but we didn’t have a big fest to showcase all of that. The bigger fests were always elsewhere. So, I got together with some co-organizers, and yeah. Organizing with a dedication to making everything free was so doable and so cool, especially with how expensive everything is in this area.” In its second year, the San Jose ZineCon has expanded and provides a welcoming, affordable space for creatives to share their work. In 2017, Atoms also helped to organize the Bay Area Queer Zine Fest, which just returned for its second year this past September. Atom’s dedication to utilizing different mediums is perhaps best displayed in her recently published comic book, Pinky & Pepper Forever. Published by Silver Sprocket this past May, Pinky & Pepper Forever is a comic book centering on


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“I think art is really fun. I mean, it’s definitely a discipline, and you have to work really hard at it, but I have a lot of fun doing it.” – Ivy Atoms



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cartoon characters Pinky and Pepper. In it, Atoms explores difficult, sensitive, and dark material through her fun, multimodal art. “I think art is really fun. I mean, it’s definitely a discipline, and you have to work really hard at it, but I have a lot of fun doing it. Even with this book, which is really sad and dark, it’s still playful.” On landing her first publication, Atoms says, “I’ve been self-publishing for about eight years now, and it wasn’t until this year that I got my first ‘real’ publishing deal, which has been a really interesting and welcome change. It’s been really cool and exciting.” Showcasing a wide array of visual mediums, the plot peaks with a photo of Atom’s ceramic re-creation of a key scene within the book; and in this book specifically, Atoms uses colored pencil, ink, digital art, and ceramics. “There’s a lot of craft involved, and I think that using whatever visual language you have in order to get the feeling across is one of my biggest focuses,” Atoms states. “I guess I really took a lot of risks with how I executed this book visually, and I’m really happy that it paid off and that people were here for my vision.” Since its release, Pinky & Pepper Forever has been nominated for an Ignatz Award for Outstanding Artist, and this past October, Atoms opened her show, All Dogs Go to Hell, at Silver Sprocket in San Francisco. Atoms continues to self-publish and release new zines and commissioned work and has been published in a number of anthologies. C 93

ALBUM PICKS Curated by Needle to the Groove Instagram: needletothegrooverecords


Ill Camille

Wire’s third record, 154, is nothing less than a masterpiece in style, mood, and challenging provocation. Recorded in 1979, after the revolutionary Pink Flag and the bewitching brilliance of Chairs Missing, the album had a major influence on the Kevin Shieldses and Johnny Marrs of the world as predecessor to the layered guitar sound so many have emulated. This record pulses with cacophonous shimmers, blending abstract imagery and cryptic language. The opening track, “I Should Have Known Better,” featuring big guitar warbles from the always innovative Bruce Gilbert, sets an uneasy tone. Classic tracks pummel and drift throughout the record as Wire explores the many levels of paranoia and anxiousness. The jagged, biting “Two People in a Room,” a fever-dream-Beckett-play with a caveman stomp beat segues into the beautiful Eno-like pop of “The 15th,” while “Single K.O.,” with its herkyjerky rhythms and gorgeous piano lines blends into the bleak, ominous swells of “A Touching Display.” Crooned by bassist Graham Lewis, this track builds and builds, bleating cold desperation and longing. “Will she saaaave meeee?” Lewis bellows in a truly unnerving and mesmerizing moment of tension and dissonance. Any list of late ’70s English art rock should contain 154 at the top. I dare you to listen to “Map Ref 41°N 93°W” without humming it the rest of the day.

With a barrage of bass licks, an old-timey chorus, and thoughtful bars, Ill Camille’s second album, Heirloom, is an eclectic experience in modern hiphop touching on R&B duets to jazz. Tracks such as “Trust Me” have the power to take you inside the alternating levels of lust, trust, exploration, and the intimate struggle of partnership. It’s this type of intimacy Camille exudes while reminiscing about her grandparents’ handed-down inspirations on “Spider’s Jam.” She proves she can provide touches of finesse alongside piano melodies throughout the double album. Just as the listener begins to settle into the project, tracks like “Live It Up” relentlessly push rampaging lines that address the tireless grind it takes to be where she is today. Even on more collaborative songs like “Fight On,” Camille makes her point about the struggle: “I got siblings in the system, another victim.” She is the unquestioned leader in this invitation into her inner world, but her unabashed appeal to collaborate with a whole slew of musicians shows the community she seeks to help rise up with her. Some of my personal favorite producers, like Mndsgn, offer modern organ melodies, while Quamie Yae enchants with a sleepy sax loop leaking into a hard beat juxtaposition. Ill Camille’s roots may be SoCal, but her music has the power to balance her own upbringing with the modern village it takes to become a successful artist.

Favorite track: “A Touching Display”

Favorite track: “Still a Lady”

Twitter: wirehq

Social media: illcamille

154 (Pink Flag) Re-release date: June 13, 2018

Heirloom ( Jakarta Records) Release date: April 25, 2017

Written by Jeff Brummet


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Written by DJ Enano

The Internet

Various Artists

Rhythm and blues is one of the oldest, most historic styles of American music—even in 2018 its relevance continues to receive rich support from devout followers, their children, and now their children’s children. The Internet, formed in 2011 by two of the founding members of Odd Future (the crew that emerged out of LA’s hip-hop scene just over a decade ago) is a young five-piece band from Southern California that understands modern soul music is about creating a vibe. After only their second long play, the group has already catapulted themselves to being one of the most important modern R&B groups active today. Syd tha Kyd leads the group with her dreamy vocal stylings as the Internet continues to mature with their latest release, Hive Mind. Each member plays a more integral role on this record and each instrument is more pronounced as the band creates marvelously sensual head nodding grooves through pulsating drums, lush bass, layered harmonies, and jazzy melodies. The production quality of the record is primo and soaked with underground sensibility. It’s catchy in a good way. Add to that spoken word reminiscent of Outkast, and you’re left with a record rich in attitude, sexy style, and most importantly, a vibe. From dance beats to down tempo grimy jazz-funk, they know how to switch up classic R&B rhythms from song to song, serving up a complete dish of future soul. With a nonstop touring mentality and ever increasing studio time, the Internet is growing before our eyes. They are a new face in the world of neo-soul, but my instinct tells me they will be around for many more albums to come.

They say that the griot of West Africa was the archetype for the bluesman of the American South and that the voices of West African spirit ceremonies gave the Southern Baptist Church its cadences and gleeful moans. Africa listened back—and responded. From the 1960s to the 1980s, West Africa reincorporated these sounds back into its traditional rhythms and produced something greater than the sum of its parts. Benin, in particular, became a nexus for musicians, composers, and bands creating new sounds that incorporated funk and soul with highlife from Ghana, rumba from Cuba, and traditional vodoun beats. African Scream Contest 2 documents these eclectic and mesmerizing exuberances. The rowdy compilation kicks off with the heady fuzz guitar intro of “A Min We Vo Nou We” by les Sympathics de Porto Novo. The song settles into an irresistible, head-nodding funk accentuated by a talking drum pattern. On his 1976 single, “Nounignon Ma Klon Midji,” composer Antoine Dougbe brings together elements of Afro-Cavacha rhythms and beats from vodoun les revenants festivities, drum heavy and driven with syncopated guitar à la Leo Nocentelli of the Meters. The great and mighty PolyRythmo are represented by two songs composed by drummer Yehouessi Léopold. “Idava” is a potent mix of funk and vodoun rhythms held together by short, jazzy, repetitive bass lines. “Moulon Devia” is a heavy dance floor bouncer mixing Afrobeat with a funk/disco drum pattern guaranteed to make you move. The detailed liner notes allow you to further immerse yourself in the epic lives and stories of a music scene born from the social and political upheaval of Benin. Samy Ben Redjeb, label owner and curator, painstakingly hunts down the original musicians to tell these stories. Their raw creativity and imagination deserve to be heard by music lovers and enthusiasts alike.

Favorite Tracks: “Roll (Burbank Funk)”

Favorite Track: “Me Adomina”

Instagram: theinternet

Instagram: taran_ea

Hive Mind (Columbia) Release date: July 20, 2018

African Scream Contest 2: Benin 1963-1980 (Analog Africa Records) Release Date: May 18, 2018

Written by Allen Johnson


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Written by Taran Escobar-Ausman


El Día de los Tres Reyes Magos


Unity in Diversity


JAN/FEB #ContentPick

Contemporary Artifacts


Jackie Gage Live at City Lights


Super Stacked Comedy in the Woodshop


Michael Richards: Winged

Snapshots : A Musical Scrapbook


Contemporary Artifacts Artist Talk



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A community exhibition based on the Unity in Diversity flag designed by Javier Yep. 1/18–2/10 The Work San Jose


First Friday, January Reception; Contemporary Artifacts is an exhibition with a modern twist with works from 16 Bay Area Artists and 1 Canadian Artist. 1/4 5-8pm The Art Cave

Multi-award-winning composer Steven Every other Saturday of the month a stacked lineup of hilarious local comics. 1/5, 1/19, 2/2, and 2/16 Terra Amico Studio


Celebrate family, gift-giving, music, and art based on the Three Kings observances in many Spanish-speaking countries. 1/12–13 Children’s Discovery Museum

Multi-award-winning composer Steven Schwartz has reimagined his songs from Wicked, Pippin, and Godspell to create this new modern romantic musical. 1/11-2/ 3 The Tabard Theatre Company

A conversation with NYC vocalist Jackie Gage, back in her hometown to show her new music video and perform live. 1/20 7pm City Lights Theater Company

Works by the late Michael Richards (1963– 2001) who died in his World Trade Center studio on Sept. 11. 1/22-3/24 Stanford Art Gallery

Artists from Contemporary Artifacts group show will explain the process of their work and how the idea of art as artifacts relates to them. 1/25 The Art Cave

SUN 7PM–11PM The Eulipions Jazz Jam Session The house band led by saxophonist Tim Lin plays a set followed by an open jazz jam. Cafe Stritch

MON 8PM–11PM Industry Night Hangout for and with the bartenders, beertenders, and cooks with beers, cocktails, food, and live music. Forager

THURS 7PM–9PM Live Lit Writers Open Mic This casual open mic offers a home for poems and stories in all languages over pastries and beverages. Caffe Frascati

MON 7PM–9:30PM Red Rock Open Mic Night A family-friendly open mic experience that welcomes people of all talents to share and perform their art. Red Rock Coffee

WED 9PM The Caravan Lounge Comedy Show Comics from all over the Bay Area and the world perform, hosted by Ato Walker. The Caravan Lounge

THURS 9PM The Changing Same This excursion keeps time with the future of soul, R&B, and jazz through guest DJ sets and live performances. The Continental Bar



Garden at the Flea Preview

Come Hither


San Jose Jazz Winter Fest 2019


Analicia Sotelo


Comida y Cultura: Colectivo Felix


Hubby Jenkins


Josiah McElheny: Island Universe


Content Pick-Up Party 11.1



ICA LIVE! Word for Word Performing Moby-Dick A theatrical performance of Moby-Dick, by the performing arts ensemble Word for Word in conjunction with Diane Samuels It’s a Long Story. 2/1 7 pm - 10 pm San Jose Jose Institute of Contemporary Art

In honor of February, the month of love, we are featuring artists that celebrate the body and sensuality in their art. 2/1 5-8pm The Art Cave

Readings and inteview with author of Virgin, a collection of poems of insights into power, deceit, relationships, and ourselves. Presented with the Center for Literary Arts at SJSU 2/2 7pm San Jose Museum of Art

Multi-instrumentalist shares his love and knowledge of old-time American music woven with country blues, ragtime, fiddle and banjo, and traditional jazz. 2/8 8:00pm lille æske, Boulder Creek Kid Koala: Nufonia Must Fall DJ Kid Koala brings his graphic novel to life: a robot love story performed live through puppetry, video projection and an ensemble of strings, piano, and digital music. 2/13-14 7:30pm Hammer Theatre

Preview event series leading-up to the grand opening of the San Jose Flea Market’s newest attraction, the Garden at the Flea 2/14- 4/7 The San Jose Flea Market

The “cool” counterpart to the SJZ Summer Fest, presents jazz’s leading voices and emerging talents. 2/14-27 Various locations in downtown San Jose (Cafe Stritch, Art Boutiki, Hammer Theatre)

Celebrating Latin American culture through food. Check website for details. 2/16 MACLA San Jose

Monumental chandeliers are a visual response to recent theories of the multiverse and the Big Bang theory. 2/23-8/18 Cantor Arts Center

Join us for an evening of music, food, and art as we celebrate the local artians that make up the Sights and Sounds of the South Bay. 2/27 AC Hotel Sunnyvale, 7:00pm-9:30pm


*Events are subject to change. Please confirm event details with the presenting organization or venue.

1ST MON 8PM San Jose Poetry Slam Slammaster Scorpiana Xlent leads this spoken-word competition that features tasty food, brews, and poetry. Gordon Biersch

LAST TUES 7PM Nerd Nite Silicon Valley A great night of (sometimes ridiculous but) thoughtprovoking presentations with drinks. The Tabard Theater

2ND THUR 8PM San Jose Bike Party This themed ride is a place to make friends and have a good time. Riders without lights can get free lights installed. Announced 24 hours prior

3RD TUES 7PM–10PM Two-Buck Tuesday The gallery hosts $2 art sales, along with a combination of performances, live painting, and/or art-making activities. KALEID Gallery

3RD THURS 6PM Brews & Beats Diners can enjoy hip-hop and craft beer culture with beats provided by resident DJs Mr Choe and Cutfresh. Park Station Hashery

2ND SAT 6PM–9PM Songwriter Saturday Showcase Coffee is served while local songwriters perform. New Crema Coffee songwritersaturday


CONTRIBUTORS The production of CONTENT MAGAZINE would not be possible without the talented writers, editors, graphic artists, and photographers who contribute to each issue. We thank you and are proud to provide a publication to display your work. We are also thankful for the sponsors and readers who have supported this magazine through advertisements and subscriptions. Be a part of the CONTENT community. Contact us at:

IAN LUNDIE Ian is an avid urban explorer, graffiti and street art photographer based out of San Jose. Documenter of things often overlooked. instagram: 1ill510

instagram: eestarrious

HANNAH DUCHESNE Hannah’s professional focus is branding. A Deep South transplant to Silicon Valley, she lives with her tiny fambam in Japantown. She’s into alliteration, obscure documentaries, and 90’s grunge music.

SANNIE CELERIDAD Sannie is a San Jose native with an obsession for coffee, sour gummy worms and classic BMWs. His passions are building relationships and documenting people and their everyday lives through photography.

LANNY NGUYEN Lanny found photography as way for her to capture stories and bring joy to those she works with. She enjoys being able to story tell with her work, which ranges from branding to family to food.

instagram: duchesnecommunications

instagram: prsvere

instagram: lannysphotos

AVNI LEVY Avni is a multimedia storyteller and Silicon Valley native. She’s passionate about using photos and video to showcase entrepreneurs, uncover personal stories, and stalk Boba, her fluffy black cat.

SAMANTHA TACK Samantha is a contributing editor for CONTENT. She is very passionate about editing and works in online content operations. In her free time, she enjoys all things crafty, weekend road trips and country music.

KUNAL SAMPAT Kunal is the founder of Clinical Trial Podcast, a podcast for clinical research professionals. He enjoys connecting likeminded people, introducing new ideas, and immersing himself in an environment of continuous learning.

instagram: glasslocketfilm


ESTHER YOUNG Esther is a graduating senior at Santa Clara University. She has written for Santa Clara Magazine and The Owl.

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instagram: wildfirekunal

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Photography by David Hill

Laura Kimpton with Jeff Schomberg, XO The City of San José Office of Cultural Affairs in partnership with Burning Man Project proudly presents two new works by artist Laura Kimpton as part of Playa to Paseo, an initiative bringing art from Burning Man to Downtown San José. Appearing through February 2019, XO is located at San Jose City Plaza and Ha Ha is located at Hammer Theatre Plaza.

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