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Local Arts & Music Celebrating our artists, musicians, theater companies, galleries, events producers, and more

Bruce Jenkins


Vol. 45, Issue 10 • April 7—May 11, 2022 OPINION

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Editorial . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Letters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Editor’s Note. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Guest Comment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 This Modern World . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Second & Flume . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Streetalk . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7


•Medicare Supplement Plans •Medicare Advantage Plans


•Social Security Maximization

Downstroke . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 City Manager Mark Orme’s exit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8

•Retirement Income Planning FEATURE


Celebrating local Arts and Music




April Events. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Reel World . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 Scene . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 & 24 Arts DEVO . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 Brezsny’s Astrology. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27


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Council telegraphs agenda former city manager resigned and was replaced in W the interim by Police Chief Matt Madden. But it’s clear hat happened to Mark Orme? Technically, Chico’s now-

from the reporting by CN&R Contributing Editor Evan Tuchinsky (see “Time’s up,” page 8) that there’s more to the story. Put the pieces together: Orme did not leave by choice, unless that choice was quit or get fired. He wanted to stay. That was obvious during the second special meeting the City Council held to review his job performance, where he stood in a prayer circle while the council discussed his fate in closed session, and by what the council decided—to have City Attorney Vince Ewing negotiate Orme’s resignation in lieu of termination. Council members can talk about negotiations being a two-way street and the confidentiality of personnel matters. Actions speak louder than their words, and their motives seem just as obvious. The Warren v. City of Chico lawsuit put the council conservatives on blast for their policies regarding homelessness, and the settlement hasn’t eased the pressure. Their backers vent frustrations with social media posts and speeches at council meetings. Often, Orme and Ewing are targets, blamed for the settlement. Critics complain about resources going into the Pallet shelter site and delays in enforcement of city ordinances.

The council conducted evaluations of Orme, Ewing and City Clerk Debbie Presson in the closed session at its March 15 meeting. The next Monday (March 21), Mayor Andrew Coolidge called a special meeting on Orme’s performance, which led to the second meeting that Friday (March 29) where the sides parted ways. Timing is everything. This is an election year. Someone’s head had to roll. Madden didn’t know the promotion was coming. The conservatives bypassed Deputy City Manager Jennifer Macarthy, and their laser focus also speaks volumes. Placing the police chief atop the city hierarchy tells citizens—especially supporters—what the majority prioritizes, particularly in regards to the settlement. Enforcement. Law enforcement. The city will look for a long-term replacement, but not imminently. We wouldn’t be surprised if the conservatives already have someone in mind—say, Mark Sorensen, former mayor of Chico and nine-year city administrator of Biggs? The council had a strategic planning session March 13 where they learned about taking ripple effects of decisions into account. There, the council sent a message to department heads, including Orme, that the city needs to change its culture for employees. It’s ironic and telling that council members ignored their own words. Ω

LETTERS Pallet shelter concerns Re “Shelter in the spotlight” (CN&R, March 10, 2022): More to consider concerning the new Pallet camp… · The Jesus Center’s quid-proquo 2017 “Memorandum of Understanding” with the city of Chico, leading to the destruction (ultimately, the literal demolition) of our only soup kitchen. · The center’s Robert Marbut, his high-dollar consulting contract and the Marbut methodology’s ongoing negative impact on Chico’s homeless human rights record. · The center’s calculated morphing into a high-barrier homeless reform center, seemingly oriented toward a condescending, Bible-based rescue approach to “worthy poor” women—though deaths on the streets are 80 percent homeless men. · The center’s “success story” culture 4


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and marketing. · The center’s too-close relationship with the Chico Police Department. · The near-universal disdain for the Jesus Center among the chronically homeless; their having experienced years of patronizing and punishing policies and practices. · The mayor’s publicly stated resentment regarding Pallet camp costs (such as utilities), though the city’s “enforcement” powers are immediately reinstated (sweeping and arresting) once in technical compliance with the Warren v. City of Chico settlement; that is, regained while possibly seeking to avoid the expense of serving that swath of people conveniently deemed “services resistant” and always in demand as fodder for Butte County’s incarceration industry. · The daunting physical challenge of making a moonscape of 177

tightly-packed plastic boxes feel like home. · The proximity of car races to cardboard-thin shelters, 700 feet from 700-horsepower, unmuffled engines. · Etc.

Patrick Newman Chico

Pot; no holes Anyone else notice we have potholes in our roads? What would be a solution? Money, of course. Ever been to Shasta Lake city? Man, they’ve got some really wellpaved roads. How? That city got in early on allowing pot dispensaries and raked in some taxes. Smart. We have the opposite of smart in Butte County.

by Jason Cassidy j a s o n c @ n e w s r e v i e w. c o m

Bring back the arts This July, I will celebrate my 19th year working for the Chico News & Review. Before transitioning to interim editor a few months into the pandemic—and then Editor last fall—I spent my time in what we call “the back half of the book.” For most of those 17 years, I was arts editor, and to say it was a dream job would be an understatement. To my mind, what’s made Chico “Chico” during my time here is the energy supplied by the creative community, and experiencing and writing about it for a living was pretty perfect. When the early pandemic shutdowns came in March of 2020, it was heartbreaking to witness everything that I was so intimately involved with stop at once. None of us had a clue how prolonged the pause on in-person arts would last. As much as it depresses me to think that it was two years, and that we just now have a green light for returning to “normal,” at this moment I am very happy for the venues that survived (and the new ones that were born)—as well for the the artists and patrons—that we get to celebrate with this special Arts & Music Issue while also being able to go out and enjoy some arts and music! Back when things were shutting down—including this newspaper for a few months—I wrote that it was “acutely painful to imagine that when the plays and concerts and community events do eventually return, there’s a chance the CN&R might not be part of the moment.” We are here, thankfully, limping forward but overjoyed to be able to be part of the moment as we shine a light on what is hopefully the beginning of Chico being “Chico” once again. Speaking of Chico Isn’t it too early to start thinking about Best of Chico? No! The CN&R’s annual celebration of all of Chico’s good stuff has historically been published in October, but this year we are busting it out a month early—on the first day of September! Voting is starting May 9, a few days before the May print edition hits the stands (May 12). Keep an eye on our social media pages and at chico.newsreview.com for updates on the launch. Props to E Yo, E! That is my default greeting to Contributing Editor Evan Tuchinsky when we have our daily phone call each morning, and in the week before the print issue came out, it was followed more than once with: Great job on the Orme story. On his city beat, Evan has been scooping everyone in town as he’s camped out in the middle of the City Council circus to report on the events surrounding Mark Orme’s exit as Chico city manager. The updates have been published online as the story unfolded, and the culmination, “Time’s up,” appears on page 8. Nice work, E!

Wolfgang Straub Chico


O N PA G E 7

Jason Cassidy is editor of the Chico News & Review


Call for Submissions

Diverse Minds North State Journal

Art can heal us Tartistic blossoms with the creativity of many souls as it sprouts back from wildfire o live in a community like Butte County that

devastation is inspirational. During this time of successive community traumas, I have discovered a platform that can bring individuals from all walks of life together and allow for personal and group healing and growth: “co-creation.” Shortly after the devasby tating Camp Fire that Jess Mercer consumed my hometown The author is an and parents’ home, I arts educator and started to use art in community activist this way in an attempt who implements to tether our shattered trauma-informed practices into programs community. When my father in Butte County. tossed his keys on my kitchen table in Chico the night of the fire, he knew he had no home to return to, that its locks no longer existed. In the months that followed, I made a call

for art to anyone vulnerable enough to join me. I asked them to relinquish their keys, those tiny precious totems of familiarity, so that I could create a sculpture for us all. I set out glass jars all over the county, provided a mailing address and soon gathered thousands of keys—to homes, schools, workplaces, cars, boats, diaries, even some that once belonged to those whom we lost that day. In a small bedroom in my apartment, I crafted a large phoenix from more than 18,000 keys. Both the project and its social media page united my community, provided a platform for the scattered to communicate and eventually brought many back home one last time during the unveiling of the “Ridge Key Phoenix” on the one-year remembrance of the fire. After the key project, I’ve refocused my career to use arts education for healing, driving the Butte County Art On Wheels van to schools, companies and public spaces to co-create with the community impacted by disasters. The arts and the process of creation may GUEST COMMENT C O N T I N U E D

Poets, artists, authors and photographers who have experience or help others with mental health challenges are invited to submit creative works for the 8th Annual Diverse Minds North State Journal 2022. Poetry, short stories, essays, photography, collage, paintings, and drawings are all welcome. Submission guidelines and entry forms available at: nvcss.org/diverseminds or scan the QR code Questions? Call the Iversen Center at 530-879-3311 or email diverseminds@ nvcss.org Diverse Minds promotes mental wellness through the arts in Northern California, initiated by the Iversen Wellness & Recovery Center in Chico.

Journal Deadline: July 31, 2022

O N PA G E 7

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Is coming to town! Find out all the details—including how to vote for your favorites— in the May 12 issue of CN&R.


ADVERTISERS: To be a part of this event, please contact us at chicobestof@newsreview.com

by Melissa Daugherty m e l i s s a d @ n e w s r e v i e w. c o m

Convenient scapegoat I’d say Mark Orme learned the hard way that there isn’t a back the conservatives on the Chico City Council won’t stab, but I suspect deep down he already knew that. In all my years reporting on city government under his tenure as city manager and assistant city manager, and asking him questions in our many face-to-face meetings, it was clear to me that he never quite felt secure in his job. I’m sure he was more anxious in the two years the progressives held the council majority, a time when he ostensibly was more vulnerable. It’s no secret that Orme is a conservative guy, which is the typical orthodoxy in that line of work. Yet he attempted to find common ground with people who hold divergent views, folks like yours truly. That didn’t work out well with the current makeup of the panel, the newbies excepted (see “Time’s up,” page 8). Turns out you can’t straddle the middle of the road when ideologues are driving. They will run your ass over in a heartbeat for political cover, which is exactly what happened to Orme late last month. Indeed, the city manager is the proverbial sacrificial lamb, the fall guy the majority will use to deflect criticism related to the federal lawsuit the city recently settled. Their conservative base is outraged by the terms of that agreement, the most vexing being the new shelter facility for homeless people on municipal property, and they’ve laid much of the blame on Orme. Gripes run the gamut, but the main theme goes something like, “The city is spending millions on homeless people when it can’t even repair the roads!” That’s a valid point, but let’s consider how we got here. Fact: The conservatives on the panel ordered the chief of police to run homeless folks out of the parks, and he dutifully followed their command despite ample warnings that doing so might result in litigation based on case law in Boise, Idaho. This newspaper sounded the alarm ahead of the sweeps, but we were far from the only ones. There were protests, there were emails, there were public comments at council meetings. Moreover, there were public displays of civil rights attorneys gathering data. All signs pointed to stop, but the conservatives weren’t having it. They went so far as firing the city attorney and re-hiring their previous one, “yes man” Vince Ewing, to get the OK to commence the sweeps. Doing so was their fatal mistake, the action that set the lawsuit in motion. And that rests squarely on the council majority, not the city manager, who, like all city administrators, defers questions related to law to legal counsel. Everything is documented through public record, and that includes Ewing getting excoriated by the federal judge overseeing the resulting Warren v. City of Chico lawsuit. The conservatives took a calculated risk and they lost, because the policies they attempted to enforce broke the law of the land. Period. What’s ironic is that some of the same community members who called for such draconian methods in the first place, contending that such action was perfectly legal, are the ones who adamantly opposed the creation of a local tiny house village that would’ve been largely privately funded. As for Orme’s sacking, I have a bone to pick about the way it went down. I’m not trying to make him a martyr, and I definitely have my own criticism—most recently his sign-off on the ice rink at City Plaza—but the council was wrong to blindside him. Orme was at the helm during and after the Camp Fire, when the city took on unprecedented growth literally overnight. Before that, he helped steer the city to solvency after the worst recession since the Great Depression. He deserved better from the people he worked alongside for years. That’s especially true of those who instigated his forced resignation, Vice Mayor Kasey Reynolds and longtime Councilman Sean Morgan. What they did tells us more about their character than it does about Orme’s record.

Melissa Daughtery is editor-at-large for the Chico News & Review 6


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Do you enjoy local arts? Asked in downtown Chico


be one of the most powerful tools we have as humans. To make what did not previously exist, to recreate what was and to have vision to collaborate and create when we need to heal is essential. To support the arts—especially now in the wake of two years of pandemic-induced trauma—is to support the community. Ω

LETTERS Joseph DeMarco wood f looring

I am in the arts scene quite a bit. My favorite [local] painter is Lola Yang. I got a lot of favorite bands, but probably my favorite performer is Samaria Grace.

Gina Hall legal secretary

I am a fan of visual art, and I try to purchase local art pieces. I like Caitlin Schwerin, and I just recently purchased a photograph from Martin Adolf Edward Svec. I am very excited. I also have a Josh Olivera and a SEIZER-ONE.

Vera Roque Student

I love it. In Chico, they have a lot of mosaics, like the mosaic benches, and I love those. And I like the murals.

Denver Latimer public defender

I love Gnarly Deli and the fact that they’re putting on shows. I think there’s going to be some good grassroots artistic expression, and I think they have the right atmosphere there.

C O N T I N U E D F R O M PA G E 4

Two for Biden I see in the news that President Biden’s approval rating is down to 40 percent. With me, and most folks I know, it’s up around the 90s and climbing every day. Joe Biden has brought us through the pandemic and kept the economy moving in a positive direction. He is working to fight climate change, the greatest danger to our planet’s future. He has restored our relations with NATO and our western allies. Can you imagine the Russia-Ukraine conflict with Trump still in charge? Robert Woods Forest Ranch

I note, with no surprise, how fashionable it is for the devotees of Donald Trump to blame President Biden for everything not being perfect. They crab about the economy and inflation, but with Trump still in office, we would be looking back at thin gruel in a cold hovel as the good old days, still mired in the third Republican recession in as many administrations—Trump’s being the worst since the Great Depression. And his administration would be doing everything possible to feudalize our society. Putin’s intent to annex Ukraine would still have been carried out, but Trump would have turned a blind eye on his buddy’s actions there, and NATO would have been eviscerated by a second Trump administration. And Trump would still be laundering money for the Russian oligarchs. I wake up every morning profoundly grateful that (regardless of what you are hearing in the right-wing echo chamber) we the people rejected four more years of an increasingly despotic crime family. Charles Barnes Forest Ranch

Write a letter Tell us what you think in a letter to the editor. Send submissions of 200 or fewer words to cnrletters@newsreview.com. Deadline for May 12 print publication is April 29. A P R I L 7, 2 0 2 2




The effort to connect the Town of Paradise to the city of Chico’s sewer and wastewater treatment system continues to move forward, and this month the public has the opportunity to speak up on the matter. On March 21, the Sewer Regionalization Project Advisory Committee (SRPAC)—which is made up of the mayors and vice mayors of the two municipalities—approved a first draft of a Principles of Agreement document, which will guide the Paradise Sewer Regionalization Project moving forward if approved. The document is available to view at each community’s government website as well as paradisesewer.com, and public comments can be submitted through April 25. The proposed project, which would cost an estimated $184 million, is still in its planning and environmental studies phase. If progress goes as planned, construction could begin in 2024 and continue until 2026. Paradise has no sewer system; all properties use septic tanks. Efforts to connect to Chico’s sewer via pipeline have been intermittent since before Paradise incorporated in 1979, and the effort has gained steam in the aftermath of the 2018 Camp Fire.


Last month, Sheriff Kory Honea (pictured) announced the completion of a new evacuation map for Butte County. According to the Butte County SheriffCoroner’s Office (BSCO) press release, in fall of 2020, the Sheriff partnered with Cal Fire, Butte County Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and BSCO Search and Rescue to map out wildfire evacuation zones for the entire county. The map created by the county GIS is now accessible via the Sheriff/Coroner website (buttecounty. net/sheriffcoroner). Residents can search their address to find the number for their evacuation zone. During an emergency, the online map will go live and the zones under an evacuation warning will appear in yellow while those under an evacuation order will be red.



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Time’s up Another wild week with the City Council ends with police chief replacing Chico’s city manager

FroomCouncil sequestered in a conference evaluating Mark Orme’s performance or nearly four hours, with the Chico City

as city manager, a tense silence permeated council chambers. Mayor Andrew story and Coolidge, on 24-hours’ photos by Evan Tuchinsky notice, had called this special meeting for evan t @new srev i ew. c o m the night of March 22. Orme and a handful of city department heads—including Police Chief Matt Madden—attended. Orme sat in the front of the chambers, then stood in the rear. He headed back down for perfunctory conversations with staff, even pulled out a broom from the janitorial closet and swept corners for cobwebs. The council conferred for 45 minutes before calling back, in succession, him; Public Works Director Erik Gustafson; Madden and City Attorney Vince Ewing together; and, finally, Deputy City Clerk Dani Rogers. “Sorry, takes a lot of time,” Coolidge said, “lots of politicians back there.”

The end result was an anticlimax: a second special meeting called for three days later, though with foreshadowing in the agenda item title—“public employee performance evaluation / appointment / discipline / dismissal.” That Friday afternoon (March 25), family and supporters gathered at City Council Chambers. Seven spoke on Orme’s behalf; a dozen prayed with him as the council met in closed session. This time, Ewing asked to meet with Orme, in the conference room not occupied by the council, and when Orme returned, his expression telegraphed the outcome. His time was up. Having deliberated six hours over two meetings, the council agreed to terms with Orme on his resignation in lieu of termination and appointed Madden as interim city manager. Madden—who started effective April 2 but attended the March 29 meeting in the city manager’s place—told the CN&R he did not know about the appointment until hearing Ewing’s announcement March 25, seated among colleagues. Capt. Billy Aldridge is serving as interim police chief.

Orme declined to comment on the decision but reflected on his tenure. “What I’ve experienced the past nine years has just been utterly amazing,” he told the CN&R by phone. “It’s been a wonderful opportunity to truly be a servant leader within a community that went through a tremendous amount of tumultuous times and a lot of change over those nine years, from the financial concerns [with the city budget] to the Oroville Dam Crisis to the Camp Fire— you just go through the list of things. “It’s been an honor and a privilege to serve, and I just want to thank the citizens of Chico.” Orme said he plans to take “a respite” to spend time with his family—wife Jennifer, 14-year-old son Grant and daughter Grace, about to turn 17—“and then I’ll get back up and see what path God has before me and where I’m headed off to. It’s likely to be another city manager position, but … I’ll make that decision down the road.”

Quit or fired? Though all appearances point to a unilateral decision, council members who spoke

Left: Supporters pray with Mark Orme (with tie in center) while awaiting the Chico City Council’s decision about his future as city manager at a special meeting March 25.

with the CN&R would not confirm the impetus for the staff upheaval. The council voted 5-2 to have Ewing negotiate separation terms with Orme. Vice Mayor Kasey Reynolds made the motion, with a second from Councilman Sean Morgan; Councilmen Dale Bennett and Michael O’Brien dissented. Council members unanimously approved the negotiated terms, on a motion made by O’Brien and seconded by Bennett. The clause in Orme’s contract that Ewing cited for entering negotiations states the city manager would remain employed until “Orme resigns in writing following an offer by a majority of the council to accept Orme’s resignation in lieu of termination.” Neither Coolidge nor Morgan, a former mayor who’s been a councilman since 2012, would establish whether the council instigated Orme’s resignation. Coolidge cited confidentiality of personnel matters discussed in closed session; Morgan said “those negotiations could have been going in either direction.” Both praised Orme, noting his time as city manager spanned six mayors—seven including his year as assistant city manager under Brian Nakamura. “I felt it was necessary to accept his resignation,” Coolidge said by

Chief of Police Matt Madden moves to the city manager’s seat on an interim basis.

phone. “Mark is a very skilled city manager. He’s certainly given more to the city in the last nine years than almost anyone I can think of. I have nothing but good things to say about him and wish him nothing but good things for the future. “Of course, nothing goes perfect in that position, and city manager is a difficult position to hold for a long period of time. I believe the average is something like five years. Chico is often a very charged political environment, so for him to be in that for such a long period of time really shows his fortitude and his willingness to serve the community of Chico.” Said Morgan: “There are people who are like, ‘We want somebody’s scalp’ or ‘Finally we got rid of this guy’—it wasn’t like that. He’s not a bad guy. He’s a great guy, he’s still a super guy, and whatever he decides to do next, I think he will be fantastic at. He decided to leave; I think about leaving every single day, and my job isn’t nearly as complicated as his.”

Successor pick In Madden, the council chose an interim city manager who’s been police chief since August 2020 (following a two-month stint as interim chief, succeeding O’Brien) and with the Chico Police Department for 25 years. Morgan noted that CPD is the largest department in the city “with the most potential liability.” He also pointed to the settlement of the Warren v. City of Chico lawsuit, which includes the Pallet shelter site and law enforcement actions; “who’s going to be able to get that to the finish line” was a key consideration for him. Coolidge called the chief “very educated and skilled. I believe he has the leadership to get us through this time. He certainly has the knowledge about city issues and city matters that we need at the helm right now.” Madden moved to a City Hall office that includes Deputy City

Orme concludes his tenure having served under six mayors in nine years.

Manager Jennifer Macarthy. Hired to replace former Assistant City Manager Chris Constantin last April, Macarthy previously served as Butte County’s deputy administrative officer for community and economic development; that has been her emphasis at the city. In consideration for interim city manager, the councilmen mentioned her tenure as well as her role compared to her predecessor’s. Constantin was “second in command at all levels,” Coolidge said—and while Macarthy is “certainly capable,” Morgan said, “as far as running the whole operation for a somewhat extended period of time, that’s not what that position [she’s holding] has been.” Councilwoman Alex Brown, the progressive among six conservatives, declined to talk about the Orme decision but expressed her concerns about Madden’s appointment, for which she cast the one opposing vote. (Morgan made the motion, seconded by O’Brien.) “There are a variety of capable leaders on the city staff, and I think it sends the wrong message to lead with a law enforcement perspective or narrative,” she said by phone Tuesday morning. “That by no means is a judgment on Interim City Manager Madden’s capabilities as a leader. But I do believe that many in the community are rattled by that decision … [which] feeds the narrative that law enforcement in the view of this council is the be-all, end-all of the problems that are facing our city.” Ω


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Recreating the scene

Butte County artists, presenters and patrons trying to return to normal


n 2019, Californians for the Arts successfully campaigned the state Senate to have April designated as Arts, Culture and Creativity Month. The resolution points out that the creative economy contributes more than $400 billion to the state each year and that “the arts serve to give voice to our many communities, spark individual creativity, foster empathy and understanding, spur civic engagement, and serve as a continual source of personal enrichment, inspiration, and growth.” In the past two years, all those economic and cultural benefits were largely erased, and arts celebrations turned into arts emergencies. Mandates concerning public gatherings and social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic hit the arts sector—especially the performing arts—hard. Now, in April 2022, it appears the worst is behind us. As theaters, galleries and music venues welcome back the public, the theme for this year’s Arts, Culture and Creativity Month is “The Arts Work,” focusing on how the arts serve “to heal, to build community, to advance justice, to empower youth and to create jobs.” In honor of the month, the CN&R joins with Californians for the Arts in the celebration. Throughout this special Arts & Music Issue, we highlight the artists, events producers, theater companies, musicians, galleries, museums and nightclubs as they return to their vital role in shaping the character and economic viability of Butte County.

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Looking ahead Creative City Chico coalesces vision for local arts by

Evan Tuchinsky eva nt @new srev i ew. c o m


rts have long been entwined with the identity of Chico— theaters, museums, troupes, musicians, artists and patrons weaving a rich cultural fabric. Yet, apart from reports on economic impacts and occasional outside acclaim, such as ranking among the top 10 arts towns in a 2002 book, the city tends to lack holistic perspectives on this slice of life.

That inspired Stephen Cummins to spearhead Creative City Chico. As both a city arts commissioner and executive director for University Public Engagement (UPE) at Chico State, overseeing Chico Performances among other programs, he has a broad view of the local scene. He approached Chico State President Gayle Hutchinson with the idea of arts and cultural planning for Chico; supported by City Hall and the commission, as well, UPE has gathered input and collected data the past two years. Along with a draft report just about ready for review, UPE will conduct a series of community roundtables starting April 21 to

expand upon the findings (see infobox). The mid-April launch coincides with California Arts, Culture and Creativity Month. The ultimate goal: conclusions and recommendations for advancing the arts—for whichever individuals or entities seize upon them. “It’s been very interesting and telling,” Cummins said of the work so far. “Clearly, our arts community is very different today than two years ago when we first had these conversations. The pandemic, just like the Great Recession and other big events throughout the course of American history, has upended our arts organizations, arts education, cultural institutions, just like [it’s] upended

● some common themes, such as a need for accessible, affordable facilities and ensuring platforms for all voices. In autumn 2020, UPE surveyed arts organizations about their operations and received 95 responses. That information accompanies data sets acquired from DataArts, an analytics project based at Southern Methodist University on Chico and comparable communities. “Everybody knows they do The Nutcracker every year at Chico Community Ballet or [about] Chico Performances because they have a lot of money invested in marketing,” Cummins said, “but there’s a lot going on in Chico that many people may not know about. “One of the things that popped up in the data [is] not a lot of people finding full-time employment in the arts, especially with our arts organizations. Many of our arts organizations are operated with one, maybe two paid positions and a lot of volunteer and sweat equity provided by good people who care.” Clockwise from left: COVID precautions in place during a pandemic-era exhibit at 1078 Gallery. PHOTO COURTESY OF 1078 GALLERY

Stephen Cummins, executive director of University Public Engagement and a city arts commissioner, says he’s already “learned a lot” from the Creative City Chico project. PHOTO BY EVAN TUCHINSKY

Smokey the Groove play the Chico City Plaza during the 2021 edition of the Downtown Chico Business Association’s Friday Night Concerts series. PHOTO BY KEN PORDES

everybody else’s life. “There’s great opportunity here,” he added. “It’s really exciting. We learned a lot.” UPE based its process on a cultural planning toolkit, by Creative City Networks of Canada and Arts Now, for the province of British Columbia. The first step was assembling (via Zoom due to COVID) 50 members of the arts community for six roundtable discussions on the state of the arts in Chico. They hit on

Big picture DataArts annually ranks 947 communities nationwide (metro and micro areas) on “arts vibrancy” based on empirical data from sources such as the U.S. Census Bureau and National Endowment for the Arts. Primary metrics are the amount of arts providers, arts spending and government support. Crunching the numbers, DataArts indexes on a 1-100 scale and ranks first to 947th. Chico’s overall arts vibrancy index is

Get involved: Visit chicoperformances.com/creativecity-chico.php for details about community roundtables starting April 21.

50.6, placing 468th. “We’re right there in the middle,” Cummins said. “That’s not bad.” But how could Chico do better? That’s the next step. DataArts provided detailed statistics not only of Chico but also a dozen other college towns across the country. UPE chose to conduct a “deep dive” beyond the numbers on four: AshlandMedford, Ore.; Columbia, Mo.; Modesto; and Truckee-Grass Valley. Comparisons may prove instructive. “Our DCBA [Downtown Chico Business Association] has been a leader in promoting downtown Chico and doing it through gathering people together at cultural events— Thursday Night Market, Friday Night Concerts, all these things they do,” Cummins said. “I look at the same thing happening in Modesto. Their Downtown Modesto Partnership branded it as ‘Do Mo’; it’s almost a cultural district. It’s not recognized as the California Arts Council as a cultural district, but that’s what it is. “I look at that, and I look at what the DCBA [is doing], and we’re not too far off here. We might even be ahead of them in many ways, I don’t know. “But those are the kinds of questions we need to ask so we don’t just sit in our silo— like some people do, keep beating their head against the same wall and going, ‘Why aren’t things changing?’—rather than look at data and look at comparison communities and say, ‘Let’s be the change.’” For the final discussion groups, UPE plans to widen the scope beyond people connected to the arts and incorporate the community at large. After that, the final report will go to the city, university and public. “Our job in this process is to present it,” Cummins said, “and hopefully get enough people engaged in the conversation from all different walks—whether those be politicians or artists or business owners—because I think everybody for whatever reason … can get behind this.” Ω


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● May 6-7, the Chico Visual Arts Alliance (ChiVAA) will launch the Chico Art Festival, a revamped version of the event that was formerly known as Art at the Matador and Arts Fiesta, but it will be at a new location—the St. John the Evangelist Episcopal Church on Floral Avenue. And in June, theater company Legacy Stage’s Shakespeare in the Park returns with a two-weekend production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, June 1-4 and 8-11. A driving force behind both events is breaking away from the confines of gallery and theater to deliver art to the community in non-traditional ways … think: arts in the wild.

Arts fest returns

Arts in the wild Two beloved community arts events return this spring from pandemic hibernation by

Ken Smith kens@ n ewsrev iew. com


magine an evening spent watching steampunks and sprites frolicking among the trees at Bidwell Park’s Cedar Grove; or how about sipping a margarita or three while perusing the work of local artists on the park-like grounds of a local church, topped off with a mindful walk through a sacred labyrinth? These are a few of the experiences art-loving Chicoans can expect in coming months as two popular events return from the collective COVID coma that’s hampered gatherings for more than two years.


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Counterclockwise from top: The labyrinth at St. John the Evangelist Episcopal Church. PHOTO BY KEN SMITH

ChiVAA publicist Dolores Mitchell and President Cynthia Sexton on site at St. John’s, where the outdoor Chico Art Festival will be held. PHOTO BY KEN SMITH

A wide view of the scene at a previous spring arts festival at the Matador Motel. PHOTO COURTESY OF CHIVAA

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While “the wild” may be a bit of a stretch to describe the immaculately manicured grounds of St. John’s, it does lie far from the beaten path of the city’s typical artistic institutions. Two members of ChiVAA—President Cynthia Sexton and the group’s public relations specialist, Dolores Mitchell—met the CN&R at the site recently (March 22) to share their plans. The event will be centered around the church’s back parking lot, where more than 40 artists have already secured booths to exhibit and sell their works (space is still available). Nonprofit organizations will also set up informational booths and offer family-friendly activities, like facepainting by the Chico Community Ballet and hands-on lessons by the Mt. Lassen Fiber Guild. There will also be food, a bar, and a stage featuring live music and other performances. “It’s tucked way back off the main street [Floral Avenue] in this area that’s like a grove of trees,” Sexton said of the venue. “There’s a playground for children, picnic tables, and it’s really just a beautiful space that I don’t think a lot of people know about or have had a chance to visit.” Sexton said the event will be all

outdoors because of lingering and everchanging concerns related to the COVID19 pandemic, but Mitchell noted the church’s buildings add to the venue’s artistic appeal. “Several of the buildings were designed by Thomas Tarman, a very notable local architect,” she said. “He’s known for his work with wood and concrete, for respecting the colors and grain of woods, and his use of basic forms like circles and triangles, shapes we artists love and use, too. “It’s nice to have that architectural element carry over from the Matador,” Mitchell said, referring to the rare Basque design of the Matador Motel, where the event was held previously. ChiVAA’s annual event there ran for roughly a decade, and Sexton said it grew every year. Though COVID has kept it from happening the last two years, the festival has been on hiatus since an earlier disaster—it was canceled in 2019 as the motel served as a temporary home for a large number of Camp Fire survivors. After a few years’ break, Sexton said the group was eager to try a new venue. Another unique element of the new location is a labyrinth located in a far corner of the church’s property. It is a flat gravel circle more than 50 feet in diameter, its perimeter and winding pathway delineated by smooth river rocks and smaller pieces of quartz. Walking such labyrinths is said to have meditative and energyfocusing benefits. A plaque indicates St. John’s labyrinth was built in 2017 as an Eagle Scout project by Alexander Stoner and is meant to represent the Stations of the Cross. Live music performers for the two-day event include The Wrecktangles, Swing Set, Warren Haskell, the John Seid Trio and Leanne Cooley and her band. In its previous incarnation, performers and special guests at the festival included fire dancers and “Mutant Cars”—postapocalyptic-looking creations resembling vehicles from Mad Max films. “We did get a little out there,” Sexton said with a giggle. “And we


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Gearing up for Shakespeare


chico.newsreview.com 14


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ChiVAA presents: Chico Art Festival May 6, 4-8 p.m.; May 7, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. St. John the Evangelist Episcopal Church 2341 Floral Avenue chivaa.org For booth availability, email info@Chivaa.org Legacy Stage presents: A Midsummer Night’s Dream June 1-4 and 8-11 Cedar Grove, Bidwell Park legacystage.org Tickets on sale now

There is a tradition dating back decades of the Bard’s works being performed in Bidwell Park, overseen by generations of local thespians and multiple theater companies. Shakespeare’s last appearance in the park was in 2019, when then-new company Legacy Stage produced Macbeth, with the intent of making Shakespeare in the Park an annual event. Then COVID came along. Legacy Stage is returning to the park in June with A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The play will be directed by Erin Horst, who is also a Legacy Stage co-founder and president of the theater company’s board of directors. The troupe’s last show in the park was an ambitious and (literally) moving production, which took place at various locations around Cedar Grove and adjacent natural areas. Small audiences went with the players from location to location, lighting the action with handheld flashlights. The route covered roughly two miles and had attendees on their feet for roughly two hours, and any exertion did nothing to dampen praise for the event, which the CN&R described as “nothing short of a revelation—one of the most gratifying theatrical experiences.” Horst said this year’s main setup will be more traditional but that overall there will be several elements making Legacy’s production completely unique. “This time they’ll be sitting on blankets and chairs and the action will surround them and go

A scene from Legacy Stage’s 2019 production of Macbeth in Bidwell Park, with Jami Witt Miller as Lady Macbeth. PHOTO COURTESY OF LEGACY STAGE


Coming this spring:

Erin Horst, board president for Legacy Stage, poses in the Cedar Grove area of Bidwell Park, where she will direct a spring production of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. PHOTO BY KEN SMITH

through them,” Horst said. “As fun as the moving version was, it led to smaller audience sizes, and we want this to be accessible and easy for all to attend.” Aside from the natural setting, Horst and company have other plans to set their production apart from other Midsummer Nights. Most notably, it will incorporate steampunk—a retro-futuristic sci-fi aesthetic big on gears, gadgets and goggles—into Shakespeare’s fantasy classic populated with wood nymphs and sprites. The era and locale are intentionally vague, and while all of the language will remain the same, the play will be shortened to better accommodate families with children. Horst said gender did not play a role in casting characters, making for an especially diverse company of players. Horst says Legacy is still putting together the musical accompaniment. Violinist Alex Piasecki (whose day job is roasting beans at Stoble Coffee Roasters) will lead a small ensemble that may include other offbeat instrumentation, like harp and accordion. Much of the percussion will be provided by the cast. “[Alex] is working with me to craft the music to make it more like a soundtrack, to run through the performance and enhance the experience.” Horst said she grew up attending the Heart of America Shakespeare Festival in St. Louis, Mo., and will take some cues from that event’s lively, immersive atmosphere. “I don’t want to give away too much, but I want it to be an experience, not just a thing where people show up, take a seat and watch the show,” she said. “I want people to think this is the most fun they’ve ever had watching Shakespeare. “It’s going to be playful, and joyful, and fun, like a party in the park.” Ω ARTS & MUSIC C O N T I N U E D

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April i is cele April 7


Song therapy When Brandii was about 15, she started experiencing intrusive thoughts and depression, she said. At the same time, she was in an abusive friendship. She recalled a traumatic experience where this friend put her in a headlock for so long that she could barely breathe and she struggled to break free. She remembered thinking, I almost died. To process and heal from it all, Brandii started writing, and before she knew it, she had her first album, People. She connected with local musician/engineer Jake Nolen, of No-Side Recordings

Sound of transformation

Ashiah Scharaga ashiahs@ new sr ev i ew. com


hen Chloe Brandii is pissed off, she’ll either kick the hell out of a sparring bag or write a song about how she’s feeling, holding nothing back. She’s been doing a lot of the latter lately. In December, the 18-year-old Chicoan released her second full-length studio album, People Pleaser, a searing, vulnerable, brutally honest collection of songs that examine abusive relationships, self-worth, love, change and a world battered by global warming, pollution and an indifferent populace.

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During a recent interview at a cafe in downtown Chico, the singer-songwriter spoke enthusiastically about her journey as an artist and her plans for the future. Brandii says she’s distanced herself from the “energy vampires” who used to leave her feeling drained and insecure and is now embracing how happy she’s been as a result. It’s like she’s made of bubbles, she said. “[My] anger more stems from the people who weren’t allowing me to just be naturally happy and to be myself, really,” she said. “It’s almost like I have too much bubbles now!” Brandii’s roots are in musical theater, and she has been performing in that capacity since

Chloe Brandii performs a Halloween concert with Apollo 18, a band she was formerly in. PHOTO BY GREYSON BOOTS

Young Chico musician Chloe Brandii sings out about abuse, self-love and vulnerability by

(formerly Studio 6), to record and produce the record; She had her first album release show at Apollo School of Music. (Nolen also plays guitar on both of Brandii’s records and her single “The World is Ending.”) The community response was so tremendous, that’s when it clicked for her: She could do this—she could pursue music as a full-time career. Brandii has it all planned out: Step one: Establish a fan base and image. Step two: Move to Los Angeles and hit the ground running. What’s her “Plan B?” Broadway. “My backup plan is just as

she was 6. Her most recent role was as Ariel, the lead in California Regional Theatre’s production of The Little Mermaid and she’s performing in that company’s rendition of Godspell this month (through April 15). She’s also a pianist and bassist. The skillful piano and soaring, immaculate vocal work on People Pleaser and her first album, People, is all her’s. Brandii works as a vocal coach and music director at CRT Kids Theater Academy. Though she loves teaching, her ultimate goal is to become a full-time musician and performer whose “main objective in life is to help people.”

hard and just as difficult,” she said with a laugh. “There is an image difference … if someone starts on Broadway or starts in a TV show and then becomes a pop artist or a rock artist or a singer-songwriter, people already have this perception of them from what they used to be involved with. So that’s why I prefer starting from originality and then going into [those other avenues] later.” Step one is already well underway. Brandii had already amassed 6,000 followers on TikTok just from her self-promotion of People Pleaser. Then she uploaded a rehearsal clip of her singing “Part of Your World,” from The Little Mermaid, which has received 1.9 million views on that platform since it


People Pleaser by Chloe Brandii is available on Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube and more. instabio.cc/chloebrandii

was posted Feb. 20, and her following has nearly tripled. Brandii says she’s drawn inspiration from confident, powerful and outspoken women who aren’t afraid to be vulnerable or call people out. She lists Florence Welch (of Florence + The Machine), Alanis Morissette, Brandi Carlile, Adele, Taylor Swift and KT Tunstall as some of her greatest influences. Other influences include David Bowie, Freddie Mercury and The Beatles. For People Pleaser, Brandii focused on channeling that energy, challenging herself to be even more open than she was with her first record, pushing through any remaining fear and discomfort she had in sharing her story. The album is about empowerment and freeing herself from abuse, she said, and her hope is that it inspires others to embark upon that journey for themselves and feel less alone. “I knew that the way

Chloe Brandii and Josiah Robinson in California Regional Theatre’s recent production of The Little Mermaid. PHOTO BY SHARON DEMEYER

that I’m ultimately going to be able to help people isn’t by putting on a face and being like some nice, cute, fun, perfect, poppy artist,” she said. “I knew that the way I would ultimately make a better impact on people’s lives is by being really down to earth about [my experiences] and speaking out against [abuse] so that other people can relate and feel comfortable doing the same thing and feel comfortable getting out of things. “Now it’s about healing. Now it’s like, ‘OK, I’m going to move on and I’m going to move forward and leave and get out of all of it, in my brain and in my head and in my soul and everything.’ So I wrote my story, my actual story, without hesitance. That was the most freeing part about the whole experience.” Ω

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Arts &Culture band along with support from the Mexico City Cumbia and hip-hop artist Suika T. Sat, 4/9, 8pm. $7. Gnarly Deli, 243 W 2nd St. open. 21-over show. Fri, 4/8, 8pm. $25. Tackle Box, 379 E. Park Ave. jmaxproductions.net

MAX MINARDI: Local singer/songwriter on the patio for happy hour. Fri, 4/8, 5pm. La Salles, 229 Broadway St. maxminardi.com

ROBERT CRAY: Chico Performances presents the Blues Hall of Famer, who has created a sound based in American roots, blues, soul and R&B, and arrives today both fresh and familiar. Fri, 4/8, 7:30pm. $25-$48. Laxson Auditorium, Chico State. (530) 898-6333. chicoperformances.com



Laxson Auditorium

DOUBLEWIDE, TEXAS: See April 7. Fri, 4/8, 7:30pm. $18. Theatre on the Ridge, 3735 Neal Road, Paradise. totr.org

GODSPELL: California Regional Theatre presents the classic 1970s musical that blends musical styles to tell the story of Jesus Christ. Shows through April 16. Fri, 4/8, 7:30pm. $31.50-$35. CUSD Center for the Arts, 1475 East Ave. crtshows.com

THESE SHINING LIVES: Student production based OPEN MIC AT THE DOWNLO: Hosted by Jeff Pershing. Sign up to perform two songs. All ages until 10pm. Fri, 3/4, 6:30pm. Free. The DownLo, 319 Main St.

OPEN MIC COMEDY: Open mic comedy night

APRIL ALL MONTH Art & Museums 1078 GALLERY: Board Choice, works selected from 1078 Gallery curators’ personal collections. Also: Matter/Regeneration, an exhibition featuring work by artists Carla Resnick and Nanxi Jiang. Artists’ reception Fri, 4/15, 5-7pm. Through 5/15. 1710 Park Ave. 1078gallery.org

BUTTE COLLEGE ART GALLERY: Transpose, a collaborative art environment that explores the community’s pandemic experience. Presented by the college’s Diversity Committee and the Arts Department. Through 4/15. Arts Building, main campus.

CHICO ART CENTER: The Puzzle Show, Jeb Sisk, Titus Willoughby Woods and Dylan Tellesen and Jed Speer bring back the participatory exhibit with artists painting 100s of pieces of the puzzle. This year’s installation is dedicated to the memory of Sisko. Reception and silent auction Fri, 4/29, 6-8:30pm. Through 4/29. 450 Orange St. chicoartcenter.com

GATEWAY SCIENCE MUSEUM: Gear Up The Science of Bikes, an exploration of how bikes work; the history/evolution of the bike; the science and technology behind the machine; and how bikes have impacted our culture. Through 5/7. 625 Esplanade. www.csuchico.edu/gateway



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JACKI HEADLEY UNIVERSITY ART GALLERY: Chang An Tu, MFA Culminating exhibition featuring work by the Chico State arts student. Through 4/9. Chico State, Arts & Humanities Building.

JANET TURNER PRINT MUSEUM: The Fierce Urgency of Now, this juried exhibition explores the compelling work of activist and socially engaged contemporary printmakers. Through 4/9. Chico State, Arts & Humanities Building.

MUSEUM OF NORTHERN CALIFORNIA ART: Running Threads Contemporary Quilt Exhibition, an exhibit featuring creative works by quilt artists in Northern California. Through 4/10. Also: Sisko Lives! A Collectors Show, a retrospective exhibition of art by the late David Sisk, aka Sisko. Opening reception Fri, 4/15, 6-8pm. Through 6/12. 900 Esplanade. monca.org

VALENE L. SMITH MUSEUM OF ANTHROPOLOGY: Tu Voz Importa – Your Voice Matters, a project designed to amplify the unique voices of youth and women by harnessing their abilities to tell their own stories through guided photography and storytelling workshops. Through 5/6. Chico State, Meriam Library building.

Weekly open mics COMEDY THURSDAY: Weekly comedy show and open mic hosted by Dillon Collins. Thursdays, 8pm. Free. Bella’s Sports Pub, 231 Main St. 530-520-0119.

hosted by Dillon Collins. Sign ups 8pm, showtime 9pm. Wed, 3/9, 9pm. Free. The Studio Inn Lounge, 2582 Esplanade. 530-520-0119.

SECRET TRAIL OPEN MIC: Weekly open mic at the brewery. Wednesdays, 6pm. Secret Trail Brewing Company, 132 Meyers St., Ste. 120.

THU7 Music JOHNNY FRANCO AND HIS REAL BROTHER DOM: Brazilian spaghetti-western rock. Thu, 4/7, 9pm. Om on the Range, 301 Main St. SUNNY ACRES: Local psych rock shredders. Thu, 4/7, 8pm. $8. Argus Bar + Patio, 212 W. Second St.

Theater DOUBLEWIDE, TEXAS: The rollicking comedy mayhem escalates as the residents of the smallest trailer park in Texas attempt to secede from the state. Shows through April 24. Thu, 4/7, 7:30pm. $18. Theatre on the Ridge, 3735 Neal Road, Paradise. totr.org

on the real-life circumstances of four women who, in the 1920s, achieved a long-lasting victory over corporations with poor workplace conditions and worker’s compensation that is still in effect today. Shows through April 10. Fri, 4/8, 7pm. $10-$20. The Center for the Arts. 530-891-3090. inspirechico.org

SAT9 Events JAMIE KENNEDY: Stand-up with the actor, producer, and comedian known for his role in the Scream franchise and his own Jamie Kennedy Experiment on the WB. Sat, 4/9, 6:30pm. $15 $25. El Rey Theater, 230 W. Second St. elreychicoca.com

THUNDER FROM DOWN UNDER: Look out, it’s raining men at the casino. Sat, 4/9, 8pm. $25-$45. Gold Country Casino & Hotel, 4020 Olive Highway, Oroville. (800) 334-9400. goldcountrycasino.com

Music BLÜ EGYPTIAN: Local jam band. Sat, 4/9, 8pm. $5. Mulberry Station Brewing Co., 175 E. 20th St., Ste. 100. 530-566-3852. mulberrystation brewery.com

CHICO LATIN ORQUESTA: Local salsa/cumbia/ merengue/cha cha/bachata band. Sat, 4/9, 8pm. $15. Argus Bar + Patio, 212 W. Second St.


KYLE WILLIAMS: Local singer/songwriter serenades the brunch crowd. Sat, 4/9, 11am. La


MADDE: Tour kickoff for the local indie-punk

COMEDY IS GAY: A comedy showcase highlighting LGBTQ+ comedians. Fri, 4/8, 8pm. $20. Gnarly Deli, 243 W. Second St.

Music RITTZ THE RAPPER: JMax Productions hosts the Pittsburgh-born MC at the Tackle Box in support of his Loud & Clear Tour. Grieves and Trizz

Salles, 229 Broadway St. ilovekylewilliams. bandcamp.com rocker. Plus, AP Tobler and Scout The Wise. Sat, 4/9, 7pm. $10-$15. Naked Lounge, 118 W. Second St.

REHAB: The Southern hip-hop project of Danny Boone is back on the road. $15-$20. Sat, 4/9, 9pm. $15. Tackle Box, 379 E. Park Ave. tackleboxchico.com

THUNDER LUMP, SUIKA T: Local throat singing, beatboxing, multi-instrumentalist with his full

THE WRECKTANGLES: Rock cover band with a few originals. Sat, 4/9, 9pm. Feather Falls Casino & Lodge, 3 Alverda Drive, Oroville.

Theater DOUBLEWIDE, TEXAS: See April 7. Sat, 4/9, 7:30pm. $18. Theatre on the Ridge, 3735 Neal Road, Paradise. totr.org

GODSPELL: See April 8. Sat, 4/9, 7:30pm. $31.50$35. CUSD Center for the Arts, 1475 East Ave. crtshows.com

THESE SHINING LIVES: See April 8. Sat, 4/9, 2pm & 7pm. $10-$20. The Center for the Arts. 530891-3090. inspirechico.org

SUN10 Events PUNK ROCK FLEA MARKET: Vintage clothing, antiques, vinyl, art, instruments, comics, jewelry, zines, crafts, workshops and more. Sun,

4/10, 12pm. Corner of Eighth and Flume. punkrockfleamarketchico.xyz

Music MERZ TRIO: Chico Performances presents the unique chamber ensemble that juxtaposes classical music standards, new music and original arrangements of both familiar and forgotten works. Sun, 4/10, 2pm. $42. Arts Recital Hall, Chico State. (530) 898-6333. chico performances.com

OMAR APOLLO: Mexican-American singer/songwriter and Latin Grammy nominee visits Chico. Sun, 4/10, 9pm. $25-$115. Senator Theatre, 517 Main St. jmaxproductions.net

SURF NOIR KINGS: Local surf rock. Sun, 4/10, 3pm. Free. Secret Trail Brewing Company, 132 Meyers St., Ste. 120.

Theater DOUBLEWIDE, TEXAS: See April 7. Sun, 4/10, 2pm. $18. Theatre on the Ridge, 3735 Neal Road, Paradise. totr.org

GODSPELL: See April 8. Sun, 4/10, 2pm. $31.50$35. CUSD Center for the Arts, 1475 East Ave. crtshows.com

THESE SHINING LIVES: See April 8. Sun, 4/10, 2pm. $10-$20. The Center for the Arts. 530891-3090. inspirechico.org

THU14 Music DIRTWIRE: JMax Productions presents the SF-based acousto-electronic crew. Thu, 4/14, 9pm. $22. Senator Theatre, 517 Main St. jmaxproductions.net

THE GOLDEN TRAVELERS: Local pop-rock crew with great vocal harmonies—on the patio. Thu, 4/14, 8pm. Argus Bar + Patio, 212 W. Second St. TIM BLUHM: The Mother Hips co-frontman solo. Alexander Nelson and David Simon Baker


Submit events for the online calendar as well as the monthly print edition at chico.newsreview.com/calendar

open. Thu, 4/14, 6:30pm. Chico Women’s Club, 592 E. Third St. eventbrite.com

Theater DOUBLEWIDE, TEXAS: See April 7. Thu, 4/14, 7:30pm. $18. Theatre on the Ridge, 3735 Neal Road, Paradise. totr.org

FRI15 Events COMEDIAN EDDIE PEPITONE: The legendary Bitter Buddha from Brooklyn is joined the godfather of punk comedy, JT Habersaat. Hosted by DNA. Fri, 4/15, 7:30pm. $25. Gnarly Deli, 243 W. Second St. facebook.com/gnarlydeli

Music BLÜ EGYPTIAN: Local jam band. Fri, 4/15, 5:30pm. Free. Riverbend Park, 50 Montgomery St., Oroville. 530-566-3852. bluegyptianband.com

HIGH PULP: Seattle crew blends jazz, soul and punk. Locals Counterspell open. Fri, 4/15, 9pm. $10. Duffy’s Tavern, 337 Main St. TYLER DEVOLL: Local singer/songwriter entertains the happy hour crowd. Fri, 4/15, 5pm. La Salles, 229 Broadway St.

Theater DOUBLEWIDE, TEXAS: See April 7. Fri, 4/15, 7:30pm. $18. Theatre on the Ridge, 3735 Neal Road, Paradise. totr.org

GODSPELL: See April 8. Fri, 4/15, 7:30pm. $31.50$35. CUSD Center for the Arts, 1475 East Ave. crtshows.com

SAT16 Events SPRING JAMBOREE: An Easter-themed party in the park with kids activities (including egg hunt; check with CARD for age groups & times), food trucks and more. Sat, 4/16,

9:30am-1:30pm. Caper Acres, Bidwell Park.

April 16

Contact Chico Area Recreation & Park District (CARD) at (530) 895-4711.

Naked Lounge

Music CHRIS BRIGGS & FRIENDS: Local music during brunch. Sat, 4/16, 11am. La Salles, 229 Broadway St. lasalleschico.com

FAN HALEN: Van Halen tribute band. Sat, 4/16, 10:30pm. Free. Feather Falls Casino & Lodge, 3 Alverda Drive, Oroville. featherfallscasino.com

NUDITY, TITE NAUTS, SHADOW LIMB: Noisy, garage hard-rockers Nudity (from Oly) join locals

Shadow Limb and Tite Nauts. Sat, 4/16, 5pm. $10. Naked Lounge, 118 W. Second St.

Theater DOUBLEWIDE, TEXAS: See April 7. Sat, 4/16, 7:30pm. $18. Theatre on the Ridge, 3735 Neal Road, Paradise. totr.org

GODSPELL: See April 8. Sat, 4/16, 7:30pm. $31.50$35. CUSD Center for the Arts, 1475 East Ave. crtshows.com

SUN17 Events PANCAKES FOR CHAT: A fundraiser for the Community Housing Action Team with allyou-can-eat pancakes, Easter egg hunt and silent auctions. Sun, 4/17, 8am-noon. $20/ adults; $10/kids 12-under. CARD Center, 545 Vallombrosa Ave.

Music ALL THAT REMAINS: Springfield, Mass., metal crew is on tour celebrating the 15th anniversary of their album The Fall of Ideals. Miss May I, Tallah and Varials open. Sun, 4/17, 7pm. $27.50. Senator Theatre, 517 Main St. jmaxproductions.net

MOONSHINE BANDITS: Country rap duo on tour with Who TF is Justin Time?. Sun, 4/17, 8pm. $15 - $20. Tackle Box, 379 E. Park Ave.

sealed envelope to new actor every performance. Tue, 4/19, 7:30pm. $32. Harlen Adams Theatre, Chico State, PAC 144. (530) 898-6333. chicoperformances.com


PETER WILSON AND BOB LITTELL: Local duo. Sun, 4/17, 3pm. Free. Secret Trail Brewing Company, 132 Meyers St., Ste. 120.


Theatre on the Ridge

DOUBLEWIDE, TEXAS: See April 7. Sun, 4/17, 2pm. $18. Theatre on the Ridge, 3735 Neal Road, Paradise. totr.org

TUE19 Events FORK IN THE ROAD: Food truck rally, plus live music from The Chuck Epperson Band. Tue, 4/19, 5:30pm. Meriam Park, 1930 Market Place.

Theater NASSIM: Chico Performances presents the new improv play from the creator of the off-Broadway smash White Rabbit Red Rabbit. No rehearsals. Script delivered in

FRI22 Events DEVIL TOWN DARK COMEDY: Stand-up show exploring dark subjects. Featuring Chico comedians and Sacramento headliner Emma Haney. Fri, 4/22, 9pm. $20. Gnarly Deli, 243 W. Second St. 530-433-4415.



BLÜ EGYPTIAN: Local jam band at 420 party. Wed, 4/20, 4pm. Free. Blaze N J’s, 695 Oro Dam Blvd,

LYNNE BROWN: Local singer/songwriter during happy hour. Fri, 4/22, 5pm. La Salles, 229

Oroville. 530-566-3852. bluegyptianband.com

CLEMENTINE WAS RIGHT: Country and pop-rock out of Denver along with local singer/songwriter Seth Prinz and his band. Presented by Valley Fever. Wed, 4/20, 8pm. $7. Argus Bar + Patio, 212 W. Second St. bandsintown.com




Theater NASSIM: See April 19. Wed, 4/20, 7:30pm. $32. Harlen Adams Theatre, Chico State, PAC 144. (530) 898-6333. chicoperformances.com

THU21 Music LOCO MOTIVE: Local cover band on the patio. Thu, 4/21, 6pm. La Salles, 229 Broadway St. lasalleschico.com

NICK GUERRA: An audience favorite from NBC’s Last Comic Standing performs stand-up. Also featuring Danielle Arc and host Nick Larson Thu, 4/21, 7pm. $20. Unwined Kitchen & Bar, 980 Mangrove Ave.

Theater DOUBLEWIDE, TEXAS: See April 7. Thu, 4/21, 7:30pm. $18. Theatre on the Ridge, 3735 Neal Road, Paradise. totr.org

Broadway St. lasalleschico.com

THE DALES: LA-based Americana/rock band. Fri, 4/22, 6pm. $10. The Barn at Meriam Park, 1930 Market Place. meriampark.com

Theater DOUBLEWIDE, TEXAS: See April 7. Fri, 4/22, 7:30pm. $18. Theatre on the Ridge, 3735 Neal Road, Paradise. tix6.centerstageticketing.com

JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR: Classic musical based on the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, and the last week of Jesus’ life. Shows through May 15. Fri, 4/22, 7:30pm. $22-$25. Chico Theater Company, 166 Eaton Road, Ste. F. chicotheater.com

SAT23 Events HOW SWEET IT IS, A CELEBRATION OF LIFE: A community celebration of the life of Steve Schuman, a longtime local concert promoter who passed away last summer. Sat, 4/23, 3-9pm. Manzanita Place, 1705 Manzanita Ave.

Music DOUBLE SHOT: Two guitars, two vocals and some harmony in the lounge Sat, 4/23, 9pm. Feather Falls Casino & Lodge, 3 Alverda Drive,

Nudity Oroville. featherfallscasino.com

MATEAS & FAMILY: Live music with brunch. Sat, 4/23, 11am. La Salles, 229 Broadway St. lasalleschico.com

NEON VELVET: Dance and pop cover band decked out in ’80s fashion. Sat, 4/23, 10:30pm. Free. Feather Falls Casino & Lodge, 3 Alverda Drive, Oroville. featherfallscasino.com

RIVER ROAD BAND: Local country band. Sat, 4/23, 8:30pm. $5. Mulberry Station Brewing Co., 175 E. 20th St. mulberrystationbrewery.com

ROOTS & BOOTS: Country music night featuring superstars Aaron Tippin, Sammy Kershaw and Collin Raye. Sat, 4/23, 8pm. $45 - $95. Gold Country Casino & Hotel, 4020 Olive Highway, Oroville. goldcountrycasino.com

SAVANNAH DEXTER AND GOOD OL’ BOYZ: Country rap from Florida and Nor-Cal, respectively. Sat, 4/23, 9pm. $25. Tackle Box, 379 E. Park Ave. eventbrite.com

Theater DOUBLEWIDE, TEXAS: See April 7. Sat, 4/23, 7:30pm. $18. Theatre on the Ridge, 3735 Neal Road, Paradise. totr.org

JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR: See April 22. Sat, 4/23, 7:30pm. $22-$25. Chico Theater Company, 166 Eaton Road, Ste. F. chicotheater.com

SUN24 Events BRUNCH + BASSLINES: Food, vendors and music at the vegan pizza place parking lot. Live music by punk/thrash band Abyssal Whip, acoustic sets from Aubrey Debauchery and Webster Moore and a DJ set by Wagon Burna. Sun, 4/24, 11am. Pizza Riot, 206 Walnut St.

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APRIL Events PUNK ROCK FLEA MARKET: See Sun, 4/10. Sun, 4/24, 12pm. Corner of Eighth and Flume. punkrockfleamarketchico.xyz

Music FOUR ON THE FLOOR: Local rock cover band. Sun, 4/24, 3pm. Free. Secret Trail Brewing Company, 132 Meyers St., Ste 120.

Theater DOUBLEWIDE, TEXAS: See April 7. Sun, 4/24, 2pm. $18. Theatre on the Ridge, 3735 Neal Road, Paradise. totr.org

JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR: See April 22. Sun, 4/24, 2pm. $22-$25. Chico Theater Company, 166 Eaton Road, Ste. F. chicotheater.com

THU28 Music BLÜ EGYPTIAN: Local jam band on the patio. Thu, 4/28, 6pm. Free. La Salles, 229 Broadway. bluegyptianband.com THUMPIN’ THURSDAY ROCK N BLUES JAM: Join the Loco-Motive Band and special guests on stage and play your favorite blues and classic rock songs (all genres welcome). All musicians welcome. Thu, 4/28, 7pm. Free. The Tackle Box, Chico, 379 E. Park Ave.

Theater JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR: See April 22. Thu, 4/28, 7:30pm. $22-$25. Chico Theater Company, 166 Eaton Road, Ste. F. chicotheater.com

FRI29 Music TYLER DEVOLL: Local singer/songwriter entertains the happy hour crowd. Fri, 4/29, 5pm. La Salles, 229 Broadway St.. lasalleschico.com

Theater JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR: See April 22. Fri, 4/29, 7:30pm. $22-$25. Chico Theater Company, 166 Eaton Road, Ste. F. chicotheater.com

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SAT30 Events UNEARTHING THE ELEMENTS DANCEFEST: Positive-i Dance and Circus presents a fest with vendors, aerial performance and dances. Sat, 4/30, 6pm. Paradise Performing Arts Center, 777 Nunneley Rd.. paradiseperformingarts.com

Music BRITTANY AND THE BLISSTONES: Local island/indie-pop originals and covers. Steve Shultz opens. Sat, 4/30, 9pm. Gnarly Deli, 243 W. Second St.

BURIAL GROUNDS, MASK OF MANY, ALA: Extremely heavy show at the golf course featuring three Nor-Cal bands with varying styles. Sat, 4/30, 5:30pm. Lake Oroville Golf and Event Center, 5131 Royal Oaks Dr, Oroville.

CHICO SPRING JAM MUSIC FESTIVAL: Live music in a festival atmosphere with sets by local bands and various tribute acts (Stones, Fleetwood Mac, Tom Petty, etc.). Sat, 4/30, 1pm. $40. Patrick Ranch, 10381 Midway, Durham. 949891-3254. BlueSkyFestivalsAndEvents.com

DSB: Journey tribute band. Sat, 4/30, 10:30pm. Free. Feather Falls Casino & Lodge, 3 Alverda Drive, Oroville. featherfallscasino.com

RON MATHEWS: Live music with brunch. Sat, 4/30, 11am. La Salles, 229 Broadway St. lasalleschico.com

Theater JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR: See April 22. Sat, 4/30, 7:30pm. $22-$25. Chico Theater Company, 166 Eaton Road, Ste. F. chicotheater.com

SUN1 Music LIFE IN THE FAST LANE: Eagles tribute band. Sun, 5/1, 4pm. $35. Paradise Performing Arts Center, 777 Nunneley Road, Paradise. paradiseperformingarts.com

Theater JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR: See April 22. Sun, 5/1, 2pm. $22$25. Chico Theater Company, 166 Eaton Road, Ste. F. chicotheater.com


FUNNY TOWN Spring time is comedy time in Chico, and three April weeks in a row feature big shows with visiting and local comedians. On April 8, the monthly Comedy is Gay showcase is on at Gnarly Deli and the following night, April 9, across the street at the El Rey Theater, movie/ TV star and longtime stand-up comedian Jamie Kennedy headlines. The following two weekends belong to Gnarly Deli, and the show of the month has to be the double bill hosted at the sandwich shop by Chico ex-pat DNA on April 15, with the Eddie “The Bitter Buddha” Pepitone joined by the godfather of punk comedy JT Habersaat. Last, the following April 22, is the Devil Town Dark Comedy Night, with Sacramento’s Emma Haney headlining a bill of four Chico comics, all exploring the darker side of life (hilarious!)



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Eddie Pepitone

REEL WORLD Licorice Pizza

Beyond the Academy CN&R film critic weighs in during awards season

Men, Breaking Bad, Justified, and more recently in Top of the Lake (also a Jane Campion triumph), Lupin, Landscapers, Midnight Mass and more. That kind of artful energy spills over in some recent feature films as well—the family in CODA, the teenagers in Licorice Pizza, the maturing young lovers in the Norwegian film Worst Person in the World, e.g. The miniseries format lends itself to a more “novelistic” treatment of the stories being told, and while they’re made primarily for episodic broadcast, I’m much inclined to characterize the best of them as long and artful movies. That is especially so with Landscapers (four episodes, 193 minutes, on HBO) which uses a remarkable array of stylistic devices—flashbacks, subjective stylization, Brechtian distanciation, shifting point of view—to compose a complex and moving portrait of an inchoate married couple (played by Thewlis and Colman) who are caught up in a notorious murder case in 1950s England. The lead performances and its stylistic eccentricities convey an extraordinary sense of two odd and unique beings Drive My Car

CODA Ithink Picture Oscar even though I The Power of the Dog, ’m OK with

getting the Best

Drive My Car and Licorice Pizza are the best of the nominated films. by Juan-Carlos After all, Oscar Selznick does as Oscar will, and besides, the Academy did manage to give awards to The Power of the Dog (Best Director, Jane Campion) and Drive My Car (Best International Feature Film). I don’t have any particularly strong feelings about the acting awards, apart from being happy that deaf actor Troy Kotsur won Best Supporting Actor for his role

in CODA and fully deserved it. But I hasten to add that some of the best movie-acting I’ve seen recently is technically ineligible for Oscar consideration—because it’s streaming in “limited series.” I’m thinking in particular of David Thewlis and Olivia Colman in Landscapers and Hamish Linklater as the priest in Midnight Mass. Plus, the Oscars have never really been set up to celebrate one of the great sources of cinematic pleasure—ensemble acting. But in this era of great series, limited and otherwise, on cable or streaming, we are getting a great deal of that—The Sopranos, Mad

whose misfortunate lives elude conventional explanations, including their own. Complex characterization and storytelling are also brilliantly in play in the French mystery series Lupin (two seasons, 10 episodes, on Netflix). Assane Diop, son of a Senegalese immigrant who died in prison, models himself on Arsène Lupin, the archetypal gentleman thief of 19th century French literature. Diop (played with great energy and humor by the formidable Omar Sy) makes it his mission to clear his father’s name by tracking down the wealthy villain who arranged the false conviction. Along the way there are multiple side adventures involving a host of quirky characters. All of it is enrichened by a convoluted time scheme that mixes flashbacks to Assane’s childhood and recent past into the present action, which eventually includes the fledgling adventures of Assane’s own son. An excellent supporting cast includes Ludivine Sagnier, Hervé Pierre, Shrine Boutella, Clotilde Hesme and Soufiane Guerrab (with the latter as an undervalued cop who shares Assane’s devotion to the Arsène Lupin stories). Midnight Mass (seven episodes, 450 minutes, on Netflix) begins as a realistic social drama set on an island of fishermen off the coast of New England. Gatherings at the island’s Catholic church bring religious themes into play—and eventually we discover that there’s also a horror film emerging in all this. Writer-director Mike Flanagan’s mix of carefully staged social realism and vampire fantasy mostly succeeds in making the series a very pungent kind of contemporary allegory. And Linklater’s performance as a passive/aggressive evangelizing priest, a milquetoast spewing coded venom, is a major accomplishment at the dark heart of it all. Ω

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SCENE Katie Worth signs copies of her book Miseducation: How Climate Change Is Taught In America at Chico State last month. PHOTO BY ASHIAH SCHARAGA

writes. “It’s also safe to say that, commonly, a teacher down the hall is miseducating them about it.” Worth, an Emmy- and Edward R.

‘Antidote to hopelessness’ Emmy-winning investigative journalist with Chico roots releases book focused on climate change miseducation

W on her book about climate change education in America, she

hen Katie Worth began working

did not anticipate ending up back in her hometown of Chico. by But shortly Ashiah Scharaga after the deadly as hiahs@ 2018 Camp newsrev iew.c om Fire, she found herself in a Read it: strip mall off of Miseducation: East Avenue, How Climate Change Is where Paradise Taught In America Intermediate by Katie Worth. katieworth.com School (now Paradise Junior High School) had temporarily relocated and created makeshift classrooms within a former hardware store. Educator Marc Kessler (who now teaches at Chico High School) was teaching his students about climate change. Every year when he teaches this subject, he told Worth,



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he has students who tell him they’ve heard that climate change is a hoax. That school year was not an exception, despite Kessler having a classroom arguably filled with climate refugees. Worth details this moment, along with another local encounter at Chico Junior High, in her book, Miseducation: How Climate Change Is Taught in America. Last month, she gave an overview of her research and findings during a free lecture and Q&A at Chico State, part of an ongoing series of events hosted by the Faculty Learning Community in Teaching Climate Change and Resilience, a workshop created by the Campus Sustainability Office and Office of Faculty Development that includes 65 faculty across six CSU campuses. For three years, Worth traveled to dozens of communities across the U.S. to talk to children

and teachers about what is being taught about climate change, analyzed countless textbooks and created a 50-state database. What she discovered is that classrooms have emerged “as a battleground in the American political war over climate change,” where students are often asked to debate a subject that has scientific consensus, and much of what they learn—or do not learn—is influenced by the interests of fossil fuel lobbyists, free-marketeer networks and evangelical leaders. “It’s safe to say that across the country, intrepid teachers rigorously educate their students about climate science,” Worth

Murrow Award-winning investigative journalist, told the CN&R that she initially avoided writing about climate change early in her career “because any time I thought about it I felt so much despair.” She got her start as a beat reporter at the Pacific Daily News in Guam, then worked as an enterprise reporter for the San Francisco Examiner. While freelancing—her work has appeared in such publications as Scientific American, National Geographic, Slate, Vice and The Wall Street Journal—she began writing about science-related issues. Then she got an opportunity to work on a short film about climate change with Frontline, (where she was a reporter from 2015 to ’21) and The GroundTruth Project. Worth received an Emmy for The Last Generation, an interactive web documentary that explores an island nation threatened by climate change through the eyes of three children. That’s how, in 2017, she met a boy named Izerman, who at age 9 had already learned a great deal about climate change and its impacts to his homeland, Majuro Atoll, the capital of the Marshall Islands. His family had considered moving to Oklahoma, where they have relatives. That lead Worth to the first seeds of thought for what would later become Miseducation: What would Izerman learn about climate change if his family did indeed move to the Southwest, and what exactly are children in America learning about climate change? True to her profession, Worth said her

goal with Miseducation is to spread awareness and help people understand the world. “This is what’s happening in America right now in terms of what we’re teaching kids,” she said. “And like any person, I am scared of what is going to happen to our planet.” If emissions aren’t dramatically

reduced, Worth reports in her book, extreme wildfires will strike 50 percent more often and burn 77 percent more land in California by 2100, and coastal areas worldwide (now home to 200 million people) could fall permanently below the high-tide line. Hundreds of millions of people will be displaced by fire, drought, storms and floods. However, Worth says there’s still hope because people are taking action and progress has been made. In 2020, Gov. Gavin Newsom issued an executive order that requires all new cars and passenger trucks sold in California to be zero emissions by 2035. In Washington, ClimeTime offers free evidence-based climate education training to every teacher in the state. As of 2021, the Next Generation Science Standards, which embrace modern climate science, had been adopted in 20 states and Washington, D.C. (24 other states adopted modified versions). Teachers like Kessler and Chico Junior High’s Kristen Del Real, who confronted a colleague who was allegedly sharing climate change denial videos to students, also give Worth hope, she told attendees at her lecture event. While working on her book, she “met so many teachers who were so devoted and so committed” to providing climate change education, whether their local standards required it or not, in both red and blue states. Worth encouraged inquisitive attendees eager to make a positive impact to try to find common ground with climate doubters and to get engaged in their local and state government, paying particular attention to under-attended, seemingly obscure bureaucratic proceedings. Taking action is empowering and helps stave off despair about climate change, she told the CN&R. She called it “the best antidote to hopelessness.” “If we’re going to have the changes that are necessary to forestall the worst outcomes of climate change, we need political action and we need to be paying attention … [and] holding the people who are actually responsible to account,” she said. “We’ve already made progress, and we can make more, and I have hope that we will continue to make progress. … It’s still worth fighting.” Ω

SCENE Preview: Sisko Lives! A Collectors Show Shows April 14-June 12 Reception: April 15, 6-8 p.m. Museum of Northern California Art 900 Esplanade monca.org

Also: The Puzzle Show (dedicated to the memory of its co-creator, Sisko) Shows April 16-29 Closing reception/silent auction: April 29, 6-8:30 p.m. Chico Art Center 450 Orange St. chicoartcenter.com

‘Sisko lives!’

A preview of the career-spanning retrospective of a beloved local artist

W put out a call for work created by the Chico artist to be displayed as part

hen family and friends of David Sisk

of a retrospective exhibit, the response was overwhelming. by Until his unexpected Jason Cassidy passing last year (he died suddenly at age jaso nc @ n ew sr ev i ew. c o m 75 while hiking in Bidwell Park on March 21, 2021), the artist known as Sisko had been one of the most consistent creators in town, working across a wide range of media throughout much of his life. All told, more than 75 pieces have been submitted for the Sisko Lives! show opening at the Museum of Northern California Art (MONCA) on April 14. Many of the works are being provided by Sisko’s family, but the bulk of the pieces in the exhibit are on loan from collectors in the community, said his daughter, Brea Onnah Sisk, who curated the show along with her brother and mother, Jeb and Beth Sisk, and exhibit organizer Pam Figge and a committee of volunteers. It’s a testament to Sisko’s influence and involvement with the local community that so much of his art remains a part of it. The exhibit will take up three gallery spaces at MONCA. Works span most of Sisko’s creative life and pull from his various projects/series/themes—Sisko characters (cartoon buddhas, animals,




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even the artist himself) in various media; commissioned cutout plywood sculptures and paintings for local businesses; “chimp art” (guerrilla public pieces); T-shirts; altered altars; puzzle-show pieces; etc. Many feature the familiar “Sisko Says” aphorisms (e.g., “Be kind to your fellow humans,” “Heal thyself,” “Nothing isn’t sacred)” or the artist’s succinct social commentaries, both of which appeared on his iconic public billboard works as “Public Sisko Announcements.” Just one of the fullsize billboard pieces will be on display at the museum, but others will be featured via slideshow presentation. Across town, the Chico Art Center will present another exhibit concurrently with the retrospective—The Puzzle Show (April 16-29), a community-participation fundraiser that Sisko originally created with son Jeb and artist Titus Willoughby in 2003 (exhibited at his now defunct Drive-By Gallery). The concept involves cutting up large plywood designs into small pieces that are sold to artists who individually paint or otherwise transform the plain wooden shapes before bringing them back to be reassembled for one collective community installation. The project is the epitome of Sisko’s work at the intersection of art and community, and this year’s exhibit is dedicated to his memory. Ω

Clockwise from upper left: A piece from Sisko’s signage series for Chico Velo’s annual Wildflower bike ride, from the collection of Tom Barrett; “balance” by Sisko, from the collection of Diane Garner; Keith Haring portrait by Sisko, from the collection of Penny Terstegge; Bucket of worms wood sculpture by Sisko, from the collection of Eric Wold; Sisko painting fom the collection of Dharma LaRocca; Sisko painting from the collection Denise St. Cin; “The Three Wise Men” painting by Sisko, from the collection of Jewel Cardinet.

ARTS DEVO by JASON CASSIDY • jasonc@newsreview.com

STAGING A COMEBACK Over the three-plus decades Arts DEVO has been watching and playing live music in Chico, local venues have come and gone, and the lulls always make me feel grateful for any scrap of real estate with electricity and amenable owners. With COVID taking away live shows and even forcing the closure of a couple key venues for original music—The Maltese, Blackbird—I had been feeling pretty depressed at the prospect of a bleak chapter for the live music scene. But as the pandemic recedes and we slowly start to return to our regular public shenanigans, it’s looking like Chico might be entering a renaissance rather than a new dark age. By my count, there are at least 10 new stages in town! Some of them with actual stages!

Open Daily Noon - 9pm We appreciate the support of our community!

GNARLY DELI (243 W. Second St.) The blow of The Maltese’s demise has been softened by the

opening of the brick-and-mortar version of Chico’s favorite sammich truck. Those who remember the Bassmint EDM parties know that the lounge—with badass sunken bar—from the old Peking restaurant has character for days, and the Gnarly crew has been packing the room with an eclectic schedule of live music, comedy, burlesque and drag events. On stage: Mexico City’s Suika T and Chico’s Thunder Lump (April 9); comedy with Eddie Pepitone (April 15); Tatas & Hahas: Burlesque+Comedy Showcase (April 23); Brittany & The Blisstones (April 29).

NAKED LOUNGE (118 W. Second St.) The downtown cafe

was sold early in the pandemic, and its new owners completely revamped the space, including installing PHOTO BY ROBIN INDAR a kick-ass stage covered in show posters from a few decades’ worth of Chico’s musical timeline. On stage: Madde, Scout, AP Tobler (April 9); Nudity (noisy weird rock from Olympia), plus locals Shadow Limb and Tite Nauts (April 16). Seattle noisemakers Wild Powwers at Gnarly Deli.

OM ON THE RANGE (301 Main St.) The former Om Foods has changed its location and its name,

and the new bigger space in on a high-profile downtown corner has added a steady diet of dance-friendly bands to its organic menu. On stage: Groovy Brazil-via-Portland singer/songwriter Johnny Franco (April 7); local funksters Black Fong (April 9).

BARN AT MERIAM PARK (1930 Market Place) The century-plus-old Meridian Barn was disman-

tled and reassembled as a gathering place within the Meriam Park community, and it provides a cinematic backdrop for live music. The bulk of the calendar is made up of free “Live at the Barn” shows with local acts on Friday and Saturday evenings. On stage: Webster Moore (April 8); Emma & Will (April 9); ticketed event with touring Americana/roots crew The Dales (April 22).

Enjoy our scrumptious food menu as you experience an ever changing collection of artisan beers. Come check out our new expansion! 2070 E 20th STE 160 Chico, CA 95928 PHONE: 530-894-BEER (2337)


Mother’s Day

Is just around the corner, get Her something Special!

THE SMALL BREWERIES: Secret Trail Brewing Co. (132 Meyers St., Ste. 120); Nor Cal Brewing Co.

(800 Broadway); The Allies Pub (426 Broadway, Ste. 130); Mulberry Station Brewing Co. (175 E. 20th St.). Both Secret Trail and Allies featured live music pre-COVID, but the latter had only been open a few months before shutdown. As for Secret Trail, during the pandemic, the owners greatly expanded their outdoor area for a busy schedule of local and touring musicians and its popular open mic, and they recently opened a new larger taproom for indoor shows. Nor Cal is featuring local acts every weekend, while Mulberry Station is offering up its big space to a variety of live performances, including comedy, burlesque and music. On stage at Secret Trail: Open Mic Night (every Wednesday); Chuck Epperson Band (April 9); Keith Andrew (April 10); Peter Wilson & Bob Littell (April 17); Four on the Floor (April 24). At Nor Cal: Live music Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. At Allies: Robert Karch (April 9); The McBrides (April 16); Reece Thompson (April 23); Samaria & Paul (April 30). At Mulberry Station: Blu Egyptian (April 9).

FLUME STREET FAIR (corner of Flume & Eighth streets) The parking lot of Chico Art Studio has been the salvation of local artists and crafters during the pandemic, and every Saturday, the outdoor pop-up provides a stage for live local music. On stage: Every Saturday—open mic 11 a.m.-2 p.m.; featured performers 2-4 p.m. WINCHESTER GOOSE

(824 Oroville Ave.) OK, the remodel of new Goose spot (where Herreid Music/Blue Max/Cabo’s used to be) is not yet finished, but I’ve had a sneak peek and it is going to

be a glorious spot for live music. The stage is huge, and those awkward columns in the middle of it have disappeared. Stay tuned. A P R I L 7, 2 0 2 2



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