ON Culture | Calling all Poets, Mushroom People, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Fans

“Invocation of the Mushroom People” by Lindsey Ross | Credit: Courtesy

This edition of ON Culture was originally emailed to subscribers on March 24, 2023. To receive Leslie Dinaberg’s arts newsletter in your inbox on Fridays, sign up at independent.com/newsletters.

ON the Walls

The mushrooms are calling: Über-talented “Alchemistress” Lindsey Ross has a new exhibit of surreal, large format photography, The Mushroom People, on offer this weekend (3/25) in her Funk Zone studio, along with “a magickal evening of mushroom-inspired photography, a guided meditation, and cuisine and wines from Sandhi Wines. Click here for more information.

From the Bygone series by Michael Irwin | Credit: Courtesy

Illuminate Conservation is hosting an afternoon with artists Michael and Nate Irwin and an exhibition of their Bygone series of paintings of the Southern California steelhead — a once-abundant species that has declined by 99 percent and may go extinct “in the next 25-50 years,” according to California Trout — on Saturday (3/25) at a special free event at Community Arts Workshop (CAW), that includes presentations by environmental organizations and 30 percent of proceeds from paintings sold donated to the Environmental Defense Center, Santa Barbara Channelkeeper, California Trout, and South Coast Habitat Restoration. Student art from Nate’s Hope Elementary School students will be on display, Mony’s Food Truck will be there serving up delicious food, and local beer and wine will be available as well.

CAW’s Effect poster | Credit: Courtesy

Also coming up at CAW (it’s such a great community space) on Saturday, April 1, from 12:30-3:30 p.m. is the second annual SBCAW Outreach Committee group show CAW’s Effect, featuring artists Ginny Brush, Terry Duffy, Andrew Gartner, Jane Jacobs, Diane MacKenzie, Kathy Leader, Daniel Linz, Jami Joelle Nielsen, Judy Nilsen, Lori Rafferty, Laura Walker Ragan, Helene Schneider, Wanda Venturelli, Robert Wenzel, and Sheila Wenzel. Since April kicks off National Poetry Month, they’ll also have a poetry showcase at 1 p.m., featuring a slew of Santa Barbara poets laureate, including: Perie Longo, 2007-2009; David Starkey, 2009-2011; Chryss Yost, 2013-2015; Laure-Anne Bosselaar, 2019-2021; and Emma Trelles, 2021-2023. Then there’s music by Tony Ybarra starting at 2 p.m.

ON the Stage

After 25 years of playing together, ALO is still putting on great shows, including a recent one at SOhO (my review is here). The Flaming Lips were also great fun å this month — and I’m always thrilled to be able to incorporate a Charlie and the Chocolate Factory reference into a headline: The Flaming Lips Bring an Everlasting Gobstopper of Entertainment to the Arlington. Other reviews you may have missed: John Williams: A Symphonic CelebrationSZA, and The Folk Orchestra of Santa Barbara, among many others.

The Flaming Lips at the Arlington | Credit: Leslie Dinaberg

ON the Page

For all of the poets and aspiring wordsmiths out there, here’s yet another nudge not to give up on your dreams of literary fame and fortune. U.S. Poet Laureate Ada Limón is coming to town on April 25, and in honor of her visit, the Santa Barbara Independent and UCSB Arts & Lectures (A&L) are co-presenting a poetry contest. Inspired by National Poetry Month in April and Limón’s poem “Instructions on Not Giving Up,” participants are invited to submit an original poem about the qualities of leadership and vision with two categories, K-12 students or age 18+. One winner in each category will have their poem published in the Santa Barbara Independent (that’s the “fame” part). As for the “fortune” part, each winner will also receive a copy of Ada Limón’s book The Hurting Kind, a $50 gift certificate to Chaucer’s Books, and a $500 A&L ticket voucher good through 2024.

Credit: Courtesy

Send your original, unpublished poem to info@ArtsAndLectures.UCSB.edu by Friday, April 14, at 5 p.m. with the subject line “AandLPoetry.” Be sure to indicate your submission level (K-12 or age 18+). For more information on the contest, click here.

Goleta VIPs gather to support the library and retiring director Allison Gray (in flowered dress). | Credit: City of Goleta

Special kudos to the Goleta Valley Library, which recently marked 50 years at the 500 North Fairview Avenue location with a special celebration full of proclamations from community leaders, music from our very own Joe Woodard and his singing counterpart Nicole Lvoff (a library staffer), and a special Goleta City tile for retiring Library Director Allison Gray, who served in that position for the past 15 years. Click here to see the highlight reel.

This edition of ON Culture was originally emailed to subscribers on May 18, 2023. To receive Leslie Dinaberg’s arts newsletter in your inbox on Fridays, sign up at independent.com/newsletters.

ON the (Small) Screen

Joanne Desmond as a TV reporter at WBZ-TV (left) and Keira Knightley as a journalist in the new Boston Strangler film | Credit: Courtesy Hulu, LLC

Unbeknownst to me until recently, one of the pioneering women of broadcast journalism lives here in town. Joanne Desmond, who was the first female evening news anchor in the U.S., is back in the spotlight with a new film, Boston Strangler, airing on Hulu. Lola Watts has a fascinating interview with Desmond here.

ON the Phone App

The star-studded Santa Barbara–based travel app Autio — which boasts Kevin Costner as a co-founder as well as other big names like John Lithgow and Phil Jackson as storytellers — couldn’t come to deal terms, but they got a nice publicity boost with last week’s Shark Tank appearance. The app itself looks pretty cool, with local stories about things like Castle Rock, the Granada and Lobero theaters, Pearl Chase, and more.  

ON the Web

Credit: Courtesy via Twitter

Worth the wait: I stumbled on this beautiful new single and video “Run a Red Light” from Everything But the Girl — one of my favorite bands from oh so long ago — who apparently haven’t released an album since Temperamental in 1999. Rolling Stone reports their new album, Fuse, is coming out on April 21. Now let’s all cross our collective fingers that they’ll come perform in Santa Barbara sometime soon.

Credit: Courtesy S.B. Botanic Garden

ON the Calendar

Expect the bloom of botanic inspiration in full flower at Sunday’s “Adventures in the Garden” poetry workshop with former Santa Barbara Poet Laureate, English professor, and frequent Independent contributor David Starkey. Participants get to explore and write about the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, with drafts of poems completed during the first part of the class and shared in small groups.  No previous experience writing poetry is required — all are welcome (over age 18 recommended).

For a complete calendar of events this week and beyond, visit independent.com/events.


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