Alameda’s Rhythmix Hosts Open House, Anniversary Event

If you’ve been thinking about taking a class in dancing, drumming or painting, Saturday, June 12, is a good day to visit Rhythmix Cultural Works.

The Blanding Avenue non-profit is celebrating its third anniversary and will be hosting a free festival from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., which will include performances, demonstrations and more.

There will be belly dancing, capoeira (Brazilian martial arts), circus arts, hoop dancing, poi (rhythmic dancing), taiko (Japanese drumming), world percussion, West African dancing and other activities.

The hands-on workshops are being led by Wendy Allen of Fat Chance Bellydance, Sam Batchelder, Skilly Circus, Betty Lucas, Alyssa Gangemi, Maze Daiko, Afia Walking Tree, Ava Levias-Square, Harry Best & Shabang and Bean’s Got Rhythm class.

“The activities will be very kid friendly all day long,” said Janet Koike, executive director of the arts center. “We had our grand opening in 2007, and this is the first time we are taking the opportunity to celebrate an anniversary.”

As part of the celebration, the center’s K Gallery will be hosting a new exhibit curated by Clint Imboden, which features five Alameda artists: Jon Kerpel, Ginny Parson, K.C. Rosenberg, Peter Tonningsen and Danielle Wallis.

Plus, the day’s activities will also feature art workshops, kids’ activities, face-painting, food booths and a crafts fair with local artisans. Food and snacks, such as tacos and kettle corn, will be sold.

Koike — shown on the left side of the above photo —  set up Rhythmix Cultural Works in 1999 as the umbrella organization for RhythMix world-music ensemble and several cultural-exchange programs involving trip to Cuba and Japan. She then spent five years renovating a building in Alameda to host these and other activities.

The free anniversary bash, she says, is meant to thank the community for its ongoing support and to inspire more people to celebrate the arts.

“It will be a great day for all those who visit us,” Koike said. “We encourage everyone to come out and see our programming.”

Janet Levaux