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.”


Alameda Action at City Hall

Several protestors taking a stand against British Petroluem and speaking out in support of Gulf Coast residents, wildlife and communities turned up at City Hall on June 8, election night for several statewide measures, as well as local and statewide primaries.

Many Alameda and Bay Area residents feel a strong sense of solidarity with the Gulf Coast after recent oil spills in San Francisco Bay hurt wildlife and polluted area beaches, including Alameda’s Crown Beach.

Also, for those residents wondering about Measure E results, you will have to hold on another two weeks. June 22 is the official day when the mail-in ballots for the latest Alameda parcel-tax measure are due, and the election period is officially over.

Between now and then, expect the vocal supporters and opponents of Measure E to be out on the streets (or, at least on the lawns with signs) and all over the Internet with their respective messages.  

(Thanks to James Fryer for the image.)


Alamedans to Host Vigil for Gulf at City Hall

Alamedans experienced an oil spill in the fall of last year (which affected several dozens birds), and some Island residents are getting out on Tuesday, June 8, to give their support to those affected by the oil that has been spewing for the past few weeks in the Gulf olf Mexico.

At 7 p.m., members of MoveOn.org will host a vigil at City Hall to recognize the 50th day of the disaster affecting the Gulf and Gulf Coast residents.

They are also using the event to encourage the community to consider ways that can lessen our use of fossil fuels.

Some speakers will read news and stories from Gulf Coast community members.

A moment of silence will be observed.



Alameda’s New Zealander Hosts Blues Band

The freshly reopened New Zealander on Webster Street is featuring Bad Boy Bruce & the Blues Mob on Saturday, June 5, starting at 9 p.m. and ending at midnight.

This is the pub’s first Saturday night with a live band since it reopened recently.

The group will be playing popular tunes like “Born on the Bayou,” “Black Magic Woman,” and “Crossfire.”

The restaurant and pub also features live music on some Thursdays, including May 20 when the Lost Cats played from 7 to 10 p.m.


Alameda Museum Keeps NAS’ Past Alive

The Naval Air Museum at Alameda Point – open Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. — is a good weekend spot for residents and visitors looking for a taste of the area’s history and its role in U.S. military engagement in the Pacific.

There are plenty of displays from World War II, including maps of the Pacific, objects collected by U.S. military personnel during the war and uniforms, and a running video of World War II battles, including those on Truk Island.

Early next month,  Arcadia Publishing will publish a book on Alameda’s Naval Air Station, 1940-1997.

The musem will have copies on or around July 5; the publisher has released a preview of the cover.

And on November 21, the Alameda Naval Air Museum will commemorate the 75th anniversary of the China Clipper’s first commercial flight from its base in Alameda to the Philippine Islands.

As residents help piece together plans for Alameda Point and its future, the museum serves as an important guide to Alameda’s strategic importance in World War II, as well as in the broader naval and aviation history of the past century.