SF LIFE: Carnivale, TEDx , Fiorello, Film Fests

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It’s the time of year where many celebrate by throwing beads and wearing feathers. (Who says we are too old for that?) Here are a few ideas for you if you choose to participate.  TEDx is coming to Berkeley with an incredible line-up of speakers. That oldie but goodie political musical opens, FIORELLO, couldn’t be timelier! And get your film fix with two festivals coming soon – the Ocean Film Fest and Berlin & Beyond.


March 5. Carnivale at Grace Cathedral

March 5. Carnivale at Grace Cathedral

A magical evening of Venetian Revelry takes place inside the glorious Grace Cathedral. The church will be transformed into a Venetian wonderland, although the beauty of the church itself needs no embellishment. This is a fund-raiser for the church that thousands of tourists, and locals, visit each year. They have their monthly labyrinth walks, yoga under the stained glass and performances that delight.

This is the big night to help support the mission of the church and all it has to offer. Over 400 people will attend to dine, and celebrate the cathedral. An online auction, a live auction, roving entertainment and portraits are all included in the fun, fun, fun. Tickets here.  


March 5. Mardi Gras Celebrations

March 5. Mardi Gras Celebrations

Get out those feathers tomatoes! Carnavale San Francisco kicks off its season with 21 FREE Fat Tuesday Mardi Gras celebrations in various venues across San Francisco’s Mission District. Meet your friends and make new ones in the heart of our Latino Cultural District to enjoy live samba drummers, dancers winding through the party, and lively music from salsa and soca to cumbia and rumba. Wear your favorite costumes or at least a mask and layers of beads to celebrate. A percentage of sales in all venues will go to support Carnaval SF. 


March 9. TEDx-Berkeley

March 9. TEDx-Berkeley

If you have never attended a TEDx event, your mind will be stimulated with information about a diverse range of topics, and you will be introduced to new ideas and ways of looking at the world. The speakers will make you cry, laugh and think. This year’s theme in Berkeley is Inflection. Among other fascinating topics, the speakers will address the issues of how technology is progressing at a rapid rate and how will humankind keep up.  

They include diverse presenters such as Dr. Jeremy Richmond – whose daughter was killed in the Sandy Hook School massacre started a non-profit that studies the neuroscience of violence and compassion. Miko Fogarty a young woman who was featured in a ballet documentary at age 12 talks on her journey from ballet, to teaching, to pursing integrative biology and researching therapies for brain cancer. And she is all of 20. Heather Bowerman is the founder of DotLab, a leader in advancing the standard of care in women’s health. The full day of brainpower is Saturday March 9th 10 – 6. Tickets are $15 – $99. More info can be found at http://www.tedxberkeley.org


Now – March 17. FIORELLO

Now – March 17. FIORELLO

Perhaps we have a bit of political polarization going on right now. If you want to get out of the doldrums, head to 42nd Street Moons production of FIORELLO. In case you don’t know it’s about Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia, considered one of the greatest mayors in American History. He was a champion of people in immigrant communities, supported women in the labor movement and believed that rue leadership meant stamping out political corruption.

The story inspires us to be our better selves. Plus it is good old-fashioned fun, with music to hum along with. (Side-note, I was once in a production of this show, and what a fun optimistic message it promotes). Now through March 17th Gateway Theatre 215 Jackson St. www.42ndstmoon.org

March 7 – 9. Film Fests

San Francisco Ocean Film Festival

Ah the beauty of the ocean, the mysteries that lie within, the beaches, the surf. All of the elements of nature are explored in the annual International Film Fest that opens this month. Most films will be screened at the Cowell Theater in Fort Mason – right by the water! From the open seas to the Great Lakes, the films and panels will continue the mission of saving and educating about our marine heritage.

Themes range from ocean adventure, science and marine life to sports and coastal cultures. Curious about sharks? – They have that covered, or maybe you are wondering why turtle hatchlings need the sea? – Yes you can learn that too. With this film festival you can head to the open sea without a slicker and your Dramamine. www.intloceanfilmfest.org

March 8-14. Berlin & Beyond

March 8-14. Berlin & Beyond

Germany is not all about beers and pretzels (although we are grateful for them!). From March 8 – 10 at the Castro Theatre and March 11 at the Shattuck Cinemas in Berkeley–March 12 – 14 at the Goethe-Institu films from all German-speaking countries will be screened.

Totally worth it to stray from your Cineplex and enjoy the diversity, history and progress of these countries through comedies, dramas and film panel discussions. The opening night comedy is sure to be a winner, about two estranged brothers who reunite and drive across Germany on mopeds. Delightful. http://www.goethe.de


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