The Fall Arts Season Begins in Sacramento

Our new issue rounds up dozens of exhibits, plays, concerts, comedy shows and more—all in the coming months. Here are a few that are already setting the stage for what promises to be a fantastic fall season for the arts.

Estampas de la Raza 

Through Oct. 1 The Royal Chicano Air Force (RCAF), the locally based artist collective founded in 1969 by then-Sacramento State professors Jose Montoya and Esteban Villa, has been imprinting the Chicanx and Latinx cultural movements for decades with its brand of winking humor and bold graphics—including bright-hued murals and posters. The Crocker Art Museum’s colorful, rousing exhibit Estampas de la Raza (translation: Prints of the People) showcases 11 RCAF posters from its permanent collection, alongside 61 pieces on loan from San Antonio’s McNay Art Museum, for a synergistic, genre-defining show of screen prints and lithographs created by 55 different Latinx artists from California, Texas and throughout the Western United States. The works span 30 years, from 1980 to 2010, and draw on disparate elements ranging from folk art to pop art, like famed Austin screen printer Sam Coronado’s mixed-race Virgin Mary in Mestiza Virgin, and L.A. artist Richard Duardo’s Warhol-inspired Four Fridas (shown below).

Sac Open Studios Sdp05197

Sac Open Studios (Photo by Scott Duncan, Courtesy of Verge Center for the Arts)

Sac Open Studios

Sept. 7–17 In the TikTok era, it’s truer than ever that all the world’s a stage, as the Bard said. But for two weekends in September, it’s also one big art gallery. Organized by the Verge Center for the Arts, the 18th annual Sac Open Studios is a mega festival that brings together dozens of workshops and demos, specialty shows, and the main event—during which some 260 local artists throw open their studio doors to the public for self-guided tours. Split between studios west of I-80/ Hwy 99 the first weekend, and those to the east the next, art lovers can meet local creatives where they live and work, like Brenda Louie (who created the glass mosaic and stainless steel ring sculpture at McKinley Village Art Walk) and Lin Fei-Fei (whose skulls mural graces the front façade of midtown music venue Holy Diver). Attendees can also stop in at various locations to try their hand at printmaking, clay sculpting and Chinese rice paper watercoloring. This year, to make the scene even more accessible (for both artists and budding collectors), Verge is introducing new spaces to the event, such as the CLTRE Club on 16th and N streets, which will showcase works by up-and-coming artists.


Courtesy of Capital Stage


Through Sept. 24 Welcome to Clyde’s, a truck-stop sandwich shop in rural Pennsylvania, where a multiethnic staff of formerly incarcerated employees toil away, slinging sandos and insults and dreaming of better lives. You might even recognize the character of Jason, a recently released former white supremacist who was previously featured in playwright Lynn Nottage’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Sweat, which Capital Stage presented in 2018. Sacramento actor Ian C. Hopps reprises the role in this deft dramedy—also written by Nottage and mounted by the midtown theater company—which was the most-produced modern play in the country last year, perhaps because it takes a stand against despair. “Though it’s still about dark things, including prison, drugs, homelessness and poverty, it somehow turns them into bright comedy,” The New York Times wrote when Clyde’s premiered in 2021, starring Uzo Aduba of Orange Is the New Black fame in the titular role. The first (and only) woman to win two Pulitzer Prizes for drama, Nottage has long had her finger planted firmly on the pulse of America—and with Clyde’s, the heartbeat goes on.

A quilt showing black gold miners by Connie Horn

©Connie Horne, Courtesy of the California Museum

Black Pioneers

Through Oct. 1 You wouldn’t know it from watching John Wayne movies, but historians estimate that 25% of cowboys in the Wild West were Black. Celebrating contributions of the seldom-recognized Black Americans who helped build the Western United States, from the 1500s through the civil rights movement, this California Museum exhibit stitches together a fresh perspective on pioneer history. Comprising 50 pictorial quilts sewn specifically for this traveling show by members of the nation-spanning nonprofit Women of Color Quilters Network, Black Pioneers: Legacy in the American West tells the stories of trailblazers like Elizabeth Thorn Scott Flood, Sacramento’s first Black schoolteacher, who started a private school for non-white students in her home in 1854; Edward Parker Duplex, a barber and businessman who became California’s first Black mayor when the citizens of Wheatland elected him to the position in 1888; and the men who in 1849 established one of the first Gold Rush mining claims in Sacramento County at what is now called Black Miners Bar in Folsom (pictured above).

Read More: Don’t miss 10 additional reasons to get Out and About in September and October this year

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