Big and Bold

Joseph Frausto’s mother was as a beautician in Northridge Mall and he spent summers there as a kid, so it was a natural setting for his co-op art gallery.

Not all of it was pretty, but we made it through. Let’s look back at the year that was in Monterey County arts and culture coverage, to celebrate, to learn, and to do it even better next year.

The Artifacts Experiment

At the start of 2016, I was asked to try something new with my Artifacts column, as opposed to its usual tidbits, shout-outs and reflections. So I wrote a short bio, ruminated on the MLK Jr. march in Seaside, and talked about editing the Weekly’s A&E Calendar for six years. Then I was asked to go back to the tidbits. “Fail again. Fail better,” said Samuel Beckett.

Voices of Change gathers stories by local activists • Jan. 14

Voices of Change is a book of stories by local activists and peaceniks from the front lines of social justice. It names names in its accounts of law enforcement and politicians, adversaries and allies, momentous events and protracted battles, victories and failures. It sounds really useful now, doesn’t it?

Julie Snyder, Serial, co-creator talks about lessons from the hit show •March 3

A Q&A with the executive producer of Serial, the hot podcast that was supposed to reignite longform, enterprise, narrative journalism. Then fake news spread like brushfire across Facebook. In June, a judge granted Adnan Sayed a new trial.

The Arts & Entertainment Calendar

You may or may not know this, but Marielle Argueza has been your A&E Calendar editor this year and will be into the future. I hope you’ve enjoyed her curation. I know I have.

Prince: A look back at a bountiful, profound and beloved musician • April 21

Among many, we said goodbye to David Bowie, Muhammed Ali, Gwen Ifill, Leonard Cohen and, most poignantly for many, Prince. Another reason why 2016 is a year that will live in infamy.

A lone outpost of art and culture lives at Northridge Mall • June 30

Our 831 stories focus on people and the things they do that give Monterey County an extra dose of flavor, like this feature about an art gallery inconspicuously tucked away in Northridge Mall.

Toddler exposes issue [of] kids at classical music concerts • July 14

This one got a lot of play. Should babies or toddlers be brought to classical music concerts? If you believe they should, isn’t that being rude to the reverie of grown-ups? And if you believe they shouldn’t, what have you got against babies and the future of classical music?

A close look at Monterey’s reinvented Osio Theater • July 14

A literal tour that considered everything from the projection on all the screens to the website to the bird poop on the walkway. The Weekly also took a look-see inside the new Dali 17 museum and the reopened Forest Theater, BTW.

The Innocents focuses on the often-overlooked toll war has on women • July 21

Movie reviews like this one can give attention to a small film we think deserves an audience. Though based on actual events during World War II in Poland, this film’s lessons reverberate in conflicts from Rwanda to Syria.

A peek at the Carmel Libraries book sale • Aug. 11

A photo blog allows pictures to carry the gist of a story as well as the details. This one surveyed some of the finds at this book sale, including graphic novels, collectible books, acres of thrillers, poetry by Sappho and Rumi, and Matt Dillon’s book on tape of Kerouac’s On the Road.

The Hola Mexico Film Festival comes to Salinas • Sept. 8

We like us a good film festival. In addition to this import from Mexico, we covered everything from the Carmel International Film Festival to the Banff Mountain Film Festival to the United Nations Association Monterey Bay Annual International Documentary Film Festival (which needs a short nickname).

Jazz saxophonist Kamasi Washington talks dashikis, L.A., and new music • Sept. 15

After igniting the jazz world, and fresh off a world tour, Washington talked to the Weekly before debuting at the Monterey Jazz Festival.

Laurie Anderson joins Philip Glass in rare performance • Sept. 22

Both artists spoke to the Weekly prior to their Days and Nights Festival visit, went to CSU Monterey Bay to address students (then Glass picked up a National Medal of Arts from President Obama), they unleashed profound and intimate music and poems at Sunset Center, met and mingled with fans, and were the same humble beings the whole time.

Black Panther Party still relevant to our times • Oct. 6

This print story served as a teaser to an event that readers could attend. Most of our A&E stories do that. But it also served notice that there was lots more of this interview with an important activist on the Weekly’s website, titled “The rise and fall of the Black Panther Party, as told by Mel Mason.”

Russian ballet company’s Swan Lake swings by Salinas • Oct. 13

The saga started with a print story that the Grand Russian Ballet was coming to Salinas’ Fox Theater to perform Swan Lake. That was followed by a Squid Fry column titled “Off Pointe” about the event’s long lines and confusing seating. In response, a letter to the editor: “They weren’t the Bolshoi, the costumes were well worn and it was recorded music, but still, what a thing to see.” That is a nice lifecycle to any story.

Walter Ryce has been an arts writer, calendar editor, culture columnist, sometime photographer, and one-time web content coordinator for the Monterey County Weekly. He began working at the paper, which is based in his hometown of Seaside, in 2007.

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