To Do 06.10.21

Performers at the Palenke Arts Festival (above) include all of the nonprofit’s ensembles, such as the bilingual youth chorus, hip-hop dancers, jazz workshop and Tam Tam Sacré, West African drum and dance, plus guests like Sambadá.

AS MY CALENDAR HAS BEEN FILLING UP WITH PLANS, I’m finding it difficult to make room for the things that I truly enjoyed while sheltering-in-place – reading, cooking for myself, hiking and watching new shows. I’m reminded just how precious time is, and spending time with others is just as important to me as spending time alone. It’s a tough balance to strike and even when I do hang out with a friend (or read or cook), I’m finding it harder and harder to remain present because it feels like there’s something else I should be doing.

So lately, I’ve been trying to change up how I access my time. I’m a religious calendar keeper. My phone calls with friends or family are scheduled. Even pre-pandemic, I was the kind of person who always had a restaurant reservation. Now I find that I’m playing things by ear instead of nailing down plans weeks in advance, and calling my friends when I have five minutes just to say hi. Sometimes they pick up. Sometimes they call me back. Sometimes they ask if I just butt-dialed them.

I guess this is what people mean about this “transition.” I’m feeling my way around after so many rules that dictated where I could and could not be. For now, that’s where I’ll be, and I’m OK with that. – Marielle Argueza

EXPERIENCE: global arts.

Palenke Arts, a nonprofit afterschool global arts academy in Seaside, has been chugging along through the pandemic finding creative ways to sing, dance, drum, strum and more, despite not being able to perform in person and in front of an audience. After a year of going virtual, their biggest performance, The Palenke Arts Festival, returns from noon-3pm Sunday, June 13, with tons of live performances. Just like years past, it happens outdoors at Laguna Grande Park, across the street from Seaside City Hall. Grab some food from Aquino’s Birrieria, paint along with the one and only Mr. Paul (aka Paul Richmond), learn some moves at a samba dance class and more. Plus, if you haven’t gotten your vaccine yet, a pop-up vaccine clinic will be available thanks to the Seaside Fire Department and the VNA. More at

CELEBRATE: Pride Month.

June is Pride Month and it’s not just a celebration of queer love and joy, but also a recognition of the history of LGBTQI+ people and the continued fight for equality, equity and inclusion (see more on p. 30). There are a lot of ways to celebrate, engage, and inform yourself all throughout Pride. Watch a few films curated by the 17th Annual Queer Women of Color Film Festival. It screens for free at from June 11-13. Wish you were in a big city experiencing Pride? NYC Pride broadcasts several huge events for everyone to access (view the full schedule at Wanna help out or stay in the know with the local LGBTQ community? Donate to Salinas Valley Pride Celebrations’ scholarship and stay tuned for meet-ups and volunteering opportunities at Or follow Monterey Peninsula Pride for events at

GIVE: a standing ovation.

Monterey Symphony is one of the many local music organizations that had to adapt. Their solution: Balcony Sessions. For months, they featured solo and duet acts. They filmed them in galleries, art studios, homes and other unconventional venues, then livestreamed them for the world to experience. Their final session was on June 4, with a performance by violinist Eugenia Wie and cellist Adelle-Akiko Kearns. The symphony will be back in full swing in 2022, but classical music lovers need not fret; all of their Balcony Sessions have been recorded and archived on their YouTube Channel to tide you over until then.

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