Quick Take:

Your place to go for things to do in Santa Cruz County.

‘Tis a great weekend to discover some art (which always makes for great holiday gifts, just sayin’), beginning with that monthly celebration of creativity, First Friday. Check out the clothes of “Pivot” at downtown’s Curated by the Sea, or the work of the fine artists from Live Oak at 17th Ave. Studios’ open house. Also coming up is gorgeous sea glass and ocean-themed art at the Cocoanut Grove, the opening reception for the dazzling Día de Los Muertos-themed exhibition at Pajaro Valley Arts in Watsonville, and, this just in, the Cabrillo Gallery at Cabrillo College is opening for actual in-person human interaction for the first time since You Know What. See you in the galleries.

— Wallace Baine

See our full BOLO calendar listings for events in Santa Cruz here. And as if that isn’t enough, we have you covered for all the MAJOR events coming up into the next year with Down The Line, a listing assembled by Wallace Baine that’s your key to getting tickets before they sell out.

Now, here’s what Team BOLO thinks you should know for the weekend and beyond:

(Click category headers for full BOLO listings in that category.)


Wearable art from Curated by the Sea's

Exhibitionist”: Art and fashion collide in a creative explosion of expression in the latest exhibit at Curated by the Sea in downtown Santa Cruz. The show features the work of 20 “wearable art” artists from the annual fashion/art show “Pivot,” including Charlotte Kruk, Rose Sellery, The Great Morgani, and many more. “Exhibitionist” doesn’t have a lot of time left at Curated; the show closes Nov. 20. But it has a big reception with its artists on Friday, as part of First Friday, from 6 to 8 p.m., with live music from Los Improvidors, all at 703 Front St., Santa Cruz.

17th Ave. Studios: The many accomplished artists over at the 17th Avenue Studios in Live Oak are combining forces for a big splash for First Friday. Artists include Ronna Schulkin, Rhia Hurt, Petrina Burkard, Madrone D’Ardenne, Santa Cruz Makers and many more, with live music from Dror Sinai & Zirzuvi, from 5 to 8:30 p.m. Friday at 17th Avenue Studios, right across from Simpkins Family Swim Center.

Collective Consciousness”: As part of the monthly First Friday event, the R. Blitzer Gallery in Santa Cruz is opening its latest art show, featuring the work of art students at Shared Adventures at Hope Services Watsonville’s Developmental Disabilities Program, featuring abstract work acrylic on canvas. Also includes works by Charles Sutton, Alan Sonneman, Robert Hyatt and Robert Blitzer. Opening reception is Friday from 3 to 6 p.m., and the show is up through Nov. 24 at the Blitzer in the Wrigley Building on the far west side of Santa Cruz.

Santa Cruz Sea Glass and Ocean Arts Festival: The Cocoanut Grove hosts upward of 60 artists showcasing their work in sea glass and ocean-themed crafts. The $5 admission includes a chance to win a gift basket of works donated by the artists, and a percentage of admission goes to ocean conservation via the Monterey Bay Sanctuary. Kids get in free both Saturday and Sunday, and there will be a full bar and food available.

“Mi Casa es Tu Casa”: It’s a big month coming up at the Pajaro Valley Arts gallery, as PV Arts mounts its ambitious “Mi Casa es Tu Casa” art exhibit with a packed schedule of events. The theme for this year’s event is “History, Loss, and Healing,” with a long roster of participating artists including Amalia Mesa-Bains, Carmen Leon, Priscilla Martinez, Shmuel Thaler, Myra Eastman and many others, all at the PVA gallery, 37 Sudden St., downtown Watsonville. The show’s opening reception is Sunday, from 1 to 3 p.m.

12×12: An Open Invitational”: Big deal over at Cabrillo College, given that the Cabrillo Gallery is poised to open to in-person visitors for the first time since March 2020. The new show on display at the Cabrillo Gallery showcases the best work from an open invitational of all local artists in everything from painting to printmaking, photography to sculpture, all of it tied together by format: Everything is 12 inches square. The show opens Monday and will be up at the gallery until Dec. 3, in the library building on the uphill side of Cabrillo College.

— Wallace Baine and Max Chun


A pile of sea glass

Santa Cruz Sea Glass and Ocean Arts Festival: Ceramics, soaps, sea salts, photography, fabric arts, stunning sea glass jewelry and more can be found at the 13th annual Santa Cruz Sea Glass and Ocean Art Festival. Over 50 artists will be bringing their works to the Cocoanut Grove at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk.

— Haneen Zain


Reggae artist Don Carlos

Don Carlos: One of reggae’s most distinctive voices has regularly made Moe’s Alley in Santa Cruz part of his touring schedule for years. But he returns to Moe’s for the first time since the pandemic for two big shows, Friday and Saturday. Carlos is known in reggae circles for his work during two separate stints as part of the legendary trio Black Uhuru (of which he was a co-founder). But he’s also been successful as a solo artist, particularly in the 1980s, and he continues to be an important figure in the realm of roots reggae. He plays back-to-back shows with fellow Jamaican I-taweh.

Paul Thorn: The story of the former prizefighter turned acclaimed singer-songwriter is already well known to Santa Cruz Americana audiences, to whom he is a cult favorite. Thorn comes to Felton Music Hall on Sunday in the wake of his most recent album “Never Too Late to Call,” in which he reflects on the finer things in life after recovering from COVID-19 and the death of his sister from cancer. The new album is more mellow than what listeners have come to expect from Thorn. He’s ready to show his tender side to audiences Sunday in Felton.

Ravi Coltrane: Sure, there are the bloodlines to talk about — son of the legendary Trane, named after Ravi Shankar, his mom is Alice Coltrane. But by this point, Ravi Coltrane has his own cred to fall back on, as an inventive saxman and a bandleader. He’s a caretaker of his parents’ prodigious musical legacy, a strong presence on the jazz landscape, and a musician known for exploration and risk-taking. Ravi brings his quartet to the Kuumbwa Jazz Center on Monday.

Melvin Seals & JGB: The “JGB,” if you’re keeping score, is Jerry Garcia Band, a reference to keyboard vet Melvin Seals’ long collaboration and association with the iconic Grateful Dead frontman. Seals played alongside Garcia for 18 years, and even since Jerry’s death, from his seat behind his Hammond B-3, Seals has kept the flame of that collaboration alive with a lively blend of funk, R&B, blues and jazz, just the way Jerry would have wanted it. Seals and his band play Felton Music Hall on Nov. 11.

— Wallace Baine


A promotional image for a discussion with author Claire Vaye Watkins

Claire Vaye Watkins & Cathy Thomas: Novelist Claire Vaye Watkins has pushed the boundaries of fiction in her much-talked-about new novel “I Love You But I’ve Chosen Darkness,” which offers a counter-narrative to maternal joy and satisfaction. It’s a follow-up to another nervy book, the California apocalyptic novel “Gold Fame Citrus.” In this virtual event, part of the Living Writers Series sponsored by UC Santa Cruz Literature Department and the Creative Writing Program, Watkins talks with UC Santa Barbara professor Cathy Thomas about the direction of her intriguing novels. It’s free to register at Bookshop Santa Cruz’s website. Things get started at 5:15 p.m.

Phren-Z fall launch: The Santa Cruz-based online literary magazine phren-Z continues on in the wake of the death of its founding editor, Jory Post. In this Zoom Forward virtual event (another Post invention), a collection of writers celebrates the release of the fall issue of phren-Z including Sarojani Rohan, Mary Camille Thomas, Lea Haratani, Linda Serrato and Patrice Vecchione. Co-sponsored by Catamaran and Bookshop Santa Cruz. The reading begins at 5 p.m.

Stephen Graham Jones: For more than two decades, writer Stephen Graham Jones has been writing vividly and provocatively about life as a Native American. A member of the Blackfeet tribe, Jones presents his new graphic novel, “Memorial Ride,” illustrated by Native American artist Maria Wolf, in this virtual event sponsored by Bookshop Santa Cruz. The new book recasts the traditional trappings of a Western into a raucous road movie. Jones discusses his book and his career, beginning 7 p.m. Tuesday.

— Wallace Baine


comedian Tom Clark

Tom Clark headlines Greater Purpose Comedy Night: Tom Clark comes to Santa Cruz riding the wave of his Amazon stand-up special “Outrage,” about which one reviewer wrote, “I am happily rolling on the floor in pain from the hernia that this comedy special gave me. If you like to laugh and are willing to risk internal injury, this is the special for you!” Clark also has appearances on Comedy Central, HBO and more under his belt. Proof of vaccination against COVID-19 required.

— Haneen Zain


A promotional image for the Nov. 7 Westside Marketplace

Westside Marketplace: Head to the Old Wrigley Building parking lot for another installment of the Westside Marketplace. With the soundtrack from Pacific Avenue Band, food from Pana Food Truck, Yakitori Toriman and Aunt LaLi’s and more than three dozen local vendors of all stripes, bring a layer or two and spend a cozy afternoon supporting local businesses.

— Max Chun


A promotional flyer for Thomas Farms' persimmon u-pick event

Fuyu Persimmon U-Pick at Thomas Farm: Celebrate the fall and the coming of Thanksgiving with a day out on the farm. Take abundant fuyu persimmons home and make them into desserts, jams, and more for the upcoming holidays. Snacks, beverages and other food will be available for purchase at the farmstand if you work up an appetite.

— Max Chun


A flyer for the Boardwalk Bites and Brews festival

Boardwalk Bites & Brews: Happening every Thursday and Friday through Nov. 19, the Boardwalk’s private event chef, Scott Meyer, delivers food paired with beers from Santa Cruz and beyond; this week’s menu includes jambalaya, blackened chicken sandwiches and beignets. You can pair this event with music and movies, too: There will be a live band at nearby Neptune’s Stage on Thursdays from 6:30-7:30 p.m. (Johnny Cash tribute Man In Black is this week’s act), and movies on the beach at 6:30 p.m. Fridays (this week featuring “Spaceballs”).

Sip, Savor and Sway at Stockwell Cellars: Every Friday, Stockwell Cellars invites a different food truck and new musical talent to feed and entertain guests at its Westside tasting room. This week, enjoy a glass or bottle of wine while listening to soulful jazz tunes performed by Jenny and the Bets and fresh fish and chips from Scrumptious food truck.

Oyster and seafood pop-up at Stockwell Cellars: The first Sunday of every month finds Bill Oysterman serving some of the best oysters in the West at Stockwell Cellars’ Westside tasting room. And he’s bringing along Parker Stokes, his longtime crew lead and business manager, to supplement those oysters with Parker’s Picks … a second seafood dish that was TBA as of publication.

— Haneen Zain


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