The Bay Area is a hub of artistic expression, attracting artists, writers and musicians from around the globe to live, work and create. We highlight some of the offerings here
• CAAMFest place-holder: San Francisco’s annual big Asian American film festival, CAAMFest, has been postponed until October, but you can whet your cinematic taste buds with an impressive collection of streaming content available May 13-22. Offerings include “You Are Here,” a new documentary on S.F.’s Chinatown; “First Vote,” a documentary exploring both left- and right-leaning Asian American voters; and a special sing-along version of the popular musical comedy “Fruit Fly.” All the content, which includes short-film collections, interviews and virtual parties, is free; visit caamfest.com/2020.
• Park and watch: It wasn’t long ago that drive-in movie theaters seemed like little more than a dog-eared page on the American pop culture manual. Then the coronavirus pandemic hit and people were required to shelter at home and movie theaters were shuttered . Except … drive-ins. Yes, you can still get out and see a movie at West Wind Drive-In theaters in San Jose and Concord. There are rules you must follow to maintain safe social distances and you need to bring your own snacks and drinks, as the concession stands are closed. But if you are suffering from cabin fever, it is a form of entertainment that gets you OUT OF THE HOUSE. Tickets are $8.25; $1.75 for kids ages 5-11 and free for those under 5. Check www.westwinddi.com for screening schedule and more information.
• Virtual benefit concert: The nonprofit group California Women’s Music is hosting a live-streaming concert on May 15 to benefit Albany’s beloved Ivy Room rock club, which has been closed by the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the group’s Artist Relief Fund. From 4-8:30 p.m., tune in to www.facebook.com/cwmnp/live for the Homebound Virtual Benefit Concert, featuring performances by singer-songwriters Paula Cole and Tracy Bonham, electronic music artist Madame Gandhi and others. The concert is free but donations are encouraged. Go to www.cwmnp.com for more information.
• Faces famous and unknown: Take a virtual stroll through the British Royal Society of Portrait Painters’ 2020 version of its Annual Exhibition and gaze upon as diverse a collection of visages and posed persons august and humble as you are ever likely to encounter. These fascinating paintings come from artists who have been elected to show by their society peers, so it is quite the carefully curated exhibition. It usually costs the equivalent of five British pounds to gain admission, but there is an opportunity to donate and, more interesting still, to commission a portrait yourself from one of the artists. The exhibition, usually mounted in May at the Mall Galleries near the Trafalgar Square in London, is online indefinitely for free. Find it at https://therp.co.uk. and click on A Season of Portraiture: Our Annual Exhibition.
• Music and munchies: The Lafayette-based Gold Coast Chamber Players, not to be sidelined by a pesky virus, has seriously stepped up its game by hosting concerts that come with a delicious meal delivered to your doorstep, if you’re lucky enough to live within 10 miles of Lafayette. Their Mother’s Day offering was a sold-out hit. This week, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on May 17, it’s an “Italian Serenade” via Zoom, featuring the music of Corelli, Vivaldi and Tartini with violinist Grazia Raimondi and cellist Luigi Piovano. Lunch, either delivered or available for curbside pickup, comes courtesy of Chef Tullio at Locanda Positano. The experience is $75, but there is a $20 concert-only option. Ticket holders get an email with instructions. Sign up at https://www.gccpmusic.com/immersiveexperiences.