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Wildlife Art Festival will feature unique American art form

The bodies of these bird figures were carved from solid blocks of wood into amazingly lifelike representations. Beaks were carved from separate pieces of wood and glued in. The bodies were then decorated. The Wildlife Art Festival will feature this unique American art form in Sacramento on July 14 and July 15. Photo by Susan Laird

America is famously known as a “melting pot” — where all peoples bring the richness of their culture to the table and the nation embraces those gifts as its own. However, there is an art form that is unique to the North American continent. And the world has embraced it. What is this mysterious craft […]

No Comment / July 06, 2012 | Posted in Spotlight Columns | Read More »

Celebrate 236 years of American freedom

Summer is officially here at last, and with summer comes our annual tribute to those 56 daring souls who signed the American Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. Because these men risked their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor — and because countless others stood tall for freedom — we have the blessings […]

No Comment / June 21, 2012 | Posted in Spotlight Columns | Read More »

Life transitions, the art of living simply and the importance of ‘The Present Moment’

Generations that cared for their children often need to be cared for by their children and grandchildren. Susan Laird, the toddler in this photo from 1967, is caring for her mom, Janet Laird, who is recovering from transverse myelitis. Photo courtesy of Susan Laird

There are stages in all of our lives: a time to be born, a time to die. Between those two points in time there is the “stuff” life is made of: childhood, school, the high school and college years, family life, friends, growing older. The list goes on and on. I’m now at the “sandwich” […]

No Comment / June 07, 2012 | Posted in Spotlight Columns | Read More »

Showcasing the ‘quilts of our lives’ at the Folsom History Museum

The American experience includes many stories, many artifacts. One item that consistently appears in every generation is the quilt. This item of practicality, comfort and artistic talent appears in the items handed down by every generation of Americans for the last 400 years. Even two of my (multiple) great-grandfathers arrived in the New World with […]

No Comment / May 24, 2012 | Posted in Spotlight Columns | Read More »

Remarkable Folsom Symphony to close season with additional performance

Sometimes, when one grows up surrounded by greatness, it is easy to take it for granted – or not to recognize it for what it truly is. Take, for example, the Folsom Symphony. Eight years ago a “little local orchestra” was formed — the Folsom Lake Symphony Orchestra, as it was called at the time. […]

1 Comment / May 11, 2012 | Posted in Spotlight Columns | Read More »

Classical Masters Music Festival seeks young talent

The artistic and musical talent of the youth in the Sacramento region never fails to amaze adults in the audience. Young people are emerging from theater troupes — such as El Dorado Musical Theatre — and making their way to Broadway in New York City. Musicians like young Chase Onadera of Sacramento are playing classical […]

No Comment / April 12, 2012 | Posted in Spotlight Columns | Read More »

‘Nunsense II’ keeps Sutter Street Theatre in the habit of great entertainment

"Nunsense II" marks the return of the "€œLittle Sisters of Hoboken" to Folsom's Sutter Street Theatre. It'€™s a wacky, humorous musical … with surprisingly reverent moments sprinkled in. Left to right, Connie Mockenhaupt, Sister Marionette and Sarah Kalsey Null. Photo courtesy of Sutter Street Theatre

You can’t keep the good “Little Sisters of Hoboken” down. In fact, their first “fundraiser” at Folsom’s Sutter Street Theatre (“Nunsense”) last year was so successful they are back at it with “Nunsense II: The Second Coming.” Now, there really are no “Sisters of Hoboken.” The characters are entirely fictitious, brought to life by Connie […]

No Comment / April 06, 2012 | Posted in Spotlight Columns | Read More »