This year, I’m thankful for vaccination jungles, live theater and more

I think we all really had hoped 2021 was going to be a miracle comeback year after 2020, and the final assessment will probably end up as “Well, that could have been worse.” But with Thanksgiving here, let’s take a moment to reflect on the positive.

So here’s my annual list of people and things I’m grateful for that kept this year in Silicon Valley from falling into the “worse” category.

• Dr. Sara Cody and the other Bay Area health officers still top my list for what’s been an amazing vaccination campaign in the region, where the percentage of vaccinated people is in the high-70s. And they haven’t been alone: Donations from Silicon Valley tech leader Godfrey Sullivan and a bunch of Bay Area companies led by Bloom Energy VP Carl Guardino turned the pediatric vaccination clinic at the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds’ Exposition Hall into an awesome jungle experience with palm trees, animal statues, paper lanterns and activities for kids.

• All the Bay Area arts groups that went through hoops — sometimes moving hoops — to bring live performances back to audiences this year. A big round of applause is owed to everyone at City Lights Theater Company, San Jose Stage, Tabard Theatre, Opera San Jose, TheatreWorks, San Jose Jazz and all the other companies that are working to keep us entertained (and keep artists working).

• Khori Dastoor, who is taking her talent to Houston’s Grand Opera in January after a too-short tenure as Opera San Jose’s general director, deserves our thanks for pushing the company forward with a diverse, exciting season. The same goes for Meredith King, who kept the spirit of late founder Richard Orlando alive at San Jose’s Northside Theatre until its closing was announced this year.

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• Andrew Bales, who is heading off into retirement soon, deserves a standing ovation after decades as a leader in San Jose’s arts community, a role that included resurrecting the symphony 20 years ago. And a second thanks to Bales and the board of the renamed San Jose Symphony for putting the city’s name back in lights.

SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA – SEPTEMBER 21: Symphony Silicon Valley President Andrew Bales poses for a portrait in front of the California Theatre in downtown San Jose, Calif., on Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2021. He plans on retiring this season. (Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group) 

• Teri Hope, Jonathan Knowles and Michael Jacobi and everyone else at Los Gatos Music and Arts who have worked to keep the summer Jazz on the Plazz series alive for 2022.

• Rob Jensen, Warren Trezevant and their team of artists for bringing back “Sonic Runway” to San Jose City Hall for the next six years, a big win for the city’s Office of Cultural Affairs, led by Kerry Adams-Hapner.

• The artists — including Alfonso Salazar, Lila Gemellos, Chuba Oyolu, Roberto Romo, Roan Victor and Kristina Micotti — who added to San Jose’s rich and growing collection of murals. And thanks to Carol Dabbs and the Los Altos Rotary Club, who turned the …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment


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