Highlighting artists, community and cultural events in Bakersfield, CA.

Search This Blog

Monday, May 24, 2010

I bet you thought...

I had left for good!! As a matter of fact I haven't gone anywhere--I'm just in a place you may not have looked.

After the end of my Bakersfield College Multi-Media class in December (for which the creation and maintenance of this blog page was an assignment), I was asked by Jennifer Baldwin, editor of the local on-line news source, Bakersfield Express (, to contribute a bi-weekly arts column to her terrific web site. Well, since the end of December until now, I have been doing that plus a little more: coverage of the local art scene from events like First Friday, gallery openings and new exhibits plus stories bringing emphasis to artistic groups like The Shutter Clique (photography), Bakersfield Jazz Workshop (musicianship) and Random Writers Workshop (lit arts). I've also been able to photograph some unique Bako artist creations!

Although I plan to add more content to this page--mainly photos and event recaps--and I do hope you'll check back from time to time, I would also love for you to check out my contributions to Bakersfield Express and keep up with me and the Bako art scene there! Also, don't forget to follow me, @BACpage, on Twitter!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Be back soon...

BakoArtistConnect is on holiday hiatus but will be returning in the new year. Bako look out--2010 is gonna ROCK!!!

Friday, December 11, 2009

On Stage Now....

I hope you’re enjoying the rainy Bako weather. It certainly seems like a good time to curl up by a cat, enjoy a seasonal beverage and hope for a burn day to satisfy your craving for smoke-scented clothing. BUT….if instead, you feel like stretching your legs around town, perhaps in order to take in an art event or more, there are plenty of choices in all genres.

One holiday option is Christ Church of the Valley’s (CCV) 3rd Annual Christmas Wonder holiday celebration which benefits the Bakersfield Rescue Mission. Christmas Wonder’s theme this year is “An Island Christmas” so if you are longing for balmy summer days, you may wish to join CCV at 13701 Stockdale Highway each weekend night between 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. Admission is only $5.00 and the event includes local performing groups, island singers, a dazzling light display, Christmas theater (including the Christmas Story featuring the music and lyrics of The Beatles (this I gotta see!), food, an art show, sand castle sculpture, cookies to decorate and more.

This entry I want to give you a listing of December’s theater options in Bakersfield. I am so proud to be able to share with you the diverse programs that each of these hard-working theaters have prepared. Yes, folks, this is Bakersfield…


Empty Space, 706 Oak St.
661 327-7529
“Hurry Up Santa” (Family friendly holiday show)
Fri/Sat 8pm
Sun 2pm
Admission: Donation (Suggested: $15/adults, $10/students, seniors
Doors open 30 minutes before showtime
“Annual Raunchy Sketch Comedy” (Adult comedy show)
Sat 11pm
Admission: $6.00
Doors open at 10:45 p.m.
Major League Improv (Family friendly comedy improve show)
Sat 6pm
FREE—Donations gladly accepted

The Gaslight Melodrama, 12748 Jomani Dr
661 587-3377
Gaslight’s Holiday Extravaganza & Holiday Vaudeville Revue
Tues-Sun through 12/23/09
Admission: $22/adults, children $20/Seniors (60+)
**Weekend performances appear to be sold-out (according to website) but some weeknights still available**

Bakersfield Community Theater, 2400 S Chester Ave
661 831-8114
“As Is” Directed by Billie Joe Fox (All but abandoned by friends and family, a man infected with AIDS is taken care of by his lover)
December 11, 12, 18, 19 at 8pm
December 6, 13 at 2pm
Admission: $15/General $12/Seniors, active military, students w/ID

Spotlight Theatre, 1622 19th St
661 634-0692
“Secret Garden” (Classic children’s tale brought to life)
December 11, 12, 18, 19, 26, January 1, 2 8pm
December 6, 13, 20, 27 2pm
Call for prices/reservations

Stars Theatre Restaurant, 1931 Chester Ave
661 325-6100
“The Honky Tonk Angel Holiday Spectacular”
December 11, 12, 13, 16, 17, 18, 19
Thurs-Sat doors at 6:30pm
Sunday matinee doors at 12:30pm
Admission: Call for prices/reservations

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Homelessness, loss and isolation themes of exhibits at Bakersfield Museum of Art

December 10th, at the Bakersfield Museum of Art, a five-exhibit display on the themes of homelessness, loss and isolation begins.  More information on the GO.SEE.DO. sidebar and at

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The New Face of Bako Part II

One thing you’ll notice, if you hang around the Arts District or Bako artists for any length of time, is that no one does this scene alone. Artists in this economy and in this environment have learned all too well that without support, without friends, without giving, you don’t get much of anywhere. BakoArtistConnect-ing is all about forming a network of artists and art lovers who want to create something really special in our little neck-of-the-woods. Actually, we may be looking towards creating a place we no longer refer to with phrases involving necks or woods. Anyway, a couple of days ago I shared some simple tips to getting “in” on the emerging Bako art scene. Today I take that notion a little deeper by offering some choices which will stretch you a bit more but which will aide your immersion into the new Bako culture.

SPEND. After all the time and effort you’ve spent creating your artwork you’ll be able to better appreciate the energy and talent of other artists you meet. Don’t forget to leave a little extra in your budget to support those peeps who are paving the way for all of us. In this new art culture, being a benefactor is extremely affordable. $5-10.00 is sometimes all it takes to encourage and/or feed an artist for another day!

PROMOTE. You don’t have to start a Bako arts & culture blog to be a promoter of the arts (although you could….). As you learn about events, share your new-found knowledge with your friends. At most events you’ll find a stack of flyers for upcoming concerts or exhibits. Grab a few and pass them out to someone you think would be interested. Grow the scene! Or….

VOLUNTEER. Good starting point: Bakersfield Museum of Art (BMOA). ( The museum needs volunteers for a variety of events and functions. Opportunities range from a few hours weekly, monthly or even yearly. Learn about art. Meet artists. Gain some art knowledge. Be an art hero! But….

STAY OPEN. Don’t be a snob. Bakersfield has a long way to go. Deal with it. Take the good with the bad, the exceptional with the puerile. There are gems in the rough that YOU can discover—about which later you can say, “I saw that/knew her/ate there/went to that—way back when,” and you can say it with all the smug satisfaction that only one who has travailed in the indie trenches of an underground culture can muster. What fun!

So now I want to hear from you. What are you doing to ensure our Bakersfield arts scene expands and thrives over the next few years? How can we work together? I’m looking forward to the day our scene is something we can all brag about. How about YOU?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Quick Note

I know I said in a previous post that The Empty Space production, Beyond Therapy, directed by Ron Warren, was closing last weekend, but I stand corrected! You get another chance to catch the play Friday or Saturday night at 8:00 p.m. According to Julie Jordan Scott, one of the stars of the show, “Folks can laugh off turkey.” Ha! Great idea—even I can handle that kind of exercise! Admission is free but donations welcome (so be generous peeps, keep Bako art alive). Suggested donation is $15.00/adults, $10.00/students, seniors. The Empty Space is located at 706 Oak Street. Call for more info: 661 327 PLAY (7529)

Monday, November 23, 2009

The New Face of Bako Part I

The face of Bakersfield is changing. It really is. I hope you’re taking advantage of this transitional time in Bakoland to become part of that change—to become part of the new culture—in all its abstract, awkward, last-kid-picked, stumbling, groping-in-the-dark and awakening in Oz renewal. Parts of downtown are being revitalized as I write and as you read. New art galleries are taking shape. Progress is making strides. Diversity is coming to town. What are you doing to become part of the contemporary urban landscape? Or do you want to belong but don’t know how to join?’s a little secret, “It’s easy.”

The following are a few options which you can do now to get “in” on the up-and-coming Bako art scene. (Tomorrow I’ll give you a few more to take you to the next level.)

SOCIALLY NETWORK.  Do you want to meet artists working in various media? Would you like to be the first to find out what events will be happening before the general public gets a whiff of the action? Social networks such as Twitter, Facebook and Bakersfield’s own are abuzz with artists who are constantly updating their “friends” with news about their art, their events and even their personal lives. This is a great arena to meet people who share common interests and who will inevitably be at the kinds of events you will want to attend. Speaking of….

ATTEND EVENTS. Now that you know about First Friday, that great new exhibit opening at Surface or Metro or Younger Galleries, the ribbon-cutting for the new restaurant opening in the Arts District, or that writing class your new Twitter friend, Nick Belardes, is teaching—GO! Take part, become a regular face about Bako. You’ll see there are a lot of us, and we’re always looking for new members to join the ranks of our very non-exclusive club. So….

JOIN. If you are an artist in Bakersfield (or want to be an artist in Bakersfield) you NEED to join BECA (Bakersfield Emerging Contemporary Artists). This welcoming and accepting non-profit organization, which you can find on the web at, meets regularly to network, plan and attend art events in Bakersfield. With BECA, you get to choose when and how much to participate, so if you’re interested in actively creating the Bako scene, get to know the leaders of BECA—your input will be appreciated! Then….

CREATE. You write poetry. You draw cartoons. You create YouTube videos. You make your friends weep (in a good way) with your culinary skills. You knit your family Christmas gifts each year. You are an artist. Do not fear the “A” word. Embrace it. Create. Create. Create. And then share. Share. Share! Use that Bakotopia account to post a blog, or upload your photography. Now that you know that the Arts Council of Kern ( posts their call to artists regularly, get your best work together and try your hand at a juried art show. Or, submit work to BECA’s annual Burn the Witch all-women art collaborative. Don’t just be a spectator—Bako needs your creativity.

Simple, right? Meet me back here soon for a few more tips to take you further on your path to BakoArtistConnect-ing.