The Sit List: Five things to do during COVID-19 involving art and theater

This week, find joy and solace in a curated list of art and theater shows that will inspire, calm, educate and entertain you.

A piece by Yolanda M. López from the 10 x 10: Ten Women / Ten Prints show. Image: Courtesy Ulrich Museum of Art

WOMEN VOTE This August marks the 100th anniversary of the adoption of the 19th amendment, which gave white women the right to vote in the United States. (California allowed this in 1911. Many Black women faced impediments to voting until the passage of the 1965 Civil Rights Act.) Women, your votes will make a big difference this November. Need a reminder of your power? Check out this online art show, 10 x 10: Ten Women / Ten Prints at the Ulrich Museum of Art in Wichita, Kansas. The show was originally displayed at the Berkeley Art Center in 1995. You’ll find an energetic portfolio of 10 prints that celebrate diversity and activism. You’ll be inspired from the start of the show with Yolanda M. López’s “Women’s Work is Never Done,” which depicts the leadership and resilience of Latina working-class women as they fight for labor and women’s rights. Yes, we can.

REDUCE, RECYCLE, REUSE While our biggest challenge right now is the coronavirus, we shouldn’t forget about the urgency of climate change. We need to make sure we recycle, reduce, and reuse, like these artists featured in Acci Gallery’s show, “Waste Not, Want Not: The Redemption of Trash.” The show features local artists who transform recycled materials into paintings, sculptures, and installations. In Bernadette Bohan’s work, she stacks piles of discarded children’s toys—ranging from baby dolls to plastic bowling pins—onto a canvas and pours paint over them, creating a monochromatic toy relief sculpture. In lieu of an opening reception, the gallery will host an opening day open house, where visitors can stop by to see the show during specified slots. You can also view the show online. On display until August 22. Acci Gallery, 1652 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley, CA.

HISTORY LESSON We should never stop learning about racism and its effects on BIPOC (Black Indigenous People of Color) in our community. The Shotgun Players are making sure Berkeley is getting its education. In their recent play, “The Niceties,” a Black student and her white professor meet during office hours at a liberal arts college to discuss a paper about the effect of slavery on the American Revolution. The polite academic debate turns into a clash of race, class, and generation. The play begs the question: who is educating whom? The Shotgun Players, who have made a dynamic pivot during shelter-in-place, are offering the play on Vimeo On Demand until August 3. The recommended price is $20, but discount codes are available.

BACK TO NATURE Meditating on nature and our relationship to the earth will help support healthy consumption habits and build sustainable communities. In “Art/Act: Local – Wild Places, “an online art show curated by the David Brower Center, four Bay Area artists celebrate nature in order to encourage its preservation. Hagit Cohen’s work, for instance, features small objects on a large scale. She collects and photographs natural articles like chestnut pods, poppy seed pods, bottle tree pods, and buckeye pods. Ellen Little paints vibrant and elegant watercolors of places like the Billy Goat Hill, a wild hillside by her home that she visits regularly. You’ll feel a connection to the landscape and natural, living things as you view this show.


A KIDS PLAY ABOUT RACISM Nipping racism in the bud begins with our kids. While it may not be easy to talk to our little ones about race, using books and art can get the message across in an accessible way. Enter A Kids Book About Racism, a book by Jelani Memory that has been adapted into an eponymous play. The play defines racism, describes how to spot it and what it feels like to experience it, and offers suggestions for what to do about it. Here’s another smart resource to put in your toolbox to raise a conscious, compassionate, and intelligent kid. Show available to stream only on Aug. 1 and 2.