The Know Youth Media is changing the narrative around young folks, especially those of color, living in southwest Fresno.
It does that by allowing them a outlet to have their voices –and stories –heard.
“We’re going to do that literally by giving them a microphone,” says Tim Haydock, program director with YouthWire, which runs five youth-led media hubs across California, including The Know.
Specifically, he’s talking about Kick Knowledge: L.O.U.D., or Living Our Unchained Dreams, a free multimedia art showcase happening Friday, Sept. 9, at Fresno City College. The event features local visual artists, poets, musicians and dance crews.
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For some, the main attraction will be Fashawn.
The Fresno rapper is billed here as a “special guest” because more than simply agreeing to perform, Fashawn spent each week in August hosting a series of workshops with eight local teens who will perform at the event as The Loud Park. Some – like rapper Sneakz – have performed before. Others are new to the stage.
“This is a showcase of their talents, their worth and some of their ideas,” Haydock says.
The Know also got help from multimedia arts activist collective Dulce Up-Front, which hosts its own monthly concert series and handled logistics for the event.
These kinds of artist collaborations are new for The Know, Haydock says, but they are an important means of connecting to the city at large.
“Community can be found in civic engagement,” he says. “It can also be found in artistic engagement.”
The Rogue, in miniature
The event: It’s year three of Seattle-to-Fresno, the curated mini-fringe festival that brings five local and touring performing-arts acts to the back room of Mia Cuppa Caffé.
The draw: This is for those who can’t wait until the Rogue Festival comes around again. Seattle-To-Fresno is a sample-pack version of the performing arts festival, which runs for two weeks at the end of February. The performers for the mini were chosen by former Rogue producer Jayne Day, in conjunction with Seattle’s Minion Productions, and exemplify the best of fringe-festival fare (creatively unique and/or strange). There’s dance from the Fresno Dance Collective and spoken word from Inner Ear. There’s comedy, both spoken (Jaguar Bennett) and physical (Box of Clowns) and music from the “one-man-folk-punk riot.” Strangely.
Details: Various performances through Sunday, Sept. 11, at Mia Cuppa Caffé, 620 E Olive Ave. Tickets are $10. www.minionproductions.org/seattle-to-fresno
Small town, big concerts
The draw: Michaels, of course, was famous as frontman of the ’80s hair band Poison long before being on “Rock of Love,” “Celebrity Apprentice” or “Nashville Star.” The singer plays Saturday, Sept. 10, on his “The Party Starts Now Tour.” Expect to hear “Every Rose Has Its Thorn,” plus a few new songs such as “Girls on Bars.”
There’s also Southern rock from the ’80 arena band .38 Special. The group (which had a 1981 hit with the song “Hold On Loosely”) kicks off the fair’s concert series on Thursday, Sept. 8.
Also in the Southern-rock vein, although with decidedly more country flair, is Montgomery Gentry. Eddie Montgomery and Troy Gentry were Country Music Association’s duo of the year in 2000 and have been recording steadily since. The pair’s latest album, “Folks Like Us,” was released last year. They hit the stage Friday, Sept. 9.
Closing out the series is Calibre 50, the popular regional Mexican quartet from Mazatlan, Sinaloa. How popular is Calibre 50? The band had the most-played radio song across the entire genre in 2013, according to Billboard. The band plays Sunday, Sept. 11.
Details: Through Sunday, Sept. 11, at Madera Fairgrounds, 1850 W. Cleveland Ave., Madera. Tickets are $20-$25, not including fair admission. 866-973-9610, www.maderafair.com
The weekend blender
The event: Sierra Vista hosts the Weekend Blender, a three-day bender of arts, crafts, pop-culture collectibles and sports memorabilia.
The draw: The Weekend Blender hits a lot of bases. There is the shopping – more than two dozen retail booths promoting everything from Mary Kay cosmetics to comic books, Kempo karate and ceramic arts. There’s also a rotating cast of special guests – such as the Central Valley Garrison of the 510st Legion (think Stormtroopers, the Imperial guard and Tusken Raiders) or a cosplay version of DC comics character Hawkgirl. Then there’s the youth art show, displaying work from local K-12th graders.
It’s all free and open to the public during mall hours.
Details: Through Sunday, Sept. 11, at Sierra Vista Mall. Free. 559-299-0660, www.sierravistamall.com