Shorts: Art

East Bay JCC announces summer series

The JCC of the East Bay has announced its summer 2008 performance series, featuring a fresh lineup of local acts, including solo experimental projects, traditional stage plays and variety shows.

The center’s Prism Stage will kick off the season with the one-man show “W. Kamau Bell Curve,” a comical critique of celebrity racism that is now touring the Bay Area through Aug. 24.

Dan Wolf will be returning to the JCC stage June 14 with a theatrical adaptation of Adam Mansbach’s “Angry Black White Boy,” a hybrid of theatrical storytelling, poetry, rapping, beatboxing, ballet and hip-hop dance. Audiences may remember Wolf, an emcee in the Oakland-based hip-hop group Felonious, from his performance in “Stateless” at the theater this spring.

Last in the line-up, on July 12, is the East Bay premiere of the storytelling series, “The Mortified Guide to … Love, Sex and Death,” featuring adults sharing their intimate adolescent journals, letters, poems, lyrics and home movies, in an angst-filled look into the past.

Visit for detailed performance and location information.

Chabon book awarded prize

No stranger to prestigious book prizes, Berkeley author Michael Chabon just picked up another award, as the Commonwealth Club announced winners of its 2008 California Book Awards. The Pulitzer Prize-winning writer won first prize in the fiction category for his novel “The Yiddish Policeman’s Union.”

Chabon will be in attendance at the awards ceremony, which takes place 5 p.m. June 5 at the Commonwealth Club, 595 Market St., S.F. The event is open to the public. Tickets cost $10, with reservations available by calling (415) 597-6705.

Local group makes finals at music fest

Vocolot enjoyed a Dutch treat when the popular Bay Area women’s vocal ensemble made it to the finals in the first annual International Jewish Music Festival in Amsterdam. This was the group’s first concert in continental Europe.

The festival, held May 10-11 at Amsterdam’s Muziekgebouw, featured 24 groups from around the world. Singing a sampling of Yiddish songs a cappella, Vocolot sailed through the first two rounds and the semifinals, making it as one of six groups in the finals. They lost to a British klezmer band.

“We were at our shining, shimmering best,” said Volcolot founder Linda Hirschhorn, who also serves as cantor at San Leandro’s Temple Beth Sholom. “The response was so powerful.”

Jewish museum architect to speak

Daniel Libeskind, world-renowned architect of the forthcoming Contemporary Jewish Museum, will speak in San Francisco at the Commonwealth Club on Wednesday, May 21.

The speech begins at noon at 595 Market St., second floor. Tickets are $8 for Commonwealth Club members and $15 for non-members. For more information, call (415) 597-6705.

Magazine launches Torah art contest/b>

YALDAH Magazine, a publication written, edited and published by Jewish girls, is seeking submissions for its first Torah art contest.

To enter the contest, participants need to choose a verse from the Tanach (which includes the Torah, Prophets and Scriptures) and illustrate the verse’s meaning through any artistic medium, such as painting, drawing, collage, photography or sculpture.

The contest is open to Jewish girls ages 8 to 15. Entries must be received by June 30 and winners will be published in the fall 2008 issue. Prizes include books, paintings and art supplies.

Entries along with the participant’s name, address, phone number and email address should be sent to Torah Art Contest, c/o YALDAH Magazine, P.O. Box 215, Sharon, MA 02067.

For more information, check