Island Arts

This Saturday, Feb. 3, marks the fourth year of the Alameda Spelling Bee. The contest to prove the best student speller in town takes place at 9 a.m. at Otis Elementary School, 3010 Fillmore St., and is open to Alameda students in grades 4 through 9.

The top spellers receive trophies courtesy of Alameda Awards & Recognition and sponsorship to county-level competition courtesy of the Alameda Elks Lodge. 

Alameda Island Poets’ monthly free reading Wednesday, Feb. 7, from 7 to 9 p.m., will celebrate Black History Month with local poets Amos White and Wanda Sabir. 

White is an award-winning American haiku poet, author, producer, director and activist, recognized for his vivid literary imagery and breathless poetic interpretations. He has been published in several national and international reviews and anthologies. 

Island City Opera has attracted St. Petersburg, Russia, native Lidiya Yankovskaya to conduct its latest pair of operas by Russian composer Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov. 

Yankovskaya lives in Chicago where she works as the music director for the Chicago Opera Theater. She has joined the Island troupe for a special appearance this season.

Yankovskaya began her studies on piano at the Russian Specialized Music Schools and as a singer in the St. Petersburg Children’s Choir. 

Last Friday, as part of the Second Friday Artwalk in Alameda, Alameda City Hall debuted the first-ever art exhibition on its walls. A joint effort of the City of Alameda and the Chamber of Commerce, Art at City Hall was inspired by Mayor Trish Spencer and her appreciation for the local arts community. Above, artist Michael Sibio takes a moment to stand with his piece, “Black and White Butterflies.”

A full 50 years have passed since Motown’s heyday, yet the “Sound of Young America” still excites and thrills listeners of all ages. Baby Boomers who grew up with the music of Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, the Marvelettes, Temptations, Supremes, Four Tops, Martha and the Vandellas, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder and many others, continue to put those songs at the top of their playlist. 

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