Island Arts

Courtesy photos

Marnell Xavier’s West Coast Performers will join singer Chris Pucci on stage at 7 p.m., Monday, Dec. 22, at Kofman Auditorium, 2200 Central Ave.

The show will consist of dance routines and classic Christmas songs, Italian arias and a few Elvis Presley classics. Pucci is an alumnus of Juilliard and the Metropolitan Opera young artist program in New York City.

Xavier is an Alameda native who has been performing since she was four years old. She operates West Coast Dance Theatre, located at 1604 Grand St., and organizes dance performances annually.

Alameda High School student Matthew Mendoza has an eye for photography, just ask the Bank of Marin. Mendoza’s photo, "Alameda Moving at a Blur," captures an iconic view of Alameda Theater’s sign and surrounding Park Street at night, and was selected from among some 140 photographs submitted to grace a page in the bank’s 2015 community calendar.

Joan Boucher founded "Island Style" in March 2013 to learn how to sew and to find friends. "I had been out of town during the work week for the past 10 years. We got along great with our neighbors, but I was longing to really get to know Alameda, to find my people here," Boucher said.

Last July, the sewing group announced its new name, Upcycle Alameda, and its intention to reclaim glass, metal, wood and plastic materials as well as fabric to make upcycled creations.

Author Donna Marie Ferro spoke to visitors at C’era Una Volta about her recently published exploration of her family’s origins from Italy to Bay Farm Island: Italy, the Embracing Circle: Il Circolo. The Italian restaurant invited the author to speak last Friday as part of an ongoing effort to provide cultural experiences alongside fine wine and Italian cuisine. Her next talk is set for Sunday, Dec. 7, at 11 a.m. at High Street Station, 1303 High St.

Alameda is a charming little town. It’s the only place in California where you can live an island life, beach included, minus the island weather. Where downtown is only a short walk or bus ride away.

What gives any town its charm, though, are its inhabitants, who bring rich history and culture: the things that stay while everything else changes.

Italy, the Embracing Circle: Il Circolo, My Past, My Future, by Donna Marie Ferro, an Alameda resident, takes readers through her own journeys to Italy while helping illustrate Alameda’s historical charm.