It's that time of the year again to pack up the sunscreen and a picnic for the Stern Grove Festival. This year's 10 admission-free concerts range from music legends Michael McDonald and Boz Scaggs to hip-hop innovators Dan The Automator (Dan Nakamura), Del the Funky Homosapien and Kid Koala teaming up to form the group Deltron 3030 -- and almost everything else in between including City's three classical institutions -- the San Francisco Symphony, Ballet and Opera. The shows start at 2pm on Sundays from June 16 through August 18 at Sigmund Stern Grove -- but get there early to get a good spot. More details at bayareandw.org.
More Cool Deals
Below are some free -- or close to free -- events happening around the Bay Area on a regular basis. Please check with their Web sites for more detailed information.
Amoeba Music Record Shop
In addition to the rows upon rows of new and used records and CDs for sale, this Bay Area (and now Los Angeles) mainstay also regularly hosts free live music. From folk to punk rock, jazz to techno, there's sure to be something coming up that will please your ears. The schedule varies from month to month, and is printed in the SF Guardian and other free Bay Area weeklies, as well as the Amoeba Web site.
Where: 1855 Haight St., San Francisco
Phone: (415) 831-1200
Community Music Center
With its weekly free or low-cost concerts and its modest tuition rates, sliding scale fees, tuition-free ensembles, and financial aid programs, the Community Music Center serves a large and diverse population.
Where: 544 Capp St. & 741 30th Ave., San Francisco
Phone: (415) 647-6015 (Capp St.) & (415) 221-4515 (30th Ave.)
We all get too much spam in our in-box, but this is one email worth signing up for. Members of Goldstar Events receive weekly late-breaking event alerts offering half-off ticket prices and sometimes offers opportunities to attend events for free. And if you refer a friend, you can get yourself a discount, now that's a good deal!
Instituto Italiano di Cultura
Free Italian films every Tuesday evening, and other events regarding Italian art and culture. Get a taste of La Vita Dolce!
Where: 425 Washington St. Suite 200, San Francisco
Phone: (415) 788-7142
The Poetry Center at San Francisco State
Poetry readings are free of charge at the Poetry Center. Off-campus readings range from free to $8.
Where: San Francisco State University, 1600 Holloway Ave., San Francisco
Phone: (415) 338-2227
Great fun for children and adults alike, the Randall Museum hosts interactive exhibits of art and science. Admission is always free -- but donations are gratefully accepted. Youth programs, presentations, and other events are sometimes free. Located right in the heart of San Francisco near Corona Heights Park.
Where: 199 Museum Way, San Francisco
Phone: (415) 554-9600
San Francisco Art Institute
One of the oldest art organizations in California, the San Francisco Art Institute provides resources for artists, students, and art lovers alike. With free galleries, lectures, and a wonderful view of North Beach and Russian Hill, SFAI continues to be an amazing resource for art in the Bay Area.
Where: 800 Chestnut St., San Francisco
Phone: (415) 749-4563
SF Mime Troupe
The San Francisco Mime Troupe does not do pantomime -- in fact they are very vocal and usually politically charged. They use the label "mime" in the older sense of "to mimic" and have experimented with many different forms of theater to achieve their satirical ends. In order to reach the broadest audience possible the SFMT holds to a tradition they started in the 1970s -- during the summer months, they offer many free performances in parks around the Bay Area.
Where: Various venues, check their Web site for a full schedule
Phone: (415) 285-1717
San Francisco Opera
Incorporating a symphony of car horns and sounds of nuclear explosion in some of its modern operas, San Francisco Opera is updating its image and inviting younger patrons by encouraging informal dress and by offering $10 Standing Room tickets for performances at the War Memorial Opera House. Full-time student rush tickets are $25, and senior rush tickets are $30.
Where: 301 Van Ness Ave., San Francisco
Phone: (415) 861-4008
San Francisco Performing Arts Library and Museum
Housing a vast catalog of books, recordings, videos, and visual arts, the Performing Arts Library and Museum is a treasure for the history of the stage, from San Francisco's Gold Rush era to modern times. The SFPALM is committed to providing materials and programs related to national and international performing arts, with special emphasis on the rich and diverse Bay Area heritage of dance, musical theater, and theatrical design.
Where: 401 Van Ness Ave., 4th floor, San Francisco
Phone: (415) 255-4800
San Francisco Public Library
Lectures, book clubs, art exhibitions, music and other events are always free at the San Francisco Public Library. We recommend "Radar Reading," a monthly event that highlights edgy emerging writers. With several branches throughout San Francisco, there's almost always something happening.
Where: Main Branch, 100 Larkin St., San Francisco
Phone: (415) 557-4400
TIX Bay Area
This is the place (both physically and virtually) to get half-price tickets on the day of a performance to selected events. TIX Bay Area is a program of Theatre Bay Area, a nonprofit organization serving over 300 theatre and dance companies in the 11-county Bay Area.
Where: Tickets sold at Union Square at The Flood Building, 870 Market St. at Powell, Suite 375, San Francisco
When: Tuesday - Thursday 11am-6pm; Friday 11am-7pm; Saturday 10am-7pm; Sunday 10am-3pm; closed on Mondays. Half-price tickets go on sale at 11am for that day.
Phone: (415) 430-1140
Also on KQED.org this week ...
We Need You!
Volunteer during our current on-air radio fundraising drive. It's a great way to support KQED Radio with your time. You can really make a difference!
Enter the New "ImageMakers" Screening Room
Enjoy films from present and past seasons of KQED's short independent film series, divided into Animation, Comedy, Drama, and Suspense.