Our local sidewalks come alive during the First Friday Artwalk event here in Fort Bragg. It’s quite a mini-adventure, since each First Friday showcases a new variety of artists, and the streets are buzzing with people greeting each other, milling about in the various galleries and retail stores, and choosing the perfect spot to dine out when the galleries close at 8:00. Beginning just a couple of days before the event there’s an exciting flurry of activity, as galleries take down last month’s window displays and passersby are treated to new “eye candy” in the form of fresh, exciting art. Galleries and merchants welcome the public at 5:00 p.m. with refreshments and the opportunity for locals and tourists to mingle in a convivial atmosphere. It’s a great way to get a little culture, meet some new friends, and feel the pulse of the town after hours.
Two Highlights this First Friday
Although the 27th Annual Mendocino Coast Writers Conference August 4-6 is booked for this year, weekend visitors to the coast and locals can still enjoy a free literary evening this First Friday, August 5th from 5:30 to 7:30 PM in Fort Bragg’s Town Hall (corner of Main and Laurel). The event is family friendly and will include readings on timely subjects by a fascinating group of authors.
Les Standiford’s newest book, Water to the Angels tells the story of the building of the Los Angeles Aqueduct, the largest public water project ever created (it’s the true story behind the film masterpiece Chinatown). Reyna Grande’s memoir, The Distance Between Us, depicts her life before and after illegally crossing from Iguala, Guerrero, Mexico (where 43 college students disappeared in 2014). Reyna was two years old when her father left for the U.S. to find work. Her mother followed her father north two years later, and Reyna was nine years old when she left Iguala to make her own journey north. Entering the U.S. as an undocumented immigrant, she later went on to become the first person in her family to graduate from college.
Lori Ostlund’a debut, a story collection entitled The Bigness of the World, won the Flannery O’Connor Award, the Edmund White Debut Fiction Award, and the California Book Award for First Fiction.
For those with children, Laura Atkins is an interesting author, teacher, and independent editor of children’s books, including one of our favorite picture books, Rad American Women A – Z. Her upcoming picture book Sled Dog Dachshund is about a very small dog who wants to race in the Iditarod. The evening’s refreshments will be provided courtesy of the Mendocino Coast Writer’s Conference, North Coast Brewing Company, and Frey Vineyards. For other free public events during the weekend, visit the Mendocino Coast Writer’s Conference website.
The renowned Alan Broadbent Trio features the two time Grammy award-winning jazz pianist for a three-show run at North Coast Brewing Company’s Sequoia Room. First evening begins at 7:30 PM Friday. Broadbent is back in the states after a series of solo piano concerts in the U.K., Poland, and France. This is a unique opportunity to enjoy an internationally respected jazzman right here in Fort Bragg. Tickets and information are available at NorthCoastBrewing.com or at the Taproom at 444 N. Main Street in Fort Bragg. There are a variety of music and dining venues to explore this coming Friday, so join us in Fort Bragg and take to the streets!