Arts/Culture/Weekend: Cherry blossoms, women in film, anarchy and more

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As we brace ourselves for a potential government shutdown, there’s no reason your weekend should have to suffer. There are festivals galore celebrating women in film, cherry blossoms, Cesar Chavez, and interestingly enough, anarchy. And you'll find opportunities to appreciate local art and community music – things no government could shut down, even if it tried.

Welcome to your Arts/Culture/Weekend:


Eight Days of Anarchy // This week-long celebration of anarchy hits just as the federal government may be screeching to a halt because of budget squabbles. Friday is all about bringing back the classic anarchist soapbox speeches, and over the weekend you can enjoy an anarchist book fair, reading groups, and DIY conference. Due to lack of central organization, you might find it difficult to get details on the events, but that’s all in the spirit of the celebration! // DETAILS: April 5-12, SF & Berkeley; Cost: FREE.

7th Annual SF International Women’s Film Festival // Now through Sunday, check out this celebration of female directors, producers, and actors from all over the Bay Area and the world. Festival highlights include the closing night screening of Three Veils, a film about three young Middle-Eastern women living in the U.S. whose personal stories intertwine, touching on topics including homosexuality in Middle Eastern culture. One of the Bay Area-based films in the festival is Opal, about the self-taught naturalist and cult icon Opal Whiteley who was raised in a logging camp among the redwoods. You can hear more about the festival and how it came to be in this Crosscurrents interview with festival director Scarlett Shepard. // DETAILS: April 6-10, Roxie Theater, 3117 16th Street, SF; Cost: Varies.

Spring Open Studios // More than 140 artists will open their studios to share their artwork with the public. Open Studios is San Francisco’s largest artist collective, including painters, sculptors, photographers, fashion designers, jewelers, and textile artists. This is the collective's biggest show of the year, so it’s a great chance to bring home some local art at a great price. // DETAILS: Opening Reception 7-11pm (Open Studios Sat/Sun 4/9 & 4/10, noon-5pm), Locations: 2425 17th St, 744 Alabama St, 2345 Harrison St, SF; Cost: FREE (including refereshments).


Cesar Chavez Holiday Parade // This annual parade in San Francisco's Mission District is now in its 11th year, and it's become a meaningful remembrance of Cesar Chavez, drawing a diverse crowd to celebrate the leader’s memory. There will be traditional Aztec music and dance performances, arts and crafts booths, and even a classic car show. // DETAILS: Parade starts at 11am (event 12pm-6pm), between Treat St. and Bryant St., SF; Cost: FREE.

44th Annual Cherry Blossom Festival // Every year thiscelebration of Japanese culture is said to draw more than 200,000 people. Over two weekends, the festival will have food booths, cultural performances, martial arts, live bands, and more in San Franisco's Japantown, with the grand parade taking place on the last day, April 17. // DETAILS: April 9-10 & 16-17, Post Street between Laguna and Fillmore Streets; Cost: FREE.


SF Green Festival // Now in its tenth year, the Green Festival advertises itself as the largest sustainability event in the world. It brings together workshops and films as well as more than 125 authors, leaders, and educators to inspire people to live healthier – socially, economically and environmentally. There will be fun activities for kids, organic beer and wine, vegetarian cuisine, diverse live music, and a marketplace of more than 300 eco-friendly businesses. // DETAILS: April 9-10, SF Concourse Exhibition Center, 635 8th Street @ Brannan St, SF; Cost: Click here for ways to get in for FREE.

SOMArts All Access // SOMArts All Access weekend is a free intro to the classes, exhibitions, performances, and events at SOMArts. On Saturday, find the SOMArts Mobile Arts Platform at the Cherry Blossom Festival where you can get origami lessons and take a tea-bowl making workshop. // DETAILS: Various Events, SOMArts Cultural Center, 934 Brannan @8th, SF, and the Cherry Blossom Festival in Japantown; Cost: FREE.

San Francisco Civic Symphony Spring Concert // The oldest community orchestra on the West Coast, the San Francisco Civic Symphony was founded in 1931 by the superintendent of the city's Recreation and Park Department. The group continues to provide classical music in a welcoming environment for musicians of all ages, backgrounds, and skill levels. In its spring concert, the Symphony will perform works by Mendelssohn, Handel, and Dvorák. // DETAILS: 1pm, Empire Ballroom, Sir Francis Drake Hotel, 450 Powell St, SF; Cost: FREE.

Arts/Culture/Weekend is a roundup of our favorite events coming up. Please do let us know if you know of an interesting event coming up in your neighborhood.