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Looking for something to do this weekend? Here are some fun suggestions for events happening in Fresno and beyond.
The big thing happening this weekend is of course the Rogue Festival. You’ll want to check out the full calendar of events for the annual fringe festival—performances will take place around the Tower District tonight through Sunday. Tonight alone there are 27 shows to choose from!
Also tonight is a Hmong Social Dance Class hosted by the Holistic Cultural and Education Wellness Center in Fresno. That begins at 6 p.m.
Today through Sunday, you can also visit the Home and Garden Show Sale at The Big Fresno Fairgrounds. That takes place today from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Bitwise Industries is hosting its monthly Geek Night starting at 5 p.m. The theme of this kid-friendly event is “Science Fair,” and there will be lots of geeky and fun exhibits on display.
At 6:30 p.m., Raw Fresno is hosting a Plant-Based Class, and after that you can head over to the Crest Theatre for a screening of 1974’s “Death Wish,” starring Charles Bronson, at the historic Crest Theatre.
Saturday is another huge day for the Rogue Festival, with over 44 shows to see.
Before you head to the Tower District, though, make a point to head downtown for the 2018 Fresno Chinese New Year Parade and Festival, which starts at 10 a.m. in Fresno’s Chinatown. This is a rain-or-shine event.
Fans of the Blossom Trail will want to head to Sanger for the 30th Annual Blossom Trail Festival, from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.
At 6 p.m. is the “A Blast From the Past” Fashion Show. Fresno High students will be modeling vintage clothing from Bebe O’s in Fresno.
On Sunday is—you guessed it—more Rogue. Thirty-six shows to choose from, in fact.
From 12:30 to 5:30 p.m., Tioga-Sequoia will be offering free tours of its brewery.
At 2 p.m., Gazebo Gardens Nursery is hosting a class for those who want to create teeny-tiny terrariums. Beer and coffee will be available.
What else is going on? Add your fun event to the comments.
Every Friday I do a post about the cool stuff happening in the Fresno area. It’s called “Here’s what you should do this weekend,” and if you’re ever thinking there isn’t anything to do in town, you should check it out. You’ll feel so moded.
But here’s the thing: Cool stuff happens in Fresno all the time, not just on the weekend. So with that in mind, I’m launching a new weekly post called “Do something,” which will cover events happening Monday through Thursday. Why not just make the “Weekend” post longer? I dunno. I guess I just like to make things difficult for myself.
But also, some people avoid going out on the weekends (me), so this post is for them (us), and I don’t want these events getting lost in the shuffle.
So, do something.
Where: 1920 Tea Club, 732 W. Bullard Ave., Fresno
When: 6 to 11 p.m. Tuesday
What: Open board-gaming hosted by Fresno Board Gamers. Bring your favorite game or come learn a new one.
Where: Pete and Carmen’s Salsa Dance Academy, 2965 N. Maroa Ave., Fresno
When: 7 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday
What: All levels, beginners to advanced
Details: $65 two times a week, $45 once a week. [More]
Where: DiCicco’s, 408 Clovis Ave., Clovis
When: 8 to 10 p.m. Tuesday
What: Anna Valenzuela is a Los Angeles-based comedian. Open mic starts after the headlining show. Bring tip money to pay the out-of-town comics.
Details: Free. [More]
Where: Valley Animal Center, 3934 N Hayston Ave., Fresno
When: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday
What: For 3 days, let your kids explore the world of ice age animals while on break from school before the winter break. Kids will learn about these fascinating creatures from the past through arts & craft projects, games, as well as their favorite, our special guests.
Details: Sign-ups are available for kids ages 8-12 years old. Cost is $100 per child, $80 for Valley Animal Center Volunteers. [More]
Where: Strummer’s, Fresno
When: 11:45 a.m. Wednesday
What: The first of three meetings between these London rivals in the month of January.
Where: Garden Street Plaza, Visalia
When: 4 p.m. Wednesday
What: Ice Skate Visalia, hosted by the Visalia Parks & Recreation Department, offers the ultimate outdoor entertainment experience in Visalia. Enjoy a unique and fun skating experience on synthetic ice, which makes skating easier and safer for all ages.
Details: Admission is $10 and includes skate rental. [More]
Where: Clovis Veterans Memorial District, 808 4th St, Clovis
When: 5:30 p.m. Wednesday
What: Learn about fiber source and processing, and experience spinning by using Ideaworks spindles, spinning wheels and other fiber prep equipment.
Details: Free, kid friendly. [More]
Where: CMAC, 1555 Van Ness Ave., Fresno
When: 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday
What: Explore strategies to effectively plan a community access television show in the CMAC studio or on location. Topics include idea generation, script writing, rundowns, underwriting, legal issues, production and post-production options.
Where: Tioga-Sequoia Brewing Co., Fresno
When: 4 to 11 p.m. Thursday
What: Music: Native Earthian; Artist: Amanda Angle; Food truck: Burgers and More
Details: Free admission, kid friendly. [More]
Where: M Street Arts Complex, 1419 M St., Fresno
When: 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday
What: Featured Exhibits: “Gaman” by McLane High School Students, “Renovare”, Gallery 25 Members Exhibit, Student Show by students from Ma Ly Atelier.
Details: Free admission, kid friendly. [More]
Where: Kocky’s Bar & Grill, Fresno
When: 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday
What: Hosted by Elect Daren Miller Fresno City Council District 3, this is a public event for everyone to meet and greet the candidate.
Where: Broadway Studios, Fresno
When: 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday
What: Hosted by D. Kerper Arts.
Where: 3204 N Van Ness Blvd., Fresno
When: 6 p.m. Thursday
What: Join the band in the beer garden and enjoy the incredible food trucks Fresno offers.
Where: Crazy Squirrel Game Store, 464 E Bullard, Suite 105, Fresno
When: 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday
What: Ever wanted to be the Doctor? Travel in time and space, meet companions and have adventures? In Doctor Who: Time of the Daleks you do just that, with every player picking a Doctor and trying to thwart the Daleks’ master plan of erasing the Doctor from history.
Details: Game room fees apply as normal. If you purchase or special order a copy of the game being demoed that evening you will receive a 10% discount. [More]
Where: Roger Rocka’s Dinner Theater, 1226 N Wishon Ave., Fresno
When: 7 to 10 p.m. Thursday
What: Set at a Catskills resort in 1960, this is the sweetly comic story of Lois and Marge, two friends from Brooklyn in search of adventure and romance one wild Labor Day weekend.
Details: Rated PG. Click for ticket prices. [More]
Besides the art exhibit inside, three bands (The Medium Blue, Videotape, and Luke Warm & The Flat Growlers) will be playing in the adjacent outdoor plaza as food trucks hold court alongside a beer and wine garden.
Virtual reality demos will be in effect, and a photo booth will also be on hand offering revelers a free photo to commemorate the occasion. In addition, CMAC staff will be offering tours of the facility as well as showing off its legendary mobile production van (cameras will be set up too so that members can practice using the MPV) which will be parked outside.
While tonight’s festivities are billed as a “members appreciation night,” the general public is enthusiastically encouraged to attend. In fact, if you’re not already a member, tonight’s fest is a perfect opportunity to discover this fantastic local resource and learn about its mission.
So what is CMAC? It’s a non-profit community media center that serves Fresno and Clovis, offering workshops to the public, as well as the tools and training to produce and broadcast high-quality original content. It’s also the area’s public-access television provider, with a public channel, an education channel, and a government channel that can be seen on Comcast Xfinity channels 93, 94, and 96, or on AT&T U-Verse channel 99; programs are also available live or on demand at CMAC.tv. There’s even a CMAC YouTube channel that features original content by members.
Basically, it’s a one-stop shop for learning how to create original video-based content which is then broadcast on our local airwaves. It’s an equal-opportunity resource for independent creators to find their voices, hone their skills, and tell their stories.
Membership starts at $25 for students, $50 for non-students, and includes a range of core workshops that run on a monthly basis and give you all the knowledge and materials you’ll need to put your own show on the air. These include preproduction and post-production, field production, studio production, and iOS video production. Other available workshops include an audio-for-video course and a screenwriting support group. Once members have completed workshops, they unlock access not only to a treasure trove of portable gear and equipment—including cameras (which can be checked out for projects), microphones, and lights—but also to the facility’s 1000-square-foot production studio, its private editing suites, conference rooms, classroom space, and computer lab.
CMAC’s state-of-the-art facilities present a marked contrast to the Classical-Revival architecture of the edifice it’s housed in, the historic Fresno Bee building on the corner of Van Ness and Calaveras Street (1555 Van Ness Avenue). Built in 1922 by architect Leonard F. Starks, the building was vacated by the Bee in 1975 then turned into the Fresno Metropolitan Museum in 1984. In 2010, upon that museum’s closure, the City of Fresno took ownership, and on April 13, 2012, CMAC began its tenure. Inside the imposing old facade is a futuristic-looking marvel of modern broadcasting, which must be seen to be believed.
While you’re inside, be sure and check out Valerie Runningwolf’s amazing ArtHop installation of her mixed-media pieces featuring “contemporary images that awaken the spirit and offer a sense of inner peace.”
Outside, Luke Warm and the Flat Growlers will take the stage at 6 p.m., to be followed by a short presentation at 7 p.m. that will pay homage to the Producers and Volunteers of the Year, recognizing outstanding achievements in original local programming and exceptional volunteer support at the CMAC facility. Videotape performs at 7:30, and the Medium Blue (formerly Tomi Jean) comes on the scene to perform at 8:30.
Smokin’ Burrito, Meltdown Bistro, and Ooh De Lolli will be providing the evening’s eats, while Tioga-Sequoia Brewing Co. and MissionBell Winery keep spirits flowing in the alcohol garden.
So hop over to CMAC tonight and find your inspiration!
Calling all filmmakers: If you’re looking for a fun and fast-paced competition, look no further than the CMAC 12 Hour Film Race.
All films completed in time will be screened at a free special event on Thursday, Oct. 5 at 6 p.m. at CMAC. Following the screening, the judges’ results will be announced and cash prizes will be awarded: $500 for 1st place, $250 for 2nd place, and $100 for 3rd place.
Perhaps you’ve seen or heard about the huge mural on the CMAC building in downtown Fresno and wondered to yourself, “What exactly is CMAC?” We could have a lot of fun figuring out goofy acronyms for it, like Chickens Must Accessorize Charmingly, but I think my editor would get mad at me if I do that. [Ed. note—I am mad. It’s clearly Cow Mustaches Are Confetti]
In reality, CMAC stands for Community Media Access Collaborative, and it’s where people in the Fresno area can access video, sound, and camera technology, create their own shows, develop camera skills, and even test their acting chops.
CMAC’s goal is to empower voices in the community through media. According to Bryan Harley, CMAC’s Director of Operations, “We know there’s tons of people in our community with great stories to tell or important information to share, and we want to help them do it.”
If you want to utilize today’s technology to get a message out, there are several ways to do this at CMAC. I asked Bryan to give me the lowdown on what’s available.
“CMAC has a community media center located in downtown Fresno. This is a place where the public can learn how to tell their stories through media. We have state-of-the-art facilities, like a 1,000-square-foot TV studio, classrooms, computer lab, private editing rooms, meeting rooms, voice-over booth, a mobile production van, and more. We also have equipment you can check out, just like you check out a book at the library. You can have access to all of this with an annual CMAC membership which costs only $50 for individuals and $25 for students — that’s for a whole year!”
“We provide access to three TV channels (public, education, and government) which can be viewed on Comcast and AT&T U-verse cable within the cities of Fresno and Clovis, and parts of Merced, Madera, Fresno, Kings, and Tulare counties. The channels are also live streamed 24/7/365 on www.cmac.tv, Roku, and Apple TV. By ‘access’, I mean that these channels belong to the community. Anyone who has a video to share can send it to us and we’ll air it. There’s no costs involved—this is a free service to the community.”
“Before you can grab a camera, we need to make sure you know how to use it! We teach a variety of workshops on topics like producing, script writing, how to use camera and sound equipment, how to edit video, and more. If someone already has some knowledge, they can test out of our workshops and check out equipment right away. If you’re in the mood to learn, feel free to attend as many workshops as you’d like as often as you’d like. ”
“Once you’ve gone through the necessary training workshops, there’s a variety of other things to do. You can check out equipment or reserve our facilities to create your own TV show. You can volunteer in the studio or connect with other members who need help with their show. Additionally, you can attend our monthly mixers to network with others or listen to special guest speakers. Finally, you can drop by one of our monthly member groups—there’s groups for aspiring actors, voice-over artists, producers, and editors. Every fall we hold ‘CMAC Fest’ to celebrate the achievements of our members and enjoy great food, drink, and live entertainment.”
“While a majority of the shows you’ll see on CMAC’s channels are produced by community volunteers, the CMAC staff also spends a portion of their time creating programs. We make sure you stay civically engaged by live-broadcasting every City Council and Planning Commission meeting, plus other government events. We broadcast school board meetings and programs from local schools and colleges. We partner with teachers and students to broadcast high school, college, and semi-pro sporting events. We cover community events like the Chinese New Year Parade and the Clovis Children’s Electric Christmas Parade. During election season, we provide important coverage of candidate debates and election results.”
So basically the possibilities for learning and creating are endless. According to Bryan, “You can use CMAC for just about anything—as long as you don’t break any laws! Unlike other TV channels, 99% of what you see on CMAC is created by the community, for the community.”
You can learn more about CMAC at a public informational meeting that will be held at the Betty Rodriguez Regional Library (3040 N. Cedar Ave.) on Thursday, June 29, at 6:30 p.m. The Facebook event page is here. You can follow CMAC on Facebook as well by clicking here.
Bryan says, “If you can’t make it to Thursday’s meeting, there will be another opportunity on Monday, July 3, at our community media center in downtown Fresno (1555 Van Ness Ave.). Every day there’s something happening at the media center, whether it’s a live or recorded TV show, workshop, meet-up group, or other event. Check our website for a full calendar. Stop by any time for a tour, we’d be happy to show you around.”