Events and Activities

Written by Theresa-Marie Wilson

Theresa-Maria Wilson has been a journalist covering the North Coast and South County area for over 20 years. She is also the founder of Cat Noir CC and is currently working on a novel.

May 22, 2021

Pianist and Cal Poly Professor Emeritus W. Terrence Spiller gives a virtual all-Beethoven recital at 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 21 and will be available through May 28.
The recital is the fifth in Spiller’s survey of the complete piano sonatas of Beethoven and will be presented from the main stage of Miossi Hall in the Performing Arts Center’s Christopher Cohan Center.
This year’s program includes Sonata in E Major, Op. 14, No. 1; Sonata in D Major, Op. 28 (“The Pastorale”); and Sonata in E Minor, Op. 90. The program will conclude with Sonata in A-flat Major, Op. 110, considered a poetic masterpiece.
Spiller retired from full-time teaching in March, but he will continue to teach applied piano in the Music Department.
Tickets to the virtual event are $5 and can be purchased online from the Performing Arts Center. To order by phone, call 805-SLO-4TIX (805-756-4849) between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The Morro Bay Rotary Club is holding a fund-raising drive-thru barbecue at a local restaurant in support of “local families” on May 26. Members will be cooking up full-size premium tri-tip roasts along with ranch-style beans, garden salad, ranch dressing, salsa and sourdough garlic bread loaf that serves up to six people. Drive-thru pickup is from 5 – 6 p.m. at Carla’s Country Kitchen at 213 Beach St. in Morro Bay. The cost is $50 and tickets are on sale until Monday, May 24 at
The Central Coast State Parks Association, California State Parks and Cal Poly professot Nick Babin fro their next Virtual Mind Wall Agriculture’s Role in Landscape Conservation on May 21 at 1 p.m. This lecture will highlight the potential for agriculture in conserving biodiversity and providing ecosystem services at the landscape scale. Register at

The California Mid-State Fair returns this year with the “Can’t Wait To See You!” The 75th edition of the Fair will again feture animals, agriculture, live performances, carnival rides, shopping, exhibits and food July 21-August 1.
“We are truly grateful that we can once again invite our community to celebrate one of the great traditions of our area,” Interim CEO Colleen Bojorquez said. “From the entire staff and Board of Directors, we can’t wait to see you!”
Officials said safety continues to be the top priority, and the Fair will follow all state and local health mandates regarding COVID-19. It is also possible that certain attractions will need to have reduced capacity, depending on state and local health guidelines in place at the time of the 2021 Fair. Fairgoers will need to check the website before arriving for the most up-to-date information.
Admission tickets go on-sale in early June and will be sold exclusively on-line, at The Box Office will not be open at this time. Specific programming elements, including live performances, are still being developed, and more details are forthcoming.
The Cal Poly Music Department’s student production ensemble RSVP will present “RSVP XXVI: Electronic Music Showcase” virtually at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, May 29. The concert will feature premieres of original student-produced music that explores a variety of ways to create and transform electronic sounds.
Students from the music department’s sound design classes have collaborated with Composition Forum Club members to produce new works ranging from lo-fi grooves and video game music, to experimental soundscapes and pop. The music will be synced with video games designed by members of Cal Poly’s Game Development Club and media by art and design students.
The concert will conclude with the sound design students performing two works for laptop orchestra (lork) — which functions similarly to a traditional ensemble, except that students will generate sounds with laptop computers, instead of playing acoustic instruments.
“Just as wind instruments manipulate sound with air and keys or string instruments move bows on strings, electronically generated sounds in a lork are controlled by the laptop’s QWERTY keyboard, motion sensors and even a tablet’s touchscreen,” said Laura M. Kramer, instructor of Sound Design and concert director. “While the fusion of human performance with computers allows for endless sonic possibilities, musicians are also posed with the question: ‘How can expression be created in electronic music?’ Students will showcase how they did it in these final jam session style works.”
Tickets to the virtual event are $5 and can be purchased online from the Performing Arts Center. To order by phone, call 805-SLO-4TIX (805-756-4849) between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Festival Mozaic returns live after a yearlong hiatus due to the pandemic. The 2021 Summer Program features eight days and evenings of live music in bucolic venues throughout San Luis Obispo County. Running from July 24-31, the Festival will feature musical selections from well-known composers like J.S. Bach, Vivaldi, and Handel and celebrated but largely unheralded women composers including Clara Schumann, Amy Beach, and Louise Farrenc. Among the musical genres to be presented are Baroque, Romantic, Latin, and modern Tango.
Festival Mozaic Music Director Scott Yoo, who also hosts PBS’s Great Performances: “Now Hear This”, has once again gathered some of the most formidable orchestral and chamber musicians from throughout the US to present a wide-ranging program to delight many musical tastes.
The Festival begins with Baroque in the Vines at Serra Chapel in Shandon with musical selections from J.S. Bach, Handel, Vivaldi, and Telemann. Notable Dinners feature Scott Yoo’s insider’s perspective on what makes compositions for piano, strings, and winds work. The Chamber Series includes pieces from the Notable Dinners plus music by Mozart, Schubert, Robert Schumann, Ravel, and Frank Bridge. And the Mozaic Series features unique takes on pop with a quartet led by Festival Mozaic bassist Susan Cahill and a solo performance by Gaby Moreno, one of the most distinctive young voices in Latin music.
“A year ago this time, we had just canceled our 50th Anniversary Gala Celebration. To say we’re excited about resuming FMOZ, so special and so beloved by both musicians and patrons, would be an understatement. Gathering and connecting once again through unparalleled performances in unforgettable places and the exchange of energy between live musicians and live audiences is something we’ve all been craving. It’s time to make music with applause at the end!”
Tickets for all Festival Mozaic performances are on sale now and can be purchased online at

Tickets are now available for Woods Humane Society’s June 12 virtual fundraising event and live auction. “There’s No Place Like SLOme.” The Wizard of Oz-themed event, scheduled for 5 p.m., and will feature a raffle and live auction in addition to special, behind-the-scenes glimpses of the shelter’s dogs and cats, and of their proverbial journey down the “yellow brick road” through Woods Humane Society, and on to their adoptive homes.
The event will feature a short, Oz-themed original film, with a Woods-alumnus dog, playing “Toto,” followed by live cameos by Woods staff and animals. In solidarity with San Luis Obispo businesses affected by the pandemic, the evening’s raffle and live auction will highlight local, SLO County services and goods.
“Toto’s Adventure” general admission tickets to the event ($25 each) include a raffle ticket, while a limited number of VIP “We’re Off to See the Wizard” tickets ($150) include a Dorothy’s Basket of themed and locally-sourced event goodies.
Woods Humane Society spends an average of $800 per animal on the more than 3,000 animals they care for each year to provide shelter, veterinary care, training, and adoption services at its facilities in San Luis Obispo and Atascadero. Working closely with overcrowded partner shelters across the state, and with individuals who are no longer able to care for their pets, the organization has helped more than 1,900 animals so far in 2021 alone. As part of its commitment to managing homeless pet populations, its medical team also performs 4,000 spay/neuter surgeries each year, for animals in their care as well as for partner rescue organizations and for publicly owned pets. To watch the There’s No Place Like Home event trailer, learn more about the event, buy tickets, or donate, visit

San Luis Obispo Botanical Garden Presents: Family Fun: The Mystery of Trees with Peace Academy of the Sciences and Arts. Bring the family for a morning of nature exploration at SLO Botanical Garden on Saturday, May 22 from 9 a.m. until noon. Learn about the mystery of trees, take a guided hike, snack on food given to us by trees, plants seeds and more.
“Learn how we connect with trees – as food, fiber, and building material – and how this relates to our connection to the environment, our home, and planet earth,” Peace Academy of the Sciences and Arts said. “There’s no well-being without nature’s well-being – it’s a reciprocal relationship and web. Just as seeds are planted in the soil around us, the seeds of wisdom, understanding, and compassion are planted in our minds and hearts. And it is our hope that children will answer the call to take responsibility as stewards and caretakers for protecting one another, the trees, and our home, Earth as we plant acorns to grow into mighty oaks at the SLO Botanical Garden.”
This family event is geared towards children in elementary school, however those with younger and older children will benefit from discussions about the cycles of plant growth, reproduction, and ethnobotanical history, emphasizing the mighty oaks. Tickets for one adult and one child are $35 for Garden members and $40 for the general public. To add an extra child is $10, and to add an extra adult is $25. For tickets, visit

Send your event listing at least three weeks in advance to Make sure to include the who, what, why, where and when of the event and contact information. Please, type out in paragraph form rather than attaching flyers.

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