There’s not a lot that may be mentioned about 2020 that hasn’t been already. A pandemic dominated the information cycle and put creatives the world over in a tricky place, aiming to remain energetic and engaged with their communities whereas avoiding a lethal virus.
Kern County had a number of notable leisure headlines early within the yr: Kernville’s 63rd Whiskey Flat Days and the tenth annual Shafter Colors Pageant each had been profitable in February; Netflix’s “The Promenade” put out a name for extras and filmed on the town (extra on that later); the Nice 48 Jam introduced bluegrass pickers and the Disney followers gathered for the first-ever Mouse-Con in January.
Even earlier than beer rose in reputation in the course of the shutdown, it was already doing nicely domestically with the opening of 2nd Section Brewing, the primary downtown brewery in almost 80 years that opened in January. Kern River Brewing and Dionysus Brewing had been additionally named to a Los Angeles Instances listing for high craft beer locations in Southern California, which proved extra of a want listing with many areas quickly shut down.
After all, come March, most tales rolling in had been about reveals and occasions both postponed or canceled and eating places and companies closing quickly or, in instances like Noriega Resort, completely.
It hasn’t all been unhealthy information, although, as many musicians, artists, dancers and different creatives have discovered methods to maintain energetic and join safely.
Jim Ranger on “The Voice”: The New Life Church campus pastor and musician gave Bakersfield (and his hometown of Newport, Ark.) loads of causes to cheer this fall when he carried out on the NBC singing competitors. He completed robust, profitable first runner-up and performing “Streets of Bakersfield” with coach Blake Shelton, who appears doubtless to assist with Ranger’s profession. Again on the town, Mayor Karen Goh named Dec. 21 Jim Ranger Day and that is positive to be the primary of many accolades for the gifted musician.
There was one other native performer who made it to the finals on one other actuality competitors. Dillon James, whose actual identify is Dillon Galanski, made it to the highest 5 on ABC’s 18th season of “American Idol” this spring. He carried out at “Friendsgiving: Dwell on the Ryman,” a socially distanced live performance on the famed Nashville theater that was additionally livestreamed on Nov. 18.
Additionally on the small display: Corridor Ambulance paramedic Anthony Dominguez loved a light-weight second within the highlight in January when he appeared on Disney+ for an episode of “Encore!” He rejoined classmates from Santa Monica’s Pacifica Christian Excessive Faculty to recreate a manufacturing of “Ragtime.”
ABC’s newest reboot of “Grocery store Sweep” featured two Bakersfield natives competing on totally different episodes. Whereas Kevin Clayton didn’t advance to the Tremendous Sweep, Ali Kent, who now lives within the Bay Space, gained the $100,000 prize with Crew Spritz companion Carrie Campos.
Dance, dance: When ballerina Tiler Peck returned from New York to remain at her mother and father’ dwelling in Bakersfield, nobody would have judged her for taking it straightforward. However that is not the best way for a educated dancer, who held lessons by way of Instagram, labored on Zoom with college students at Garces Memorial Excessive Faculty, the place mom Georgia teaches dance and sister Myka is principal. In Might, she gathered fellow New York Metropolis Ballet performers and friends from different troupes throughout the U.S. and world for a tribute to front-line staff on Instagram set to Broadway star Sierra Boggess’ efficiency of “You’ll By no means Stroll Alone” from the musical “Carousel.”
She additionally carried out because the particular visitor artist for the Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra’s 2020-21 season opener, “Tiler’s Serenade” that aired Oct. 9 on KERO-TV 23.
Bakersfield Metropolis Ballet dancers, who had been unable to publicly carry out in a theater a lot of the yr, discovered a technique to deliver dance to the neighborhood this fall. The premier preprofessional ballet firm held Curbside Ballet, which consisted of 17 transient out of doors performances in neighborhoods and open areas in November and some others in December.
The dancers are already in rehearsal for the following Curbside Ballet season in February.
Kern Dance Alliance additionally realized to pivot because of the pandemic.
The nonprofit group launched “KDA Cares: COVID-19 Assist,” offering on-line dance lessons by native instructors, help in promoting for dance studios, and grants and scholarships to college students who nonetheless wish to pursue dance throughout this time.
KDA’s Digital Pop-Up Sequence provided free lessons for folks and youngsters, ballet method, blended stage faucet, jazz, hip-hop and extra.
The Hub hones in on arts: The Hub of Bakersfield, a nonprofit targeted on strengthening the town’s city core, put cash the place its thoughts is by serving to fund quite a few artistic endeavors. The 13 recipients of its Money for the Arts grant program in Might ran the gamut from murals and music to floral arranging and different hands-on artistic endeavors.
And the Hub wasn’t finished giving: It additionally supplied a Money for the Arts grant to native band Mento Buru for its “East Bakersfield Christmas,” a six-song EP of reimagined vacation music favorites, in November.
Going digital: Group theaters and artwork venues discovered methods to deliver content material to the neighborhood. Zoom and prerecorded audio and video performances got here later within the yr. The Empty House went a bit extra experimental with its “Wanderbuhne,” an immersive present that had viewers driving to totally different staged areas in a small vary to view a wide range of totally different performances.
Even when the Bakersfield Artwork Affiliation was capable of open its artwork heart in the course of the yr, it continued to put up photographs of its reveals, featured on the heart, Dagny’s Espresso Co. and different areas, on its social media.
The Bakersfield Museum of Artwork adjusted its annual Through Arte Italian Road Portray Pageant at The Market to make it protected for artists to work and other people to view. It was additionally capable of supply a small Dia de los Muertos occasion in its backyard with six altares and a one-way viewing route.
The museum additionally held its first digital exhibition, “Memoirs of Phantasm,” that includes highschool college students’ work from its mentorship program. There have been additionally on-line classes, letters from the curator and 65 movies on its YouTube channel.
Different native museums stayed busy making movies highlighting their various fields of experience.
Buena Vista Museum of Pure Historical past & Science has put out earth science movies and different youngsters actions for months. Not too long ago hit exhausting by a pair of fires adjoining to its downtown location, employees are optimistic to proceed offering content material to share till they’re capable of reopen safely.
The Kern County Museum, which has been capable of maintain its grounds and a few exhibit areas open a lot of the yr, has additionally produced movies, some with historic context and in addition digital excursions of its 60 buildings in Pioneer Village.
And the California Dwelling Museum featured its many animal residents by way of keeper movies posted on Fb. It was additionally capable of modify its very fashionable annual HolidayLights right into a drive-thru expertise that has bought out many nights this month.
Not-so-stranded on the drive-in: With film theaters closed, some sought to fill the big-screen hole with drive-in model occasions. A grass-roots effort popped up downtown in April however could not keep in its spot off Okay Road and didn’t relocate. The Wounded Heroes Fund of Kern County held a few screenings at Kern County Raceway Park with meals vehicles that rapidly bought out. Fellow nonprofit Luggage of Love Basis screened “Dwelling Alone” as a fundraiser at Sam Lynn Ball Park. And Carflix Drive-in Motion pictures held screenings in early fall within the parking zone of Dignity Well being Sports activities Advanced however technical difficulties could have sidelined it completely.
This is wanting ahead to theaters reopening subsequent yr and somebody establishing a extra secure drive-in scenario for traditional movies within the interim.
Digital partying: Everyone obtained acquainted with Zoom this yr but it surely wasn’t at all times pleasing. Individuals hosted their very own digital comfortable hours but it surely’s enjoyable to get extra individuals in on the revelry. A few vibrant spots got here because of occasions that took the chance to mix grownup drinks and an internet occasion.
The CSUB Alumni Affiliation took on the problem of modifying its standard annual Social gathering within the Park occasion. Changing it to Social gathering at Your Place, organizers packaged social gathering containers for attendees to take dwelling.
The field included social gathering favors, a plant exercise and a wine tasting package from San Rucci Vineyard. Winemakers Invoice and Anthony Merz are humorous in their very own proper so including a ’70s-themed social gathering to the digital tasting solely amped up the nice time.
After the Zoom social gathering, which included stay music and a dance lesson, individuals might watch the video the following day on how one can brew the right cup of espresso courtesy of Kelly Archer Interiors, which supplied its snickerdoodle espresso, and make a mimosa with Moo Creamery’s Jessica Kilos. (The field additionally got here with a cut up of glowing wine.)
Bitwise Industries, by way of its occasion department Bitwise Pulse, organized two No Place like Dwelling Seize a Drink occasions. The primary, in September, was on tiki drinks, teaming up Bakersfield bar Tiki-Ko with the Modernist in Fresno.
Components for drinks had been packaged in a package accessible for pickup the day earlier than the occasion. Members had been guided by way of the steps and will ask the bartenders questions concerning the recipes, mixology or their respective bars.
Based mostly on the recognition, a second occasion was held earlier this month on whiskey drinks that includes bartenders from Previous Customary Social Drinkery and Lucy’s Lounge in Fresno.
With bars more likely to stay closed for a while, this might be a incredible occasion to maintain going. (Tiki-Ko presents drink kits with alcohol and mixers able to be mixed.)
Stefani Dias will be reached at 661-395-7488. Comply with her on Twitter at @realstefanidias.