Community Stories

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‘EAT FOR ART’ POP-UP SHOW

Guests socialize and view artwork for sale during Becoming Independent's Pop-up Art Show at Rosso Rosticceria + Eventi in Santa Rosa on August 28, 2014. (Alvin Jornada / For The Press Democrat)

Guests socialize and view artwork for sale during Becoming Independent’s Pop-up Art Show at Rosso Rosticceria + Eventi in Santa Rosa on August 28, 2014. (Alvin Jornada / For The Press Democrat)

Santa Rosa’s appealing and pizza-aromatic Rosso Rosticceria & Eventi became something more Thursday.

For just that evening, the restaurant doubled as a pop-up art gallery, a momentary venue for the multimedia creations of artists who study and work at Becoming Independent.

The Santa Rosa-based agency, which helps people with disabilities to earn income and live as fully and independently as possible, hosted the “Eat for Art” show at the airy Dutton Avenue pizza cafe.

Several of the professional artists in the Becoming Independent program spoke with guests and answered questions about their paintings and drawings, jewelry, ceramics, cards, T-shirt art and other works.

All were for sale, with the artists and Becoming Independent sharing the proceeds.

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Guests perused the art, then lingered to enjoy a slice of Rosso pizza or two, and perhaps a salad and glass of wine.

People served by Becoming Independent must apply to the art program, which explores an individual’s creative drive and determination to do the work demanded of a professional artist. For inspiration and instruction, the artists visit galleries, among them the De Young in San Francisco.

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HARVEST OF THE HEART

Chef Daniel Kedan made paella for the crowd before the dinner at the Harvest for a Heart fundraiser for the Ceres Community Garden in Sebastopol on Aug. 16, 2014. (John Burgess / PD)

Chef Daniel Kedan made paella for the crowd before the dinner at the Harvest for a Heart fundraiser for the Ceres Community Garden in Sebastopol on Aug. 16, 2014. (John Burgess / PD)

A garden party, quite naturally, kicked off the Aug. 16 Harvest of the Heart gala for the Ceres Project, which allows young people to grow and prepare nurturing food for people being treated for serious medical conditions.

At the gardens behind O’Reilly Media in Sebastopol, supporters of Ceres strolled among the fall vegetables and sipped champagne or local wine or Ceres Smoothies, tasted the plentiful appetizers and perused the temptations of the silent auction.

From the garden it was a short walk to the O’Reilly lawn and the inviting dining area encircled by a wall of standing, wooden pallets.

Kelley Hartman, Valerie Leivo, Chet Laws, Michael and Erin Rickard at the Harvest for a Heart fundraiser for the Ceres Community Garden in Sebastopol on Aug. 16, 2014. (John Burgess / PD)

Kelley Hartman, Valerie Leivo, Chet Laws, Michael and Erin Rickard at the Harvest for a Heart fundraiser for the Ceres Community Garden in Sebastopol on Aug. 16, 2014. (John Burgess / PD)

The family-style meal was a healthful, colorful feast orchestrated by celebrated chefs John Ash and Barbara Hom and prepared by Ceres teens.

A program reminded the diners that the Ceres Project has provided nearly 300,000 meals to patients.

The food is intended to be so nutritious that it boosts the healing process by fortifying clients’ immune systems. The record $176,000 raised at the outdoor gala helps assure that Ceres will grow and cook for even more people at a time in their lives when they’re especially in need of wholesome, healing, comforting nutrition.

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WINE LIBRARY GALA

People attend the Sonoma County Wine Library 25th Anniversary Gala at the DeTurk Round Barn in Santa Rosa on Sunday, Aug. 10, 2014.  (BETH SCHLANKER / The Press Democrat)

People attend the Sonoma County Wine Library 25th Anniversary Gala at the DeTurk Round Barn in Santa Rosa on Sunday, Aug. 10, 2014. (BETH SCHLANKER / The Press Democrat)

It felt, quite appropriately, like a celebration within an enormous wine barrel.

Santa Rosa’s historic DeTurk Round Barn served as an ideal venue for the 25th anniversary gala of the Sonoma County Wine Library.

As guests arrived the afternoon of Aug. 10, they were offered a glass of Korbel champagne and invited to stroll around both floors of the splendidly repurposed circular barn.

A summer breeze ventilated the landmark and helped also to circulate lively tunes of Heard These Cats, a versatile jazz band. Servers with Park Avenue Catering made certain there was no shortage of hearty, pleasing appetizers.

Plentiful also were silent auction temptations, local wines and opportunities for patrons and winemakers to speak at length.

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During a brief program, guests learned of the history and resources of the Sonoma County Wine Library from “Wine Guy” Tom Simoneau, current wine librarian Jon Haupt and Bo Simmons, the previous wine librarian and current manager of the Healdsburg Regional Library.

The Wine Library, created largely through the vision and effort of late wine writer and community activist Millie Howie, is located within the Healdsburg library.

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