Archive for the ‘Arts & Entertainment’ Category

Winners of the annual Antioch Holiday DeLites Parade announced

Monday, December 13th, 2021

First place winners Ballet Folklorico De Antioch. All photos by Allen Payton

Celebrate Antioch Foundation (CAF) has announced this year the annual Antioch Holiday DeLites Parade had three overall winners as judged by Antioch residents Antwon Webster, Connie Komar and Susan Welch.

“We appreciate all the participants and entries in the Holiday DeLites parade,” said Joy Motts, President of Celebrate Antioch Foundation. “We look forward to more participants for next year’s parade during the City’s Sesquicentennial celebration.”

Congratulations to the winners!

1st Place – Ballet Folklorico De Antioch

2nd Place – Elite Dance

Second place winners Elite Dance.

3rd Place – Melody’s Dance Studio

3rd place winners Melody’s Dance Studio.

See photos of all this year’s parade entries as well as the Antioch Menorah lighting for Chanukah and Antioch Christmas Tree lighting by clicking, here.

For more information about CAF and next year’s City of Antioch Sesquicentennial – Celebrating 150 Years of Cityhood, visit or visit their Facebook page.

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Holiday Small Works exhibit at Antioch’s Lynn House Gallery in Rivertown until Jan. 9

Monday, November 22nd, 2021

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Enrollment for Poetry Out Loud 2021-22 competition for high school students now open

Wednesday, November 17th, 2021

Poetry Out Loud (POL) is an exciting national competition started in 2005 by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation. The contest challenges high school students to memorize and recite poetry, a chance to showcase their talents, build self-confidence, and gain both an appreciation and understanding of poetry.

The Arts and Culture Commission of Contra Costa County has been an official local partner of California Arts Council’s for Poetry Out Loud since 2007. Every Contra Costa County high school is encouraged to participate. Local arts non-profit organizations and libraries are welcome and encouraged to participate as well. Each year ten to fifteen high schools representing East, West, and Central County have participated. These include public schools, private schools, charter schools, alternative schools, court schools, and homeschool groups.

Poetry Out Loud is a free program!

There is no cost to either the school or the students.


Poetry Out Loud is a tiered competition structure that begins in the classroom. High school teachers use the free Poetry Out Loud teacher toolkit ( to teach poetry recitation and run classroom competitions. Class winners advance to the school-wide competition, then one school champion enters the county competition. The County winner is eligible to compete in the state competition, and the state winner competes in the national finals in Washington D.C. for a grand prize of $20,000.

Poetry Out Loud has been made accessible to accommodate in-person and virtual teaching environments at the school level. Additional information on this year’s hybrid model will be shared with participating schools.

Please complete form by 12/15/21! POETRY OUT LOUD 2021-22

Please feel free to email our county coordinator, Brennan DeFrisco, at or call (925) 984-4031 for any questions you may have.

Thank you for your interest in supporting Poetry Out Loud!


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Hallo-weekend activities at The Red Caboose in Antioch

Thursday, October 28th, 2021

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Your voice is needed to support the arts in Contra Costa

Monday, October 25th, 2021

Can you please write a letter to the Board of Supervisors by Nov. 2nd?

By Arts and Culture Commission of Contra Costa County

Measure X is Contra Costa’s new countywide half-cent sales tax. The Measure X Community Advisory Board was formed to identify unmet community needs and recommend spending priorities to the Board of Supervisors. The Measure X Community Advisory Board recommended funding for the Arts and Culture Commission to the Board of Supervisors. At the Nov. 2nd meeting, Supervisors will be making final recommendations.

The current Contra Costa County $31,000 grant match budget is only a $.06 per person investment: Napa $3.55, Solano $2.19, Santa Clara $0.92, and Alameda County $0.54.

Please support signature programs that provide services to Contra Costa County: Arts and Culture Prospectus of Contra Costa County, ABOUTFACE, Poetry Out Loud, Youth Advisor, Jump StArts California Arts Council grant, Impact Projects California Arts Council grant, Art Passages, and more!

Transformational ideas include:

  • District Public Art Program: Let’s build Contra Costa County’s first public art program following best practices of other Bay Counties.
  • Youth Advisor in each District: We want to expand equity and opportunity to every District!
  • Arts Connection: We want to connect artists and art organizations for quarterly meetings for advocacy, opportunities, and data collection.
  • Community Art Fund: Support up to 5 community art projects a year!
  • AIRS (Artist-in-Residency in the School) pilot program: Place teaching artists in CCC schools to work with students to create an art project.
  • Build Structures: Community creates policy for new and signature programs based on equity!

Ask: $625,000 at $.54 per resident!

​​District locator:

Please send email by Nov. 2nd!

Sample email: The arts are important to me and to my community. Please increase funding for the arts in Contra Costa County from $31,000 to $625,000 annually. This will help the Arts and Culture Commission demonstrate support for the arts to be competitive for national and state grants. This will support signature programs that directly impact all communities including our youth to Veterans. It will help provide public art programs in each district, a Community Art Fund, a youth advisor in each district, an Artist-In-Residency in the School pilot program, the Arts Connection and Build Structures initiative and other great programs. It will help our County stabilize arts funding and be able to plan equitably for the future. Thank you.

Let’s build an arts foundation for Contra Costa County!


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Pasquale Esposito “From Italy, With Love!” at El Campanil Theatre Nov. 13

Friday, October 15th, 2021

Licata-Cardinale Productions & the El Campanil Theatre

proudly present

International and PBS star

Pasquale Esposito “From Italy, With Love!”

with special guest star Anthony “Nino” Lane Band

Direct from headlining the Italian Festivals in Salt Lake City and Reno

Saturday, November 13, 2021 Doors at 5:15PM  Show at 6PM

Tickets can be purchased online at the El Campanil website or by calling direct at (925) 757-9500.

The rescheduled concert from last year, due to COVID, is part of a series being brought to East County by Licata-Cardinale Productions, and partners Michael Licata from Las Vegas and local resident and businessman, George Cardinale.

“This is a guy who has been a PBS star and never been on this side of the Bay,” Cardinale said. “He’s performed all over the world. We’re happy to bring his talent to Antioch’s historic El Campanil Theatre in downtown Rivertown. You’ll enjoy the show very much. It’s really a treat for the people, here who have never seen him, before.”

PASQUALE ESPOSITO was born and raised in Naples, Italy. He immigrated to the United States winning the Green Card Lottery in 1998.  He pursued his passion for music by studying at San Jose State University receiving his Bachelor of Arts Degree where he was a distinguished alumnus in 2009.

He is an international crossover recording artist, acclaimed for his pop-opera delivery of songs. Esposito released 11 albums and began touring internationally with his first musical revue: Naples … That’s Amore in 2005.  Thereafter, he toured with his CD of Original Compositions: A Brand New Me (2009) and Il Tempo (2011).

Following the success of spreading his rich Italian culture through music, he embarked on writing and producing his first PBS Special: Pasquale Esposito Celebrates Enrico Caruso in 2015. The program was filmed in the historic Castello Giusso in Vico Equense on the Amalfi Coast. Esposito was accompanied by the Orchestra Santa Chiara conducted by Maestro Renato Serio.  The docu-concert pays homage to Caruso by taking the audience on a musical journey in Italy highlighting the life, career and songs that made Caruso an international star.  Maestro Placido Domingo collaborated in the program with an intimate interview. The PBS Special had over 220,000,000 potential viewers coupled with a live touring version. A CD, DVD and Bluray are available of the Special.

Esposito had his successful debut at San Francisco Opera in June 2015 with the premiere of Marco Tutino’s Two Women (an opera adaptation of the 1960s film La Ciociara –with Sophia Loren whom he had the pleasure of sharing the stage with in her recent US Tour).  The New York Times stated that Esposito sang with “airy charm” for his performance of Ragazzo del Popolo while the San Francisco Chronicle described Esposito as “a charismatic and dulcet-toned singer.”

In Spring 2018, Esposito released his second, public TV special on PBS stations: Pasquale Esposito Celebrates Italian Piazzas.  Esposito was accompanied by the Orchestra Talenti Napoletani conducted by Maestro Adriano Peninno. This docu-concert is a unique musical journey of culture, art, and tradition where Esposito dedicates a song to each of the beautiful piazzas (squares) performed in the prestigious Piazza del Plebiscito in Naples, Italy.  A live concert version of the special followed with a robust 2018/2019 national tour.

In January 2020, Esposito filmed two new PBS TV Specials in Naples, Italy at the historic Teatro Politeama.  The first a Christmas Special: In the Spirit of Christmas (August 2021 release) conducted by Maestro Adriano Peninno and the second is a special titled: Il Tempo (Time) (November 2020 release) conducted by Maestro Ettore Gatta.  Pasquale is accompanied in both specials by the Orchestra Talenti Napoletani. The second special comprises of a collection of songs that have influenced Pasquale Esposito’s career and personal life.

Esposito established Notable Music and Arts Organization (, a 501 (c) 3 non-profit charitable organization promoting music education in Spring 2012.  The organization provides music instruction to underserved students in the San Francisco Bay Area and develops and produces educational programming for public television. Esposito travels nationally to major universities and colleges offering Master Classes in vocal technique and also provides private instruction at his studio in San Jose, California.

For more information about Pasquale Esposito, visit


My Passion 2000

My Destiny 2004

Naples … That’s Amore 2005

Il Fornaio: Authentic Italy 2008

A Brand New Me 2009

Il Tempo 2012

Pasquale Esposito Celebrates Enrico Caruso 2015

Pasquale Esposito Celebrates Italian Piazzas 2018

In the Spirit of Christmas 2019

Il Tempo 10th Anniversary Edition 2020

In the Spirit of Christmas 2021 – PBS Edition

El Campanil Theatre is located at 602 W. Second Street in Antioch. The concert was first planned for March 21, 2020 but had to be postponed due to COVID. (See related article with interview of Esposito, here)


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Antioch’s Mau Loa Ohana Hula and Tahitian Dance Studio reopens with exciting night of Polynesian dancing, surprises

Wednesday, October 13th, 2021

Mau Loa Ohana dancers Dec. 2019. Source: Mau Loa Ohana

See unique costumes by Antioch designer

After a nearly two-year hiatus, due to COVID-19, the troupe of Polynesian dancers from the Mau Loa Ohana Hula and Tahitian Dance Studio in Antioch, owned and operated by Monique Castaneda, is returning to the stage for a very special night of exciting entertainment and everyone is invited to attend.

Please join us on Saturday evening, October 23, 2021, at the Liberty High School Theater in Brentwood, for an evening filled with exciting Polynesian music and dancing along with a very special treat for everyone who attends.  The doors open at 7:00 PM and the show starts at 7:30 PM.  (Facemasks are required.) Tickets are $15.00 per person and can be purchased at the dance studio located at 1360 Sunset Drive in Antioch. (just a couple doors down from Aladino’s Pizza) or you can call them at (925) 550-8155.

This event is very special because Castaneda and the Mau Loa Ohana dancers have recently teamed up with an extraordinary costume designer from Antioch, Julie Carlson of Outside of the Box Costume and Apparel Designs. She, like Castaneda used to be a Tahitian dancer herself and they will be presenting something extra special to the audience that evening. 

Carlson has created an extremely unique Tahitian dance costume design. It will be the first time anyone has publicly debuted a Tahitian dance costume that incorporates this unique feature, giving the entire dance a new look and feel.  Carlson looked everywhere to see if anyone else has done anything like this and could not find anything that is even remotely like her new design. Prepare yourselves to be wowed!

For years, Castaneda had been dreaming that someday, someone would create such a costume. Throughout the years, Castaneda and her dance teams tried to come up with a way of creating a costume with these unique features, but alas, they couldn’t quite figure out how to make it happen.

The exact same story was true for Carlson but when she recently returned from a vacation in Hawaii this past July, she was once again inspired to try to bring her vision of this unique and new Tahitian dance costume design into reality.  And it appears that Carlson finally figured how to do it.  She then contacted Castaneda and they set up a time to meet each other for the very first time.  We’ll see what happens next. But both women think, with the help of the Mau Loa Ohana dancers, this exciting new costume design will, as they say, “go viral”.

Liberty High School is located at 850 2nd Street in Brentwood.

See you on the 23rd!

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Gospel Jazz Celebration in Antioch Saturday, Oct. 16

Tuesday, October 12th, 2021

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