LIGHT AND SHADOW - Kiana Honarmand’s “On Edge” will be part of New Museum Los Gatos’ new exhibit, (Un)Familiar. (Courtesy of New Museum Los Gatos)

NUMU presents (Un)Familiar exhibit

New Museum Los Gatos (NUMU) announced (Un)Familiar, a group exhibition featuring three Bay Area artists, Jezrael Gandara, Kiana Honarmand and Chelsea Stewart, and guest-curated by Alyssarhaye Graciano, on view June 2-Nov. 5. 

(Un)Familiar focuses on biases and assumptions around various stigmas including the immigrant perspective, women’s rights and mental health, through film, photography, the written word and sculpture.

(Un)Familiar will be on view July 14 through Nov. 5 in NUMU’s Main Gallery. A special feature will be available in NUMU’s Spotlight Gallery from June 2 through Oct. 1.

Gandara is a filmmaker based in San Jose, originally from the border city of El Paso, Texas. Gandara’s work seeks to develop unique visual poetry rhythmically exploring the themes of culture, race, identity, religion and philosophy. 

Honarmand is an artist born and raised in Iran. Her work addresses issues related to her cultural identity, violation of women’s rights in Iran, censorship, surveillance, and the Western perception of her SWANA (South West Asian, North African) identity. She currently lives and works in the Bay Area.

Stewart is based in San Mateo County. She is currently attending San Jose State while working towards her MFA in Spatial Arts. Through exploration of mass and scale, geological subjects, and mental health, Stewart constructs large-scale abstract paintings and paper installations.

Graciano is a practicing textile artist, published author, and community curator. She is currently the Visual Arts Curator at MACLA (Movimiento de Arte y Cultura Latino Americana) and has held positions at Silicon Valley Creates and New Museum Los Gatos and ran a small business, @BlackSheepMade, offering textile workshops and selling her art. 

For information, visit

Funding approved for projects benefiting seniors and families 

West Valley adults, older adults and families with lower income will be the beneficiaries of projects unanimously approved by the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors recently, on a motion by County Supervisor Joe Simitian.

Programs and projects receiving support include:

• Los Gatos Adult Day Care (Live Oak Adult Day Services)

• Saratoga Area Senior Coordinating Council Adult Day Care

• Senior Adults Legal Assistance (SALA)—includes Campbell, Saratoga and Los Gatos

• West Valley Community Services Community Access to Resources and Education

Funding for these services was approved as part of the County’s Fiscal Year 2023-2024 Annual Action Plan for use of federal funds from the Community Development Block Grant and HOME Investment Partnership Act programs, which the County administers on behalf of several local jurisdictions, including in the West Valley. The County anticipates receiving an estimated $3.3 million for these programs, which will be distributed to fund the programs, in addition to other public service programs and a capital project to repurpose a historical building within the Los Altos Hills Town Hall Civic Center to a multifunctional space for programs and activities for the community.

“Federal grant funding offers myriad real benefits for our West Valley communities,” Simitian said. “For example, households that are at risk of eviction or facing homelessness will be able to access services and counseling. Seniors will be able to access adult day care programs where they can socialize with their peers and alleviate feelings of isolation and loneliness. And families can easily be connected to case management support and needed resources.”

A significant portion of the funds will also be allocated for affordable housing development and preservation, emergency shelter, and transitional housing, as well as fair housing outreach and home repair modifications for low-income homeowners across the County.

“This funding allows local organizations that are most familiar with the needs of our vulnerable residents to decide how to best support those needs,” Simitian said. “It gives local folks the ability to make local choices about local needs.”

The Action Plan will be submitted to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for final approval and allocation of funds.

For information, visit

Ribbon cutting marks reopening of Live Oak Adult Day Services

On June 1, the reopening reception of the Live Oak Adult Day Services will be held from 4-6pm, with a ribbon cutting ceremony by Mayor Maria Ristow at 5pm. 

The reception, with light hors d’oeuvres and refreshments, will be at the Live Oak Los Gatos site, 111 Church St. in Los Gatos. 

The reopening marks the 40th anniversary of the initial opening of Live Oak Adult Day Services in Los Gatos.

Festival celebrating diversity coming to Los Gatos

AWỌ’s Huemanity Festival will take place at Congregation Shir Hadash, 20 Cherry Blossom Lane in Los Gatos, on June 4 from noon to 7pm. The youth-led festival will offer workshops and interactive celebrations for all ages.

Through music and collective storytelling, the Huemanity Festival aims to bring community members together to recognize their similarities while understanding—and celebrating—their differences.

AWỌ focuses on self-understanding and community kinship across color, class and culture. Organizers hope to expand their commitment to inclusion and representation this year by also addressing the needs of youth with special needs, and encourage their families to join in the celebration.

Scheduled workshops include music therapy, drumming and dance, indigenous bead making, necklace making and other arts-based options. The event will also feature a DJ and magic show, as well as food and drinks.

AWỌ is a social justice nonprofit that uses public education and awareness, supported with the arts and culture to bring people together to share, learn and engage with one another to improve self-understanding.

Those interested in attending can register for free at

AWỌ was founded in 2020 by African immigrant Folake Phillips, a Yoruba princess from Osun State in Nigeria, in response to the death of George Floyd in Minnesota and the national street protests that erupted for Black Lives Matter in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic.

For information, email [email protected] or call 408.221.3430.

Mount Madonna School’s “Ramayana!” returns June 8-11 at the Mexican Heritage Theater in San Jose. (Stevan Manzur)

44th annual musical ‘Ramayana!’ returns to the stage

Join Hanuman, the monkeys, Prince Rama and Prince Lakshmana, as they journey to Lanka in their quest to rescue Princess Sita in the 44th Mount Madonna School (MMS) “Ramayana!”, a musical theater production adapted for modern audiences.

“Ramayana!” returns to the stage June 8-11 at the Mexican Heritage Theater in San Jose.

The production features a cast of students ranging from preschool to high school, and includes traditional and contemporary music and features an adult choir and musicians, with more than a dozen original songs.   

“The production of ‘Ramayana!’ has been central to Mount Madonna School since its founding,” said Head of School Ann Goewert. “With this show, we carry forward a tradition inspired by Baba Hari Dass (1923-2018) and supported by the Mount Madonna Center. It’s the culmination of months of work during the academic year and is a year-end celebration for our community embracing diversity and creative self-expression. The Ramayana is a timeless classic teaching the universal values of truth, duty, love and service to the greater good. As students work together to prepare for this ambitious show, they embody the values embedded in the Ramayana.” 

Mount Madonna Center (MMC) for the Creative Arts and Sciences is a residential community and conference center founded in 1978 atop a mountain in Watsonville. Baba Hari Dass (Babaji), a silent monk, teacher and practitioner of yoga from India was the inspiration behind the founding of the center, which shares a history and mission with the school, and the annual performance of the “Ramayana!” is part of this mission. 

The tale with origins in India was adapted into a musical by members of the Mount Madonna community in the 1970s. The original songs are part of the American rock musical theater tradition, with echoes of “Hair” and “Jesus Christ Superstar,” plus a contemporary nod to “Hamilton.”

The costumes, demon and monkey masks, sets, props, and monster rigs (such as Kumbhakarna, a 25-foot puppet with a radio-controlled mechanical mouth and eyes) were created by Baba Hari Dass, as well as artisans associated with both the center and the school.

For tickets and information, visit

Papageorge inducted into Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi

Demetri Papageorge of Los Gatos was recently initiated into The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, the nation’s oldest and most selective all-discipline collegiate honor society. Papageorge was initiated at Saint Mary’s College of California.

Papageorge is among approximately 25,000 students, faculty, professional staff and alumni to be initiated into Phi Kappa Phi each year. Membership is by invitation only and requires nomination and approval by a chapter.

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A staff member wrote, edited or posted this article, which may include information provided by one or more third parties.


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