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This is the blog side of Sacramento365.com, the year-round source for Sacramento events. Tune in here to get a different look at events, activities, and things to do in Sacramento, California.

Izzy Malik: Pop with Heart

Izzy MalikThe 2014 High School Nation (HSN) Tour heads to Sacramento this Friday, September 19. Over the past decade, the music tour has given up-and-coming artists the chance to perform at local middle schools and high schools, as well as providing students free entertainment at a time when school art and music program funding is at an all-time low.

We got the chance to chat with HSN artist and Northern California pop songstress Izzy Malik about her new self-titled EP, her admiration for activist Malala Yousafzai, and why we should all dream big.

1. How would you describe your new self-titled EP to our readers?
I’d say my EP is very dance-in-your-room pop with a lot of rock, country, reggae, and hip-hop influence. I took inspiration from artists of many genres and didn’t want to limit the sound, so you can get a little bit of everything in there, as I enjoy all sorts of music and wanted that to be conveyed to my listeners.

2. Your song, “Malala,” is about Pakistani women’s rights and education activist, Malala Yousufzai – definitely not your typical pop song fodder.  Why did you choose to focus on her for your first single?
When I heard Malala’s story on the news, I’d just come home from school as a senior in high school. I found it so totally nuts that someone would have to go through so much to get an education and wanted to bring awareness to the plight of girls who fight for their basic right to an education. The fact that she’s from Pakistan also had a huge impact on me. I still have most of my family there and a house in my childhood neighborhood was bombed. It’s crazy how hard life is there and I thought the more awareness I could bring to this grave injustice, the higher the chance that things could change. Also, I think it’s kind of nice for school-going kids to realize how lucky we are and how one should never take their education for granted. This is the plight of countless Muslim girls in developing countries, and Malala is a shining example and a very strong voice for this cause and I wanted to honor her and show her my support, which she will always have.

3. You often tell your fans to “DREAM BIG.” Is this motto of yours inspired by her life story?

Definitely. When I say “DREAM BIG”, Malala is one of the people I have in mind. When I say that, I’m encouraging the fans to reach for the stars and never let adversity hinder their ambition and drive to achieve their goals and not to let a single individual or organization tell you you’re not good enough or it’s impossible. Anything is possible; it just depends on how hard you are willing to work and how much you believe in your dreams. That’s the deciding factor; it’s in nobody’s hands but your own. You decide your fate and you make your own destiny. Just be persistent and work hard all day, everyday.

4. You grew up in Merced, which isn’t too far from Sacramento. Have you ever visited the Capital City? Any interesting stories from your time here?
I actually went to a Big Time Rush concert here in Sacramento when I was sixteen! It was so cool because I got to meet them and gave them a CD of my music. It was when I was first starting to get into actually recording and they were so sweet and supportive. I had an amazing time and got to see some of the city before and after the concert, which was super cool! I always found their music fun and uplifting, and they also led me to one of my other favorite bands, One Direction! The second single off my EP, “Just Another Boy” is actually dedicated to/inspired by Harry Styles. Basically, that trip to Sac was pretty life-changing.

5. How are you juggling the college grind and pop stardom? (Are you living a double life like Hanna Montana?)

It’s pretty hard managing my time between school and my music, but I think I’m making it work! I’ll be doing online courses from Berkeley and UCLA this semester since I’m touring. My family and friends are super supportive of my career, so I’m really lucky with that!

6. You’ll soon be performing at middle and high schools across the country for the 2014 High School Nation Tour. What advice do you have for tweens and teens interested in entering the music business?
My advice is to keep working at it no matter what. You’re going to get a hundred “no”s before you get one “yes”, and that’s okay, because when people find out how awesome you are, it’ll totally be worth it. You just have to keep working on making yourself better and have a positive attitude. That way, you’ll be able to accomplish anything.

Izzy will share the stage with Drake Bell, Dakota Bradley, Jacob Latimore and others this Friday, September 19 at one lucky Sacramento school (sorry, we can’t reveal the location — it’s a surprise!) For more information about the High School Nation Tour, click here.

Follow Izzy’s journey to pop stardom by visiting her website and connecting with her on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Tumblr and Instagram.

***This blog post was written by Sacramento365.com’s Content & Social Media Coordinator, Jamila B. Khan.

Top 6 Sneak Peek: Week of 9/15

This Week: Make Your Week Legendary!

??????????????????????Legends of Wine
CA State Capitol West Steps
Sept 18
Thurs 6pm-8:30pm
Join sommeliers Darrell Corti and David Berkley at this event celebrating the region’s finest vino.

United_Parking_2014Sacramento United Park(ing) 2014
MARRS Building
Sept 19
Fri 10am-6pm
See how small spaces can have a big impact on our urban fabric.

Forget_Me_KnotForget Me Knot Wreath Laying Ceremony
Rio City Cafe
Sept 20
Sat 1pm
Maritime veterans will lay wreaths along the Sacramento River to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

To get the complete Sac365.com Weekly Top 6 Events direct to your inbox every Monday, Sign up here!

Top 6 Sneak Peek: Week of 9/8

This Week: Farm to Fork…To Fun!

CA164BirthdayCalifornia’s 164th Birthday
CA State Capitol – North Steps
Sept 9
Tues 11am
Celebrate the Golden State’s birthday with cake, ice cream, and live music.

F2FRW_2Farm-to-Fork Restaurant Weeks
Downtown Sacramento
Sept 13-28
Various Times
Restaurants around town will serve up Farm-to-Fork dishes for the next two weeks!

Sac_Open_StudiosSac Open Studios 2014
Verge Center for the Arts and Various Galleries
Sept 13-21
Sat & Sun 10am-5pm
For the next two weekends, explore the works of over 125 Sacramento artists!

To get the complete Sac365.com Weekly Top 6 Events direct to your inbox every Monday, Sign up here!

Get to Know September 2014 Featured Artist Vince Horiuchi

September Featured Artist ProfileThis September Sacramento365.com breaks it down with breakdancer, videographer, and Internet phenom, Vince Horiuchi. His path to dance fame was not without obstacles. Instead of following a safe career in engineering, the bboy followed his dreams of becoming a professional dancer. Vince’s passion for making moves and inspiring others can be seen at dance competitions worldwide and on his popular YouTube channel, VincaniTV.

Read what fuels his creative spirit here.

Top 6 Sneak Peek: Week of 9/1

This Week: A Sizzling September Awaits

150YrsQuiltShow2150 Years of State Parks Quilt Show
Leland Stanford Mansion
Sept 3-28
Wed-Sun 10am-4pm
Quilts depicting the California’s 57 state parks will be on display.

RollerDerbyPlayoffs2WFTDA Roller Derby Division 1 Playoffs
Memorial Auditorium
Sept 5-7
Fri & Sat 9:30am-10pm; Sun 9:30am-7pm
Ten leagues will battle it out in their quest for roller derby glory.

CACapitalAirshowCalifornia Capital Airshow
Mather Airport
Sept 6-7
Sat & Sun 9am-4:30pm
Get ready for high flying fun this weekend at the base.

To get the complete Sac365.com Weekly Top 6 Events direct to your inbox every Monday, Sign up here!

Breaking Bread Together

f2efIn the month of September, our region will celebrate its rich agricultural bounty with the Farm to Fork Celebration (September 13-28). During the two weeks, a number of events will celebrate our status as the Farm to Fork Capital, but one in particular will connect Sacramento’s culinary community to the hungry and food insecure, Fork It: Farm to Every Fork Dinner.

Organized by the Farm to Every Fork Coalition (F2EF), the dinner hopes to spread awareness about the importance of food equality in Sacramento — that every mouth deserves healthy, high quality foods. The Sacramento Farmers and Chefs art project is also collaborating with the coalition.

For $150, guests will enjoy a family style meal prepared by Chefs Michael Thiemann and Matt Masera of Mother and Empress Tavern at Trinity Cathedral Church on Saturday, September 13. Dishes will be sourced from local farms and producers including Bledsoe Meats, Kingbird Farms, Durst Farms, Azolla Farms, and Sacramento Waldorf School bio dynamic garden amongst others. Jason Griest of Old Soul will be on hand blending a special roast to accompany dessert and guests can sip on Cabernet and Sauvignon Blanc from local vintner Revolution Wines.

The twist? Each ticket funds two dinners: one for the ticket holder and one for a person facing hunger on a daily basis (through homelessness or cuts to federal food stamp programs). In essence, the dinner will bring together people who probably would not sit at the same table. “We’ll break bread together, share stories, and understand better the challenges facing those who are struggling with the cost of food,” says Paula Lomazzi of SHOC.

Eric Holt-Gimenez of Oakland’s Food First! will keynote and television reporter and Closing the Gap board member Dana Howard will be the evening’s Master of Ceremonies. Along with the dinner, attendees can enjoy a raffle and auction.

Proceeds from the gala dinner will benefit organizations serving the low income, food insecure, and/or homeless community and key to success of the F2EF coalition: Sacramento Homeless Organizing Committee (SHOC), Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services, River City Food Bank, Food Not Bombs and The Fund for Urban Gardens.

f2ef logistics

Farm to Every Fork coalition members sorting out the logistics for the gala dinner. (Photo by Mapurunga Photography)

Before attending the the Farm to Every Fork dinner, Sacramento Farmers and Chefs is a documentary photography project that highlights the individuals responsible for the bountiful food culture of the Sacramento Valley through a collection of portraits and interviews.



To learn more about Fork It!, visit its Sacramento365.com event page. (Any donation made through the Sacramento365 event listing until September 13 will be shared among the event beneficiaries.)

For other ways to get involved with the Farm to Every Fork Coalition, click here or email Paula Lomazzi at shoc_1@yahoo.com.

***This blog post was written by Sacramento365.com’s Content & Social Media Coordinator, Jamila B. Khan.

Discover Sacramento’s Diversity This Labor Day Weekend

Gold Rush Days Canon_SCVB

Americana in Old Sacramento will celebrate America’s rich history. (Photo courtesy of Sacramento Convention and Visitors Bureau)

It’s no secret we live in one of the most culturally diverse cities in America, and this Labor Day weekend features many events celebrating our colorful Sacramento community! I thought I’d share a few noteworthy happenings that you should check out during your extra long weekend. Enjoy!

Time Travel this Weekend:
Americana in Old Sacramento

Old Sacramento; Thurs-Sun Various Times
In lieu of the annual Gold Rush Days (due to drought concerns), this festival celebrates American history with live music, vintage vehicles, museum fun, and so much more. Plus, there’s a beer garden, so how are you going to say no to that?

Mexican-American Music and Fun:
Tejano Conjunto Festival
Cesar Chavez Plaza; Sun Noon-7:30pm
The biggest names in conjunto — also known as Tejano or Tex-Mex music will perform at this cultural event where there will also be a Selena (R.I.P. Bonita) singing contest and, my favorite, margaritas!

global local

Global Local will feature live performances by local artists in celebration of arts, culture, activism, and healthy living. (Photo courtesy of Sol Collective)

Art on a Global Scale:
Global Local
McClatchy Park; Fri 2pm-7:30pm
This co-created event is a celebration of arts, culture, activism, and healthy living and will feature live performances by A Tribe Called Red and others!

Rastafari Roots and Reggae:
One Love One Heart Reggae Festival
Rio Ramaza Marina & Event Park; Fri 6pm-2am, Sat & Sun 10am-2am
Somewhere Bob Marley will be looking down with a huge smile on his face as this amazing line-up of reggae musicians will honor Rastafari culture on the Sacramento River.

Japanese Pop Culture:
SacAnime: The Sacramento Anime Convention
Sacramento Convention Center; Fri & Sat 10am-1am, Sun 10am-6pm
More than 10,000 people will dress in their favorite anime costumes to provide Japanese-influenced pop culture fun for the entire family!

chalk it up

Chalk It Up! is a fun family event that celebrates our amazing art community. (Photo by Alan Dismuke)

Local Art Creatives:
Chalk It Up! to Sacramento 2014 Art & Music Festival
Fremont Park; Sat-Mon 10am-6pm
Listen to live music all day long as you watch 200 artists create masterpieces — only using chalk! This fundraiser has several hands-on art activities for children, making it a great way to get the entire family creating.

Show Your True Colors:
Rainbow Festival
Midtown; Sun 10am-6pm
This colorful festival includes events at local nightclubs, a street fair, performances by local and regional talent, political speakers, and much more! Come see how far this amazing community has come and help raise awareness and money for local Gay and Lesbian charities.

Make this Labor Day weekend event better – find nearby restaurants, bars, and even hotels (perhaps you plan to have some drinks while you’re out tackling the town?) and Make It A Night! And for even more things to do this Labor Day weekend, check out Sacramento365’s Holiday Events page.

***This blog post was written by Sacramento365.com’s Content Specialist, Alyssa Sanguinetti.