The Best of Silicon Valley 2016

Arts & Culture | Gold Awards

Rosicrucian Museum Rosicrucian Museum Photograph by Geoffrey Smith II

Rosicrucian Museum

The book of Ecclesiastes notes that there is nothing new under the sun. Nowhere is this kernel of wisdom thrown into sharper relief than at the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum, home to the largest collection of Egyptian artifacts West of the Mississippi. "The strength of our collection lies in the items that the ancient Egyptian people used in their everyday lives," says Julie Scott, the Rosicrucian's director. A wedding ring, a marriage contract and an ancient hair weave are among the various pieces that confirm the age-old adage: the more things change, the more they stay the same.


Stanford Theatre

Lights. Camera. Action. When it comes to taking in a truly great film, the small screen just doesn't cut it. Bogart, Hepburn, Brando and Orson Welles: these giants of Hollywood's Golden Age deserve to be seen in all their original glory on the silver screen. And for going on 30 years, the Stanford Theatre has kept that tradition alive. They even have a keyboardist manning the house Wurlitzer before and after 7:30pm showings.


Montalvo Arts Center

Erected by former San Francisco mayor James Phelan in 1914, the mansion and expansive grounds of Villa Montalvo have since become a park and cultural center. Today it plays host to concerts, creative summits and artistic workshops—including the annual OneBeat fellowship seminar. "I think we've stood the test of time because our offerings, our programs and our park-like property are really unique," says Kelly Hudson, managing director of Montalvo. "There aren't many places in Silicon Valley like this."


Shoreline Amphitheatre

A partnership between Bill Graham and the city of Mountain View, Shoreline Amphitheatre has been hosting concerts since 1986. The venue has long-running relationships with some of the Bay Area's biggest musical forces—including Neil Young, the Grateful Dead and Live 105. Fun fact: Shoreline was built on top of a former landfill, and during its first season of operation numerous cigarette lighter-sparked, methane-fueled fires were documented.


KFJCKFJC Photograph by Geoffrey Smith II

KFJC

College has always been a place to experiment, and that is especially true at Foothill College's KFJC. The station, which broadcasts at 89.7 FM, has been a launchpad for radio careers while simultaneously helping listeners discover new music. It's that chance for discovery that draws people to KFJC, according to Eric Johnson, the station's general manager. But people are also drawn by KFJC's crazy antics, like in 1983 when the station dedicated three days to playing 823 versions of the iconic rock 'n roll tune "Louie Louie."


Camera Cinemas

In an age where film fans can see movies just about anywhere—from national multiplex chains on down to their smartphones—Jack NyBlom, president of Camera Cinemas, says that his three independent South Bay theaters have an incredibly loyal customer base. "I think it's because we are community oriented," he says, explaining that Camera Cinemas work hard to engage their Silicon Valley clientele. That means supporting local film festivals, including Cinequest, and bringing small indie films to town, even if they don't turn a profit. "We just like to see movies on a big screen with an audience."


California Theatre

They don't build 'em like they used to. The California Theatre is proof positive of that. The opulent hall features a grand foyer, a majestic gallery and impressive courtyard—not to mention its awe-inspiring 1,100-seat auditorium. First opened in 1927, The California originally showed films and touring vaudeville acts. In 1974 it was shuttered and remained closed for three decades until being immaculately restored and reopened in 2004.

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