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What to Do in San Francisco This April: SFJAZZ Poetry Festival & Earth Day

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A crocheted wool piece from the de Young Museum's Summer of Love Experience exhibit

Courtesy of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco

A crocheted wool piece from the de Young Museum's Summer of Love Experience exhibit

The best of what to do in and around San Francisco this month

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The SFJAZZ Poetry Festival combines spoken word by poet laureates with live jazz performances for an unforgettable lineup of events. Plus, a campy take on Grease 2 will leave you feeling light, and new exhibits will teach you about the city’s history.  

AFAR Local is our monthly insider guide to the best of what’s happening in cities around the U.S.

April 1 | Film
Grease 2: The Peaches Christ Experience
SF Sketchfest is a month-long, multi-venue comedy festival that dominates the city every January, but the organization resurfaces throughout the year with special events. This month, they’re bringing a screening of Grease 2 hosted by drag queen extraordinaire Peaches Christ, who will present a drag tribute performance before the film. She’ll make the audience swoon after the screening by bringing out the male lead in the movie, actor Maxwell Caulfield.
7:30 PM - 9:30 PM | Castro Theatre, 429 Castro St., San Francisco | From $25 | website

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April 1 | Exhibit
“Exclusion” Opening Event
The Presidio Officers’ Club has mounted an exhibition called “Exclusion: The Presidio’s Role in World War II Japanese American Incarceration,” which confronts a painful truth about a history that should not be repeated. On display through March 2018, viewers will learn how San Francisco was impacted and the lasting mark it made on the city. An opening day panel event features historians, scholars, and the civil rights attorney for a key case of Japanese American incarceration resistance, all offering insight on where we’ve been.
2:00 PM - 3:30 PM | Presidio Officers’ Club, 50 Moraga Ave., San Francisco | Free (registration required) | website

April 6 - 9 | Poetry
SFJAZZ Poetry Festival
SFJAZZ’s Poetry Festival (copresented by the annual Litquake fest) brings four nights of live wordsmith performances to the musical stage. This year’s schedule of events includes a kickoff reading by current and former poet laureates, evenings dedicated to peace and freedom, and a night to reassert that Black Lives Matter. (And if this poetry celebration sounds like it’s doubling as an activist’s handbook, we can all but guarantee it’s not an accident.)
Miner Auditorium and Joe Henderson Lab, 201 Franklin St., San Francisco | From $15 | website

April 8 - August 20 | Exhibit
The Summer of Love Experience: Art, Fashion, and Rock & Roll
The de Young Museum’s latest mammoth retrospective spotlights San Francisco’s hippie counterculture and the epic “Summer of Love,” which happened 50 years ago. If you weren’t around at the time, then this is your chance to experience the recreation: The exhibit will bring the era back to life via 300 artifacts spanning music to fashion. Make sure to check out the museum’s event calendar for related special events throughout the duration of the show.
de Young Museum, 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Dr., San Francisco | From $25 | website

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April 12 - 15 | Comedy
Will Durst
It’s been quiet since the election for Will & Willie, the podcast hosted by political satirist Will Durst and former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown, which all but guarantees that Durst is bursting with new material to share on the stand-up stage. He’s long been one of the Bay Area’s keenest voices both locally and nationally, and no side of the aisle is safe from mockery. His string of shows at Punch Line will bring healthy comic relief even for topics that don’t particularly seem like laughing matters.
Punch Line Comedy Club, 444 Battery St., San Francisco | From $18 | website

San Francisco Jazz Festival

April 15 | Animals
CUESA’s Ninth Annual Goat Festival
The Ferry Building’s Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture (CUESA) delights cuteness obsessives with its yearly Goat Festival. Come get some goat therapy by petting baby goats and sampling all the handmade goat cheese you can handle. Grab some incredible produce while you’re there, as the farmers’ market is running concurrently.
10:00 AM - 2:00 PM | San Francisco Ferry Bldg., 1 Sausalito, San Francisco | Free (donations suggested) | website

April 22 | Festival
Earth Day SF
Our beautiful corner of the planet pays respect to Mother Earth in the city’s annual Earth Day celebration. It’s a family-friendly event that offers an Eco Kid Zone with a playground, arts and crafts, and healthy snacks, while adults can play in beer and wine gardens. Food and cooking demonstrations keep you fueled through environmentally friendly teachings as well as a Summer of Love fashion show and performances by bands, including J Boogie’s Dubtronic Science.
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM | Civic Center Plaza, San Francisco | Free (donations suggested) | website

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April 29 | Festival
Cesar E. Chavez Holiday Parade & Festival
The labor leader and civil rights activist Cesar E. Chavez is celebrated every year in San Francisco’s Mission District. All day long, you can follow a vibrant parade down 24th Street and wander a huge street fair with live music, dancing, arts and crafts booths, and plenty of food. It’s a place to catch the beating and vital heart of the Latinx community in San Francisco.
11:00 AM - 6:00 PM | 24th St. btw. Treat and Bryant Sts., San Francisco | Free (donations suggested) | website

April 30 | Festival
Glen Park Festival
Head to one of the city’s most charming neighborhoods for the Glen Park Festival. Make it as passive or active as you like—whether you lazily graze on snacks or jump into a quick salsa-dancing lesson, there’s a pace that’s right for you. Local Latin funk heroes Bayonics close out the entertainment stage, and a raffle benefits the local neighborhood community as it has for 19 years running.
10:00 AM - 4:30 PM | Diamond St., San Francisco | Free (donations suggested) | website

June 6 - 18 | Book ahead: Music
35th Annual San Francisco Jazz Festival
While you’re considering attending one of this month’s SFJAZZ Poetry Matters events, check out the lineup for the 35th Annual San Francisco Jazz Festival, which takes place across five venues during 13 days. This year’s program includes a tribute to Otis “Dock of the Bay” Redding, “40 Years of Hits” from Herb Alpert and Lani Hall, and the results of what happens when “Gypsy Jazz Meets the Beatles.” Tickets just went on sale to the general public on March 29, so now’s the right time to score prime seats.
Times & locations vary | From $15 | website

Tamara Palmer is a daily news writer, rapper confidante, DJ, and celebrity chef ghostwriter from San Francisco.

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