‘Democratizing the Green City’ Conference
Urban planning faces a paradox: sustainability initiatives that are crucial to battling climate change can, through their improvements, drive up rents and drive out residents, exacerbating sprawl, emissions, and climate change. From Santa Cruz’s housing crisis to Mexico City, Seattle, São Paulo and beyond, the issue of green affordability persists. How do planners battle the negative effects of these initiatives? Speakers from universities across the nation will speak on how it’s possible to break that link, how to include affordable housing and equitable sustainability efforts, and the consequences of ignoring these negative byproducts. Registration Preferred.
Info: 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 18. Rachel Carson College Red Room, UCSC, 1156 High St., Santa Cruz. Free.
Distinguished Artists Concert: Sofya Melikyan
She’s been hailed for her “magnificent singing line and an exquisite artistic sensibility” and combining “high-wire virtuosity” with “deep musical intuition and ability to connect with the audience.” Internationally acclaimed pianist Sofya Melikyan has been awarded the Prize for outstanding Music Talent at the Marisa Montiel International Piano Competition in Linares, First Prize at the Ibiza International Piano Competition in Spain, First Prize for Music Interpretation awarded by “Amigos del Colegio de España” Association in Paris. Melikyan will perform this Sunday, Feb. 19 at Peace United Church.
Info: 4 p.m., Feb. 19. Peace United Church, 900 High St., Santa Cruz. distinguishedartists.org.
‘$7.99 and a Wish’ The Musical
Dac is a rebellious, channel-surfing teen and Jiggy is her best friend, a sassy feline with “a good head on her shoulders.” When an infomercial sells them a product gone wrong, Dac and Jiggy are sucked into their television set. They have to find their way out before the 10 o’clock news or else they’ll be stuck in TV land forever! Santa Cruz artists Tera Torchio, Jace Hardwick, Ariana Rice, and Erin Loofbourrow bring the zany tale of rollerblading bumble bees, a nerdy octopus, and a valuable lesson to life beginning this Friday, Feb. 17 through Feb. 26.
Info: 7-9 p.m. Center Street Theater, 1001 Center St., Santa Cruz. dreambeeproductions.com. $12.
East Cliff Brewing Company Anniversary
East Cliff Brewing Company’s first anniversary will take place this Saturday, Feb. 18, for a rip-roaring good time with music by Coffee Zombie Collective and the New Shockwaves (where are the old ones?) rockin’ all day and into the night. It will be the first time the ECBC has had live music in the taproom. Food Trucks A Go Go will provide food with three trucks for the day: Saucey’z, the Organic Taco, and Lindsey’s Palate Pleasure.
Info: Noon-10 p.m. East Cliff Brewing Company, 21517 East Cliff Drive, Santa Cruz. Free.
Piano Ensemble’s “A Piano Extravaganza”
The Celebrate Piano Ensemble will present its annual benefit concert with two matched grand pianos. A small army of four pianists will tackle the Sabre Dance on two pianos, and Leah Zumberge will perform a portion of recently deceased Stephen Tosh’s piano concert. There will also be ultra modernist compositions of Johanna Beyer and duets by Piazzolla and Guastavino. This annual concert benefits the Talent Bank, a merit scholarship program that awards $3,000 every year to inspire and support Santa Cruz County music students.
Info: 2 p.m. UCSC Music Center Recital Hall, UCSC, 1156 High St., Santa Cruz. $10 Donation.
14th Annual Songwriters Showcase
Got a song and a dream? The 11-week Songwriters Showcase is the event for you. Open to any unsigned songwriters, the showcase is a competition to bring closet musicians out of their shells and inspire music making. Eight prize winners will receive everything from recording time at Mars Studios to gift certificates from Jansen Music and Guitar Works. Songwriters will be judged on their musical creations based on originality, content, and composition. All proceeds benefit Guitars Not Guns, a nonprofit that works to get at-risk youth out of the streets and into into music. Registration required.
Info: 6 p.m. Britannia Arms, 110 Monterey Ave., Capitola. 688-8435. mars-studios.com. Free.
‘Dark Deleuze in the Dark’ with Andrew Culp
How can darkness help us see beyond our own reality? That’s the question that Andrew Culp asks in Dark Deleuze, a reinterpretation of theorist Gilles Deleuze’s challenge to today’s world of compulsory happiness, overexposure and decentralized control. Culp’s politics urges us to get rid of our idols and cultivate “hatred for this world.” Culp will lead a discussion in the dark and on the dark Wednesday, Feb. 22.
Info: 5-7 p.m. DARC’s Dark Lab Room 108, UCSC 1156 High St., Santa Cruz. Free.