Events Calendar


Thursday, October 23, 2014, 6:00pm
Reel California: Viewings of Short Films from Range of Light Film Festival

Free for CHS Members, $5 General Admission

Join us for a special presentation of short films from the Range of Light Film Festival, a unique festival of films screened in and about Yosemite. Learn more about the inaugural Range of Light Film Festival from its founder, Steven Bumgardner, and hear from filmmakers who made stunning short films for the Film Festival.

The films that will be discussed are:

Thousands of Visitors, Thirty Filmmakers, One Day in Yosemite (14:59): “Its 15 minutes tell a deeply human story of one of America's greatest wild, natural places, and does an awesome job of weaving the two seemingly-at-odds storylines together in a way that reflects what the whole National Parks system represents: Humanity and nature as codependents working together for mutual preservation.” — Peter Koch, The Active Times

Yosemite HD II (5:20): Spectacular time-lapse photography of Yosemite (with attending filmmaker Colin Delehanty

Silver & Light (9:19): Ian Ruhter is a wet-plate photographer who has turned his truck into the largest portable camera in the world. Follow his journey from city to mountains, through failure and success and the difficulties of capturing Yosemite in winter.

Winters of My Life (3:25): For the past 35 years Howard Weamer has spent his winters as a hutkeeper in Yosemite's backcountry. He fills his days writing, reading, photographing, and being an ambassador to mountain culture. This is a brief look into his world and why he chooses to stay.

Climbing Snake Dike on Half Dome (3:40): A short non-verbal film of a husband and wife climbing Half Dome's Snake Dike.

About the Range of Light Film Festival

2014 Theme: The theme for the inaugural Range of Light Film Festival is 150 Years of Yosemite. In June 2014 we celebrated the establishment of Yosemite as a protected area, the genesis of the national park idea and our park as the birthplace of international land conservation. On June 30, 1864, in the midst of the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln signed an unprecedented bill, the Yosemite Grant, which set aside the Mariposa Grove and Yosemite Valley as the nation's first protected areas. The seed of an idea was planted – that our nation's most magnificent and sacred natural spaces should be preserved for everyone and all time. Indeed, the national park movement grew nationally and internationally from President Lincoln's bold action, and today helps define who we are as Americans.

The history and many tales about Yosemite are often overshadowed by the park's world famous and iconic features such as Half Dome, El Capitan and Yosemite Falls. The film festival displayed how filmmakers, artists and storytellers have been inspired and used the park as a backdrop for their creative and varied interpretations. Audience members left the festival with a greater appreciation for Yosemite, having viewed it in new and surprising ways, and a renewed sense for the importance of conservation, maintaining public lands, and preserving natural resources for future generations.

Film portion of the program: 50 minutes
Discussion among speakers: 30 minutes

Saturday, October 25, 2014, 10:00am - 12:00pm
We are CA - TELL ME MORE | Scholarly Voices from the African Diaspora
The Cultural Politics of Human DNA with Dr. Duana Fullwiley

Free Event

Have you ever thought about how our culture, society, values, and politics shape science? In this lecture, Stanford University professor Duana Fullwiley will discuss how histories of race, political struggles for democratic equality, and shifting cultural values about who owns the body (and its tissues) are key to understanding how genetic science happens today. She will touch on why African-descended and diasporic peoples are deemed valuable for genetic studies. There are medical, ethical, and political issues that are involved in sampling underrepresented groups in the U.S. and populations in the global South. For this reason, it is important to have discussions about equity, inclusion, and fairness with the larger public.

Duana Fullwiley is an anthropologist of science and medicine interested in how social identities, health outcomes, and molecular genetic findings increasingly intersect. She is the author of The Enculturated Gene: Sickle Cell Health Politics and Biological Difference in West Africa (Princeton, 2011), which draws on nearly a decade of ethnographic fieldwork in the U.S., France, and Senegal. She is currently finishing her second book on the embrace of race in the genomic era, Tabula Raza: Mapping Race and Human Diversity in American Genome Science.

Presented in partnership with MoAD in the Neighborhood

Sunday, October 26, 2014, 3:00pm – 5:00pm
We are CA - AUTHORS IN CONVERSATION | Destiny's Child: Memoirs of a Preacher's Daughter

Free for CHS and MOAD Members, $5 General Admission


Join us for a fascinating conversation with Jewelle Taylor Gibbs, author of Destiny's Child: Memoirs of a Preacher's Daughter, and Barbara Rodgers of the Emmy Award-winning "The Bronze Report." The acclaimed new book traces approximately 200 years of history to show how the Taylor family achieved upward mobility despite social and racial barriers. An incredibly informative and inspirational work, it's a must-read for anyone seeking to better understand racial dynamics in the United States. The program includes a reception with wine and light refreshments.

Jewelle Taylor Gibbs is a retired professor, author, and activist who holds degrees in social work and psychology from the University of California, Berkeley. Her publications include Young, Black and Male in America: An Endangered Species (1988). For nearly 30 years, Barbara Rodgers was one of the most recognizable newscasters on CBS 5/KPIX TV. She retired from KPIX in 2008, but she hasn't stopped informing the public about issues of the day. She covers the breadth and depth of the African American community in the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond each week on "The Bronze Report."

Presented in partnership with MoAD in the Neighborhood

Wednesday, October 29, 2014, 12:00pm
Yosemite: A Storied Landscape: Screening and Tour Event

Free for CHS Members, $5 General Admission
No reservations required

View a screening of Ken Burns' documentary Yosemite: A Gathering of Spirit, followed by a docent-led tour of the exhibition Yosemite: A Storied Landscape. This program will begin shortly after 12:00pm.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014, 6:00pm — 9:30pm
San Francisco Time Travel Project - Speakeasies and Skyscrapers

Doors open 6:00pm, program begins 7:00pm
$12 for CHS and Odd Salon Members, $15 General Admission

Journey with us back in time as we reveal the stories, people, lost landmarks, and ephemeral wonders of the San Francisco Bay Area. Each month from June to November, Odd Salon, a community of history enthusiasts and experts, will tell the city's weird and wonderful history through cocktail-hour talks highlighting the most fascinating, overlooked, strange, and intriguing stories from the city's past, one era at a time. To help bring these stories to life, CHS archivists and librarians will showcase objects of intrigue, including maps, photos, ephemera, rare books, and historic items from the CHS Collection in a series of pop-up exhibits in CHS' North Baker Library.

Each program in this series will feed off audience participation and will provide a raucous environment for guests. Pre-reception begins at 6:00pm and will include a viewing of CHS collection items in the library. No food or drink is allowed in the North Baker Library. Event begins at 7:00pm with presentations until 7:45pm. A 20-minute intermission begins at 7:45pm and ends at 8:10pm with a second viewing of items in the CHS library. The program concludes at 9:30pm.

There will be a Cash Bar and Cash Only for Merchandise table. Nearest ATMs are on New Montgomery (Bank of America and Chase Bank), Market Street, and at Walgreens, Tart to Tart, the Metreon, and Target.

Thursday, November 6, 2014, 6:00pm
History Speaks - Yosemite's Big Trees, Past and Future with Jared Farmer

Doors open at 5:45pm, Program begins at 6:15pm
Free for CHS members, $5 General Admission

From its inception in 1864, Yosemite National Park has included the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias in addition to Yosemite Valley. The Big Trees are fundamental to the past and future of the park. Join prize-winning historian Jared Farmer as he gives an illustrated lecture on California's most visited sequoia grove—home of two of the world's most famous plants, the Grizzly Giant and the Wawona Tunnel Tree—and provides an overview of contemporary management challenges relating to tourism, fire, and climate change.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014, 6:00pm
We are CA – How are we doing? Fire Management in the National Parks

Doors open at 5:45pm, Program begins at 6:15pm
Free for CHS members, $5 General Admission

Join us for a stirring panel discussion about fire in the National Parks with experts in the fields of fire management and fire science. Focusing on both Yosemite National Park as a case study and National Park Service efforts around the country, the panelists will discuss the history of fire management in the parks and the strategies and complications with managing fires today, such as allowing lightning fires to burn in the wilderness and igniting prescribed fires.

Panelists include: Jan W. van Wagtendonk, PhD, Research Forester Emeritus, Yosemite National Park; Tom Nichols, NPS Chief, Fire and Aviation Management, National Interagency Fire Center; Kelly Martin, Chief of Fire and Aviation Management, Yosemite National Park; Scott Stephens, Professor of Fire Science, ESPM Department at University of California, Berkeley.

Thursday, November 13, 2014, 6:00pm
History Speaks - John Muir's Continuing Inspiration

Doors open at 5:45pm, Program begins at 6:15pm
Free for CHS & Sierra Club members, $5 General Admission


Join us at the California Historical Society as Doug McConnell of Bay Area Backroads sets the stage for a lecture by John Muir scholar Harold Wood on John Muir's life and legacy.

John Muir is regularly celebrated today in culture, arts, and conservation efforts. Even 100 years after his death, his life continues to be an inspiration and role model for wilderness and environmental protection.

John Muir believed that there should never be complacency about wilderness preservation and protection and ultimately about living in harmony with the Earth. Muir helped found the Sierra Club to ensure that there would be an ongoing, persistent education enterprise to keep the public informed, active, aroused, and effective. To this end, we do not merely celebrate Muir's legacy of wilderness preservation so exemplified in the Wilderness Act of 1964, but his broader perception of the ultimate importance of nature and learning to live in harmony with it—an inspiration founded equally on scientific understanding and poetic sensibility. With Muir, we're talking about ultimate meanings, especially about the place of humankind within the environment.

Harold Wood is a long-time John Muir scholar and wilderness activist, chair of the Sierra Club John Muir Education Team and Webmaster, Sierra Club John Muir Exhibit website.

Presented in partnership with the Sierra Club

Saturday, November 15, 2014, 12:30pm
Reel California - Youth in Yosemite Film Festival

Doors open at 12:30pm, Screening begins at 1:00pm
Free for CHS members, $5 General Admission

Join us for a screening of films from the Youth in Yosemite Short Film Contest. After the screening, listen to a discussion about the contest and learn more about these fantastic films. The discussion will focus on how the project came about, how it partnered with the Range of Light Film Festival and Steve Bumgardner, as well as highlight the amazing outcomes. Each of the films will be introduced with who the filmmaker was, their age and community/country.

Thursday, December 4, 2014, 6:00pm
History Speaks- Norman Clyde: Legendary Mountaineer of California's Sierra Nevada

Doors open at 5:45pm, Program begins at 6:15pm
Free for CHS members, $5 General Admission

Historian and author Robert Pavlik discusses his new book, Norman Clyde: Legendary Mountaineer of California's Sierra Nevada. This riveting account of one of the most notable personalities of the mountain climbing world reconstructs the life of legendary mountaineer Norman Clyde (1885-1972). He made his mark on history with more than one hundred and thirty first ascents throughout western North America, and many believe he knew the High Sierra better than anyone else, including John Muir. Part of his mystique comes from participating in high-profile mountain rescues and recoveries, in which he is credited with saving a number of lives. Those who had the good fortune to meet him–often with a ninety-pound pack on his back that included an anvil for boot repair, fishing rods, cooking pots, and books in Greek and Latin–never forgot the experience. Biographer Robert C. Pavlik uses Clyde's own words, along with recollections from his family, friends, fellow climbers, and acquaintances, to capture the experiences of a remarkable man and a bygone time "between the pioneers and the rock climbers."

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