Decades before he became the impresario behind San Francisco's rock 'n' roll heyday in the '60s, Bill Graham was part of a small group of Jewish students forced to flee France to avoid Nazi persecution. After making his way to the United States, Graham was raised in a foster home in the Bronx.
The rest you know: He moved to the Bay Area, where his production company presented artists as varied as Jefferson Airplane and Miles Davis and helped launch the careers of the Grateful Dead and Janis Joplin. In 1975, Graham celebrated his roots by building the “Mama Menorah” — a 22-foot candelabra lit in the first outdoor public menorah-lighting ceremony outside Israel. Now his life and legacy (he died in 1991) are celebrated on the first Sunday of Hanukkah at Bill Graham Menorah Day, featuring oratory, Jewish music, and performances by Mattis Yahu and Dan Wolf of local hip hop act Felonious. Festivities begin at 2 p.m. at Union Square, Geary & Stockton, S.F. Admission is free; call 387-5668.
– Owen Otto
Giving It Away
Who doesn't love Glide Memorial? For 40-some years the Rev. Cecil Williams has led a congregation dedicated to unconditional love, serving the underserved with free meals, tons of services, and a rockin' choir. “During the holiday season, everyone talks about loving their neighbor and helping the less fortunate,” intones the reverend. “But it's not the talk. It's the walk.” Today, the walk is the annual Grocery Bag Giveaway. Last year, Glide volunteers gave 10,000 bags of food to people in need, and they plan to walk even further this year. The real care not cash begins at 8 a.m. at Glide Memorial United Methodist Church, 330 Ellis (at Taylor), S.F. Admission is free; call 674-6000 or visit www.glide.org.
– Hiya Swanhuyser
The art that made the '90s
Like fashion and music, the art world has its fads: Impressionism hit the public's consciousness in the 1860s; surrealism was hot from the 1930s to the '50s; op art was all the rage in the 1960s. SFMOMA's “Supernova: Art of the 1990s From the Logan Collection” casts a sharp eye on the decade's fashionable styles, presenting works from a hodgepodge of international artists whose pieces reveal such modern influences as the technology boom, our increasing awareness of the fragility of the human body, and the merging of animation and film with traditional visual art forms. The show, featuring 80 works from artists such as Takashi Murakami and Katharina Fritsch, continues at 11 a.m. daily at SFMOMA, 151 Third St. (at Mission), S.F. Admission is free-$10; call 357-4000 or visit www.sfmoma.org.
– Joyce Slaton