Winter Arts Guide: Sexy & Strange

There's always something weird afoot.

WE’RE STILL WORKING: THE ART OF SEX WORK
Jan. 26 – Feb. 27, at SOMArts, 934 Brannan St., somarts.org/stillworking

With this multidisciplinary group exhibit meant to question the prevailing attitudes surrounding sex work, SOMArts lets people in the industry make the case for their own vulnerability and strength in equal measures, arguing that sex workers are a vital part of a city’s cultural landscape. Paying homage to the much-missed club the Lusty Lady, “We’re Still Working” includes panel discussions and a film series.

BURNING TRUMP IN EFFIGY + SATANIC MARSHMALLOW ROAST
Feb. 1, 8 p.m., with Satanic San Francisco, location given upon RSVP 48 hours in advance, satanicsf.com

You know you want to. Having initially been planned for Inauguration weekend, Satanic San Francisco moved this devilishly fun protest to Feb. 1. With Republicans in control of all three branches of government, it’s going to take some black magic to make the world right again, and there are only so many piñatas. B.Y.O. marshmallows.

DIRTY OLD WOMEN EROTICA BOOK LAUNCH
Feb. 8, 7:30 p.m., at the Make-Out Room, 3225 22nd St., and Feb. 28, 7 p.m., at Octopus Literary Salon, 2101 Webster St., Oakland, oaklandoctopus.org.

Life begins at 40, and women of a certain age know it’s better after that. Two years into the monthly Dirty Old Women erotica reading series, Lynx Canon of Octopus Literary Salon has released an anthology of 23 stories and poems celebrating sex-positivity among a demographic that’s frequently overlooked.

DANCE LOVERS
Feb. 10-12, at the Joe Goode Annex, 401 Alabama St., $17-$37, dancelovers2017.brownpapertickets.com

This Valentine’s Day weekend, get with James Graham Dance Theatre for the 6th annual Dance Lovers, a series of short pieces that originated when Graham realized he and the fellow dancer he was dating had never danced together. Combining theater, improvisation, modern dance, and drag, Dance Lovers is like chalky candy that says “BE MINE,” only better and with butch queen community organizers’ fancy footwork.

APHRODISIACS OF THE TROPICS
Feb. 14, 6-10 p.m., at the Conservatory of Flowers, 100 John F. Kennedy Drive, Golden Gate Park, $30-$50, conservatoryofflowers.org

Forgot to book whatever room in the Madonna Inn has a heart-shaped tub? Don’t worry: The Conservatory of Flowers has your stirring libido in mind. Learn all about which plants have been considered aphrodisiacs, from vanilla to cashew to cardamom, while sipping a wine pairing from Muscardini Cellars and small-batch confections from Dandelion Chocolate. Your paramour will find your irresistible, dahlink.

HARD FRENCH WINTER BALL
Feb. 18, 9 p.m. 2 a.m., at Grand Theater at Gray Area Foundation for the Arts, 2665 Mission St., $21.40, hardfrench.com

El Rio’s outdoor soul and Motown party confines itself to the warmer months, but Hard French’s seventh annual Winter Ball wants you to look real fancy in your sharpest duds as you shake your moneymaker to the sounds of DJs Brown Amy and Carnita, plus a set from the iconic Pam the Funkstress. This year’s theme is “Heaven is a Place on Earth,” and frilly lace cravats and powder-blue tuxes never go out of style. If you were a weirdo who hated the very idea of prom, you simply must attend.

MARDI GRAS PARADE
Feb. 28, parade at 5 p.m., at Patricia’s Green in Hayes Valley; show at 8 p.m., at Brick and Mortar Music Hall, 1710 Mission St., $10, brickandmortarmusic.com

You didn’t think les bontemps were just in Orleans Parish, did you?

Starting at 5 p.m., krewes in their gold, green, and purple will muster behind a bunch of brass bands at Patricia’s Green and head to Brick & Mortar Music Hall for an evening of jazz. Pick that baby Jesus out of your teeth, wolf down the rest of your king cake, and get ready to wear your body weight in beads.

BIGFOOT BONANZA
March 10-12, at the Balboa Theatre, 3630 Balboa St., bigfootbonanza.com

Sort of a film festival, sort of a crypto-zoological conference, but as alluring as the mythos of the Sasquatch, the Bigfoot Bonanza takes over the Balboa Theatre with camp monster flicks, experts in the field, and plenty of tacos and beer. Wouldn’t it be so cool if, like, actual Bigfoot came down from Snohomish, Washington, and sat right behind you, breathing heavily during a screening of Man Beast?

ARTISAN CHEESE FESTIVAL
March 24-26, at the Sheraton Sonoma County, 745 Baywood Dr., Petaluma, artisancheesefestival.com

It’s exactly what it sounds like, which is perfection. Tours of cheese country, seminars, demos, and tastings populate this three-day affair that will make you rethink your reflexive association of Sonoma with wine. Do not miss the cheese and cocktails segment on Saturday, March 25 — unless you’re already dining with the cheesemakers, that is.

QUILT SAN FRANCISCO 2017
March 24-35, at St. Mary’s Cathedral, 1111 Gough St., $10-$15, sfquiltersguild.org

Did you know that quilters are almost as secretly radical as librarians and only a notch below nurses? That’s our hypothesis, anyway. Test it out at QUILT, the San Francisco Quilters Guild’s 17th biannual, where the crafting renaissance takes the form of a warm bedspread. Apart from admiring this age-old (but audaciously modern) art form, it’s a great place to get your great-aunt’s handiwork appraised.

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