The Tech Interactive did what it does best — innovate — when LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman said he wouldn’t be able to attend last Saturday night’s Tech for Global Good celebration because of a positive COVID-19 test. That presented an obstacle because Hoffmann was to receive the James C. Morgan III Global Humanitarian Award as the centerpiece of the event.
But, as we’ve all done so many times over the past two years, the Tech pivoted and the show went on. Hoffman provided his thanks during remarks delivered via pre-recorded video and the whole evening was an inspiring showcase of the four teams of laureates who have used technology to make the world a better place.
The honorees are India-based climate tech startup Blue Sky Analytics; Kenya-based Ushahidi, which uses crowdsourcing to jumpstart social activism and civic journalism; Oregon-based Wild Me, which is using AI to fight species extinction; and Buzz Solutions, a Palo Alto-based startup that uses images to detect flaws in power lines before a fire can start. A series of fun and informative YouTube videos about each of the laureates has been collected at www.thetech.org/tech-global-good.
In all, it was a great comeback for the event, formerly known as the Tech Awards, which used to draw more than 1,000 people and was last held in person in 2019. This time around, the invite list was kept to a relatively compact group of just over 200 people, and was actually delayed from last November because of COVID-19 concerns. Of course, COVID still managed to make its presence felt, though Hoffman provided all the guests with two gifts — a copy of his book, “Masters of Scale: Surprising Truths from the World’s Most Successful Entrepreneurs,” and a promise to be at the next Tech for Global Good celebration planned for this fall.
SOUTH FIRST FRIDAYS RETURNS: The monthly South First Fridays art walk in downtown San Jose returns this week, and every month we glide toward summer brings out a few more people — and a few more new exhibitions.
For this month, illustrator and graphic novelist Barron Storey returns to Anno Domini, 366 S. First St., for his eighth solo exhibition, appropriately titled, “The Illustrious Barron Storey,” which includes some of the commercial illustrations created over a 40-year period, plus paintings and drawings from his journals. Storey — who is on the faculty at San Jose State — may be most memorable for those of certain age because of the striking portrait he created for the 1980 edition of William Golding’s “The Lord of the Flies.”
Meanwhile, at 5 p.m., the Institute of Contemporary Art is hosting the debut of “The Endless End,” an installation that’s part-sculpture and part-cinema created by Facing West Shadows, a Bay Area collective of artists, puppeteers, filmmakers and musicians. This particular piece — which grabs viewers’ attention through projected, moving images and handmade animation — was created by artistic director Lydia Greer, theatrical director Caryl Kientz and artist Yawen Chien, with music by Kristina Dutton and Fay LaRoque.
You can get more information on these and other offerings for the April 1 art walk at www.southfirstfridays.com.
AMERICA IN MUSICAL FORM: It’s a busy couple of weeks for Symphony San Jose, which just presented audiences with its “Feste romane” at the California Theatre last weekend. Now, the venue shifts to the Center for the Performing Arts and the music goes all-American with a quartet of “American Masters” whose work defined the nation in the 1930s and ’40s.
We’re talking about Duke Ellington, George Gershwin, Leonard Bernstein and Aaron Copland. And to conduct the symphony in this endeavor, what could be more American than having New York-born Tito Muñoz, who is in his fourth year as music director of the Phoenix Symphony.
The program will be performed at 8 p.m. April 2 and again on April 3 at 2 p.m. You can get tickets at www.symphonysanjose.org.
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