Walnut Creek

'Gourmet Gallop' benefits Diablo Ballet

Walnut Creek's Diablo Ballet presents its fourth Gourmet Gallop, a one-night gourmet walking tour adventure from 6 to 9 p.m. Aug. 7, to include wine tasting, cocktails and nibbles at some of the city's finest restaurants. Diablo Ballet dancers and pianist Justin Levitt will join the fun.

The event is a benefit for Diablo Ballet's acclaimed PEEK youth outreach program, bringing arts education to 5,000 underserved East Bay elementary school children annually.

Among the participating establishments are Lark Creek, Massimo, Walnut Creek Yacht Club, Opa!, Hamachi, SF Creamery Company, Lottie's Creamery, Silk Road, The Counter, We Olive, Peet's Coffee, L'Artisan Gourmet Parisian, 54 Mint and Forno.

Tickets are $35/person by July 24, and $45/person after that date. Go to www.diabloballet.org or call 925-943-1775.

Walnut Creek Library discussions of the Muslim 'counternarrative'

In response to research that shows almost a quarter of the Bay Area's 250,000 Muslims have been victims of hate crimes since 9/11, leading Bay Area scholars are urging civic organizations to fight negative portrayals of Muslims in the media and popular culture.

Hosting such a "counternarrative" is the Walnut Creek Library, which has been awarded a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, in cooperation with the American Library Association, to offer "Let's Talk About It: Muslim Journeys," a five-part community reading and discussion series led by nationally renowned scholar Dr. Hatem Bazian (UC Berkeley, Zaytuna College).

The first for discussion program is Aug. 27, with an exploration of the book "Prince Among Slaves" by Terry Alford.

There also will be supplementary programs, including a kickoff event at 3:30 p.m. Aug. 16 as presenter Todd Javadi and musical group Shabahang host "An Afternoon of Rumi," an immersive experience focusing on the 13th century poet's works in the original Farsi and with English translation. Register at wclibrary.org/event/rumi/.

Subsequent discussion programs will run Sept. 10 ("The Columbia Sourcebook of Muslims in the United States," edited by Edward E. Curtis IV); Oct. 8 ("Acts of Faith: the Story of an American Muslim" by Eboo Patel; Oct. 22 ("A Quiet Revolution: the Veil's Resurgence from the Middle East to America" by Leila Ahmed); and Nov. 12, with "The Butterfly Mosque" by G. Willow Wilson.

All these free discussions are designed to encourage community interaction across cultural boundaries. All take place in Walnut Creek Library's Oak View Room at 1644 N. Broadway, Walnut Creek. For more information, go to wclibrary.org/event/roads/.

Centennial 'Paint-Out' pieces on display through July 26

The work of 27 area artists who took part on a special "Paint-Out" depicting various signature Walnut Creek scenes will be on display at Valley Art Gallery, 1661 Botelho Drive, Suite 110, through July 26.,

All participating artists had their canvases time-stamped at the Valley gallery and then had one week (June 21-27) to complete plein air paintings of one or more of Walnut Creek's many scenic sites, such as Heather Farm Park, Lime Ridge and Shell Ridge open space areas, downtown Broadway Plaza, the Bancroft Gardens, Borges Ranch, the Shadelands Museum and others. The paintings were featured at Civic Park on July 4, as part of the city's Independence Day celebrations.

A watercolor titled "Magnificent Mt. Diablo" by Leslie Wilson was voted "Best in Show" by popular vote, earning a cash award.