New commission member jumps in with gusto

Dave and Nathan Dunkle, and Joanne Soriano.

One of the things I love about Gilroy is the weather. I have a brother-in-law who lives in upstate New York (where I once lived) and we often compare the weather. While he describes extreme cold in winter or extreme heat and humidity in the summer – to say nothing of devastating rain and storms – I smugly describe mostly sunny days and pleasant evenings year round.  
July 20 was just such a day: warm afternoon and balmy evening, perfect for the free Friday Night Music on Fifth Street and the relaxing music of Sagebrush. You may have been there enjoying the band, talking with friends, dancing or chuckling at the cute kids dancing and making new friends.
If you missed it, there are five more Fridays left, so gather your chair, a few companions and perhaps some snacks and come out for a relaxing evening in Gilroy.
Among the folks who turned out to enjoy Sagebrush and make new friends were Dave Dunkle and his charming son, Nathaniel. Dunkle was appointed to a position on the City of Gilroy Arts and Culture Commission in January.
Jumping in with both feet, he organized the commission’s participation in the Memorial Day parade and is currently maintaining a digital calendar of Gilroy’s monthly art events for commissioners.
Originally from Pennsylvania, Dunkle lived in San Jose before moving to Gilroy in 2010. His experience at Jabil, a global electronics manufacturing services company, brings digital expertise to the commission while his work related travel both internationally and domestically brings an awareness of what may be possible in the realm of public art.
Dunkle shares a home with girlfriend, Joanne; 5-year-old Nathaniel; Henry, a Yorkshire terrier; and about 30 fish in a pond. He loves family activities, working in the yard, community service and sports.
Happy living in Gilroy, Dunkle looked to volunteering as a way of giving back to the community and as a way to be a role model for his family. His arts background and strong appreciation for the arts led him to seek a position on the Public Art Committee but the Arts and Culture Commission was so impressed with his interview that they recommended him for the commission.
Although he doesn’t claim to be an artist, Dunkle hopes “to be more of a commissioner who helps build ideas, gain consensus, support each commissioner individually and generally supports the commission through hard work and a positive attitude. I like to do things that help make us better as people and a community.”
Dunkle enjoys attending local art events and productions and looks forward to meeting the talented artists of Gilroy.
Although cake is not my go-to dessert, I admit that I’ll travel great distances for a really good red velvet cupcake.
With that said, my mouth began to water when I received word of Pintello Comedy Theater’s newest production, “The Red Velvet Cake War.”
It’s about three cousins  (April Ouellette, Sandra Aranda and Rebecca Little) from the South, who are attempting to win a bet against their conniving Aunt Lamerie (Barbara Smith) to save Cousin Gaynelle’s home. This is accomplished by throwing a huge dysfunctional family reunion during a terrible Texas storm.
I’m not sure why, but Southern and dysfunctional seem to be sure-fire attributes of a very funny comedy.
I’m looking forward to having my cake and a whole lot of laughter. Hope to see you there!
Be sure to check out JoAnne Perez Robinson’s blog. I viewed pictures of Robinson’s electric boxes and they are almost as beautiful on the Internet as they are in real life.
Find Joanne at where she posts her work and writes about the inspiration behind each of her paintings.
Art is certainly alive and well in Gilroy!

‘The Red Velvet Cake War’
Aug. 17 – Sept. 8
Friday and Saturdays at 8 p.m.; Matinee, Sunday, Aug. 26 at 2 p.m.
Gilroy Grange Hall, 8191 Swanston Lane, Gilroy
(408) 337-1599
Farmers market and arts and crafts
Monterey and Seventh streets, Gilroy
Sundays, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Fifth Street Live
Fifth Street between Monterey and Eigleberry
Friday Nights through Aug. 31, 7 – 9 p.m.
Auditions for ‘James and the Giant Peach’
Children in second to eighth grade memorize a short poem or monologue
Tuesday, Aug. 28, 7 p.m. (6:30 check-in)
Wednesday Aug. 29, 7 p.m. (6:30 check-in)
SVCT Warehouse, 1640 Joleen Way, Blg. G, Unit 2, Morgan Hill
Sandra Marlowe at San Jose Jazz Summer Fest
Saturday, Aug. 11, 7 p.m.
Silicon Valley Stage at The Club Regent of the Fairmont Hotel downtown San Jose
[email protected]

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