April is National Poetry Month, so this is a perfect month to announce Pleasanton's newest poet laureate, Sandra Kay.

Kay has been active in the poetry and writing scene in Pleasanton for many years. She writes a popular blog titled WriteousMom.com.

Having myself served as the city's second poet laureate, I know how much fun Kay will have in her volunteer role over the next two years. The position allows the city poet to promote various events, workshops and initiatives associated with the literary arts. The poet laureate also serves as a mentor for our two designated teen poets from Amador High School and Foothill High School.

Here's a bit of trivia: Pleasanton was the first city in the Tri-Valley to create a poet laureate position in 1999. We even beat San Francisco, which appointed their first city poet months after we did. In fact, our innovative poet program earned Pleasanton a National Mayors Conference's Livability Award in 2001. Congratulations to Kay as she continues to promote literacy and literary arts for all.

Quilts from the Heart: This weekend, be sure to come by the Alameda County Fairgrounds in Pleasanton to experience the beauty and artistry of hundreds of quilts being displayed.

Members of the Amador Valley Quilters guild in Pleasanton will host their show titled "Quilts from the Heart," which includes their partnership with Quilts of Valor-East Bay to sponsor the "Rookie Quilt Project." This project invites everyone to experience the art of quilting and to make Quilts of Valor for Northern California veterans.

During the show, visitors will have the opportunity to make a block for a Quilt of Valor. The show starts at 10 a.m. Saturday and Sunday, closing at 5 p.m. Saturday and 4 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $10 at the Fairground's Young California Building. Parking is free when mentioning "quilt show" to the parking attendant. For more information. contact Susan Del Boccio at 925-846-9774.

Cultural Plan Update: What do you want to see for the future of the arts in Pleasanton?

The City of Pleasanton's Community Services Department, Civic Arts Division, is embarking on a Cultural Plan Update, and they need resident opinions and suggestions. To offer suggestions or to observe the conversation, residents may attend two upcoming community workshops.

The first will be held Monday at 7 p.m. at the Veteran's Memorial Building at 301 Main Street. This workshop will contain a general overview of the update and provide opportunities for feedback from community members.

The second workshop is Tuesday from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Firehouse Arts Center Theater at 4444 Railroad Avenue. This workshop will focus exclusively on public art, with an overview of the public art process in Pleasanton and opportunity for feedback from the community.

For more information about the Cultural Plan Update visit http://www.ci.pleasanton.ca.us/services/recreation/CulturalPlanUpdateOverview.html or contact Michele Crose, Community Services Manager at 925-931-5347 or mcrose@cityofpleasantonca.gov.

Contact Jim Ott at jimott@sbcglobal.net.

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