The Shadelands Scene
Community news, updates, and insights
Viamonte at Walnut Creek, on Shadelands Drive, at the corner of N. Via Monte, opened to residents in December 2020, and is eagerly welcoming them to their new homes at the state-of-the-art development of Sequoia Living and the first life plan community in Contra Costa County.

One of Viamonte's showcase designs is its distinctive art purposefully curated and on display throughout the interior floors and exterior entrance and courtyards.
“When we envisioned Viamonte, we wanted to create a place that was dynamic and that incorporates the many dimensions of wellness and healthy living,” says Kate Douglas, Director of Life Enrichment. “And we wanted the art that lives in our hallways and entrances and courtyards to reflect that vision.”

Viamonte’s art explores a variety of styles, subjects, and media to create conversation and a sense of community within the hallways and open spaces.
Art forms include sculpture, painting, photography, textiles, installations, and even a living biophilic design, all with an emphasis on California artists, or artists who create pieces representative of California.
“We’ve been fortunate to have several of the artists whose work is in Viamonte give virtual talks to our residents and staff,” says Kate.
“A big piece of the inspiration for art in Viamonte,” says Kate, “is to make a living space that reflects activity and liveliness and a community where the art is something that uplifts everybody’s wellness.”
Mixed-media, custom-designed installations with hand-made porcelain pieces announce floor numbers at elevator doors, by Madeleine Walton.
Fine Art Photography Prints, by Robert K. Byers, student of Ansel Adams. Black/white photographs of California's places and spaces.
The Legacy Oak, by Scott Hile. Book pages featuring the words of famous Californians superimposed with images creating the oak.
Viamonte Circuit Boards, by Windy Chien. A contemporary re-envisioning of sailors' knots, this commissioned work was created with rope and a variety of classic knots.
Preview Center
165 Lennon Lane, Suite 105
Walnut Creek

Biophilic Art, by WabiMoss. Preserved moss, lichen, plants, and wood, recognizing how much human physical and mental well-being relies on relationships to the natural world.
Graffiti Apple Sculpture. Ceramic with gloss finish and vibrant, multi-colored, one-of-a-kind graffiti designs.
Spring is here, and so is puppy and kitten season, bringing a boom of kittens and puppies to animal shelters. Adorable as they are, young animals place a strain on shelters such as Tony La Russa's Animal Rescue Foundation (ARF) as they rally to provide space, time, and resources for some of the most vulnerable animals. ARF's foster program is critical to easing the strain and keeping animals in its care safe, healthy, and socialized.

ARF's annual Puppy & Kitten Shower fundraiser benefits baby animals and all dogs and cats who spend time at ARF volunteer foster homes. Donations of funds and goods carry ARF's foster program through the entire year.

This year, ARF is safely coordinating a donation drop-off day on Saturday, April 10, 1–5pm. Look for the signs directing donors to ARF's foster entrance at 2890 Mitchell Drive, Walnut Creek. Masks and social distancing are required.

People can also purchase items to donate via SmileAmazon or Pet Food Express to be delivered to the ARF campus.
What do foster animals need most? Visit Puppy & Kitten Shower.

Saturday, April 10, 1–5pm

2890 Mitchell Drive
Walnut Creek

Donation drop off
at the foster entrance
UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals Sports Medicine Center for Young Athletes is home to the highly regarded Dance Medicine Program, designed for young dancers of all styles. Now in its 6th year, Dance Medicine focuses on improving strength and flexibility to prevent injuries and chronic pain, and to help injured dancers rehab and recover. Offered through the program are two signature assessments.

The Ballet Pointe Readiness Assessment is a ten-step assessment that serves two groups: young pre-pointe dancers who are preparing for pointe work, and pointe dancers who have sustained injuries and wish to return to pointe.

Upon completion of the assessment, dancers receive a pass or a fail.

"Some dancers begin pointe too early, when they aren’t strong enough. Or, they were ready for pointe and then grew a few inches, which affects their balance, strength, and stability," says Caitlin Mouille, Doctor of Physical Therapy and Dance Medicine Program coordinator for all four Children's Hospitals campuses.

"We see incorrect technique and over-use injuries in physical therapy, and this is exactly what we're striving to prevent through the assessments."

The assessment encompasses age, strength, balance, and flexibility of dancers' ankles—their range of motion and ability to actually get their ankles up into pointe for the first time or to return to pointe.

If dancers don't pass every step in the assessment, they are either not ready to begin pointe work, or they are not ready to return to pointe work after an injury.
When dancers don’t pass, they are given exercises and techniques to practice to increase flexibility and strengthen the muscles that pointe work requires. Caitlin and her team follow patient progress and, in the case of an injured dancer, healing, until the dancer receives a pass or makes longer term plans.

The Dancer Screen gauges the potential or likelihood of future injury based on a dancer's fundamental and dance-specific movements.

The screen looks at flexibility and strength, which is general to all dancers, as indicators of stability, or potential for injury. Through the assessment, dancers are identified as low, moderate, or high risk of injury.

“This is great for any dancer who doesn’t have pain,” says Caitlin, “and who says, ‘I’m feeling strong, I want to continue my dance career through high school and college, what’s my potential for getting hurt?’”

Modules take dancers through the assessment, which includes performing fundamental movements, the use of specialized equipment, and expert observation by the physical therapists.

Walnut Creek Campus
2401 Shadelands Drive
Walnut Creek
Then dancers are taken through the module specific to their dance style: ballet, tap, contemporary, or hip hop, assessing accuracy and stability.

The low, moderate, and high risk classifications give dancers an understanding of what they need to work on in their particular dance style to be in a better position of not risking injury.

"If more young dancers, and cheerleaders, and gymnasts were able to get an assessment on their range of motion, flexibility, and strength," says Caitlin, "they would be more successful in their chosen dance or sport and would absolutely decrease their chances of injury."

Photos taken before COVID-19 regulations.
Calicraft Brewing Co. has re-opened its popular outdoor beer garden for pints and to-go beer, and that's great news for fans of Calicraft's distinctively Californian artisanal brews. Partnering with on-site food trucks Thursday through Sunday, Calicraft offers outdoor dining and drinking, with all outdoor seating and table service only. Newly designed and opened last summer, the beer garden, which features tables with benches, social distancing, and plenty of fresh air, is welcoming customers every day as we move through tiers and eased restrictions.

Blaine Landberg launched Calicraft in 2012, with the vision of creating an innovative beverage company inspired by California and focused on sustainability. In July 2016, Calicraft opened its taproom at 2700 Mitchell Drive; and in August 2020, it opened its beer garden. While the taproom is temporarily closed to customers due to county COVID regulations, the beer garden continues to be a popular spot for friends and family looking for distinctive craft brews and bites.
Taproom & Beer Garden
2700 Mitchell Drive
Walnut Creek

Monday–Thursday, 3–8pm
Friday–Sunday, Noon–8pm
Food trucks Thursday–Sunday

Hours will increase during
Daylight Savings Time
We are more than a year into the COVID-19 pandemic and the attendant lockdowns, shutdowns, and shortages. The health crisis has taken its toll on all of us in a variety of ways mentally, physically, and emotionally. There is hope and help, however, for people who are struggling with the stresses of the past year and looking for guidance.

The Contra Costa Crisis Center offers free and confidential COVID-19 support groups for anyone experiencing stress due to illness, job loss, safety concerns, working remotely, distance learning, parenting and caregiver responsibilities, and other stressors that interfere with quality of life.

COVID-19 support groups, offered in English (Mon. evenings) and Spanish (Thurs. evenings), allow people to connect with others and learn ways to cope with stress and grief.

Facilitated by trained Crisis Center staff and volunteers, the groups meet virtually once per week, two hours per meeting, and six to eight weeks per session. Participants may enroll as many times as they wish.
Free, confidential, virtual

Call 800.833.2900 or
text HOPE to 20121
for more information
and to register for a group.
To maintain confidentiality via Zoom, participants can change their screen name before logging on.
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The Walnut Creek Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau hosts and records Back to Business webinars that focus on economic issues and impacts of ongoing health regulations and restrictions. Next up:

Tuesday, April 13, 9–10am
Register here.

Four of the most recent sessions are listed below. For all topics, visit Back to Business.

Generally 2nd & 4th Tuesday
9–10am, via Zoom

Visit Walnut Creek Chamber for upcoming webinar details and registration. Topics, agendas, and dates are subject to change.
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