Arts & Entertainment in Concord

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In 2000, three friends pooled their resources to take Take One Video under their wing, growing the rental store into studios that not only lend art, but create it. At its height, Take One had reigned over the East Bay with four outposts; eventually, however, its influence dwindled to a single location that was suffering from lack of diversity, the increasing availability of online movies, and the mysterious appearance of sitcoms in the late-night sky. The current crew's knowledge of diverse film genres helps visitors navigate the cult-movie selection, and a seven-day rental policy?with rewards for early returns?gives renters the time to cultivate their connoisseurship. Unsatisfied by the distribution and archival preservation of audio, images, and film, Take One's staff amassed backdrops and light modifiers to build a photography studio and began using their post-analog savvy to create digital scrapbooks of their clients' newly transferred files.

1928 Oak Park Blvd
Pleasant Hill,
CA
US

The experienced instructors at The Sewing Machine Shop repair impart pupils with stitching know-how and equip customers with sewing supplies. Learn new ways to keep fly-front jeans or pet robots' mouths closed during the Zippers Revealed class ($40), which provides step-by-step instructions for applying four different kinds of zippers. Twin Needle Fun classes ($30) introduce dual-needling activities such as grid quilting, and Sewing Fundamentals lessons ($30) soak students' brain sponges in needlework basics including how to sew straight and curved seams and how to read a pattern.

1661 Botelho Dr
Walnut Creek,
CA
US

Named one of Parents magazine's Top 10 Birthday Chains in 2010, Color Me Mine's international franchise of DIY ceramics studios cater to an older crowd as well. Hundreds of unadorned ceramic pieces?including vases, flatware, and busts of Elvis?await the attentions of muses of kids and their keepers alike, as do glazes in earthy tones and bright crimsons to frighten bulls away from china cabinets. Guests follow simple step-by-step instructions that leave plenty of room for creative expression. When painters are satisfied with their work, the professional kiln-workers help glaze and fire it for them before customers retrieve the finished piece a few days later.

3541 Mt. Diablo Blvd.
Lafayette,
CA
US

The Preschool Prep Company's award-winning line of DVD's and books are designed to teach children basic concepts such as letters, numbers, shapes, and colors. Founder Kathy Oxley has good reason to believe that toddlers? can easily learn these concepts. After exposure to the alphabet, Oxley?s 14-month-old daughter began to recognize letters on signs and in books. Within a year, the two-year-old could read simple words on her own. Preschool Prep aims to provide children with a basic set of tools they'll be able to use when they're ready to learn how to read. In the end, it's a philosophy very similar to other educational approaches. "We teach toddlers to identify dogs, elephants, unicorns and dinosaurs," Oxley said in an interview with EW.com. "Letters are no different. They are just animals of a different kind."

858 El Quanito Dr
Danville,
CA
US

Pinot's Palette is less an art studio than it is a way for people to enjoy a libation-filled night out with friends, one that happens to include a painting project. The painting sessions evoke adults' inner artists whether they have any painting experience or not, encouraging conversation and good cheer while painting and sipping. Some locations feature a BYOB policy while others serve beer and wine from the bar. Each session features a predetermined painting?from flowers and animals to known classics such as Van Gogh's Starry Night?which each participant tackles from their own artistic angle under the guidance of an experienced instructor.

410 Sycamore Valley Rd
Danville,
CA
US

Every bead, stone, scarf, and shawl at Best Bead Shop is handpicked by owner Chitwan to ensure quality and beauty. The shop carries an extensive inventory of materials from vendors in Turkey and India. Meanwhile, classes teach participants how to make and repair professional-quality jewelry made from clay and various metals.

2551 San Ramon Valley Blvd
San Ramon,
CA
US