Institute Blog

Are we really what we eat? – Ticket prices reduced by $10!

Professor and writer Kevin Wehr will be teaming up with The Sacramento Institute of Fun at Revolution Wines to ask an important question: “Are we really what we eat?” This discussion will be centered on fast food, slow food and how it all relates to American popular culture. Learn more about popular culture today and the roles our food plays in it!

Update 4/17/09: We may be in hard times, but we at the Institute still believe that good food, good times and good learning are important. That’s why we’ve reduced our ticket prices for this event by $10 across the board! So come on out and have a good time and meet new people. Hope to see you there.

$14.95 – General admission

$9.95 – Students and Revolution Wine Club members

$4.95 – Subscribing S.I.F members

$20 – At the door

To find out more about Kevin Wehr visit

Did The Duke have what it takes to make it on American Idol?

Jazz Night III “The History and Music of Duke Ellington” is on Friday, so we thought we’d get you a little sneak preview!

Chris was able to grab some time with Adam Jenkins to ask a few very important questions about this Friday’s featured jazz master, check it out!

Duke of what? Is “Duke” really Ellington’s first name?

“No. Duke’s real name is Edward Kennedy Ellington and he was born in Washington D.C (which is why the D.C. Quarter will have him on it) How did he acquire the aforementioned moniker? It’s a funny story it started when he was young and of course involved pretty girls who … see you Friday night.”

Why did you pick Ellington to be the first artist featured in your Jazz Profiles series? Why not Kenny G?

“I chose Duke for a number of reasons, first and foremost out of respect for his accomplishments. He is truly one of the most revered musicians in 20th century American music (Jazz,Rock or Classical) His professional career covers almost the entire history of jazz from 1920 to 1970. To put it in perspective, when the great alto saxophonist Charlie Parker was born, Duke already was playing professionally, and Duke survived him by 19 years. Duke’s music is one of America’s great exports.”

“Secondly, the story of Duke Ellington, or more correctly Duke Inc. is a fascinating history of 20th century America, The Harlem Renaissance, race politics, the politics of the music business, the management skills of keeping 20 guys (Sun Ra referred to Duke’s band as a bunch of Diva’s) happy while on tour and much, much more.”

“As for not starting with Kenny G…..time hasn’t illuminated his role in the development of jazz yet. I’ll leave that story for future scholars.”

What would Duke Ellington think of Kelly Clarkson?

“Not one to presume to put words in Duke’s mouth, I might imagine that in some eloquent way he would say that if her music is honest and well performed then it doesn’t matter what anyone else would say. (I think the Ellington Ensemble would not have lasted on American Idol for very long even though history will remember them for much longer).”

Tell us something shocking or amazing about Duke Ellington.

“He didn’t like the color green. Not shocking I know, but I’ve got to save the good stuff for Friday.”

Jazz Night is BACK! Jazz Night III; The History and Music of Duke Ellington with Adam Jenkins

As the winner of 13 Grammy Awards, Duke Ellington has been called “one of the most influential people in American music.”

Join Adam Jenkins and The Sacramento Institute of Fun at Revolution Wines to listen to his story and his acclaimed music for one night only! One hour of discussion and history of Ellington will be followed by a listening party of his best work.

As with all Institute of Fun events, delicious food and a glass of wine are included in the price of admission.No previous knowledge of music is necessary to enjoy this event, so don’t miss this one!

Friday, April 10, 2009

7PM – 10 PM

Revolution Wines
2116 P Street
Sacramento, CA


$24.95 general admission

$19.95 students and Revolution Wine Club members

$14.95 SIF members

$30 at the door

Get your tickets HERE!

For more information please email us at
or call us at 916-730-6521

Astronomy Night POSTPONED to March 21 @ 7:45 PM

I am sorry to report that, due to overcast skies, tonight’s Astronomy Night event has been postponed until next Saturday, March 21, at 7:45 PM. Your ticket will be valid for March 21 or any other Institute of Fun event in 2009. If you would prefer a refund, please email us at

If you’re still looking for fun, check out the event at Revolution Wines. The acoustic jazz band Gypsy Standard Time will be playing, and there will be food and, of course, wine. $5 general, free for wine club members. More information at

UC Davis Wine Tasting Event this Saturday

For all you S.I.F wine-lovers here’s a tasting event this Saturday put on by the Department of Viticulture and Enology at UC Davis you may be interested in! Please contact the coordinator of this event for more information as this is not a Sacramento Institute of Fun event.

Here are the details:

Would you like to experience sensory evaluation of wine, but you don’t have time to make a commitment to be on a panel?

If so next Saturday March 14th, I will be conducting a consumer test in which you’ll have the opportunity to taste 6 High Quality Red Wines – from all over the world!

This is an one time only event and each tasting will last a maximum of 45min. You do not need to be an expert in wine. You’ll just have to like red wine and be the kind of consumer that will usually buy a $30 red wine.

If you are interested please send me an email ASAP ( ) and I will provide you with more information regarding the time slots that you can sign up for.

Thank you so much and looking forward to hearing from you!


I promise it will be a great experience!!!

Beatriz Machado

MS Candidate – Heymann’s Lab
VIticulture and Enology Departmen
RMI Sensory Lab 2003
Department of Viticulture and Enology
University of California, Davis

Kristy DeVaney’s Massage and Chocolate Wrap Up

Our lovely chocolate expert from Massage and Chocolate Night wrapped up the night very nicely in her blog, if you’d like you check it out click here!

Read the Institute of Fun article in The Ticket online!

Click here to check out the article online! Our thanks to Anna Ritner!

BREAKING NEWS! Chris and Kristy will be on KCRA tomorrow morning!

Check out KCRA 3 News 7am-9am on My58 Network  tomorrow morning around 7:45 am! Our Chief Fun Officer, Chris, and local blogger and baker, Kristy DeVaney, will be talking about Massage and Chocolate Night and some of our other upcoming events! Be sure to watch!

Stew of Sounds Wrap Up!

Friday night, Adam Jenkins taught his Jazz History class, “Cooking Up a Stew of Sounds” to a full house at Revolution Wines. Everyone there had a great time, and learned about the fascinating history of Jazz, from the 1700s to the present day.

Here are the lists of recommended listening from the class:


Art Has Been De-Mystified

Thank you to everyone who came out to the event last night. I had a great time, and I hope you did too!

Art De-Mystified!