Cal Humanities

"The understanding of a culture comes from hearing the language, tasting the food, seeing personal interactions, experiencing the traditions, and so much more in context."

— Elizabeth Laval & Candice Pendergrass, Sikh Youth Public History Project

"The understanding of a culture comes from hearing the language, tasting the food, seeing personal interactions, experiencing the traditions, and so much more when it is in context."

— Elizabeth Laval & Candice Pendergrass, Sikh Youth Public History Project

California Humanities in Motion: A Rock ‘n’ Roll Fête

Fanny The Right to Rock by MA photo of three members of the band playing their instruments.

California Humanities in Motion: A Rock 'n' Roll Fête

featuring Fanny

Wednesday, February 8, 2023

6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

One Kearny Club23 Geary StreetSan Francisco, CA 94108

Tickets: $125


Join us in San Francisco for a humanities-infused celebration.

We’ll be wishing a fond farewell to our President & CEO Julie Fry who, after eight years leading California Humanities, approaches her finale to open a new chapter in Paris, France. In recognition of her passion for music and her dedication to the humanities, the evening’s program will highlight a distinctive piece of California’s rock ‘n roll history.

Filmmaker Bobbi Jo Hart will share portions of her documentary Fanny: The Right to Rock

This film, funded in part by a California Humanities California Documentary Project grant, tells the story of a 1960s all-female Sacramento garage band — including Filipina American bandmates — that became the incomparable Fanny, the first band of women to release an LP with a major record label and who David Bowie deemed “one of the most important female bands in American rock.” Featuring candid conversations with band members, archival concert footage, and interviews with a multitude of rock and roll legends, this documentary is a love-letter to these talented, tenacious, and trailblazing women.

The event will culminate with a rare live performance by Fanny band-mates June Millington, Jean Millington, and Brie Darling, joined by Jean’s son Lee John. They are sure to bring the house down with an electrifying short concert.

San Francisco’s Les COOK’ettes will provide exquisite French-inspired hors d’oeuvres and sweet bites along with boutique French wines and Champagnes. 

Proceeds from this event benefit California Humanities’ programs and a portion of the ticket price is tax-deductible as a donation to California Humanities. 


During her tenure, Julie Fry shepherded multiple changes within California Humanities after embarking on a statewide listening tour and creating a new strategic framework. These included an organizational rebrand, development of a portfolio of new programs, an annual increase in total grantmaking, and an international partnership. The organization received its first-ever funding from the State of California in 2019 (and again in 2021) as the result of a focused advocacy strategy and hosted the National Humanities Conference in Los Angeles in November 2022. Fry also served on the board of the Federation of State Humanities Councils. “This role has been the pinnacle of my career,” said Fry. “I have been grateful for the board and staff members who have worked tirelessly alongside me over the years, together with partners across California and beyond. I will always be proud of what we achieved together.” Fry will be relocating to Paris, France in 2023 and will open a consulting firm focused on arts and cultural strategy, nonprofit management, philanthropy, and international partnerships.


Bobbi Jo Hart is an award-winning documentary filmmaker who grew up in California and is currently based in Montreal, Canada. With a film career that has spanned over 25 years, Hart has shot in countries as diverse as Pakistan, Russia, Guatemala, Australia and Zimbabwe — with subjects ranging from women’s professional soccer and tennis to music, ballet, youth activism and global health. All of her documentaries explore untold stories within marginalized communities, viewed from an intimate, character-driven, cinema verité point of view. Each film weaves universal themes of dreams, family, love and resilience to build bridges of understanding that celebrate our shared humanity. Hart has most recently brought her storytelling acumen to work with Doctors Without Borders, where she spearheads arts-informed advocacy initiatives to help raise awareness about global issues including forced displacement, telemedicine and the climate crisis.

Clockwise from passenger seat: Jean Millington, June Millington, Brie Darling


June and Jean Millington have been making music together since they were children playing ukuleles in the Philippines.  After coming to the US in the early 1960’s the pair traded in their ukes for acoustic and then electric guitars and formed a succession of all-girl bands including Fanny. Fanny played with major artists like Chicago, BB King, Dr John, the Kinks, the Staples Singers, Ike and Tina Turner, & Chuck Berry – and recorded an album at Apple Studios with Geoff Emerick, the Beatles engineer. June left the band in 1973 and continued to record and perform both with Jean and on a number of solo albums. June is the co-founder and Artistic Director of the Institute for the Musical Arts [IMA], a nonprofit organization for women and girls which hosts Rock ‘n Roll Girls Camps in the summer.

Brie Darling began her professional career as a drummer, singer, and songwriter in 1964 at the age of 14 in the Sacramento area. In 1966 she joined June and Jean Millington in an all-girl band called The Svelts, eventually morphing into Fanny. In her 60-year (and continuing) music career she has worked with with Carole King, Robert Palmer, Roger Daltrey, Keith Moon, Jimmy Buffett, Robbie Nevil, Duran Duran, and many more. Brie has signed as a recording artist with Fanny (Casablanca Records), American Girls (IRS Records), Boxing Gandhis (Mesa Blue Moon and Atlantic Records), Fanny Walked The Earth (Blue Elan Records), Cherie Currie and Brie Darling (Blue Elan Records) and is currently working on her first solo record. Her songs have been recorded by Peter Criss (Kiss), The Pointer Sister, Michael Jackson and more. Encouraging young to older women to follow their artistic burning desires inspires her to gratefully continue following her ‘still’ burning desires.

Performing with the bandmates will be Jean’s son Lee John, a multi-instrumentalist/songwriter/producer who began playing drums in June and Jean’s band from around age 13, then putting his own bands together and writing original music a few years after that.  Moving onto audio engineering and production in his early 20’s, Lee was given the chance to meet and work with many different artists, including Naia Kete.  Together with Naia’s brother Imani they formed the band SayReal.

I can’t attend but would like to support California Humanities:

Accessibility & Venue Information: One Kearny Club is conveniently located one block from the Montgomery Street BART station, at the intersection of Market, Kearny, and Geary Streets. Metered street parking and multiple San Francisco Muni transit lines are located within the surrounding blocks. An elevator is available to the floor where the event will take place, and restrooms are wheelchair accessible. For other access needs, please contact One Kearny Club, 23 Geary Street, San Francisco, CA 94108.

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