The It List: Five things to do in Berkeley this weekend

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Booma Cheema: stepping down as director of BOSS

BOONA CHEEMA For decades Boona Cheema has been a fixture on the Berkeley scene, a recognized leader in the struggle to end homelessness in the city as well as state and national levels. (Read a profile in the San Francisco Chronicle.) On Saturday, Cheema will hand over the directorship of housing and services provider BOSS (Building Opportunities for Self-Sufficiency), where she has served for 35 years, to incoming Executive Director Donald Frazier. Frazier, formerly with Center Point in San Francisco, takes the reins on March 1. The handing over of the baton will be part of “Booma Cheema’s Goodbye Gala: From The Heart: A Legacy of Love…And New Beginnings,” with food and drinks from local restaurants, and music by Fua Dia Congo, Duniya Dance Company. Saturday Feb. 23, 2013, 6:00-9:00 pm, at Uptown Body & Fender, 401 26th Street in Oakland ($5 valet parking). Tickets $125 ($60 nonprofit, $35 low income). Visit BOSS online for details. Or by phone (510) 649-1930 x 222.

Screen shot 2013-02-22 at 2.54.00 PMPHOTOS AND JAZZ The main Berkeley Public Library is currently showing the work of a collection of Oakland based photographers – Kamau Amen-Ra, Edward Miller, Tumani Onabiyi and Wanda Sabir – who celebrate the art and artistry of jazz musicians in the Bay Area. A reception for the exhibition on Saturday March 2 will include a performance by TVC, a jazz string trio comprised of local musicians Kash Killion on cello, with Sandy Poindexter and Jean “Tarika” Lewis on violin. The free concert and artist reception takes place on Saturday, March 2 at 2:00 p.m. in the 3rd floor Community Meeting Room in the Central Library. The exhibiting photographers will be available to discuss their work immediately following the concert at 3:00 pm. [Editor's note: after the fact we realized this event is happening next weekend, not this one. Sometimes forward planning is good though, no?]

BRIGHT YOUNG MINDS The Brower Center in downtown Berkeley has introduced a new public program just for kids on Sundays. Bright Young Minds offers an an opportunity for children ages 8 to 12 to engage with art through a hands-on drawing/painting session based on the Promise and Peril exhibition. It is based on the Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS) curriculum and teaching method. (Learn more about VTS.) This program is free but requires registration. Brower Center, 2150 Allston Way. RSVP for Sunday Feb. 24, 1:30 p.m.-3:00 p.m. here. Next program is on March 31.

Screen shot 2013-02-22 at 3.04.02 PMPURIM CARNIVALS You have a choice of at least two Purim carnivals in Berkeley this weekend. Join the JCC East Bay for its community-wide Purim Carnival on Sunday, 2-5pm. Dress up in your favorite costume for the costume parade, play with groggers, make masks to wear all day, win prizes and play fun carnival games. Admission is an act of tzedakah, so bring canned food to donate. Tickets for activities and games for sale. JCC East Bay, 1414 Walnut Street, Berkeley.

All are also welcome to celebrate Purim at Congregation Netivot Shalom – where everything will be turned upside down. Win prizes at old-fashioned booths and games. Get a goofy hairdo, a “tattoo,” and a face painting at the Shushan Salon; enjoy great food, hamentaschen cookies, and strong coffee for lunch/brunch at the “Morning After” Café; get your fortune told; make your own sundaes featuring Vashti vanilla ice cream; hear or read riddles and watch a stilt-walker and a clown; and visit Queen Esther’s jumpy castle! Fun for the whole family. Congregation Netivot Shalom: 1316 University Ave. Berkeley.

BERKELEY REPORTS ON CUBA A reminder that Mayor Tom Bates and Senator Loni Hancock will be reporting on their recent trip to Cuba, and, in particular, to Berkeley’s sister city, Palma Soriano in Santiago Prov. where plans are afoot to help build new clean water infrastructure. At a reception on Sunday they will share snacks and tell their experiences and perspectives. There will also be a screening of a documentary by Cuban Film-maker Carlos Betancourt. Sunday Feb. 24, Redwood Gardens, 2951 Derby St. Cost $15. Details on Berkeleyside’s Event Calendar.

Check out other events featured on Berkeleyside this week:

David Gans keeps on truckin’ with The Grateful Dead 
Evie Ladin: Stompin’ in the East Bay
At Magnes: Fictional woman illuminates 20th-century life
Big Screen Berkeley: Happy People

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Still searching for things to do this weekend in Berkeley? Berkeleyside’s Events Calendar is chock full of music, theater, dance, talks and community happenings. We also encourage you to submit your own events. 

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