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

A sample from one of the past annual sketchcrawls. Image: www.sketchcrawl.com
A sample from one of the past annual Sketchcrawls. One is coming to Berkeley for the first time on Friday. Image: Sketchcrawl

1ST ANNUAL WEST COAST URBAN SKETCHERS’ SKETCHCRAWL  The inaugural Sketchcrawl started in San Francisco in 2004, but in its nine years of global expansion – from France to South Korea to Texas – this is the first time that an organized Sketchcrawl has touched down in Berkeley. The creator, Enrico Casarosa, is a Pixar story artist who came up with the idea after doing a bar crawl along the N Judah line in San Francisco. The event gathers artists from around the world to travel throughout the day and sketch everything they see. Sketchers share their drawings on the sketchcrawl website. The West Coast Urban Sketcher’s Sketchcrawl will gather at 5 p.m. on Friday July 12 to have dinner at Picante in West Berkeley, though the organizers suggest arriving early, around 3 p.m., to sketch the neighborhood. From there, the sketchcrawl will span across the Bay, touching down in San Francisco and Oakland throughout the weekend. Begins Friday July 12 at Picante, 1328 Sixth St. Free.

UC Berkeley Summer Symphony. Photo: UC Berkeley.
UC Berkeley Summer Symphony. Photo: UC Berkeley

UC BERKELEY SUMMER SYMPHONY CONCERT The UC Summer Symphony, started in 1978 and sponsored by the UC Berkeley Music Department, has its first performances this Friday and Saturday at Hertz Hall. The orchestra will be playing works from Beethoven, Rimsy-Korsakov and Schubert, conducted by Garrett Wellenstein, Melissa Panlasigui and Jane Kim. It is entirely student-run and supported, which gives music students the experience of “preparing a concert program, rehearsing an orchestra, and working with the administrative staff” under the tutelage of Cal music professors. Friday July 12 and Saturday July 13, 8 p.m. at Hertz Hall, 101 Sproul Hall. Free. Details on the UC Berkeley events page.

John Ruskin. Photo: The Hillside Club.
John Ruskin. Photo: The Hillside Club

NO WEALTH BUT LIFE: WHY JOHN RUSKIN MATTERS TODAY John Ruskin, a Victorian-era social thinker, art critic, and philanthropist, powerfully criticized the flawed notion of wealth embraced by the modern world. His ideas influenced some of his generation’s greatest thinkers, but his voice is missing from modern debates. Spend your Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with Berkeley author Gray Brechin and Ruskin scholars James L. Spates and Sara Atwood, who will speak about Ruskin’s lasting legacy and why his voice matters today. Lunch and a reception are included. The Hillside Club, 2286 Cedar St. at Arch Street.

YMTC DOES ‘SWEENEY TODD’  The Berkeley-based Youth Musical Theater Company (YMTC) takes on the epic “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street,” winner of eight Tony Awards. Opening this Friday at 7 p.m. at the Malonga Casquelourd Center for the Arts in Oakland, the darkly humorous musical tackles the story of a barber driven to madness and revenge. Accompanying some of the Bay Area’s most talented young performing artists will be a twenty-seven piece orchestra playing Jonathan Tunick’s original orchestrations. The show runs through July 21. More information and tickets at YMTC online.


One of UC Berkeley Botanical Garden's many beautiful plants. Photo: Sally Levinson.
Photo: Sally Levinson.

SUCCULENTS FOR LITTLE GREEN THUMBS  This Saturday, beginning at 10 a.m. and going all day, U.C. Berkeley’s Botanical Garden invites children and their parents to come explore succulents, discover where and how they grow, and at the end of the day, pot-up their plants to take home. The event is $15 for children and $12 for adults. To register for the event and to see more details, check out the garden’s event page.

Don’t miss these other events featured on Berkeleyside: 

Interactive concepts: Berkeley artist Sonya Rapoport
Inspired appropriation redux: Nicole Eisenman in Berkeley
Berkeley’s Sundays on Telegraph event gains momentum

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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.