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

 This weekend, The Bay Area Book Festival will fill Downtown Berkeley with authors, readers, and, of course, books. Photo: Laughing Squid
This weekend, The Bay Area Book Festival will fill downtown Berkeley with authors, readers, and, of course, books — including this book installation called Lacuna which will be at Civic Center Park. Photo: FLUX

BAY AREA BOOK FESTIVAL Downtown Berkeley will be overrun by books, authors and readers this weekend when the inaugural Bay Area Book Festival comes to town. The free event spans several blocks, and sections of Allston Way, Milvia Street, Addison Street, and Kittredge Street will be closed to traffic from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday. The areas usually filled by cars will be occupied instead by booksellers, storytellers, artists, art installations, and more. Dozens of panels, with themes of culture, poetry, technology, and more, will be held in indoor spaces around the Downtown area throughout the day (don’t miss the Berkeleyside Uncharted panels with authors Wallace J. Nichols, Ben Parr, and Design Within Reach founder Rob Forbes, moderated by Berkeleyside publisher Lance Knobel and American Oz: Berkeley and the Bay Area, moderated by Berkeleyside executive editor Frances Dinkelspiel). The stretch of Allston Way in front of Berkeley High School will be home to a food court and beer and wine garden. (On Saturday, the weekly Berkeley Farmer’s Market will be in its usual spot on Center between MLK and Milvia.) On Sunday evening, the band The Deadliners (composed entirely of authors) will play starting at 5:30 p.m. in Civic Center Park. To top it all off, on Saturday at 7 p.m. bestselling author Judy Blume will be speaking about her new adult book, In the Unlikely Event and about her experiences as a censored author. For more information, visit the Bay Area Book Festival website. (Berkeleyside Uncharted is one of the festival’s three main media sponsors.)

Photo: Berkeley Art Center
Photo: Berkeley Art Center

BERKELEY ART CENTER SUMMER PICNIC The Berkeley Art Center is holding its Summer Picnic on June 6 from 12-3 p.m. at 1275 Walnut St. The event will include a free tour of the art center’s new exhibition of works by emerging artists, and sliders and snacks from Phil’s Sliders. After the 12:30 p.m. tour, the action will move across the street to Live Oak Park, where there will be live music from Sarah Rodenburg, and a silkscreening workshop led by the Rock Paper Scissors Collective. More information on the BAC events page.

Photo: BOSS
Photo: BOSS

SECOND ANNUAL BOSS RISING STARS GALA Building Opportunities for Self Sufficiency is holding its second annual Rising Stars Youth Leadership Gala on Thursday, June 4, from 6-8 p.m. in the Northbrae Community Church at 941 The Alameda. The gala celebrates young people who are making progress despite hardships in their lives. Twenty youths will be awarded at the ceremony with plaques, access to mentors, gifts, and recognition for their achievements in five areas: consistency, caring for family, role model, new direction, and community involvement. Additionally, four of the awardees will receive educational scholarships. The awards ceremony will be accompanied by food, a silent auction, and music from the Berkeley High School Jazz Ensemble. Tickets are $30 for one or $50 for two. Visit BOSS’s event page for more details. (Berkeleyside is a media sponsor of the gala.)

Storytime. Photo: Nancy Rubin
Storytime. Photo: Nancy Rubin

FACES OF FATHERHOOD PHOTOGRAPHY EXHIBIT OPENING The North Branch Library (1170 The Alameda) will be hosting the opening reception of the photography exhibit “Faces of Fatherhood: Celebrating Bay Area Dads” by Nancy Rubin (a contributor to Berkeleyside since 2011). The photos capture dads from across the Bay Area and highlight the importance of fatherhood throughout a child’s life. Drinks and refreshments will be served at the reception. The exhibit will run from June 6 to July 1, including on Father’s Day on June 21. Read Berkeleyside’s story on the Nancy Rubin show.


The redwood grove. Photo: Redwood Grove Summer Concerts
Photo: Redwood Grove Summer Concerts

FIRST REDWOOD GROVE SUMMER CONCERT WITH THE BERKELEY SYMPHONY On Thursday, June 4, the first Redwood Grove Summer Concert of the year will start at 5:30 p.m. (doors open at 5) at 200 Centennial Dr. The series of concerts will last throughout the summer, featuring bands playing R&B, folk, bluegrass, and more. This first concert will feature the Berkeley Symphony and Friends Ensemble playing classical pieces by Bach, Beethoven, and Mozart. To celebrate the newly remodeled amphitheater and the start of the season, drinks will be served at the concert. All concerts in the series will be in the redwood grove adjacent to the UC Botanical Garden. Details and tickets at the Redwood Grove Summer Concerts website.

Don’t miss other events coverage on Berkeleyside:

Over 300 authors sign up for first Bay Area Book Festival
Review: The Shotgun Players’ ‘Heart Shaped Nebula’
Black women rock: Skip the Needle, Sistas in the Pit and Dolorata play The Freight

Eden Teller, a junior at Macalester College in Saint Paul, Minnesota, is a Berkeleyside summer intern. She is majoring in media and cultural studies and minoring in geology.

Want to know what else is going on in Berkeley and nearby? Visit Berkeleyside’s new-look Events Calendar. Submit your own event for free if it is not there already — and give it featured status for as little as $10 a day.