The It List: Five things to do in Berkeley, weekend June 2-4

Matthieu Ricard and Pico Iyer speaking at the Bay Area Book Festival in 2015. Photo: Richard Friedman

BAY AREA BOOK FESTIVAL The third annual Bay Area Book Festival fills Berkeley’s downtown this weekend, with hundreds of writers on a wide range of issues, all grouped under the broad theme of “literary activism.” Check out the 31-page program for full details, but among the writers this year are Berkeley’s own Michael Chabon, Roxane Gay, Scott Thurow, John Scalzi, Walter Mosley, Masha Gessen, and Micah White. Outdoor events at the festival are free; indoor events require either a general admission wristband or individual tickets. Purchases can be made on the festival’s website or at one of the three box offices open during the festival (at the Freight & Salvage, the Brower Center, and the corner of Milvia Street and Allston Way). Students with ID can get a free wristband. And come visit Berkeleyside’s booth at the festival at the west end of Civic Center Park. The festival runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on both Saturday, June 3 and Sunday, June 4.

PINTS FOR PAWS Berkeley Humane’s fourth annual Pints for Paws event – slogan: “Drink Beer. Save Animals” – will be on Saturday on Ninth Street. Sample a selection of nearly 100 craft beers from more than 20 craft breweries. It’s a chance to meet small, local craft brewers, cider makers and artisanal wine makers. There’s also a great range of food from local food trucks and vendors, as well as live music. Oh, and bring your crowd-friendly dogs! 100% of the dollars raised go to Berkeley Humane. Only for people 21 years old or older. 2-5 p.m., Saturday, June 3, 2700 Ninth Street.

UNDOCUMENTED LIVES Berkeley photographer Diana Clock, together with journalist Melissa Pandika, has been profiling undocumented youth in California for the last year. The project began as an Instagram account, and has blossomed into a bigger project with pieces in Vice and Fusion. On Friday, the UFO Gallery opens an exhibition of the work with photos of the youth, as well as excerpts from Clock and Pandika’s conversations with them. An opening reception at the gallery on Friday night (6-10 p.m.) will include food and drink, and performances from local musicians, including one of the students in the project. Proceeds will benefit Define American. The exhibition runs for next two weeks at UFO Gallery, 1833 Harmon St.

COMMUNITY CHORUS & ORCHESTRA The Berkeley Community Chorus & Orchestra will have three free performances of Antonín Dvořák’s Stabat Mater this weekend. Music director Ming Luke leads the 230-member chorus and four soloists: Ariana Strahl, soprano, Kara Cornell, mezzo-soprano, Brian Thorsett, tenor, and Colin Ramsey, bass. The concerts open with Beethoven’s Egmont Overture. 8 p.m., Friday, June 2, and 3 p.m. Saturday, June 3 and Sunday, June 4, Hertz Hall, UC Berkeley campus.


DANCE UP CLOSE The Shawl-Anderson Dance Center, celebrating its 59th year, lays claim to being Berkeley’s oldest arts organization. This weekend in its performance series, Dance Up Close, it will be performing Sympathy for a Slacker, a new work by Oakland choreographer Andrew Merrell. You have to like the description: “A post-post-modern wild ride that takes a stab at cathartic betterment by pairing modern dance with song, megaphones, glitter curtains, denim, and the Sound of Music.” 8 p.m., Friday, June 2, Saturday, June 3, and Sunday, June 4, Berkeley Finnish Hall, 1970 Chestnut St.

Don’t miss these other events covered on Berkeleyside:

Big Screen Berkeley: ‘Turn It Around: The Story of East Bay Punk’
‘Monsoon Wedding’ at Berkeley Rep is sumptuous
‘It was 50 years ago today’: Celebrating Sgt. Pepper in Berkeley