The It List: Five things to do in Berkeley, weekend of July 7-9

Indigo dyers at the Nike Centre for Art and Culture in Osogbo, Nigeria. Part of the documentary Blue Alchemy, showing at the UC Botanical Garden on Sunday. Photo: Mary Lance

BLUE ALCHEMY At the UC Botanical Garden on Sunday, you’ll have a chance to see the recent documentary Blue Alchemy: Stories of Indigo. The feature-length work explores the blue dye that has captured the human imagination for millennia. It is also about people who are reviving indigo in projects that are intended to improve life in their communities, preserve cultural integrity, improve the environment, and bring beauty to the world. Filmmaker Mary Lance will introduce the film and stay for a Q&A and reception following the film. Blue Alchemy was filmed in India, Japan, Bangladesh, Mexico, El Salvador, Nigeria, and the US. Sunday, July 9, 6 p.m., UC Botanical Garden, 200 Centennial Dr. 

ALMA AFROBEAT Guitarist Aaron Feder founded Alma Afrobeat Ensemble in Chicago in 2003, but moved to Barcelona in 2006 in search of a different sound. He gathered a group of international musicians and have gone on to record and play at festivals around the world. Their first North American tour was only last year, and they’re back this summer, appearing at Ashkenaz on Saturday. Saturday, July 8, 9 p.m., Ashkenaz, 1317 San Pablo Ave.

REFRAMING AGING Ashby Village, the local community for seniors dedicated to making Berkeley an “age-friendly city,” opens its inaugural exhibit at the new Village Gallery on Saturday. “Reframing Aging,” by photographer Nancy Rubin (a Berkeleyside contributing photographer) and writer Cynthia Overbeck Bix, challenges prevailing stereotypes on aging. The exhibition is free, but registration is required. Saturday, July 8, 2-5 p.m., The Village Gallery, 1821 Catalina Ave.

FRIDA’S BIRTHDAY TIANGUIS Celebrate Frida Kahlo’s 110th birthday by supporting women artists and artisans at the free Frida’s Birthday Tianguis at La Peña on Saturday. A tianguis is a traditional open air market and comes from the Nahuatl language of the Aztecs, where it means “market.” In addition to the tianguis, there will be a theatrical and musical performance to commemorate Kahlo’s life, “Frida Kahlo Tree of Hope,” in the theater at 8 p.m. Saturday, July 8, 4-8 p.m., La Peña Cultural Center, 1305 Shattuck Ave.


A GIRL NAMED BILL The New York Times named cabaret artist and singer-songwriter Nellie McKay’s show “A Girl Named Bill” one of the best concerts of 2014. Since then, she has taken it on the road and it arrives at The Freight on Sunday. The show is a revue-with-dialogue about Billy Tipton, the little-known mid-century jazz bandleader, who was assumed to be a man but was discovered at his death to be a woman. Sunday, July 9, 7 p.m., Freight & Salvage, 2020 Addison St.

Don’t miss these other events covered on Berkeleyside:

‘Splendour’ at Berkeley’s Aurora Theatre: Remarkable, intriguing
‘An Octaroon’ at Berkeley Rep is great theater
Big Screen Berkeley: ’13 Minutes’