GOOD CRAFT HOLIDAY MARKET on Saturday offers a line-up of Bay Area makers and creators any of whose illustrations, ceramics, jewels, clothing, art — and much more — might make the perfect holiday gift. The market always benefits a local nonprofit, and for this round it will be donating to the Saint Francis Homelessness Challenge which works on humane strategies to resolve unsanctioned encampments. Festivities also include a DJ and a bar. The event is for all ages and free to attend. The Good Craft Holiday Market is at Neyborly, 2043 San Pablo Ave., on Saturday Dec. 16, 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Details on its website and on Facebook. (Also in Berkeley: don’t forget the Berkeley Artisans Holiday Open Studios, which we’ve written about before, and continue on weekends in December weekends through Dec. 24.)
KPFA’s CRANEWAY CRAFTS FAIR Not in Berkeley, clearly, but another chance this weekend, along with the event above to peruse and purchase locally made goods and potential gifts, many of them made by Berkeley artists and artisans. The 47th Craneway Crafts Fair features 180 artisans from California and beyond exhibiting and selling their original handworks in all media. The event — a benefit for community-sponsored, Berkeley-based radio station KPFA 94.1 FM — also offers live entertainment and a festive food court. There’s plentiful free parking onsite and a free shuttle from Richmond BART. The Craneway Pavilion is on the Bay Trail with gorgeous views of San Francisco. Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 16 and 17, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Craneway Pavilion on the Richmond Waterfront, 1414 Harbour Way South, Richmond. Details.
SHOTGUN THEATER’S ‘BLACK RIDER: THE CASTING OF THE MAGIC BULLETS’ Our theater critic, Emily Mendel, described the latest production by Berkeley’s Shotgun Players thus: “not for children, nor for all adults for that matter, Black Rider is a remarkably creative exercise in music and drama, with some standout acting and singing and [Tom]Waits’ pleasingly melodic and acceptably atonal music played by a great live group.” Black Rider: The Casting of the Magic Bullets is an avant-garde expressionist take on a German folktale about a Faustian deal with the devil, written by beat author William S. Burroughs, Grammy winning singer-songwriter Tom Waits and director/designer/artist Robert Wilson — and the play has been extended through Jan. 21 so you can see it this weekend! Details.
ALEXANDER STRING QUARTET For over 20 years, audiences have savored San Francisco Performances’ Saturday morning musical conversations, exploring composers and concepts with the Alexander String Quartet and SFP’s music historian-in-residence Robert Greenberg. The series combines complete performances of string quartets with Greenberg’s witty profound takes on these works, their creators and their place in history and the hearts of music lovers. This season, the Berkeley series will focus on the complete string quartets of Dmitri Shostakovich. This third concert of Part 1, on Saturday Dec. 16 at 10 a.m., will feature Quartet No. 5 in B-flat Major, Op. 92 and Quartet No. 6 in G Major, Op. 101. Price: $45. St. John’s Presbyterian Church, 2727 College Ave., Berkeley 94705. Details.
THE SILENT THEOLOGY OF ISLAMIC ART Islamic arts once represented our tradition as much as theology and law, but today these arts have been sadly neglected. In an age when Muslims increasingly feel compelled to clarify, and even defend, their faith, can we rely again on the arts to communicate the beauty and truth of revelation? On Sunday, Zaytuna College in Berkeley hosts what promises to be a lively, on-stage conversation with scholar Oludamini Ogunnaike, calligrapher Elinor Aishah Holland and designer Ian Whiteman. Sunday, Dec. 17. Reception and popup art store: 2 p.m. Program and livestream: 3 p.m. Zaytuna College, 2401 Le Conte Ave., Berkeley 94704. Details.
Don’t miss these other events featured on Berkeleyside: