Tag Archives: Josh Kornbluth

Berkeley candidates outline their positions on the arts

Josh Kornbluth was the emcee for the evening. Photo: Frances Dinkelspiel
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Five Berkeley mayoral candidates and a slew of contenders for City Council gathered Wednesday evening at the Freight & Salvage to discuss their commitment to funding the arts.

The Berkeley Cultural Trust, a consortium of individuals from various arts organizations in Berkeley, put on the candidates’ debate. Its setting could not have been more appropriate: the building, which once housed a garage, now serves as the Bay Area’s premiere venue for folk and bluegrass performances. The Freight & Salvage sits on Addison Street in the heart of Berkeley’s Arts District, right across the street from Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Aurora Theatre and the California Jazz Conservatory (which is expanding across the street).

Check out a round-up of more local election events coming up.

Years ago, this area was just another random block in downtown Berkeley, but it now serves as one of the most vibrant stretches in the city. When Mayor Tom Bates recently hosted a meeting of mayors from around the country, one of the most popular events of the conference was a tour of the downtown Arts District, according to Michael Caplan, the manager of Berkeley’s economic development department, who led the tours.

Berkeley has done a lot to ensure that dance, music, performance and the visual arts thrive. Earlier this year,  the City Council adopted a ‘1% for arts’ provision, which requires developers of new projects (except those in the downtown) to devote 1% of their construction costs to public art or pay an in-lieu fee. That’s on top of a similar 1.5% art requirement tied to public improvements and bond measures. In 2016, Berkeley will give out $389,00 in grants to various arts groups, a boost of $150,000 over recent years. Berkeley has also provided capital grants to places like the UC Theatre and the Kala Arts Institute.

Whether this is the beginning or the final shape of Berkeley’s commitment to the arts was a central question of the forum, which attracted around 250 people. … Continue reading »

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

Julie Partos Clark's artwork on Webster Street. Photo:  Andy Partos
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QUIRKY ‘SCULPTURE AND METALWORK’ BERKELEY WALK Tom Dalzell, who, if you’re a regular Berkeleyside reader, you may know better as Mr. Quirky Berkeley, is leading a walk on Sunday April 3, starting at 10 a.m. The three-mile tour of the Ashby corridor will focus on its “trove of sculptural quirk,” including Mark Bulwinkle’s installations on Shattuck and his fence-post ornaments, a collaborative project with students from Malcolm X School; Eni Green’s all-things-dachshund house; and Marcia Donahue’s indescribable Wheeler Street garden. Participants will also visit the Slingshot Collective’s cell-phone gate, Mark Olivier’s beach detritus creations, Julie Partos Clark’s creatures on Webster and Mike and Becky O’Malley’s fence of doors, with Mike’s ceramic figures peeping out the windows. Dalzell’s family will provide snacks, drinks, and an optional shuttle service back to the Ashby BART station. Meet at the south-east corner of Emerson and Adeline Streets on the Flacos lot. Details on the Berkeley Path Wanderers’ website.Continue reading »

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

The solar calendar installation at César Chávez Park has been the target of recurring vandalism over the past few months. Photo: Chris Benton
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SPRING EQUINOX AT CESAR CHAVEZ PARK  Gather this evening at the Chavez Memorial Solar Calendar to celebrate the official arrival of spring. The event, led by Lori Lambertson of the Exploratorium Teacher Institute, will include a discussion about the “reasons for the seasons,” the Chavez virtue of HOPE, and other global spring equinox celebrations. Dress warmly: the weather is part of the experience. Friday, March 20, 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., sunset is at 7:15 p.m. Cesar Chavez Park, 11 Spinnaker Way, Berkeley. … Continue reading »

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Post office public hearing to focus on Berkeley sale plan

A protest to save the downtown Berkeley post office took place in late February. Photo: Daniel Parks
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The United States Postal Service is holding a public meeting tonight to discuss the proposal to relocate the downtown Berkeley Post Office and sell its existing building at 2000 Allston Way.

The USPS says the sale is necessary to generate revenue after the organization has experienced a 26% drop in mail volume over the past three years.

A group of local residents who opposes the sale is expected to hold rally outside the Berkeley City Council Chambers where the meeting is taking place, starting at 6:00 p.m.. Local monologist and actor Josh Kornbluth is participating in the rally and will be at the hearing. The Save the Berkeley Post Office group argues the the city cannot lose a historic, architecturally significant building which was built with public funds. … Continue reading »

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Josh Kornbluth: Good for Andy Warhol’s Jews?

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It would be tough to find a funnier guy in Berkeley than Josh Kornbluth.

I’ve been a fan of the moon-faced, wide-eyed, hair-challenged monologist, who has perfected the art of the raised eyebrow for maximum comic effect, since his early days at The Marsh in San Francisco. (An aside: This ex-citysider is so glad The Marsh had no problem crossing the bridge, unlike some people she knows.)

Kornbluth has made a career out of chronicling much of his life on the stage in his frequently hilarious and often thought-provoking solo shows. We first meet him during his childhood in Manhattan’s Washington Heights neighborhood, where he is raised by Marxist, atheists (Red Diaper Baby). Then it’s on to college (The Mathematics of Change), temp work (Haiku Tunnel) and a stint as an editor (Pumping Copy), a personal favorite. Berkeleysiders familiar with his work may recall that the city features prominently in the recent Citizen Josh.

Now, Kornbluth is in the middle of a run of his latest production Andy Warhol: Good For The Jews? His first commissioned show, The Contemporary Jewish Museum of San Francisco asked him to ruminate on the series of portraits depicting the likes of Einstein, Kafka, and the Marx Brothers by the iconic artist.

It’s his fourth collaboration with director David Dower, who joined forces with the writer-comedian on Ben Franklin: Unplugged, Love & Taxes, and Citizen Josh. The two have also worked on film versions of Haiku Tunnel and Red Diaper Baby. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley Bites: Tu David Phu, Saul’s Delicatessen

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What’s a nice, young, tattooed Vietnamese boy from West Oakland doing as the top chef in a Jewish deli in North Berkeley?

I’m so glad you asked. Tu David Phu wanted to take a break from working the stoves in Bay Area fine dining establishments — his resume includes stints at The Peasant and the Pear in Danville and Pasta Moon in Half Moon Bay. So he decided to try his hand in the front-of-the-house at Saul’s Restaurant … Continue reading »

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