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

NATURAL WONDERS  A visit to the UC Botanical Garden is always an exercise in amazement. The garden’s collection of thousands of plants from around the world grabs the senses and immerses them into sights, shapes, and smells. Now a number  of artists have built site-specific installations in the garden, drawing their inspiration from the various exotic plants. Their work is on display at In Natural Discourse: Artists, Architects, and Scientists in the Garden, an exhibit that runs through Jan. 20, 2013.

DANCING THROUGH SPACE  The main lobby of the Ed Roberts campus is a beautiful, light-filled space centered around an eye-catching red spiral ramp leading to the second floor. On Saturday, July 21 at 3 pm, the lobby will also become a performance space as PACES: dance and poetry hosts a benefit for The Center for Accessible Technology. Come hear Alan Bern read his poetry, watch Lucinda and Joe Weaver dance, view Matthias Oppliger’s images, and listen to Gael Alcock play the cello. The multi-art, multi-media performances will drift throughout the building, providing an informal tour and celebration of the premises.

NEW DOWNTOWN STUDIO  Kathryn Roszak has been teaching dance and ballet in West Berkeley for more than a decade and, on Sunday, her professional company, Danse Lumiere, a dance theater company that links the arts, environment and humanity, will perform at an open house in the new Osher Studio in the Arpeggio Building at 2055 Center Street.  “There hasn’t been a space for dance in downtown Berkeley before,” said Roszak, whose troupe created “BridgeDance” for the 75th birthday of the Golden Gate Bridge. The open house runs from 11 am to 1 pm on Sunday July 22 and will feature performances, refreshments, and discounts on classes. Roszak will be moving her children’s and teen dance classes from Ashkenaz to the Osher Studio in the Arpeggio Building.

MYSTERY AND ZOMBIES  As Dark Carnival book store puts it, “it’s a sister act, one another mystery novel, the other a zombie one.” Come hear New York Times bestselling author Lisa Brackmann talk about her sinister tale, Getaway, a follow-up to her debut novel, Rock Paper Tigerwhich Amazon rated as a  Best Book of 2010. Brackman’s sister, the actress and Huffington Post blogger Dana Fresdti, has also written a book. She will be signing Plague Town, the first in an urban fantasy zombie series staring Ashley Parker, which tells the tale of a time in which a lethal zombie virus infects website. The two sisters will talk Sunday July 22 at 2 pm at Dark Carnival, Claremont Avenue,


ON WORMS AND COMPOST  Urban Adamah has only been around a little more than a year, but its influence has spread much further than its Parker Street campus, which grows fruits and vegetables on moveable raised beds. Urban Adamah has become a mecca for school kids and young urban farmers-in-the-making. On Sunday July 22, from 1:30 pm to 2:30 pm, the farm will spread its message of urban farming in a seminar on using worms for composting. The workshop will include information about setting up a bin, caring for worms, harvesting castings, and using worms and their castings in your farm or garden.

Don’t forget about this other weekend event, previously featured on Berkeleyside:

“Dark Horse” playing at Landmark’s Shattuck Cinemas tonight, July 20th

Do you want to receive the It List in your email inbox each week? Sign up today.

To find out about more events in Berkeley and nearby, visit Berkeleyside’s Events Calendar. We also encourage you to submit your own events.

Frances Dinkelspiel is co-founder and executive editor of Berkeleyside. Email: frances@berkeleyside.com.