FREE PARK LIFE The East Bay Regional Park District is celebrating its 80th birthday by offering “free third Fridays” in its parks, including Tilden. From April to December, fees will be waived for a variety of park services, every third Friday of each month, which includes Friday, Aug. 15. On those days, you get free parking, free boat launching (note, boat launchers still have to pay for the required invasive mussel inspection); free entry for horses and dogs, free swimming, free fishing permits (anglers still have to possess a California state fishing license, for which there’s a fee. And there will still be fees for camping and for group picnic reservations); and there’s free entry to Ardenwood Historic Farm in Fremont (normally $2-$6). The Park District says Free Fridays are its way of thanking the public for eighty years of support. “A grass-roots movement provided the political momentum for establishment of the district back in 1934, and public support has been key to the district’s successes ever since.”
FREE PHOTO SHOW Drop by Au Coquelet café at 2000 University Ave. in Berkeley on Sunday, Aug. 17, 3-5 p.m. for the opening reception of “Moments of Awe,” a group exhibit featuring work by Austin Brewin, Don Melandry, Malcolm Smith and Gerry Traucht. The four photographers find moments of awe in sunlight on utensils, and in parkland, majestic urban birds and worldwide wild animals. The photographers come from divergent backgrounds: a judge, a commercial photographer, a rugby player, a poet. “What we have in common is moments of awe (hence the title of the show) where we were awestruck by what we had seen,” say the group. Free. The show runs through Sept 30.
DOVZHENKO’S ‘ARSENAL’ Berkeley Art Museum & Pacific Film Archive will screen Alexander Dovzhenko’s Arsenal (1929) on Sunday, Aug. 17, at 5 p.m. The screening will include an introduction by Russell Merritt and live musical accompaniment to the silent film with Judith Rosenberg on piano. The self-described “bard of the Ukrainian working class,” Dovzhenko was the most lyric of the great Soviet film directors of the 1920s. His cinema broke entirely with traditional film structure to convey a flow of ideas and emotions, in impressionistic imagery and editing whose rhythms can only be compared to poetry. His masterful film Arsenal uses symbolic juxtaposition, metaphor, pantomime, and even fantasy to pay tribute to the Ukrainian workers and their struggles in Czarist Russia during and immediately after the First World War. Visit BAM/PFA for details.
BOOK READING FOR KIDS Patricia Polacco will read from her book Mr. Wayne’s Masterpiece at Mrs Dalloway’s bookstore on Saturday, Aug. 16, at 1 p.m. The reading is suitable for kids ages 5-8. Because she is afraid to read an essay aloud in English class, young Patricia is invited to take Mr. Wayne’s drama class where she paints sets, participates in fun exercises, and memorizes every part in the play the others are rehearsing. Polacco is the prolific author and illustrator of 90 picture books. From the earliest days of her publishing career an enthusiastic and spirited speaker, she has visited over one hundred classrooms each year, not only speaking but listening to the hundreds of children that she meets. How she learned to speak in front of an audience may well be her most important personal story. She lives in Union City, Michigan. Mrs. Dalloway’s is at 2904 College Ave. Visit Mrs Dalloway’s online for details.
LEARN TO MAKE MOZZARELLA It’s the season for Caprese salads with homemade mozzarella. Mozzarella is commonly considered the easiest cheese to make but in fact, it’s one of the easiest to fail. It is also one of the few cheeses you can make and eat within a couple of hours. On Sunday, BioFuel Oasis is holding a mozzarella making class at Sticky Art Lab. The instructors are Shannon Todd, who worked on farms in France as a cheese-maker, and Stephanie Soleil, who is French and teaches home cheese-making in San Francisco. Details: Sunday, Aug. 17, 2-5 p.m. Location: Sticky Art Lab, 1682 University Ave. (at McGee), Berkeley. Cost: $40, plus $15 materials fee.
Don’t miss these other events recently featured on Berkeleyside:
Amber Gougis: Going places but taking her own path
Looking intently: The James Cahill legacy at BAM/PFA
Check out Berkeleyside’s event calendar for many more events, and make sure to post your own community happenings.