The It List: Five things to do in Berkeley, weekend of June 15-17

Christian Picciolini, speaking at Berkeleyside’s Uncharted Festival last October, will be at Berkeley City College on Friday. Photo: Pete Rosos

UNITING AGAINST HATE One of the most powerful parts of Berkeleyside’s Uncharted Festival last year was former neo-Nazi Christian Picciolini talking about what drew him into far-right hate groups, how he got out, and his dedication to helping others escape from a life of hate (you can listen to the podcast of that conversation). A broad range of East Bay political groups are bringing Picciolini back to Berkeley on Friday to speak at Berkeley City College. He’ll be introduced by Holocaust survivor Ben Stern, who led the 1978 battle against Nazis in Skokie, Illinois, and was active in Berkeley’s Rally Against Hatred last year. Friday, June 15, 5 p.m., Berkeley City College, 2050 Center St.

OJAI AT BERKELEY For the eighth time, Cal Performances welcomes Ojai at Berkeley. The famous Southern California music festival is re-imagined in four concerts curated by and featuring Ojai’s music director, Patricia Kopatchinskaja (left). The program includes the Bay Area debut of Kopatchinskaja’s semi-staged Bye Bye Beethoven, which features the Bay Area debut of the Mahler Chamber Orchestra. She says the work is a commentary on “the irrelevance of the classic concert routine for our present life.” The festival also includes a program of music by Michael Hersch (including the Bay Area premiere of his “I hope we get a chance to visit soon”), a performance of Moldovan and Romanian folk music featuring a performance by Kopatchinskaja with her parents; and concludes with a finale performance of 20th-century chamber works by Bartók, Stravinsky, and Ligeti, performed by Kopatchinskaja and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra. Thursday, June 14, 8 p.m., Friday, June 15, 8 p.m., Saturday, June 16, 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., Zellerbach Hall.

BERKELEY JUNETEENTH Family entertainment is the focus of the annual Juneteenth celebration —an occasion to celebrate African-American culture and traditions which has been going strong in South Berkeley since 1987. The R.D. Bonds main stage is the heart of the street festival with music incorporating the best of the African American experience: drumming, jazz, blues, neo-soul, gospel, R&B, and reggae. But look forward also to great food, two-on-two basketball tournaments, historical exhibits, hands-on art programs for kids and health screenings courtesy of Alameda County. Juneteenth takes over five blocks on the Adeline-Ashby corridor in South Berkeley Sunday, June 17, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. (Both Adeline and Martin Luther King Jr. Way will be closed to vehicle traffic between Ashby and Alcatraz.)

GRATEFUL DEAD… FOR KIDS Here’s an unlikely Father’s Day special. At the UC Theatre on Sunday, the Rock and Roll Playhouse, a family concert series, will be featuring music from the Grateful Dead. Rock and Roll Playhouse allows kids to “move, play and sing while listening to works from the classic-rock canon,” according to The New York Times. It’s an early and often first introduction to “a child’s lifelong journey with live music and rock and roll.” Sunday, June 17, 11 a.m., UC Theatre, 2036 University Ave.

FATHER’S DAY AT THE FREIGHT Convenient timing means you could do a twofer for Father’s Day and both rock to Grateful Dead with your young ‘uns and then wind down with singer songwriters Steve Seskin, Keither Greeninger and John Lester at the Freight. Seskin’s song “Don’t Laugh at Me,” recorded by both Mark Willis and Peter, Paul and Mary, became the impetus for the Operation Respect/Don’t Laugh at Me Project, a curriculum designed to teach tolerance in schools. It’s been implemented in more than 20,000 schools. Sunday, June 17, 1 p.m., Freight & Salvage, 2020 Addison St.

Also worth knowing: Are you a member of BAMPFA, SFMOMA, the Contemporary Jewish Museum, the Fine Arts Museums, or a half dozen other Bay Area museums and art centers? If yes, then Saturday is Member for a Day for you, with free admission to all of the participating institutions. In Berkeley, that gets you and a friend into BAMPFA or the UC Berkeley Botanical Garden. Throughout the day, Saturday, June 16, at 11 participating institutions.

Don’t miss this other event featured on Berkeleyside:

Romani runs through it: Flamenco gypsy jazz ensemble Barrio Manouche in Berkeley