Under-the-Radar: Oakland Event Picks

Most Oaklanders are on the edge of their seats awaiting Mayor Dellums’ State of the City address tonight. Okay, I might be overstating the case a bit. But I’m sure there will be something…ummm…edifying.  The rest of the week will provide transit and budget hounds with plenty of red meat (Alameda County’s Budget Workgroup-“The Worst is Yet to Come”, AC Transit’s Community Forum on the 1R, WOBO’s member meeting, Missing Links Townhall).

Meanwhile, there are plenty of under-the-radar happenings to keep our minds active, are hearts full, and our skills sharpened.

Protest Without Art Is Like Red Beans Without the Rice: The 57th Street Gallery is currently exhibiting Counterculture: Celebrating Bay Area Protest Through Art, Word, and Song. The closing reception is this Saturday, 2:00-7:00. At 4:00pm artist Milton 510 Bowens will talk about “The Politics of Art” and sign catalogs.

And Resource Fairs without Manifestos are like…? If you are one of those who–like myself, Meg Spohn, and hundreds of other Oakland residents–think that our high schools should be a lot more than pipelines to the military or prison, and students and parents deserve to be well-informed about military recruitment in schools, spread the word about the Positive Opportunities for Youth Resource FairBeing put on by BAY-PEACE and American Friends Service Committee on Wednesday, from 2-4:30 at Lake Merrit United Methodist Church (1330 Lakeshore Ave), the Fair will feature a range of job and internship opportunities, music, food, and raffles.  Then, at 4:30, Oakland youth will be delivering their hundreds of signed Youth Manifesto Petitions (sign it here) to the OUSD School Board (Laurel Elementary, 5-9pm), courtesy “The Mexican Bus”.

Nothing is Certain but Death and Free Tax Assistance: Tax time! You know, all those pay-ins that are the price of admission for having parks, fire departments, buses, libraries, bridges, and museums (and yes, the biggest military ever in the history of the world)? But why pay more than you have to? This pick might not be so fun, but its free. Free tax assistance is provided on an on-going basis by volunteers at many Oakland Library branches.  The main library will be host assistance today from 10-3pm, Wednesday, 12-4pm, Friday 12:30-4pm, and Saturday 10-3pm.  Call the library to make an appointment, then grab all the necessary items related to your 2009 tax forms.  Also check out the awesome program of Earn it! Keep it! Save it! which hosts dozens of FREE drop-in tax preparation sites around Oakland and Alemeda county.

Double Feature: Bone up on local East Bay history and Native American sacred sites by catching the double feature Wednesday 7:30-9:30 at the Humanist Hall. The film “Shellmound” tells the fascinating local story of an Emeryville site from native land to toxic paint factory to modern commerical center.  The 2nd film, “In the Light of Reverance”, demonstrates conflicts that emerge with differing perspectives on land and space (sacred? leisure? commercial?), through looking at three sites in particular: Colorado Plateau in the Southwest, Mt. Shasta in California, and Devils Tower in Wyoming.

Want Money for Your School Gardens?: It doesn’t take tons of money to keep school garden programs going, but it does take some.  Getting those grant dollars can make projects go alot smoother.  Join Tuesday’s Grant-Writing Workshop for Garden Programs, 4-5:30 at the Technology Learning Center (Mac Lab), Harper Building, 314 E. 10th Street.  Learn grant application best practices and about community and district resources that will support school gardens. Contact Anne for more details.

Speaking of gardens, Wednesday night 7:30-9pm Common Circle continues its Free Urban Permaculture series led by Oakland permaculturist and founder of Planting Justice Gavin Raders. The topic this week is Perennial Abundance: Food Forests, Fruit Trees, Mushrooms and Perennials.

One-man stage shows and “organic thought-tongue vocal concepts”: Catch Don Reed’s final Laney College Theater performance of his one-man show “East 14th” on Friday and Saturday nights at 8:30. Get your tickets before it sells out.  And don’t forget, whatever it is that she is doing these days, Yoko Ono’s Plastic Ono Band will be doing at the Fox Theater Tuesday night.

(Under the Radar column also published on Oakland Local every Monday)

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