Under the Radar:Oakland Event Picks of the Week

If you live in Oakland, the words “there’s not much going on” should never come out of your lips. Or any other part of your body. There’s always something important, creative, inspiring, or fun happening. This week Oakland serves up a range of good stuff, from quirky Americana and food art to serious measures to put Oakland on a sustainable path.

Put your E-CAP on: I hope this isn’t an under-the-radar event, but just in case–Oakland City Council is holding a special workshop Tuesday evening on Oakland’s Energy and Climate Action Plan (ECAP). Just before the meeting Oaklanders are coming out to rally at 4:30 to make sure strong concrete measures around food, transportation, waste, water, and energy are adopted into the plan.

In preparation, the Oakland Climate Action Coalition is hosting two community workshops tonight (Monday): The first is a Youth Teach-In from 4-6pm at Asian Communities for Reproductive Justice, 1440 Broadway, Suite 301. The other is at the West Oakland Environmental Indicators Project office, 1747 14th St., from 6-8pm.

Docu-fiction: Get your art, love, and death all in one dose at the Humanist Hall this Wednesday. The film is called “The Greater Circulation,” by underground film legend Antero Alli and based on a poem by one of my favorite poets, Rainer Marie Rilke. This is a German poet with a cinematic Berkeley twist. The idea is that a performance company is adopting a poem Rilke wrote for a friend who died just 18 days after giving birth to her first child. In the midst of rehearsing, the performers grapple with the meaning of the poem for their own lives.

Observe and Educate: Wednesday also marks the observance of two holidays. The first is Cesar Chavez Day, observed as a holiday in California and several other states. Two local events celebrate Cesar Chavez Day, the first is Monday from 10-2pm at Melrose Leadership Academy. Two public schools in East Oakland unite each year to honor the spirit of Cesar Chavez and the United Farm Workers with murals, gardening, live music from local bands, and plenty of good food. Berkeley will also be honoring Chavez with spoken word, music, and fresh local food at the Berkeley’s Farmers Market on Tuesday afternoon. Check out the stellar line-up of performances.

The second is International Transgender Day of Visibility. In November, the Transgender Day of Remembrance is observed to honor those who have been victims of hate crimes. Wednesday’s day of visibility celebrates the positive. Since its only the second year of observance, I say we give it a boost. Oakland has the Transgender Law Center and the Bay Area has TransGender San Francisco, an educational, social and recreational organization. I’m actually not aware of any local events, so I recommend organizing your own or learning more about transgenderism. Please let us know if you are aware of any Oakland events.

Count me in!: Oakland Rising is teaming up with other Oakland organizations to ensure that everyone is counted for the 2010 Census. There are at least 2 opportunities this week to help Oakland with the 2010 Census. The first is phone-banking on Thursday from 5:30-8:30 at EBASE, 1814 Franklin Street, Suite 325. The second is Saturday morning door-knocking.  Meet at City Hall at 10:00am.  The Census is a means of bringing much-needed resources to Oakland and representing those who are often left behind.

Eat your art: Friday night is the opening reception of Edible Art: Works from the Artists of Edible East Bay, at the JanRae Community Art Gallery, 5741 Telegraph Ave, from 7-9pm. The artwork is sponsored by the Edible East Bay and Women’s Cancer Resource Center and features 12 local artists. Free.

Cream Corn Wrestling: Perhaps as unique as last week’s Passover Cabaret for Laughter and Liberation is Saturday night’s Taste For Artisans in Jack London Square, where over 100 Bay Area artisans will showcase and sell their handmade crafts and other people will show up to drink beer and wine, eat local food, listen to local bands, and of course, support local Americana by buying the aforementioned crafts. It’s being billed as “an urban ho-down of epic proportions”–I don’t know what the hell that means, but I want to find out. And they’ve got Cream Corn Wrestling with a free bike valet to boot, so I’m down.  Add a pie-eating contest and it doesn’t get much more Americana than that!


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