Oh, Oakland, you fabulously art-infested metropolis! You have been waiting for this first Friday and Saturday in May for so long that you’ve crammed them teemingly full with Oaklandy art awesomeness. And then, like the perfect New Year’s holiday that has a built-in day of rest after celebration, you’re a bit on the quiet side while you rest up from all the excitement. It’s all cool, of course. Enjoy!

Friday, May 2

Pro Arts’ 40th Birthday Party
6 – 8 p.m.
150 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza

Join Pro Arts for its 40th Birthday Party, a free, inclusive community celebration, kicking off the open studios season with an opportunity to preview works by 400 artists. Enjoy an evening of art, music, drinks and downtown tastes! Sign the wall-sized birthday card and share your stories using #IamProArts. Jump into the Birthday Bash VIP Lounge for added flair! VIP passes can be purchased here.

Classic Cars West Presents Lost in Transit
6 – 9 p.m.
411 26th Street

Classic Cars West is pleased to announce the opening of its solo exhibition for May and June, Genevieve Hastings’ Lost in Transit. Hastings explores memory as it is created and preserved during travel. Her installation pieces are immersive, multimedia environments where visitors can explore archives of sounds, scents, and objects, discovering hidden treasures of the past and contributing to the ever-growing archives contained within each piece.

Disposable Cameras Not Disposable Lives
6 – 9 p.m.
Uptown Body & Fender, 401 26th Street

This photo documentary project by formerly homeless elders, presented by St. Mary’s Center, uses disposable cameras to capture images not always visible. On this evening, the artists will bridge understanding and ideas about what we can do to end a growing epidemic. Executive Director Carol Johnson explains, “No one is building housing for extremely low-income people. The rental market in Oakland is skyrocketing. Where is an elder making $877 per month supposed to live?” Oakland is on the top ten places to live in the country, as rents indicate, and is also distinguished in the Census Report with more seniors living in poverty than any other urban area in the state. The senior photographers are well aware of these incongruent headlines and help us get up close and personal with life on the street. Yet, as their title suggests, this exhibit is also about hope. “On Our Way Home” celebrates the wisdom of elders and what we can do together to impact change.

Virginia Garcia Photography’s OaklandParis
6 – 9 p.m.
25th Street Collective, 477 25th Street

Ask yourself about the essence of Paris in Oakland…what do we expect, how do we judge, whom do we perceive ourselves to be based on our location and our sense of place? Take a look at Oakland through the lens of Oakland photographer Virginia Garcia during Uptown’s First Friday Art Walk. OaklandParis is an intriguing presentation of photography that juxtaposes scenes of Oakland and Paris, capturing the evocative feeling and essence of each city in the other. Garcia presents a unique multimedia showing of the OaklandParis theme. Tourist brochures, large-scale posters, window and wall panels, beautiful lamps and aluminum-printed photographs will enchant you. All items are available for purchase and are made to order.

Jack’s Night Market
6 – 10 p.m.
Between Webster and Harrison on Water Street

Jack London Square invites locals and visitors to spend their first Friday of the month on the waterfront for a captivating evening filled with merriment and verve. This special evening takes place on the same nights as Oakland’s First Fridays, lighting up the square with an eclectic mix of artisans, music, food and fun. From the finest crafts and designers to local fruit purveyors and street performers, this vibrant outdoor bazaar will celebrate all that is Oakland. Night Market-goers will also enjoy a diverse array of music and quirky street performers, as well as tasty treats, street food, beer and wine. All beer and wine sales from Jack’s Night Market benefit the Sustainable Business Alliance and Oakland Grown.

Project YouthView 10th Anniversary Youth Film Festival
7 – 10 p.m.
Paramount Theatre, 2025 Broadway

Project YouthView is Alternatives in Action’s annual event and the largest youth film festival in California. They are very excited to hold the event at the Paramount this year and are expecting 1,000 attendees for this amazing evening. Alternatives in Action works with over 1,200 Oakland youth and families each year, providing youth leadership opportunities, academic supports, career readiness and much more through community school efforts at McClymonds, Life Academy, Fremont High School and its own charter high school. This event helps to support multimedia programs as well as raise awareness about the power of youth voice. Click here to buy tickets.

Saturday, May 3

Celebrate Earth Day With Horace Mann Elementary School
9 a.m. – noon
5222 Ygnacio Avenue

Volunteers will weed and clean out the area previously installed by Melrose High Hopes Friends. If you have an abundance of succulent plants, please bring them along, as they would be perfect to plant those on the hillside. All are welcome to this fun, family-friendly event. The classroom with the most parent participation will earn a pizza party!

The Merritt College Landscape Horticulture Department’s Spring Plant Sale
9 a.m. – 3 p.m. – continues Sunday, noon – 3 p.m.
12500 Campus Drive

On Saturday, this plant fair will be accompanied by food, music and vendors. Companies represented include The Urban Farmer Store and Hida Tool. Plants available include: heirloom annual spring and summer vegetable starts, rare fog-tolerant grapes, unusual perennial greens, unique perennial and Andean vegetables, attractive edible fruiting shrubs, cool-summer adapted fruiting trees and vines, a wide selection of Four Winds plants, permaculture guild builders, a wide variety of California natives (including edible natives), Mediterranean climate plants (Australia, South Africa, Chile) and unusual perennials. Sunday will feature plant sales only.

California Bookstore Day at Diesel
10 a.m.
5433 College Avenue

Authors, publishers, and booksellers across California are celebrating the unique role that independent bookstores fill in communities as destinations of culture, education, and fun. What does that mean exactly? It means Diesel is having a party! From super cool, book-related, limited-edition items available only on this day and only in independent bookstores, to prize raffles, music, and food, it’s a great way to help create this wonderful tradition.

Setting Firm Roots: Food Justice without Displacement
10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Impact Hub Oakland, 2323 Broadway, Room H

OFPC has partnered with People’s Grocery to present a panel of speakers from allied sectors in housing, transit, and living wages, who have decades of experience in anti-displacement strategies. This will be a learning session where we discuss and learn how we might integrate effective anti-displacement strategies into our work for a just and sustainable food system. Child care and light refreshments will be provided.

Jack London Square Vintage Car & Truck Show
10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Throughout Jack London Square

Jack London Square will showcase more than 60 vintage cars, trucks and motorcycles from the 1920s to 1960s. From car buffs to casual enthusiasts, the waterfront will transform into an auto mecca showcasing rare vehicles. Enjoy live music, delicious eats from Jack London Square’s fantastic restaurants and stroll along Oakland’s premiere waterfront.

California Bookstore Day at Laurel Bookstore
10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
4100 MacArthur Boulevard

The Sustainable Business Alliance/Oakland Grown invite you to a day of fun activities in celebration of California Bookstore Day! A full day of treats, readings and prizes is capped off with a trivia contest and happy hour!

Uncovering GRIT through Restorative Justice: The School to Prison Pipeline and the Power of Transformation
2 – 4 p.m.
Castlemont High School, 8601 MacArthur Boulevard

Dr. Victor Rios is an award-winning college professor, author, and speaker. He studies adversity, resilience, and grit among marginalized youths, and provides captivating, evidence-based professional development to educators about the power of positive quality of interactions in the lives of young people. He speaks to middle, high school and college students about overcoming adversity, leadership, and the power of a higher education. He is the author of Punished: Policing the Lives of Black and Latino Boys and Street Life: Poverty, Gangs, and a Ph.D. He uses his research on motivation, aspirations, and resilience among high school and college students to provide powerful keynote presentations to students, educators, practitioners, and parents to overcome adversity and work towards social justice. Click here to register.

Tuesday, May 6

Oakland City Council and Oakland Redevelopment Agency Meeting
5:30 p.m.
City Council Chambers, Third Floor, Oakland City Hall, 1 Frank Ogawa Plaza

The City Council is the governing body of the City of Oakland, and consists of eight members who are elected directly by the citizens of Oakland: one representative from each of seven districts, and one at-large representative. The Council sets goals and priorities for the City, as well as approving the City budget, adopting ordinances to help the City serve its citizens, and appointing members to various boards and commissions. The City Council meets 2 – 3 times per month, on the 1st, 3rd, and 5th Tuesdays. A downloadable agenda is available here. For more information, click here or call (510) 238-7370.

Oakland Heritage Alliance Board of Directors Meeting
6 – 8 p.m.
PGA Building, 444 17th Street

For details, please call the OHA at: (510) 763-9218 or visit oaklandheritage.org.

Thursday, May 8

Bike to Work Day
All day

Bike East Bay will be hosting hundreds of Energizer Stations throughout the East Bay, distributing goodie bags and celebrating the joy of biking. Last year, over 15,000 cyclists participated throughout Bike to Work Day. BEB had a record number of children bike to school, and mayors leading by example and biking to city hall. They hope you’ll be biking to work, school, or even around your neighborhood on this day! There’s also a Bike Happy Hour Party at the end of the day.

Oakland City Council Rules and Legislation Committee
10:45 a.m.
Oakland City Hall, 1 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, Hearing Room 1

The Rules and Legislation Committee usually meets at this time (although it is recommended to confirm the day and time, as this is subject to change). A downloadable agenda is available here. For more information, click here or call (510) 238-7370.

Temescal NCPC Meeting
7 – 8:30 p.m.
Faith Presbyterian Church, 49th and Webster

Everyone is welcome at the monthly Steering Committee meetings of the Temescal Neighborhood Crime Prevention Council. For more information, visit groups.yahoo.com/group/TemescalNeighborhood or email temescalfamilies@yahoogroups.com.

Rockridge NCPC Meeting
7 – 9 p.m.
Rockridge Library, 5366 College Avenue

The Greater Rockridge Neighborhood Crime Prevention Council was officially established in April 2002 to respond to the newly reorganized Community Policing Program of the City of Oakland Police Department. It combines beats 12Y and 13X under a single NCPC and operates under its own by-laws. Monthly steering committee meetings consist of officers, committee chairpersons and volunteers, a Neighborhood Services Coordinator (NSC) from OPD, and our Problem-Solving Officer (PSO): a specifically-designated OPD patrol officer. Any resident community member who wishes to attend regularly and participate in meetings is also welcome to join. For more information, visit www.rockridgencpc.com, or email chair@rockridgencpc.com.

To list an event for May 9 – 15, send the details to meg@oaklandlocal.com by noon on Tuesday, May 6.

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