Here in Oakland, when we sense the beginning of fall approaching, we like to cram in as many festivals as we possibly can before that happens. We’ve got some great ones this week–the kind we wait all year for! We also have plenty of arts events to get in, so we can even personalize our own festival weeks. Enjoy!

Friday, August 29

Final Fridays Films of Resistance & Solidarity Presents Alurista & Baraka
7 p.m.
EastSide Cultural Center, 2277 International Boulevard

Alurista & Baraka is rare video footage from a 1988 program titled Black & Chicano Liberation, featuring readings by two pivotal poets of the Black Arts and Chicano Arts Movements of the 60s. That event, sponsored by Unity Newspaper at L.A. City College, clearly showcases the incisive political commentary that carried both Amiri Baraka and Alurista as leading cultural voices through subsequent decades. This 30-minute screening at EastSide Cultural Center is part of an ongoing series of programs commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Black Arts and Chicano Arts Movements, which elevated the national consciousness of Third World communities and transformed the cultural landscape of America. The screening will be followed by a public discussion.

Cosmic Concerts at Chabot
7 – 10 p.m.
Chabot Space and Science Center, 10000 Skyline Boulevard

You don’t have to leave our galaxy to see some far-out talent. Local musicians Greg Ashley of psychedelic rock band The Gris-Gris, and John Morgan of the John Brother Piano Company turn Chabot’s theater into a magical realm where science and music collide to produce a unique concert experience. Engage your own innate musicality and creativity by learning how to make simple instruments from common materials or start an impromptu jam session. Maybe you’ll be inspired to form your own band! Tickets are available here.

Dancing Under the Stars: Salsa
8:30 – 10 p.m.
Foot of Broadway, Jack London Square

From experienced dancers to newbies, everyone is invited to an evening of rhythm, grooving and dancing under the stars! Dancers will kick up their heels and pack Jack London Square for free dance lessons. Each Friday night, Jack London Square will host a different dance theme. Lessons begin at 8:30 p.m., followed by a dance party at 9 to try out all the new moves. For more information, visit

57th Street Gallery Presents Toya Alexander
8:30 – 11 p.m. (doors open at 6 p.m.)
5701 Telegraph Avenue

Toya Maria Alexander is a self-taught musician/singer/songwriter. She’s performed her own original songs in the Bay Area for many years, formerly under the stage name “Simply Toya.” Toya portrayed the late jazz and soul singer Phyllis Hyman in several productions of Celestial Celebration, a musical stage play by James Brooks. Since then, Toya has produced and performed several of her own musical tributes to Phyllis Hyman. In past events, Toya has opened for, and been a featured vocalist with, several Bay Area bands. For more information and to make reservations, visit

Saturday, August 30

Lake Merritt Weed Warriors Work Day
9 a.m. – noon
Meet at the pergola on El Embarcadero

Lake Merritt Weed Warriors are an informal, can-do group dedicated to maintaining the beautiful Measure DD-funded landscape improvements around Lake Merritt. Work days usually occur on the last Saturday morning of each month. The City of Oakland’s Public Works Agency parks maintenance staff–led by Crew Leader Juan Cana and supervised by Parks Supervisor Victoria “Tora” Rocha–directs and supports their work. Please bring your own water and favorite gardening tools (gloves, trowels, pruners and knee pads), if you have them. The City Public Works Agency may have a few loaners but better that you bring your own. Like the Weed Warriors on Facebook where you’ll find any up-to-date announcements. For more information, please contact Jennie Gerard at

EastSide Arts Alliance and Dohee Lee present ARA Gut and Mago
8 p.m.
EastSide Cultural Center, 2277 International Boulevard

Join the EastSide Arts Alliance for the Oakland premier of ARA Gut (Ritual of Ocean), a new form of ritual, influenced by Korean Shamanic ritual in Jeju Island, which will performed by Korean percussionists from the East Bay: Adria Otte, Codie Otte, Elisa Gahng, Yeri Shon and Dohee Lee. Attendees will also be treated to a work-in-progress preview of Mago, dedicated to the Jeju island people who continue to struggle for justice and to keep their land, people, natural environment, and belief system.

57th Street Gallery Presents Linda Kay Ricketts
8:30 – 11 p.m. (doors open at 6 p.m.)
5701 Telegraph Avenue

Come out and enjoy the soulful, sultry sounds of one of the Bay Area’s favorite vocalists, Linda Kay Ricketts. With roots deep in the music of the African-American tradition, Linda’s unique blend of gospel, spirituals, jazz and blues is the perfect compliment to her rich contralto voice. Linda Kay has graced the stage in a variety of venues here and abroad and continues to delight audiences. Whether she’s in front of a classroom or boardroom, at the mic or in the choir, you can count on a wonderfully engaging, entertaining and soul satisfying experience. For more information and to make reservations, visit

Sunday, August 31

Oakland Triathlon
7 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Webster Plaza, Jack London Square

The Oakland Triathlon Festival is all about the incredible triathlon community in Northern California. The largest west coast urban triathlon will feature sprint and Olympic distances for both new and experienced endurance athletes while showcasing the beautiful city of Oakland.

Oakland Pride Festival
Noon – 8 p.m.
22nd and Franklin Streets

Celebrate Oakland’s diversity and culture at the 5th Annual Oakland Pride. With multiple stages, family gardens and wedding pavilions, there’s nothing that Oakland Pride hasn’t covered. This year’s celebration even includes the event’s first-ever parade!

TDK: The Dream Kontinues: A Film by Pendarvis Harshaw
4 p.m.
EastSide Cultural Center, 2277 International Boulevard

TDK: The Dream Kontinues is a 20-minute documentary that tells the story of Mike Dream, TDK and the current state of graffiti in Oakland. TDK is one of the most well-known graffiti crews in Northern California. Founded in the mid-80s by a group of friends, the acronym TDK has had many iterations over the years, the original being “Those Damn Kids.” A man named Mike “Dream” Francisco, the crew leader, made a home out of the 23rd Street Train Yards of East Oakland. That was his canvas. Graffiti artists from all around the world would paint in those yards, but that’s where Mike Dream made his name, and TDK earned their claim. After watching this film, you’ll never look at the writing on the wall the same again.

Monday, September 1

Hiero Day 2014
All day
95 Linden Street

Hiero Day, an all-day, all-ages, free annual music and indie culture festival, returns to the Linden Street Brewery on Labor Day with three stages featuring performances by over 28 artists. Declared an official holiday by the office of the Mayor, Hiero Day is the Hiero Crew’s way of giving back to the city that has raised and nurtured them and a great way to allow friends, fans and families to enjoy a day of fun, food and music in Oakland.

Tuesday, September 2

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

Thursday, September 4

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.

This Is Oakland Book Signing & PIC Oakland Reception
5:30 – 8 p.m.
Gondola Servizio at Lake Merritt, 1520 Lakeside Drive

Enjoy a beautiful evening at the Gondola Servizio and Lake Chalet docks while sipping some wine and enjoying lite fare. Enjoy gondola rides all night long and meet the awesome team behind This Is Oakland,Melissa Davis and Kristen Loken (also a PIC Oakland judge), for their book signing. You’ll also meet the top 10 finalists who shared their lenses with PIC Oakland. For more information, visit the Facebook and website event pages.

To list an event for September 5 – 11, send the details to by noon on Tuesday, September 2.

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