Sure, you’d expect a bunch of art openings for First Friday, and you’d be right. There’s even more art action than that this week, though, and there’s plenty of bonus music, wicked interesting lectures and events, and all kinds of Oakland grooviness. Enjoy!

Friday, September 5

Free Youth Event: First Friday Shorts with BAVC
6 – 8 p.m.
The New Parkway, 474 24th Street

Bay Area Video Coalition (BAVC) partners with First Friday Shorts at The New Parkway for a showcase of recent work by The Factory, BAVC’s advanced video production program for teenagers. The evening will be led by young filmmakers and will feature collaborative mini-documentaries focused on local social justice issues and the solutions offered by community partner programs, including works-in-progress from this summer’s partnership with the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission. The screening is free and open to the public as part of The New Parkway’s First Friday Shorts series.

Artist Reception for 2 x 2 Solos: Ben Bigelow’s Ellipsis and Rhonda Holberton’s You Because Free Instantly New
6 – 8 p.m.
Pro Arts Gallery, 150 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza

Through combinations of video, installation, performance, sculpture and photography, Ben Bigelow’s work explores the shifting identity of Americana and its relationship to technology. For 2 x 2 Solos, Ben Bigelow presents Ellipsis, a single-channel video work consisting of one long continuous tracking shot across the face of a seemingly infinite stretch of big box stores. The menacing quality of these huge masses of concrete and steel is softened by tiny quirks, chinks in the effort to produce structures generic and devoid of qualities, revealing absurdity. Working in sculpture, installation and photography, Rhonda Holberton reveals a magic and symbolic reading of empirical canons of belief. The works in Holberton’s 2 x 2 Solos installation represent visual iterations of her research dealing with the integration of military technologies into the intimacies of civilian life. Figurative sculptures depict the melding of human form in hand-to-hand combat, and identity is camouflaged via scents distilled from multiple bodies, while a computer reads randomized texts culled from military training manuals and self-guided improvement programs. These works navigate complex phenomenological systems through a hybrid of scientific and metaphysical practices.

Opening Reception for Cameron Thompson’s Perched
6 – 10 p.m.
Loakal Gallery, 560 2nd Street

Cameron Thompson got his start in the Bay Area graffiti scene and currently divides his time between his studio, painting murals, and working with at-risk youth as a teacher and mentor. His new body of work is a series of paintings and textile pieces that focus on stylized depictions of animals. Influenced by both his street art background and Native American heritage, his work draws inspiration from both nature and urban life.

Sing Along Cinema: Chicago
7 p.m.
Jack London Square Ferry Lawn

Enjoy an evening of song, dance and movie classics on the waterfront with free outdoor screenings of popular musicals. This lively film series will screen fan favorites on special evenings at sundown. Cinema-goers are invited to show up in costume dressed as their favorite characters and sing along to their favorite songs. Come join the fun and a little bit of madness at this starry night sing-along.

Ask a Scientist Lecture Series & Wonderfest: “A Planet for Goldilocks”
7 – 9 p.m.
Chabot Space and Science Center, 10000 Skyline Boulevard

Chabot is proud to partner with Ask a Scientist and Wonderfest to host this enlightening lecture, “A Planet for Goldilocks,” about the search for other planets that might harbor life. The quest to find Earth-like planets has captivated our imagination for centuries and has been the goal of NASA’s Kepler mission since 2009. Dr. Natalie Batalha, co-investigator on the Kepler mission and director of the Systems Teaching Institute at NASA Research Park, leads the presentation taking us on the Kepler spacecraft’s search for planets that can sustain life. Dr. Batalha began her research on extrasolar planet detection and stellar astrophysics at NASA in 2000 and has published numerous papers on her findings. Get tickets here.

Saturday, September 6

On Fire Again!: Reigniting Lifework Purpose and Passion
9 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Homewood Suites by Hilton Oakland – Waterfront, 1103 Embarcadero

In limbo with direction for a more true and fulfilling career? Discover how to find a next lifework that’s really your calling. In this interactive workshop, you’ll learn: how to avoid the 3 biggest mistakes that can keep you stagnant and stuck; a natural process to gain powerful clarity about your unique talents and purpose, so you can start moving toward a life that’s brilliantly you; how to get the missing support and acknowledgement that’s essential for moving forward; and how to use your current situation, no matter how difficult, as a launch-pad for finding a work and life you love. For more information and to register, visit

Moonlight Kayak Paddle
6:30 p.m.
California Canoe and Kayak, Oakland Estuary

Moonlight kayaking is an enchanting experience. The water often turns glassy and calm on the Oakland Estuary late in the day, and twilight adds to the unique ambiance. We’ll enjoy a leisurely paddling pace as the sun goes down, setting the stage for a beautiful evening on the water. Visit to make a reservation.

57th Street Gallery Presents Achyutan and Barbara Hunter Quartet
8:30 – 11 p.m. (doors open at 6 p.m.)
5701 Telegraph Avenue

Enjoy a variety of music, balanced with fresh arrangements of familiar jazz and popular standards, passion, a rhythm section of awesomely talented and supportive musicians, and more. This is one of the band’s many returns to 57th Street Gallery, where they always come up with a surprise or two. Word is that once you step inside the Gallery and hear the Quartet you will find it impossible to leave until the very last note has been played and the last word sung. Musicians are Barbara Hunter, flute/sax/vocals; Ian McArdle, piano; Erich Hunt, bass; Al Stanford, percussion; and Achyutan, drums/vocals. For more information and to make reservations, visit

Sunday, September 7

Grandparent’s Day at Oakland Zoo
10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
9777 Golf Links Road

Come celebrate Grandparent’s Day at Oakland Zoo! What better way to spend time with your grandchildren than strolling through the Zoo, seeing the amazing animals and learning at the same time? Have a picnic lunch, enjoy the Children’s Zoo, and ride the carousel in the Rides Area. No reservations are required.

Benefit Concert for Bay Area Girls Rock Camp
11:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
The New Parish, 579 18th Street

The Devil Dolls MC is throwing a benefit rock concert to benefit the Bay Area Girls Rock Camp of Oakland. This is an all-ages, family-friendly event, and everyone is welcome: the MC Community, music lovers, artists… everyone! Performers include Ann Halen (Van Halen Tribute), Jett Black Band (Joan Jett Tribute), and Fleet Street (’70s and ’80s covers). Full bar and catered food and desserts will be available for purchase. Other fun stuff includes balloon animals, face painting, a free photo booth, and various vendors.

Poetry Flash with Marcia Falk and Steven Rood
3 p.m.
Diesel, A Bookstore, 5433 College Avenue

Marcia Falk is a poet, a scholar, and a translator from both Hebrew and Yiddish. Her latest book is The Days Between: Blessings, Poems, and Directions of the Heart for the Jewish High Holiday Season, a volume for those seeking to connect more deeply with their Judaism, and for all readers in search of a contemplative approach to the themes of the fall season. Steven Rood’s book of poems, I Say Your Name, is devoted to the memory of two men: the great poet Jack Gilbert, and to Rood’s own late psychotherapist. It is filled with vivid, loving re-creation, humor, and profound empathy. He has been for many years a member of the workshop begun by the legendary poet Jack Gilbert at San Francisco State in 1967, which continues to this day. He was a primary caregiver to Gilbert during his last Alzheimer’s days. While not available to order, copies of Steven’s books will be for sale at the event.

Divine Imagination Photography by Susan Freundlich
3 – 6 p.m.
Kehilla Community Synagogue, 1300 Grand Avenue, Piedmont

All are invited to an artist reception to enjoy the photography of Susan Freundlich and talk with Susan in person. To see the world through the lens of Susan’s eyes is to experience joy, innocence, prayer, passion, and deep beauty. Susan has great skill as a photographer and her work is spellbinding. Come enjoy a delightful afternoon filled with conversation, food, and art, art, art.

Monday, September 8

Oakland Landmarks Preservation Advisory Board Meeting
6 – 8 p.m.
Oakland City Hall, 1 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza

It is recommended to confirm the date and location at For additional information, call (510) 238-3941 or visit

Tuesday, September 9

Robert Cohen Discusses and Signs The Essential Mario Savio
7 p.m.
Diesel, A Bookstore, 5433 College Avenue

Diesel, A Bookstore in Oakland welcomes Robert Cohen to discuss and sign his new book, The Essential Mario Savio: Speeches and Writings That Changed America. Mario Savio should be familiar to all Berkeley-ites as one of the leaders of the Free Speech Movement in Berkeley in the 1960s. During this tumultuous time in American history, student activists organized mass sit-ins, a nonviolent blockade around a police car, occupations of the campus administration building, and strikes that united thousands. At the fore was Mario Savio, championing the right to free speech and unrestricted political advocacy on campus. This collection of Mario Savio’s letters, speeches, and previously unknown writings demonstrates the eloquence, passion, and courage of an important but little-understood figure, and offers insight and perspective on the disruptive yet nonviolent civil disobedience tactics he employed.

Oakland City Council Committee Meetings
times listed below
Oakland City Hall, 1 Frank H. 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. Most of the Committees of the City Council usually meet on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of the month (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.

10:30 a.m. – noon: Public Works Committee
noon – 2 p.m.: Finance & Management Committee
2 – 4 p.m.: Community & Economic Development Committee
4 – 5:30 p.m.: Life Enrichment Committee
5:30 p.m.: Public Safety Committee

F. M. Smith Park Advisory Council Meeting
6:30 – 8 p.m.
F. M. Smith Park, 1969 Park Boulevard

Have questions or want more information? Contact Lisa or Center Director Lois Gomes, or visit

Wednesday, September 10

AC Transit Board of Directors Meetings
times listed below
Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District, 1600 Franklin Street, 10th Floor

The Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District is the third-largest public bus system in California, serving 13 cities and adjacent unincorporated areas in Alameda and Contra Costa counties. AC Transit has been serving the East Bay since 1960, taking over from the Key System and its predecessors, which carried passengers via buses, horse-drawn rail, electric streetcars, and ferries over the previous 100 years. AC Transit’s mission is to provide safe, convenient, courteous, and reliable transit service. For more information, visit

3 p.m.: Operations Committee Meeting
3:30 p.m.: External Affairs Committee Meeting
6 p.m.: Board of Directors Meeting

Parks and Recreation Advisory Commission Meeting
4:30 p.m.
Lakeside Park Garden Center, 666 Bellevue Avenue

The Parks and Recreation Advisory Commission reports and makes recommendations to the Oakland City Council on Office of Parks and Recreation policies. It consists of 11 seats, appointed by the Mayor and Council to represent the citizens of Oakland. The public is welcome to attend the Commission’s monthly meetings, which are held on the second Wednesday of every month except for August. Please call the Director’s office, (510) 238-7532, to confirm meetings in case of cancellation or change of venue. For more information, click here.

Oakland Board of Education General Meeting
5 – 9 p.m.
Paul Robeson Building, 1025 2nd Avenue, Board Room

The Governing Board, commonly called the Board of Education, is the elected policy-making body of the public education system within the City of Oakland. The Governing Board’s primary responsibility is to ensure that every student served by the District is well educated and demonstrates high academic achievement. For more information, visit

Manzanita 18Y NCPC Meeting
6:45 – 8:15 p.m.
Salvation Army, 2794 Garden Street

For more information, please contact NSC Edith Guillen at (510) 238-7159 or

Thursday, September 11

Oakland City Council Rules and Legislation Committee Meeting
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 or email

Meena Srinivasan discusses and signs Teach, Breathe, Learn
7 p.m.
Diesel, A Bookstore, 5433 College Avenue

Diesel, A Bookstore in Oakland welcomes teacher Meena Srinivasan to the store to discuss and sign her new book, Teach, Breathe, Learn: Mindfulness In and Out of the Classroom. Education may be one of the hardest professions. Balancing students’ needs with the demands of the curriculum can be exhausting, and worse, demoralizing. Meena Srinivasan knows this well, having taught sixth grade in Oakland. After a retreat with Thich Nhat Hanh, Meena discovered the power of mindfulness, and in her new book, she demonstrates how effective a tool it can be in the classroom. Filled with stories of the challenges she personally faced, as well as testimonials from students, colleagues, and parents, Teach, Breathe, Learn helps teachers develop compassion and be able to shift from reacting to responding to demands. It offers techniques for cultivating loving kindness and seeing students, colleagues, and parents as oneself, as well as providing a complete curriculum including lesson plans, diagrams, and handouts that will allow teachers to incorporate mindfulness into their own classrooms.

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, please visit the website below, or email For more information, visit

To list an event for September 12 – 18, send the full details (what, who, where, when) to by noon on Tuesday, September 9.

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